Donald Trump lashed out Tuesday at the “disgraceful” disclosure of questions Special Counsel Robert Mueller has sought to ask the USA president about potential obstruction and other matters as part of his probe into Russian election interference.
United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the USA presidential election in 2016, sent 40 questions to the President Trump.
President Donald Trump is angrily protesting a leaked list of questions that the Justice Department’s special counsel may want to ask him, while at the same time contending the list shows anew there was no crime or collusion with the Russians by his presidential campaign.
Citing several sources familiar with the meeting in early March, The Washington Post reported that Trump’s lawyers told Mueller the president was not obliged to talk to investigators. Trump himself has said repeatedly that he has no ties with Moscow. The New York Times first reported the existence of the list. Cohen’s business dealings are part of a separate FBI investigation.
Trump falsely asserted that there are no questions about “Collusion”.
“What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russian Federation about potential assistance to the campaign?”, one question asked, referring to Trump’s former campaign manager, according to the Times.
Wrong. Obstruction of justice is itself a federal crime – see, for example, Section 1505 of Title 18 of the United States Code – regardless of whether prosecutors can establish an underlying offense.
In his latest tweet, Trump referred to the obstruction of justice investigation as “a setup trap”.
Mr Mueller also plans to ask Mr Trump about his election campaign’s possible co-ordination with Russian Federation, according to the New York Times, which said it obtained the list from someone other than the president’s lawyers.
Trump’s legal team is reportedly considering whether to provide Mueller with a written response to his questions.
It is plain that many career civil servants are not afraid to use their power as unelected bureaucrats in an effort to wipe out the Trump presidency, even if the worst charges against it are unfounded. Those arguing Trump “can’t obstruct justice when he’s acting as president” will need a new rationale to defend the embattled president.
The current special counsel, Mueller has some questions he’d like to ask President Trump. “The leaked questions are important because they puncture the Trump and Republican dream that Mueller’s investigation is a witch hunt that turns on some sort of legal technicality”, says Juliette Kayyem, a lawyer and former Obama administration homeland security assistant secretary. The prosecutors have documents and a slew of other witness interviews that might give them a picture of Trump’s communications.
On Late Night, Seth Meyers said that Trump likely has some questions for Mueller, too, and he listed some.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah, in a Tuesday morning interview with Fox News, said the list of questions proved the president’s argument that Mueller’s probe is reaching far beyond its initial focus on Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
Trump’s team could argue that Mueller was seeking information about the president’s private conversations that are protected by executive privilege or that a grand jury interview would place an unnecessary burden on the president’s ability to run the country.
What do Trump’s lawyers say?
When Clinton said his relationship with Lewinsky, while not sexual in nature as he understood it, was nonetheless “inappropriate”, the prosecutor produced one of the former president’s statements that indicated otherwise.