White House lawyers eager for Mueller to interview Trump: Report

Russia investigation

Donald Trump’s lawyers are open, perhaps eager, to have the president sit down for an interview regarding the Russia investigation with special counsel Robert Mueller, according to a report.

A meeting with Mueller could dispel the allegations quicker and give the president another card to play when pushing for the probe to end. It could also go terribly wrong should Trump say something incriminating.

A representative for the White House told Politico that the president has no intention of obstructing the Russia investigation.

“Whatever happens with regard to whether or not, or how, the special counsel might want to interview the president, there’s no reason to expect that would be combative,” the senior White House official explained.

Darren Samuelsohn, a senior White House reporter with Politico, wrote: “All the key decisions on Trump’s potential interaction with Mueller will come from the president himself and his personal lawyer, John Dowd, who initially declined to comment for this story. In an email after this article published, Dowd said: ‘Totally false!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’”

Trump would be the first president since Bill Clinton to answer questions under oath in front of a federal prosecutor. Clinton testified for four hours in 1998 during independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation into Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday he would not cooperate with any request to appear before the panel in its investigation of possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, Politico reported

Citing a source familiar with the matter, Politico said Page also informed the committee that if he was called to testify he would decline to answer questions based on his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Page came under scrutiny following media reports he met with associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin last year.

Rachel Cohen, a spokeswoman for the committee, declined to comment on the Politico report. Page did not respond to a Reuter’s request for comment.

Last week, the committee’s chairman, Republican Senator Richard Burr, told reporters the panel had conducted more than 100 interviews in its nine-month-old Russia investigation and planned 25 additional interviews this month.

Those who have already come before committee members or investigators include the president’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Russian officials have denied meddling in the U.S. election, and Trump denies any collusion by his campaign or his associates.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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