President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE's lawyers are seeking to limit the scope of a potential interview with 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, fearing a lengthy talk could leave the president vulnerable, according to a new report by The Washington Post.
They are doing so by providing certain documents to Mueller's team, including summaries of internal White House memos and emails relating to the firing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and other events that are being investigated by the special counsel.
In doing so, Trump's legal team hopes to cut down on the subjects that Mueller could ask Trump about.
Trump, who has gone on the attack against Mueller in recent days, has previously suggested he is open to an interview.
“I'm looking forward to it," Trump said in January.
But there have long been fears by some Trump associates that doing so could endanger the president.
A source told the Post that the president is eager to sit down with Mueller, but the president’s in-house attorneys are eager to limit the breadth of any interview. There are reports that the White House is pushing for the back-and-forth to take place in writing, as there are concerns among some of Trump’s allies about the potential for him to make a false statement under oath.
Trump and his personal attorneys have increasingly expressed frustrated with the special counsel investigation, which has cast a cloud over the president's first year in office.
Over the weekend, Trump’s attorney John Dowd called for it to come to an end and the president for the first time singled out Mueller by name for criticism, accusing him of stocking the special counsel with “hardened Democrats” who he said have “massive conflicts of interest.”
Trump on Monday hired former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova, who has accused the FBI and Department of Justice of seeking to frame Trump, to join his personal legal team.
But Trump’s White House counsel insist that they are cooperating with Mueller in the hopes that he will bring the investigation to a swift conclusion that absolves the president of wrongdoing.
Mueller will likely get only one shot at interviewing the president. The interview would likely signal that the special counsel investigation is nearing its end, or moving into a phase where Mueller focuses on prosecuting those indicted for crimes, rather than investigating potential new crimes.
The Post reports that the materials sent to Mueller's team included summaries of internal White House memos and communications about events that Mueller is probing, including the firings of Flynn and former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE.
The developments come as Trump has amped up his attacks on Mueller, attacking him for the first time by name on Twitter last weekend.
The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
Trump denied that collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin ever took place, and has referred to the federal and congressional probes investigating the matter as a "witch hunt."