Giuliani: Mueller's team told Trump's lawyers they can't indict a president

Giuliani: Mueller's team told Trump's lawyers they can't indict a president

Just a reminder that Guiliani has a lot to gain by saying this. He knows Mueller won't make a comment and it helps to control the public opinion.

This is contrary to the belief of many constitutional scholars, by the way.

The only authority that says you cannot indict the President is Nixon's DOJ. They wrote a memo that says that.

There is no court that has ever held that, and the Constitution does not say that.

Here is legendary Constitutional Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky on the subject in his Reddit AMA:

There is no consensus as to whether a sitting president can be indicted. Some believe that impeachment is the only remedy against a sitting president. The Watergate grand jury named Richard Nixon an unindicted co-conspirator because it did not believe it could indict the president. My own view is different: No one, not even the president, is above the law. Anyone, including the president, can be indicted.

This is a pretty sound strategy. Mueller has two choices: "no comment" or "ackchyually".

The first lets Giuliani continue his claim, whether it be true or not. It doesn't matter, because this is just posturing.

The latter lets Giuliani screech over Mueller's investigation even more.

People reacting in the comments seem to be assuming that Giuliani is telling the truth, which is not something I would bank on.

This is a pretty sound strategy. Mueller has two choices: "no comment" or "ackchyually".

He has one choice, and that's "no comment." There is a gag order on the Manafort case. The case against Trump is tied to the Manafort case so closely that it would be unwise for Mueller to say anything about the investigation, lest he violate the Manafort gag order. Republicans know this, and that's why they so regularly say things to undermine Mueller's investigation.

The biggest question of all in my mind is why we're believing Rudy Giuliani here?

Sucks that only one side has to play by the rules.

So basically this means that as long as you get elected president you can commit any crime to achieve that goal and face zero legal consequences....

Not playing by the rules is exactly what got Trump and co. into this mess. Let them keep adding to the pile.

Yep, it's never been challenged. The DOJ still holds the opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted. I don't personally agree with the opinion, but until they change that opinion, or it is challenged in courts, that opinion stands.

Edit: Grammar

This is the end-stage defense. "Fine, you caught me, but you can't indict me!" There's no other reason for him to mention it than to soften the blow and prepare Trump's supporters, lowering the bar, as he always does, constantly.

Actually, as I typed this, someone just replied to an earlier comment I made and used this very point as the defense. It has begun.

UPDATE: The Washington Post was able to get Giuliani to admit that Mueller didn't actually say this. According to Giuliani, a member of Mueller's team contacted someone else associated with Trump and told him this (i.e., hearsay).

As long as your party is as shitty as you.

I just hope in the end the rules matter

That's how I feel right now. Rudy "I don't have all the facts" Guiliani doesn't have any credibility right now. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow he tells us "Oh, I misunderstood, I'm still learning".

Exactly, check your source.

But I wonder if Rudy thinks this will make Mueller’s team make a statement and force their hand so the defense can get ready, while failing to understand Special Counsel isn’t a leaky ship like USS Two Scoops

Hahaha. Jesus this guy is an idiot. He's basically announcing that Mueller has looked into the regs on indicting the President.

That's not good news for your guy.

Yes. Those that argue you can't indict a sitting president believe you must impeach him, remove him, and then you can indict him. I don't believe anyone seriously argues that once you become President you're completely immune from any crimes you've ever committed. They just argue you can't indict him while he's President.

If i was Mueller i wouldnt. Keep saying "No comment" while giving Trump the false security of thinking he cant be indicted, and make him answer questions under oath while he thinks he cant be indicted. And when they have evidence that can allow Mueller to indict him, thats when Mueller comes and says "Actually i never said that, and we are going to indict President Trump."

Ok. So now we impeach so he can be indicted??


I thought they fired that guy.

Which is stupid. Nobody is above the law.

That said, let’s prove his orange ass guilty.

He may also be trying to goad Mueller's team into making such a comment. In an ideal world for Trump, they would confirm the claim.

They need to do it anyway, let the Supreme Court decide. Mueller needs to drop a nuclear bomb on Trump's presidency to get people in the Trump-trance to wake up to how awful the traitor-in-chief is. An indictment will do that, even if doesn't hold up, it will be their waiting for him when he leaves office.

Also is Giuliani admitting Trump has committed prosecutable crimes?

can a citizen have standing to bring it to the courts

Or, trying to force Muller to say "that's not true, we never ruled out indicting Trump" and then Trump can go "ha! they're planning to violate the constitution! fire him!".

Today: Mueller said he cannot indict the president

Tomorrow: Mueller said he was not ready to indict the president.

It's very unlikely that whatever Mueller's team said could ever be interpreted in this way.

Giuliani is a TV lawyer and is betting on a continuing "no comment" so only his lie will do the news cycle. This isn't about the law, it's purely RNC PR BS.

