Special counsel's team, lawyers discuss possible Trump interview in Russian probe

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

Donald Trump has reportedly signaled his readiness to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who plans to sit down with the US President as part of his probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

As questions mount about Donald Trump's mental capacity, White House lawyers are trying to devise a strategy where he will be able to answer questions about possible Russian Federation collusion from special counsel Robert Mueller, but without having to do so face-to-face.

Investigators are also looking at whether Trump tried to obstruct the FBI's work by firing former Director James Comey.

In an interview with The New York Times in July, the president was asked if he thought Mueller's investigation "would cross a red line" if his finances, or those of his family members, were looked into beyond their relation to Russian Federation.

United States intelligence agencies have concluded Russian Federation interfered in the election to try to help Trump win.

Mr. Trump's frustrations with the inquiry erupted again about three weeks later, when Mr. Comey said publicly for the first time that the Justice Department and the F.B.I. were conducting an investigation into links between Mr. Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

President Donald Trump told reporters at Camp David on Saturday that he still stands with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. An interview with Trump is likely to be one of the final steps in the Mueller investigation, which began on May 17.

After the New York Times first reported the meeting last July, 13 months after it had occurred, the White House issued a misleading statement while Trump flew back to Washington from the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort recently sued Mueller and the Justice Department, claiming Mueller has gone too far.

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 was the year of the fire rooster, a ideal metaphor for President Donald Trump.

Trump and his lawyers have repeatedly maintained that he did nothing improper and that as president he had unequivocal authority to fire Comey and take other actions.

If Trump fired Mueller, this would create a political firestorm but it wouldn't erase the evidence, vacate the guilty pleas, or stop the upcoming trials for the indicted two who haven't pled guilty.

The source said Trump was willing to be interviewed by Mueller in hopes of ending the politically damaging case.

"But we have been very open", Trump said.

"We weren't the only ones that knew all of this", Yates testified earlier this year, referring to the revelation that Flynn misled Pence about the true content of a December call with Kislyak.