Michael Caputo says 'it's clear' Mueller investigators focused on Russian Federation collusion

ImageRobert S. Mueller III the special

Those interview negotiations are hugely consequential, especially after Dowd confirmed to the AP this week that Mueller's team in March raised the prospect of issuing a grand jury subpoena for Trump, an extraordinary move that would seek to force a sitting president to testify under oath.

The combative tenor was apparent even in the official statement Wednesday from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirming that Flood would replace Cobb, which referred to Mueller's investigation as "the Russian Federation witch hunt". In addition to helping to represent Clinton, Flood assisted former President George W. Bush with a series of congressional inquiries, including the investigation into his firing of seven US attorneys.

John Dowd, obviously anxious about where Mueller was going with the investigation, resigned from Trump's legal team right after the March meeting with Mueller. "Ty Cobb, a friend of the president, who has done a terrific job, will be retiring at the end of the month". His lead personal lawyer, John Dowd, left in March.

Dowd vehemently opposed Trump submitting to an interview, but the USA president at the time was reportedly inclined to talk to the special prosecutor, believing it would lead to a quicker end to the probe.

The don't-do-an-interview camp may have been the origin of an account of the questions Mueller has told Trump's lawyers he wants to ask - seeking to illustrate the breadth and detail that Trump would need to cover and the potential pitfalls that could create.

According to sources familiar with their thinking, Trump's lawyers are preparing for a legal showdown with Mueller, in that the President's legal team is bracing for the dramatic possibility that Mueller would subpoena the President.

He also promoted an upcoming book, called "The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump".

In 1974, special Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski sued president Richard Nixon to obtain tapes of White House conversations.




All these matters continue to motivate many in Congress, Schiff included, to call for-in addition to a special counsel-an independent prosecutor not beholden to any government department and who can't be fired by the White House.

The scuttlebutt in the capital is that it was Trump's team that leaked Mueller's questions to him to make the ground for the President to decline the interview. Some say he should not, citing reams of documents the Trump team has provided to the special counsel that answer their questions, or fearing that prosecutors may spring a "perjury trap" on Trump.

Trump appears to be responding to frustrations from conservative Republicans that the Justice Department has not turned over documents related to controversial topics, including surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. "It'd be, max, two to three hours around a narrow set of questions".

But in a flurry of tweets on Wednesday morning, Trump, sounding alarmed, challenged Mueller's line of inquiry and its legitimacy by invoking the "imperial Presidency" arguments made by some lawyers and constitutional experts.

That followed another rant on Tuesday, in which Trump said it was "disgraceful" that a list of proposed questions drafted in response to Mueller's negotiations with the legal team was "leaked" to the news media. He was also interviewed past year by the House Intelligence Committee.

Meanwhile, Trump could face a whole new level of risk - this time in the political arena - if he's asked questions about his business dealings in Russia and with pro-Russian interests. Dowd was among those who had urged him not to.

President Trump went after Robert Mueller again tonight, this time by quoting one of his own former lawyers. And if he were to do that in an interview with Mueller, that could create legal problems.

"Your investigation and others into the allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russian Federation are costing my family a great deal of money - more than $125,000 - and making a visceral impact on my children", Caputo said in a prepared statement that he delivered at the end of the Senate interview, which was provided to CNN. Members of the Freedom Caucus say they have drawn up articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general supervising Mueller.

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