Tags: Russia Probe | Trump Administration | president donald trump | russia probe | robert mueller | 2016 election | interview

WSJ: Trump's Lawyers May Offer Interview to End Russia Probe

WSJ: Trump's Lawyers May Offer Interview to End Russia Probe
(AP)

By    |   Friday, 09 March 2018 05:03 PM

President Donald Trump's lawyers may offer special counsel Robert Mueller an interview under certain conditions in exchange for a speedy conclusion to the Russia investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The Journal cited "a person familiar with the discussions," though John Dowd, Trump's lead outside attorney, responded in an email: "We never discuss our communications with OSC (Office of Special Counsel)."

Mueller's office also declined to comment.

However, "a person familiar with the Trump legal team's process said that conversations with Mr. Mueller over a possible Trump interview are in the earliest stages," the Journal reported.

According to the report, Trump's lawyers are weighing several conditions for a sit-down interview, including that Mueller commits "to a date for concluding at least the Trump-related portion of the investigation" — possibly within 60 days of the session.

The lawyers are also considering whether to seek an agreement with Mueller "on the scope of his questioning of the president," the Journal reported.

Trump's counsel expects Mueller's investigators to ask about his decisions to fire national security adviser Mike Flynn and FBI Director James Comey.

Flynn, who was dismissed amid concerns about his disclosures on Russia to Vice President Mike Pence, pleaded guilty in December to lying to Mueller's investigators about his contacts.

Comey was fired by President Trump during his investigation of possible Russian collusion with the Republican's presidential campaign.

Mueller, who was hired after Comey's firing, is also probing whether Trump obstructed justice when he terminated Comey.

President Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Moscow, long slamming Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt."

The Kremlin has said it did not meddle in the 2016 election.

According to the Journal, President Trump has pressured his legal team to end Mueller's investigation.

The president "has been eager to see the investigation wrap up as quickly as possible, describing it as a distraction that is hurting the country," the Journal reported.

Mueller's investigators have interviewed a wide range of present and former Trump officials, including former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Trump's lawyers, in addition, have researched federal court rulings in efforts to delay or limit the scope of any interview the president might have with Mueller's team.

Legal experts were skeptical that Mueller's team would welcome any limitations sought by Trump's lawyers.

"You can't put a timeline on these things," Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor, told the Journal.

"Someone could walk in the door on the day before their proposed deadline and say, 'I've got some information that's going to blow your minds.' … Mueller's going to say, 'Oh, too bad, the deadline's tomorrow?'"

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President Donald Trump's lawyers may offer special counsel Robert Mueller an interview under certain conditions in exchange for a speedy conclusion to the Russia investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
president donald trump, russia probe, robert mueller, 2016 election, interview
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2018-03-09
Friday, 09 March 2018 05:03 PM
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