Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that President Donald Trump would “resist” a subpoena from Robert Mueller as his attorneys rejected the special counsel latest’s interview offer and called for an end to the Russia investigation by Sept. 1.
“There’s no question that the president would resist any kind of an attempt to force him to testify,” the former New York City mayor told Jay Sekulow, also on Trump’s personal legal team, on his syndicated radio show.
“So long as he is answering questions, and not submitting to a subpoena, then that’s not consistent with what other presidents have done.
“President [Ronald] Reagan was questioned in writing,” Giuliani explained. “President [Bill] Clinton had them remove the subpoena before he negotiated a much narrower form of questioning.
“I’m not saying we’re going to that,” he said.
Giuliani’s comments came after he and Sekulow responded to Mueller’s latest offer in writing and following disclosures by The New York Times that they had rejected the special counsel’s latest terms because they did not want Trump answering questions on possible obstruction.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Times reported Trump’s lawyers “did not reject an interview outright but included the narrower counteroffer.
“Trump’s lawyers did not want him answering questions about whether he obstructed justice,” the Times said, referring to last year’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
President Trump told NBC News last year he was planning to fire Comey before receiving the recommendation to do so from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
He has also repeatedly slammed the Moscow probe as “witch hunt” and has denied any collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
In his Sekulow interview, Giuliani demanded Mueller’s investigation end by Sept. 1 because “we do not want to run into the November elections.”
“It’s about time that it ends,” he said.
“I also think, and I hope the special counsel is as sensitive to it as we are, we do not want to run into the November elections.
“So, to back up from that, this should be over with by Sept. 1.
“We have now given him an answer,” Giuliani continued. “Obviously, he should take a few days to consider it.
“But we should get this resolved.
“If there’s going to be an interview, let’s have it,” he demanded. “If there’s not going to be an interview, let him write his report.
“Honestly he has all the information that he needs.
“The interview will provide nothing in addition to what he already has,” Giuliani said. “He can write his report.”
The former mayor also noted Trump’s lawyers needed to move cautiously the Russia inquiry involved not only personal but constitutional consequences for the president and for the nation.
“What we do here is going to be used as precedent, so we’ve got to be careful,” he told Sekulow.
Ultimately, President Trump will decide whether he will sit with Mueller.
“It’s his decision, both as an individual and as the president,” Giuliani said. “It’s his decision on how far he wants to go in giving up certain prerogatives.
“It’s decision as to what the balance is going to be.
“If he weren’t the president, you and I both know this would be an easy decision: he just wouldn’t testify,” he said.
“People who are even subjects of investigations, though they’re not the target, they almost never testify.
“Prosecutors have to make the decision without ever hearing from them,” Giuliani continued, “which is why it would not be so unusual for Mueller to make his decision without hearing from the president.
The Russia probe has higher stakes than similar inquiries, he explained.
“Our client is the president of the United States — and we can make sure he’s protected, but he has to ultimately make the decision himself.
“We know he’s inclined to want to always explain,” Giuliani said, “but we have to explain to him what the consequences of that might be.”
However, Mueller’s prosecutors already know why Trump made the decisions he did — included in the more than 1.4 million pages of documents already provided to investigators.
“There’s not a single thing they’ve said to us that they’re going to ask that he hasn’t somewhere answered already.”
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