Rudy Giuliani says Donald Trump team preparing report to counter Robert Mueller
WASHINGTON – Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's lawyer, said his team was preparing a "counter-report" designed to rebut any accusations that special counsel Robert Mueller makes in his expected report about the Russia investigation.
Giuliani told USA TODAY that he believed Mueller's team is "writing the report as we speak."
Giuliani's own team worked on its "counter-report," which he said would be released after his team reviewed whatever Mueller filed with the Justice Department. It's unclear whether the special counsel will file anything with the DOJ.
Mueller's office declined to comment on Giuliani's comments.
Giuliani said he had no firsthand knowledge of Mueller's plans, but he expected the special counsel to file something by Sept. 1, two months before the midterm elections.
"I don't think Mueller wants to be seen as interfering with the election," he said.
Giuliani cited the counter-report as he and the president questioned the legal basis for two aspects of Mueller's investigation: possible collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice.
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Though Trump and Giuliani have denied any sort of cooperation with Russian hackers, the president's attorney said collusion might not be a crime.
"I have been sitting here looking in the federal code, trying to find collusion as a crime," Giuliani said on "Fox & Friends" on Monday. "Collusion is not a crime."
Giuliani said that, as a legal matter, there is no obstruction of justice claim. Mueller's team is looking into whether Trump sought to undermine the Russia investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey and attacking Justice Department officials such as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller.
According to Giuliani, presidents have the unfettered right to remove FBI directors, and Trump had many reasons for taking such action with Comey. He said Trump has done nothing to impede the investigation.
The special counsel seeks testimony from the president, who has refused to sit down with investigators.
Trump and Giuliani spent the weekend pressuring Mueller, saying he should wrap up his investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election through hacking of Democratic officials and pushing fake news about Trump opponent Hillary Clinton.
"There is No Collusion!" Trump tweeted Sunday. "The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!"