Lawyers representing President Donald Trump reportedly are against the idea of him being interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team as part of the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters, including whether the president obstructed justice.
While Trump has said he would be open to an interview with Mueller, Jon Dowd and Jay Sekulow, lawyers retained by the president in light of the investigation, have pushed back against the idea, the New York Times reports.
Muller has reportedly been seeking to interview the president for weeks.
If the president decides not to meet with the special counsel’s team, it could set up the possibility that Mueller would subpoena the president to testify in front of a grand jury, the Times reports. However, his lawyers argue that the special counsel doesn’t have the legal authority to interview the president about particular issues. The lawyers also reportedly are not convinced Mueller would follow through with a subpoena.
At least part of the lawyers’ fears, four people briefed on the matter told the Times, is that Trump may be charged with lying to investigations if he is interviewed by Mueller.
Mueller is reportedly interested in asking the president about his role in dictating a misleading statement his son, Donald Trump Jr., gave following revelations that he—along with other high ranking members of Trump’s presidential campaign—met with a Russian lawyer in 2016 who allegedly promised to deliver damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
You can read more about the president’s lawyers balking at Mueller’s interview request here.