President Nixon’s White House counsel John Dean on Monday said that if the Trump administration leaked questions from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE it could qualify as obstruction of justice.
The New York Times reported Monday that it obtained a list of nearly 50 questions Mueller would like to ask Trump as part of the investigation into Russian interference and possible collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Dean responded to the leaked questions by saying they may have come from the Trump administration.
“The very fact that the questions are out there, my first reaction, suggesting it could be an act of obstruction to just have released these questions,” Dean said of the Trump administration.
When pressed on how it would be obstruction, Dean said leaking the questions could be an attempt to “try to disrupt the flow of information” or tip off a witness.
Dean said the list read like questions that developed naturally during the course of a conversation, rather than the exact wording of a prosecutor.
The Times reported that the questions appear to be more open-ended in an attempt to "penetrate the president's thinking."
Mueller prepared to ask Trump about the well-known 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that involved his son and a Russian lawyer, as well as whether the president himself discussed sanctions on Russia or meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the campaign, the Times reported.
Other inquiries are related to Trump’s business dealings, his relationship with Russia, and his communications with ex-staffers linked to the probe.
Trump blasted the release of the list in an early morning tweet on Tuesday.
“So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were ‘leaked’ to the media,” Trump said.
“No questions on Collusion,” he added.
“Oh, I see...you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!”
So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media. No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see...you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2018
It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened! Witch Hunt!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2018