Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
Special counsel Robert Mueller warned President Donald Trump’s legal team that he could subpoena the president to testify before a grand jury if he refuses to appear voluntarily, according to a report from the Washington Post.
The remarks reportedly came in early March at a meeting described — unsurprisingly — as “tense.” Carol Leonnig and Robert Costa report that Trump’s legal team said the president had no obligation to answer Mueller’s questions — which were published in summary Monday by the New York Times.
“You are screwing with the work of the president of the United States,” Trump’s lawyer John Dowd reportedly said. Dowd since resigned from the president’s legal team.
Shortly after the Post broke the story, Reuters confirmed that Mueller raised the possibility of a subpoena, citing Dowd as the source for the story.
If Mueller attempts to subpoena the president and Trump tries to resist, the conflict could lead to a historic legal battle over the prerogatives of the presidency.
Most legal experts believe that a president can be forced to testify. However, the Supreme Court has never directly answered the question, and Trump may be inclined to fight it out in the courts. If push comes to shove, Trump might think he’s better off trying to fire Mueller — or perhaps even to defy the Supreme Court.
Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.
IMAGE: A view of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Carlos Barria