Mueller gives list of questions to Trump's lawyers

Posted May 02, 2018

Fox News host Sean Hannity was confronted on-air Monday night with news that the New York Times had obtained dozens of questions special counsel Robert Mueller was interested in asking President Donald Trump - and it did not go well.

Most of the questions the Times printed focus on whether Trump may have obstructed justice or tried to frustrate the FBI's Russian Federation investigation, including whether he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to lay off then-national security adviser Mike Flynn, whether he leaned on others to pressure Comey, and why he fired Comey.

"It is so disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were "leaked" to the media", Trump tweeted Tuesday.

"The entire premise of this investigation was on this topic of collusion and the overwhelming focus of the questions is not on that topic". Trump has been accused of possibly obstructing of justice when he allegedly asked Comey in a private oval office meeting to drop a criminal probe into then national security advisor Mike Flynn.

Despite Trump's tweet, several questions on the list appear to allude to possible collusion - coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials - even if collusion is not explicitly mentioned.

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Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 after Comey was sacked.

Mr. Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, possible collusion with the Trump campaign and whether the President has unlawfully tried to obstruct the probe.

Mr Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow declined to comment, as did White House lawyer Ty Cobb.

Another question asks what the President may have known about a possible attempt by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to set up a back channel with Russian Federation before Mr Trump's inauguration. In one of the more tantalizing inquiries, Mr. Mueller asks what Mr. Trump knew about campaign aides, including the former chairman Paul Manafort, seeking assistance from Moscow: "What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russian Federation about potential assistance to the campaign?"

And he has denied having anything to do with such an effort.

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Mr Cohen's business dealings are part of a separate FBI investigation.

Angrily reacting to the report, Trump said it was "disgraceful" that classified information was illegally leaked to the media. The special counsel has plenty of questions - but the biggest one right now is: Will Donald Trump answer any of them?

Additional questions center on Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his discussions on sanctions against Russia with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. He has said it was because of how Comey handled himself in the 2016 election.

Barbara McQuade, a former USA attorney from the Eastern District of MI, said one question stood out: Campaign outreach from Manafort to Russian Federation about potential assistance with the campaign.

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