US President Donald Trump is currently under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller but not as a criminal target, according to a report.
Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election, told the president’s attorneys last month that he considered Trump a subject of investigation, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
That means currently there is not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the president, the newspaper quoted three anonymous sources as saying.
In addition, Mueller told Trump’s lawyers that he is preparing a report on the president’s actions while in office and possible obstruction of justice, the Post noted.
Mueller emphasized the need to interview Trump, both to find out whether he had any corrupt intent to foil the Russia investigation and to complete this portion of his investigation, the people said.
Trump’s chief counsel, Jay Sekulow refused to comment on this report and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred questions to White House attorney Ty Cobb.
“Thank you, but I don’t discuss communications with the president or with the Office of Special Counsel,” Cobb said Tuesday.
Legal experts warn that a subject could become a target with his or her own testimony.
“If I were the president, I would be very reluctant to think I’m off the hook,” said Keith Whittington, a professor of politics at Princeton University and impeachment expert.
“My sense of it is the president — given that information — ought to have pretty fair warning anything he’s saying in the deposition would be legally consequential. Depending on what he says, it could wind up changing how the special counsel is thinking about him.”
Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians and has condemned the investigations. Russia has also denied the allegations. Trump has also labeled Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” and has suggested that Russians might have meddled in favor of Hillary Clinton.