It’s easy to forget, but Donald Trump once boasted that he was “looking forward to” an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team. It was something the president said he’d “love” to do, and he was “absolutely” prepared to answer questions under oath. Trump added that the interview would happen in roughly “two or three weeks.”
That was 14 months ago. That interview never happened.
“In a normal world, it would be very hard for the president of the United States not to submit to an interview in connection with an investigation that touches upon … his conduct and that of people around him,” former FBI Director James Comey told Axios last year. “In a normal world, the American people would find that very, very difficult to accept.”
Nevertheless, the Mueller probe is now complete. And while the presidential discussion with investigators did not occur, Trump and his lawyers did agree to submit written answers to the special counsel’s office.
If Attorney General William Barr’s summary is correct, and Mueller’s findings are in line with what the White House wanted to see, any chance Trump and his team will disclose the president’s written responses? Evidently not.
President Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow told CNN on Monday that he would push hard against the release of the President’s written answers to questions that were submitted to special counsel Robert Mueller.
“I would fight very aggressively for that information to not to be released. I think any lawyer would,” he said. “Just because as a lawyer you don’t waive privileges and you don’t waive – you don’t waive investigative detail absent either a court order or an agreement between the parties. And you’d have to weigh a lot of factors there on how that affects other presidencies so I think it’s not a simple, just waive your hand and here we release the document. That would be very inappropriate…. That will be a decision for the attorney general makes but I have some strong opinions about that.”
Hmm. There’s nothing stopping Team Trump from adopting a “we have nothing to hide” posture, but that’s not quite what we’re hearing amidst the White House celebrations.
The president and his allies are certain he’s been “exonerated,” but as things stand this morning, they’re not eager to have the public see the actual Mueller report, nor are they eager to disclose Trump’s written comments to the special counsel’s office.
I don’t imagine we’ve heard the end of this.