Mueller told Trump's lawyers he is not a criminal target of Russia probe: report

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate 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 MORE reportedly told President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dead at 77 Biden, Democrats losing ground with independent and suburban voters: poll Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE's lawyers last month that he does not consider the president to be a criminal target at this point in his investigation.

But Mueller also said that he still considers Trump to be a subject of his investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and emphasized the need to interview the president as part of the probe, The Washington Post reported.


The special counsel made the disclosures to Trump's lawyers last month during negotiations over a possible interview with the president. 

Mueller is preparing a report about Trump's actions in the White House and whether he sought to obstruct the investigation into Russian meddling in the election, according to the Post.

Mueller stressed that he needed to interview Trump to determine whether the president acted with corrupt intent to undermine the Russia probe and in order to conclude that portion of the investigation, the newspaper reported.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow during the 2016 election and has dismissed Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt."

According to the Post, Mueller's revelation that Trump is not currently considered a criminal target has given the president some relief and has made him more willing to agree to an interview with investigators.

Still, some of Trump's advisers view the situation more warily and have warned that an interview with Mueller's team could potentially put the president at risk of becoming a criminal target.

Trump has previously said that he is willing to speak with investigators, but John Dowd, a former personal attorney for the president, had advised against doing so before he resigned last month. 

News that the special counsel does not consider the president to be a criminal target at this point in the investigation comes after a federal judge on Tuesday issued the first sentence as part of the Russia probe.

A judge sentenced Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan to 30 days in prison and ordered him to pay $20,000 in fines after he lied to federal investigators as part of the special counsel probe.