President Donald Trump pauses during a during a news conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 30, 2018.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Investigators have floated idea of forcing Trump to testify under oath.

The special counsel leading the Russia investigation has floated idea of subpoena for President Donald Trump

The special counsel leading the Russia investigation raised the prospect in March of issuing a grand jury subpoena for President Donald Trump, his former attorney said, confirming that investigators have floated the extraordinary idea of forcing a sitting president to testify under oath.

Attorney John Dowd told The Associated Press on Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team broached the subject during a meeting with Trump’s legal team while they were negotiating the terms of a possible interview with the president.

It was not immediately clear in what context the possibility of a subpoena was raised or how serious Mueller’s prosecutors were about the move. Mueller is probing not only Russian election interference and possible co-ordination with Trump associates but possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

Even if Mueller’s team decided to subpoena Trump as part of the investigation, he could still fight it in court or refuse to answer questions by invoking his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination.

Dowd’s comments come more than a month after he resigned from the legal team, and they provide a new window into the nature of the Trump lawyers’ interactions with the special counsel, whom the president has increasingly tried to undermine through public attacks.

On Tuesday, Trump said it was “disgraceful” that a list of proposed questions drafted in response to Mueller’s negotiations with the legal team was “leaked” to the news media.

The about four dozen questions were compiled by Trump’s lawyers during negotiations with Mueller’s investigators earlier this year over the prospect of a presidential interview.

A person familiar with the matter, who insisted on anonymity to discuss ongoing negotiations, told the AP that the president’s lawyers extrapolated the list of expected questions based off conversations with Mueller’s team about the topics prosecutors wanted to cover in a potential sit down with Trump. The questions reflected what the defence lawyers anticipated Trump would be asked, rather than verbatim queries that Mueller’s team provided, the person said.

Related: US raises prospect of Trump-Putin meeting at the White House

The Washington Post first reported that Mueller’s team raised the possibility of a subpoena for Trump. The New York Times first published the list of questions.

According to the list, the questions range from Trump’s motivations for firing FBI Director James Comey a year ago to contacts Trump’s campaign had with Russians. Although Mueller’s team has indicated to Trump’s lawyers that he’s not considered a target, investigators remain interested in whether the president’s actions constitute obstruction of justice and want to interview him about several episodes in office. They have not yet made a decision about an interview.

In his tweet, Trump said there were “no questions on Collusion” and, as he as many times before, called Mueller’s investigation a “Russian witch hunt.” He said collusion with the Russians “never existed.”

In a second tweet, Trump said: “It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened.”

The questions do appear to indicate that Mueller is looking into possible collusion. Some touch on Russian meddling and whether the Trump campaign co-ordinated in any way with the Kremlin. In one question, Mueller asks what Trump knew about campaign staff, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, reaching out to Moscow.

Mueller has brought several charges against Manafort already, including money laundering and bank fraud. None of the charges relates to allegations of Russian election interference and possible co-ordination with Trump associates, and Manafort has denied having anything to do with such an effort.

The questions also involve key moments from the early months of the Trump administration, including his reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation and Trump’s firing of his national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

One question asks whether there were any efforts to reach out to Flynn “about seeking immunity or possible pardon” ahead of his guilty plea last year. Flynn is now co-operating with Mueller.

Related: US May Day immigration protests target Trump, fall elections

___

Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

Chad Day And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Port Alberni cyclist collides with passing car

Cyclist received minor injuries

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations receive grants to bring ancestors’ remains home

Grants are part of the Royal B.C. Museum’s new repatriation program

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Alberni’s McLean Mill Society looking for a new direction

Society held a public input meeting at historic site

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

North Island Midget Eagles bit by Alberni Valley Bulldogs, hammer Nanaimo Clippers

It was a bit of an up and down rollercoaster ride of a weekend for the North Island Midget Eagles.

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

Hack sends malicious emails from Alberni School District

Tofino and Ucluelet residents urged not to click on attachment.

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

Most Read