President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on the Mueller report rebuttal: “We’re ready to put it out when we have to … There’ll be a point at which we put it out. Not tomorrow, not the next day.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/ZRvu60AKY3
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 21, 2019
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani previously said they were ready with their rebuttal to the Mueller Report, but added Sunday that they’re going to hold it back for now.
“We were ready to go if we thought that a lot of the issues were left open–too open,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union. “Right now, they seem to be okay, but we’re ready to put it out when we have to.”
Host Jake Tapper pressed on whether it will see the light of day. Giuliani said it will probably be released, but he didn’t give a timeline.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said.
To be clear, Giuliani’s talking about what’s expected to be a detailed rebuttal. We already know what President Donald Trump says about the Mueller Report. He has long construed the investigation as a politically motivated “witch hunt” driven by vindictive critics. His public attitude has not changed one iota.
The Trump Haters and Angry Democrats who wrote the Mueller Report were devastated by the No Collusion finding! Nothing but a total “hit job” which should never have been allowed to start in the first place!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019
Attorney General William Barr has been criticized for how he construed the Mueller Report ahead of its release. He said that investigators did not establish “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia. He also said the Mueller’s team did not develop the evidence necessary to show that the president committed obstruction of justice.
Thing is, the actual report shows that Mueller’s team highlighted a number of incidents in which Trump possibly committed obstruction of justice.
President Trump reacted negatively to the Special Counsel’s appointment. He told advisors that it was the end of his presidency, sought to have Attorney General Jefferson (Jeff) Sessions unrecuse from the Russia investigation and to have the Special Counsel removed, and engaged in efforts to curtail the Special Counsel’s investigation and prevent the disclosure of evidence to it, including through public and private contact with potential witnesses.
Mueller’s team noted that Trump’s authority as president gave him some legal cover:
A factual analysis of that conduct would have to take into account both that the President’s acts were facially lawful and that his position as head of the Executive Branch provides him with unique and powerful means of influencing official proceedings, subordinate officers, and potential witness.
All told, investigators punted on whether obstruction happened, and left it an open question. They did not say who they wanted to solve it.
[Screengrab via CNN]