Rudy Giuliani, a member of President Trump’s legal team, said he believes Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is “desperate” to make a case and could be trying to “trap” the president into perjury, as he laid out the conditions for a possible Trump-Mueller interview.
“The questions almost cry out that they don't have a case, they're desperate,” Giuliani told Fox News in a phone interview on Wednesday, referencing questions Mueller’s team wants to ask Trump. “And they want to make a case.”
Fox News has obtained the full list of questions developed by Mueller’s office, which include queries on former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former FBI Director James Comey, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between campaign associates and Russian figures.
Giuliani said many of those questions aren’t about Russia. He also said the questions indicate Mueller’s team want to “trap” Trump “into perjury.”
“Wasn't this an investigation about Russian collusion?” Giuliani asked. “Well, they lost that one. Not true. So now they're falling back to obstruction, which is not true either, and perjury, which is only true if you testify. And perjury can be in the mind's eye of the prosecutor, it's very dangerous.”
A spokesman for the special counsel's office declined to comment.
On Wednesday, Giuliani signaled Trump’s team is still open to doing an interview – but he acknowledged he is concerned about whether Mueller’s team can be objective.
“The questions almost cry out that they don't have a case, they're desperate.”
“Namely, do they have an open mind to the fact he could be telling the truth and Comey may be lying?” he said. “If they have an open mind to that, this is something we'd consider. If they don't, then given all the irregularities of this investigation, we would be foolish to have him be interviewed.”
Giuliani said the questions seem to indicate Mueller wants to interview Trump for “12 hours.”
“So they'd have to be pared down to an acceptable burden,” Giuliani said, suggesting a two-hour interview is more acceptable.
He said an interview “could have been worked out” already but things were complicated by the recent raid on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s office, as well as the leak of the questions. But he still made clear an interview could happen.
“So unless we had assurances there wasn't going to be a leak, there wasn't going to be lots of self-serving statements about the interview, then we would do it,” he said.
Giuliani said things are also made more difficult by the schedule of the president, who plans to hold a high-profile summit soon with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“How can we take three, four hours, three, four days out of that schedule?” Giuliani asked. “To prepare him for a deposition when he should be preparing to go to North Korea. Right after that, he's got an Iran decision he's got to make in a few days.”
Considering the issues of North Korea and Iran, Giuliani said lawyers can’t “effectively prepare him over the next two to three weeks” though they can “negotiate an agreement during that time.”
He speculated that an interview could take place in the “beginning of the summer, if that's the direction we're going to go.”
“Or if we're going to go in the direction of a subpoena battle, we're ready for that,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani’s comments came the same day it was announced that Ty Cobb, Trump’s in-house lawyer representing him in Mueller’s probe, is set to leave his role this month and will be replaced by Emmet Flood, who served as counsel for Clinton during impeachment proceedings in 1998.
Fox News’ Anna Olson, Serafin Gomez and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.