After a conspicuous stretch of silence following the DOJ Inspector General report about the FBI’s handling of Hillary Clinton emails, Rudy Giuliani reemerged this week and made a demand that was farcical even by his standards. Giuliani stated that if Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to interview Donald Trump, he’ll first have to demonstrate that Trump is guilty. Nothing works this way, and Giuliani has zero leverage here. It turns out Trump is in an even worse situation.
It’s long been widely speculated across social media that Robert Mueller wants to interview Donald Trump in the hope of catching Trump in either a confession or a lie. But now Preet Bharara, the respected former U.S. Attorney who was fired by Trump for illegitimate reasons, is explaining why federal prosecutors actually want to interview the subjects of their investigations. The bottom line: Mueller doesn’t need to interview Trump.
Here’s what Bharara had to say on Twitter after yet another debate sprang up about the prospects and merits of a possible interview: “I don’t know that Mueller really needs the interview. He will want it for completeness & also appearance of — and actual — fairness. It’s an opportunity for Trump to explain himself. Or lie. Subjects who’ve done nothing criminal are generally helped by coming in.”
So there you have it. If Donald Trump were innocent, his lawyers would be advising him to do the interview, because it could help his case. From Robert Mueller’s perspective, he’s fulfilled his duty to “fairness” by offering Trump the opportunity to sit down and explain himself. Mueller has the cooperation of key former Trump advisers Michael Flynn and Rick Gates, among others, who have ostensibly given him the bulk of the evidence and testimony he needs. Mueller clearly isn’t quite finished with his probe into Trump yet, or he’d have made his move by now. But Mueller doesn’t need to interview Trump, and won’t hold up the investigation in the name of trying to land an interview.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report