Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s lead attorney for the ongoing special counsel investigation, said Monday that Trump’s legal team is planning to send a letter to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III this week that will largely rebuff Mueller’s latest offer of a presidential interview that would include questions about possible obstruction of justice.
“We have a real reluctance about allowing any questions about obstruction,” Giuliani said in an interview with The Washington Post when asked about the overarching theme of the letter.
He said he and other Trump lawyers have been discussing the details of a draft version of the letter in recent days and hope to send it to Mueller “sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Giuliani said he expects the letter to “continue the negotiations” rather than formally decline Mueller’s request.
“The president still hasn’t made a decision, and we’re not going to make a final decision just yet,” he said.
The delay comes as Trump is publicly attacking Mueller’s investigation as a “hoax” and after Trump tweeted last Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should “should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now.”
Giuliani acknowledged that this week’s further stalling of a decision could irritate federal investigators, who have been talking with Trump’s lawyers for months about interviewing the president.
“Sure, it could,” Giuliani said. “But they are trying to get something on perjury and that’s not going to happen. The answers, with regard to [former national security adviser Michael T.] Flynn and the firing of [FBI Director James B.] Comey are already well known and they’re not going to change. He’d say the same thing in the interview that he’s said publicly.”
Giuliani added that Mueller “doesn’t need us. He’s got our explanation.”
Flynn, who is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the United States.