WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller has at least four dozen questions he wants to ask President Donald Trump in his investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the New York Times reported on Monday.
Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, possible collusion with the Trump campaign and whether the president has unlawfully tried to obstruct the probe. The Times said the majority of the questions relate to possible of obstruction of justice.
Russia has denied meddling in the U.S. election. Trump has said there was no collusion and for months, he has said Mueller’s investigation is a “witch hunt” and has called for it to end.
The list includes questions about Trump’s firings of former FBI Director James Comey and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, his treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a meeting a Trump Tower between campaign officials and a Russian offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, the Times said.
“What efforts were made to reach out to Mr Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?” Mueller planned to ask, according to the New York Times reporting.
As head of the FBI, Comey was leading the investigation before he was fired by Trump in May 2017. Trump has cited the Russia investigation as the reason he fired Comey.
Mueller has charged 22 individuals and entities to date, including Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates.
Mueller’s questions also relate to the prospect of pardons for former aides, the Times reported. Flynn pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia, and he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors delving into the actions of Trump’s inner circle before he took office.
Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges against him that include conspiring to launder money, failing to register as a foreign agent, bank fraud and filing false tax returns. None of the charges directly relate to work he performed for Trump’s campaign.
The questions also deal with Trump’s businesses and discussions he may have had with his personal lawyer Michael Cohen about a Moscow real estate deal, the Times said.
Mueller’s investigators read the questions to Trump’s lawyers, the newspaper said. The Times said it obtained the list from a person outside Trump’s legal team.
The questions also appear to suggest that Mueller is interested in the steps that Trump took to fire him last year and his subsequent backing away from the decision, the Times reported.
Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington D.C. and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Robert Birsel