While special counsel Robert Mueller has no problem cutting the number of obstruction-related questions Donald Trump would be asked by his investigators, the president will still have to answer them in person and not simply in written form.
CNN reports that Trump’s legal team has only agreed to submit written answers to Mueller and have the president take part in an interview that limits questions to issues before the inauguration that are mostly about collusion. Mueller’s team has long wanted to interview Trump, but the talks have dragged on for months because the president’s lawyers have tried to limit the scope of the interview and the types of questions that will be asked.
According to CNN, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, told reporters after an event in Portsmouth, N.H., on Wednesday that his client has always wanted to speak with Mueller, but Giuliani and Trump’s other attorneys have been more hesitant. He also told reporters that Mueller needs to hurry up and prove that this investigation is worth it.
“They should render their report. Put up—I mean I guess if we were playing poker (you would say) ‘Put up or shut up.’ What do you got?” Giuliani said, the news network reports. “We have every reason to believe they don’t have anything of the President doing anything wrong. I don’t think they have any evidence he did anything wrong.”
Here is more from CNN:
The Trump legal team suggested several weeks ago limiting some topics to written questions and doing an interview more on collusion, as CNN has previously reported.
The special counsel appears to be open to some version of this, though the source did not explain to what extent special counsel is agreeable.
The ball is in the Trump team’s court, two additional sources told CNN. Those sources would not say how long the Trump team’s lawyers would take to respond.
Giuliani told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday that Mueller’s team had been unresponsive to their recommendations for an interview between Mueller and the President for 10 days, adding that he believed the Mueller team is “in bad faith about an interview at this point.”
Giuliani also said Monday that “the odds are against” a Trump interview with Mueller, but that he “wouldn’t be shocked” if the President went through with it because he “wants to do it so badly.”
The Trump legal team is open to Mueller interviewing Trump with questions related to “an area of collusion, not obstruction,” Giuliani said on Monday. He added that the team may be receptive to questions of obstruction “if they could show us one or two there, we can consider it. One or two questions that they really need, we’d consider it.”
Meanwhile, Trump has been complaining on Twitter that Mueller’s probe is nothing more than a witch hunt:
Then, there are these:
But this one was the kicker:
Trump can tweet until his fingers fall off, but it won’t stop Mueller from continuing his investigation.
And neither Al Capone nor Paul Manafort will be able to help him.