President Donald Trump continues to be very vocal on Twitter about his feelings on the Russia probe headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It is no secret the president wants the investigation to end.
In multiple Tweets, the president criticized the amount of time the investigation has taken. Now the Trump legal team hopes to exploit Mueller's desire for an interview with the president to Trump's advantage.
Trump's personal lawyers want to negotiate, gaining the president several concessions from Mueller and his team, before allowing the president to speak to Mueller. But legal experts familiar with federal courts and the protocol for those in public service see no reason for Mueller to play ball.
Paramount to Trump's team is establishing a definite end date for the investigation, but that's not how such federal probes work. Unlike a private sector business deal, federal investigations are subject to the needs of the American public and beholden to the laws of the United States regarding people in federal service.
The Trump team reportedly plans to extend the carrot of a potential sit down with the president and approved members of Mueller's team but only with conditions attached. Their conditions highly favor the president's interests, as opposed to the interests of the investigation, which leads legal experts to discount the possibility of Mueller agreeing to any of their demands.
The president continues to deny a need for an investigation, despite multiple charges levied against several members of his campaign team and administration and plea agreements being negotiated. Trump states no collusion occurred and characterizes the Mueller Russia probe as a "witch hunt".
When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1494593694.0
The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems… https://t.co/j7rc1QKCLw— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1515597255.0
John Dowd, lead counsel for President Trump, as well as the Office of Special Counsel refuse to comment on any negotiations, but sources state the discussion about when or if the president will be interviewed by Mueller are still in the preliminary stages.
In regards to the Trump teams request for a definite end date as a condition of agreeing to an interview, Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor and an expert in government investigations stated:
You can’t put a timeline on these things. Someone could walk in the door on the day before their proposed deadline and say, ‘I’ve got some information that’s going to blow your minds.’ … Mueller’s going to say, ‘Oh, too bad, the deadline’s tomorrow?’ ”
Meanwhile, outside commentary on both the investigation and the Trump legal team's maneuvering continues on the president's favorite medium: Twitter.
NEWS: Trump’s legal team may tell Mueller he can interview the president if, among other considerations, he agrees… https://t.co/5dka8VR0OQ— Rebecca Ballhaus (@Rebecca Ballhaus) 1520626120.0
Another ridiculous proposal by Trump's lawyers. A prosecutor's job is to gather evidence and pursue justice, not to… https://t.co/z8VIXisqxo— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti) 1520626527.0
2/ A corollary to the above: Trump's attorneys know the truth of what I just said and are floating this idea so Mue… https://t.co/6zExBPnWRn— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson) 1520630858.0
Trump's lawyers are trying to attach a condition if Trump sits for an interview with Mueller. They want Mueller to… https://t.co/zLgcY0MeCn— Greg Sargent (@Greg Sargent) 1520626825.0
For a guy with nothing to hide, Trump has a lot of excuses for why he’s not cooperating with Mueller. https://t.co/zAwU0ASb9Q— Matthew Miller (@Matthew Miller) 1520628873.0