International
0

Robert Mueller Set to Interview Donald Trump

Robert Mueller Set to Interview Donald TrumpRobert Mueller Set to Interview Donald Trump

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has approached President Donald Trump for an interview about alleged Russian election meddling, US media reported Monday. While the president has voiced his willingness to cooperate, his lawyers have been trying to make sure any interview takes place under very specific parameters.

First reported by NBC News, other sources later confirmed to the Washington Post that Mueller is likely to question the president "very soon," DW reported.

"This is moving faster than anyone realizes," according to a Post source familiar with the talks.

Frustration is reportedly growing in the White House, as no one believed Mueller's investigation would still be ongoing into 2018. Thus far three former Trump campaign staffers have been indicted, prompting former campaign chief Paul Manafort to press charges against Mueller for what Manafort sees as overstepping the frame of his mandate.

***Obstruction of Justice?

"Trump is comfortable participating in an interview and believes it would put to rest questions about whether his campaign coordinated with Russia," wrote the Washington Post.

To that end, Ty Cobb, the White House counsel, and Trump's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow are apparently trying to get Mueller to submit his questions ahead of time, or allow the president to give his answers in written statements instead of a sit-down interview.

However, one person familiar with the talks told the Post that Mueller has no intention of creating special rules for the president, especially as he may be exploring whether or not Trump obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey.

The obstruction investigation focuses on whether Trump broke the law by asking Comey to end the investigation into Flynn and whether he fired Comey to try to hinder the FBI investigation into Russia-related matters. Shortly after dismissing Comey in May, the president told Russian diplomats in an Oval Office meeting that doing so had relieved “great pressure” on him.

According to New York Times, Trump has sat for depositions before and shown discipline when under oath. His testimony in civil cases reveals a canny ability to avoid being cornered and a frank acknowledgment that he uses “truthful hyperbole” or “innocent exaggeration.” But he has never faced questioning from someone like Mueller, a veteran prosecutor and former FB.I director who has a dozen experienced litigators behind him.

And the stakes have never been higher. Former US president Bill Clinton was impeached on a perjury charge over his grand jury testimony about his relationship with a White House intern.

Solomon L. Wisenberg, one of the lawyers who questioned Clinton said Mueller would probably wait until his inquiry was nearly complete to question the president. Wisenberg said that while Trump often makes statements to the public that are inflammatory or untrue, the president has shown he can be disciplined, as he has curtailed his criticisms of Mueller in recent months.

“Trump has been on message about Mueller since Ty Cobb came in as his lawyer” in July, Wisenberg said. “It’s pretty clear when Ty Cobb came in, he tightened up the ship and had a talk with Trump and must have said: ‘You’re OK on collusion. Stop attacking Mueller directly.’”

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints

Financialtribune.com