President Donald Trump’s team of lawyers all currently lack the security clearance necessary to discuss sensitive issues related to a potential presidential interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.
According to two people familiar with the situation who spoke with Bloomberg, Trump’s former lawyer John Dowd — who resigned over disputes with the rest of the legal team about whether Trump should sit for an interview with Mueller — was the only lawyer on the team who had a security clearance.
Jay Sekulow replaced Dowd as the head of the legal team, but is still waiting for his security clearance to be approved, Bloomberg reported. Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer who processes requests from Mueller’s team, has a security clearance, but his role dictates that he represents the office of the presidency, not Trump himself. Cobb has not been involved in discussions with Mueller about a potential presidential interview, according to Bloomberg.
If Trump agrees to an interview, his lawyers would need a security clearance to discuss some questions that Mueller plans to ask Trump, namely a meeting that Trump had with Russian officials the day after he fired his former FBI director James Comey. Earlier this week, The New York Times published a list of questions that Trump’s legal team thinks Mueller will ask the President, based on conversations the lawyers had with Mueller’s team.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Mueller suggested in a March 5 meeting that he could subpoena Trump to appear before a grand jury if he refused an interview. Before Dowd resigned, Mueller’s prosecutors reportedly made it clear to Trump’s lawyers that Mueller would consider a presidential subpoena if Trump refused to participate in an interview, Dowd told Bloomberg.
Read Bloomberg’s full report here.