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special counsel

Report: Mueller told attorneys Trump is a subject, not criminal target, of Russia probe

Last month, Special Counsel Robert Mueller told attorneys for President Trump that Trump is a subject of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but not currently a criminal target, three people familiar with the conversation told The Washington Post.

A "subject" is someone whose conduct prosecutors are investigating but they don't have sufficient evidence to bring charges against. Mueller and Trump's attorneys were negotiating the terms of a possible presidential interview when he made the announcement, and Mueller said he wants to ask Trump about whether he tried to block the investigation so he can finish this part of the probe, the Post reports. Mueller also told Trump's attorneys he is working on a report about Trump's actions while in office and potential obstruction of justice, two people with knowledge of the matter told the Post.

Trump has told people he's glad to know he's not a target, and that makes him want to testify. His top attorney for the case, John Dowd, resigned in March, and a Trump friend told the Post that Dowd repeatedly told Trump he didn't think it was a good idea for him to speak with Mueller. Legal experts say a subject could become a target based on the testimony they provide.