Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted a list of 48 questions to President Donald Trump's legal team he hopes to have answered in a prospective interview as part of the investigation into possible obstruction of justice and campaign collusion with Russian Federation.
The Times obtained a list of the questions, which range from Mr Trump's motivations for firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey a year ago to contacts Mr Trump's campaign had with Russians.
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"Among them are queries on any discussions Mr. Trump had about his attempts to fire Mr. Mueller himself and what the president knew about possible pardon offers to Mr. Flynn".
The questions are the clearest signal yet that Mueller has enough circumstantial evidence to suspect the president of obstruction, and also has reason to believe Trump might have known of the Russian Federation links.
Two weeks ago, Trump recruited to his legal team former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, who said he would try to reach a deal with Mueller on how the president would cooperate with the probe.
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Mueller also wants to know if Trump discussed with any campaign staff arranging a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr Flynn is now cooperating with Mr Mueller's investigators. Mueller specifically asks what communication Trump had with Russian government officials and the Agalrovs, an Azerbaijani-Russian family who partnered with Trump on the pageant.
Regarding Flynn, Mueller wants to know what Trump knew about the retired general's phone calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russian operatives during the presidential transition. Mueller hopes to ask Trump the goal for several meetings he had with Comey during the early days of his presidency.
As head of the FBI, Comey was leading the investigation before he was sacked by Trump in May 2017. "Who played a role", one question reads.
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Previously, Trump said he would be willing to sit down for an interview under oath with Mueller. His lead lawyer, John Dowd, was trying to convince Mueller he did not need to interview Trump, the Times reported. That would suggest charges are not expected against Trump.