WASHINGTON – Special counsel Robert Mueller III’s team told President Donald Trump’s lawyers recently that prosecutors do not believe they can charge a sitting president with a crime under Justice Department guidelines, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday.
The special counsel’s conclusion signals that it would be left to Congress to address any finding of wrongdoing by Trump in the investigation. Mueller’s team is scrutinizing Russian interference in the 2016 election, whether the Russians coordinated with any Trump associates and whether the president has sought to thwart the probe.
Mueller indicated in a meeting a few weeks ago that he concurred with the view that a sitting president cannot be indicted under past legal opinions issued by the Justice Department, Giuliani told The Washington Post.
Giuliani said that Mueller at first tried to be “coy” when Giuliani asked the special counsel for his stance on the issue. One of Mueller’s aides responded that the special counsel would follow Justice Department guidelines, he said.
A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.
Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted mobsters in New York, said Mueller appeared displeased when the deputy spoke up. He compared the special counsel’s reaction to that of Vito Corleone, the mob boss that Marlon Brando played in the movie “The Godfather.”
“He didn’t seem to want to give the answer,” Giuliani said. “It reminded me of that scene in ‘The Godfather,’ with Sonny and the Godfather, where he said, ‘Oh, you’re going to take care of us? We can take care of ourselves.’ One of his assistants broke in and said, ‘Well of course, we’re bound by Justice Department policies.’ Mueller looked at him like, ‘Don’t interrupt me.’ ”
Giuliani said the issue was left as an “open question” during the meeting, but that a deputy to Mueller followed up a few days …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Politics