Gi­u­liani sees strong lim­its on ques­tions for Trump

Mueller nar­row­ing top­ics for in­ter­view

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROWAN SCAR­BOR­OUGH

Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani, Pres­i­dent Trump’s at­tor­ney, says spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller has agreed to avoid a “fish­ing” ex­pe­di­tion by nar­row­ing the sub­ject of ques­tions in an ef­fort to get the pres­i­dent to sub­mit to an in­ter­view with the pros­e­cu­tor.

Mr. Gi­u­liani also says he thinks fired FBI Di­rec­tor James B. Comey is “not go­ing to be worth any­thing as a wit­ness” and thus less a threat to the pres­i­dent.

Mr. Gi­u­liani told The Wash­ing­ton Times that Mr. Mueller’s team dis­played a good-faith ef­fort dur­ing a Wed­nes­day meet­ing that might re­sult in an in­ter­view in July and a fi­nal Mueller re­port by La­bor Day.

“He’s elim­i­nated a lot of sub­jects that would have in­di­cated he was fish­ing,” Mr. Gi­u­liani told The Times on Thurs­day. “He’s elim­i­nated those, and he’s into a much more relevant area where we know the an­swers and we know the an­swers re­ally can’t be ef­fec­tively con­tra­dicted.”

He de­clined to spec­ify what top­ics have been dropped.

He has con­tended from the start that there is no

ev­i­dence of Trump col­lu­sion in Rus­sian elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence. The other two ma­jor top­ics: whether the pres­i­dent some­how ob­structed jus­tice in the fir­ing of Mr. Comey, a Mueller friend, and whether he might com­mit per­jury in an­swer­ing ques­tions un­der oath.

Mr. Gi­u­liani is a long­time Trump friend who was brought in to try to bring an end to Mr. Mueller’s in­quiry. He said a fi­nal agree­ment on tes­ti­fy­ing would in­clude the sub­jects; an ex­change of ques­tions and any Trump ob­jec­tions; a place and time; and a sched­ule for a fi­nal re­port.

“What I’m telling you, none has been agreed to,” he said, putting the chance of an in­ter­view at 50-50. He said he could agree to a two- to three-hour in­ter­view.

On per­jury, the is­sue would be Mr. Comey’s word in con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous memos he wrote of dis­cus­sions with the pres­i­dent ver­sus Mr. Trump’s rec­ol­lec­tion.

Mr. Comey leaked his memos to the press with the ex­press pur­pose of prompt­ing the ap­point­ment of a spe­cial coun­sel. Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein com­plied.

Mr. Comey said Mr. Trump urged him to end an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into re­tired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, his brief na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser. Mr. Trump said he did not.

Mr. Gi­u­liani said Mr. Comey has re­vealed him­self to be a leaker of con­fi­den­tial ma­te­rial.

He also be­lieves Mr. Comey’s cred­i­bil­ity will be dam­aged by an up­com­ing re­port by Jus­tice Depart­ment In­spec­tor Gen­eral Michael Horowitz on how the di­rec­tor han­dled the Hil­lary Clin­ton email in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“We don’t have a prob­lem with him un­der oath,” Mr. Gi­u­liani said. “What we have a prob­lem is they’re us­ing some­body else as the ar­biter of truth, like Comey. We think when Horowitz gets fin­ished with him he’s not go­ing to be worth any­thing as a wit­ness.”

Mr. Gi­u­liani said he wants Mr. Mueller to “show a re­al­is­tic at­ti­tude to­ward the guy I think was go­ing to be their chief wit­ness, Comey, who is fall­ing apart in front of us.”

Asked whether Mr. Mueller’s team be­lieves they have ev­i­dence of col­lu­sion, Mr. Gi­u­liani said, “Ac­tu­ally, when you press them re­ally hard, they say they can put this to­gether and that to­gether. But do they have any hard ev­i­dence of it? Do they have ev­i­dence that could be sus­tained in some kind of a pro­ceed­ing? No.”

Asked about Mr. Mueller’s strat­egy, Mr. Gi­u­liani said:

“I think they are re­ly­ing more on ob­struc­tion and they wish per­jury from their point of view than they are on col­lu­sion with the Rus­sians. I think ev­ery time they’ve gone up the col­lu­sion al­ley it’s gone nowhere. That be­comes the big­gest ob­sta­cle to our tes­ti­fy­ing. Why are we go­ing to get them to use the pres­i­dent’s word against him­self? He’s al­ready given all the ex­pla­na­tions that they need to make a de­ci­sion in his pub­lic com­ments. His com­ments un­der oath are not go­ing to be ma­te­ri­ally dif­fer­ent than this pub­lic com­ments. And if they would be we would tell them that. ‘On fur­ther re­flec­tion, he re­mem­bers this and that.’ So far, there haven’t been too many fur­ther re­flec­tions.”

Mr. Gi­u­liani said the Mueller team un­der­stands that Mr. Trump could not sit for ques­tion­ing be­fore the proposed sum­mit with North Korea on June 12.

“Of course Mueller agrees with that,” he said. “I think he’s anx­ious to wrap up be­cause he’s be­come a bit of a tar­get now. He re­al­ized he would get nowhere if he tried to do it now. We couldn’t pre­pare. He couldn’t force him if he went to court. It might jeop­ar­dize his abil­ity to ques­tion him at all.”

Mr. Gi­u­liani pre­vi­ously said one agree­ment he pro­cured is that Mr. Mueller agrees he can­not legally in­dict the pres­i­dent.


MOV­ING ALONG: Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani sug­gested that a fi­nal re­port could be com­pleted by La­bor Day.

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