Does Donald Trump really want to take on Special Counsel Robert Mueller mano a mano? For eight months, the president’s attorneys have been dancing back and forth with the answer: yes, no, maybe. This may be the real answer.
The president’s TV attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said that they have given the man investigating the Trump campaign for conspiring with the Russians an answer. Yet, one of POTUS other attorneys, Jay Sekulow, said that even though they sent an answer, he would not say what that answer was.
Giuliani pointed out that the White House had given Mueller’s team plenty of documents. Then, The New York Times reported that the TV attorney wanted to end it all:
‘We’re restating what we have been saying for months: It is time for the Office of Special Counsel to conclude its inquiry without further delay.’
It appeared that the president’s attorneys did not like the special counsel’s terms this time around. However, they did counter with an offer of narrower questions.
In Mueller’s latest offer, he suggested a different format for his interview. He was interested in a number of issues, especially about those about the commander-in-chief’s circle of friends and associates and their Russian contacts.
The special counsel also wanted to go into any coordinated efforts between the campaign and Moscow. In addition, Mueller was interested in anything Trump may have done that would be considered obstruction of justice. That would include POTUS firing former FBI director, James Comey.
According to the Times, Trump’s attorneys wanted questions about obstruction of justice off-limits. Trump’s people requested written answers only, originally. Then, they said he would answer questions about the campaign, but anything from his time in office was privileged information.
One of Trump’s attorney’s biggest worries is that the president, who has been given to grandiosity, would end up committing the crime of perjury. People around the president indicated that Mr. Trump believes that he is innocent of any crime, and if he could only speak to Mueller, he could convince the special counsel of his innocence.
It is possible that Mueller will decide that the president has been negotiating in bad faith, just stringing him along. The special counsel told POTUS’ attorneys that he would subpoena the president to appear before a grand jury, if necessary.
Those who know Mueller professionally say that he will likely use every tactic at hand to entice Trump to appear voluntarily. However, he would have no problem subpoenaing him.
At least a few of the president’s attorneys thought that Mueller was just bluffing about the subpoena. They fully believed he would not risk taking the issue to court and losing, because they suggested that might undermine the credibility of the entire investigation. Others disagreed with this assumption.
Mueller led the FBI from 2001 and 2013, and has led a remarkably tight ship with no leaks to the press throughout the entire investigation. Conversely, Trump’s White House has leaked more than other administrations.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.