A few weeks ago, Rudy Giuliani appeared on a Fox News radio program and was asked when he expected Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to end. "I think September," Donald Trump's lawyer said, calling it a "realistic timeframe."
Special counsel Robert Mueller could conclude the part of his investigation looking into whether President Donald Trump obstructed the Russia inquiry by September, the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Sunday.Giuliani said it was important to end that part of the investigation "so we don't get into what I call 'Comey territory'" -- a reference to James Comey, the former FBI director who alerted lawmakers to the agency's reopening of a probe into Hillary Clinton's emails on October 28, 2016, just days before the presidential election.
Like so much of Giuliani's rhetoric, this is awfully strange. First, this is the sixth prediction Trump World has made about Mueller's end point. Since predictions one though five were completely wrong, it's tempting to think these guys would stop peddling guesses.
Second, it's difficult to understand why Giuliani's claims are literally on the front page of the New York Times. Not to put too fine a point on this, but the former mayor generally seems to have no idea what he's talking about, and the idea that the special counsel's team offered him the inside scoop on their investigation's end point is difficult to take seriously.
Reuters quoted a U.S. official familiar with the probe who described Giuliani's timeframe "entirely made-up."
And then there was Giuliani's reference to "Comey territory." To hear the president's lawyer tell it, the special counsel's investigation needs to wrap up in September because to allow it to go later would risk interfering with the 2018 midterm elections -- just like former FBI Director James Comey intervened in the 2016 presidential election with his anti-Clinton announcement shortly before Election Day.
What's odd is hearing this from a member of Trump's team. As a rule, the president and his allies like to pretend that Comey was an anti-Trump activist who wanted Clinton in the White House. Yesterday, however, Giuliani reminded the political world that his boss won the presidency in part because he benefited from Comey's announcement on Oct. 28, 2016.
How Giuliani keeps his job on Trump's legal defense team remains something of a mystery.