Trump’s legal team is considering having the president provide written answers and are trying to figure out ways to mitigate the possibility of Mueller asking questions that could cause Trump to perjure himself, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Mueller’s investigation is probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, whether the president’s campaign worked with the foreign country, and whether or not Trump obstructed justice last year when he abruptly fired former FBI Director James Comey amid the agency’s investigation into Russia and the election.
Trump has repeatedly denied any “collusion” with Russia—calling it a “hoax”—but has sent signals that he would be willing to testify under oath as part of Mueller’s investigation.
While the president has seemed open to the idea of an interview, his legal team is reportedly less enthusiastic.
The Journal reports that the president’s lawyers are questioning whether Trump interviewing with the special counsel would set a bad precedent for future presidents and are not convinced an interview is even needed because they have handed over “all of the notes and memos of the thoughts and actions of this president on all subjects requested,” a person close to the process told the newspaper.
The hesitance of the legal team is not unexpected. Earlier this month the New York Times reported that at least part of their fears of a possible interview is that the president may be charged with lying to investigators if he slips up while speaking with Mueller.
The special counsel is reportedly interested in discussing the president’s dismissal of Comey, and about his role in dictating a misleading statement to his son, Donald Trump Jr., when he responded to reports about a meeting he and other campaign officials had with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower in June 2016. The lawyer apparently claimed to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
You can read all of the Wall Street Journal’s report here.