WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said special counsel Robert Mueller should complete his investigation by September to avoid influencing midterm congressional elections, a mistake Giuliani says former FBI director James Comey made in handling the Hillary Clinton probe.
“If he doesn’t file his report by Sept. 1 or mid-September, he is clearly doing a Comey,” Giuliani told reporters at the White House Wednesday after attending a fitness event there. “People should have an answer even if they put together whatever the heck they have.”
He added that Mueller should meet the deadline regardless of whether Trump agrees to an interview with Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and whether anyone close to Trump colluded with the Russians.
Comey has been criticized for public statements in 2016 on the FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server that some, including Clinton, claim influenced the presidential election outcome. Republicans were angered when Comey announced that no prosecutor would file charges against Clinton. Then Democrats were outraged when Mueller told Congress two weeks before election day that he was reviewing additional emails.
Since joining Trump’s legal team more than a month ago, Giuliani has been ratcheting up attacks on Mueller’s investigation, saying it has gone on too long and is creating an unnecessary distraction. Trump’s previous lawyers had predicted the investigation would wrap up by the end of 2017. Giuliani is currently in talks with Mueller over the terms and scope of a potential interview between Trump and Mueller.
Giuliani said he doesn’t expect Trump to fire Mueller or Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump attacked Wednesday over his decision to recuse himself from the investigation. Giuliani said he also thinks Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller’s investigation, will remain in his job.
“I don’t think anybody in the Cabinet in any administration is secure,” Giuliani said. “Something totally different could go wrong. But yeah, I don’t think the president is going to touch him, Mueller, or Rosenstein and I think that in the long-run, it’ll be worked out. Fire him? They’re too good friends.”