President Trump could refuse to comply with a subpoena to answer questions from the special counsel investigating Russian election interference, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Sunday.
The former New York mayor who is now representing Trump said he doesn’t think Trump should sit down with special counsel Robert Mueller — and that he wouldn’t have to talk even if subpoenaed.
“We don’t have to,” Giuliani said on ABC’s “This Week” when asked if Trump would cooperate if Mueller subpoenas him. “He’s President of the United States. We can assert the same privilege as other presidents have.”
Mueller is looking to question Trump, and has a list of four dozen wide-ranging questions to ask him, obtained by the New York Times. Trump has also said publicly he would like to talk — but Giuliani said he’s not prepared to make that happen.
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“Not after the way they’ve acted,” he said on “This Week.” “I came into this case with a desire to do that, and they just keep convincing not to do it.”
Giuliani did not rule out that Trump could invoke the Fifth Amendment to decline to answer questions if he does sit down with Mueller.
“How can I ever be confident of that?” he said. “Every lawyer in America thinks he would be a fool to testify. I’ve got a client who wants to testify.”
Giuliani suggested that he would “walk him into a prosecution for perjury” if he advised Trump to testify.
Trump has a long record of making false statements in public, which has led many legal experts to say he could get himself in trouble if he does submit to grilling by Mueller.
But Giuliani insisted Trump could end up pursued for perjury even if he tells the truth, since investigators may instead believe the account from former FBI director James Comey, who was fired by Trump.
Investigators are examining whether Trump fired Comey to impede the Russia investigation before it was taken over by the special counsel, which could add up to obstruction of justice. Comey says Trump demanded his loyalty and asked him to back off a probe into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, charges Trump denies.
“Could Comey be lying? You're damn right he could be lying...And we're going to walk ourselves into a trap like that?” Giuliani said. “The special counsel so far seems to think that Comey is Moses. And I happen to think Comey is Judas.”
“You couldn’t put a lawyer on the show who wants to keep his law license to tell you he should testify,” Giuliani said.