Long ago (which is equal to five weeks of the current presidency), Donald Trump said that he would be happy, even eager, to sit down for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to answer questions around the investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russian government operatives. On Friday, the president’s lawyers laid out Trump’s terms for that interview, and they’re absurd enough to make it clear that Trump is stalling, or worse.
According to The Wall Street Journal:
‘The president’s legal team is considering telling Mr. Mueller that Mr. Trump would agree to a sit-down interview based on multiple considerations, including that the special counsel commit to a date for concluding at least the Trump-related portion of the investigation. One idea is to suggest a deadline of 60 days from the date of the interview, the person said.’
Nope nope nope. Not how it works. Time to come clean, Mr. President. https://t.co/5r6ViMq6e2
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) March 9, 2018
That is not a term to which Mueller and his team could ever agree. Peter Zeidenberg, identified by The Wall Street Journal as “a former federal prosecutor and an expert in government investigations,” explained that these terms are not even a possibility.
‘Someone could walk in the door on the day before their proposed deadline and say, “I’ve got some information that’s going to blow your minds.” … Mueller’s going to say, ‘Oh, too bad, the deadline’s tomorrow?”‘
Trump once said that Mueller looking into his past financial information would be off-limits, in effect painting a large target on his undisclosed tax returns and yelling “don’t look here!” He continued trying to make that happen in the terms he sent to Mueller.
‘Another consideration for the legal team is reaching an agreement with Mr. Mueller on the scope of his questioning of the president, which they expect to focus largely on his decision to fire former national security adviser Mike Flynn and former FBI director James Comey, according to people familiar with the matter.’
Live look at Mueller reading Trump’s “terms.” pic.twitter.com/L56MMmXYj3
— Bob Mueller's Handcuffs 🦅🇺🇸🦅 (@MuellersCuffs) March 9, 2018
Although stalling seems the most likely goal, Trump’s terms could also simply provide an excuse to try to back out of his earlier declarations. After saying “I would do it under oath. Listen, but I would do it,” so emphatically to reporters in January, Trump will need a story his rabid fan base will accept in order to refuse the interview now, another reason for him to insist that Mueller is nothing more than a paid Democratic operative planning some deep state coup to overthrow his MAGA regime.
This guy Mueller has been placed above our democracy by the deep state, Rosenstein, Comey, and MSM. We must have accountability. Support Judicial Watch. https://t.co/xm1ID1PXKO
— Ranger Dad (@rdjstark_stark) March 9, 2018
Meanwhile, news reports on the Trump/Russia scandal have brought bombshell after daily bombshell in recent weeks. News of a secret meeting to establish back-channel communication between Russia and Trump’s transition team, which Erik Prince (Blackwater founder and Betsy Devos’s brother) may have lied about in front of Congress followed proof that a former top advisor to the Trump campaign and longtime friend of the president, Roger Stone, had lied about his communications with Wikileaks during the campaigns.
So Stone perjured himself when he testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he only communicated to Wikileaks via an "intermediary."
— ResistanceRules (@ResistanceRules) March 1, 2018
With Mueller’s indictments quickly leading to guilty pleas by Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, Manafort associate and campaign staffer, Rick Gates, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and former foreign policy advisor George Papadopolous, Trump’s attempts to weasel out of an interview are unsurprising.
Featured image via Getty/Pool