Fresh off his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Donald Trump returns to Washington on Wednesday to face what may be the biggest threat to his presidency — Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Now, Mueller is intent on quickly resolving a central issue with Trump’s legal team: whether the president will sit voluntarily for an interview in the probe of Russian election meddling, according to current and former U.S. officials. After months of negotiations, the two sides must find common ground or gear up for an unprecedented legal fight likely to go all the way to the Supreme Court.
“It’s a little bit of a game,” said Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a partner with law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. “Mueller could subpoena the president but probably doesn’t want to. He faces some litigation risk. Trump could fight the subpoena, but he also faces a political risk.”
The interview is key to Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 U.S. election and whether Trump acted to obstruct the probe, one official said.