The open-ended queries appear to be an attempt to penetrate the president’s thinking, to get at the motivation behind some of his most combative Twitter posts and to examine his relationships with his family and his closest advisers. They deal chiefly with the president’s high-profile firings of the F.B.I. director and his first national security adviser, his treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
But they also touch on the president’s businesses; any discussions with his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, about a Moscow real estate deal; whether the president knew of any attempt by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to set up a back channel to Russia during the transition; any contacts he had with Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime adviser who claimed to have inside information about Democratic email hackings; and what happened during Mr. Trump’s 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.
The Mueller team does not leak inadvertently, and the first rule they teach you in law school (or so I’m told) is, “Never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to.” I’m willing to bet that this was done on purpose in order to bait the Trump team into saying something that could later be proven to be a lie and thereby get them on both obstruction and perjury.
Too bad that Mueller will probably never get a chance to ask them unless it’s in front of a grand jury.
Update: The Hill is reporting that the leaked questions may have come from the White House.
Michael Zeldin, a CNN legal analyst and former assistant to Robert Mueller, said Tuesday he believes President Trump leaked the list of nearly 50 questions the special counsel allegedly wants to ask Trump.
“I think these are notes taken by the recipients of a conversation with Mueller’s office where he outlined broad topics and these guys wrote down questions that they thought these topics may raise,” Zeldin said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“Because of the way these questions are written… lawyers wouldn’t write questions this way, in my estimation. Some of the grammar is not even proper,” he continued. “So, I don’t see this as a list of written questions that Mueller’s office gave to the president. I think these are more notes that the White House has taken and then they have expanded upon the conversation to write out these as questions.”
Hmm. That sounds plausible… not the leaking, but the typos.