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Trump's lawyers prepare answers to Müller's questions



After months of negotiations, this move represents an important development and signals that the Mueller investigation could enter a final phase with respect to the President.

The questions focus on issues surrounding investigating possible collusion between Trump employees and Russians seeking to interfere in the 2016 elections. Trump's lawyers prepared written replies, relying in part on documents previously provided to the Special Adviser.

"We are in constant dialogue with the Special Adviser and do not comment on these discussions," said Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow

After the first answer, there may be more questions. The Special Adviser had insisted that follow-up questions were also possible. But after a long back and forth over months, both sides agreed to start with a first round of questions.

In addition, the two sides have still not agreed on whether the president will be personally interviewed by investigators who are also investigating whether Trump has obstructed the judiciary by dismissing FBI director James Comey.

Asked on Thursday if he wanted to answer Mueller's questions, Trump again signaled his willingness to sit down for an interview with Müller or give written answers ̵

1; the option preferred by his lawyers.

  CNN Survey: The Public Supports the Investigation of Russia, Robert Müller, Rod Rosenstein

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

Trump's testimony lasted almost all the time. The two sides have almost come to an agreement in January to question Trump's retirement in rural Maryland, Camp David, just to lose talks at the last minute. What followed was a series of letters and meetings – some hostile – in which Trump's lawyers objected and tried to limit possible testimony.
For months, Müller told Trump's lawyers that he needed to hear from the president to determine his intent on key events in the obstacle investigation. During a tense meeting in March, Mueller raised the possibility of obtaining a summons to force the President's testimony.
  McCabe and Rosenstein argued before Mueller about Mueller

Trump's chief advocate John Dowd resigned later that month. According to a recent book published by journalist Bob Woodward, Dowd stopped because he believed Trump would never follow his advice to avoid an interview at any cost. Trump once publicly stated that he was "100%" willing to answer questions about his decision to dismiss Comey, who led the original Russia investigation before Mueller was appointed.
The President eventually hired Rudy Giuliani into his legal department, and the former New York mayor quickly blew himself up to defend Trump and attack Mueller. When Giuliani made the rounds on television and branded the investigation as illegitimate, Trump's other lawyers, Jane and Marty Raskin, worked carefully behind the scenes with Mueller to narrow down the issues Trump might be asked.

CNN's Marshall Cohen contributed to this story.


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