In a confidential letter obtained by The New York Times, lawyers for President Trump reveal their legal strategy and inform special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump will not comply with requests for an interview.
In the letters, Trump's lawyers sternly oppose attempts by Mueller's office to interview him, saying "under our system of government, the president is not readily available to be interviewed".
Trump weighed in on Saturday on Twitter, asking, "Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media?"
The letter also provides new details about Trump's actions in dealing with the Russian Federation probe.
The lawyers deny then-FBI Director James Comey's claim that Trump asked him to see his way clear to "letting Flynn go" after warning that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence about talking with Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Mueller has requested an interview with the president to determine whether he had criminal intent to obstruct the investigation into his associates' possible links to Russia's election interference.
In the June 23, 2017 letter from Marc Kasowitz, one of Trump's longtime personal attorneys, he makes numerous same points, arguing there was no basis for an obstruction charge and the president, as Comey said, has the power to fire anyone when he so chooses.
But Trump's lawyers have always been wary of allowing him to testify before Mueller.
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I think it's so cute, that this president thinks that attorney generals are supposed to be their personal lawyers. Either there really is nothing at all to Spygate and Trump is just trying to undermine the Mueller investigation.
Multiple times throughout the letter, Trump's lawyers appear trying to discredit Comey as a witness.
Rudy Giuliani, attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, applauds as he attends the White House Sports and Fitness Day event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 30, 2018.
Trump's lawyers also argued that the president could not have obstructed justice by firing Comey several months later.
According to the Times, the letter was hand-delivered to the special counsel's office in January and sets the stage for a potential subpoena fight. And he said the legal team was leaning against having Trump be interviewed by Mueller's investigators.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
In a statement, Mueller's office said its spending was "within the approved budget", Politico reported. In fact, Donald Trump Jr. had accepted the meeting after being told the lawyer would provide dirt about Clinton.
But the former New York City mayor suggested that he did not entirely agree with the letter's premise that a president could never be charged with obstruction of justice.