Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has raised the likelihood with President Trump’s legal team that his office will seek an interview with the president, triggering a discussion among his attorneys about how to avoid a sit-down encounter or set limits on such a session, according to two people familiar with the talks.
Mueller brought up the issue of interviewing Trump during a late December meeting with the president’s lawyers, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow. Mueller deputy James Quarles, who oversees the White House portion of the special counsel investigation, also attended.
The special counsel’s team could interview Trump very soon on some limited portion of questions — possibly within the next several weeks, according to a person close to the president who was granted anonymity to describe internal conversations.
“This is moving faster than anyone really realizes,” the person said. Trump is comfortable participating in an interview and believes it would put to rest questions about whether his campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election, the person added.
However, the president’s attorneys are reluctant to allow him to sit down for open-ended, face-to-face questioning without clear parameters, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
Ya think? The only way this happens is if Trump’s hubris gets the better of his judgment. Because if he’s actually questioned? Hoo, boy.
* Nick Miroff and David Nakamura report that the Trump administration’s effort to rid the country of as many immigrants as possible is proceeding apace:
In one of its most significant immigration decisions, the Trump administration said Monday that it will terminate the provisional residency permits of about 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the country since at least 2001, leaving them to face deportation.
The administration said it will give the Salvadorans until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the United States or find a way to obtain a green card, according to a statement Monday from the Department of Homeland Security. After earthquakes hit the country in 2001, Salvadorans were granted what is known as Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, and their permits have been renewed on an 18-month basis since then.
Monday’s announcement was the latest Trump administration measure aimed at reducing legal immigration to the United States and intensifying efforts to expel those who arrived illegally.
And there are 190,000 U.S.-born children of Salvadorans in the TPS program, American citizens all. They’ll be faced with a choice of staying here without their parents or returning with them to a dangerous, poor country they’ve likely never seen.
* Suzy Khimm reports that the number of occupational safety inspectors has fallen since Trump took office. Pretty soon it’ll be just like the good old days, when if a worker fell into the deboning machine, you just said a quick prayer for his soul and kept on packing those sausages.
* Sean McElwee and Colin McAuliffe crunch some new data to show why Democrats should enthusiastically run against the GOP tax bill.
* Jonathan Rauch explains that it is already established that Trump and his advisers did collaborate with the Russians to undermine our democracy, and urges us to face this with moral clarity.