RSN Fundraising Banner
Trump Will Not Answer Any Obstruction Questions, Giuliani Tells AP
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49077"><span class="small">Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press</span></a>   
Friday, 07 September 2018 09:00

Lemire writes: "President Donald Trump will not answer federal investigators' questions, in writing or in person, about whether he tried to block the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, one of the president's attorneys told The Associated Press on Thursday."

Rudy Giuliani. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Rudy Giuliani. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


Trump Will Not Answer Any Obstruction Questions, Giuliani Tells AP

By Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press

07 September 18

 

resident Donald Trump will not answer federal investigators’ questions, in writing or in person, about whether he tried to block the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, one of the president’s attorneys told The Associated Press.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said questions about obstruction of justice were a “no-go.”

Giuliani’s statement was the most definitive rejection yet of special counsel Robert Mueller’s efforts to interview the president about any efforts to obstruct the investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and Russians. It signals the Trump’s lawyers are committed to protecting the president from answering questions about actions the president took in office.

It’s unclear if Giuliani’s public position has been endorsed by Trump, who has said he wants to answer questions under oath. Negotiations about the scope and format of an interview are still ongoing. If the legal team holds its stance, it could force Mueller to try to subpoena the president, likely triggering a standoff that would lead to the Supreme Court.

Mueller’s office has previously sought to interview the president about the obstruction issue, including his firing last year of former FBI Director James Comey and his public attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump’s legal team has argued that the president has the power to hire and fire appointees and the special counsel does not have the authority to ask him to explain those decisions. Giuliani said Thursday the team was steadfast in that position.

“That’s a no-go. That is not going to happen,” Giuliani said. “There will be no questions at all on obstruction.”

In a letter last week, Mueller’s team said it would accept written responses from Trump on questions related to Russian election interference. Giuliani suggested Thursday that Trump’s lawyers had agreed to those terms but wanted to prohibit investigators from asking follow-up questions.

“It would be in written form and if you want to follow up on our answers, justify it,” Giuliani said. “Show us why you didn’t get there the first time.”

He said he was not categorically ruling out answering a second round of questions but the entire matter of whether there would be follow-up inquiries should be settled before the president answers anything at all.

“We aren’t going to let them spring it on us,” said Giuliani, who has served as lawyer-spokesman for the president’s personal legal team, using television interviews and public comments as a tactic in the negotiations.

In subsequent interviews late Thursday, Giuliani backtracked slightly, saying that talks over answering obstruction questions were ongoing.

The moment encapsulated one of Giuliani’s roles on the Trump’s legal team: to lay down public markers on interview negotiations that are actually taking place behind closed doors.

Giuliani has repeatedly moved the goalposts on what would be required for a presidential interview and, at times, has been forced to clarify previous statements. In earlier interviews, Giuliani had suggested some obstruction questions could be allowed if prosecutors show necessity and preview the questions with the defense lawyers.

Trump, in a Fox News interview taped ahead of a Thursday night rally in Montana, was noncommittal when asked about a possible Mueller interview.

In the latest letter to the legal team, Mueller’s office didn’t address obstruction questions, indicating investigators would later assess what additional information it needs from the president after receiving a response about the written submissions, according to a person familiar with the document.

The person familiar with the letter spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss the negotiations.

Giuliani’s declaration drew a swift rebuke from Rep. Adam Schiff, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who tweeted: “Trump’s legal team never had any intention of allowing him to be interviewed, knowing he is incapable of telling the truth. It’s past time to subpoena the President. No one is above the law.”

Though the president has publicly said he was eager to face questions from Mueller, his lawyers have been far more reluctant to make him available for an interview and have questioned whether Mueller has the right to ask him about actions that he is authorized, under the Constitution, to take as president. Giuliani’s comments came just hours after Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, espoused a belief in an expansive view of executive powers and declined to say whether a president can be subpoenaed and forced to testify.

Mueller’s team raised the prospect in March that it could subpoena the president, though this would unquestionably prompt a court fight.

The Supreme Court has never definitively ruled on the question of whether a president can be forced to testify, though the justices did rule in 1974 that Richard Nixon had to produce recordings and documents that had been subpoenaed.

In addition to questions about Comey and Sessions, Mueller has expressed interest in Trump’s role in drafting a statement to The New York Times about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by his son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer.

Trump Jr. took the meeting, emails show, after it was described as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign by providing derogatory information about Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump has said he knew nothing about the meeting before it happened.

