Trump lawyers’ letter to Mueller challenges subpoena

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"In light of these voluntary offerings, your office clearly lacks the requisite need to personally interview the president", the letter read.

"We are reminded of our duty to protect the president and his office", they add.

Sekulow and Dowd, who has since resigned from Trump's legal team, also talk about the priorities and perception of the presidency.

"As you know, under our system of government, the president is not readily available to be interviewed", the lawyers wrote.

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But Trump's lawyers have always been wary of allowing him to testify before Mueller.

In an earlier tweet, Trump took what appeared to be a pre-emptive swipe at the Times report shortly before it ran that questioned whether Mueller's office or the Justice Department leaked letters from his lawyers.

"Can you believe that with all of the made up, unsourced stories I get from the Fake News Media, together with the $10,000,000 Russian Witch Hunt (there is no Collusion), I now have my best Poll Numbers in a year". However, there's no evidence that the letter leaked to the New York Times came from members of the special counsel. But someone should ask him who were the "policymakers" to whom he "reported" who decided not to tell candidate Trump about the Obama administration's investigation.

In all, the letter presents a broad view of presidential authority - and one the Times says could be challenged in court if Mueller does issue a subpoena to Trump.

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On both fronts, they have attacked the credibility of a key witness in the inquiry, the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey; complained about what they see as investigative failures; and contested the interpretation of significant facts. Trump's decision to dismiss the FBI director was an appropriate use of presidential power meant to exert oversight over the bureau as a result of its missteps in the 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, they wrote.

"Every action that the president took was taken with full constitutional authority pursuant to Article II of the United States Constitution", the letter states.

It also serves as a reminder that in weighing an obstruction case, Mueller is reviewing actions and conversations involving senior White House officials, including the president, the vice president, and the White House counsel. Guilty pleas, unrelated to "collusion", have been secured from Trump foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos, onetime national security adviser Michael Flynn, deputy campaign manager Rick Gates and others.

In the January 29 letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Trump's lawyers contended that the Constitution gives the president the power to "terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon", and that meant he could not illegally obstruct the investigation, the Times reported.

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Gary Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families, argues that "if the then-Senator Sessions his mind that he would not be able to oversee any investigation related to the charges about Russian Federation, he should have informed the president of that".