In the midst of the ‘Fire And Fury’ row, the pressure is piling on Trump. Now Mueller has entered the fray with a request for an interview with the President. Sources indicate that Mueller’s office is seeking to interview President Trump in the next few weeks, raising the proposal back in December.
Trump is said to be comfortable with the prospect of an interview with only a limited number of questions set to be asked although the subject and nature of these questions have not been revealed as yet. The details of the interview have not been finalized although Mueller’s team will be discussing the terms with Trump’s legal team.
The latter has been allegedly trying to consider other options such as written answers to questions rather than a formal sit-down or a signed statement insisting that Trump is innocent of any and all charges against him. Some are probably hoping it can be avoided entirely though it is highly unlikely that Mueller will simply allow Trump to avoid a face-to-face confrontation.
Trump has the option to plead the 5th, despite calling it a sign of guilt before becoming President, to avoid incrimination. A better option would be to plead the 25th, but sadly, there is little hope of such a thing happening. Trump might not be the brightest bulb in the White House, but surely a very stable and like, really smart guy couldn’t be that dumb.
It is possible that the interview might be overshadowed if further indictments are put forward. After arresting Manafort, ‘flipping’ George Papadopoulos and getting Michael Flynn to cooperate, many predict that Jared Kushner and his close associates will be indicted for their role in allowing Russia to interfere with the 2016 election. The fact that Mueller has requested Kushner’s financial dealings seems to corroborate such predictions.
As far as the charge for obstruction of justice, Kushner is also a key player. His influence over his father-in-law now is questionable but in the early days, he and his wife, Ivanka Trump clearly seemed to hold great sway over the President, to the point where they feuded many times with Steve Bannon who was eventually forced to quit.
The prospect of an interview, even with a limited set of questions, leave many observers pondering the likely outcomes. Will Trump plead the 5th to avoid the 25th? Will he blurt out incriminating facts under pressure? Will the interview happen before or after Kushner gets indicted?
One thing is clear: Mueller is bringing the fight straight to the President. This is far from over.