Trump submits written answers to Mueller's questions

President Donald Trump speaks to the media prior while departing the White
President Donald Trump speaks to the media prior while departing the White House on Nov. 20, 2018. Copyright Alex Wong Getty Images
Copyright Alex Wong Getty Images
By Allan Smith and Hallie Jackson with NBC News Politics
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Trump told reporters he finished answering the questions on Monday.


President Donald Trump's legal team submitted his written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller's questions on Tuesday, Trump attorneys Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani said in a Tuesday statement.

"It has been our position from the outset that much of what has been asked raised serious constitutional issues and was beyond the scope of a legitimate inquiry," Giuliani said in a statement. "This remains our position today. The President has nonetheless provided unprecedented cooperation. The Special Counsel has been provided with more than 30 witnesses, 1.4 million pages of material, and now the President's written responses to questions. It is time to bring this inquiry to a conclusion."

Earlier Tuesday, Trump told reporters outside the White House that his attorneys have his answers and assumed they would "turn them in today or soon."

The submission comes after months of jockeying between Mueller's team and the president's lawyers on what the president would provide investigators.

For months, the president's legal team pushed back on Trump answering questions related to possible obstruction of justice related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials, insisting the president would only answer questions on interference and collusion.

In his statement announcing the submission, Sekulow said the questions presented to them by Mueller "dealt with issues regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry."

The submission also comes amid what has been a lengthy back-and-forth between Trump and Mueller over whether the president will sit with the special counsel for an interview.

During a Sunday interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, Trump all but shut down the idea that he would sit for such an interview. Trump said he thought "we've wasted enough time on this witch hunt and the answer is probably, we're finished" after submitting written answers.

"We gave very, very complete answers to a lot of questions that I shouldn't have even been asked and I think that should solve the problem," Trump said. "I hope it solves the problem, if it doesn't, you know, I'll be told and we'll make a decision at that time. But probably this is the end."

In August,Trump's lawyers were already preparing a memo opposing a subpoena from Mueller to provide such an interview.

"We would move to quash the subpoena," Giuliani told The Washington Post at the time. "And we're pretty much finished with our memorandum opposing a subpoena."

If pursued, such a back-and-forth could set off a monumental legal fight in federal court, possibly going all the way to the Supreme Court.

Trump's lawyers have warned Trump against doing an in-person interview with Mueller, saying he could be setting up a "perjury trap" for the president. Others, meanwhile, have said the president couldn't possibly perjure himself if he told the truth.

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