Two nights ago, Trump stumbled into a White House press scrum and proceeded to allow journalists to flatter him into a private date with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller . . . under oath.
Today, new evidence has come to light revealing that the President’s legal team has been concocting far-fetched schemes to keep him as far as possible from Mueller’s Russian-collusion-meets-obstruction-of-justice investigation.
Much of an obstruction of justice case entails establishing corrupt intent. Trump’s sustained campaign to fire investigators, intimidate witnesses, and falsify documents provides plenty of evidence of corrupt intent.
However, according to a new scoop from the Wall Street Journal, a 1997 federal appeals court ruling established a precedent that could be helpful in protecting Trump from having to share his state of mind:
[P]residents and their closest advisers enjoy protections against having to disclose information about their decision-making process or official actions . . . The court ruled that prosecutors hoping to overcome arguments of executive and presidential privilege must show that such information contains ‘important evidence’ that isn’t available elsewhere.
The last time Trump sat for an interview (with NBC News’ Lester Holt), he confessed to obstruction of justice.
His lawyers, therefore, would never want him to sit down with Mueller — a hardened prosecutor, former FBI director, and decorated Vietnam Vet, with ice water running through his veins and plenty of evidence to back up his interrogation.
However, if Trump refuses an interview with Mueller, the special prosecutor could subpoena him to testify without a lawyer present before the grand jury, which would likely lead to the Presidon’t incriminating himself, unless he pleads the Fifth.
Of course, if he pleads the Fifth Amendment, everyone will call him guilty.
To prevent such an outcome, his lawyers are considering citing the 1997 case that acquitted then-Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy of receiving improper gifts.
Todd Presnell, a legal expert on presidential privilege stated, “This is really the only argument they can make outside of the Fifth . . .The Fifth Amendment would be a public-relations nightmare.”
However, Presnell added that the case would only protect Trump from testifying about acts committed during his presidency.
Any crimes he and his inner circle committed during the 2016 presidential election would be fair game for Mueller’s team of prosecutors.
Meanwhile, Mueller has accumulated plenty of “important evidence.” Whatever President Trump lets slip would only be icing on the cake.
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