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“Trump would be crazy if he goes into a verbal back and forth with Mueller”

“Trump would be crazy if he goes into a verbal back and forth with Mueller”

My appearance on The Mark Levin Show: “There is nothing, zero, that Donald Trump can tell Robert Mueller that Robert Mueller does not have another source for.”

I was a guest on the Mark Levin Show on Wednesday evening, April 4, 2018.

The topic was my post, Rosenstein Memo confirming Mueller could investigate Manafort came a week after raid on Manafort’s home. We also covered related topics such as Manafort’s attempt to get the case against him thrown out, and whether Donald Trump should agree to an in-person interview with Mueller.

Mark was kind enough to hold me over to a second segment, so the audio is almost 20 minutes long.

Here are some excerpts. If you want the full treatment, you’ll have to listen below.

“The whole thing, I think, paints a very troubling picture. And the troubling picture is that Robert Mueller has decided to go after somebody, an American citizen who’s entitled to whatever rights he’s entitled to, under essentially pretenses of authority that are highly questionable…. This paints a picture that’s very troubling of a special [counsel] who has decided that he is going to go after crimes that have nothing to do with the reason why he was appointed….”

***

“If you read this Rosenstein memo, … he acts like this was part of the original authority. Why would you have to go to him to create this paper justification if it was already part of your authority? … That makes no sense. If Mueller thought he had the authority to do these things, he wouldn’t after the fact have to go to Rosenstein and essentially say, create a piece of paper which justifies what I’ve already done. It’s like that thing where people say it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.”

***

“I think the important things is this issue of Rosenstein essentially retroactively giving Mueller authority to go after Manafort, should be very frightening to people. Because in our system of justice, you find a crime first, and then you try to prove that someone was responsible for it. Mueller has it completely backwards. He was appointed without a finding that there was a crime, which is probably improper to begin with, and he’s got targets, whether he calls them legal targets or not, he’s got people he’s focusing on, namely Donald Trump and the people around him. And he’s going out trying to find crimes. That’s not the way it’s supposed to happen….”

***

“Manafort is being prosecuted for things that have nothing to do with the so-called supposed Russian collusion or campaign interference. These are subject areas that straight career prosecutors at DOJ, in whatever the appropriate division is, could have prosecuted. I mean it’s money laundering, it’s tax violations, it’s reporting violations, there is no reason that Robert Mueller needs to be doing this, other than the fact that Paul Manafort had the misfortune of associating himself for a very short period of time with Donald Trump in 2016. If Paul Manafort had not done that, he would not be prosecuted right now by Robert Mueller. Who knows if he’d be prosecuted at all.

People may like Paul Manafort or they may not like him as a character, but he is entitled to be treated fairly. And having a special [counsel] put on him to go through his life to try to find crimes that he’s done, that have nothing to do with why the special [counsel] was appointed, is very frightening, it’s not supposed to be happening. And I agree with you, that on issues unrelated to the purpose for which Robert Mueller was appointed, Jeff Sessions should take this away from him, because there’s no reason Paul Manafort should be prosecuted, for several-year-old money laundering alleged violations, by Robert Mueller.”

***

“… Donald Trump could go into an interview with Robert Mueller, and tell the truth to the best of his recollection, but if he forgets something, if he gets something wrong, if he misremembers, if he forgets to add information, he’ll find himself like Scooter Libby did, charged with a so-called process crime. There’s no information that Robert Mueller needs that is uniquely within the possession of Donald Trump.

Robert Mueller has interviewed dozens and dozens of people throughout the White House, I think practically the entire White House staff and campaign has been interviewed, they’ve had their records subpoenaed, their emails are probably in Mueller’s possession, their text messages, everything.

There is nothing, zero, that Donald Trump can tell Robert Mueller that Robert Mueller does not have another source for. And if there were such a pearl of information, it could be done by written questions. It does not need to be face-to-face. Because let’s face it, Donald Trump is somebody who shoots from the hip, he’s not going to worry very much about precise wording, so you can get yourself in trouble criminally with an overzealous prosecutor even if you want to tell the truth but if you do something which they will call obstruction of justice.

It would be insane for Donald Trump voluntarily to sit down and have a verbal interview with Robert Mueller’s team. Robert Mueller has put together a team of 13-14-15, however many lawyers, they are not there to walk away from this with some petty convictions of Paul Manafort and a couple of other people, and Michael Flynn. If that’s all they get from this, then Mueller will be considered a failure from the people who want Trump prosecuted. He is there for one reason and one reason only, to catch Donald Trump in something. Trump would be crazy if he goes in to a verbal back and forth with Mueller, where the slightest slip of a tongue could be used to claim obstruction of justice, or some other process crime.”

