US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on prison reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, January 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO ...
SAUL LOEB

Trump’s lawyer tweaks his Mueller probe prediction (again)

This is starting to get amusing.

In an interview with CBS News’ chief White House correspondent Major Garrett on this week’s “The Takeout” podcast, [Donald Trump’s attorney, Ty Cobb] said Mr. Trump wants to put [Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russia scandal] to rest, and he told Garrett there are “active discussions” about a special counsel interview, but no formal request has yet been made.

It is Cobb’s belief that the Mueller investigation will ultimately be immaterial to Mr. Trump and his presidency. Cobb said he expects it to be wrapped up in 4-6 weeks [emphasis added].

For those keeping score, the president’s attorney has had a series of expectations along these lines. Initially, Cobb told Trump the whole unpleasantness “would conclude by Thanksgiving.”

The president was then led to believe the investigation would end “by the end of the year.”

The Wall Street Journal soon after reported, “Attorneys for the president … have said the date could stretch to the end of January.”

Now, according to Cobb, the new end-date is six weeks from now.

So, the probe was going to wrap up by Thanksgiving, then Dec. 31, then Jan. 31, and now March 31. (Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, are apparently more realistic: they’re concerned about Mueller’s investigation extending into the midterm election cycle.)

As we discussed in December, I’m curious about the behind-the-scenes dynamic. It’s possible, for example, that Trump is optimistic about the looming end of the investigation because his lawyers keep feeding him dubious good news that he chooses to believe.

In other words, it’s possible they keep saying, “This will all be over very soon, Mr. President,” to which a delighted Trump responds, “Sounds great.”

But isn’t there a point at which Trump gets annoyed by the blown deadlines? Won’t there soon come a time when the president asks his legal team, “What about all that stuff you said about Thanksgiving and New Year’s?”

Donald Trump and Scandals

Trump's lawyer tweaks his Mueller probe prediction (again)