Donald Trump’s team is reportedly urging the president to refuse a sit-down interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, all but begging for a grand jury subpoena.
According to a new report from the New York Times, the president’s lawyers don’t want Trump to participate in such an interview because they know he is incapable of telling the truth.
More from the New York Times:
Lawyers for President Trump have advised him against sitting down for a wide-ranging interview with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to four people briefed on the matter, raising the specter of a monthslong court battle over whether the president must answer questions under oath.
His lawyers are concerned that the president, who has a history of making false statements and contradicting himself, could be charged with lying to investigators. Their stance puts them at odds with Mr. Trump, who has said publicly and privately that he is eager to speak with Mr. Mueller as part of the investigation into possible ties between his associates and Russia’s election interference, and whether he obstructed justice.
If Trump listens to his lawyers and decides not to grant Mueller an interview, it could set up a legal fight that could lead all the way to the Supreme Court.
As the Times also noted on Monday, “Refusing to sit for an interview opens the possibility that Mr. Mueller will subpoena the president to testify before a grand jury, setting up a court fight that would dramatically escalate the investigation and could be decided by the Supreme Court.”
Trump’s lawyers may think it’s a good idea to keep the loose-lipped president away from Mueller, but putting Trump before a grand jury has the potential to be much worse. Unlike a special counsel interview, Trump would not be allowed to have a lawyer present in a testimony before a grand jury.
Ultimately, either setting would be dire for this president who essentially finds himself stuck choosing between two outcomes: 1. Admitting to obstructing justice; or 2. Lying under oath.