The Wall Street Journal report that President Trump’s personal legal team is in close discussions with Mueller’s team over the issue of “obstruction” in the firing of the cretinous James Comey from his perch as FBI Director:
Lawyers for Donald Trump have met several times with special counsel Robert Mueller in recent months and submitted memos arguing that the president didn’t obstruct justice by firing former FBI chief James Comey and calling into question Mr. Comey’s reliability as a potential witness, people familiar with the matter said.
The legal arguments and meetings offer the first detailed look at the interplay between the wide-ranging investigation and the team that is representing the president since the special counsel was appointed by the Justice Department on May 17.
One memo submitted to Mr. Mueller by the president’s legal team in June laid out the case that Mr. Trump has the inherent authority under the constitution to hire and fire as he sees fit and therefore didn’t obstruct justice when he fired Mr. Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in May, these people said.
This is pretty standard practice in prosecutions where the defendant can afford to fund a legal defense. The idea is present the prosecution with a fact set favorable to the client and convince them that the outcome in trial is a coin toss or worse.
One could speculate that Trump’s legal team sees the obstruction allegation as Trump’s only personal vulnerability and is moving to knock it out of the way. Mueller’s own testimony that leaked his contemporaneous memos on conversations with Trump in order to trigger the appointment of an independent counsel and yesterday’s revelation that Comey had written his exoneration of Hillary Clinton before the FBI had even interviewed witnesses calls into question Comey’s character and whether he could have been trusted to fairly pursue the Russia allegations. This has to be a point of discussion with Mueller’s team.
What does all of this mean?