The probe into Russia’s election interference and alleged links to US President Donald Trump’s campaign has taken a new turn after the publication of questions Special Counsel Robert Mueller is seeking to ask the president, which cover topics including potential obstruction of the investigation.
Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the “disgraceful” disclosure of the queries, originally reported by the New York Times, which lay out detailed lines of inquiry by Mueller into whether Trump might have tried to obstruct the Russia probe.
Compiled by the president’s lawyers, the questions — at least four dozen in all — also show that Mueller wants to find out what Trump knew about connections between members of his presidential campaign team and Russia.
That includes a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer offering damaging information on election rival former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Times said.
“It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened! Witch Hunt!” Trump said in a round of early-morning tweets.
Trump incorrectly claimed there were no questions on the list about collusion, which he dismissed as “a made up, phony crime.”
In fact, at least one question directly asks what Trump knew about his campaign aides, including former chairman Paul Manafort, seeking Russia’s assistance, the Times reported.
“What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?” the question reads.
The questions also show Mueller wants to know if Trump offered a pardon to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has already been charged with lying to investigators and is believed to be cooperating with the probe, but there is no indication Trump is now an official suspect in the year-old investigation, or that Mueller has found evidence Trump colluded with the Russians — which the president on Tuesday again denied.
However, the Washington Post late on Tuesday reported that Mueller told the president’s lawyers in early March that he could issue a subpoena for Trump to appear before a grand jury if he refuses to be interviewed by federal investigators.
The Post said that it was following that conversation that Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, compiled a list of 49 questions that could be addressed to the president — the list published a day earlier by the Times.
“So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were ‘leaked’ to the media,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Oh, I see ... you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!”
The Times said Mueller’s team read the questions over the telephone to Trump’s legal team, which compiled them into a list.
The Times said it obtained the list from someone outside Trump’s legal team.
Mueller’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s