WASHINGTON — President Trump will not unconditionally cooperate with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s recently opened investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and any possible coordination with the Trump campaign, a defense lawyer for Trump signaled Sunday.

The lawyer, Jay Sekulow, also questioned the appropriateness of Mueller’s advance review of the prepared testimony that former FBI Director James B. Comey delivered last week to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Although noting that Trump said Friday he would answer Mueller’s questions under oath, Sekulow declined to rule out ordering at some later date the firing of the widely praised Mueller, who preceded Comey as FBI director.

“The president is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside,” Sekulow said on ABC’s “This Week,” adding, “I’m not going to speculate on what he will or will not do.”

Sekulow’s position points out the complexity created by the parallel congressional and criminal investigations into what happened during the campaign and its aftermath. Mueller’s inquiry may also now include questions about whether Trump tried to influence the FBI investigation.

Comey has made clear that he vetted his testimony with Mueller and his aides to avoid revealing information that might compromise the special counsel’s pursuit of possible criminal wrongdoing.

Yet by doing so, Comey provided Trump’s defense team an opening to question his coziness with Mueller. The two had worked together during the George W. Bush administration when Comey was deputy attorney general and Mueller was FBI director, a position he kept until late 2013, when Comey succeeded him.

Comey told the Senate panel Thursday that Trump pressured him to end the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn shortly after Flynn resigned as national security adviser.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.