10:34, November 21 178 0 abajournal.com

2018-11-21 10:34:05
Trump gives written answers on Russian interference to Mueller

President Donald Trump has given written answers to questions about Russian interference in the election to special counsel Robert Mueller, the president’s lawyers said on Tuesday.

The questions don’t cover whether Trump tried to obstruct the probe into Russian interference, report the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Washington Post, Trump was asked whether he knew about the planned release of Democratic emails on WikiLeaks that were said to have been hacked by Russians. Other questions addressed Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer who said she had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Questions involve the time period during the election campaign; Trump’s lawyers contend the special counsel is not entitled to any information about executive decisions when Trump was president and president-elect, according to the Washington Post.

One of Trump’s lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, told the Post that Trump’s answers are “complete and detailed,” but “there’s nothing there I haven’t read in a newspaper.”

Giuliani is calling for an end to the special counsel probe, the New York Times noted. “The special counsel has been provided with more than 30 witnesses, 1.4 million pages of material, and now the president’s written responses to questions,” Giuliani said. “It is time to bring this inquiry to a conclusion.”

The Wall Street Journal notes that “a handful of prosecutors” recently left the special prosecutor’s office, an indication that Mueller’s investigation could be wrapping up.

Politico raises the prospect that Trump could be subpoenaed for information on obstruction. But one expert who spoke with the publication doubted it would happen.

“My hunch, at least at this time, [is that] the special counsel doesn’t need the president’s testimony,” said Jack Quinn, a former White House counsel under President Bill Clinton. Quinn believes Mueller gave the president a chance to testify “simply so that the president does not later complain about the special counsel’s further prosecutorial actions or the conclusions of his report when it is made public in one fashion or another.”

Giuliani told Politico that any subpoena would be resisted. “I wouldn’t argue that you can never a subpoena a president. I would argue that you can’t in this particular case because to subpoena a president you have a burden you don’t have with anybody else,” Giuliani said. “Because you’re intruding on his presidential time. You’ve got to show a real need for it. A real need for it in terms of developing your case and not a real need in order to try to trap him. Trapping is not a legal legitimate objective.”

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