“When did you become aware of the Trump Tower meeting?”
“During a 2013 trip to Russia, what communication and relationships did you have with the Agalarovs and Russian government officials?”
This is just a sampling of questions special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly wants to ask President Donald Trump. The New York Times’s Michael S. Schmidt obtained the exhaustive list of inquiries that investigators are said to want to ask the president should he agree to do a sit-down interview with the special counsel’s office.
The list provides a broad overview of the lines of investigation Mueller is pursuing and how they intersect with the commander in chief himself. The questions cover potential ties between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government and possible attempts to obstruct justice by the president.
Most of the questions involve subjects that have been reported on publicly and function as a sort of recap of Trump administration controversies — and the president’s most explosive tweets and statements.
They include queries related to Michael Flynn, from Trump’s knowledge of his contacts with the Russian ambassador to whether Trump had extended a possible offer to pardon his former national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Other questions delve into Trump’s motivations behind the firing of FBI Director James Comey; the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting and the administration’s initial statements about it; and Trump’s contacts with Roger Stone.
According to the Times, Robert Mueller’s team presented the list of questions to Trump’s legal team as part of the negotiations to get Trump to sit down with investigators. The president’s lawyers transcribed the question, which the Times got ahold of from a person outside Trump’s legal team.
Mueller has reportedly been pushing to interview the president directly, something his lawyers fretted over given the president’s penchant for exaggeration and lying. Trump’s top personal lawyer, John Dowd, resigned in March, following reports that Trump wasn’t willing to listen to his legal advice, including about sitting for a Mueller interview. Rudy Giuliani, the former prosecutor, New York City mayor, and Trump confidant brought onto the president’s legal team in April, is reportedly now trying to decide whether a Mueller interview will go forward.
For the full list of Mueller questions, read the Times’s exclusive here.