The legal jeopardy for President Donald Trump has been increasing all week. And Friday special counsel Robert Mueller made things even worse as he disclosed that he still wants to sit down for an in-person interview with the president.
Apparently Mueller and his team were not satisfied with Trump’s written responses to their questions, although the exact reasons were not specified.
CNN reported Friday evening that, according to two sources familiar with the matter, Trump’s responses were “not enough” and so the special counsel’s office contacted Trump’s attorneys. And reportedly the president’s lawyers have already denied the special counsel’s interview request.
“Mueller’s interest in talking with the president continues, and it includes an interest in asking questions about the president’s state of mind in regards to actions under scrutiny in the obstruction probe,” CNN’s Pamela Brown reported.
Former Obama administration official Van Jones, who is now a CNN commentator, said the fact that Mueller wants more details from Donald Trump is very bad news for him. The president and his attorneys should be very concerned that Mueller and his team want to dig deeper into questions regarding Russian collusion and obstruction of justice.
“This is definitely not good news for the president. There’s a context here which we’ve now just gotten used to. It’s important to remind people. Why won’t the president sit down and have a conversation with Mueller?”
Jones then said it was typical for people to resist such interviews, but they just “lawyer up and get it over with.”
But with this president, Jones said, “everybody knows that Trump can’t talk without lying, which is a massive disability for anybody, especially the head of a country.” Then he added:
“His lawyers are terrified that if he opens his mouth, he cannot tell the truth and would wind up going to jail”
Mueller’s stance on interviewing the President has been the same for the past year and a half, the CNN sources said. “Nothing has changed in that sense from the first day.”
The sources also said that Mueller’s interest in talking with the President is “believed to include asking questions about the Trump’s state of mind in regard to actions under scrutiny in the obstruction of justice probe.”
There has been no discussion about, or indication that, Mueller is planning to subpoena the President, according to CNN.
Still, Trump and his lawyers are still opposed to any interview, and would probably oppose any attempt at a subpoena.
The President’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, repeated his longstanding opposition on Friday, stressing he does not trust Mueller’s aggressive investigation.
“I’m pretty disgusted with them,” Giuliani said.