Trump not considered a criminal target in Russia probe: report

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Robert Mueller - Fast Facts

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Special counsel Robert Mueller told attorneys for President Donald Trump last month that the president was not a criminal target in his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to a report from The Washington Post.

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Mueller told Trump's attorneys that the president was a subject in the investigation, meaning he is someone who "has engaged in conduct that is under investigation but (for whom) there is not sufficient evidence to bring charges," according to the Post.

The newspaper cited three unidentified sources familiar with the discussions, which reportedly took place as Mueller was privately negotiating with Trump’s attorneys for a possible interview with the president.

Explore>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation

The Post previously reported that Mueller discussed a possible interview during a late December meeting with the president's attorneys. An unidentified source told the newspaper that Trump believes such an interview would "put to rest questions about whether his campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election."

"Since the December meeting, they have discussed whether the president could provide written answers to some portion of the questions from Mueller’s investigators, as then-President Ronald Reagan did during the Iran-contra investigation," according to the newspaper. "They have also discussed the obligation of Mueller’s team to demonstrate they could not obtain the information they are seeking without interviewing the President."

>> Related: Comey told Trump 3 times he was not under investigation

Mueller’s investigation, launched in May 2017, has led to charges against several people connected to the Trump presidential campaign and its officials. The president’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has pleaded not guilty to a variety of money laundering and other criminal charges stemming from the probe. Five people -- including former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aides Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos -- have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

>> Related: Mueller could interview Trump in Russia probe: report

Thirteen Russians and three Russian organizations have also been indicted on charges of interfering in the election.

A judge on Tuesday handed down a 30-day jail sentence for Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwaan, who admitted in February to lying to investigators about his conversations with Gates and with an unidentified person linked to Russian intelligence, according to The Los Angeles Times.

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