Special Counsel Robert Mueller has informed Donald Trump that he wants to imminently interview him about his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and his failed attempt at getting Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. This is all about obstruction of justice, and that’s a problem for Trump, because Comey, Flynn and Sessions are all now playing for Team Mueller. Trump now only has one way out of this.
It’s not a coincidence that we learned today that Sessions gave a lengthy interview to Mueller last week without an attorney present. Mueller is signaling to Trump that he has testimony and evidence from Sessions, and thus he has Trump nailed on obstruction. Flynn also cut a deal seven weeks ago to provide testimony and evidence against Trump, and it’s logical to presume that Comey has given Mueller whatever he’s needed as well. This means Mueller has three cooperating witnesses in three different obstruction cases against Trump.
What is Trump supposed to do now? If he grants Mueller an interview and lies to him, Mueller can use his existing evidence to prove Trump is lying, and nail him for it, which is a felony. If Trump tells Mueller the truth, then Mueller can nail him for obstruction of justice with his own words. If Trump tries to refuse to be interviewed, Mueller can go to court and force the interview to happen, meaning Trump would have no choice but to invoke the Fifth Amendment, which would destroy him politically.
So now Donald Trump is facing two options which are equally untenable: do the interview with Robert Mueller and get himself nailed for a felony, or refuse to do the interview and make his presidency completely untenable. Neither of these options is realistic. Thus Trump only has one remaining way out of this: offer to resign in exchange for some kind of reduced legal punishment. But will Trump figure out that this is his only option left, or will he dig in and destroy himself instead?
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report