May 2 (UPI) — Special Counsel Robert Mueller told attorneys for President Donald Trump at a meeting two months ago he could subpoena the commander in-chief to appear before a grand jury.
Trump’s attorneys, who have been in active negotiations with Mueller’s legal team over a potential interview, said the president had no obligation to talk with investigators regarding the Russia investigation, The Washington Post reported.
Citing two sources, ABC News reported Mueller, the leader of the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, warned he could “compel” the president to testify if Trump declined to be interviewed.
“This isn’t some game,” John Dowd, Trump’s former attorney, answered Mueller’s warning. “You are screwing with the work of the president of the United States.”
Dowd would later resign as the president’s personal attorney amid disagreements with Trump on elements of the Russia investigation.
Last month, Trump added Rudolph Giuliani and two federal prosecutors — Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin — to his legal team.
Word over a potential subpoena was reported a day after The New York Times reported Trump’s lawyers had created a list of 49 questions based off the ongoing negotiations with Justice Department investigators — and centered on questions Mueller plans to ask the president.
The questions focus on events of the 2016 Trump campaign, transition and presidency — and include Trump’s firing former FBI Director James Comey a year ago, the Times report said.
Giuliani told the Post he is still considering possible conditions for the president before agreeing to an interview.
“Hopefully, we’re getting near the end. We all on both sides have some important decisions to make,” Giuliani said. “I still have a totally open mind on what the right strategy is, which we’ll develop in the next few weeks.”
Trump has repeatedly denied colluding with Russian agents before the 2016 vote, and has called the Justice Department probe a “witch hunt.”
Trump tweeted Tuesday the supposed collusion was “phony” and “never existed.”