The end to the investigation into Russian hacking seems near, and its climax might be a move nobody saw coming.
The federal government and some Congressional committees have been investigating Russian hacking during the 2016 election for some time.
Special counsel Robert Mueller, who was hired after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, is investigating not just the nature and possible effects of the hacking, but whether or not it was a coordinated effort with the Trump campaign.
He is also investigating whether Trump firing Comey after supposedly asking him for loyalty on three separate occasions qualifies as obstruction of justice.
The investigation has also uncovered interesting finds, implicating those closest to Trump, including his son, who met with a Russian lawyer under the guise of discussing adoption law while supposedly really there to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s lawyers have been in disarray discussing how to properly deal with the investigation and the extent to which they should cooperate, suggesting that there really is something to hide.
What’s Happening Now:
Trump and his lawyers are desperate to wrap the investigation up, and they think sitting Trump down with Mueller might make that happen.
According to Politico, Trump’s lawyers expect Mueller to want to interview Trump, but if he doesn’t offer by Thanksgiving, Trump’s lawyers might volunteer Trump for the interview in an attempt to force Mueller’s hand.
Regardless of their enthusiasm, there are possible complications to Trump meeting with Mueller, depending on what Mueller asks. Trump could end up in areas concerning why he decided to fire Comey (which he admitted to Lester Holt was linked to Comey’s investigation of Russian hacking), or the extent to which he knew what the Russians were doing.
A White House official informed Politico of the working plans, but that official doesn’t seem to be representing a united front.
Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, sent an email to Politico calling the story “totally false”, with several exclamation marks.
So yet again, Trump’s circle just can’t get on the same page.
Trump said that he’s willing to testify under oath concerning the investigation, but Trump also doesn’t seem to think there are any consequences for blatantly lying. He’s done so on several occasions, including most recently when he said the GOP’s latest healthcare bill didn’t pass because one Senator was in the hospital.
But funny enough, there wasn’t a senator was in the hospital.
If Mueller does want to talk to Trump, he would likely have to, as precedent has been set through Supreme Court decisions and previous presidents. While Trump can deny the interview during times of distress, like a world war, he cannot deny Mueller based on being president of the United States.
He could invoke his fifth amendment right and refuse to answer questions, but nothing else looks more incriminating.
Trump’s unpredictable nature could be causing the rift in lawyers and aides. While cooperating fully with Mueller is the best way to show innocence and move towards wrapping up the investigation, many might not know how Trump is going to act under oath.
Hopefully, America is going to get to find out.