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    Trump's Lawyers Advise President Refrain From Russia Probe Interview - Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump's legal team has advised the US leader to forgo a large-scale interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller conducting a special investigation into the alleged links between the Trump campaign and Moscow, The New York Times reported Monday.

    The lawyers are advising the president to hold back from the interview as Trump could be accused of lying to the investigation following the meeting with Mueller within the probe, the newspaper reported, citing four people familiar with the matter.

    The newspaper added that Trump's potential refusal to be interviewed by the special counsel could also have consequences and may result in numerous statements that the president was hiding some information and, subsequently, in the discussion of the issue by the Supreme Court.

    Last month, Trump stated that he was "looking forward" to being interviewed by Mueller, following which the media speculated the possible topics to be covered during the interview. The topics include questions about the president allegedly asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop his investigation against dismissed National Security Adviser Michael Flynn over his alleged links to Russia as well as questions about Trump’s reactions to Comey’s testimony, CNN reported.

    READ MORE: Trump Allegedly Sought Loyalty of Mueller's Boss in Russiagate

    The US president has previously dodged questions as to whether he would participate in the investigation into his campaign's alleged "collusion" with Russia, a claim he has repeatedly denied.

    Two separate investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the US election, which have been dubbed a "witch hunt" by Trump, are currently being conducted by the US Congress and by FBI Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. The Kremlin has refuted claims of Russian interference as "groundless."

    Mueller has charged four people involved with or related to Trump's campaign with a variety of crimes, but none of the cases unveiled nefarious US-Russian plots to keep Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, out of the White House.

    Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were indicted in October for charges unrelated to Trump's campaign and election. The former White House National Security Adviser was charged by Mueller for lying to the FBI about a meeting he had with a Russian ambassador, though not for the meeting itself. Former policy adviser to the Trump campaign George Papadopoulos was also charged with providing false statements to the FBI regarding his interactions with foreign nationals.

    NYT Asks to Unseal Secret Papers on Carter Page Wiretapping

    The New York Times newspaper asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to unseal secret documents on the wiretapping of US President Donald Trump's former campaign adviser Carter Page.

    "Movants respectfully request this Court to direct the publication of its orders authorizing the surveillance of Mr. Page and the application materials upon which they were issued, with only such limited redactions as may be essential to preserve information that remains properly classified notwithstanding the declassification and dissemination of the Nunes Memorandum," The New York Times’ letter said.

    No materials on wiretapping have been disclosed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court since it was founded in 1978 under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

    READ MORE: Entire US Secret Court Application to Spy on Page Should Go Public — Lawmaker

    Last week, the Intelligence Committee of the US House of Representatives released a declassified memo authored by the committee's chairman, Devin Nunes. Nunes' memo alleges that FBI and Justice Department officials were politically biased against Trump as they began their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and its relationship with the Trump campaign. The memorandum showed that the FBI and the Justice Department gained a permit to wiretap Page.

    US media from time to time accuse Page of having links to the Russian intelligence services, claiming that the latter tried to recruit him in 2013, when Page served as an energy consultant. Author of an anti-Trump dossier, Christopher Steele also claimed that Page visited Russia in July 2016, where he allegedly met with Rosneft oil giant's CEO Igor Sechin. This information was refuted by Page. On Sunday, the Time media outlet reported that Page had assisted Russia in its G20 presidency in 2013.


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