WASHINGTON – President Trump hasn’t ruled out taking the Fifth Amendment if questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia investigation, according to his lawyer.
“How could I ever be confident of that?” Rudy Giuliani said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” when asked if Trump would assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Trump wants to talk, even though “every lawyer in America thinks he’d be a fool to testify” the former New York City mayor said.
Giuliani said Mueller is trying to set a “trap” for Trump.
If Mueller tries to subpoena Trump, the president wouldn’t have to obey, Giuliani said.
“We don’t have to (comply with a subpoena.) He’s the president of the United States. We can assert same privilege as other presidents have,” Giuliani said.
“He has no case,” he said of Mueller.
Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, said Sunday that the president will not agree to be interviewed by Mueller because the Russia probe has gone off the rails.
“The president will not sit down for an interview because this investigation has reached a level of bad faith,” diGenova, who declined in March to join Trump’s legal team over conflicts, told “Fox News Sunday.” “This is no longer a good faith investigation.”
A more contrite Giuliani also tried to clean up comments from last week when he revealed to the world that Trump paid back the hush money to Stormy Daniels to keep mum about an affair she alleges she had with Trump in 2006.
Giuliani said Sunday that “I’m at the point where I’m learning” the facts and is “about halfway there.”
Giuliani offered up another reason why Trump wouldn’t have been fully aware of lawyer Michael Cohen’s payment to the adult firm actress at the time – $130,000 is a drop in the bucket.
A “$130,000 (payment) between a lawyer and client who’s worth billions is not – I don’t like saying this – but it’s not a great deal of money. $1.3 million is great deal of money. That’s the kind of money you would think of as a settlement.”
Trump has denied any affair and previously said he was unaware of the Cohen’s payoff.
Giuliani undercut him last week by admitted Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payment.
Asked if Cohen made other payments to women aside from Stormy Daniels on behalf of Trump, Giuliani said he has “no knowledge” of other payments, but didn’t rule it out.
“I would think if it were necessary, yes,” he said.
Giuliani called Cohen an “honest, honorable lawyer” who will be forthcoming in the Mueller probe.
“I expect that he is going to cooperate with them,” Giuliani said of the Russia investigation. “I don’t think they’ll be happy with it because he doesn’t have any incriminating evidence about the president or himself.”
Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti said Sunday that Giuliani has been “all over the map” and needs to be “put out to pasture.”
“This is a cover-up,” he told ABC. “They are making it up as they go along and they don’t know what to say because they’ve lost track of the truth.”
Team Trump has maintained the Daniels payment is not illegal because it wasn’t a campaign contribution.
Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said he “didn’t know” of the hush payment to Daniels during the campaign or while at the White House, but added on Fox News’ “Media Buzz”: “I’m not sure what the truth is.”
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