The FBI raid of the office of President Donald Trump’s attorney caused the President’s team to back off presenting a proposal they were preparing for special counsel Robert Mueller about an interview with the President, according to sources familiar with the matter. Trump’s legal team is now re-evaluating what, if any, interview the President should offer.
The raid happened at the same time Trump’s attorneys were meeting to get ready to make a proposal about his testimony to the special counsel.
News of the raid Monday blindsided Trump’s lawyers, who considered the move a “major breach of trust” that shattered the assumptions of good faith going into the negotiations, one source said. Another said it left them feeling “fundamentally misled.”
The lapse of trust could be insurmountable: The previous assumptions about wrapping up the investigation with a presidential interview about a finite number of topics no longer seem to be true, according to a source.
Trump’s attorneys felt Mueller’s team never told them there was going to be “a whole bucket of other stuff” to be investigated at another office, one source said.
But the attorneys went ahead with their previously planned meeting with Mueller’s team, as CNN has reported.
The attorneys had gone to the meeting ready to discuss details about how long Trump would sit for an interview and the subject matter he would discuss. The premise of the proposal by the President’s team was a single interview, a source said.
Another source described the discussions with Mueller’s team as an effort to collect information they could give Trump so that he could make an informed decision on whether to do an interview.
This source said the raid was a “massive departure from the mandate.”
Trump’s attorneys are now re-evaluating whether their client should testify, and no final decisions have been made.
There have been communications with Mueller’s team since the raid, a source says, but not substantive. At this point, the source says, there is not much to talk about.
Asked for comment, Ty Cobb, the White House special counsel, said Thursday that it is “untrue” that talks have broken off but would not speak further about it.
Trump’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, declined to comment.