Nearly everyone in America is aware of Robert Mueller’s infamous Russia probe. The probe is currently investigating whether or not President Trump or anyone in his family, campaign team, or administration colluded with Russia to secure his 2016 election victory. Although staunch Trump critics continue to assert that the investigation will eventually engender the incarceration of President Trump and those around him, concrete, absolute evidence has yet to surface. However, reports that Mueller will eventually call upon President Trump to testify under oath have been a hot topic in recent days.
As usual, people on all sides of the political aisle have weighed in with their thoughts and feedback. Americans who enjoy loathing the President maintain that this development is another side of his alleged downfall. Others believe that by agreeing to talk to Mueller under oath, the president is falling into a trap.
Like many situations, the decision to either sit down or not sit down with Mueller is a no-win scenario, at least when it comes to public perception. Were the President to refuse to talk with Mueller, his critics would shout from the rooftops that he’s guilty and ought to be jailed, as they are already doing. Now that President Trump might sit down with Mueller, many Americans are alleging that Mr. Trump is unaware of what he’s walking into. Both progressives and conservatives alike have opined this viewpoint.
The media has asked the President about his intentions to sit down with Mueller. His response reads as follows:
“There’s been no collusion whatsoever. There’s no obstruction whatsoever and I’m looking forward to it. You fight back, oh, it’s obstruction. You know, again, I have to say, subject to my lawyers and all of that, but I would love to do it.”
However, not everyone agrees with this approach. Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro has noted the potential pitfalls of President Trump speaking with Mueller or the FBI in relation to the Russia probe. Shapiro also notes the very real possibility of Mueller twisting the President’s words against him and manipulating him into very serious legal perils. Not unlike what happened to former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.
Shapiro however, did offer a solution - President Trump should agree to fill out a written questionnaire instead of speaking directly with Mueller. He noted that the President’s lawyers would likely make this suggestion as well. There are many merits to this approach, perhaps most importantly that it keeps Mueller or any of his colleagues from twisting President Trump’s words against him.
If the President agrees to fill out a written questionnaire, everyone wins. Mueller will get the testimony required for his ongoing investigation, President Trump will not be tricked into saying something that could create further legal issues, and nobody will be able to accuse him of obstructing justice or refusing to cooperate with a lawful investigation. When something is written down, it can easily be reviewed and studied. It becomes much difficult to twist something that is on file, as opposed to a verbal testimony which leaves a lot to personal interpretation and prevents Mueller or others who dislike the President from sticking him with perjury charges.
In many regards, the entire Russia probe has become somewhat of a spectacle. Not only is there no concrete evidence of collusion after months and months, but as noted by Shapiro, the entire probe appears to be a front to assert that President Trump fired James Comey to halt the investigation into Mike Flynn. Hopefully, Trump’s lawyers will advise him to follow Shapiro’s recommendation and complete a written questionnaire.