President Donald 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.
Mueller, who is reportedly looking into Trump’s tweets for obstruction of justice, may have hit a gold mine with the POTUS recently ordering Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the probe “right now.”
..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, tried to defend the tweet saying the president was merely “expressing his opinion on his favored medium for asserting his First Amendment right of free speech” and not ordering the nations’ top most law official to end an investigation directly into him.
According to The New York Times report, Trump believes 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.
Negotiations between Trump’s legal team and the special counsel’s office have been going on for months, while the NYT sources claim, 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.
“We’re in the process of responding to their proposal,” Giuliani said regarding their response to the negotiations.
The president has reportedly called on his lawyers to contact Mueller’s team to set up the interview, which could lead him into legal trouble.
The move also shows Trump’s limited understanding that the interview would ultimately the draw the investigation to a close — which is highly unlikely. 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. Comey 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.
The president has long used his Twitter account to rally against the Russian investigation but his concerns seem to have fuelled after the start of the trial of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the release of an audio tape by former layer Michael Cohen where he and Trump can be heard discussing paying hush money to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
While Trump’s lawyers try to dissuade him from the interview, it is unlikely their client would listen to them if he has made up his mind.
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.
Banner / Thumbnail : REUTERS, Carlos Barria