***

“There is no reason for him to be sitting down [with Mueller]. If I were his counsel, I would tell him do not do that.

If Robert Mueller thinks he has the legal authority to force Donald Trump to sit down with him and answer questions verbally, then let him go to court and get a court ruling to that effect. And appeal it, and take it up to the Supreme Court if need be. So if you’re forced to do it, of course you comply with what ultimately the Supreme Court says you have to do. But do not do it voluntarily.

I really hope Donald Trump not think he can talk his way out of this…. You will never convince a prosecutor who’s out to get you that you’re innocent just by going in and thinking you can talk your way out of it, and they’ll be nice to you. There’s no reason to expect that this will happen. Look what they did to Paul Manafort. There was no reason for them to have raided his home in the early hours of the morning like that. There are people on Mueller’s staff who are known for being extraordinarily aggressive in their prosecutions, and they have had cases thrown out when that came out. So Donald Trump has to understand that whatever verbiage Mueller’s office wants to use, whether it’s subject or target, he is the target. He is the person that Robert Mueller wants to get….

If Robert Mueller from all his wiretaps and his intercepts and his subpoenas and raids, if he’s got the information on Trump, he doesn’t need Trump’s interview for it. And if he doesn’t have the information, the only reason he wants Trump to sit down and verbally spar with him is to catch Trump in something and create a crime.”

***

“Again, there is nothing that Robert Mueller needs from Donald Trump, other than, in a sense, use that interview to create a crime. To create a crime where someone forgets something, or they misstate something, we’re all human, it happens.”

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Comments

My father had similar advice from washing his clients impale themselves

“When the FBI questions you, assume they already have an admission from you on video tape”

Meh. He said it better than that, but you get the point.

I don’t know why people bother trying to outsmart the FBI. Even if you happen to be more intelligent (they are wicked smart) they have experience. They’ll be reading your next move before you even telegraph it.

    tkc882 in reply to Fen. | April 5, 2018 at 10:20 am

    It is not just the FBI. I used to watch a show called ‘The First 48’ which followed real murder investigations. The detectives would do their jobs and then go question a prime suspect. The thing is, the detectives usually already knew what the answers to their questions should be. When somebody started telling a story they knew they had their criminal and would let them talk their way into hanging themselves.
    I was amazed at the number of people caught doing this without a lawyer.

      bvw in reply to tkc882. | April 5, 2018 at 10:29 am

      TV is not real not matter how real it appears. There’s a LOT MORE (1) malarky and (2) stagecraft going on behind the curtains, and all the usual inter-human interplay of vices and virtues, desires and lusts, going on, for the humans are operating in full-on intensity almost like the staff of a snowed in mountain lodge. Happy DJT had considerable training in this field.

        Edward in reply to bvw. | April 10, 2018 at 10:15 am

        I wouldn’t dispute your claim about TV or any other media. That being said the common thread among law enforcement is NEVER talk to law enforcement if you aren’t forced to. And if you are forced to talk to law enforcement, never talk to law enforcement without your own attorney present to guide and protect you. The Fifth Amendment exists for a reason (a number of reasons actually), use it.

Robert Mueller is drunk with power.

    carolinatarheel in reply to Exiliado. | April 5, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Mueller and his good friend Comey bungled the Anthrax case together which cost taxpayers $5.8 Million! Five died and 17 were injured!

    Mueller wrongly sent four men to prison. Two died in prison before they were found to be innocent!

    When Crooked Hillary helped Russia with Uranium One, Mueller was our FBI Director! Why didn’t he report her?

    Mueller has already spent over a year and over $7 Million of taxpayers money on his Witch hunt!

    Our FBI is corrupt and dangerous!

    It appears Mueller is simply trying to create something to undermine our duly elected President!

    This is a trap! President Trump should not meet with Crooked Mueller!

    America First!

      “Mueller wrongly sent four men to prison”. If you will allow an edit or two: Mueller KNOWINGLY sent four men to prison, three of whom were on death row and his shenanigans cost the taxpayers $100 million in settlement costs.

      Matthew in reply to carolinatarheel. | April 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      There was no crime associated with Uranium One.

        MarkS in reply to Matthew. | April 5, 2018 at 8:42 pm

        So the bribery associated with U1 that Mueller was investigating was just another right wing conspiracy ?

        regulus arcturus in reply to Matthew. | April 5, 2018 at 10:36 pm

        There appear to have been several: money laundering, bribery, influence peddling, obstruction, etc.

