Trump lawyers prepare answers to questions in Russia investigation: source

© Reuters. Rudy Giuliani is seen in front of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, presenting his candidate for the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s lawyers are preparing answers to questions for the U.S. special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The development, first reported by CNN, appears to show progress after several months of conversations between special counsel Robert Mueller and Trump’s legal team in relation to the president answering questions in the investigation.

Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said last month that Mueller wanted the president to commit to a follow-up interview on any written questions, a position that Trump’s legal team resisted.

The question of a possible interview has not yet been resolved. But the source told Reuters Mueller was willing to accept written answers to questions without a commitment from Trump’s lawyers about what will come next.

A spokesperson for Mueller declined to comment.

In an interview on Tuesday, Giuliani told Reuters: “We are not prepared to accept any more questions until the first set of questions is asked and answered and someone can explain to us why that is not enough.”

Giuliani reiterated that Trump would be willing to answer questions about whether his campaign had colluded with Moscow to influence the 2016 election, but not whether it had acted to obstruct the Russia investigation. Mueller is investigating both.

In an NBC News interview last year, Trump linked his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey to the investigation into meddling in the Russian elections. At the time of his shot, Comey was leading the probe.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the election in an attempt to tilt it toward Trump and away from its Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Moscow has denied any interference, while Trump has denied any collusion with Russia and any obstruction of justice.

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