By John Roberts, ,
Published May 31, 2018
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is setting “red lines” for Robert Mueller in talks over a possible interview between the president and special counsel, telling Fox News on Thursday they want access to “everything” on the FBI’s informant during the 2016 campaign as well as the “scope” memo setting the terms of the Russia probe.
Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, previously has said they won’t grant an interview with President Trump unless the legal team gets access to all files regarding the informant, who was in contact with at least three members of the Trump campaign.
But Giuliani told Fox News on Thursday that Mueller will have to meet two conditions for an interview to take place: Provide access to the “spygate” files as well as the memo penned by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein outlining Mueller’s authority in the special counsel probe.
Republicans on Capitol Hill for months have sought the full version of that memo, though a redacted version was made public. Mueller’s team also has given a copy to the federal judge overseeing the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Asked by Fox News if those two conditions are “red lines,” Giuliani said they definitely are.
Giuliani also pushed back on reports that the legal team is doing “prep sessions” at the White House for a possible Trump interview with Mueller’s team. He said the legal team, rather, has been discussing with Trump the ground rules for a possible interview as well as daily developments pertaining to the case.
Giuliani, though, said they will likely conduct some prep sessions with Trump, even if they decide against an interview -- because the legal team will have to write a report in response to Mueller’s findings, and they want to make sure they have a detailed account from the president.
Meanwhile, Giuliani took issue with recent comments on Fox News by Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy.
Earlier this week, the House oversight committee chairman argued that the FBI acted properly in its use of an informant to root out possible Russian meddling in the 2016 race.
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got,” Gowdy said on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Tuesday, adding that the move had “nothing to do with Donald Trump.”
Giuliani voiced skepticism at those remarks.
“How could there not have been spying?” Giuliani asked, while questioning whether Gowdy saw all the documents related to the informant. Gowdy was part of a high-level briefing last week with DOJ and FBI officials regarding the informant.
Giuliani, speaking with Fox News on Thursday, also voiced concern about his client’s resumption of criticism against Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe.
Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to say he wishes he had named another attorney general.
Giuliani said he wasn’t happy that Trump was going after Sessions again, expressing concern that the move could take focus away from the scrutiny on FBI conduct in 2016 and other issues.