Because this is exactly the way innocent people act.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting on President Trump’s legal team’s strategy, regarding special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe.
The hope seems to be that a 1997 federal court case will provide a basis for limiting or avoiding the need to answer questions, altogether.
The federal court case being scrutinized by Trump’s lawyers ruled that presidents and close advisers are granted some protections that prevent them from revealing information about their decision-making process and official actions.
Trump’s legal team is weighing whether the ruling could be the basis for avoiding full disclosure to Mueller, sources told the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
In the event that Trump turned down an interview with Mueller and was subsequently subpoenaed, Trump could push back against it, partially using the 1997 ruling. Additionally, he could also invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
I can just imagine the media response if Trump were to walk into the room with Mueller and immediately take the Fifth.
On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that he was “looking forward” to speaking with Mueller, and that he’d be willing to do so, under oath.
White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, was quick to follow that up, afterwards, with a warning that when reporters got those statements from Trump, he was in a rush and only meant that he’d be willing to meet with Mueller.
“He’s ready to meet with them, but he’ll be guided by the advice of his personal counsel,” Cobb told the New York Times.
If Trump and his team decide to use the 1997 ruling to skirt around questioning, it would only apply to his time in office, and not during the campaign or transition period.