By Rich Lowry, National Review
April 6, 2018
The greatest threat to Trump's presidency is Trump himself.
The chief threat to Donald Trump at the moment isn’t that he’ll fire Robert Mueller, but that he’ll cooperate too readily.
The president’s legal team has been roiled and his White House advisers divided by his determination to sit down for a deposition with Mueller’s team of prosecutors. Rarely has someone who is supposed to be feeling the legal net closing in been so eager to run toward the netting.
Trump lawyer John Dowd reportedly quit over the dispute, and he was right. Trump shouldn’t walk into the same room with Mueller. He shouldn’t say “hello” to him. He shouldn’t follow him on Instagram or Twitter. He should treat him as an adversary who, even if he isn’t conducting “the witch hunt” that Trump alleges, would certainly be happy to nail him for the slightest misstatement.
Mueller was supposed to be conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling, which immediately also became an investigation of obstruction of justice. Trump’s attitude should be, “Come and get me, copper — if you have a case for obstruction, make it, but I’m not incurring any additional legal jeopardy by sitting down and talking to you.”
It’s not as though Mueller has been shut out. According to a breakdown released by Dowd in January, the special counsel has talked to 20 White House employees and received 20,000 pages of documents.
In the past, Trump has been careful in his depositions, but since his mode of communication is highly dependent on jaw-dropping hyperbole, gross simplifications and misinformed or misleading assertions, it can’t be a good idea to put him under oath in any circumstance.
Trump’s fearlessness and animal cunning are two of his signature traits, so it makes sense that he sincerely believes that he can win the conversation with Mueller’s lawyers.
It also runs counter to the widespread assertion that Trump is “acting guilty,” when he may well be acting like Donald Trump — aggrieved, combative, scornful — when he’s innocent.
How many guilty parties are so insistent on talking to authorities that they lose their lawyers over it?
But this is a foolish confidence on Trump’s part. Even more deft talkers have realized the peril of such situations. Bill Clinton, a master of distinctions so subtle that sometimes only he understood them, resisted a subpoena in the Paula Jones case all the way to the Supreme Court, and for good reason. READ it HERE
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