Gi­u­liani: Mueller team can’t in­dict sit­ting pres­i­dent

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEFF MORDOCK

Pres­i­dent Trump’s lawyer Rudy Gi­u­liani said Wed­nes­day that spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s team has con­cluded they can­not in­dict a sit­ting pres­i­dent.

“All they get to do is write a re­port,” Mr. Gi­u­liani told CNN. “They can’t in­dict. At least they ac­knowl­edged that to us after some battling, they ac­knowl­edged that to us.”

Mr. Mueller’s power to in­dict the pres­i­dent has been hotly de­bated since the in­ves­ti­ga­tion started last year. It ap­pears that Jus­tice Depart­ment guide­lines limit the spe­cial coun­sel to is­sue a re­port or make a re­fer­ral to Congress.

Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein, who over­sees the spe­cial coun­sel in­ves­ti­ga­tion, pub­licly said last month a sit­ting pres­i­dent can­not be in­dicted.

“I’m not go­ing to an­swer this in the con­text of any cur­rent mat­ters, so you shouldn’t draw any in­fer­ence about it,” Mr. Rosen­stein said speak­ing an event by the Free­dom Fo­rum In­sti­tute. “But the Depart­ment of Jus­tice has in the past, when the is­sue arose, has opined that a sit­ting Pres­i­dent can­not be in­dicted. There’s been a lot of spec­u­la­tion in the me­dia about this, I just don’t have any­thing more to say about it.” Rosen­stein over­sees the spe­cial coun­sel probe.

Mr. Gi­u­liani told CNN the Jus­tice Depart­ment has barred the in­dict­ment of a sit­ting pres­i­dent since be­fore Watergate. Al­though the is­sue was pon­dered dur­ing pre­vi­ous spe­cial coun­sel probes of the Nixon and Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tions, it has never faced le­gal scru­tiny in court.

“The Jus­tice Depart­ment memos go­ing back to be­fore Nixon say that you can­not in­dict a sit­ting pres­i­dent, you have to im­peach him,” Mr. Gi­u­liani said. “Now there was a little time in which there was some dis­pute about that, but they ac­knowl­edged to us orally that they un­der­stand that they can’t vi­o­late the Jus­tice Depart­ment rules.”

The for­mer New York City mayor added that if crim­i­nal ev­i­dence is found against Mr. Trump, the spe­cial coun­sel would have to sub­mit a re­port of his find­ings to Congress. It would then be up to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on whether they want to pur­sue im­peach­ment.

Mr. Gi­u­liani also said that he is push­ing to avoid hav­ing the pres­i­dent face ques­tions from the spe­cial coun­sel team.

“Do you re­ally need an in­ter­view?” Gi­u­liani said he would ask Mr. Mueller.

“You’ve got all the facts. You’ve got all the doc­u­ments. You’ve got all the ex­pla­na­tions. We’re happy to tell you they’re not go­ing to change.”

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