02:47 - Source: CNN
Kelly warned Trump about talking to witnesses
CNN  — 

Attorneys for President Donald Trump, reflecting the eagerness of the President to wrap up his portion of the Russia investigation, have been discussing amongst themselves the ways in which they might use the conversation about the President’s potential testimony to figure out how close special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is to wrapping up, according to sources familiar with the matter.

If the probe is nowhere near done, there’s even a question of why Trump’s attorneys should wrestle with the issue of presidential testimony now if it’s a premature discussion. If there’s going to be a fight at that point, then it could be on constitutional grounds.

There has not been a firm discussion with Mueller regarding an interview, one source said, although no one is ruling out that the discussion could happen in the near future. The President’s team seems to be asking themselves a simple question: What do we need to do to wrap this up?

The President’s team has raised the idea of an interview with Trump to determine if they are close to an ending for the President’s part in the Russia probe, according to one of the sources. Although most attorneys assume Mueller wants to speak with the President, his attorneys are trying to figure out a way to make that possibility work for their client.

In Trump, they have a client who is eager to get this done, and willing to testify – although the attorneys are more skeptical about the benefits of talking to Mueller. But if the President knew some form of his limited testimony could signal an end, sources say, he’d obviously be very eager to do it.

Limiting the scope of any potential presidential testimony is also another idea. As CNN reported in January, Trump’s team is looking at how previous administrations have handled similar requests as a basis for limiting the President’s exposure, leading to questions like whether he actually needs to testify under oath, whether he can provide written answers to questions from Mueller’s team and whether the testimony should be recorded. Trump’s attorneys don’t want their client to be interviewed by the special counsel’s team on a fishing expedition, according to one source with knowledge.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Trump’s attorneys are using the interview as “leverage” to bring an end to the Russia investigation.