Special counsel Robert Mueller's team will not permit President Donald Trump to answer questions in writing, a source familiar with the process told Politico on Tuesday.
However, the source cautioned that this "doesn't mean the last chapter's been written" on the issue.
Mueller has been in negotiations with the president's lawyers for months about the form of a potential interview over the probe into whether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russians to influence the 2016 election and if Trump obstructed justice.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that lawyers advising Trump hope to decide whether he should testify by May 17, the one-year anniversary of Mueller's appointment as special counsel.
But Rudy Giuliani, who recently joined Trump's outside group of lawyers, told Politico that negotiations were still far apart regarding an interview, with both sides having "issues we want to resolve."
Giuliani said there were still “a few weeks to go in making sure we know all the facts” before the president and his lawyers would be ready to make a final decision on whether they'd sit for an interview.”
One of the Trump legal team's demands is a chance to review the Justice Department's internal records connected to the scope of Mueller's probe.
Those records are already controversial, with Trump suggesting last week that he might intervene to get the classified material in the hands of Congress.
Trump has expressed willingness, if he is treated fairly, to have a direct interview with Mueller, even telling reporters that he may disregard the advice of his lawyers on the subject. The president is hoping for a negotiated settlement with Mueller that results in a face-to-face meeting, Giuliani said.
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