Donald Trump has said that he would be willing to speak to the special counsel office’s under oath, adding that he was “looking forward” to talking with Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, including alleged contacts with the Trump campaign.
Speaking with reporters at the White House before he set out for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump was asked about a potential interview with Mueller.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he answered. “I would love to do it.”
He added that the interview could occur in “two or three weeks”.
What you want to understand approximately the Trump-Russia inquiry
How serious are the allegations?
The story of Donald Trump and Russia comes right down to this: a sitting president or his campaign is suspected of having coordinated with a overseas usa to govern a US election. The story couldn’t be bigger, and the stakes for Trump – and the u . s . a . – could not be better.
What are the key questions?
Investigators are asking two fundamental questions: did Trump’s presidential marketing campaign collude at any stage with Russian operatives to sway the 2016 US presidential election? And did Trump or others smash the regulation to throw investigators off the trail?
What does the country assume?
while a majority of the yankee public now believes that Russia attempted to disrupt the usa election, critiques approximately Trump campaign involvement tend to split alongside partisan lines: 73% of Republicans, but most effective 13% of Democrats, believe Trump did “nothing incorrect” in his dealings with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.
What are the implications for Trump?
The affair has the capability to eject Trump from office. skilled criminal observers agree with that prosecutors are investigating whether or not Trump devoted an obstruction of justice. both Richard Nixon and bill Clinton – the best presidents to stand impeachment lawsuits in the closing century – have been accused of obstruction of justice. but Trump’s fate is probably up to the voters. even if sturdy proof of wrongdoing by means of him or his cohort emerged, a Republican congressional majority might likely block any movement to remove him from workplace. (Such an movement could be a historic rarity.)
What has befell thus far?
Former foreign coverage adviser George Papadopolous pleaded responsible to perjury over his contacts with Russians related to the Kremlin, and the president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and every other aide face fees of money laundering.
while will the inquiry come to an give up?
The investigations have an open timeline.
Trump’s statement would seem to end months of speculation about whether the special counsel would interview the president, though he also said he would testify under oath last year. The president’s attorneys have met with their counterparts in the special counsel’s office.
Mueller’s team is tasked with investigating Russian meddling in the election, including hacks of Democratic party emails and contacts between members of Trump’s campaign and Russians. The special counsel’s office has charged Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort with money laundering and conspiracy, and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn and one of his former foreign policy advisers, George Papadopoulos, have each pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about their contacts with Russians.
The special counsel’s office is also investigating potential obstruction of justice, and has questioned the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in part to discuss the president’s decision to fire James Comey as FBI director.
Also on Wednesday, Trump rejected criticism of his attacks on the Russia inquiry. “You fight back, oh, it’s obstruction,” Trump said.
“There’s been no collusion whatsoever,” Trump said. “There’s no obstruction whatsoever.”
White House lawyer Ty Cobb later seemed to walk back Trump’s remarks, saying the president just meant that he was willing to meet, the New York Times reported.
“He’s ready to meet with them, but he’ll be guided by the advice of his personal counsel,” the newspaper quoted Cobb as saying. Cobb has repeatedly said that the president is willing to testify to Mueller’s investigation, and wants Mueller to wind up the case as early as possible.
The timing and circumstances of a Trump interview are still being ironed out. That conversation will be dominated by questions tied to whether he took steps to thwart an FBI investigation.
So far, witness interviews and the special counsel’s document requests make clear Mueller has a keen interest in Comey’s 9 May firing and the contents of Comey’s private conversations with the president, as well as Flynn’s ousting months earlier and the weeks of conversations leading up to it.
Recent interviews with administration officials, including Sessions, have shown that Trump is dealing with prosecutors who already have amassed a wealth of knowledge about the events he’ll be questioned about.
Sessions, who had urged Comey’s firing, was interviewed for hours, becoming the highest-ranking Trump administration official known to have submitted to questioning. Mueller also wants to interview former adviser Steve Bannon, who has called Comey’s firing perhaps the biggest mistake in “modern political history”.
The White House initially said the firing was based on the justice department’s recommendation and cited as justification a memo that faulted Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But Trump himself said later he was thinking of this “Russia thing” and had intended to fire Comey anyway.
Mueller has been investigating the events leading up to Flynn’s dismissal from the White House, including how officials responded to information from the former acting attorney general Sally Yates that Flynn had misled them by saying that he had not discussed sanctions. Despite that warning, and despite an FBI interview days after Trump’s inauguration, Flynn was not forced to resign until 13 February, the night of media reports about Yates’ conversation with McGahn.
Mueller will probably want to know what Trump understood, before asking Comey to let the Flynn investigation go, about Flynn’s interview with the FBI and whether he had made false statements about his conversation with the Russian ambassador.