Bharara: Would be 'malpractice' if Mueller doesn't intv Trump

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that ex-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did a disservice by suggesting Trump should not sit down with Robert Mueller.

Posted: Jan 31, 2018 8:41 AM
Updated: Jan 31, 2018 8:41 AM

President Donald Trump's attorneys are arguing that special counsel Robert Mueller's team has not met the high threshold they believe is needed to interview a president in person, according to sources familiar with the ongoing deliberations.

Despite the fact that Trump himself has said he is "looking forward" and would "love to" meet with Mueller, he did say any interview would be "subject to my lawyers," who believe that Trump should not be required to do that.

Sources said this is an ongoing negotiation and the position by the President's lawyers is not a final stance.

While the White House has cooperated with Mueller's investigation by providing documents and voluntary witness testimony, the President's legal team argues that the President should not be treated like anyone else. Trump's attorneys would like Mueller's prosecutors to show that only the President can give them the information they require. The President's team, one source said, is consulting with the White House counsel's office and other outside legal experts given the implications of any decision about the President's testimony on the office of the President.

The discussions about presidential testimony are ongoing and professional, says one source. But it is now clear where the President's attorneys stand.

Mueller has made clear he is seeking a sit-down interview with the President, CNN reported last week. Mueller has even provided Trump's attorneys with a range of topics he wants to ask about as part of ongoing negotiations regarding an interview with the President, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

Trump's lawyer, John Dowd, told CNN last week that he will decide if the President talks to Mueller's investigators.

"I have not made any decision yet," Dowd said.

But even if the President's lawyers object and seek to fight efforts to talk to him, Mueller could ultimately seek to force the issue through a grand jury subpoena. That would prolong the issue and could lead to court battles.

One legal theory comes from a case related to the investigation of Mike Espy, President Bill Clinton's first agriculture secretary, who resigned in 1994 amid an ethics scandal and independent investigation involving gifts. His case attempted to use executive privilege to rebuff an independent criminal investigator's request for documents.

The Espy decision also laid out a legal test that lawyers on both sides could use when a president faces an inquiry. A special counsel that subpoenas the president must seek evidence that's "important to the ongoing grand jury investigation and [must demonstrate] why this evidence is not available from another source."

One significant challenge facing the President's lawyers is there is no clear legal precedent for a president to avoid testifying.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 658043

Reported Deaths: 12467
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion902221628
Lake48163871
Allen35614632
Hamilton31884394
St. Joseph29615510
Elkhart25291412
Vanderburgh21148377
Tippecanoe19815197
Johnson16262353
Porter15867268
Hendricks15744297
Clark11860179
Madison11688315
Vigo11520228
Monroe10267158
Delaware9800178
LaPorte9725194
Howard9024194
Kosciusko8519107
Bartholomew7394147
Warrick7380147
Hancock7379128
Floyd7149165
Wayne6597189
Grant6406157
Morgan6044124
Boone604188
Dubois5876111
Dearborn541266
Henry539892
Marshall5397104
Cass538999
Noble507575
Jackson462663
Shelby458890
Lawrence4161111
Gibson400581
Harrison395960
Clinton393353
DeKalb382878
Montgomery382883
Miami355163
Knox354484
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Huntington339276
Steuben336355
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Jasper313643
White295651
Jefferson293270
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Greene260278
Posey260031
Wells256074
Scott248947
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Clay239444
Randolph225076
Spencer216130
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Washington208727
Sullivan202239
Fountain200641
Starke186450
Owen181652
Fulton177437
Jay177328
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Perry172635
Orange170450
Rush164222
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Franklin158435
Tipton145641
Parke138415
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Blackford120327
Pulaski106243
Newton96431
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Crawford90113
Martin80014
Switzerland7527
Warren74712
Union66810
Ohio52811
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 959995

Reported Deaths: 17045
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1111071193
Cuyahoga945941709
Hamilton72643947
Montgomery46983875
Summit39720942
Butler35094460
Lucas34829757
Stark29061835
Warren22166270
Lorain21781386
Mahoning19282537
Lake18210300
Clermont18200206
Delaware16289129
Licking14832197
Fairfield14401156
Trumbull14171455
Greene13481211
Medina13220219
Clark12139333
Wood11411193
Portage10870153
Allen10715232
Richland10184205
Miami9954179
Columbiana8052179
Muskingum8046123
Tuscarawas7984235
Pickaway796798
Marion7944135
Wayne7799217
Erie6803183
Ross6083136
Geauga5996129
Hancock5945110
Scioto5886105
Ashtabula5884143
Lawrence520373
Union506552
Darke5013122
Belmont483987
Sandusky473393
Jefferson4726107
Huron4722117
Seneca4624103
Athens457331
Mercer4570101
Auglaize454498
Washington452186
Shelby439167
Knox398584
Putnam3967101
Madison389147
Ashland375495
Fulton375364
Defiance3682102
Brown367842
Crawford355396
Preble351070
Logan350158
Clinton336862
Highland324455
Ottawa319667
Williams299777
Jackson287756
Guernsey284034
Champaign283145
Fayette266343
Perry265943
Morrow257224
Henry243665
Holmes2420104
Hardin241957
Coshocton230847
Van Wert227849
Gallia219846
Adams213732
Pike212825
Wyandot207952
Hocking192248
Carroll178928
Paulding158023
Meigs133836
Noble128142
Monroe115336
Morgan99734
Harrison99632
Vinton76515
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