Trump lawyer: President's Mueller interview should be secret

President Trump’s personal lawyer on Monday said the president’s written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller should not be made public.

“I would fight very aggressively for that information to not to be released,” Jay Sekulow said on CNN’s “New Day” in one of several morning-show interviews he gave Monday. “You’d have to weigh a lot of factors there on how that affects other presidencies. So I think it’s not a simple ‘just waive your hand and here’ we release the document. That would be very inappropriate.”

Sekulow conceded that ultimately it would be up to Attorney General William Barr to decide whether to release Trump’s written answers to Mueller.

RELATED: Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen

18 PHOTOS
Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen
See Gallery
Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives to appear before Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen drives after leaving his hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives at Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York.

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, talks to reporters as he departs after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for National Security Advisor, Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry talk with each other in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Cohen, center, a personal attorney for President Trump, leaves Hart Building after his meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election was postponed on September 19, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives to Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York.

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney arrives with his attorney, Stephen M. Ryan to speak with reporters after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, White House national security adviser-designate, from left, Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, and Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, speak in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had the 'highest confidence' in the intelligence community, in sharp contrast to President-elect Donald Trump's attack on the CIA after reports it found that the Russian government tried to help him win the presidency.

(Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, looks on as his attorney (not pictured) delivers a statement to reporters after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives to Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York.

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Cohen, center, a personal attorney for President Trump, leaves Hart Building after his meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election was postponed on September 19, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is pictured leaving a restaurant in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, arrives with his attorney, Stephen M. Ryan, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is pictured arriving at his hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy
Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, departs after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

“That will be a decision the attorney general makes,” Sekulow said, “but I have some strong opinions about that.”

In a four-page summary of the special counsel’s still-confidential report, Barr stated that Mueller did not find any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller, though, did not come to a conclusion on the question of whether Trump obstructed justice, Barr said.

“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Barr wrote in his synopsis of the report.

[Full text: Barr’s letter to Congress summarizing the Mueller report]

Mueller, whose team interviewed hundreds of witnesses — including Trump campaign officials and associates — as part of the two-year probe, had sought to interview Trump himself. Sekulow and others successfully negotiated to have the president give written answers to Mueller’s questions about collusion but not obstruction of justice.

The responses were submitted on Nov. 20.

Last week Trump said that Mueller’s report should be made public.

“Let it come out, let people see it,” the president told reporters. “Let’s see whether or not it’s legit.”

Even if the report is eventually made public, presumably with redactions for security purposes, it’s not known whether it would include any or all of the responses Sekulow wants to keep hidden, excerpts from them or a summary.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump is “fully open to transparency” and that she doesn’t think the president has any problem with releasing the report.

But she said the decision would be up to Barr and stopped short of committing to the release of a complete report.

“We want to make sure we protect the office of the presidency,” Sanders said.

_____

Read more from YahooNews:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.