No Collusion? Leak Shows Mueller Wants To Ask Trump About It

Mueller raised possibility of presidential subpoena in meeting with Trump's legal team
President Trump speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House last month

03 May, 2018

The Washington Post reported that in one meeting with Mueller, the president's lawyers insisted Trump had no obligation to talk.

The questions also show Mueller wants to find out what Trump knew about links between members of his presidential campaign and Russia, including a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer offering damaging information on election rival Hillary Clinton, the Times said.

Most of the questions reported by the Times ask what Trump knew of certain events, like the June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer, or what was he thinking when he did or said something, like firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Dowd, upon hearing of Mueller's line of inquiry, was further convinced that Trump should refuse an interview, the Times reported. Several Trump advisers and associates, including his former lawyer Dowd, are said to be opposed to having Trump meet with the special counsel. He ultimately became the first sitting president to testify before a grand jury about his conduct.

In January, President Trump told reporters he was interested in talking with Mueller under oath, but behind the scenes, the president's lawyers have been carefully negotiating the terms of those possible talks, CBS reported.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN. Attorney John Dowd told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Mueller's team had broached the subject. That was on a list of more than 40 potential questions that Trump's legal team compiled based on their discussions with Mueller. Instead, Mueller's team agreed to give Trump's attorneys more details on the topics prosecutors wanted to discuss with the president.

Trump on Tuesday condemned the release of the questions on Twitter and asserted that there were "no questions about collusion", even though some do appear on the list. Manafort is now facing a litany of charges under Mueller's investigation.

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And even if Mueller's team chose to subpoena Trump as part of the investigation, he could still fight it in court or refuse to answer questions by invoking his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination.

Dowd's comments provide a new window into the interactions between Trump's lawyers and the special counsel leading the Russian Federation investigation.

"So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were "leaked" to the media".

Still, the fact that Ivanka Trump has not met with the special counsel's team does stand out considering all the other former and current White House officials who have already been called in.

One question asks whether there were any efforts to reach out to Flynn "about seeking immunity or possible pardon" ahead of his guilty plea past year.

Trump and his aides took comfort in recent assurances provided by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that the president isn't a target of the Mueller investigation or of a separate probe into Trump's longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, according to people familiar with the matter.

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