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Giuliani Says Trump Would Not Have to Comply With Mueller Subpoena 

click to enlarge Rudy Giuliani speaks at the Iran Freedom Convention, at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, May 5, 2018. Giuliani, who recently joined President Donald Trump’s legal team, said on Sunday that Trump would not have to comply with a subpoena if one were issued by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the presidential election. - ERIN SCHAFF/THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • Erin Schaff/The New York Times
  • Rudy Giuliani speaks at the Iran Freedom Convention, at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, May 5, 2018. Giuliani, who recently joined President Donald Trump’s legal team, said on Sunday that Trump would not have to comply with a subpoena if one were issued by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the presidential election.

By NOAH WEILAND
© 2018 New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON — Rudy Giuliani, who recently joined President Donald Trump’s legal team, said on Sunday that Trump would not have to cooperate with a subpoena if one were issued by the special counsel investigating Russian interference into the presidential election, adding that the president could invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

“We don’t have to” comply, Giuliani said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “He’s the President of the United States. We can assert the same privileges other presidents have.”

Giuliani, who was hired by Trump to help manage communication between the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and the White House, met with the special counsel’s office late last month shortly after being hired. He said that he and Jay Sekulow, another lawyer for Trump, were in agreement that the president should avoid speaking with Mueller.

“Not after the way they’ve acted,” he said, referring to a list of questions that the special counsel would like to ask Trump. Those questions were reported by The New York Times.

But he said he did not know whether Trump would invoke the Fifth Amendment.

“How can I ever be confident of that?” Giuliani said. “When I’m facing a situation with the president and all the other lawyers are, in which every lawyer in America thinks he would be a fool to testify, I’ve got a client who wants to testify.”

Giuliani’s television interview on Sunday was his first extended appearance since being criticized by Trump for not having his “facts straight” about payments made to a pornographic actress, Stephanie Clifford. Giuliani said on Sunday it was possible Trump’s personal attorney, Michael D. Cohen, made additional payments to other women on the president’s behalf.

“I have no knowledge of that, but I would think if it was necessary, yes,” Giuliani said.

Cohen “made payments for the president, or he conducted business for the president, which means he had legal fees, moneys laid out and expenditures,” Giuliani said, giving his explanation for why Cohen would have made payments to Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels.

On the same show Sunday morning, Clifford’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, called Giuliani’s interview an “absolute, unmitigated disaster.”


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