Trump’s legal team is answering questions from Robert Mueller about collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. They just aren’t doing it in person.
Previously, Trump agreed to submit answers on paper to the questions investigators want to know more about. The fact that answers are finally being prepared signals that the investigation could be nearing its end, at least as far as the president goes, according to CNN.
Reportedly, the questions focus on the possibility of collusion between Trump and/or his associates in regard to Russia’s interference into the 2016 presidential election. However, no content from the questions has been revealed.
“We are in continuing discussions with the special counsel and we do not comment on those discussions,” said Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow.
After these initial answers are completed, it’s very possible that Mueller’s investigative team will follow up with more questions. Mueller insisted on the opportunity for follow-up questions.
Mueller’s team and the White House lawyers are still at odds when it comes to the question of interviewing the president in person. Mueller’s team would like to question Trump about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, a move many have viewed as an obstruction of justice.
Trump says he is willing to be interviewed in person. “I’ll do what is necessary to get it over with,” he said on Thursday.
Trump’s lawyers, however, are not so willing. The written questions are the result of a nearly year-long negotiation between the Mueller team and Trump’s legal team, who do not want the president to answer questions in person.
Trump talked about the investigation at length on Fox & Friends Thursday, according to ABC News. He reiterated at that time that he would sit for an in-person interview or answer written questions, but that he’s currently following the advice of his legal team.
During the appearance, which lasted for about 40 minutes, Trump also touched on newly minted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West, and Hurricane Michael.
Robert Mueller was appointed as a special prosecutor to investigate Trump’s possible involvement in Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election. The investigation began shortly after Trump was elected and sworn into office, and could continue for several more months or years before it is completed.
People close to Trump before, during, and after the election have already been questioned, and in some cases convicted, as part of the Mueller investigation. Paul Manafort, who was the campaign chair during the Trump presidential campaign, was arrested in October of last year for a variety of criminal charges, including money laundering and conspiracy against the United States. Manafort pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering.