Mueller is homing in on the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lawyer and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice

Robert Mueller. Andrew Burton/Getty Images
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller has requested an interview with Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for President Donald Trump’s legal team.
  • Corallo resigned in July 2017, shortly after it emerged that Trump dictated an initially misleading statement his son released in response to reports that he met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer in June 2016.
  • Mueller’s interest in talking to Corallo signals that he is drilling down on the obstruction-of-justice thread of the Russia investigation.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has requested an interview with the former spokesman for President Donald Trump’s legal team, Business Insider has learned.

According to a person with knowledge of the matter, Mueller’s team has requested to interview Mark Corallo, who served as the Trump legal team spokesman until July 2017. The interview will take place within the next two weeks.

Mueller is likely to ask Corallo about the events leading up to his resignation, which took place just two weeks after Trump reportedly crafted a misleading statement that his son, Donald Trump Jr., released following reports he met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign.

Mueller’s interview request was first reported by ABC News.

Trump Jr.’s first statement about the meeting said its purpose was to discuss “a program about the adoption of Russian children.”

But then The New York Times reported that Trump Jr. actually agreed to meet the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, after she promised him damaging information about 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Trump reportedly dictated the misleading statement while on board Air Force One on his way back from the G-20 summit on July 8. The president’s aides urged him to draft a truthful statement that could not be repudiated if more details about the meeting emerged, but he overruled them, The Washington Post reported last year.

Earlier this month, author Michael Wolff claimed in his controversial book,”Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” that Corallo resigned because he viewed Trump’s interference as possible obstruction of justice.

“Corallo, seeing no good outcome – and privately confiding that he believed the meeting on Air Force One represented a likely obstruction of justice – quit,” Wolff wrote.

Wolff has been accused of embellishing his writing, and the White House has disputed many of the claims he made in the book.

Mueller’s potential interview with Corallo would come at a pivotal time in the Russia investigation.

A series of dramatic developments in recent days – including the resignation of deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe and a vote by Republicans to publicly release a classified memo allegedly detailing evidence of anti-Trump bias in the FBI and the Justice Department – have renewed concerns that Mueller’s investigation could unravel amid Republicans’ intensifying criticism.