The kindness of Mueller’s questionnaire
The special lawyer of the Russian investigation, Robert Mueller, has delivered a series of questions that he "would like" President Trump to answer in an interview. His kindness seems to go beyond mere presidential deference.
Robert Mueller has raised his last red flag against the involvement of President Trump in the investigation carried out on alleged collusion between Moscow and his presidential campaign.
From the knowledge of the conversations of Michael T. Flynn (former security adviser of his cabinet) with Russian officials to the nature and intention of his personal tweets, Mueller had the sensitivity to deliver to the legal team of Donald Trump the questions that the President should answer to his team.
For many, Mueller's list represents "the easiest open-book exam" in legal matters, as the host of the Daily Show, Trevor Noah, said, but the special lawyer's agenda seems to go further.
During the weekly conversation of Five Thirty Eight, Micah Cohen (political editor), Perry Bacon Jr. (senior writer), Clare Malone (senior political editor) and Nate Silver (editor in chief) crumbled the leak of Mueller's questions assuming a media ploy behind.
"I'm a bit skeptical that this is Mueller's real list because they seem a bit obvious," says Perry.
For Silver, Mueller's open questions leave the field free for Trump to elaborate, and this is precisely the double-edged sword.
"It's as if you're preparing for a potentially hostile interview and agree to review the issues with the interviewee beforehand, but not the specific questions."
While the questions may seem a bit vague or "open", what they do show is the line of analysis of Mueller, who has gradually assembled the investigation from the Russian interference in the 2016 elections to the nature of Trump's business and his family.
However, and according to Michael S. Schmidt in his analysis for the Times, "the majority (of the questions) relate to possible obstruction of justice, demonstrating how an investigation into Russia’s election meddling grew to include an examination of the president’s conduct in office".
The president has not hesitated to ridicule, disparage and reproach Robert Mueller's investigation, but the lawyer's determination remains intact.
According to a story published by Carol D. Leoning and Robert Costa in the Washington Post, if the president refused to give an interview voluntarily, "Mueller responded that he had another option: he could issue a subpoena for the president to appear before a grand jury", according to four people familiar with the meeting.
Apparently, both Mueller and his supervisor, Rod J. Rosenstein, will not allow Donald Trump to be above the law.