President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller told him he would end the Trump obstruction probe by September, The Hill reports.
“September 1 was the date that Bob Mueller gave me back two months ago … When we were talking about getting his report done, he threw out the date September 1 as a reasonable date to get it done.”
Guiliani’s comments come amid negotiations between Robert Mueller and Donald Trump’s lawyers to set up an interview. As the New York Times reported this week, the president’s legal team is seeking to narrow Mueller’s scope, having rejected the special counsel’s latest terms for an interview in the Russia probe.
According to NYT‘s sources briefed on the matter, the president’s legal team does not want Trump answering questions about obstruction of justice. According to the same outlet, this could lead Robert Mueller to conclude that Trump’s lawyers are negotiating to prolong the investigation.
“This should be over by September 1,” Giuliani told the New York Times, adding that the president’s legal team now has to give Robert Mueller an answer, and “obviously he should take a few days to consider it, but we should get this resolved. If there is going to be an interview, let’s have it.”
Today, Giuliani insisted on September 1 as the deadline, again, citing the “mistakes”former FBI director James Comey made. Comey was, as The Hill noted, criticized by the Democratic Party, and by the Justice Department, for renewing the probe into Hillary Clinton’s email servers during the 2016 election.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 12, 2018
According to NPR, Robert Mueller could be stumbling into time trouble. Considering special counsel is seeking to avoid criticism that he might improperly influence the midterm election, he has roughly three weeks to design a strategy, if he hasn’t designed one already.
On the other hand, NPR noted, Trump’s legal team led by Rudy Giuliani is well aware of this fact, so they are crafting their strategy accordingly, pressing Mueller to wrap up the obstruction probe by September. No one knows whether Robert Mueller will agree with Trump legal team’s requests yet since he does not discuss any of the probes publicly.
If negotiations between Mueller and Trump were to fall through, Mueller could subpoena the president. But, as the Inquisitr reported, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow, suggested that his client would be willing to challenge special counsel’s subpoenas in court. According to Sekulow, Trump has the authority under Article II of the U.S. Constitution to stop any investigation conducted by the Department of Justice.