Amid speculation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is approaching its end and just hours after Trump told Jeff Sessions on Twitter to end the Mueller probe “right now“, ABC reports that the Mueller wants to ask President Donald Trump about obstruction of justice, citing sources close to the White House. ABC also notes that the president learned “within the last day” that the special counsel will limit the scope of questioning and, despite Rudy Giuliani’s vehement opposition, would like to ask questions both orally and written for the President to respond to.
The ABC sources report that the genesis of Trump’s early morning tweet storm was learning of Mueller’s request. Trump took to twitter in one of his strongest attacks against the federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, saying:
“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”
..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
It is unlikely that the Trump team will agree to Mueller’s request. Negotiations over the scope of a potential presidential interview with the special counsel have gone on for months, through several different iterations of the Trump legal team.
Rudy Giuliani, the President’s current lead attorney, told ABC News a week ago that his team had submitted a response to Mueller asking to limit the scope of an interview with Trump especially as it relates to obstruction of justice.
“We have a list of questions that are fairly narrowed but we are waiting on the special counsel’s response,” Giuliani said..
On Wednesday, Giuliani told reporters that he had received a response from the special counsel’s office without getting into details. “They took about 10 days and yesterday we got a letter back for them. Now we’re in the process of responding to their proposal,” Giuliani said.
Then, in an interview on CNN, Giuliani said that “they should render their report,” of the special counsel and his team, adding they should “Put up or shut up. The president has done anything wrong. They don’t have any evidence he did anything wrong.”
“We believe the investigation should be brought to a close … Put up or shut up,” President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani says about the Russia investigation pic.twitter.com/ifiKybi01r
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 1, 2018
Giuliani also echoed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sander’s Wednesday assertion that Trump did not command Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Mueller investigation in a widely circulated tweet. Giuliani and Sanders both said Trump was merely expressing himself in the tweet.
The President has said many times he would be willing to speak with Mueller but would await his legal teams guidance.
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