Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe will not seek an indictment of President Donald Trump over Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election — a stunning development to the controversial investigation that has dominated headlines for the past year.
Former New York City Mayor Rudi Giuliani, a top lawyer for the president, told Fox News that Mueller’s team revealed the news to him Wednesday. The Justice Department recommended dropping Trump from the probe; Mueller, it seems, has agreed to do so.
“This case is essentially over. They’re just in denial,” Giuliani said.
Trump still wants to testify in the Russia probe to offer his “side of the case,” Giuliani told Fox & Friends on Thursday morning, but says he is “pretty comfortable” that Mueller’s team would not subpoena him in the investigation.
Trump will only sit down with Mueller if “we feel there’s a way to shorten this thing,” Giuliani said. He implied that on the probe’s one-year anniversary, the investigation was due to end any moment.
Giuliani’s team has been weighing whether to allow Trump to sit for an interview with Mueller. He said the legal team is “pretty comfortable, in the circumstances of this case that they wouldn’t be able to subpoena him personally,” adding that Mueller’s team can require documents and testimony in certain circumstances, but not in his own case.
Giuliani also repeated that Mueller’s team has indicated it would not attempt to indict Trump. Justice Department legal opinions from 1973 and 2000 have suggested that a sitting president is immune from indictment and that criminal charges would undermine the ability of the commander in chief to do the job.
Giuliani told Fox News star Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that Mueller “has all the facts to make a decision” after 12 months investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign.
“Mueller should now bring this to a close,” said Giuliani,. “It’s been a year. He’s gotten 1.4 million documents, he’s interviewed 28 witnesses. And he has nothing, which is why he wants to bring the president into an interview.”
“It’s about time to say enough. We’ve tortured this president enough,” he added, describing the investigation as being “like a big weight” on the president’s back.
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So far, the special counsel’s office has charged 19 people — including four Trump campaign advisers — and three Russian companies. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, have pleaded guilty and are now cooperating with the probe.
Trump, however, has frequently panned the investigation as a political “witch hunt” intended to discredit his presidency and insisted there was zero collusion in Russia’s meddling of the 2016 presidential campaign.
Giuliani, who is working for the president pro bono, said Wednesday that the probe “is not good for the American people, and the special counsel’s office doesn’t seem to have that sort of understanding that they’re interfering with things that are much bigger than them.”
He also said all campaigns look for dirt on their opponents, regardless of the source.
“And even if it comes from a Russian, or a German, or an American, it doesn’t matter. And they never used it, is the main thing. They never used it. They rejected it. If there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it,” he said.
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The Associated Press contributed to this article