Lawyers representing President Donald Trump have reportedly advised the president against meeting with special counsel Robert Mueller for an interview under oath, a move many have cautioned is a perjury trap.
The report from The New York Times, published late on Monday, says that the president's lawyers are concerned about his shoot-from-the-hip communication style in which he occasionally contradicts himself. Citing “four people briefed on the matter,” the Times claims that there is a friction brewing between the president and his lawyers as he is eager to speak with Mueller since he believes that he did nothing wrong. The Times notes:
But John Dowd, the longtime Washington defense lawyer hired last summer to represent Mr. Trump in the investigation, wants to rebuff an interview request, as do Mr. Dowd’s deputy, Jay Sekulow, and many West Wing advisers, according to the four people. The lawyers and aides believe the special counsel might be unwilling to subpoena the president and set off a showdown with the White House that Mr. Mueller could lose in court.
The decision on whether Trump will, in fact, sit down with Mueller for an interview is expected to be made sometime in the coming weeks.
Many others have cautioned Trump against an interview with Mueller, including Marc E. Kasowitz, Trump's longtime personal lawyer who initially dealt with Mueller's Russia investigation last May; former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie; and former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
"I don’t think the president of the United States, unless there are credible allegations — which I don’t believe there are — should be sitting across from a special counsel," Christie said recently on ABC News.
"The idea of putting Trump in a room with five or six hardened, very clever lawyers, all of whom are trying to trick him and trap him, would be a very, very bad idea," Gingrich told "Fox & Friends," one of Trump's favorite news programs, last month.