And the saga continues...
Two days after the New York Times reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller informed President Trump's legal team in a letter that he would accept written answers to questions about whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia, Bloomberg reported Thursday that Mueller has delivered a "formula" to Trump's lawyers for doing an in-person interview, appearing to contradict the implication that Mueller is giving up on securing an interview with the president.
As its source for the new information, Bloomberg cited an interview with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office has given Donald Trump’s lawyers a proposal "that lays out a formula for doing" an interview with the president, according to his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"There are a few things wrong with it," Giuliani said in an interview Thursday. He said he can’t discuss the details because "it’s just too sensitive at this point."
If nothing else, the report confirms that Trump's legal team is still haggling with Mueller over the terms of a possible presidential interview, a process that started more than 8 months ago. Earlier this week, leaked excerpts from an upcoming book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward detailed an alleged episode where former Trump counsel John Dowd advised Trump to refuse the interview, saying "it's either that or an orange jumpsuit".
Giuliani confirmed that Trump attorney Jane Raskin is handling the negotiations with Mueller's team.
But for now, Giuliani said, Trump lawyer Jane Raskin is going back-and-forth on interview terms with Mueller lawyer James Quarles. They talked at least once on Wednesday, he said.
"We are in active discussions, not just an exchange of letters" Giuliani said. "We are down to a couple important points."
Giuliani said the two remaining issues are “very important to us” while declining to say what they were. If Mueller’s team won’t compromise on the key points, Giuliani, the former New York mayor, said, “I don’t think we can recommend to the president” that he do an interview.
The Times report from earlier this week specified that Mueller didn't ask for written answers on questions pertaining to allegations that Trump obstructed justice due to the belief that the invocation of executive privilege could complicate that pursuit.