Rudy Giuliani disappeared for awhile. Things were quiet. We did not miss him. He is back, and his demands are more outrageous than ever. Like the commercial, Rudy, “that’s not how any of this works.” Giuliani has set conditions on the Robert Mueller interview that he and Trump have been promising since January: “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 also made the following statement, according to The New York Times: “The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, needs to prove before Mr. Trump would agree to an interview that he has evidence that Mr. Trump committed a crime and that his testimony is essential to completing the investigation.”
Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, knows that demand is nonsensical for many reasons. Prosecutors and law enforcement often interview suspects or targets or “people of interest” about potential crimes. In addition, they do not disclose the crimes to the targets. Finally, if Special Counsel Mueller were to show his cards, we know that no lawyer would then submit his client to an interview designed to confirm or ferret out inconsistencies by the interviewee.
Furthermore, if Mueller has potential evidence that “Mr. Trump committed a crime” (likely), he does not need to interview Trump to further the case. Witnesses who have agreed to cooperate can provide evidence of the potential crimes, it can be corroborated with documentary evidence and additional witnesses confirming the fact, and while an interview would be beneficial to demonstrate the witnesses are telling the truth, it is not an essential that requires Mueller to agree to such outrageous demands.
More than anything, the latest demands and conditions for an interview show a smart strategy in one respect: having a serial liar testify under any conditions is an idea fraught with peril. The latest Rudy Giuliani craziness might be designed primarily to ensure that Donald Trump never voluntarily testifies regardless of any concessions given him.