“Anne will not return voluntarily to the United Kingdom to face a potential jail sentence for what was a terrible but unintentional accident”, lawyer Amy Jeffress said in a statement.
Briefing notes for a press conference on Wednesday, caught on camera by a Washington Post photographer, told the president: “(If raised) Note, as Secretary Pompeo [the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo] told Raab [the UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab], that the spouse of the US government employee will not return to the United Kingdom.”
Another of Trump’s talking points said it would be up to Sacoolas to decide whether to talk to British investigators. “(If raised) Note the spouse of the US government employee will have to consider, based on the advice of her legal counsel, whether to make herself available for questioning by British authorities,” the briefing said.
However, when asked about the case at the press event, Trump did not read from the notes but improvised without giving a straight answer.
“It is a very complex issue, as you know,” Trump said in a rambling reply. “So a young man was killed. The person that was driving the automobile has diplomatic immunity. We’re going to speak to her very shortly and see if we can do something. It was an accident … We’re going to speak to her and see what we can come up with so there can be some healing.”
Earlier on Wednesday Downing Street said Boris Johnson had asked Trump in a phone call to waive immunity for Sacoolas, and Dunn’s family announced they would start a civil action to try to force her back to the UK for questioning. UK officials are privately pessimistic about the US relenting.
The family had a 45-minute meeting with Raab that they said had left them frustrated and feeling like it had “just been a publicity stunt”.
The Foreign Office said it was in no doubt that Sacoolas’s family was covered by diplomatic immunity under the Vienna convention, and that it could not challenge that fact. But read this, the US has revoked immunity before, a few times actually…