After literal months of back and forth over whether President Trump was willing to be interviewed about his alleged blocking of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani has told the Associated Press that Trump will not answer those questions. In recent weeks, it was frequently reported that Trump would answer some questions about obstruction in writing. Now, Giuliani says that’s not the case.
“That’s a no-go. That is not going happen,” Giuliani told AP. “There will be no questions at all on obstruction.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller has sought to interview Trump on his firing of FBI director James Comey and his public criticisms of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, among other actions that could potentially count as obstruction of justice. Last week, Mueller said his team would accept written responses to the questions from Trump.
From the AP:
It’s unclear if Giuliani’s public position has been endorsed by Trump, who has said he wants to answer questions under oath. Negotiations about the scope and format of an interview are still ongoing. If the legal team holds its stance, it could force Mueller to try to subpoena the president, likely triggering a standoff that would lead to the Supreme Court.
There’s speculation that Giuliani’s change of tune could be due to watching the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who could potentially swing a Supreme Court decision in favor of Trump if he is confirmed. The court has never decided whether a president can be forced to testify by a subpoena.