Special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly threatened to subpoena President Donald Trump during a heated meeting with the president’s legal team, who insisted Trump was not obligated to speak directly with Mueller’s investigators.
The tense meeting happened in early March, the Washington Post reported.
What are the details?
According to the Post, under heavy objections from Trump’s legal team for the president to meet with Mueller’s team, the special counsel said he would subpoena Trump to testify before a grand jury if Trump refused to meet.
John Dowd, who served as Trump’s lawyer at the time, responded in force to Mueller’s threat.
"This isn’t some game. You are screwing with the work of the president of the United States,” Dowd reportedly told Mueller.
As the Post reported, the contentious meeting led to a few rough weeks for Trump’s legal team, which mostly played out on the national stage. As the team of lawyers strategized how to best deal with Mueller’s request for a meeting, Dowd was ultimately forced out.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is now leading Trump’s legal team. He told the Post he’s hopeful Mueller’s investigation will soon come to an end but stressed that “important decisions” will be made in the coming weeks.
Are relations between Mueller and Trump’s team still on ice?
After Dowd’s exit, relations appear to be improving.
According to the Post, Mueller’s team sent Trump’s team a list of 16 subjects the special counsel wanted to interview Trump about. Jay Sekulow, another Trump attorney, has since derived 49 possible questions Mueller could ask Trump from the provided subjects.
The New York Times reported on that list of questions Monday.
However, the Post noted Trump’s team is still frustrated over the special counsel’s apparent focus on whether or not Trump obstructed justice when he pushed for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign last year.
For his part, Trump is upset over the "breadth of questions" Mueller is interested in asking him.