Special counsel Robert Mueller has expressed interest in seeking an interview with President Donald Trump as part of his investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“The special counsel’s team could interview Trump very soon on some limited portion of questions — possibly within the next several weeks,” The Washington Post reports.
“Trump’s lawyers hope to obtain from the special counsel’s team a clear idea of the categories of questions that would be posed to the president.”
Mueller was expected to request an interview with Trump regarding actions he took in office that may have been intended to “blunt” the Russia investigation, the Post reports.
Some have said that Mueller has the ability to charge the president with obstruction of justice for firing FBI Director James Comey in May after his testimony on Capitol Hill.
Many, such as Harvard legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, have pointed out that the president has the authority to hire and fire personnel who work beneath him, and an obstruction of justice charge against Trump could cause a constitutional crisis.
“This is moving faster than anyone really realizes,” a source close to the president told the Post. According to the source, Trump is comfortable with participating in an interview and believes it will “put to rest” questions his campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
“Sitting presidents have been interviewed by prosecutors in the past, though courts have urged government investigators to only seek such interviews when they cannot obtain relevant information another way,” according to Post.
Trump’s legal team has been preparing for such an interview for months, researching conditions under which Trump would be required to submit to an interview by a special counsel.
“No lawyer just volunteers their client without thinking this through,” said one person familiar with the talks, according to the Post.
“Veteran prosecutors said it was unlikely Mueller would agree to have any witness, even the president, submit a declaration or provide written answers to questions to avoid a sit-down interview.”
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