Donald Trump’s lawyers have rejected the special counsel’s terms for an interview with the president, sending a counteroffer on Wednesday.
According to those familiar with the offer, Trump’s terms request a narrower path for answering questions, The New York Times reports.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has long been interested in interviewing Trump directly about his relationships with those in contact with Russia, whether his campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 elections, and whether the president has attempted to derail the investigation through actions such as the firing of former FBI director James Comey.
Trump’s lawyers have attempted to restrict questions regarding collusion, but Trump’s lead lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told CNN they would consider questions on obstruction as long as they were not “perjury traps.”
Trump himself has called Mueller’s investigation a “disaster” and has consistently called for an end to the “witch hunt,” most recently in a Tweet last week.
Trump’s lawyers were prepared to reject an interview, but Trump insists on meeting with Mueller, the Times reports. This has led to eight months of negotiations between the two teams of lawyers, working out the terms of the interview.
“We’re restating what we have been saying for months: It is time for the Office of Special Counsel to conclude its inquiry without further delay,” Giuliani told the Times.
Mueller has the option to subpoena Trump for an interview if negotiations continue to delay the investigation, but Trump’s team has said they will fight such an order in court. If these threats come to fruition, the Supreme Court may have to decide if a sitting president can be subpoenaed.