Rudy Giuliani, a recent addition to President Donald Trump’s legal team, sketched out a set of terms on Wednesday for a potential interview between Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller in an interview with The Washington Post.
Giuliani told The Post that if the President participates in an interview with Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, it would need to be no longer than “two to three hours” of questioning based on “a narrow set of questions.”
The comments follow heightened speculation over whether the President will sit for an interview as part of the special counsel investigation, which is also looking into any possible links or coordination between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government. Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt” and said there was no collusion.
A series of potential interview questions for Trump was leaked to The New York Times earlier this week. Several of the questions relate to the possibility of obstruction of justice. CNN had previously reported that the questions Mueller is seeking to ask fall into four main categories and include queries about the firings of former FBI Director James Comey and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Giuliani’s comments to the Post suggest that Trump’s legal team hopes to limit the scope of the questions and the duration as conditions of the potential interview.
“Some people have talked about a possible 12-hour interview,” Giuliani told the Post. “That’s not going to happen, I’ll tell you that. It’d be, max, two to three hours around a narrow set of questions.”
CNN has reported that Trump’s legal team is preparing for a showdown with the special counsel — and bracing for the possibility that Mueller might subpoena the President if he declines to cooperate with an interview.
The President has lashed out against the Mueller probe in recent days and suggested that any questions he might face about obstruction of justice would be a trap.
“There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap),” Trump tweeted earlier Wednesday. “What there is is Negotiations going on with North Korea over Nuclear War, Negotiations going on with China over Trade Deficits, Negotiations on NAFTA, and much more. Witch Hunt!”
Adding further uncertainty is the fact that the President’s legal team is in the midst of a shake-up.
The administration said on Wednesday that White House lawyer Ty Cobb is stepping down.
“I’ve done what I came to do in terms of managing the White House response to the special counsel requests,” Cobb told CNN on Wednesday.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that Emmet Flood, a lawyer who represented then-President Bill Clinton when he faced impeachment proceedings in the 1990s, “will be joining the White House staff to represent the President and the administration” in the Russia investigation, which she referred to as a “witch hunt.”