Trump's Lawyers: 'This Legal Team Is Not Walking This President to a Perjury Trap'

By Susan Jones | August 9, 2018 | 5:50 AM EDT

Jay Sekulow is part of President Trump's legal team. (Photo: Screen capture/Fox News)

(CNSNews.com) - President Trump's legal team on Wednesday refused Special Counsel Robert Mueller's terms for an interview with the president of the United States.

"You want to get him under oath because you want to trap him into perjury. Well, we’re not going to let you do that," Rudy Giuliani, speaking about Mueller, told Fox News's Sean Hannity Wednesday night.

Giuliani earlier said he wants the special counsel's investigation wrapped up by September 1 so it doesn't run into the midterm election.

Jay Sekulow, another one of the president's attorneys, told Fox News's Laura Ingraham Wednesday night, "I'm not going to disclose what we told the special counsel, but needless to say, we didn't accept their offer."

 

Sekulow and Giuliani repeatedly have made the point that the president has been "completely transparent" in turning over millions of documents and allowing dozens of witness interviews. And they say the special counsel has no right to question the president's Article II powers, including the right fire his FBI director.

"I've said this, I've been saying this for a year, I'll say it again," Sekulow told Ingraham: "My thoughts and my view of the Constitution is, they don't have the right to ask any of these questions. And I think that's supported not only by case law in the D.C. Circuit but also by the structure of the Constitution itself.

"So I can assure you this tonight -- this legal team is not walking this president to a perjury trap, not going to happen. If there's any type of interview, whether it's written or otherwise, it will be the appropriate type of response. We're not letting the president walk into a perjury trap.

"This investigation from its outset, who would allow that in light of everything that has transpired and continues to transpire? So I'm not going to disclose the contents -- you understand I'm not going to disclose what we told the special counsel, but needless to say, we didn't accept their offer."

Ingraham asked Sekulow if he thinks it would be possible to get a "fair two hours of questioning" from the special counsel, given new revelations about the role of Bruce Ohr, a top Obama Justice Department official, who reportedly was relaying information from Christopher Steele to the FBI after the FBI had fired Steele as a source. Ohr's wife worked for Fusion GPS, which hired Steele to produce opposition research on Donald Trump -- research paid for the the DNC and Clinton campaign.

Here's my response to that," Sekulow said.

"I'm not inclined to believe at this point in the nature and scope of where this investigation is that there is such a thing as a fair shake. Now, that's not to say that something couldn't be arranged, but I will tell you this, my inclination on -- speaking here as a lawyer to the president, I can also speak for our legal team.

"Go back to the perjury trap. It is not going to happen. Thus, the question is, could they structure a series of questions that the president should answer under Article II of the Constitution, and I think the hurdle on that is very high for them and they haven't established it at this point."

And what if the special counsel does go to court in an attempt to compel President Trump's testimony? Ingraham asked Sekulow:

"So the issue, which you’re pointing to, is if there was an issuance of a subpoena which is a serious question and I do not think the Justice Department has the authority in this case and would authorize it because Bob Mueller is not an independent counsel, he can't do that himself. Are we ready to go to court if we had to? You bet. Do I think we’re going to have to? I don't think so. If we do -- we'll do it.

"I mean, look, you've got to protect not just this president but the presidency. That's what's at stake here. Could you imagine every U.S. Attorney that had an issue with the president of the United States could issue a subpoena for that president to testify? Now he founders knew that wouldn't work, and that's why they structured three branches of government and separation of powers."

Sekulow said the Mueller investigation "from the outset has been corrupt," and he said it "needs to end very soon."


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