President Donald Trump is in somewhat of a lose-lose situation with regard to a possible interview with special counsel Robert Mueller - if he sits down to answer questions, he could incriminate himself. But if he foregoes an interview altogether, he risks appearing guilty or even a potential grand jury subpoena.
Attorneys for the president have counseled against a voluntary interview with Mueller, but it seems that Trump is eager to have his voice heard.
[Trump's] lawyers are concerned that the president, who has a history of making false statements and contradicting himself, could be charged with lying to investigators. Their stance puts them at odds with Mr. Trump, who has said publicly and privately that he is eager to speak with Mr. Mueller as part of the investigation into possible ties between his associates and Russia’s election interference, and whether he obstructed justice.
But not speaking with the special counsel also might bring Trump unwanted troubles:
Refusing to sit for an interview opens the possibility that Mr. Mueller will subpoena the president to testify before a grand jury, setting up a court fight that would drastically escalate the investigation and could be decided by the Supreme Court.
Rejecting an interview with Mr. Mueller also carries political consequences. It would be certain to prompt accusations that the president is hiding something, and a court fight could prolong the special counsel inquiry, casting a shadow over Republicans as November’s midterm elections approach or beyond into the president’s re-election campaign.
Currently, White House lawyer Ty Cobb is the only attorney voicing support for Trump taking an interview.
Since Mr. Cobb was hired in July, he has argued that the White House should do everything possible to cooperate with Mr. Mueller’s investigation.
A final decision on the matter is expected in the coming weeks.