Trump Submits Written Responses to Special Counsel Robert Mueller
November 21, 2018
President Donald Trump finally turned over written answers to questions from Robert Mueller on Tuesday, the president’s legal team confirmed, ending months of back-and-forth negotiations and drawing the special counsel’s Russia investigation one step closer to an end.
“The President today answered written questions submitted by The Special Counsel’s Office,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement to the New York Daily News. “The questions presented dealt with issues regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry.”
Mueller’s office is investigating whether anyone in Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The special counsel is also probing whether the president obstructed any investigations into his campaign by firing former FBI Director James Comey and applying political pressure against the inquiries.
Even though the probe has resulted in charges against four of Trump’s associates, 13 Russian nationals, 12 Russian intelligence officers, three Russian companies and two other people, the president has repeatedly assailed it as a “hoax” and politically motivated “witch hunt.”
In theory, Mueller could still subpoena the president, should he want more answers. However, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, a vocal critic of the probe, would have to sign off on such an action.
Investigators have been negotiating for months with the White House over how, when and where Trump might answer questions. Trump’s lawyers pushed the president to refuse a sit-down interview with Mueller and investigators in person, although the commander in chief often mused publicly that he wouldn’t mind doing so.
Trump, leaving the White House on Tuesday to spend Thanksgiving in Florida, said he had completed the “written answers to the witch hunt.”
“The written answers are finished,” he said. “The written answers to the witch hunt that’s been going on forever.”
Last week, Trump stressed that he answered the questions personally, not his lawyers.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the president has been more than accommodating and called on Mueller to bring his investigation to a close.
“The special counsel has been provided with more than 30 witnesses, 1.4 million pages of material, and now the president’s written responses to questions. It is time to bring this inquiry to a conclusion,” he told the Daily News.
©2018 New York Daily News
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