Donald Trump’s lawyers reportedly want the president to sit down with Robert Mueller for an interview – indicating that the president’s legal team is more open to cooperating with the special counsel’s investigation into alleged ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The lawyers could even volunteer Mr Trump’s time if Mr Mueller does not request an interview, according to Politico.
Mr Trump’s cadre of attorneys believes that such an interview with the president could help Mr Mueller finish his investigation faster and dispel the allegations that Mr Trump committed any wrongdoing, the news outlet reported.
Mr Mueller is trying to determine if Mr Trump’s campaign advisers colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election. That investigation also reportedly involves a probe into whether the President obstructed justice when he allegedly asked ex-FBI director James Comey to drop an inquiry into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Mr Flynn was dismissed from his post in February when it was revealed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his interactions with a Russian official.
Last month, it was said that White House staff were so worried about the ongoing Russia probe, they feared their colleagues were secretly wearing recording devices to surreptitiously collect conversations for Mr Mueller.
As the White House has begun handing over documents requested by Mr Mueller’s investigative team there has been mounting anxiety – and disagreement – about how to respond to the prosecutor’s demands.
A meeting with Mr Mueller could pose serious risks for Mr Trump, as it would expose him to questions over some of his most controversial actions as president, including his firing of Mr Comey and his possible obstruction of justice.
This spring, Mr Trump told reporters he was “100 percent” willing to testify under oath about alleged Russian ties to his campaign. He has also repeatedly denied allegations of collusion and has referred to the inquiries as a “witch hunt”.
But even if he has nothing to hide, Mr Trump has demonstrated a willingness to bend the truth – a quality that could cause headaches for his legal team over the president’s sit-down with Mr Mueller.
The special counsel could also sit down with other past and current White House officials.
In September, the special counsel was said to have alerted the White House that he wanted to interview former press secretary Sean Spicer, ex-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and current communications director Hope Hicks, among others, according to the Washington Post.
Each of the advisers is alleged to have been involved or aware of internal discussions that have drawn the interest of Mr Mueller during his investigation, including the conversations that led to Mr Trump’s firing of Mr Comey and the dismissal of Mr Flynn.