Trump and Giuliani have led an onslaught of attacks on Mueller’s credibility, claiming that the special counsel was biased and that the entire probe was a “witch hunt.” Giuliani has also demanded that the probe suspend its activities with the midterm elections approaching, but the former mayor said Thursday he was not certain of Mueller’s intentions.


e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2018 09:36
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+6 # Citizen Mike 2018-09-07 10:14
I think Mueller has sufficient evidence of "obstruction" and does not need to question Trump on this subject. But he should agree to not question Trump on this subject just to get the man into the room under oath because he will almost certainly blurt out other kinds of self-incriminat ion as to his income sources and connections to Russian gangsters in the past and as to violations of the emoluments rule and other profitable acts of corruption.
 
 
+4 # Robbee 2018-09-07 11:48
Quoting Citizen Mike:
I think Mueller has sufficient evidence of "obstruction" and does not need to question Trump on this subject. But he should agree to not question Trump on this subject just to get the man into the room under oath because he will almost certainly blurt out other kinds of self-incrimination as to his income sources and connections to Russian gangsters in the past and as to violations of the emoluments rule and other profitable acts of corruption.

- what makes you think dickhead will answer ANY questions?

you know about the 5th amendment, don't you?

dickhead's lawyers are just playing lawyer games, so that dickhead can go around everywhere saying he wants to testify!
 
 
+3 # Citizen Mike 2018-09-07 12:03
I say call his bluff and if agreeing to the condition that no questions about obstructions will be asked, then he has no excuse not to testify under oath on other subjects. He will be forced by public opinion to appear for questioning, or else appear to be a frightened man with stuff to hide.
 
 
+6 # Robbee 2018-09-07 11:40
Trump Will Not Answer Any Obstruction Questions, Giuliani Tells AP, Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press, 07 September 18

subpoena the bastard! in due time, when you're ready, mr. mueller, not a moment before!
 
 
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-09-07 12:09
The obvious question arising from this statement: what do Trump & Giuliani have to hide?
 
 
-4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-09-07 12:55
I don't think so. A president has the authority to fire an FBI director any time he likes and for any reason. There is nothing to hide. But the whole set of events surrounding the firing of Comey and all the rest is a massive "he said, she said" situation. Trump said one thing, and a dozen people said other things. But no one so far has been under oath, so they are free to say whatever they want. If Trump goes under oath, Mueller will have him by the balls because he has other people who have said something different. Trump's statement will be claimed to be perjury. This is the classic perjury trap. There's nothing to hide. It is a trap. You don't see Mueller asking Comey, Rosenstein, Yates, McCabe, Strzok to testify under oath. He's not interested in perjury trapping them.
 
 
-4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-09-07 13:05
I don't understand this at all. Is Mueller going to accuse, indict, or arrest Trump for obstruction? If he is, he needs to say so. We have learned long ago that when the police are after you and they start asking you questions, you ask them very politely "am I under arrest or am I free to go." If you are not under arrest, they cannot detain you. You can leave. If you are under arrest, then you ask them to read your Miranda rights which include the statement that you have a right to remain silent. What is all this crap about negotiating over answering questions. Police (FBI especially) are trained to use this tactic to lead you on and suck you into their trap.


If Mueller is not going to arrest or indict Trump and if he is just on a fishing trip to see what Trump knows, them wish him good luck and say good-bye. Hope the fish are biting. I'm sure as hell not biting.

Mueller has said openly that he loves putting people in prison more than anything. He's a sociopath. He would have made a good concentration camp guard back in the 1940s. You just cannot deal with people like that. They cannot be trusted. They have no good intentions.

Guiliani is a scum lawyer, too. So maybe they are a fitting couple. Maybe they will negotiate each other to death and leave the world in peace.
 
 
0 # Robbee 2018-09-07 20:08
Quoting Rodion Raskolnikov:
IMueller has said openly that he loves putting people in prison more than anything.

= pravda? comrade? - link, please!
 
 
-2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-09-08 05:39
Not Pravda. This is from a performance given at Georgetown Law School by Mueller and Brennan -- when one was FBI head and the other CIA head. They were very close. You can probably find the whole speech if you look for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv0mysfY3So
 
 
+3 # lfeuille 2018-09-07 23:34
Of course that's the plan, but who knows if Trump will follow it. He may convince himself that he is smarter than Muellar and blurt out lies denying obstruction when asked about something else. If he talks to Muellar about anything he will lie and Muellar will know. He can't stop himself.