It remains to be seen whether US President Donald Trump will submit himself to an interview by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
It remains to be seen whether US President Donald Trump will submit himself to an interview by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Evan Vucci

Lawyers aiming to gag Trump

DONALD Trump's lawyers are reportedly discouraging him from talking to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, potentially setting up a legal stand-off.

An investigation, led by Mr Mueller, into potential connections between Mr Trump's presidential campaign and Russian election meddling efforts has steadily drawn closer to the President even as Mr Trump denounces the probe as politically warped and unfounded.

So far, Mr Mueller has indicted multiple former Trump campaign aides.

Last month Mr Trump said he would be willing to be interviewed by Mr Mueller, telling reporters "I'm looking forward to it”.

"There's been no collusion whatsoever. There's no obstruction whatsoever,” Mr Trump told reporters.

But now Mr Trump's lawyers are discouraging that openness out of fear that the President's own words could place him in legal jeopardy by exposing him to accusations of lying to investigators, according to the New York Times.

That advised refusal could set up a test of a President's ability to shield himself from a legal inquiry, particularly if Mr Mueller's team seeks to compel Mr Trump's testimony with a subpoena.

The President and his attorneys have consistently maintained he has nothing to hide and expressed confidence that Mr Mueller's investigation would clear him of any wrongdoing.

But Mr Trump has at times throughout Mr Mueller's investigation made statements that contradict or undercut his surrogates.



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