- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2018

President Trump’s attorneys are reportedly resisting requests by special counsel Robert Mueller to interview the president personally.

Citing “sources familiar with the ongoing deliberations,” CNN reported that Mr. Trump’s legal team is arguing that the investigation has not met the “high threshold” required for a legal action involving a sitting president — who is the enforcer of the nation’s laws and technically the boss of whoever would be interviewing him.

Mr. Mueller, who is investigating charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, wants to interview the president and has even provided the White House with a list of the topics to be covered, according to previous CNN reporting.

And Mr. Trump has publicly said on several occasions that he would “love to” testify to Mr. Mueller and would be “looking forward” to the opportunity, while acknowledging that it’s a decision for his lawyers.

Those lawyers are reluctant though.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that President Bill Clinton couldn’t refuse to testify in the Paula Jones sexual-harassment lawsuit, because the purported misconduct was made as a private citizen and did not involve the exercise of the president’s powers.

However some justices acknowledged that nuisance lawsuits could become a problem for a sitting president and said he could refuse if testifying would interfere with exercise of his constitutional powers.

Still, “it appears to us highly unlikely to occupy any substantial amount of petitioner’s time,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for a unanimous court.

Prosecutors at all levels, however, often interview witnesses in the hope of baiting or guiding them into lying under oath, the so-called “perjury trap,” even if there is no underlying illegal conduct.

Indeed, the Jones lawsuit set up the chain of events that led to Mr. Clinton’s 1998 impeachment by the House.


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