UPDATE: The insinuation made by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer that the Russia investigation looking into possible collusion efforts by Trump’s 2016 campaign would end in September this year is completely made up, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Rudy Giuliani made comments indicating that special counsel Robert Mueller didn’t want to interfere with the midterm elections and thus wanted to wrap up the probe as soon as possible.
“You don't want another repeat of the 2016 election where you get contrary reports at the end and you don't know how it affected the election,” Giuliani said.
He also suggested that around a month ago Mueller’s office shared with him a timeline of how the rest of the investigation would go on.
But a source working with Mueller told Reuters that Giuliani’s assertions weren’t based in reality and seemed “entirely made-up.”
The source didn’t hold back any punches when it came to Giuliani’s false statement.
“[Mueller will] wrap it up when he thinks he’s turned over every rock, and when that is will depend on how cooperative witnesses, persons of interest and maybe even some targets are, if any of those emerge, and on what new evidence he finds, not on some arbitrary, first-of-the-month deadline one of the president’s attorneys cooks up,” the source said.
Why would Giuliani lie in this manner? He’s likely hoping, by setting up an arbitrary timeline, that the American people will grow bored of the investigation if it takes any longer than Sept. 1. If that happens, support for the ongoing Russia probe will dwindle, which may pressure the investigation to end earlier than it wants to.
In reality, more than three-quarters of Americans want Trump to cooperate with Mueller’s inquiry. The gimmickry and manipulations being spearheaded by Giuliani cannot be allowed to work — and the special counsel ought to be allowed to do his work, free from interference from Trump’s legal representation, in order to give the American people an accurate portrayal of what went down in 2016.
Just hours after President Donald Trump raged over special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into alleged Russia meddling in 2016 U.S. presidential election, his lawyer said the special counsel hopes to conclude Trump’s obstruction probe by Sept. 1, 2018.
According to Rudy Giuliani, Muller’s office shared its timeline about two weeks ago, however, the date of the possible conclusion is dependent on Trump’s interview with the investigative team. He added if they waited any longer, it could hurt the Republican Party in the upcoming mid-term elections.
"You don't want another repeat of the 2016 election where you get contrary reports at the end and you don't know how it affected the election," he said.
While trying to frame the outcome of obstruction of justice, he laid out a comparison between former FBI Director James Comey and Trump.
“We want the concentration of this to be on Comey versus the president’s credibility, and I think we win that and people get that,” he said.
Giuliani also targeted Comey and said he was an unreliable witness and said his he damaged his credibility during his recent book tours.
The obstruction of justice investigation into Trump began days after Comey was fired in 2017. According to the former FBI director, the president’s plea to drop the Flynn probe while he was alone with Comey in the Oval Office hinted there was some obstruction of justice.
By suggesting an end date to the probe, Giuliani is simply putting public pressure onto the special counsel to meet the deadline. Not only that, with his comments, he is also targeting Comey, who is the main witness in the obstruction investigation.
However, Giuliani is not a spokesperson of the special counsel and his comments are based on a mere impression he got after a discussion with Mueller.
The special counsel’s office has declined to comment.
In March, Mueller reportedly met with Trump’s lawyers and requested them to arrange an interview with the president.
His lawyers were reportedly worried he won’t be able to keep his facts straight, given his well-documented habit of lying and exaggerating things to an extreme, which could very well lead to perjury.
The newly-appointed lawyer also said he doesn’t see the interview happening unless the special counsel hands in information about an alleged secret FBI source who gathered information by talking to Trump’s aides about alleged Russia ties.
He also said the interview at this point would be a distraction and would require a great deal of preparation time that the president doesn’t have as has to meet the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, in June.
Even if the special counsel ends the obstruction case, it would be just one part of the broader inquiry that the team is conducting and it doesn’t mean Mueller has ended his probe into the alleged Russia meddling.
Yeah, because we know Robert Mueller always speaks through his spokesman Rudy Giuliani. https://t.co/h0k3AZbitX— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) May 20, 2018
Rudy Giuliani is not a spokesperson for Robert Mueller pic.twitter.com/ZMWjO4TeEA— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) May 20, 2018
Rudy Giuliani confirms to me Robert Mueller told him about a month ago that the investigation could be wrapped up by September. However he says it was in the context of a discussion about whether President Trump would do an interview- aka a negotiating tactic— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) May 20, 2018
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Joshua Roberts