Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has been dragging on for months.
His target is Donald Trump.
And he is sitting on the one secret that could end the Russia investigation for good.
One big question hovering over Mueller’s probe is if the special counsel will interview the President.
No one knows the answer to that.
But Trump’s legal team is preparing for Mueller to request an interview with Trump.
NBC News reports:
“Anticipating that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will ask to interview President Donald Trump, the president’s legal team is discussing a range of potential options for the format, including written responses to questions in lieu of a formal sit-down, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Lawyers for Trump have been discussing with FBI investigators a possible interview by the special counsel with the president as part of the inquiry into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
The discussions were described by one person with direct knowledge as preliminary and ongoing. Trump’s legal team is seeking clarification on whether the president would be interviewed directly by Mueller, as well as the legal standard for when a president can be interviewed, the location of a possible interview, the topics and the duration. But the president’s team is also seeking potential compromises that could avoid an interview altogether, two of those interviewed told NBC News.
With the possibility now looming that the president himself could be subject to an interview by the FBI or Mueller’s investigators, Trump’s legal team has been debating whether it would be possible to simply avoid it. One individual familiar with the strategy said those internal discussions within Trump’s legal team began shortly after the president’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was indicted in late October for money laundering in connection with his business dealings with Ukraine.
Trump’s legal team sat down with representatives from the special counsel’s office in late December. Two of Trump’s lawyers, Ty Cobb and John Dowd, declined comment. A third lawyer, Jay Sekulow, did not respond to a request for comment. Peter Carr, spokesperson for the special counsel’s office, declined to comment.
In addition to the possibility of suggesting the president submit written responses in place of an interview, a second person familiar with the president’s legal strategy said another possibility being contemplated was an affidavit signed by the president affirming he was innocent of any wrongdoing and denying any collusion. It was not clear what such an affidavit might state regarding the president’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017 at a time when Comey was leading the Russia probe.”
Mueller interviewing Trump would be a sign that his investigation is nearing an end.
And it would be a chance for Trump to shut this nonsense down once and for all.
But would Mueller use the interview to try and trap the President into slipping up?
If Trump recalls a date or fact incorrectly, Mueller could spin such an answer as “evidence” that Trump lied to him and use that as grounds for impeachment.
How Mueller decides to proceed with this interview will go a long way in deciding how quickly his investigation will wrap up and what the outcome will be.