The New York Times has obtained a list of four-dozen questions that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would like President Trump to answer, after Mueller's office delivered the questions to Trump's attorneys (however the Times notes that their source is not someone on Trump's legal team).
Mueller has sought to question Trump for months over his business dealings, his relationships, and his communications with former staffers who have become embroiled in the probe. Trump, meanwhile, has at times expressed a desire to be interviewed by Mueller in the hopes of ending the investigation more quickly. The President's lawyers eventually negotiated for Mueller to present a list of questions, which can be read below.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers gave Mr. Mueller several pages of written explanations about the president’s role in the matters the special counsel is investigating. Concerned about putting the president in legal jeopardy, his lead lawyer, John Dowd, was trying to convince Mr. Mueller he did not need to interview Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the matter.
Mr. Mueller was apparently unsatisfied. He told Mr. Dowd in early March that he needed to question the president directly to determine whether he had criminal intent when he fired Mr. Comey, the people said.
But Mr. Dowd held firm, and investigators for Mr. Mueller agreed days later to share during a meeting with Mr. Dowd the questions they wanted to ask Mr. Trump. -NYT
Several questions focus on communications between Trump or members of his staff and Russia, while others focus on the infamous Trump Tower meeting between Don Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, which was organized by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone.
Further questions pertain to:
- Russian hacking during the 2016 election
- Why Trump praised Wikileaks during the election and called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton's deleted emails
- Questions about Jeff Sessions, Michael Cohen, Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus and others
- Trump's decisions to fire his former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn as well as former FBI Director James Comey
Trump's explanation for why he fired each individual has appeared to change at times, stoking speculation that the president may have obstructed justice.
In a similar vein, Mueller planned to inquire about Trump's reported efforts to fire the special counsel.
"What discussions did you have regarding terminating the special counsel, and what did you do when that consideration was reported in January 2018?" the question states, according to The Times.
Trump reportedly sought to fire Mueller on two occasions, but was talked out of it in both instances. -The Hill
Read the New York Times' analysis of the questions below: