President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday described the probe into Russian election interference being led by special counsel Robert Mueller as “a different kind of Watergate,” lashing out at the investigation as both sides continue to tangle over the conditions for a potential presidential interview.
In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity that happened to coincide with the 44th anniversary of President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation, Giuliani suggested that a scandal of historic proportions is currently unfolding – but in contrast to the 26-month scandal that led to Nixon’s downfall, the wrongdoing is on the side of the investigator rather than the president.
“You know how sometimes the coverup is worse than the crime? In this case, the investigation was much worse than the no-crime,” Giuliani said, maintaining that “the president did nothing wrong.”
He added that if the investigation itself is one day investigated, “I think it’s going to lead to some very big reforms, just like Watergate.”
“It’s a different kind of Watergate. It’s on the side of the investigator,” Giuliani said. “Corrupt investigations through and through.”
The comments by Giuliani are just the latest instance of Trump’s legal team seeking to discredit the Mueller probe. Trump himself has publicly attacked the investigation as a “hoax” and tweeted last week that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should “should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now.” Sessions has recused himself from the investigation.
On Wednesday, the debate over the Mueller probe took a new turn after an audio recording was released in which Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, appeared to suggest that a House Republican majority is necessary in order to protect Trump from any negative repercussions of the investigation.
“If Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones, which is really the danger,” Nunes said on the secretly recorded tape, which was aired by “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
Trump’s legal team on Wednesday sent a letter to Mueller rejecting his conditions for a voluntary presidential interview, arguing that it would be inappropriate for Trump to be questioned about possible obstruction of justice.
Asked by Hannity whether the letter left open the possibility that Trump might answer questions in writing rather than in a sit-down interview, Giuliani declined to say. Instead, in a defiant prediction of the probe’s eventual end, he argued that “this case isn’t going to fizzle; it’s going to blow up on them.”
“I said a long time ago, the investigation here has to be of the investigators, because we can’t let this happen again in American history,” Giuliani said. “We may not have a president as strong as President Trump. A lesser president could have really been cracked by this.”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Felicia Sonmez