Who Leaked—And Why—the Dozens of Questions Mueller Wants to Ask Trump?

Home / Who Leaked—And Why—the Dozens of Questions Mueller Wants to Ask Trump?

Did Trump’s own legal team leak the questions that the president is so upset about on Tuesday morning?

While it appeared that perhaps nobody ever told President Donald Trump the old adage of the cover up being worse than the crime, the president on Tuesday morning announced, “It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened!”

Capping the early-morning tweet off with his favorite new word—”Witchhunt!”—the statement follows reporting by the New York Times on Monday evening which revealed “more than four dozen questions” Special Counsel Robert Mueller had told Trump’s legal team it would like to ask Trump.

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Read the full list of questions here.

As the Times reports:

According to the Times‘ Matt Appuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt, the list of questions “show the special counsel’s focus on obstruction of justice and touch on some surprising other areas.”

Appearing on the Rachel Maddow Show late Monday, Schmidt offered some of the background on the questions and how they materialized:

While the actual substance of the questions appeared to surprise few people who’ve followed the case closely, notable about the emergence of the questions, was the source of the leak. In an earlier tweet by Trump on Tuesday morning, the president called it “disgraceful” they had been leaked to the press.

But so far, all indications suggest that it was likely not Mueller’s office, but a member of Trump’s own legal team, or an associate, that disclosed the questions to the Times.


“It appears the leak did not come from Mueller’s office,” the Washington Post reported on Tuesday morning.

While Mueller’s investigation has team has so far proven adept at preventing leaks, this set of questions was reportedly generated by Mueller’s investigative team in conjunction with Trump’s lawyers during a process between the two camps. That fact, in turn, has prompted obvious questions about who exactly leaked them to the Times—and, more importantly why.

As Margaret Hartmann, staff reporter for New York Magazine, writes:

But why?

According to Hartmann and other observers, the target of the leak could be both Trump himself—who has been in a relatively public battle with his lawyers over whether or not to sit for an “under oath” interview with Mueller’s team—or the public at large, who may be susceptible to the argument that Mueller’s questions go beyond the scope of his mandate.

Of course, writes Hartmann, “maybe it’s possible Mueller’s questions were leaked to accomplish multiple goals.”

And, she concludes, “Maybe the plan was to make [Fox News personality Sean Hannity] even angrier than usual, and let him convince Trump, his House allies, and other Fox News viewers that Mueller can’t be allowed to ask the president to explain himself.”

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