Trump Willing to Answer Special Counsel's Questions

Trump Willing to Answer Special Counsel's Questions
U.S. President Donald Trump says he is willing to answer any questions under oath as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.


"I am looking forward to it," Trump told reporters at the White House, adding, "I would love to do it."


Months ago, Trump said he would "100 percent" agree to meet with Mueller's investigators, but more recently questioned why any interview would be needed since there was "no collusion."


Mueller is looking to interview Trump about his firing last year of former FBI Director James Comey and onetime National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.


Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice when, as Comey says, Trump in early 2017 asked him to drop his probe of Flynn's contacts with Russia's then-ambassador to Washington in the weeks before Trump took office a year ago, and then months later fired Comey, who at the time was heading the FBI's Russia probe.




U.S. news accounts say it is not known whether Trump, who repeatedly has rejected suggestions his campaign colluded with Russian interests to help win the election, will agree to the interview, when it might occur, or in what format it be might conducted, with written questions or an in-person, question-and-answer session.


Mueller's request to Trump's lawyers to ask Trump about his dismissal of Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, his talks with Comey about the Flynn investigation, and his later ouster of Comey suggest Mueller is now focused on the obstruction issue.


U.S. law makes it a crime to obstruct justice or hinder an "official proceeding."


Legal experts say that while a sitting president can't be prosecuted for obstruction of justice or any other crime, the charge of obstruction can be used by Congress to impeach a president, if it decides to pursue such a case.


Former President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998, in part for obstruction of justice, while one of three articles of impeachment brought against Richard Nixon in 1974 alleged obstruction of justice. Clinton was acquitted in a Senate trial, while Nixon resigned as the corruption case mounted against him.




Russia probe


Mueller's investigation into the Russian election interference now has reached into Trump's Cabinet, with the interview of Sessions, who himself met with Kislyak while he was a U.S. senator and a Trump campaign advocate, and later played a role in Comey's firing. Comey was interviewed weeks ago.


Trump has responded the Mueller investigation and congressional probes into the Russian election meddling are a hoax perpetrated by Democrats looking to explain his upset victory over his opponent, Hillary Clinton.


Trump and Republican colleagues in Congress increasingly have accused the FBI of bias in pursuing the Trump investigation and their dropping without charges of a 2016 probe into Clinton's handling of classified material on a private email server while she was the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013.




The Washington Post reported Tuesday that shortly after Trump ousted Comey, the president had a get-to-know-you meeting with Andrew McCabe, the FBI's acting director, and asked him whom he voted for in the 2016 election.


McCabe said he didn't vote in the election. But the Post said Trump "vented his anger" at McCabe, a longtime FBI official, for the fact that his wife had received $700,000 in campaign donations for her unsuccessful 2015 state Senate race in Virginia from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of Clinton.


Trump has complained in Twitter comments about McCabe and his wife's Democratic Party fundraising.