Donald Trump has again refused to answer questions from special counsel Robert Mueller. CNN reports that, despite having agreed to a meeting at Camp David all the way back in January of 2018, Trump’s legal team is continuing to refuse any questioning of Trump.
At the start of 2018, Trump said he was “looking forward” to talking to Mueller, and would do so under oath. He was “very eager” to talk to the special counsel’s investigators anytime they wanted. He “wanted to do so badly.” But the funny thing was, at the same time Trump was handing out interviews about his looking forward to, being eager to, wanting so badly to meet with Mueller, his attorney was shooting off a “searing” letter to the same office declaring that Trump had no obligation to sit down with the special counsel. At all. Despite having an agreed-on time and place to meet, despite demanding and receiving a list of topics the special counsel wanted to discuss, despite expressing confidence just days ahead of the planned meeting, Trump’s legal team slammed the door on Trump talking with Mueller. While Trump continued to pretend he wanted nothing more.
A year later, Trump has still not talked to any representative from the special counsel’s office. He, or rather his legal team, did provide the answers to a short set of written responses in November, in which Trump expressed near boundless ignorance. That included claiming he had no knowledge about the Trump Tower meeting between his campaign staff and Russian operatives and had no information on contacts between his campaign and WikiLeaks. Shortly after Trump turned in his paperwork, the special counsel was back in court to accuse Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort of lying to investigators. Considering that Manafort was in communication with Trump’s legal team through this period, that’s not a great sign that everything in Trump’s written responses cleared even the first hurdle.
Since then, Robert Mueller has reportedly made additional requests for Trump to answer questions in person. But Trump has continued to give his answers only in the form of calling Mueller names on Twitter. With Michael Cohen now acting as a cooperating witness, Michael Flynn being sharply reprimanded by a judge to reconsider his level of cooperation, and Paul Manafort headed for a hearing concerning his failure to cooperate, Trump’s attorney’s have more reason than ever to believe that Mueller already knows anything that Trump might tell him. Except that Trump, as he does on all occasions, would very likely lie.
If Donald Trump is going to sit down with Robert Mueller, that process is going to have to start with a subpoena—and make it past the Supreme Court. Whether Mueller wants to go there is an open question, but the fact that the special counsel’s office is still making attempts to interview Trump certainly leaves open that possibility.