Special Counsel Reportedly Agrees To Accept Written Answers From Trump


U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller will accept written answers from President Donald Trump on whether his campaign conspired with Russian Federation to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, but Mueller is not ruling out a follow-up interview on that issue, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

But on another significant aspect of the investigation - whether the president tried to obstruct the inquiry itself - Mueller and his investigators understood that issues of executive privilege could complicate their pursuit of a presidential interview and did not ask for written responses on that matter, according to the letter, which was sent Friday.

Trump made the weird assertion during a wide-ranging Oval Office interview with the conservative website, which released a full transcript of the conversation Wednesday.

Should the President refuse, Mueller could seek a subpoena to compel him to talk.

A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

The question of whether Trump will submit to an interview has been a long-running debate inside the president's legal team.

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The letter does not mention obstruction - but sources said they believe that will likely be part of negotiations with Mueller's team.

"You know I call them 'the 17 angry Democrats, '" Trump said of the special counsel team, ignoring the fact that Mueller is a longtime Republican. That's an effort that could lead to a Supreme Court challenge by the White House.

According to a Tuesday in The New York Times, has shifted his position on whether he wants to answer questions under oath in a personal interview.

Mueller has been seeking to press Trump about two broad topics: what his campaign knew about efforts by Russian operatives to disrupt the 2016 campaign and whether actions he has taken as president, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, were aimed at thwarting the probe of Russian interference.

Trump's lawyers said that they fear Mueller could accuse Trump of perjury because the presdient remembers key events differently than other witnesses. "You know, he's Comey's best friend", said Trump.

And for another, Trump claimed, without any proof that Comey and Mueller are "best friends" and even more, of the "hugging and kissing" variety.