A former ethics lawyer to George W Bush has warned Donald Trump there will be “no more games” and “no more lies”, after it emerged the FBI plans to question the President as part of its investigation in to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Richard Painter, who served in the White House from 2005 to 2007, said it was time for the billionaire businessman to “tell the truth”.
His comments came as reports emerged special prosecutor Robert Mueller is reportedly seeking to interview Mr Trump about the firing of FBI director James Comey and national security advisor Michael Flynn.
Mr Mueller’s investigation is looking into alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election and if Trump campaign figures were complicit. They are also seeking to understand if Mr Trump took steps to obstruct an FBI investigation into contacts between Russia and his 2016 campaign.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Painter said that Mr Trump “had better tell the truth and nothing but the truth.”
Much of the interview would “likely be face to face”, he said, adding that Mr “Mueller does not accept answers to his questions via Twitter. No more games. No more lies.”
Richard W. Painter
Trump had better tell the truth and nothing but the truth. And much of it will likely be face to face. Mueller does not accept answers to his questions via Twitter. No more games. No more lies. https://twitter.com/ABC/status/955938936530128896 …
6:32 PM – Jan 23, 2018
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already be questioned for hours in the special counsel’s probe, the Justice Department said.
The first Cabinet member known to have submitted to questioning, Mr Sessions is the investigation’s highest profile interviewee to date.
Earlier this week, Mr Trump said he was “not at all concerned” about what Mr Sessions may have told the Mueller team.
Were Mr Trump to submit to an interview with Mr Mueller, he would likely be asked about Mr Comey’s firing and interactions the fired FBI director said unnerved him, including a request from the president that he end an investigation into Mr Flynn.
White House attorney Ty Cobb said an interview with Mr Mueller is “under active discussion” with Mr Trump’s individual lawyers.
He expected the investigation to be wrapped up within weeks, he said.
“There’s no reason for it not to conclude soon,” he told CBS News. “Soon to me would be in the next four to six weeks.