Good thing Giuliani's established that he's a raving idiot to all but Trump's base...

Oh.. So the GOP

Fantastic question. They should have.

That didn’t happen. And if it did happen, it wasn’t that bad. And if it was that bad, that’s not a big deal. And if it is a big deal, that’s not my fault. And if it was my fault, I didn’t mean it. And if I did mean it… You can't indict me.

Maybe Giuliani is lying as usual. Seems odd that Mueller would tell him that.

If you're not familiar with Chemerinsky, he wrote the book on Constitutional Law that pretty much every lawyer reads in their first year of law school.

Mueller has two choices: "no comment" or "ackchyually".

Option 3: He could just indict Trump.


The fact the Giuliani has openly stated he wants to see the investigation closed, as early as "tomorrow." Plus the fact we know Trump surrogates are going to be ratcheting up the pressure with the 1 year anniversary of the appointment of Robert Mueller, suddenly make these "timely" comments that much more suspicious.

Everything Rudy Giuliani says should be considered a rumor.

Source: Rudy Giuliani.

To be fair, we've never really been in the position where the President's legal team had the opportunity to bald-face lie to the public.

Regardless, we have I'm sure hundreds of Constitutional scholars and others in academia that can point out the truth without input from Mueller.

From my understanding Mueller is under no obligation to tell the truth to Trumps team either on these matters.

Normatively: Yes, they should have.

Positively: No, they don't have the power to force DOJ to change its internal positions.

Problem is, 2/3 of the Senate would need to convict him after he was impeached.

reasons as to why Donald Trump hasn't read it

It is a book

It wasn't written by him

It is longer than 4 pages

It doesn't say Trump every other word

It would require brain capacity

Chemerinsky seems right to me.

Question: If a president is just impeached, can he then be criminally prosecuted once he's out of office if serious crimes are exposed with supporting evidence?

We have also never been in the position of having a "president" who is a lying con man reality TV star criminal who is connected to an international crime conspiracy.

If there were ever a time to change this precedent, it would be now.

When this is a win for your team, you know you're defending a guilty man.

I mean if this is a flat out lie I would expect Mueller’s team to make a public statement rebuking it.

They have made statements before to refute things and they wouldn’t let an opposing party put such staunch words in their mouth’s that they didn’t actually say

I’m guessing the topic came up in discussions and Giuliani is just misrepresenting something that they said. Something like “there’s no precedent on the books to say a president can be indicted”

Donald J. Trump: "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't los...

Exactly. I think that a lot of people don't realize how much of the public face of this investigation is just manipulating Trump to keep him from doing something really stupid and dangerous.

Luckily I have a hunch that Mueller's team is way smarter than Trump's team, and won't fall for any tricks

We have a President; not a dictator immune from criminal prosecution. The Nixon era Office of Legal Counsel finding is wrong. There simply is no text in the Constitution that prohibits indicting a sitting President. The only people that believe such absurdities are victims of specious reasoning. Their arguments are spun from whole cloth.

Mueller needs to drop a nuclear bomb on Trump's presidency to get people in the Trump-trance to wake up to how awful the traitor-in-chief is.

It won't matter. They are long gone and they take pride in the shittiness of their klan leader in chief. Mueller needs to drop a nuclear bomb to get the independents and apathetic/passive democrats to wake up.

Assuming this is bullshit, the best comment from Mueller's team might be, "We've made no comment regarding indictment of the president to anyone and will continue to make no comment until such a time arises as comment is appropriate."

You can be impeached and then charged or charged after you leave office depending on statute of limitations.

The pardon of Nixon opened the door for Trump.

Giving Trump a pass "for the good of the country" would open the door for someone far worse.

I don't think Mueller would assemble a legal dream team with the final outcome being: we're going to pass

First thing my friend said when I said this headline, immediately spat out "Why would we believe anything that guy says?"

F5 Standing by!

Friday: The indictment of the President doesn't imply any intent to prosecute, and the President has no intention of complying since it would unduly distract from his duties to the American People.

I wouldn't be feeling so confident about such a revelation, Mr. Giuliani. Sounds like Mueller's team thinks they ought to, based on the evidence.

Whether anything that Giuliani has said is actually true in this instance, is unknown, however.

Guilliani just put out in the public opinion the idea that Muller wants indict Trump but doesn't think he'll be allowed to

Good work Rudy

there's no way in God's holy shit our founders would have thought this.

our constitution doesn't even allow potus on emoluments or any other number of things.

our system has failed.

While I think that's a reasonable statement, I still contend that the best comment from Mueller's team in this situation is simply "no comment." There isn't any obligation to comment, so why would expounding on 'no comment' be beneficial to their case?

