WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for President Trump have advised him against sitting down for a wide-ranging interview with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to four people briefed on the matter, raising the specter of a months long court battle over whether the president must answer questions under oath.
His lawyers are concerned that the president, who has a history of making false statements and contradicting himself, could be charged with lying to investigators.
Their stance puts them at odds with Mr. Trump, who has said publicly and privately that he is eager to speak with Mr. Mueller as part of the investigation into possible ties between his associates and Russia's election interference, and whether he obstructed justice.
Mr. Trump's decision about whether to speak to prosecutors, expected in the coming weeks, will shape one of the most consequential moments of the investigation.
Refusing to sit for an interview opens the possibility that Mr. Mueller will subpoena the president to testify before a grand jury, setting up a court fight that would drastically escalate the investigation and could be decided by the Supreme Court.
Rejecting an interview with Mr. Mueller also carries political consequences. It would be certain to prompt accusations that the president is hiding something, and a court fight could prolong the special counsel inquiry, casting a shadow over Republicans as November's midterm elections approach or beyond into the president's re-election campaign.
"The upshot of the Nixon tapes case was that any president is going to have an extremely hard time resisting a request from a law enforcement officer," said Neal K. Katyal, an acting solicitor general in the Obama administration and a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells.
"In general," he added, "presidents do sit for interviews or respond to requests from prosecutors because they take their constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws seriously, and running away from a prosecutor isn't consistent with faithfully executing the laws."
Mr. Cobb had told the president and the public that the Mueller inquiry would be over by the end of 2017, or soon after. But a month into 2018, it remains unclear when Mr. Mueller will wrap up the bulk of his work.
Privately, people close to the president have conceded that assuring Mr. Trump that the investigation would end by a certain date was primarily aimed at keeping him from antagonizing Mr. Mueller on his Twitter feed or in interviews."
I wonder if fat stupid Nixon's ego will sink him. I suspect the dotard will just rope-a-dope in the interview and say he doesn't recall, a lot.
Mueller is getting desperate. He has to find something.
Since there is no collusion with Russia is has to resort to perjury traps.
Same as the Valerie Plame hoax.
The bloated------------------- would get caught in multiple lies within the first five minutes of an interview with Mueller.
Trump supporters like auntisocial are getting comical in their rationalizations to support Trump.
I give it six months before their conspiracy theory's head starts to eat it's own tail.
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