Even if PDT is capable of talking without including a single embellishment or exaggeration, he could say something which is 100% truthful but still be prosecuted for perjury if Mueller decides to believe someone else’s statement which contradicts PDT’s statement. There’s no reason to take that risk.

Sheryl Atkisson layed our what DJT’s conditions should be in Twitter the other day (from her feed):
1. An exoneration letter is drafted in advance.
2. Immunity is given to top Trump aides (and they’re allowed to sit in on interview)
3. Interview isn’t recorded.
4. Lead official (Mueller) doesn’t attend.
5. #2 official’s family has received large donations from Trump political friends.
6. Prior to the interview, lead official meets privately on plane tarmac with Trump’s wife (to discuss grandchildren)
7. Main interviewer has expressed disdain for Trump’s opponents, such as discussing an “insurance plan” with higher-ups to undermine them. If the same terms aren’t offered…Was Clinton’s interview process unfair? Or is the one proposed for Trump unfair?
8. As long as they believe Trump didn’t intend any harm, he’s let off the hook for any violations
9. If Trump becomes a target, it should be referred to as a “matter” not an investigation
10. Trump aides should be permitted to destroy subpoenaed or relevant public records and wipe relevant servers with a cloth or something

This says all you need to know about Mueller’s tactics:
http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/375545-scarlett-is-red-and-thats-no-lie

    bvw in reply to gbear. | April 5, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Very helpful article!

    I take the specific (to Mueller The Amok) nut of wisdom presented by Mr. Davidson, late of the FBI, is this “My experience as an FBI agent taught me to look to the past to predict the future. Using disingenuous allegations of lying to decide judicial matters is Mueller’s past. It appears this practice continued in the Flynn case.”

    And the more general nugget of wisdom is this imaginary example of a rogue bad prosecutor’s interrogation of a witness he wishes to hang for anything: ““When asked to describe the vehicle you drove to the dinner party, you said the vehicle’s color is red. However, the manufacturer lists the color as scarlet. Since you attended a university whose official color is scarlet, you should have known the difference between scarlet and red. I, therefore, charge you with ‘lying under oath,’ and if found to be true, that you be [punished most thoroughly].”

Nobody stands a chance in this set up when a perjury trap is the goal. Not the cleverest person in the world. Trump’s lawyer should have a one word response-No. If many words are needed, then Hell No.

Worse than Claude Stuart of Queens NY a prosecutor run amok circa 2000. Worse than Michael Nifong of Durham NC a prosecutor run amok in the infamous Duke Lacrosse Team case.

If Trump actually sits down with mueller it will go down as THE STUPIDEST thing in the history of the nation !

WA-Conservatarian | April 5, 2018 at 10:15 am

“Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime.” – Lavrentiy Beria, head of the NKVD (Stalin’s secret police).

I want to have the entertainment of washing a school teacher attempt to represent himself at trial. Traffic violations so his life wasn’t on the line. But he was idealistic and thought he was smarter than most. Apparently not smart enough to realize he was short on wisdom.

It was tragic. He didn’t understand the most basic rules of the Court like who he could cross-examine, what was objectionable, etc. His first two lines of questioning were thrown out as being irrelevant. Did he had a temper tantrum and almost got contempt.

I’m going to view Trump’s decision on this as his Gom Jabbar. If he is foolish enough to hand himself over to Mueller’s trap then he’s not the leader we’re looking for, and we should consider ourselves fortunate it came out here and not in a situation involving global thermonuclear war or some such.

Of course that will be checkmate to our last chance to save the Republic.

We still get to kill a lot of Marxists though, right?

Add to list

1) Whoever coded this voice to text software

2) the guy that screwed up duct tape.

I am sure Trump’s lawyers know what should be done, the trouble is Trump might not listen to advice that removes his person touch on it. He might also see this as a trap, but his confidence in himself might not allow him to let it go.

I just see so much wrong with this Mueller investigation and where it has gone. I do not have faith in Mueller pursuing this for honorable intensions. His ties to the Clintons and Obama and Comey and the FBI all carry a taint that I have no comfort in. Rosenstein doesn’t come off very well in this either, given his actions and allowing Mueller to go off reservation from what the original intent has been and doing so after the fact, it just looks bad.

I hope Trump listens to the advice of his legal people, and gives nothing to Mueller to use as a weapon, Trump has too many looking to bring him down.

regulus arcturus | April 5, 2018 at 11:26 am

Joe DiGenova and Alan Dershowitz commented yesterday that if Trump does eventually get subpoenaed, he should refuse to answer any questions related to his Article II powers.

