As special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III marches forward with his prosecution of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and as the case that Trump engaged in criminal conduct grows stronger, Trump and his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani continue their tango about whether Trump will deign to answer questions from Mueller’s team.
Said Giuliani on the possibility of an interview: “If they can come to us and show us the basis and that it’s legitimate and that they have uncovered something, we can go from there and assess their objectivity.” Giuliani added to his list of prerequisite demands that he wants to know about the origins of the FBI probe before agreeing to some form of an interview. Then on Wednesday, Giuliani announced that the president’s team issued yet another counter-proposal to Mueller, declining to specify the terms.
So if Mueller can prove the legitimacy of his case, and if Giuliani and Trump conclude it’s objective, and if they receive sufficient information about the probe’s origins, then they might consider answering some questions in writing. (What a load of crap!)
Enough is enough. It’s time to subpoena Trump.
Mueller has been extraordinarily deferential and patient while Trump and his representatives engaged in their scarcely credible gamesmanship. Notwithstanding Giuliani’s representations that Trump is pawing the stall eager to submit to an interview under oath, it has become increasingly apparent that neither Trump nor anyone in his orbit has any interest in his answering Mueller’s questions. In a word, they are playing Mueller, and in the process, playing the country.
This post is an edited version of this opinion piece by Harry Litman in the Washington Post: