Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential elections has resulted in charges being pressed against chief Trump campaign members and close associates to the president have been brought in for questioning, however, Ivanka Trump has been curiously absent in the investigation.
A report from Politico has addressed Mueller's strategy and his decision to steer clear of the first daughter, who has taken on a legitimate governmental role in her father's administration. According to the media outlet, it is a sort of “don't poke the bear until you have to” tactic.
Furthermore, going after Ivanka Trump would likely act as a catalyst for Trump's fury.
“Mueller would know that trying to interview Ivanka Trump would be like lighting a match to the highly combustible Donald Trump,” Elizabeth de la Vega, a former federal prosecutor who reported directly to Mueller said. “The team would want to wait to the last possible moment, if at all, before taking that step.”
Former Justice Department officials and legal experts stated that it would be risky due to two reasons. First, it would give the public a negative taste and a perception that the investigation is so dry that it must resort to harassing the president's family. Second, it is too probable that the president would “go nuclear.”
The anticipated reaction from the president ranges from distributing pardons to firing the special counsel.
“In a typical criminal investigation, it’s costless to talk to her, other than your time,” said one former Justice Department official. “But this would not be costless, and that would factor into your calculus: How essential do we think she is? What’s the downside risk of talking to her?”
Ivanka Trump has been present in several meetings of interest.
Notably, the president's daughter listened to a discussion about the fallout of Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian official promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
“She’s involved in everything,” said one former White House adviser.
Politico adds that only Ivanka's Washington enemies have been actively asking questions about her absence in Mueller's investigation.
While the Russia probe is tiptoeing around the first daughter, Mueller is gearing up for a potential interview with President Trump. On Monday, The New York Times published a report that contained a list of questions that Mueller allegedly is planning on asking the president during the interview.
The questions listed ranged in topics from Trump's business dealings to his relationships with former campaign staff.
Of course, the president has continued to call the investigation a “witch hunt.” Trump remarked on the list by calling it “disgraceful.”