Special Counsel Robert Mueller will accept written answers from Donald Trump on whether his campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 US election.
However, Mueller is not ruling out a follow-up interview with the President, it emerged last night.
Mueller’s offer to accept written responses from Trump was detailed in a letter that Trump’s lawyers received on Friday, as first reported by the New York Times.
Trump’s legal team and Mueller’s investigators have been negotiating for months over whether Trump will be formally interviewed in the probe.
After receiving the written responses, Mueller’s investigators would decide on a next step, which could include an interview with Trump, the person said.
The news came amid claims Trump’s lawyer John Dowd staged a practice session in case the President was called to interview with Mueller.
Trump was reportedly so bad under tough questioning from his own lawyer, Dowd told the President: “Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit.”
When Trump protested, insisting he’d be a “real good witness”, Dowd reportedly told him “Mr President, I just can’t help you.” Dowd resigned the next morning.
The claims emerged from veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book ‘Fear’.
Another area of interest to Mueller’s office is whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation, but it was not clear how any possible questions on that subject might be handled.
A spokesman for Mueller’s office declined to comment. Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential race, seeking to tilt the vote in Trump’s favour.
Russia has denied interfering in the election. Trump has said there was no collusion and has called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt.”