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NYT: Fearing Perjury Trap, Trump Lawyers Say Don't Meet Mueller

Cathy Burke

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President Donald Trump's lawyers are advising him to refuse an interview with Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller, The New York Times reported Monday.

The decision — expected in the coming weeks — could trigger a long court battle over whether Trump must answer questions under oath, and could wind up being decided by the Supreme Court, the Times reported.

According to the Times, the president's lawyers are concerned he could be charged with lying to investigators; Trump himself has announced he looks forward to talking with Mueller as part of the probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

But refusing to sit for an interview opens the possibility Mueller will subpoena the president to testify before a grand jury, the Times reported.

The Times, citing four unnamed sources, reported the Trump lawyers urging him to rebuff a sit-down are John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, along with "many West Wing advisers" — all of them convinced Mueller lacks the legal standing to question Trump about some issues, including his role in a response to Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016.

They also argue other matters are perfectly legal — like the allegations the president asked former FBI Director James Comey to end a probe into the former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the Times reported.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb — brought on to deal with Mueller's probe — has argued, however, the White House should do everything possible to cooperate with the Mueller probe.