Speed Reads

Trump-Russia

Trump's lawyers are reportedly trying to prevent Robert Mueller from interviewing Trump

President Trump's legal team has been preparing for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to press for a face-to-face interview with Trump since former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted in October, NBC News reports, and they're discussing several proposals to avoid such a sit-down. Trump lawyers Ty Cobb, John Dowd, and Jay Sekulow are seeking guidance on whether Mueller himself would interview Trump as part of his investigation into Trump's campaign and Russian election meddling, where such an interview would take place, for how long, and which topics would be covered, but they would prefer "potential compromises that could avoid an interview altogether," two people familiar with the matter told NBC News.

One idea reportedly under consideration would be having Trump submit written answers to Mueller's questions, and "another possibility being contemplated was an affidavit signed by the president affirming he was innocent of any wrongdoing and denying any collusion," NBC News reports. "It was not clear what such an affidavit might state regarding the president's firing of former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017 at a time when Comey was leading the Russia probe." Former U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg told NBC that "the odds of prosecutors agreeing to written responses are somewhere between infinitesimally small and zero," while defense attorney Alan Dershowitz said he didn't blame Trump's lawyers for trying.

Robert Dallek, a presidential historian, said while Bill Clinton testified under oath late in his presidency, a sitting president being interviewed in a criminal investigation during his first year in office "has never happened before" and must be "devastating" to the Trump administration. You can read more at NBC News.