President Donald Trump’s lawyers rejected Robert Mueller’s terms for a Russia interview, countering that they did not want the president answering questions about possible obstruction of justice, The New York Times reports.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Times disclosed Wednesday that Trump’s lawyers “did not reject an interview outright but included the narrower counteroffer.”
Trump’s attorneys said they had responded to Mueller’s latest offer, reiterating their call for an end to the Russia investigation.
“We have responded in writing to the latest proposal from the Office of Special Counsel regarding its request to interview the president,” Jay Sekulow said in a statement posted on Twitter. “It is not appropriate, at this time, to comment publicly about the content of that response.”
But Rudy Giuliani, who has long called for an end to the Moscow probe, was far harsher.
“Millions of pages of documents along with testimony from dozens of witnesses have been provided,” the former New York City mayor said.
“We’re re-stating what we have been saying for months: It is time for the Office of Special Counsel to conclude its inquiry without further delay.”
The Trump team’s latest response stemmed from a letter last week from Mueller’s prosecutors, which came after the president’s lawyers outlined the scope and format of a possible interview.
Earlier Wednesday, Giuliani said Trump’s counsel was making a “good-faith attempt to reach an agreement” with Mueller’s prosecutors with the forthcoming counteroffer.
He declined to provide specifics, only telling CNN that “there is an area where we could agree, if they agree.”
Giuliani said lawyers would consider questions of obstruction regarding President Trump’s firing last year of FBI Director James Comey, as long as none created “perjury traps.”
Trump, who has long slammed the probe as a “witch hunt” and has denied any collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin, reportedly wants to sit with Mueller to clear his name and has urged his attorneys to reach an agreement.
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