Thursday, April 5, 2018
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors has informed President Donald Trump’s attorneys that the president is not currently considered a criminal target in the Russia investigation, according to a person familiar with the conversation.
The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the president is considered a subject of Mueller’s probe – not a target. A subject is typically someone whose conduct is of interest to investigators but prosecutors are not certain they’ve gathered enough evidence to bring charges.
The designation could change at any time, though. The development was first reported Tuesday by The Washington Post.
Trump’s designation as a subject came up as prosecutors and the president’s legal team negotiate the terms of an interview with him. The president has said he wants to speak with Mueller’s team, but his lawyers have not publicly committed to allowing him to be questioned.
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say whether the president remains willing to be questioned. In response to a question about the president being a subject, not a target, of the investigation, Sanders reiterated the president’s claim that his campaign didn’t collude with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“We know what we did and what we didn’t do, so none of this comes as much of a surprise,” Sanders said. She referred further questions to Trump’s attorneys.