President Donald Trump’s lawyers are arguing that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have not yet reached the very high threshold they believe is necessary to interview a president in person, sources say.
President Trump himself has previously said that he would be willing to meet with the special counsel, adding that an interview, however, would be “subject to my lawyers,” who are adamant that the president should not do that.
According to sources familiar with the deliberations, the position by the president’s attorneys is not a final stance. Still, for now, they believe Trump should not be treated like everyone else who has so far been voluntarily interviewed by Mueller.
The White House has cooperated with the investigation by providing documents and witness testimonies, but Trump’s lawyers now demand that Mueller prove only Trump can provide the information his team is seeking if they are to interview the president, CNN informs.
The lawyers, according to a source, are currently discussing a possible presidential testimony, even though their stance on the matter is clear.
Mueller also clearly expressed his request to have a sit-down with Trump and has even provided his team with a range of topics he wants to ask about. The negotiations pertaining to a possible interview are still ongoing and a decision has not yet been made, Trump’s lawyer John Dowd said.
But even if President Trump’s attorneys object and seek to fight efforts to talk to him, the special counsel could ultimately seek to force the issue through a grand jury subpoena. One significant challenge facing the president’s lawyers is there is no clear legal precedent for a president to avoid testifying.