It's an internal DOJ position, just like the non-prosecution of marijuana possession in some states. So just like you can't sue your local US Attorney to force her to sue your neighbor for violating federal marijuana laws, you can't force the DOJ to change its opinion on this (other than by voting, of course)

Guiliani's comments are made for the benefit of Trump's base because pretty near everyone else knows he's a raving idiot.

Everyone who's been interviewed have called them professional and polite, but unnerving in their knowledge and attention to detail. I can believe they relayed some variation of what Giuliani is claiming. But if that's true and he finds comfort in that, he is dumber than he's already proven himself to be.

Rudy keep talking, you are really helping Trump.

Thank goodness we have you to tell Mueller what he can do.

People reacting in the comments seem to be assuming that Giuliani is telling the truth, which is not something I would bank on.

But even better than that, he's basically saying Trump committed crimes but he can't be indicted. If he's perfectly innocent, then he would have no reason to make the statement that Trump can't be indicted. #stupidwatergate

Hence Nixon's pardon on the way out the door.

That's what I believe happened. Or perhaps Mueller said that the President could not be indicted for acts taken in fulfillment of his Presidential duties, whereas there's enough for indictment for acts he committed before he was elected President, or before he was sworn in, or were acts that were not related to Presidential duties. By not denying or clarifying the alleged statement, Mueller is making Trump think that he is not an immediate threat.

Or Giuliani misunderstood. Frankly at this point I wouldn't want Giuliani represent me in an "I'm Rubber - You're Glue" dispute.

I think the constitutional claim would solely be that he would need to be impeached before charges were brought against him

Fortunately, Avenatti is bound by a different set of rules, of which he is a master...

The Republican party would already be devastated if he gets impeached, so the Senate would convict just to get a do-over president in office for a short while to mitigate the damage.

The sitting party failed us.

Hey Giuliani... How would it feel if you found out... they lied you?

Would you feel... betrayed?

Impeachment has always made the most sense. It's also pretty clear at this point that Trump is unlikely to be removed from office without some incredibly damning evidence of wrongdoing. Personally, I don't think obstruction is going to be enough at this point. We'd all be better off buckling up for four full years of Trump.

This is assuming Giuliani isn't lying or mistaken.

They're supposed to follow all DOJ regulations.

Mueller strikes me as a by the book dude who would prefer to see Congress impeach Trump over any of his findings and then let actual indictments occur once he's removed from office

Which of course, leaves the glaring loophole of “Congress is complicit.”

Mueller isn't trying to win public opinion. He's following the law.

We kind of failed ourselves. This is the result of years of apathy and disinterest. We got soft and complacent.

As /sub/legaladvice would say... don't take legal advice from your adversary. But still

according to Trump's lawyers, who are lying scumbags.

"This is it! Trump is totally vindicated for real this time, guys!"

If we’re in a world where the president is granted de facto congressional immunity to “straight up do crimes” then you should probably ammend that statement to “If his term ends”.

If the Special Counsel is part of the DOJ are they suck with the DOJ point of view or free to take it to SCOTUS?

Holy shit I read this like the name; then I realized you were pointing out the double entendre. This time loop is literally playing out like a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream.

Based on what? The Constitution says no such thing. At all. There's nothing even close to that in its text.

Let's just remember that Clinton survived impeachment. It's not a done deal that impeaching Trump would deal a fatal blow to the GOP.

Giuliani is a good indicator of what's coming. He's always trying to get ahead of the story. The story here is that Trump could be indicted. Interesting.

And if you do indict me, then it's unconstitutional. And if it's found constitutional, who's going to enforce it? And if someone does try to enforce it, who's willing to shoot Secret Service members?

Well its Rudy so take it with a grain of salt.

But lets assume its true (it wouldn't be out of the ordinary) that doesn't clear Trump. If anything it says that there are likely grounds for indictments on Trump that they aren't going to go through the Supreme Court legal battle to try to pursue to see if you can indict a sitting President.

Mueller is likely to refer this to Rosenstein, which then gets referred over to Congress. (This is partially why 2018 is so important). That being said. Imagine a scenario where Mueller presents evidence of serious crimes, obstruction and conspiracy or whatever else, and nothing happens. There will be SERIOUS problems in the US. That is truly uncharted territory I don't want to end up in.

All I can say is I trust Mueller's judgement on the best course of action.

Since when does the truth matter to them?

Unindicted conspirator, then

but both sides™

The easiest and most likely answer here is that he is lying.

I think it is way safer to assume that he is lying than it is to assume he is telling the truth.

Another possibility is that he is misconstruing what Muellers team said.

It is a bit odd that he’s basically saying that Trump would be indicted if it wasn’t for the fact the he is president (i.e. he’s guilty).

Yep. Mueller's team is comprised of experts in their respective fields. I don't think we can say the same about Trump's legal team.

If your innocent why go around saying your above the law

If the investigation concludes that Trump did nothing illegal then that is precisely what the outcome must be.