Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow acknowledged in a written statement this afternoon that Donald Trump and his legal team have submitted responses to written questions posed to them by special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, including what assistance those Russian government efforts may have had from persons inside the United States—or on Donald Trump’s own campaign team.
“The President today answered written questions submitted by The Special Counsel’s Office. The questions presented dealt with issues regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry. The President responded in writing,” Jay Sekulow, Counsel to the President told ABC News in a statement.
The two sides had been locked in dispute over which questions Donald Trump could be asked and which he would answer; after months of incendiary statements from Trump’s legal teams, they came to a tentative agreement to answer questions specifically about potential Russian contacts and collusion, while still insisting that Trump need not answer questions related to potential obstruction of justice for his apparent acts to stall or shutter that investigation. In a separate statement, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani continued to grouse that “much of what has been asked raised serious constitutional issues and was beyond the scope of a legitimate inquiry. This remains our position today.”
Today’s written responses may have little impact in the overall probe—unless investigators determine that Trump lied in his answers. Because investigators have the cooperation of multiple members of Trump’s inner circle, including longtime legal fixer Michael Cohen and former White House counsel Don McGahn, it is no small threat. Likewise, Trump’s answers will likely do little if anything to lessen the legal jeopardy that many of his top campaign members, including Donald Trump Jr., find themselves in after the revelation that they met with Russian government-sent agents to discuss a plan to reveal incriminating information about his presidential opponent during the height of a Russian espionage effort to search for and tactically expose such materials.