Special counsel Bobby Mueller’s Russia probe began interviewing Trump White House aides last month, and now the president’s lawyers are strongly considering a request to the Justice Department, so that Donald himself can interview with Mueller, as soon as possible. Trump’s lawyers are either making a huge mistake, or there is something else going on here that is less obvious.
Trump’s lawyers, according to an official familiar with Mueller’s probe, think that if they can get Mueller to interview Trump soon, by Thanksgiving at the latest, it will help Mueller complete his investigation. They want Trump cleared of any wrongdoing to remove the “cloud” that the probe has cast over his administration.
You almost have to laugh at Trump’s lawyer’s idea, because Trump interviewing with Mueller will absolutely end Mueller’s investigation. Trump will incriminate himself within minutes of questioning. There is no evidence that Trump could successfully make it through an interview with one of the best FBI investigators on the planet and lie his way to freedom.
Reportedly, if Mueller does not seek an interview with Trump by Thanksgiving, they may approach Mueller with an offer, the official familiar with Mueller’s probe has said. The official claims that the White House is not afraid about a meeting with Mueller, “Whatever happens with regard to whether or not, or how, the special counsel might want to interview the president, there’s no reason to expect that would be combative,” the official said.
Total incompetence certainly could explain this awful idea for Trump’s defense, as these are the same knuckleheads who were spotted in broad daylight discussing the Russia probe at a popular D.C. restaurant. Trump lawyer Ty Cobb discussed sensitive details of the investigation with John Dowd, out in the open a mere two blocks from the White House, so incompetence cannot be reasonably ruled out here. Trump had a hard time finding attorneys to represent him against Mueller’s probe, so it doesn’t seem he has the best of the best by any means.
Along with incompetence, another explanation is simply that attorneys serve at their client’s pleasures. An attorney can only advise a client on the best course of action, they cannot force them to do anything. Trump may be pushing for an interview with Mueller out of a narcissistic belief that he can somehow talk his way out of this investigation.
Trump is very impatient, and they have surely told him that Mueller’s investigation could take years. His explicitly stated goal is to have his name publicly cleared over this investigation, so this could be him trying to achieve that goal as fast as possible.
For sure though, something is very fishy here, because in a situation like this, no lawyer with any sense would advise that Trump volunteer speaking with Mueller. If/when Mueller calls for an interview or testimony from Trump, Trump’s best game plan would be to plead the fifth. Trump’s team seeking out an interview with Mueller, is obviously very strange and feels desperate.