President Trump will be permitted to submit some written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller regarding whether his campaign colluded with the Kremlin during the 2016 election, a new report says.
Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, and whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia. He also has expanded his investigation to look at possible obstruction of justice after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey.
Mueller and his team are prepared to accept written answers from Trump about his campaign’s actions with Russia, but are aware that executive privilege could present challenges to securing an interview with Trump and as a result are not seeking written answers related to the obstruction of justice, the New York Times reports.
In a letter to Trump’s legal team, Mueller said he was not dropping the pursuit of securing an interview with Trump entirely. But people briefed on the latest development say Trump allies believe that the scope of questioning will not be as extensive as Trump’s lawyers originally thought, given that no written answers were requested for obstruction of justice issues.
[Related: Trump on Mueller probe: 'I view it as an illegal investigation']
Mueller and Trump’s legal team have gone back and forth with each other this summer regarding a sit-down interview with Trump and Mueller.
“We continue to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the office of the special counsel,” Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said, per the Times.
A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Times.
Trump said in January he was “looking forward” to being interviewed by Mueller, and indicated a willingness to doing so under oath. Then-White House lawyer Ty Cobb backtracked and clarified that Trump was in a hurry and meant only that he was willing to meet with Mueller.
Mueller has informed Trump’s legal team that the president is not a criminal target in his investigation, but is still a subject of the probe, according to the Washington Post.
Trump has repeatedly denounced the investigation as a “witch hunt.”