Bloomberg / YouTube Why Robert Mueller Is the Perfect...
Bloomberg / YouTube

The New York Times has gotten hold of a list of dozens of questions that special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly wants to ask of Donald Trump. Many of them appear to be an attempt to discern what Trump’s frame of mind was when he took certain actions related to the Russia probe, such as firing James Comey or trying to fire Mueller himself. But honestly, it’s a grab bag of stuff also probing everything from collusion to Trump’s business deals and more. The Times writes:

They deal chiefly with the president’s high-profile firings of the F.B.I. director and his first national security adviser, his treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

But they also touch on the president’s businesses; any discussions with his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, about a Moscow real estate deal; whether the president knew of any attempt by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to set up a back channel to Russia during the transition; any contacts he had with Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime adviser who claimed to have inside information about Democratic email hackings; and what happened during Mr. Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.

The majority relate to possible obstruction of justice, demonstrating how an investigation into Russia’s election meddling grew to include an examination of the president’s conduct in office. Among them are queries on any discussions Mr. Trump had about his attempts to fire Mr. Mueller himself and what the president knew about possible pardon offers to Mr. [Michael] Flynn.

This story is still developing… surely there will be more parsing by Tuesday morning.

UPDATE: Among the most intriguing questions is whether Team Trump potentially solicited help from Russia in the campaign (rather than the other way around).

• What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?

This is one of the most intriguing questions on the list. It is not clear whether Mr. Mueller knows something new, but there is no publicly available information linking Mr. Manafort, the former campaign chairman, to such outreach. So his inclusion here is significant. Mr. Manafort’s longtime colleague, Rick Gates, is cooperating with Mr. Mueller.

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