Trump’s Lawyers Reject Mueller Interview Terms, Counter With New Offer
Lawyers for President Trump on Wednesday rejected special counsel Robert Mueller’s terms for an interview in the Russia investigation, countering with an offer that would significantly narrow the scope of what DOJ investigators can ask, reports the New York Times, which confirmed the response with Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lead attorney on the matter, pointed to copious documents the White House has already provided Mueller’s team, and said “We’re restating what we have been saying for months: It is time for the Office of Special Counsel to conclude its inquiry without further delay.”
The letter marked the latest back and forth in the eight months of negotiations between Mr. Trump’s lawyers and the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Last week, Mr. Mueller proposed a slightly altered format to the expansive interview he wants to conduct with the president.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers did not reject an interview outright but included the narrower counteroffer, one person familiar with the response said. However, the person said that Mr. Trump’s lawyers did not want him answering questions about whether he obstructed justice.
The response indicated how far apart the two sides remain. –NYT
If Trump ultimately declines to be interviewed, the special counsel could take the extraordinary step of subpoenaing the sitting president to testify before a grand jury. As the Times notes, Bill Clinton has been the only president to have been subpoenaed while in office – while he eventually agreed to a voluntary interview in order to avoid a prolonged battle in court.
Trump’s attorneys are concerned that Mueller is setting a “perjury trap” – although Trump has said several times that he believes he can convince the special counsel that he is innocent, and has pushed his lawyers to continue to negotiate. By placing the ball
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