President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani made it clear that the commander-in-chief won’t be answering questions about obstruction of justice Mueller’s team.
Trump has long berated the Russian investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, so much so, he wants to go against his lawyers and sit in for an interview with the special counsel so that it could end.
The president thinks he can convince the special counsel that their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election is a “witch hunt” despite warnings from his lawyers — who fear the president will make contradictory statements if allowed to interview.
However, Giuliani’s recent statement is the most definitive rejection yet of special counsel’s efforts to interview the commander-in-chief.
“That's a no-go. That is not going to happen," and "there will be no questions at all on obstruction,” he said in the statement.
He further said, “We have said we would agree to written questions on Russia after we review questions but no further commitment on interviews. After we finish this we will assess it with no agreement to any post-presidential questions.”
The statement also once again makes it clear that Trump’s lawyers are wary of the idea of letting the president answer questions by the Mueller’s team about actions he took in office.
Despite the president’s legal team’s reservations, negotiations on the scope of the interview are still ongoing with Mueller’s team.
Negotiations between Trump’s legal team and the special counsel’s office have been going on for months, this time around Mueller has agreed to show flexibility on many of his terms, including accepting some answers in written from the president, they would be open to accept follow-up questions in person.
“It would be in written form and if you want to follow up on our answers, justify it. Show us why you didn’t get there the first time. We aren’t going to let them spring it on us,” he said.
Trump’s eagerness to sit in an interview with the special counsel’s team and his belief that the move would end the probe, shows how little he is aware of the entire situation.
After the interview takes place, that is if it takes place, investigators would eventually send their findings to lawmakers who would then decide the next step. Also, investigation into Trump is just a part of the investigation and not the Russian investigation as a whole.
However, Trump’s refusal to sit in for the interview could incite a prolonged court battle between the special counsel’s office and Trump’s legal team, which could very well disrupt his political image going right into the November midterm elections.
In the interview, if it happens, Mueller is likely to grill Trump over obstruction of justice especially related to the controversial firing of former FBI Director James Comey. The former FBI director claimed Trump pushed him to stop a probe into Michael Flynn, who has pleaded guilty of lying to the FBI and is cooperating with the Russian investigation.
In January, it was reported Trump wanted to do an interview with the special counsel under oath.
In fact, Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, resigned in March after the POTUS’ aggressive approach on the investigation and willingness to have a one-on-one interview with Mueller despite his warnings.
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