Trump will not answer any more questions from Russia probe's Mueller, says lawyer Giuliani

Trump talks to reporters as Vice-President Mike Pence looks after addressing a closed Senate Republican policy lunch.
Trump talks to reporters as Vice-President Mike Pence looks after addressing a closed Senate Republican policy lunch.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Donald Trump's legal team told special counsel Robert Mueller that the United States President will not answer any more questions in the probe of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Wednesday (Jan 9).

Mr Trump submitted written answers to questions from Mr Mueller in late November.

In an interview with Reuters, Mr Giuliani said Mr Mueller raised the possibility of follow-up questions but that the President's outside legal team told the special counsel before Christmas that Mr Trump would not respond.

Mr Trump's lawyers and Mr Mueller's team have had no contact since then, Mr Giuliani said.

"As far as we're concerned, everything is over," Mr Giuliani told Reuters. "We weren't convinced they had any questions they don't know the answer to."

Mr Giuliani said the ball was now in the special counsel's court.

"They could try to subpoena him if they want," he said. "But they know we could fight that like hell."

Mr Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mr Mueller, declined to comment.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to try to tip it towards Mr Trump by undermining Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump has denied any collusion with Moscow, and Russia has said it did not meddle in the election.

It is not clear when the special counsel will wrap up his probe. Mr Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign since he was appointed in May 2017.

The term of the Washington DC grand jury Mr Mueller is using was recently extended.

The President's lawyer said it was time for the special counsel to issue his report.

"Put up or shut up," Mr Giuliani said. "We challenge you to do it."

Mr Mueller is expected to send a confidential report on his findings to the Justice Department at the conclusion of his work.

The report could ultimately be made public.