President Donald Trump remains under investigation in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, but he is not currently a "criminal target." So says the Washington Post, who cited three people familiar with Mueller's negotiations with Trump's legal team. The Mueller investigation team is reportedly in negotiation with Trump's legal team to secure an interview with the president. They claim that they need to interview Trump to understand whether he had any corrupt intent to thwart the Russia investigation.
Trump remains a "subject" of Mueller's investigation into whether his campaign team colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The Washinton Post story claims that Mueller's comments could be an attempt to "bait" Trump into agreeing to be interviewed, something that his legal advisors are reportedly keen to avoid. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Trump's legal team is reportedly worried that the president could face a charge of "lying to investigators" should he agree to be interviewed.
These latest claims are interesting, not least because it has been widely reported that Mueller is looking deeply into claims that President Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice. Trump's firing of former national security advisor General Mike Flynn is believed to be under scrutiny, and the New York Times claimed last month that Mueller is interested in whether Trump crossed a legal line when he asked Reince Priebus and former White House counsel Donald F. McGahn about their interviews with the Mueller investigation team.
Of course, whilst Mueller may not consider Donald Trump a "criminal target" at present, that does not mean that he won't become one as the Mueller investigation continues. It has been widely reported that a number of members of the Trump campaign team have already been indicted and that some of those people are cooperating with Mueller.
In what is arguably the most direct evidence of contact between the Trump campaign and Russia revealed to date, CNN reports that court documents filed last week show direct links between Gates, Manafort, and Russian intelligence agencies. They claim that Mueller is not interested in evidence that Gates can supply against Manafort. Instead, Mueller reportedly believes that this shows direct evidence of collusion by Trump's campaign and Russia.
Whether this new evidence will lead directly back to President Trump remains to be seen, but it does make one thing clear. Whilst Robert Mueller may not consider President Trump a "criminal target" at present, he is far from done with the Russia investigation.