Trump lawyers 'preparing written answers' to Mueller questions on Russian collusion

The move signals a major agreement has been struck between the Special Counsel and federal investigators

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 12 October 2018 22:47
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Rudy Giuliani tells Chuck Todd: 'Truth isn't truth' when it comes to the Mueller investigation

Donald Trump’s attorneys have reportedly begun preparing a written response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s questions surrounding the president’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

The president’s lawyers have negotiated the terms of his cooperation with the Special Counsel’s investigation for several months. The latest move, first reported by CNN, suggested a major agreement had been struck between both parties, after Mr Trump publicly mulled over a potential sit down interview with federal investigators for nearly a year.

“It seems ridiculous that I'd have to do it when everybody says there's no collusion, but I'll do what is necessary to get it over with,” the president said in a Fox News interview this week, when asked about answering the Special Counsel questions.

The questions reportedly focus on Mr Trump’s associates and their contacts with Russians - with Moscow having been accused of working to impact the 2016 election - though most details remain unclear.

ABC News has previously reported Mr Trump’s longtime attorney and fixer Michael Cohen was questioned about the president’s dealings with Russia, including whether members of his campaign worked with Russians to try to influence the outcome of the election.

In recent months, the special counsel secured the cooperation of Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; signalled that he has obtained all the information he needs from former national security adviser Michael Flynn and dispensed with the case of the campaign aide who triggered the Russia probe.

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By August, Mr Mueller’s team had put forward dozens of potential questions for the president, including about his firing of FBI Director James Comey last year and his public antagonism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the Russia investigation against the president’s wishes.

Though he’s publicly railed against the Russia investigation, Mr Trump has said he is willing to be questioned. His lawyers have been far more hesitant and have challenged the right of investigators to interview the president about actions they say he is authorised under the Constitution to take, such as firing an FBI director.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said Mr Mueller “knows the answers to every question that he wants to ask” the president and previously speculated that the special counsel wants to “trap him into perjury.”

Earlier, the attorney said millions of pages of documents had been provided to Mr Mueller along with testimony from dozens of witnesses.

“We’re re-stating what we have been saying for months,.” he said in an August interview. “It is time for the Office of Special Counsel to conclude its inquiry without further delay.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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