Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking to interview President Donald Trump in the open Russia hacking investigation, sending his lawyers in a flurry.
According to NBC News, the possibility of an interview brings up questions of what kind of trouble Trump could get himself into. After all, this is a president and presidency known for “alternative facts.”
Possible obstruction of justice
According to the New York Times, a source close to the investigation said that Mueller was interested in asking Trump about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Both of those topics could, as the Times pointed out, lead to obstruction of justice charges. If Trump knew, for example, that Flynn had lied to investigators, then he could find himself in trouble for not disclosing that information.
What’s more, the decision to fire Comey could largely be seen as an attempt to put the breaks on the Russian collusion investigation. Comey himself testified publicly that he felt pressured by the president to put an end to the investigation prior to his dismissal.
Ty Cobb, the senior White House lawyer on the case, has reportedly pledged to investigators that the White House will fully cooperate. However, it’s not clear what that participation would look like.
Trump’s lawyers will likely try to limit Trump’s participation. A prepared, written statement might be in the best interest of the administration as opposed to an interview in person. An outright refusal to cooperate with Mueller, however, could result in a subpoena. At that point, Trump would be forced to appear in court.
Trump’s lawyers will likely bend over backwards to look like they’re cooperating to prevent a grand jury appearance. After all, who knows what Trump would say in that case?