    4th armored div in reply to regulus arcturus. | April 5, 2018 at 11:44 am

    i hope that Alan Dershowitz volunteers to join the Trump defens team. pro bono.
    Alan Dershowitz is a Liberian not a LibRule and is a no nonsense atty seeking to protect our Republic unlike the rent seeking terrorists in our midst calling themselves Democrats.

4th armored div | April 5, 2018 at 11:38 am

what strikes me is the continuing mantra –
both Mueller and Comey are Republicans (like GOPeee).
M has employed Democrat SJW FBI attys to go after DJT,
not discover the TRUTH but to destroy our last hope to
recover from the last 16 years of the ‘religion of Peas’.

thee president has been given advice from all attys who are not invested in destroying DJT.

Once this farce is over and hopefully an exoneration (does that ever occur ?) of Pres Trump, the FBI top 3 layers of employees need to be given the choice of resigning (with no possibility if further federal employment) or fired. They serve at the pleasure of the President. we must remove the viper from the bosom of the American People.

inspectorudy | April 5, 2018 at 11:41 am

The only leverage Mueller has is the grand jury. Even with that he must show the jury something that would convince enough of the jurist to compel Trump to testify. I do not believe Mueller has such evidence and Trump would be insane to voluntarily go before Mueller. There has to be a crime committed or at least a claim of one and so far there hasn’t been. Collusion is not a federal crime and obstruction of justice is absurd since the president has the right and authority to fire anyone in the executive administration for any reason.

    MarkS in reply to inspectorudy. | April 5, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    If Mueller’s grand jury is in DC he could get an an indictment for Trump putting Russian dressing on his salad.

      Edward in reply to MarkS. | April 10, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Sadly closer to the truth than I’d like to admit. A Republican doesn’t stand much of a chance with Jurors (Grand and Petit) in DC. A Conservative even less.

William A. Jacobson: If Robert Mueller thinks he has the legal authority to force Donald Trump to sit down with him and answer questions verbally, then let him go to court and get a court ruling to that effect.

The best legal advice is to resist, but then to make a deal. If you wait for the subpoena, then he will have much less leverage to minimize his exposure.

inspectorudy: obstruction of justice is absurd since the president has the right and authority to fire anyone in the executive administration for any reason.

Not if the reason is corrupt.

    regulus arcturus in reply to Zachriel. | April 5, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    False.

    Article II powers give the executive full agency management authority to fire anyone within his branch at will.

    If Congress, in their oversight function, deems this to be corrupt, then they may bring articles of impeachment against the president, but the president may do as he pleases within his own branch.

      regulus arcturus: Article II powers give the executive full agency management authority to fire anyone within his branch at will.

      Article II also gives the power to the President to sign or veto bills, but if he exercises that power in a quid pro quo for a bag full of cash, then that would be illegal. The President would be subject to indictment, at least once he has left office, if not before.

        regulus arcturus in reply to Zachriel. | April 6, 2018 at 11:53 am

        Not the point.

        It is commonly accepted that a sitting president cannot be indicted (though I expect Mueller to challenge that thinking), and that impeachment and removal is the remedy for presidential lawlessness.

        Just as with the Sheriff Arpaio pardon, there is nothing any other branch of government may do to interfere with presidential Article II powers in firing executive branch personnel, and if criminality is thought to be a component, impeachment and removal is the remedy, not indictment while in office.

          regulus arcturus: It is commonly accepted that a sitting president cannot be indicted

          It’s an unanswered question, and there is significant difference of opinion in legal circles.

          regulus arcturus: (though I expect Mueller to challenge that thinking)

          It’s doubtful. Mueller has to present it to Rosenstein, who will most likely not indict, but report to the House any alleged crimes.

          regulus arcturus: and that impeachment and removal is the remedy for presidential lawlessness.

          Impeachment, removal, then indictment. As we said, the President would be subject to indictment, at least once he has left office, if not before.

        Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | April 8, 2018 at 11:01 am

        Article II also gives the power to the President to sign or veto bills, but if he exercises that power in a quid pro quo for a bag full of cash, then that would be illegal.

        No, it wouldn’t.

        The President would be subject to indictment, at least once he has left office, if not before.

        For the bribe, not for signing or vetoing the bill. The same applies to Congressmen. They can be indicted for soliciting or receiving bribes, but not for voting the way they were paid to.

          Milhouse: For the bribe, not for signing or vetoing the bill. The same applies to Congressmen. They can be indicted for soliciting or receiving bribes, but not for voting the way they were paid to.

