WASHINGTON – Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, says his team is preparing a “counter-report” designed to rebut any accusations that special counsel Robert Mueller makes in his expected report about the Russia investigation.
Giuliani told USA TODAY that he believed Mueller’s team is “writing the report as we speak.”
Giuliani’s own team is preparing its “counter-report,” which he said will be released after his team has a chance to review whatever Mueller files with the Justice Department. But it’s unclear whether the special counsel will file anything with DOJ.
Mueller’s office declined to comment on Giuliani’s comments.
Giuliani said “we are preparing a counter-report” that will be released after he and his team have a chance to review whatever Mueller files with the Justice Department, if that is the path the special counsel chooses to take.
Giuliani said he has no first-hand knowledge of Mueller’s plans, but that he expects the special counsel to file something by Sept. 1, two months ahead of the midterms.
“I don’t think Mueller wants to be seen as interfering with the election,” he said.
Giuliani cited the counter-report as he and the president question the entire legal basis for two key aspects of Mueller’s investigation: possible collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice in the investigation.
While Trump and Giuliani have denied any sort of cooperation with Russian hackers, the president’s attorney said collusion might not be a crime in any event.
“I have been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime,” Trump told “Fox & Friends”on Monday. “Collusion is not a crime.”
Giuliani also said that, as a legal matter, there is no obstruction of justice claim. Mueller’s team is looking into whether Trump sought to undermine the Russia investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey, and attacking Justice Department officials like Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller.
According to Giuliani, presidents have the unfettered right to remove FBI directors, and Trump had many reasons for taking such action with Comey. He also said Trump has done nothing to impede the investigation.
The special counsel is seeking testimony from the president, who has so far refused to sit down with investigators.
Trump and Giuliani spent the weekend pressuring Mueller, saying he should wrap up his investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election through hacking of Democratic officials and pushing fake news about Trump opponent Hillary Clinton.
“There is No Collusion!” Trump tweeted Sunday. “The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!”
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2OvoPlJ