This week the media has, in addition to President Trump’s mental health, been obsessed with the idea that Robert Mueller was going to interview him. A good sample is this New York Times piece Mueller Interview With Trump Is Said to Be Likely.
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, told President Trump’s lawyers last month that he will probably seek to interview the president, setting off discussions among Mr. Trump’s lawyers about the perils of such a move, two people familiar with the discussion said on Monday.
No formal request has been made and no date has been set. White House officials viewed the discussion as a sign that Mr. Mueller’s investigation of Mr. Trump could be nearing the end. But even if that is so, allowing prosecutors to interview a sitting president who has a history of hyperbolic or baseless assertions carries legal risk for him. Mr. Mueller has already brought charges against four of Mr. Trump’s former aides. All face accusations of lying to the authorities.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers have long expected that Mr. Mueller would eventually ask to speak with the president. Ty Cobb, the senior White House lawyer on the case, has for months pledged full cooperation, saying Mr. Trump has nothing to hide in an investigation into whether his campaign worked with Russian operatives to try to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers are expected to try to set ground rules for any interview or provide answers to written questions. If Mr. Trump were to refuse outright to cooperate, Mr. Mueller could respond with a grand jury subpoena.
There are a few reasons for this excitement. It is pretty obvious that Mueller’s focus is on financial crimes and not on “collusion.” Two people who could be expected to be key witnesses if there was a “collusion” case (and I’m really not clear on what “collusion” looks like), George Papadopoulos and Mike Flynn, have been indicted for lying to federal agents thereby burning down a lot of their credibility with any jury. The worst fate that could befall the #Resistance would be for this year-long charade to end with a few financial crimes being prosecuted and Mueller saying “meh” to the rest and going home. Their fallback position is “obstruction,” which is pretty ridiculous on its face. The next best thing is to get Trump on the record engaging in Trumpian fantasy and hope that Mueller tries to indict him for lying to a federal agent and try to bootstrap that into impeachment. By the way, I can’t imagine Rod Rosenstein allowing Mueller to pursue a grand jury subpoena unless there is evidence that squarely ties Trump to something huge and I can’t imagine Trump, in that kind of danger, not ordering Mueller fired.
This question came up in today’s news conference with the prime minister of Norway and this is what President Trump had to say:
President Donald Trump says it “seems unlikely” that he’ll give an interview in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Trump says during a joint news conference with the prime minister of Norway that “we’ll see what happens” on whether he’ll provide an interview to Mueller’s team.
When asked if he’d be willing to be interviewed by Special Counsel Mueller, President Trump says, “There is no collusion … we’ll see what happens.” pic.twitter.com/J6mUUTsQGZ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 10, 2018
I can’t imagine a non-insane lawyer allowing Trump to talk to Mueller. Trump leads a rich fantasy life and often has exotic memories of events. Back during the 2016 election — this was before I was cast out of conservatism as a Trumpkin and Trumptard — I wrote about how Donald Trump’s own corporate lawyers operated with him. This is from a deposition one of his lawyers gave:
Trump has absolutely nothing to gain by agreeing to an interview with Mueller or anyone else associated with this investigation. As they say, no one has ever talked their way out of being arrested but a lot of people have talked their way into being arrested. That would be Trump’s problem. If he truly believes this investigation is a witch hunt, he should refuse to dignify it by cooperating. And he needs to tell Mueller to write his report and be done with it.