          A bribe is defined as using an inducement to persuade someone to act dishonestly in one’s favor. If the bag of cash isn’t connected to an act, then it’s not a bribe, but a gift. And that’s how the statute is written:

          18 U.S. Code § 201: a public official or person selected to be a public official, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for:

          (A) being influenced in the performance of any official act

At no point during the interview does Prof J or Mark say that what Rosenstein/Mueller did – post hoc memo authorization bootstrapping – is cause for disbarment or procedurally illegal.

Is this stuff actionably illegal or not? Ethically reprehensible behavior is cause for Disbarment or not? Because if it falls into a grey area then lawyers and judges just don’t give a hoot.

And I bloody well understand how this ‘post hoc’ action is part of the overall trail of breadcrumbs.

Legal. Not legal? That’s the question.

    Tiki in reply to Tiki. | April 5, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    And then some cowardy pissant rates me down for asking a simple question. Purity police strike agan. Internet churl.

    Legal. Not legal. That’s the question.

    Milhouse in reply to Tiki. | April 8, 2018 at 11:05 am

    To take any kind of action over it you would have to prove it was post hoc, which is impossible. It stinks to high heaven, but so long as they both insist this was included in his initial brief there is no possible way to prove otherwise.

Since the FBI has been caught falsifying their interview records no one should ever speak to them. There is nothing but downside.

This just emphasises that we’ve entered the praetorian guard picking the next emperor phase of our nation. If Mueller succeeds the republic is finished. If he’s put in check and sees the inside of a prison himself we’ll have bought ourselves a few years.

Remember he’s as dirty as they come and continues persecuting his victims even when all the evidence is against him.

Ok, people. Calm down.

The point here is *NOT* “Should Trump accept an interview with Mueller?”

The question is “What public perception should be generated by the *possibility* of Trump sitting down for an interview with Mueller?”

It is a very binary problem, and explains Trump’s behavior quite well:

1) *IF* Trump were to do as many suggest, and to proclaim that he will not allow himself to be interviewed by taking the Fifth, that will be taken as proof positive by the entire Left that he has something to hide, and we would get a million (literally) stories about how he is hiding everything from Elvis to giving birth to Putin’s illegitimate son.

2) Since he is *not* doing this foolish behavior, and one must note that he has *not* actually gone to Mueller and offered said interview, one should be aware that this is a public stance, and what will follow such a request (by Mueller) would be “Only a few small conditions”, and “Some minor tweaks to the setup” as well as the “Written list of questions to be submitted beforehand” and the inevitable “All the questions listed have already been answered to the fullest extent” which would follow.

tl;dr Trump’s not stupid enough to be interviewed, and her’s certainly not stupid enough to object publicly to being interviewed.

    Barry in reply to georgfelis. | April 5, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    georgfelis gets it.

    Edward in reply to georgfelis. | April 10, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Trump would be absolutely stupid to proclaim publicly that if forced to be interviewed/testify before a Grand Jury he would avail himself of his right under the Fifth Amendment. He isn’t generally stupid. Conversely, if he really was wishing to sit down with the Mueller bunch, and not just game playing, he would likewise be stupid.

    What his lawyers are likely advising is a similar path to that you suggest. When it becomes clear that Mueller’s Merry Band plan to obtain a Grand Jury Subpoena, negotiate publicly as you suggest.

    If that fails and they go for the Grand Jury appearance, fight the subpoena as only the President can do. Point out that you were willing to have a conversation with the Merry Bunch, but they chose to try to publicly humiliate the President and (probably will) leak to the MSM in such a way as to be casting aspersions that the President has something to hide and “forced them to go to the Grand Jury”. Point out that this is a politically motivated investigation of a subject with an objective of finding a crime. IF the SCOTUS refuses to quash the Subpoena (assuming lower courts would not, or the Merry Band loses at the lower courts and can appeal to the SCOTUS), then and only then testify – very carefully and, as someone suggested, refuse to be queried about Presidential powers as not being within the purview of the Courts, DoJ or the Merry Band to question the legitimate use of those powers by the President (and being outside the issue of the alleged Election “collusion”).

    Hopefully Manafort’s attorneys will get this shut down on the basis of an out of control Merry Band abusing the system, but I wouldn’t want to make book on that. Or that Sessions would finally step in and overrule Rosenstein on the unlimited inclusion of a hunting license for violations of any statute or issues outside of the Election.

“There is nothing, zero, that Donald Trump can tell Robert Mueller that Robert Mueller does not have another source for.”

You’re fired.

I’d pay real money to see that.

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