BREAKING NEWS: Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced that he will ask to interview President Donald Trump, indicating that he has found evidence in the Trump-Russia probe.
Anticipating that Mueller will ask to interview Trump, the president’s legal team is discussing a range of potential options for the format, including written responses to questions in lieu of a formal sit-down, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Lawyers for Trump have been discussing with FBI investigators a possible interview by the special counsel with the president as part of the inquiry into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
A source familiar with a late December meeting between Trump’s legal team and representatives from the special counsel’s office said the timing of a possible interview or written response has not been set but could come in a matter of weeks.
The source described the talks as a “collaborative approach.” The discussions were also described by one person with direct knowledge as preliminary and ongoing.
Trump’s legal team is seeking clarification on whether the president would be interviewed directly by Mueller, as well as the legal standard for when a president can be interviewed, the location of a possible interview, the topics and the duration. But the president’s team is also seeking potential compromises that could avoid an interview altogether, two of those interviewed told NBC News.
With the possibility now looming that the president himself could be subject to an interview by the FBI or Mueller’s investigators, Trump’s legal team has been debating whether it would be possible to simply avoid it. One individual familiar with the strategy said those internal discussions within Trump’s legal team began shortly after the president’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was indicted in late October for money laundering in connection with his business dealings with Ukraine.
Trump’s legal team sat down with representatives from the special counsel’s office in late December.
Hopefully this is the next big step in holding Trump accountable.