All along we’ve seen Donald Trump’s Russia scandal attorneys make one surreal move after another. Nearly all of it has involved giving Special Counsel Robert Mueller whatever he’s wanted, while convincing Trump to let Mueller keep eating him alive. They’ve gone so far as to (falsely) convince Trump that he’s not even personally under investigation, when he’s the primary target of the investigation. Now Trump’s lawyers have talked him into yet another strange move, in the process feeding Trump to Mueller’s wolves.
Trump’s attorneys have convinced him to give a voluntary interview to Mueller, and negotiations for that interview are already underway, according to an NBC News report (link). This is remarkable, because we all know how such an interview is likely to go. Trump will tell several lies, which is a felony, and Mueller will use his existing hard evidence to prove he’s lying. Trump will also begin rambling and admit things he shouldn’t, which will fill in the remaining pieces about the conspiracy for Mueller. So why do this?
Such an interview will guarantee Trump’s demise, probably not immediately, but inevitably. It’ll give Mueller everything he needs to prove under the law, and in the court of public opinion, that Trump is guilty of serious enough crimes to force his ouster. It’s essentially a forfeit on Trump’s part. Perhaps Trump’s attorneys believe that Mueller can go to court and eventually force Trump to testify, and that they’re better off just giving in now. In fact that may explain their entire strategy of giving Mueller everything he wants.
But Donald Trump almost comically thinks he’s not under investigation. He believes he’ll be doing Mueller a favor by voluntarily testifying as a witness to a crime which, according to Trump’s various claims, either didn’t involve him or didn’t exist. That means Trump will be even more sloppy during this interview, because he believes he’s somehow already off the hook. One could say Trump is walking into a trap, but it’s a trap of his own making.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report