Trump’s legal team responds to Mueller interview request


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Lawyers for President Donald Trump said Wednesday they have responded to the latest interview proposal from special counsel Robert Mueller, part of a monthslong negotiation process over whether and how investigators can question the president on possible obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation.

The two sides have gone back and forth over the scope and conditions of an interview as Mueller looks to understand whether the president acted with a criminal intent to stymie the investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and Russia.

Mueller’s team has put forward dozens of potential questions for the president, including about his firing of FBI Director James Comey last year and his public antagonism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the Russia investigation against the president’s wishes.

Though he’s publicly railed against the Russia investigation, including earlier this week, Trump has said he’s willing to be questioned. His lawyers have been far more hesitant and have challenged the right of investigators to interview Trump about actions they say he is authorized under the Constitution to take, such as firing an FBI director.

Speaking on his radio show Wednesday, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow again expressed reservations about an interview with Mueller, saying it would set a “bad precedent to allow just unfettered questioning on that process.”

“The decisions that are made here are all about the Constitution of the United States,” Sekulow said.

Trump’s lawyers did not detail the terms of any counteroffer they may have made and they also did not suggest that they were close to agreeing to an interview, suggesting the possibility of additional negotiations.

Sekulow said he expected Mueller’s team to take time to evaluate the written response.

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