Rudy Giuliani has been busy.
He spent the last two nights reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s 400-plus page report in a private room at the Justice Department. As the rest of the public pores over the report on Thursday, Trump’s legal team is in full spin mode, deriding the standard of proof that Mueller’s team used to assess the obstruction case and pushing the “investigate the investigators” talking point.
During a lengthy and at times unhinged interview with Fox News shortly after the report’s release on Thursday, Giuliani touched on a variety of points related to the probe.
No Threat in Obstruction Findings
According to Giluliani, there’s no threat to Trump on obstruction, despite the conduct outlined in the 10 episodes investigated by Mueller. And any obstruction-related misdeeds are just weak fodder for Democrats’ efforts to topple Trump.
“If anybody fairly looks at it who is a good lawyer and applies the principles of obstruction of justice, doesn’t make it up, then there is nothing the President has to worry about,” he said. “Now there could be in that report — the report could have been perfect and said the President failed to pay four parking tickets and (Rep.) Jerry Nadler would go after him. This is a political exercise for him, this isn’t an exercise in fairness. I mean they prejudged this case about a year ago and they were totally wrong about it and now they’re trying to resurrect something out of it over obstruction.”
The Trump team supports Mueller testifying before Congress, a demand Democrats made on Thursday morning before the report was released.
“Do you expect Mueller to testify?” Fox News’ Sandra Smith asked.
“I don’t know, it would be good if he did,” Giuliani said, before again reiterating that “the big victory is no collusion with the Russians.”
That’s How ‘Most Of Our Mind Works’
According to Giuliani, Mueller only thought Trump’s written answers were inadequate because he doesn’t understand how “most minds work.”
In the report, Mueller’s team describes Trump’s written responses as inadequate, but said the team didn’t pursue a sit-down interview after a months-long back-and-forth with Giuliani and others on Trump’s legal team about the mode by which Trump would answer questions. On at least 30 different occasions, Trump said he didn’t recall information in response to inquiries.
“He has no recollection of it. That’s the way most of our mind works, every once in a while we have something we clearly know and remember,” Giuliani said.
“Have you looked at the questions? It was like a law school exam. One of them is an entire page. They didn’t ask questions. They asked questions with subparts and subparts of subparts,” he continued. “I was on that campaign with him and normal person is not going to be able to remember some of the details they wanted. They’re asking questions about 2016. And in 2016 he was working 12 to 16 hours a day and his mind wasn’t on these subjects. In part because what they were asking about didn’t happen.”
Giuliani: What's wrong with Trump not recollecting 30 different things? pic.twitter.com/RpTzptTPuK
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) April 18, 2019
Investigate the Investigators
It’s clear the “investigate the investigators” line from the right isn’t going away anytime soon. Giuliani raised the possibility right out of the gate.
“These people, believe me, Bill, these people acted in bad faith numerous times. They treated people horribly. What they did to Manafort should be investigated and then somebody got to ask the question now, this has been the third investigation of collusion, two by the Justice Department. Both conclude nothing, nada, no evidence of collusion. Why did this start? Who did it? You’re gonna find the crimes there. You want Russian collusion, go look at the article in the Ukrainian papers a week and a half ago about how they opened an investigation of their own officials for colluding with Hillary Clinton.”
Trump Tower Meeting Was A ‘Set Up’
Giuliani wants to rewrite history. He claimed the Trump Tower meeting was a “pure setup” to try to “frame the President” and it was a “mistake of communication” with one of lawyers when Trump said he wasn’t involved in the initial statement that was released claiming the meeting was about adoptions.
“They set up the meeting on the pretext it is going to be about dirt on Hillary. Nobody has any dirt on Hillary. They don’t talk about dirt on Hillary,” he said. “They talked about the Magnitsky Act and Russian adoptions. Then they walk out and they never really seriously call back and follow up on it. Several of them are counter intelligence operatives. That was a pure setup that meeting. The criminality in that meeting is probably going to be the people who set it up to try to frame the President.”
Giuliani: Trump Tower meeting was a "set up" pic.twitter.com/QhAlJuhmju
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) April 18, 2019