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 (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes. Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2018
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.
Michael Flynn: I’m guilty
George Papadopoulos: I’m guilty
Rick Gates: Paul Manafort is guilty
Mark Corallo: Hope Hicks is guilty
Steve Bannon: Trump Jr guilty
Sam Nunberg: Trump is guilty
Donald Trump: Witch hunt!
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) March 5, 2018
NEWS: Trump’s legal team may tell Mueller he can interview the president if, among other considerations, he agrees to a timeline for ending the Trump-related portion of the Russia probe—for example, 60 days from the date of the interview. W/@PeterWSJ https://t.co/oW1LoFuP2D
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) March 9, 2018
Another ridiculous proposal by Trump’s lawyers. A prosecutor’s job is to gather evidence and pursue justice, not to artificially cut short an investigation due to demands from defense counsel. If Mueller agreed to this demand, he wouldn’t be doing his job. https://t.co/uU84rHl0cp
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 9, 2018
2/ A corollary to the above: Trump’s attorneys know the truth of what I just said and are floating this idea so Mueller can say no and they can then claim they *tried* to play ball but Mueller wanted to be able to investigate Trump *forever*. In other words…
…”It’s a trap!”
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) March 9, 2018
Trump’s lawyers are trying to attach a condition if Trump sits for an interview with Mueller.
They want Mueller to commit to a deadline for finishing the probe in exchange for Trump’s cooperation.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) March 9, 2018
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 (@matthewamiller) March 9, 2018
Donald Trump’s day so far:
– Admits he’s scared of Mueller
– Wants to fire Kelly, Ivanka, Jared
– North Korea thing falling apart
– Sam Nunberg testifies after all
– These goons will all flip
– Trump thinks alive guy is dead
– Metaphor for his presidency
– It’s still only 4:30pm
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) March 9, 2018