It’s been well over a month since President Trump’s attorneys jotted down the questions Special Counsel Robert Mueller would like to ask the President.
But the leaking of the questions to the press earlier this week prompted Trump Wednesday morning to rail against one of Mueller’s apparent areas of interests, in a barely intelligible tweet that quoted an attorney Trump briefly considered hiring to his team.
“The questions are an intrusion into the President’s Article 2 powers under the Constitution to fire any Executive Branch Employee…what the President was thinking is an outrageous…..as to the President’s unfettered power to fire anyone…” Joe Digenova, former US Attorney
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2018
Joseph DiGenova, who ultimately did not join Trump’s legal team due to “conflicts,” is reportedly one of Trump’s favorites due to his aggressive, often conspiracy-theory-tinged television appearances. The quote Trump tweeted is from DiGenova’s appearance on Sirius XM’s POTUS Channel and was played on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program Tuesday night. (Trump is known to record cable news programs and watch them later.)
DiGenova’s comments were a reference to an area of questioning Mueller has signaled to Trump’s legal team that he’d like to explore, concerning Trump’s motivations for firing former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and former FBI Director James Comey.
“The questions are an intrusion into the president’s Article II powers under the Constitution to fire any executive branch employee,” DiGenova said. “To ask questions, as Mr. Mueller apparently proposes to do, about what the President was thinking when he fired Comey or Flynn or anybody else is an outrageous, sophomoric, juvenile intrusion into the president’s unfettered power to fire anyone in the executive branch.”
On Monday, the New York Times published nearly 50 questions Mueller told Trump’s legal team he’d like to ask the President. The questions were from notes Trump’s attorneys took at a March meeting with Mueller’s investigators where they discussed a potential interview with Trump. John Dowd, who was leading Trump’s legal team at the time, later resigned out of frustration that Trump was not inclined to heed his advice that he should not interview with Mueller. Trump since has reportedly become more hostile to the idea of sitting down with Mueller’s team, particularly after FBI agents, as part of a separate investigation, raided Trump’s longtime personal “fixer” Michael Cohen.