While it’s unclear whether he has the authorization to do so, Rudy Giuliani has just proposed a new timeline for the Mueller probe – which celebrated its one-year anniversary on Thursday – saying an interview with President Trump could happen by July, with a final report issued by Mueller by Labor Day.
In an interview with the Washington Times, Giuliani said that Mueller has agreed to avoid a “fishing expedition” by narrowing the subject of questions that he might ask President Trump during a possible interview. Giuliani added that he believes James Comey “is not going to be worth anything as a witness,” and wouldn’t be a threat to the president.
“He’s eliminated a lot of subjects that would have indicated he was fishing,” Mr. Giuliani told The Times on Thursday. “He’s eliminated those and he’s into a much more relevant area where we know the answers and we know the answers really can’t be effectively contradicted.”
He has contended from the start that there is no evidence of Trump collusion in Russian election interference. The other two major topics: whether the president somehow obstructed justice in the firing of Mr. Comey, a Mueller friend, and whether he might commit perjury in answering questions under oath.
However, Giuliani emphasized that nothing had been agreed to yet, and that there was no guarantee that Trump would go through with an interview.
Mr. Giuliani is a longtime Trump friend who was brought in to try to bring an end to Mr. Mueller’s inquiry re the president. He said a final agreement on testifying would include: the subjects; an exchange of questions and any Trump objections; a place and time; and a schedule for a final report.
“What I’m telling you none has been agreed to,” he said, putting the chance of an interview at 50-50. He said he could agree to a two to three-hour interview.
On perjury, the issue would be Mr. Comey’s word in contemporaneous memos he wrote of discussions with the president versus Mr. Trump’s recollection.
Mr. Comey leaked his memos to the press with the express purposes of prompting the appointment of a special counsel, on which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein complied.
Mr. Comey said Mr. Trump urged him to end a probe into retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, his brief national security adviser. Mr. Trump says he did not.
Giuliani added that Mueller’s team is focusing on obstruction because the Russian collusion narrative has “gone nowhere.”
“I think they are relying more on obstruction and they wish perjury from their point of view than they are on collusion with the Russians. I think every time they’ve gone up the collusion alley it’s gone nowhere. That becomes the biggest obstacle to our testifying. Why are we going to get them to use the president’s word against himself? He’s already given all the explanations that they need to make a decision in his public comments. His comments under oath are not going to be materially different than this public comments. And if they would be we would tell them that. ‘On further reflection, he remembers this and that.’ So far there haven’t been too many further reflections.”
Any meeting between Trump and Mueller would take place after the summit with North Korea, which is set for June 12 in Singapore.