Mueller says Trump isn't a criminal target, but that could change

And it was then it was learned that Mueller's office had recently told the president's lawyers that Trump remains under investigation, but is not a criminal target, at least for now.

Longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who recruited Dowd, felt strongly that Trump needed a lawyer like Dowd who was not only experienced in complex white-collar investigations but would be respected by Mueller and viewed as a peer, said a person familiar with the process.

Rep. Trey Gowdy said Wednesday that President Trump should not be relieved just because the special counsel said he's not the target of the criminal investigation.

Mueller was tasked with examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race and whether anyone in the Trump campaign cooperated with the Kremlin.

Chaffetz, a Fox News contributor, was asked during an appearance on Fox & Friends whether Trump should "breathe a sigh of relief" now that The Washington Post has reported that Mueller does not yet have enough evidence to charge Trump with a crime. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Trump's legal team is reportedly anxious that the president could face a charge of "lying to investigators" should he agree to be interviewed. Whilst Robert Mueller may not consider President Trump a "criminal target" at present, he is far from done with the Russian Federation investigation. "To me it shows also the special counsel should never been appointed in the first place". "In effect, Robert Mueller told the Trump legal team that he is investigating the president's conduct but has not determined as yet whether the president has committed specific federal crimes".

"The president's personal risk is primarily on the impeachment front", noted Keith Whittington, a professor of politics at Princeton University. Trump and his team continue to believe there is no "there there" when it comes to the President's actions. He fired FBI Director James Comey in May after Comey told Congress that the bureau was investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians. A version of the memo filed in court showed that Rosenstein signed off on an investigation of whether Manafort "committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials" and of Manafort's work as an global political consultant in Ukraine before joining Trump's campaign. In lieu of an indictment, Mueller could write a report savaging Trump.

One key skill an experienced defense lawyer could bring to Trump is preparing him for an interview to make sure he has an answer ready for any likely question.

However, Sekulow and Cobb gave the president the opposite advice as Dowd: that it would be politically hard for Trump to refuse to answer questions after insisting for months there was no collusion or crime, according to three people familiar with their advice.

Though targets tend to be people the government is gathering evidence against with the goal of prosecuting, subjects have a much looser, broader definition.

Sharman pointed out that "a subject rarely does himself or herself a favor by agreeing to an interview or testifying in a grand jury".

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