News World The questions Robert Mueller wants to ask Donald Trump
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The questions Robert Mueller wants to ask Donald Trump

Robert Mueller Donald Trump
The findings of the investigation will not immediately be made public. Photo: Getty
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The New York Times has obtained a list of almost 50 questions that special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Donald Trump about Russian interference in the US presidential election.

The list shows Mr Mueller wants to learn more about Mr Trump’s ties to Russia and determine whether he obstructed the inquiry itself.

The questions were apparently read by the special counsel investigators to the president’s lawyers, who compiled them into a list. The New York Times said that list was provided to it by a person outside Mr Trump’s legal team.

The newspaper said the queries appear to be an attempt to penetrate the President’s thinking, to get at the motivation behind some of his Twitter posts and to examine his relationships with family and advisors.

The questions cover the President’s high-profile firings of the FBI director and his first national security adviser, his treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The Times said they also touch on the President’s businesses; any discussions with his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D Cohen, about a Moscow real estate deal; and whether the President knew of any attempt by Mr Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to set up a back channel to Russia during the transition.

They also query any contacts with Roger Stone Jr, a longtime advisor who claimed to have inside information about Democratic email hackings and what happened during Mr Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.

The majority relate to possible obstruction of justice, and show how an investigation into Russia’s election meddling grew to include an examination of the president’s conduct in office.

Among them are queries on any discussions Mr Trump had about his attempts to fire Mr Mueller himself and what the president knew about possible pardon offers to Mr Flynn.

“What efforts were made to reach out to Mr Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?” is one of the questions.

A few reveal that Mr Mueller is still investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by [campaign chairman] Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?”

The Times said Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Mr Trump, declined to comment, while a spokesman for the special counsel’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Through his questions, Mr Mueller also tries to tease out Mr Trump’s views on law enforcement officials and whether he sees them as independent investigators or people who should loyally protect him.

“Mr Mueller appears to be investigating how Mr. Trump took steps last year to fire Mr Mueller himself,” The Times reported.

“What consideration and discussions did you have regarding terminating the special counsel in June of 2017?”