Special counsel Robert Mueller has provided lawyers for President Donald Trump a list of questions as part of ongoing negotiations regarding an interview with the President, according to a recent report from The New York Times.
Mueller wants “to ask follow-up questions, but put forward the list as a start,” two sources told the Times.
The news comes almost two months after CNN reported Mueller had provided Trump’s lawyers with a range of topics for the interview.
CNN – citing a a source familiar with the matter – reported that the special counsel initially offered the list of topics after the President’s attorneys requested to whittle down Mueller’s areas of interest.
Topics included learning more about the President allegedly asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Mueller also wants to know about Trump’s reaction to Comey’s May 2017 testimony on Capitol Hill, which reportedly angered the President. Additionally, investigators want to learn more about the President’s outreach to intelligence leaders about the Russia investigation.
Additionally, Trump’s lawyers “appear to be feeling increasingly uneasy” about their status with the President as the special counsel’s probe into Russian election meddling continues, the Times reported Saturday.
Trump recently met with veteran Washington lawyer Emmet T. Flood to discuss joining his legal team, according to the Times. But Trump’s personal lawyers – John Dowd and Jay Sekulow – did not know about the meeting, the Times reported, raising their concern over being pushed aside in handling special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election meddling.
As CNN reported in January, Trump himself has said he is “looking forward” and would “love to” meet with Mueller. But he did say any interview would be “subject to my lawyers,” who believe that Trump should not be required to do that.
The Justice Department announced Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, just days before he was set to receive his pension. McCabe had been frequently taunted by Trump.
On Saturday, Dowd released a statement calling for an end to the Mueller investigation.
“I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt dossier,” Dowd said.
Dowd told CNN he was speaking on his own behalf, although he had earlier told the Daily Beast, which first reported the statement, that he was speaking on behalf of the President. Dowd’s comment wasn’t authorized by the President, a person close to Trump told CNN.
His statement came as Trump lashed out against Mueller and his team on social media, questioning the team’s impartiality and dismissing the investigation as a “witch hunt.”