For almost a year, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Donald Trump's presidential campaign and potential Russian interference in the 2016 election. However, Mueller is nowhere near done carrying out his investigation. On Monday, The New York Times published a reported list of questions Mueller wants to ask Trump in the scope of his Russia investigation, and this extensive list addresses everything from former FBI Director James Comey and to the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia, which he has adamantly denied.
The questions focus largely on the possibility that Trump may have obstructed justice, but they also provide an overview of many of the things Mueller appears to be focusing on in his investigation. As Vox pointed out, the questions largely address controversies that are already publicly known, but Mueller seems to want to assess Trump's motivation for many of the decisions he has made as well as his personal relationships with high-profile figures like Comey, Sessions, his lawyer Michael Cohen, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The list of questions, which the Times reportedly obtained from a person outside Trump's legal team, is nonetheless one of the most revealing documents about Mueller's investigation, which has largely been conducted in secrecy. Moreover, though Mueller told Trump's attorney last month that the president is not currently a criminal target, The Guardian suggested that the questions affirm that Trump is still subject to investigation.
Trump has already lashed out on social media for the publication of Mueller's questions, which he described as "disgraceful."
You can find the full list of questions below, as originally published by the Times.
On Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn
- What did you know about phone calls that Mr. Flynn made with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, in late December 2016?
- What was your reaction to news reports on Jan. 12, 2017, and Feb. 8-9, 2017?
- What did you know about Sally Yates’s meetings about Mr. Flynn?
- How was the decision made to fire Mr. Flynn on Feb. 13, 2017?
- After the resignations, what efforts were made to reach out to Mr. Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?
On Former FBI Director James Comey
- What was your opinion of Mr. Comey during the transition?
- What did you think about Mr. Comey’s intelligence briefing on Jan. 6, 2017, about Russian election interference?
- What was your reaction to Mr. Comey’s briefing that day about other intelligence matters?
- What was the purpose of your Jan. 27, 2017, dinner with Mr. Comey, and what was said?
- What was the purpose of your Feb. 14, 2017, meeting with Mr. Comey, and what was said?
- What did you know about the F.B.I.’s investigation into Mr. Flynn and Russia in the days leading up to Mr. Comey’s testimony on March 20, 2017?
- What did you do in reaction to the March 20 testimony? Describe your contacts with intelligence officials.
- What did you think and do in reaction to the news that the special counsel was speaking to Mr. Rogers, Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Coats?
- What was the purpose of your calls to Mr. Comey on March 30 and April 11, 2017?
- What was the purpose of your April 11, 2017, statement to Maria Bartiromo?
- What did you think and do about Mr. Comey’s May 3, 2017, testimony?
- Regarding the decision to fire Mr. Comey: When was it made? Why? Who played a role?
- What did you mean when you told Russian diplomats on May 10, 2017, that firing Mr. Comey had taken the pressure off?
- What did you mean in your interview with Lester Holt about Mr. Comey and Russia?
- What was the purpose of your May 12, 2017, tweet?
- What did you think about Mr. Comey’s June 8, 2017, testimony regarding Mr. Flynn, and what did you do about it?
- What was the purpose of the September and October 2017 statements, including tweets, regarding an investigation of Mr. Comey?
- What is the reason for your continued criticism of Mr. Comey and his former deputy, Andrew G. McCabe?
On Attorney General Jeff Sessions And The Appointment Of A Special Counsel
- What did you think and do regarding the recusal of Mr. Sessions?
- What efforts did you make to try to get him to change his mind?
- Did you discuss whether Mr. Sessions would protect you, and reference past attorneys general?
- What did you think and what did you do in reaction to the news of the appointment of the special counsel?
- Why did you hold Mr. Sessions’s resignation until May 31, 2017, and with whom did you discuss it?
- What discussions did you have with Reince Priebus in July 2017 about obtaining the Sessions resignation? With whom did you discuss it?
- What discussions did you have regarding terminating the special counsel, and what did you do when that consideration was reported in January 2018?
- What was the purpose of your July 2017 criticism of Mr. Sessions?
- When did you become aware of the Trump Tower meeting?
- What involvement did you have in the communication strategy, including the release of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails?
- During a 2013 trip to Russia, what communication and relationships did you have with the Agalarovs and Russian government officials?
- What communication did you have with Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater and others, including foreign nationals, about Russian real estate developments during the campaign?
- What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding any meeting with Mr. Putin? Did you discuss it with others?
- What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding Russian sanctions?
- What involvement did you have concerning platform changes regarding arming Ukraine?
- During the campaign, what did you know about Russian hacking, use of social media or other acts aimed at the campaign?
- What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?
- What did you know about communication between Roger Stone, his associates, Julian Assange or WikiLeaks?
- What did you know during the transition about an attempt to establish back-channel communication to Russia, and Jared Kushner’s efforts?
- What do you know about a 2017 meeting in Seychelles involving Erik Prince?
- What do you know about a Ukrainian peace proposal provided to Mr. Cohen in 2017?
According to the Times, some of the most significant questions on this list pertain to Trump's personal opinion of Comey, his knowledge of Russian hacking, and his awareness of Paul Manafort's outreach to Russia. The last point is particularly noteworthy, The Hill reported, as Manafort has not yet publicly been linked to any such outreach.
But perhaps what is equally as significant is where these questions came from — something that has already prompted a great deal of speculation. A source reportedly told CNN that the final list of questions had actually not been compiled by the special counsel himself, but by Trump's legal team based on a topic discussion with Mueller. In other words, Mueller reportedly provided Trump's lawyers with questions he wanted answered, after which they then wrote up the extensive list published by the Times. The truth of that theory is unclear.
This source also reportedly confirmed the questions' accuracy to CNN. But if it was Trump's legal team that ultimately wrote up the list, New York Magazine suggested that the leak came from Trump's side, especially because Mueller's team is not known for leaking information. Many Twitter users have also argued that Trump's legal team released the questions to either stop Trump from doing an interview with Mueller, or to turn congressional and public opinion against him.
Wherever the questions did come from, they follow closely on the heels of speculation that Trump was considering firing Mueller, and they do seem to paint the clearest picture yet of the Russia investigation.