President Donald Trump’s legal team wants a briefing on the classified information shared with lawmakers, the Associated Press reports.
Rudy Giuliani told the news agency that he thinks this could end the Mueller probe altogether. Trump’s attorney claims that the entire investigation may be illegitimate. Giuliani didn’t hold back, calling the entire investigation a waste of taxpayer money.
“If the spying was inappropriate, that means we may have an entirely illegitimate investigation. Coupled with Comey’s illegally leaked memos, this means the whole thing was a mistake and should never have happened. We’d urge the Justice Department to re-evaluate, to acknowledge they made a mistake. It’s a waste of $20 million of the taxpayers’ money. The whole thing is already a waste of money.”
The origin of the FBI’s investigation, which spawned Mueller’s special counsel probe, has been disputed and argued against by Donald Trump and other members of the Republican Party, AP noted.
Comey, who Giuliani mentioned in today’s statement, has repeatedly said that he did nothing wrong by leaking information to the press.
Yesterday’s meetings, which were sought after by Trump’s congressional allies from the Republican party, were held in an effort to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the FBI investigation that had spawned Mueller’s probe in the first place, AP noted.
Rudy Giuliani has, according to the Boston Globe, joined Trump’s legal team for one reason: to end the Mueller probe. According to the same outlet, the POTUS is known to be a difficult client, unwilling to listen to his legal team’s advice, which can be considered part of the reason he’s had a hard time putting together a legal team.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 25, 2018
Can Trump Fire Mueller?
Can Donald Trump shut down the Mueller probe? Theoretically, according to Esquire, the president could do this in one of three ways.
Trump could fire deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is now overseeing the Mueller probe because Jeff Sessions has recused himself. The POTUS could, hypothetically, ask Rosenstein to fire Mueller. If Rosenstein was to say no, Trump would fire him, until someone eventually agreed to let Mueller go.
The POTUS could also replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general. With Sessions, who has recused himself from the probe, fired, the new AG would assume oversight over the investigation. This person would have the power to constrain the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and even fire him.
According to Vox, whose journalists have talked to various legal experts about the issue, even if Trump managed to find a way to fire Robert Mueller, Congress wouldn’t sit by quietly. In other words, there would be many reasons for the investigation to continue. Considering it, according to Vox, seems likely that the Democrats could retake one or both houses of Congress, they would keep the POTUS in check, and ensure the investigation proceeds.
According to The Hill, Trump’s legal team wants to know about the details shared during a classified briefing for lawmakers in order to justify trying to shut down Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Giuliani is eyeing the informant, Stefan Halper, who allegedly contacted several advisers to Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.