President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said that his legal team will take special counsel Robert Mueller to court if he attempts to issue a subpoena against the president.
“If Mueller tries to subpoena us, we’re going to court,” Giuliani said in an interview with ABC News. His warning came just hours after The New York Times published a 20-page confidential letter sent by Trump’s lawyers—Jay A Sekulow and John M Dowd— in January.
This letter was hand-delivered to the special counsel’s office.
Giuliani, who joined Trump’s legal team in April, accused the special counsel of leaking the memo and said that Mueller should have released a statement condemning The New York Times‘ report. He said that the special counsel should investigate and get to the bottom of how the letter was leaked to the media.
The letter sent by Trump’s lawyers argued that the president couldn’t obstruct justice because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations. It also stated that that the Constitution gives the president the broad authority to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”
Responding to the letter, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the argument made by Trump’s legal team would only be valid in a dictatorship.
“This would be a valid legal argument — if our government were a dictatorship,” Schumer tweeted. “Fortunately, we are a government of laws, not men. And in America, no one is above the law, including the president,” he added.
six most startling words in this shocking Trump legal memo: "or even exercise his power to pardon." Folks, they are intimating he can pardon himself! @tribelaw @RWPUSA & I explained why that ain't so @washingtonpost : https://t.co/S08YHJQUKe
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) June 3, 2018
For months, Mueller’s team has been trying to reach out to the president for an interview. The list of topics that the special counsel wanted to cover is as follows:
- Former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — information regarding his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak about sanctions during the transition process
- Lt. Gen. Flynn’s communications with Vice President Mike Pence regarding those contacts
- Lt. Gen. Flynn’s interview with the FBI regarding the same
- Then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates coming to the White House to discuss same
- The President’s meeting on February 14, 2017, with then-Director James Comey
- Any other relevant information regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn
- The President’s awareness of and reaction to investigations by the FBI, the House, and the Senate into possible collusion
- The President’s reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation
- The President’s reaction to Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee
- Information related to conversations with intelligence officials generally regarding ongoing investigations
- Information regarding who the President had had conversations with concerning Comey’s performance
- Whether or not Comey’s May 3, 2017, testimony lead to his termination;
- Information regarding communications with Ambassador Kislyak, Minister Lavrov, and Lester Holt
- The President’s reaction to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel
- The President’s interaction with Attorney General Sessions as it relates to the appointment of Special Counsel
- The statement of July 8, 2017, concerning Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting in Trump Tower
The letter published by The New York Times can be accessed here.