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Signature page of written answers to Special Counsel Mueller’s questions

The Most Ludicrous Bit Of The Mueller Report

It’s Trump’s written answers to Mueller’s written questions

Here’s a link to the entire report. (You can also link to it by clicking on the photo above.) The written Q&A between Mueller and Trump appears at the very end of the report, labeled “Appendix C”, starting at page #415.

Mueller himself describes seeking “for more than a year to interview the President”, calling such an interview “vital”. Mueller quotes from his own letters to Trump’s attorneys, saying in one he’d offer “numerous accommodations to aid the President’s preparation and avoid surprise”. In fact, Mueller makes his frustration very clear by quoting from 12 separate letters of his own to Trump’s attorneys on the subject of an in-person interview (some of which have been redacted). Mueller further asserts there is no constitutional reason to forgo such an interview. Earlier in the report he’d stated: “The Constitution does not categorically and permanently immunize the president”, which on the face of it seems to be at odds with Attorney General Barr’s view.

Still, no go. Even though Trump at one time had told the New York Times of a sit-down with Mueller: “I’m looking forward to it, actually”.

Instead, he sent back written answers to written questions. Mueller admits Trump’s responses fall way short, writing to Trump’s lawyers that the information submitted:

“…demonstrate the inadequacy of the written format, as we have had no opportunity to ask follow-up questions that would ensure complete answers and potentially refresh your client’s recollection or clarify the extent or nature of his lack of recollection.”

The implication here is that Trump’s saying he doesn’t know anything, because he doesn’t know what Mueller knows, but Mueller isn’t going to be able to use whatever additional knowledge his team has to confront Trump, because Trump won’t allow it. So it’s a standoff.

But then — surprise! — Mueller decides to back off:

Recognizing that the President would not be interviewed voluntarily, we considered whether to issue a subpoena for his testimony. We viewed the written answers to be inadequate. But at that point, our investigation had made significant progress and had produced substantial evidence for our report. We thus weighed the costs of potentially lengthy constitutional litigation, with resulting delay in finishing our investigation, against the anticipated benefits for our investigation and report.”

So ultimately, largely by stonewalling, Trump and his lawyers made the right call. For him.

Without going into the content of the questions, which are pretty much what you’d expect, (and anyway you can look at them on your own, by clicking on this link and going to page #415), here are the first few words of Trump’s answers, in each case:

  • “I have no recollection…”
  • “I have no independent recollection…”
  • “I have no independent recollection…”
  • “I do not recall…”
  • “In remarks I delivered on the night I won [various primaries]…”
  • “I have no recollection…”
  • “I have no recollection…”
  • “I do not remember the date…”
  • “I recall that in the months leading up to the election there was considerable media reporting…”
  • “I do not recall…”
  • “I made the statement…in jest and sarcastically…”
  • “I was in Trump Tower…”
  • “I do not recall…”
  • “I spoke by telephone with Roger Stone from time to time…”
  • “I do not recall…”
  • “I do not recall…”
  • “Sometime in 2015, Michael Cohen suggested to me…”
  • “I had a few conversations with Mr. Cohen…”
  • “I vaguely remember press inquiries and media reporting…”
  • “Mr. Manafort was hired primarily because of his delegate work…”
  • “I had no knowledge…”
  • “I do not recall…”
  • “I have no recollection…”
  • “My statement did not communicate any position.”
  • “I do not remember…”

Written by

Peabody award winning journalist. Streaming media pioneer. Played @ CBGB back in the day. Editor-In-Chief "The Chaos Report" www.thechaosreport.com

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