Donald Trump’s lawyers are advising him not to sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, reports The New York Times.
The news comes amidst discussion in recent weeks that Trump might go through with the much-anticipated interview, with he himself publicly voicing his willingness to do it.
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Reportedly, Trump’s lawyers are afraid he could end up making false statements to Mueller’s team and subsequently be charged with lying to the investigation. It’s not an unreasonable expectation, given that lying broadly and impulsively is something Trump does every day. It seems to be something he genuinely enjoys.
The news also seems to indicate that Trump has something to hide from the Mueller investigation, given that an innocent man would be able to talk to the investigators without fear. At the very least, a refusal to be interviewed could cause a great deal of political damage, as much of the public would interpret it as a tacit admission of guilt.
The Times adds that if Trump follows his lawyers’ advice and refuses to be interviewed, Mueller might, in turn, be forced to subpoena him to appear before a grand jury. A lone voice of dissent in the White House is Ty Cobb, who believes that Trump should cooperate with the Mueller investigation. It’s as yet unclear whose advice the president will follow.
It’s a lose-lose situation for Trump. Either he does the interview and likely lies, setting off a slew of legal troubles, or he rejects the interview overtures and dives face first into a public relations nightmare.