On Wednesday, CNN reported that President Donald Trump and his attorneys had formally submitted written responses to questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of the ongoing Russia investigation. Asked if the president would now respond to any follow-up questions from Mueller’s team, Rudy Giuliani commented:
“We’ll consider them and answer them if necessary, relevant and legal. If it was something that would be helpful, relevant — not a law school exam.”
A paragraph in that CNN article caught the attention of Daniel S. Goldman, a former federal prosecutor with the Southern District of New York. The paragraph in question reads:
“One of the delays in returning the response was speculation among Trump’s legal team that Mueller would release indictments before Thanksgiving, according to a person who speaks to the President. And they were worried about sending the responses without knowing what Mueller might do in the short term. But in the end, they decided to just send the answers in, the person said.”
As Goldman noted on Twitter, Mueller may have duped Trump and his attorneys into a trap he set and they were dumb enough to fall into:
Not surprising: this initial round of questions is just a first step. But one interesting tidbit: Mueller may have decided to wait to unseal additional indictments on "collusion" until Trump submitted his answers on the topic so T could not tailor his answers to the narrative. https://t.co/YuKBB5yF3J
— Daniel Goldman (@danielsgoldman) November 21, 2018
So now Mueller has Trump’s responses — which were done under oath — along with all of the evidence he’s collected which contradicts those answers. And that means Trump may have committed multiple counts of perjury. As Goldman noted during an interview with Law & Crime:
“Now that the President has gone on record with his answers to questions about collusion during the campaign, likely under penalty of perjury, Mueller will feel more comfortable releasing an indictment against someone else that lays out the case against anyone who conspired with Russians to improperly influence the election.”
Ever since the Russia investigation began, Mueller has been three steps ahead of Trump and his sophomoric legal advisers. Now, he’s let Trump hang himself with his own words.
Game, set, and match, Robert Mueller.