President Donald Trump’s lawyers are trying to see if their client can avoid personally meeting with the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is investigating potential collusion with the Russian government.
Trump’s lawyers are attempting to find a way to avoid having the president speak directly with Mueller, according to NBC News. One of the compromises being considered by members of Trump’s legal team has been for the president to provide written responses to Mueller’s questions instead of having to meet with him in person. The Trump team would also be in favor of the president signing an affidavit swearing innocence in all allegations of collusion or other legal wrongdoing.
If an interview needs to happen, Trump’s team is attempting to work out details including when and where it would occur, what subjects would be discussed and how long it would last. As one expert told NBC News, these conversations may be more germane to the president’s legal future since it is very unlikely that Trump will receive the special treatment he is requesting.
“Prosecutors want to see and hear folks in person. They want to probe and follow up. Body language and tone are important. And they want answers directly from witnesses, not from their lawyers. The odds of prosecutors agreeing to written responses are somewhere between infinitesimally small and zero,” Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and chief of staff to FBI Director Comey, told NBC News
That feeling was echoed by top Senate Democrats.
“Unquestionably there has to be that kind of face-to-face interview. The timing is important because the special counsel needs to have as many facts and as much evidence before he has that face to face interview with the president of the United States,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told CNN on Monday. Blumenthal also noted that, while “speculation is hazardous” as to who will be indicted, he expressed confidence that people who worked with Trump in lying about meetings between campaign officials and Russian officials could have “exposure.”