Mueller's Obstruction Inquiry Gets Its First Deadline

Special counsel floats Sept. 1 end date, but only if Trump sits for interview, says Giuliani
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2018 6:03 AM CDT
Updated May 21, 2018 6:56 AM CDT
Mueller's Obstruction Inquiry May Be Done in 3 Months
In this May 5, 2018 photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Trump, applauds at the Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights and democracy at the Grand Hyatt in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The first possible deadline for Robert Mueller's investigation surfaced over the weekend: Rudy Giuliani said that Mueller might wrap up his inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice by September, reports the New York Times. This appears to be contingent on the president agreeing to sit for an interview. "We said to them, 'If we're going to be interviewed in July, how much time until the report gets issued?'" Giuliani tells the AP. "They said September, which is good for everyone, because no one wants this to drag into the midterms." Giuliani tells the Washington Post that Mueller floated the Sept. 1 deadline "as an incentive that if we do the interview, we can have more control over the termination date."

Trump's legal team still has not decided whether he will indeed sit for an interview, and if he refuses to do so, that could result in a subpoena. "And if they subpoena him, there will be litigation. So no timeline on that,” Giuliani said. The obstruction allegations against Trump are just one part of Mueller's wide-ranging inquiry, meaning his work would continue even if the September deal happens, notes the Times. Giuliani told the newspaper the allegations boil down to James Comey's word against the president's. "We want the concentration of this to be on Comey versus the president’s credibility, and I think we win that and people get that." Giuliani's interviews come as the president ramped up his opposition to the "witch hunt" by promising to order the Justice Department to investigate whether the FBI spied on his campaign. (More Robert Mueller stories.)

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