Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, suggested that Trump’s legal team should have the chance to “correct” special counsel Bob Mueller’s final report in case it is “wrong.”
Giuliani told The Hill on Thursday that the president’s legal team should be allowed to review and “correct” the report before it is released to Congress.
“As a matter of fairness, they should show it to you — so we can correct it if they’re wrong,” Giuliani told the outlet. “They’re not God, after all. They could be wrong.”
Giuliani said that the legal team must be able to review the report before it is made public in order to protect executive privilege.
“Of course we have to see [the report] before it goes to Congress,” he said. “We have reserved executive privilege and we have a right to assert it. The only way we can assert it is if we see what is in the report.”
Experts quickly laughed off Giuliani’s assertion that the president can “correct” an investigative report into his own actions.
National security attorney Bradley Moss wrote that it was “arrogantly moronic” to think “the subject of an investigation gets to ‘correct’ prosecutor’s findings.”
Neal Katyal, the former acting solicitor general under President Obama, wrote that any Trump attempts to hide parts of the report from the public would be defeated in court.
Mueller’s report is expected to be completed in the coming months. NBC News reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to step down after Mueller completes the investigation and expects that he will be able to leave by March.
The grand jury empaneled by the special counsel has been extended for another six months, however, signaling that the probe may continue beyond the winter.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that White House counsel Pat Cipollone is gearing up by hiring 17 new lawyers to the team to prepare to “prevent President Trump’s confidential discussions with top advisers from being disclosed to House Democratic investigators and revealed in the special counsel’s long-awaited report.”
Giuliani also attempted to downplay the Democratic investigations in the House as lawmakers prepare to dig into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian operatives.
On Thursday, former longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen agreed to publicly testify before a House committee before he begins his three-year prison stint after pleading guilty to lying to Congress in his first testimony and unrelated fraud and campaign finance violation charges.
“I have no concerns about Cohen at all because I can prove with very little effort that he is a total, complete and absolute liar,” Giuliani told The Hill.
Giuliani also tried to shrug off the revelation accidentally made by former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort’s lawyers in an unredacted court filing that Manafort had apparently shared internal campaign polling with a colleague with reported ties to Russian intelligence.
“There is no legal protection of polling data. You can give it to anyone. Campaigns leak polling data all the time,” Giuliani said, before decrying the focus on the investigation as a “joke” and “total mockery” that “only happens because 75 percent of the press hates Trump.”
But even Fox News analysts have agreed that Manafort's reputed sharing of internal campaign data with a Russian intelligence-linked operative was the surest evidence of collusion between the campaign and the Kremlin yet.
“This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court, without the testimony of Paul Manafort, that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians," Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said Wednesday.
"The question is, was this in return for a promise of something from the Russians, and did the candidate, now the president, know about it?” he asked, before adding that it “would be ‘a conspiracy’” even if the Trump campaign never received anything of value from the Russians.
“The crime is the conspiracy, the agreement. Collusion is a nonlegal term,” he said, adding that giving polling data to the Russians “would probably fit into that kind of a category.”