WASHINGTON, D.C., November 20, 2018 – In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, AFJ Senior Justice Fellow Bill Yeomans writes that despite the months of teasing remarks and tantalizing headlines, President Trump has no intention of sitting down for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Writes Yeomans: “His [Trump’s] team knows that, yet it has seen value in convincing credulous journalists that it was engaged in good faith negotiations with Mueller over the terms of an interview. Their ‘negotiations’ bought time, during which they could pursue their baseless campaign to delegitimize Mueller’s investigation.”
The White House says Trump will provide written answers to a small set of questions, and Mueller seems to have accepted the offer because there is no real choice. “Mueller’s most obvious alternative is to subpoena Trump to appear before the grand jury,” Yeomans notes. “A subpoena, however, is unlikely to produce helpful testimony. By now, Mueller knows far more about Trump’s dealings than Trump does. Even if Trump testified, he would change the subject and forget. He would also lie because he appears unable to help himself. His lies would not advance the investigation, but could provide further fodder for impeachment. That alone, however, is not a good reason to put him before the grand jury.”
So written responses from Trump may be all Mueller will ever have. Meanwhile Trump’s stonewalling,” which looks a lot like obstruction” according to Yeomans, continues — and it’s time to recognize it for what it is.
Yeomans Work focuses on the challenges to the justice system in the era of Trump. Bill Yeomans is available for media interviews. Contact Laurie Kinney, Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-464-7367.