President Donald Trump’s new chief lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, thinks his client’s Russia Probe interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be limited to a few hours, focus on Russian election meddling, and not under oath, Reuters reported today.
“Was there some agreement with the Russians? Was there any meeting of Trump with the Russians?” Those are the questions Giuliani suggested might be appropriate.
According to Reuters, Giuliani is not sure whether it would be a good for his client to voluntarily submit to an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The president’s lawyer told the press that he wants to “get it over with” as soon as possible, wondering if Robert Mueller’s team is trying to “trap” President Trump.
Apart from that, he thinks the president’s Russia Probe interview should be limited to a few hours and concern Russian election meddling only; Giuliani said investigators could also ask questions about Trump’s firing of James Comey.
Giuliani, although Trump’s new chief counsel on Russia, said that he would keep an eye on the inquiry into a $130,000 hush payment by longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual encounter with then real estate mogul and reality TV star, and now President Donald Trump.
Trump had used retainer fees starting in 2017 to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000 that Cohen paid Daniels to keep quiet, Giuliani asserted.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether the Trump campaign and Russia colluded to help Trump win the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Furthermore, Mueller is also investigating whether Donald Trump has sought to obstruct the probe.
Reuters published a timeline of the Russia probe.
On March 20, 2017, FBI Director James Comey publicly confirmed the FBI’s Russia counter-intelligence investigation. Soon after that, Comey was fired. On May 17, 2017, former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed as Special Counsel to investigate the possible collusion.
On October 30, 2017, after having his home raided, Robert Manafort and his business partner, Rick Gates, were indicted on money laundering. Gates later pleaded guilty to lesser charges, promising to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.
On February 16, 2018, Mueller charged 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies with conspiracy to tamper with American elections. In early April, Alex van der Zwaan, son-in-law of one of Russia’s richest men, became the first person sentenced in the probe.
On April 9, 2018, FBI agents raided the offices and home of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The raid was, in part, related to Cohen’s payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels.
On April 19, 2018, the president announced Giuliani, the former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, would be joining his legal team.
The reshuffling came, the Washington Post noted, “following weeks of turbulence and struggles to find attorneys who would agree to represent the president in the ongoing federal probe into Russian election interference.”
Trump’s legal team and Robert Mueller have been negotiating the terms of a possible interview for months. The president’s new chief counsel in the probe, Rudy Giuliani, is seeking to limit the interview in time and in scope.