In a new interview with Reuters, our faithful idiot president accidentally revealed that he has absolutely no clue what it means to perjure yourself. The interview was in regards to Trump’s ongoing indecision over whether to agree to an in-person interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“The president expressed fears that investigators could compare his statements with that of others who have testified in the probe, such as former FBI Director James Comey, and that any discrepancies could be used against him,” Reuters writes.
“Even if I am telling the truth, that makes me a liar,” Trump told the news agency. “That’s no good.”
That is 100 percent not how perjury works.
Perjury, is, essentially, lying under oath. But to perjure yourself, you must lie willfully. Thus, Trump’s assertion that he could accidentally perjure himself by telling the truth literally does not make sense.
Let’s break this down. First of all, if whatever Trump told Mueller was the truth, it wouldn’t be perjury in any case. But it seems that what Trump is saying here is that he might “accidentally” lie under oath—that his statements, though truthful to the best of his knowledge, may contradict more truthful statements made by other interviewees under oath. This still isn’t perjury. Perjury has nothing to do with what other interviewees have said, unless what they said suggests that Trump might be purposefully lying, and Mueller can prove that.
Reuters suggests that Trump may have picked up this definition of perjury from his lawyer, the ever-competent Rudy Giuliani, who referred to Mueller’s interview request as a “perjury trap” (whatever that means).
Now, perhaps what Trump is saying is that he’s concerned that if his statements contradict Comey’s, Mueller could then charge him with perjury in order to prove he lied willfully. This is true. But would Mueller do that without a solid case?
This is getting a little dicey. I admit, I’m no expert when it comes to law. So I asked a trusted source.
“Mueller will not charge anyone without reason,” my father, Gary Weiner, a California lawyer and globally renowned expert in alternative dispute resolution, told me over Facebook chat. “It’s harder to prove perjury based on recollection of a conversation than [if] I say I was home at nine but there’s a picture of me at your house [then].”
Whew. It seems I was right: Trump has little reason to worry he’d be charged for perjury unless he, you know, is planning to lie under oath. Thanks Dad.