President Donald Trump has submitted a series of questions requested of him from the office of the special counsel of the Russia investigation, being led by former FBI director Robert Mueller.
Attorneys for the president announced that Trump had submitted the responses to Mueller on Tuesday afternoon, according to reporting from ABC News.
The questions dealt primarily with aspects relating to Trump’s knowledge on Russia and seemingly didn’t include questioning the president on potential charges of obstruction of justice, according to remarks from his lawyers.
“The President today answered written questions submitted by The Special Counsel’s Office,” Counsel to the President Jay Sekulow said.
“The questions presented dealt with issues regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry. The President responded in writing.”
Some may speculate that Trump had his team of lawyers help him in his responses, but the president last week assured reporters that he himself had responded to the questions, without help from his legal team.
“I write the answers. My lawyers don’t write answers. I was asked a series of questions, I answered them very easily,” Trump said.
Over the weekend during a Fox News interview with Chris Wallace, Trump also said he would “probably” not do a sit-down interview with the special counsel, per reporting from Vox. Left unclear also is when — or even if — the answers from Trump would be made public.
Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also announced that the president had submitted his answers to Mueller. He further said that the investigation should be ended sometime soon.
“[Trump] provided unprecedented cooperation. The Special Counsel has been provided with more than 30 witnesses, 1.4 million pages of material, and now the President’s written responses to questions,” Giuliani said.
“It is time to bring this inquiry to a conclusion.”
There is certainly a case to be made that this is a momentous occasion in the Mueller-led investigation. However, Mueller has been granted tremendous leeway for how he wants to conduct his investigation. If more evidence of malfeasance or wrongdoing surfaces, for any individual (in the administration or outside of it), Mueller has the authority to go in that direction, if he deems it proper.
The investigation, which Trump has frequently derided a “witch hunt,” has in fact discovered numerous alleged instances of illegal activity. Thirty-two indictments have been secured by the special counsel so far, including six guilty pleas. Three people have been sentenced to prison terms as a result of the inquiry.