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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

NYT gets the questions that prosecutor Mueller wants to ask Trump

Por Nina

The special prosecutor Robert Mueller who investigates a supposed collusion between Donald Trump and Russia in the election campaign to influence the US presidential election. of 2016, has provided the US President's attorneys with a list of questions he intends to ask in an interview. The New York Times has had access to the list of more than 40 questions, indicating that they show the focus of the special prosecutor "on the obstruction of justice" and some that refer to "other surprising areas".

The questions have not been officially presented nor do they have to be answered. The president still has not been formally declared "objective of the investigation". Neither are charges being prepared against him at the moment. The questions, rather than a final result, are the prelude to a testimony taking. However, it is not clear what effect the leaked questions about the possible interrogation of the president will have. Its origin is the tug-of-war that Mueller has maintained over the past few months with Trump's lawyers.

Although they were reluctant, the president's insistence on giving public testimony led them to explore what the special prosecutor was looking for. Following these contacts and after a long legal ping-pong, Mueller's office supplied the questions to the White House. After analyzing them, the chief lawyer, John Dowd, recommended not answering. An advice that displeased Trump and that led to his replacement by the ex-prosecutor and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a man of the president's highest confidence.

The next steps that the Oval Office will take are unknown. But if Trump agrees to answer, he will face the most important game of his presidency. From his testimony, in case of contradiction or falsehood, an impeachment can derive. This process would be resolved in Congress. At the moment, it is under a Republican majority, but in November there are legislative elections. The House of Representatives is completely renewed, and the Senate, in a third. The possibility that the Democrats achieve majority terrifies the White House.

The questions represent an obvious risk. They raise the suspicion of connivance and obstruction of justice. The president is questioned about his links with Russia, his possible attempts to meet with Vladimir Putin, his advisors' communications with Wikileaks and his own knowledge of the mass poisoning campaign launched during the Moscow elections against the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. In this review, are not missing neither his son-in-law's attempts to open unofficial channels with the Kremlin nor his contacts with Putin's satellites during the Miss Universe contest held in 2013 in Moscow.

The questionnaire is far from innocent. Question by question, it is warned that Mueller does not deal with a normal witness. It does not seek to clarify the dubious aspects of the case, but rather questions the president himself. He weaves around an interrogative web aimed at catching him. Trump, a lover of tightrope jumping, believes that the quickest way to face this challenge is under the spotlight. His lawyers are more reticent, but in recent weeks, with the entry of Giuliani, this possibility has taken shape. If it occurs, it would be a crucial moment of the presidency. The all or nothing before the cameras, a challenge to which Trump hardly resists.