Mueller hints at obstruction in Trump questions

Mueller hints at obstruction in Trump questions

Mueller hints at obstruction in Trump questions

Early Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted that the leak of Mr. Mueller's questions was "disgraceful" and that "it would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened!"

The questions - at least four dozen in all - also show Mr Mueller wants to find out what Mr Trump knew about connections between members of his presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Trump has tapped Emmett Flood, who advised Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings, to assist in the Russian Federation investigation after the lead White House attorney handling the probe announced plans to retire.

Mueller, multiple experts indicated, is potentially waiting until the tail end of his probe before calling her for an interview and asking her for documents, out of fear of angering the president or furthering cries of a "witch hunt". The president's legal team has not committed him to an interview with Mueller, who has dozens of questions on a broad array of topics he'd like to ask.

During independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton related to Monica Lewinsky, prosecutors eventually subpoenaed the president for grand jury testimony.

Flood was always the top choice of White House counsel Don McGahn for the job Cobb was given last summer, according to a person familiar with the hiring decision who described Flood as a "fighter".

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Trump's former lead lawyer John Dowd had been the only member of the president's personal legal team with a security clearance, the people said.

The Times said Mueller's team read the questions over the phone to Trump's legal team, which compiled them into a list. When Dowd quit in March over disagreements with Trump on legal strategy, Jay Sekulow became the lead lawyer on the investigation and is still waiting for his clearance. But the questions suggest that investigators want to focus on collusion and obstruction of justice. Trump's lawyers met with prosecutors in early March.

Mueller's prosecutors and Trump's lawyers have been negotiating the terms of a voluntary interview, but Mueller is now threatening a subpoena if Trump does not commit to the session.

Mueller has brought several charges against Manafort already, including money laundering and bank fraud. "And if you don't have a crime, he doesn't get to ask superior executive officials a bunch of questions", said McCarthy, likening a Mueller subpoena to a subordinate military officer making demands of a superior officer.

Additional questions center on Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discussions on sanctions against Russia with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. None of the charges relate to allegations of Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates, and Manafort has denied having anything to do with such an effort. Without saying a word publicly, Mr. Mueller and his team of experienced investigators are showing America how a government premised on the rule of law is supposed to function.

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