The Washington Post reports that “In a tense meeting in early March with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, President Trump’s lawyers insisted he had no obligation to talk with federal investigators probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. But Mueller responded that he had another option if Trump declined: He could issue a subpoena (a writ ordering a person to attend a court) so that the president appears before a grand jury, according to four people familiar with the encounter.
Mueller’s warning — the first time he is known to have mentioned a possible subpoena to Trump’s legal team — spurred a sharp retort from John Dowd, then the president’s lead lawyer. “This isn’t some game,” Dowd said, according to two people with knowledge of his comments. “You are screwing with the work of the president of the United States.”
In the meantime, CNN reports that President Donald Trump’s lawyers are preparing for a legal showdown with special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources familiar with their thinking. Asked whether the President would ever plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering questions, two sources said the legal team believes there are many “constitutional challenges” that would need to be met before that possibility even would be considered. Trump’s lawyers are careful to say that the President hasn’t shut the door to a possible agreement for an interview. His new legal team is still assessing that before making a recommendation, sources say.
The Washington Post’s Editorial Board argues that although it is unclear who leaked a list of questions that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wants to ask President Trump. It states that one possibility is that someone is seeking to ensure that, whatever happens to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, the president is forced to confront them. If so, we are in agreement: Under oath or not, Mr. Trump owes the country answers.