Administration

Trump says he wants to testify to Mueller in Russia probe

Getty Images

President Trump said Thursday he still wants to testify before special counsel Robert Mueller in the ongoing probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Yes. I would like to,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked if he would submit to questioning from Mueller. 

{mosads}

The president’s pronouncement comes after his lead attorney, John Dowd, resigned amid a broader shakeup of his legal team.

Trump and Dowd found themselves at odds over how to handle the Russia probe, and one of their disputes was regarding a potential Trump interview with Mueller. 
 
The president has publicly and privately said he should sit down with the special counsel, while Dowd had advised against it.
 
Trump has long expressed a belief that he should be able to deliver his argument personally to Mueller that his campaign did not collude with Moscow’s election-meddling efforts in 2016. 
 
“I’m looking forward to it,” Trump said in January when asked about a Mueller interview. “I would do it under oath.”
 
But some Trump attorneys and outside legal experts warned the president could expose himself to tremendous legal risks if he makes false statements during an interview with Mueller or his team of investigators.  
 
Mueller is also probing whether Trump obstructed justice in his investigation into Russian meddling. 
 
His team reportedly sent a list of questions to Trump’s lawyers that may come up in a possible interview. 
 
The special counsel’s office is said to be focused on the president’s role in drafting a misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016, the circumstances surrounding the meeting and the firings of national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James Comey. 
 
Trump, meanwhile, has indicated he wants to take a more bare-knuckled approach toward Mueller. Under Dowd’s leadership, his legal team largely cooperated with the special counsel’s requests for interviews and documents.
 
The president this week added longtime Washington lawyer Joseph diGenova to his legal team. DiGenova has argued the Russia probe is part of an FBI plot to frame Trump and exonerate 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. 
 
Trump has also recently begun to attack Mueller by name, something he previously refrained from doing. 
 
“The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime,” Trump tweeted last weekend, again calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”
 
Dowd issued a statement last weekend calling for an end to Mueller’s investigation, but then gave conflicting accounts over whether he was speaking on behalf of Trump or just himself. 
Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Hillary Clinton James Comey Mueller probe Robert Mueller Special counsel White House
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video