Published: Wed, November 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump lawyers submit president's answers in writing to Mueller questions

Trump lawyers submit president's answers in writing to Mueller questions

"It is time to bring this inquiry to a conclusion".

There were no responses to questions related to his time as president or whether Trump tried to impede an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by firing FBI director James Comey.

The precise questions and answers that Trump gave to Mueller weren't immediately clear, though the president told reporters last week that he had prepared the responses himself.

"Mueller certainly could have forced the issue and issued a subpoena, but I think he wants to present a record of having bent over backwards to be fair", Wisenberg said. However, it would first need to be signed off on by the Acting Attorney General, the probe's well-known critic Matthew Whitaker, and even then it could be thrown out by the Supreme Court.

A team of investigators led by Mr Mueller is looking into whether anyone from Mr Trump's campaign colluded in the effort.

He added that "much of what has been asked raised serious constitutional issues and was beyond the scope of a legitimate inquiry". There have been reports, however, that the president's legal team has been staunchly opposed to a personal encounter between Trump and Mueller and eventually talked the president out of it.

Trump last summer denied knowing about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians, who had promised damaging information about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Four people connected with Mr Trump's campaign and presidency - campaign chairman Paul Manafort, advisers Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, as well as former national security adviser Michael Flynn - have been charged and further indictments could be issued. "There is no precedent, none, John, for this kind of appointment of someone who is essentially a lackey of the president", Blumenthal told CNN's John Berman.

The step is a milestone in the negotiations between Trump's attorneys and special counsel Robert Mueller's team over whether and when the president might sit for an interview.

Mueller agreed to accept Trump's answers in writing - although the prosecutor could still seek Trump's testimony in person - after nearly a year of negotiations with Trump's attorneys.

"I can't say definitively there are no other questions we would answer, but it is unlikely we will answer any more questions". As a private citizen, Whitaker criticized the Mueller probe.

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