Bye Bye Mueller!
We are now getting various reports that there was a tense meeting sometime in March between special counsel Rober Mueller and President Trump’s lawyers.
In the meeting, the President’s attorneys argued that the president had no obligation whatsoever to talk to federal investigators who were probing the so-called “Russian collusion,” the Democrat party is accusing him of taking part in during the 2016 presidential campaign. But according to people familiar with the encounter Mueller responded by confirming he had another option, he could issue a subpoena for the president to appear before a grand jury.
This is the first time Mueller has mentioned any possible subpoena to Trump’s legal team. To which according to two people with knowledge of his comments the President’s lead lawyer John Dowd replied: “This isn’t a game, you are screwing with the work of the President of the United States.”
This confrontation is said to have come about after what has been described as weeks of turmoil amongst Trump’s attorneys as they debated how to best deal with the special counsel’s request for an interview. It is said that dispute was what led to Dowd’s resignation.
So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media. No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see…you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2018
The President’s new team is now being led by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. Who told The Washington Post last week that he views Mueller as the utmost professional, but at the same time is still reviewing documents and considering conditions he might set before deciding whether to recommend that Trump agrees to an interview.
“Hopefully we’re getting near the end. We all on both sides have some important decisions to make,” Giuliani said. “I still have a totally open mind on what the right strategy is, which we’ll develop in the next few weeks.”
President Trump almost agreed to meet with Mueller but after the Democrat-leaning Prosecutor raided Cohen’s office he soured on the idea. And rightly so considering whatever Cohen did when it came to the porn star Stormy Daniels had absolutely nothing to do with any Russian collusion which is what Mueller and the Democrat Party loyalists on his team are supposed to be investigating.
Here is more on this ongoing saga via The Daily Herald:
“In the meantime, Trump’s lawyers are also considering whether to provide Mueller with written explanations of the episodes he is examining. After investigators laid out 16 specific subjects they wanted to review with the president and added a few topics within each one, Sekulow broke the queries down into 49 separate questions, according to people familiar with the process.
Paul Rosenzweig, who worked as a senior counsel on independent counsel Ken Starr’s investigation during the Clinton administration, predicted that the president would face a long interview if the special counsel hewed to the list Sekulow compiled.
“This isn’t a list of 49 questions. It’s 49 topics,” Rosenzweig said. “Each of these topics results in dozens of questions. To be honest, that list is a two-day interview. You don’t get through it in an hour or two.”
For his part, Trump fumed when he saw the breadth of the questions that emerged out of the talks with Mueller’s team, according to two White House officials.
The president and several advisers now plan to point to the list as evidence that Mueller has strayed beyond his mandate and is overreaching, they said.
“He wants to hammer that,” according to a person who spoke to him Monday.
“Mueller is in Kenny Starr territory now,” said another Trump adviser, referring to how the controversial independent counsel investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s real estate deals in Arkansas ended up probing the president’s lies about a s*xual relationship with a White House intern.
Trump advisers are particularly frustrated by the Mueller team’s focus on whether Trump was obstructing justice by trying to push last summer for Sessions to resign. If the attorney general had stepped down, Trump could have chosen a replacement who was not recused from running the Russian investigation.
Dowd has repeatedly argued that the president has ultimate authority under the Constitution to fire or demote any of his appointees and that his firing decisions cannot be used as evidence of obstruction.
The revelation of the scope of the questions before the president’s team could further complicate recently renewed talks between the special counsel and Trump’s attorneys about a possible interview.
Last week, Giuliani met with Mueller to reopen negotiations for a presidential interview.
Giuliani conveyed the ongoing resistance of Trump and his advisers to a sit-down but did not rule out the possibility. Still, Trump remains strongly opposed to granting Mueller an interview — resistance fueled largely by the raids last month on the office and residences of his personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Trump’s anger over the Cohen raids spilled into nearly every conversation in the days that followed and continues to be a sore point for the president. One confidant said Trump seems to “talk about it 20 times a day.” Other associates said they often stand silent, in person or on the phone, as he vents about the Cohen matter, knowing that there is little they can say.
Alan Dershowitz, a well-known lawyer and Trump advocate, said Tuesday that it would be dangerous and unwise for Trump to agree to an interview.
“The strategy is to throw him softballs so that he will go on and on with his answers,” he said. “Instead of sharp questions designed to elicit yes or no, they make him feel very comfortable and let him ramble.”
In that setting, Dershowitz said, the prosecutors could catch Trump in a misstatement.
Should Mueller seek to compel Trump’s testimony using a subpoena, a legal battle could ensue that could delay the investigation and force the issue into the courts, potentially to the Supreme Court.
Trump’s team could argue that Mueller was seeking information about the president’s private conversations that are protected by executive privilege or that a grand jury interview would place an unnecessary burden on the president’s ability to run the country.”