Trump and Legal Team Continue to Show Resistance in Willingness to Cooperate With Mueller’s Investigation
President Trump’s attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, has made clear in recent days that the Trump team will contest requests and actions made by Special Counsel Robert Mueller rather than allow the investigation to proceed uninhibited.
Giuliani confirmed in an interview with CNN Sunday, that the White House contested a request from the special counsel to interview White House chief of staff John Kelly. In a recent report from the New York Times, White House attorney Emmet Flood, sought to learn what investigators wanted to ask Kelly and has tried to narrow the scope of their questions. A month after the request was made, Mr. Kelly has not been questioned, though a White House official said he was willing to be.
In the interview with CNN, Giuliani emphasized:
“I’m glad to see that Emmet is using a high standard because after all, we’ve given them everything they ask… Thirty-two witnesses, no invocation of privilege. 1.4 million documents, no invocation of privilege. Tell me we have something to hide. We have nothing to hide.”
Giuliani agreed that the push-back on allowing staff to be interviewed was new from previous cooperation policy, but cited IG Michael Horowitz recent report of alleged bias that included previous and current members of the team assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller:
“Yeah, but I think this is new, saying no, after the Horowitz report… After, hey, I would like to see texts from all the people working for Mueller.”
Giuliani has also made clear a set of conditions on President Trump agreeing to an interview with the Special Counsel, which was further clarified Sunday. Giuliani expressed that before an interview between President Trump and the Special Counsel was to be performed, the Special Counsel must prove it has evidence of Trump committing a crime and that it needs testimony from the President to conclude its probe before Trump would agree to an interview. When asked to clarify, Giuliani stated:
“I didn’t say they have to prove a crime… What I said was they have to give us a factual basis, meaning some suspicion of a crime.”
“We would not recommend an interview for the President unless they can satisfy us that there is some basis for this investigation,”
However a recent response from the Special Counsel to Paul Manafort’s Motions in Limine, provides a link to the Trump campaign. In the response, the team of the Special Counsel confirms that they will not bring to trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government, greatly detracting from the infamous Steele Dossier alleging coordination between Manafort, the Trump Campaign and Russian in interfering with the 2016 elections; the response still argues that Manafort’s roles within the Trump campaign is relevant to the criminal investigation. As stated in the response:
The government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government and, accordingly, does not oppose the defendant’s motion in that respect. As discussed above, however, the defendant’s role in the Trump campaign is relevant to the bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy charges in Counts 29 through 32 of the Superseding Indictment.
In short, the defendant’s role with the Trump campaign is relevant and inextricably intertwined with the Lender D bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy charges. Here, it would be difficult for the jury to understand why the loans were approved without understanding that the lender approved the loans, in spite of the identified deficiencies, because the senior executive factored in his own personal ambition.
With this information readily available, Giuliani persisted in interviews with CBS News and ABC, that he wasn’t concerned with Manafort or Michael Cohen flipping, urging cooperation on their part in order to speed up and conclude the investigation.