If Robert Mueller wants to subpoena the president for his special counsel investigation, he’s going to have to go to court — and face off with Rudy Giuliani.
In an interview Saturday with ABC News, Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, said he would fight any subpoena issued to the president.
“If Mueller tries to subpoena us, we’re going to court,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani’s remarks came as a 20-page memo sent to the Mueller team was revealed by The New York Times on Saturday.
In it, Trump’s lawyers argue that the president couldn’t, by definition, obstruct justice in the firing of James Comey.
“It remains our position that the President’s actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself, and that he could if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired,” the memo read.
Giuliani has confirmed the contents of the memo to Mueller’s office, even though he was not on the president’s legal team when it was drafted.
“Mr. Mueller has told the president’s lawyers that he needs to talk to their client to determine whether he had criminal intent to obstruct the investigation into his associates’ possible links to Russia’s election interference,” The Times noted.
“If Mr. Trump refuses to be questioned, Mr. Mueller will have to weigh their arguments while deciding whether to press ahead with a historic grand jury subpoena.”
Trump, meanwhile, has taken to Twitter to blast the “witch hunt” investigation, arguing that investigators should be looking at who leaked his lawyers’ letter, instead.
There was No Collusion with Russia (except by the Democrats). When will this very expensive Witch Hunt Hoax ever end? So bad for our Country. Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media? Should be looking at Dems corruption instead?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2018
The tweet came 40 minutes before The Times published the memo.
Then, for all of the leaks and speculation surrounding the special counsel’s office, we’ve seen nothing that indicates that there was an actual crime the president was trying to obstruct here — which would make an obstruction of justice charge a difficult thing to stick.
At this point, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the special counsel’s hope of getting something substantive out of the investigation rests on either the Stormy Daniels kerfuffle or desperately trying to hang a perjury rap on some inconsistency Trump might demonstrate during an interview.
If Mueller wants that interview, it seems, he’s going to have to see Rudy Giuliani and the president’s legal team in court.
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