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

City council wraps up operational budget talks with a 2.15% municipal tax hike

Budget talks completed after eight days of deliberations

Reflecting on the impact of dementia in a loved one

January is Alzheimer Awareness Month

Red Deerians can weigh in on proposed Bighorn Country investment tonight

Telephone town hall takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Vibrant colours highlight newest exhibit at The Hub

‘Chaos to Calm’ by Cathy Fee runs through to the end of March

Neonatal nurse practitioner joins NICU care team

Babies requiring specialized care at Red Deer Hospital have extra set of hands caring for them

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

New market opens in downtown Ponoka

Makkinga Market had a soft opening showcasing many of the different foods in store

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

John Savage pleads guilty to manslaughter

Sentenced to 7 years for Stettler murder

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

UPDATED UCP MLA cries foul after brick thrown through office window

UPDATED St. Paul MLA Dave Hanson says ‘Over-the-top NDP rhetoric’ not based in reality

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Most Read