The Trump legal team has reportedly turned over written material to special counsel Robert Mueller in what is being described as an effort to head off a possible perjury-trap interview.
Citing “two people familiar with the situation,” the Washington Post on Monday said the written answers “chronicle key moments under investigation” in Mr. Mueller’s probe of whether Trump campaign officials collaborated with Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The reason, The Post reported, is that the Trump legal team fears having President Trump, who has a penchant for off-the-cuff remarks unrestrained by details, testify directly, in person under oath for hours by an experienced prosecutorial team.
But according to The Post, Mr. Trump, also a man not lacking in self-confidence, has told aides he is “champing at the bit” for a chance to testify. His attorneys fear that Mr. Trump may unintentionally or carelessly perjure himself. This would create a crime or grounds for impeachment even if there is no underlying crime to lie about — a prosecutorial strategy known as the “perjury trap.”
The legal team sending written materials to Mr. Mueller seeks “to minimize [Mr. Trump’s] exposure to the special counsel, whom the president recently attacked in a series of tweets,” The Post reported.
According to The Post, the written materials “include summaries of internal White House memos and contemporaneous correspondence about events Mueller is investigating, including the ousters of national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey. The documents describe the White House players involved and the president’s actions.”