Trump May Pose a Test No Special Counsel Can Pass
President Trump appears to be moving closer to an interview with Robert Mueller, despite repeated criticism from Democrats, some Republicans and congressional allies for the special counsel’s role in investigating the Trump campaign’s possible contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. The interviews could result in a dramatic showdown with the special counsel, as well as with House Democrats who have not welcomed the inquiry and who have said they will hold their own Judiciary Committee hearings to further investigate the Trump campaign’s connections to Russian meddling in the election.
But Trump appears to be moving closer to the interview amid a series of developments:
— His lawyers confirmed in a letter that Trump planned to speak with Mueller, saying the president “would not provide any additional information relevant to the ongoing investigation, including conversations with foreign dignitaries and the identity of individuals with whom he discussed the Russia issue generally,” The Washington Post reported.
— An NBC News report said Trump’s team was in active negotiations over the interview. NBC could not confirm who was negotiating with Trump’s lawyers.
— After he canceled an interview with ABC News that would have gone first, NBC reported that he was then planning to meet with Mueller’s team on Feb. 16 or 17 and that the meeting could be on a Saturday.
— A third report Tuesday, from The Wall Street Journal, said Mueller was scheduled to travel to the District of Columbia on Tuesday to meet with congressional leaders and other administration allies.
— Mueller’s spokesperson declined to confirm the report to NBC News.
That news from Mueller’s spokesperson prompted two more reports Tuesday evening.
— The New York Times reported that Mueller’s investigators are “concerned” that senior White House officials may have had a direct interest in the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia.
— The Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller has been concerned with whether White House officials may have been trying to protect Trump from investigators — who are reportedly focusing on Trump’s contacts with Russians during the campaign.
In a letter, Trump’s lawyers confirmed that they had been in discussions with