Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has so far discussed with President Donald Trump’s lawyers four main topics they want to talk about with the President.
According to two sources, the areas that the special counsel investigators have indicated they want to pursue with Trump are the President’s role in crafting a statement aboard Air Force One that miscast Donald Trump Jr.’s campaign June 2016 meeting with Russians in Trump Tower, the circumstances surrounding that Trump Tower meeting as well as the firings of FBI Director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn.
One of the sources said the bulk of the topics conveyed surround the President’s actions with the Comey and Flynn firings.
The topics are not the extent of Mueller’s interest, but, based on discussions between the two sides, they represent significant areas of focus so far for a Trump interview.
CNN previously reported that after presenting some topics weeks ago, Mueller’s team got more granular in a face-to-face meeting. The two sides are still discussing a potential interview and other topics include Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ involvement in Comey’s firing as well as the President’s knowledge of Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador.
A source familiar with the matter says the President’s legal team has created dozens of potential questions Mueller’s team could ask in an interview based off the topics that have been conveyed verbally. Both sides could come to terms on whether there will be a sit-down interview in the coming weeks, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The special counsel’s office declined to comment.
The focus on Trump himself in Mueller’s pursuits has alarmed and angered the President, who adhered to a legal strategy of holding back set by his attorney John Dowd and White House special counsel Ty Cobb, who have said for months the investigation was likely to conclude soon. On Twitter Wednesday, the President pointed to Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard Law professor, who questioned the appointment of a special counsel.
The President called the investigation a “witch hunt” earlier in the week.
As the investigation seems to be intensifying, the President, according to multiple sources, is convinced he needs to take the reins of his own legal strategy. His recent pushes include the hiring of attorney Joe diGenova and overtures made to other lawyers like former Solicitor General Ted Olson, who declined to take a job this week.
A source familiar with the matter said the legal team could add more lawyers as they enter “the next phase” of deciding what to do about a potential interview between Mueller’s team and the President.
Trump also continues to speak regularly with Marc Kasowitz, his longtime lawyer who stepped back from leading the team months ago but remains involved.
Kasowitz has long recommended that Trump take a more aggressive posture toward the Mueller investigation