Trump "looking forward" to being interviewed in Russia collusion probe
US President Donald Trump seems to have ended months-long speculations about whether he would agree to be interviewed in the Russian collusion probe. He says he's "looking forward" to it and wants to get it done ASAP. Trump's lawyers are coordinating with Robert Mueller's team, who's leading the investigation, about how the interview should happen. But Trump is not known for his consistency.
The progress till now: Four criminally charged in the investigation
Till now, four people have been criminally charged for their association to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections. Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about their roles and deeds. Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort has been charged on 12 counts, including conspiring to launder money, along with his business associate Rick Gates.
Meanwhile, Trump has moved from "will-do" to "probably-won't-do" to "will-do"
Regarding investigation of the president, he has been giving out mixed signals. Last June, Trump had said he would be willing to talk to Mueller under oath, but recently, he had dismissed possibility of an interview, insisting there's been no collusion. Mueller reportedly also wants to question him about alleged obstruction of justice regarding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Flynn.
The ABC correspondent who questioned Trump
I just asked @realDonaldTrump if he would be willing to talk to Mueller. He said yes - he would love to and he would be willing to do it under oath. Details to be worked out by lawyers.— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) January 24, 2018
Grand jury for Trump unlikely
Trump's lawyers have clarified he is willing to be interviewed, but there are no discussions on a grand jury. The format is being worked out, with reports saying it will be hybrid: some questions face-to-face and others in writing. Incidentally, apart from location and time, Trump's and Mueller's teams are also negotiating on topics. Needless to say, the interview will be risky for Trump.
Attorney general becomes first Trump cabinet member to be questioned
Last week, America's top prosecutor, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was questioned for hours. Sessions, the first Trump cabinet member to be questioned, had urged Comey's firing. Reports have it that Mueller also wants to interview former advisor Steve Bannon, who called Comey's firing the biggest mistake in "modern political history." Asked if Mueller will be fair, Trump said, "We are going to find out."