Vice President Mike Pence may be tapped for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is spearheading an investigation to determine if the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, according to a report Tuesday.
Although Pence has maintained he was unaware former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn spoke with former Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak about U.S. sanctions, court filings unsealed last week, along with new information revealed about Trump’s knowledge of certain events, suggest many advisers knew of Flynn’s communications with Kislyak.
Pence oversaw Trump’s transition team and was aware that Flynn had contacted Russia, but was not informed about Flynn’s discussion about the sanctions, transition officials told CNN. As a result, those close to Pence are concerned Mueller will press Pence for an interview with his team.
"They are preparing for that," said an anonymous source close to Pence.
"Chairing the transition would make it possible regardless of who it was," another source added.
But Pence’s spokesperson denied that Pence is preparing for an interview with Mueller's team.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. The vice president is focused on passing the largest tax cut in American history,” Pence’s press secretary Alyssa Farah told CNN.
Lawmakers are also interested in hearing from Pence. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has called for Pence to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to provide insight into what he knew concerning Flynn’s contacts with Russians.
“I think he has new questions to answer,” Blumenthal said.
Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday in a federal court to lying to the FBI in January about his contacts with Kislyak. Flynn was charged on one count of “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI about communications exchanged with Kislyak shortly after Trump took office. Flynn said he is cooperating with Mueller.
Flynn was removed from his post at the White House earlier this year after it was revealed he misled Pence and other Trump officials about his sanctions-related communications with the Russians.
Former White House officials already interviewed by Mueller’s team this fall include former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer. Keith Kellogg, who served as interim national security adviser following the ouster of Flynn, also spoke to the Mueller team.