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Trump lawyers prepare answers to Mueller questions

President Donald Trump's legal team is preparing answers to written questions provided by special counsel Robert Mueller, about possible collusion between Trump associates and Russians seeking to meddle in the 2016 election, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 10:41 AM
Updated: Oct 12, 2018 11:10 AM

President Donald Trump's legal team is preparing answers to written questions provided by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The move represents a major development after months of negotiations and signals that the Mueller investigation could be entering a final phase with regard to the President.

The questions are focused on matters related to the investigation of possible collusion between Trump associates and Russians seeking to meddle in the 2016 election, the sources said. Trump's lawyers are preparing written responses, in part relying on documents previously provided to the special counsel, the sources said.

"We are in continuing discussions with the special counsel and we do not comment on those discussions," said Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.

There may be more rounds of questions after the first answers are returned. The special counsel had insisted that there be a chance for follow-up questions as well. But after a prolonged back-and-forth over months, the two sides agreed to start with a first round of questions.

Additionally, the two sides have still not come to agreement on whether the President will be interviewed in person by investigators who are also probing whether Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey.

Asked on Thursday about answering Mueller's questions, Trump again signaled his willingness to sit down for an interview with Mueller or provide written responses -- the option much preferred by his attorneys.

"It seems ridiculous that I'd have to do it when everybody says there's no collusion, but I'll do what is necessary to get it over with," Trump said in a phone interview on Fox News. Despite Trump's insistence to the contrary, the possibility of collusion remains an open question in the ongoing investigation led by Mueller, who has not tipped his hand one way or the other.

Negotiations for Trump's testimony lasted for the better part of a year. The two sides nearly reached a deal in January for Trump to be questioned at the presidential retreat in rural Maryland, Camp David, only for talks to break down at the last minute. What followed was a series of letters and meetings -- some hostile -- in which Trump's lawyers raised objections and sought to limit any potential testimony.

For months, Mueller told Trump's lawyers that he needed to hear from the President to determine his intent on key events in the obstruction inquiry. During one tense session in March, Mueller raised the possibility of getting a subpoena to compel the President's testimony.

Trump's lead attorney John Dowd resigned later that month. According to a recent book published by journalist Bob Woodward, Dowd quit because he believed Trump would never heed his advice to avoid an interview at all costs. Trump once publicly said he was "100%" willing to go under oath to answer questions about his decision to fire Comey, who led the original Russia investigation before Mueller was appointed.

The President eventually hired Rudy Giuliani to join his legal team, and the former New York mayor quickly took to the airwaves to defend Trump and attack Mueller. As Giuliani made the rounds on TV newscasts -- blasting the investigation as illegitimate -- Trump's other lawyers, Jane and Marty Raskin, carefully worked behind the scenes with Mueller's team to narrow the topics that Trump could be asked about.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 59881

Reported Deaths: 1693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5176106
DeSoto321527
Madison227253
Rankin211128
Harrison206732
Jackson187434
Jones174057
Forrest161551
Washington145732
Lauderdale132188
Lee119430
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Lamar110512
Oktibbeha104434
Warren96425
Lowndes95830
Scott95117
Bolivar93332
Copiah90323
Sunflower90322
Panola89611
Lafayette8619
Holmes83546
Leflore82759
Pike81932
Grenada80520
Yazoo76411
Leake76225
Lincoln73539
Wayne73121
Pontotoc7167
Simpson70726
Monroe68750
Coahoma64810
Tate63822
Marion59418
Adams57825
Covington57611
Winston56615
Marshall5568
George5395
Newton51411
Union51313
Attala49524
Pearl River48036
Tallahatchie44610
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Noxubee41410
Claiborne39913
Smith37413
Calhoun3738
Jasper3738
Clay36414
Alcorn3494
Prentiss3316
Hancock32414
Yalobusha31210
Lawrence3075
Itawamba30610
Tishomingo3063
Clarke29725
Tippah29412
Montgomery2913
Humphreys26511
Tunica2526
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Kemper22315
Quitman2201
Perry2137
Amite2045
Jefferson Davis1966
Webster19512
Jefferson1916
Wilkinson18312
Sharkey1801
Stone1463
Choctaw1254
Benton1240
Franklin1112
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 85278

Reported Deaths: 1531
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11465225
Mobile8466188
Montgomery6093141
Madison481725
Tuscaloosa385161
Baldwin309521
Shelby295431
Marshall287830
Unassigned256950
Lee245540
Morgan215614
Etowah188424
DeKalb165011
Elmore156237
Walker145063
Calhoun14389
Houston127512
Dallas126523
Russell11851
St. Clair116911
Franklin116520
Limestone115512
Cullman109011
Colbert105011
Lauderdale102812
Autauga98820
Escambia95215
Talladega86213
Chambers80738
Tallapoosa80178
Jackson7833
Dale76318
Butler74335
Blount7043
Coffee6955
Covington68420
Chilton6735
Pike6447
Barbour5545
Lowndes54524
Marion52824
Marengo50614
Clarke4799
Hale44825
Bullock43611
Winston42610
Perry4193
Wilcox4009
Randolph38610
Monroe3853
Conecuh36310
Sumter36118
Bibb3602
Pickens3599
Macon30412
Washington30411
Lawrence2980
Crenshaw2793
Choctaw27112
Greene23911
Henry2383
Cherokee2227
Geneva2160
Clay2005
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Fayette1675
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