Special counsel Robert Mueller told President Trump’s attorneys that he is not considered a criminal target regarding his investigation into the possibility of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, reported the Washington Post on Tuesday evening.
The Post cited “three people familiar with the discussions” who claimed Mueller made the comments while negotiating a possible interview with President Trump. The Post also reported on two additional anonymous sources “with knowledge of the conversations,” who claim Mueller reiterated the need to interview the President in order to discern whether or not Trump intended to halt the investigation into Russian interference.
The Post also claims that President Trump has “privately expressed relief” with Mueller’s description of his legal standing however, advisors have cautioned that the special counsel’s statement could be meant to soften him up prior to a future interview.
Mueller is also claiming that he needs to interview President Trump in order to finalize a report he intends to present to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rod Rosenstein is overseeing the Mueller investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from Russia related inquiries. It will be up to Rod Rosenstein to make the decision as to whether or not the report will be made public.
The Post also reported that John Dowd, President Trump’s lead attorney on the Russia probe, resigned from Trump’s legal team after the president ignored his advice to reject the special counsel’s requests for an interview. The Post reports that President Trump’s legal team was at odds with John Dowd with regard to granting the special counsel access to the president for an interview. Both Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow are reported to have told the President that refusing to grant an interview to Mueller would create an uncomfortable situation since Trump has repeatedly described the investigation into the possibility of his campaign colluding with Russia as a “witch hunt.” The President has also repeatedly claimed “there was no collusion.”
To be fair, we have to take an anonymously sourced story from the Washington Post with a grain of salt. This story takes into account citations from five anonymous sources, none of which had the gall to put their name to the story.
This is not exactly breaking news since the more “drastic” measures Russia took have already been uncovered by the special counsel in the form of an unsealed indictment which was handed down in February. We already know that no American citizen was a “witting participant” in the Russian efforts to sow discord in America. Though that may not accurately describe the mainstream media’s role in the ordeal, but that is a battle for another day.
What is breaking is that Robert Mueller could very well be wrapping up his investigation, if his statement to Trump’s attorneys was forthright. If this is the case and President Trump’s legal team grants a sit-down, then the interview must be short and President Trump must also be short. The President must give short and direct answers. Do not give Mueller and company any reason to continue this charade.
If Trump granting Mueller an interview can move the investigations along in a more expeditious manner, then it would be advantageous for the president to get it over with. The sooner this cloud disperses from the president’s purview, the more he can focus on legislating his agenda.