Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump are advising him not to agree to appear for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, the New York Times reported Monday.
Mueller's team has already talked to multiple White House officials and others involved with Trump's campaign for president, as part of an investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and whether Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey.
The Times said that according to four people briefed on the issue, Trump's lawyers have concerns about whether the president would make false or contradictory statements and thus open himself up to possible charges of lying to federal investigators. The report says further the lawyers believe Mueller should not be legally allowed to question the president about some aspects of the investigation.
Trump has indicated he is willing to participate in an interview with the special counsel, while also questioning why such a step would be necessary as he rejected that there was any collusion between his campaign and Russia and said he did not obstruct justice by firing Comey.
Mueller could subpoena Trump if he does not agree to a request to speak with the investigators. The Times said the president's lawyers believe Mueller might not be willing to take that step and enter a legal battle with the White House.