Trump had the nerve to question Hillary Clinton's 'stamina.' Yet he can't even come close to matching her when it comes to simply sitting down and answering questions.
Trump’s new attorneys have the same problem his old ones did: How do they shield him from meeting with special counsel Robert Mueller, where Trump would undoubtedly expose himself legally by telling endless falsehoods?
Mueller is reportedly pushing for the meeting, and even suggested he might subpoena Trump if he refuses to answer questions.
Based on a leak that likely came from the White House, on Monday The New York Times published dozens of questions Mueller’s team wants to ask Trump. It would take many, many hours for federal investigators to properly cover all the topics they need to address.
But now Trump’s latest attorney, Rudy Giuliani, claims Trump would only be willing to sit for two or three at the most:
NEWS-Giuliani, mins after Cobb exit, goes on-rec w/ @WashingtonPost re: Mueller intvw. “Some people have talked about a possible 12-hour interview. If it happens, that’s not going to happen, I’ll tell you that. It’d be, max, two to three hours around a narrow set of questions."
— Robert Costa (@costareports) May 2, 2018
That stands in stark contrast to the 11-hour grilling Hillary Clinton faced in 2015 about the Benghazi terror attack.
Apparently, despite his protestations to the contrary, Clinton has far more stamina than Trump. Or perhaps it’s that she had nothing to hide, while Trump likely has a lot he’d like to keep hidden.
Putting a tight limit on the length of the interview would help to ensure that not all of Mueller’s questions could be addressed. Giuliani may also be hoping that Trump could run out the clock by giving long, convoluted answers.
Trump used to insist he has nothing to hide and would be happy with meet with Mueller. But others around him felt quite differently. Attorney John Dowd abruptly quit Trump’s team in March, in part because he opposed the idea of such a meeting.
It’s an understandable concern. Because every word Trump says during an interview with Mueller would be subject to 18 U.S. Code 1001, the statute that criminalizes false statements to federal agents.
Trump’s rhetoric about gladly meeting with Mueller has been replaced with attacks on the investigation and its very legitimacy. This new stance seems to suggest that he shouldn’t be compelled to answer questions.
The fact that Trump and his attorney are making such a huge deal about wanting limits on the meeting is telling. If Trump were actually innocent, he would likely welcome his chance to the tell the truth.
Clinton’s marathon Benghazi questioning wasn’t her first experience of such a thing. During President Bill Clinton’s time in office, the two met with federal prosecutors to answer questions over a dozen times.
And if either of them had ever lied, they could have been prosecuted.
They never were.
Yet Trump won’t sit for more than three hours in connection to one of the most important U.S. political investigations of the last half-century.
What’s this guy hiding? Whatever it is, a stopwatch won’t be enough to keep it hidden for long.