Tags: Donald Trump | Russia Probe | fbi raid | michael cohen | testimony | special counsel | robert mueller

NBC: Trump-Mueller Talks 'Collapsed' After Cohen Raid

NBC: Trump-Mueller Talks 'Collapsed' After Cohen Raid
President Donald Trump (David Goldman/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 12 April 2018 06:02 PM

Talks between President Donald Trump's legal team and Russia special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators collapsed this week — and both sides are proceeding as if the president will not sit for an interview, NBC News reported Thursday.

The network cited "multiple people familiar with the matter," saying that while Trump's lawyers discussed a possible interview with Mueller on Monday, prospects "drastically dimmed" after the FBI raid on the president's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

The raid "significantly complicated" any negotiations for the president's legal team, "a person familiar with the discussions" told NBC.

However, "you never say never" on a possible interview, the person cautioned, adding Trump's legal team remains "in frequent contact" with Mueller's investigators on other matters in the Russia probe.

Trump's lawyers declined to comment to NBC, as did Mueller's office.

President Trump slammed the raid on Cohen's office, home, and a hotel room where he was temporarily staying as a "disgrace" and said the FBI "broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys."

Agents were armed with search warrants based in part on information provided by Mueller's investigators.

According to NBC News, the special counsel is focusing on three obstruction of justice areas:

  • Trump's intent to fire former FBI Director James Comey.
  • His role in crafting of a statement aboard Air Force One last July regarding Donald Trump Jr.'s June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russians.
  • The president's "dangling" of possible pardons before grand jury witnesses.
  • Trump's efforts in pressuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions to not recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

In the final round of meetings with Mueller's team, Trump's lawyers proposed any interview last "only a few hours" — and they wanted "Mueller to agree to write a report within at least three or four months after completing the interview," NBC reported.

Before the Cohen raid, Mueller's investigators were aiming to have a report completed between May and July — three sources told NBC — though the schedule was dependent upon a Trump interview.

Now, however, Mueller's team might be able to end the probe and provide a report to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "more quickly," since the prospect of interviewing Trump has dimmed, NBC reported.

Rosenstein met with President Trump at the White House on Thursday.

A White House official said the meeting was about "routine department business."

A Justice Department spokeswoman told NBC the session was part of a scheduled meeting with officials from the Justice Department and other agencies.

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NBC News reported Thursday talks between President Donald Trump's legal team and Russia special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators collapsed this week, and both sides are proceeding as if the president will not sit for an interview.
fbi raid, michael cohen, testimony, special counsel, robert mueller
409
2018-02-12
Thursday, 12 April 2018 06:02 PM
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