Special Counsel Robert Mueller may have to subpoena President Donald Trump if Rudy Giuliani is serious about heavily restricting the questions he can ask in an interview as part of the Russia investigation.
For months, Trump claimed that he would love to talk to Mueller, even going so far as to say he would talk to him under oath if his lawyers let him.
Well, Giuliani is not going to let him. Not only did Giuliani say on Thursday that any interview Trump does with Mueller can’t be under oath, but he also wants to limit how long the interview lasts and limit the scope of it as well by limiting what questions Mueller is allowed ask.
According to Reuters:
“Asked what questions might be appropriate, the lawyer Rudy Giuliani, a former New York mayor, suggested two to Reuters: ‘Was there some agreement with the Russians? Was there any meeting of Trump with the Russians?’
Giuliani said he wanted any Trump interview with Mueller to be limited in time and scope, suggesting for only 2-1/2 hours and not under oath.
In addition to the Russia questions, Giuliani said investigators could ask about possible obstruction of justice related to Trump’s firing a year ago of then-FBI Director James Comey.”
Without testifying under oath to “tell the truth and nothing but the truth” under penalty of perjury, Trump could say literally anything he wanted to Mueller. Interviewing without an oath would likely turn any interview Trump does with Mueller into a sham.
On Friday, Trump once again said he wants to speak with Mueller, but appeared to echo Giuliani by saying that he will only sit down for an interview with Mueller if it’s “fair.” Trump said:
“I would love to speak. I would love to. Nobody wants to speak more than me … because we’ve done nothing wrong. But I have to find a way to be treated fairly. If I thought it was fair, I would override my lawyer.”
Apparently, “fair” to Trump means being able to lie without consequence and handicapping the investigators who are investigating him.
At this point, Mueller might as well issue a subpoena to Trump to force him to testify under oath in front of a grand jury. Even Giuliani admits there’s at least a 50/50 chance of that happening.
Mueller floated subpoenaing Trump earlier this year but has yet to do so in the hopes that Trump will testify voluntarily. Clearly, Giuliani is trying to undermine Mueller’s investigation so that a subpoena may be necessary at this point. And if Mueller does subpoena Trump, Trump’s lawyers intend to challenge it in the Supreme Court.
A subpoena could at least force Trump to testify voluntarily, just like former President Bill Clinton did during his presidency in exchange for the subpoena to be withdrawn.
But the Supreme Court would likely rule against Trump if he challenges any subpoena Mueller issues against him.
As NBC News reports, the high court has already said that the president is not above the law. The court said:
“We have made clear … that in a criminal case the powerful interest in the ‘fair administration of criminal justice’ requires that the evidence be given under appropriate circumstances lest the ‘very integrity of the judicial system’ be eroded.”
If the Supreme Court sides with Trump, the integrity of our judicial system would definitely be considered to have been allowed to be eroded.
It’s time for Mueller to pull the trigger on that subpoena.
Featured Image: YouTube screenshot.