- President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says the special counsel Robert Mueller plans to wrap up his obstruction-of-justice case against Trump by September 1.
- Giuliani told The New York Times that Mueller’s investigation should close before the coming midterm elections in November or it would risk influencing voters.
- The Times speculated that Giuliani’s comments appeared to be an attempt at publicly pressuring Mueller as Trump’s team contemplates letting Trump be interviewed by the special counsel.
President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says the special counsel Robert Mueller plans to wrap up his obstruction-of-justice case against Trump by September 1.
Giuliani told The New York Times that Mueller shared his timeline for the investigation two weeks ago as part of negotiations over whether Trump would agree to an interview by the special counsel’s team.
The Times speculated that Giuliani’s comments appeared to be an attempt at publicly pressuring Mueller as Trump’s team contemplates allowing Trump to be interviewed.
Giuliani argued that Mueller’s investigation should close before the November midterm elections, saying that waiting any longer could influence voters. Giuliani compared the situation to James Comey’s decision as FBI director to restart an investigation into Hilary Clinton’s use of a private email server in the days leading up to the 2016 election, a move that may have contributed to her loss to Trump.
“You don’t want another repeat of the 2016 election where you get contrary reports at the end and you don’t know how it affected the election,” Giuliani told The Times.
Mueller’s team is also investigating Comey’s bombshell claim that Trump asked him to end his investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Giuliani told The Times he hoped the Justice Department would open a criminal perjury investigation into Comey.
“We want the concentration of this to be on Comey versus the president’s credibility, and I think we win that and people get that,” Giuliani told The Times. He added that he wanted the results of the investigation to be made public.
Giuliani’s statements followed a tweet from Trump, made hours earlier on Sunday, about Mueller’s investigation potentially hurting Republicans in the midterms.
Giuliani said that Trump was open to sitting down with Mueller but that the interview would most likely take place after Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
In addition to possible obstruction of justice by Trump, Mueller’s investigation, now in its second year, is looking at Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives to tip the scales in Trump’s favour. Giuliani’s comments about the September deadline were referring only to the obstruction inquiry.
On Sunday, Trump demanded that the Justice Department look into whether the FBI had an informant “infiltrate” his presidential campaign for political purposes. Neither Trump nor Giuliani provided any evidence of that claim.
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