Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump blasts Mueller’s spending on Russian Federation probe

Trump blasts Mueller’s spending on Russian Federation probe

Trump's lawyers fear that if he answers questions, either voluntarily or in front of a grand jury, he risks exposing himself to accusations of lying to investigators, a potential crime or impeachable offense.

A memo dated January 29, 2018, argues that the Constitution gives the president vast authority to, for instance, fire FBI Director James Comey, and even argues that the president can not obstruct justice by terminating an investigation.

President Donald Trump pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rethink his recusal from the FBI's Russian Federation investigation at least four times, Axios reported this week.

A copy of the letter, which was hand-delivered to the special counsel's office in January, was obtained by The New York Times.

"The president's prime function as the chief executive ought not be hampered by requests for interview", they wrote. "Moreover, as we have indicated in our meetings, we are reminded of our duty to protect the president and his office".

Mr. Mueller, the president's attorneys argued, needs to prove that the president is the only person who can give him the information he seeks and that he has exhausted all other avenues for getting it.

"In light of these voluntary offerings, your office clearly lacks the requisite need to personally interview the President", the letter argues.

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Trump weighed in today on Twitter, asking "Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media?"

Though it is written as a defense of the president, the letter recalls the tangled drama of early 2017 as the new administration dealt with the Russian Federation investigation. Trump's decision to dismiss the FBI director was an appropriate use of presidential power meant to exert oversight over the bureau as a result of its missteps in the 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, they wrote. He was under intense pressure to resign but did not and Clinton was later forced to dismiss him.

The letter goes on to say that if the president did order the termination of an investigation, even though he contends he did not, "this could not constitute obstruction of justice".

The memo further argued that the president can terminate any investigation without obstructing justice. "To the contrary, he facilitated it".

Mueller has requested an interview with Trump, but while the president has said he would be willing to sit down with the special counsel, his legal team has advised against it.

"Every action that the president took was taken with full constitutional authority pursuant to Article II of the United States Constitution", they wrote of the part of the Constitution that created the executive branch.

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