Trump 'Close to Determining' No Mueller Interview, Giuliani Says

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Trump ‘Close to Determining’ No Mueller Interview, Giuliani Says

Chief executive won't talk to special counsel unless he can provide concrete evidence of a crime

President Donald Trump’s legal team is “close to determining” that he won’t agree to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations the chief executive’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian interests, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Sunday.

“The New York Times reported that President Trump won’t agree to an interview with Robert Mueller unless Mueller first proves he has evidence that President Trump committed a crime. That was based on an interview with you. Is that the current condition,” ABC News’ “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos asked Giuliani, a member of Trump’s legal team.

“Yes, but I have to modify that a bit. Look at my quote. My quote is not evidence of a crime, it’s a factual basis for the investigation. We’ve been through everything on collusion and obstruction. We can’t find an incriminating anything,” Giuliani replied.

Giuliani insisted that Mueller’s team needs to show Trump’s lawyers that there was a legitimate “basis for this investigation,” especially since “we now know it was started from biased” roots.

Questions on the legitimacy of the Mueller probe’s origins began almost as soon as it started and they have intensified recently as congressional investigators obtained more documents from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI.

Mueller seeks to interview Trump on matters ranging from collusion to obstruction of justice. But Giuliani insisted that Mueller must show a factual basis for the probe before the president considers meeting with him — especially if “they’re trying to get him into a perjury trap.”

“This is the most corrupt investigation I have ever seen, that the Justice Department is allowing to go forward,” Giuliani said. “And then how you could expect us to just walk our client like a lamb going to the slaughter? We wouldn’t be lawyers if we would do that.”

“The reality is that there are biases that have to be explored surrounding Mueller,” Giuliani added, specifically pointed to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s recently released report. “The Horowitz report is devastating. And it cast a taint over the entire investigation.”

Giuliani also highlighted the role former FBI counter-intelligence agent Peter Strzok played in both Mueller’s probe and the DOJ’s investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct officials business when she was  Secretary of State.

“Mueller hired originally as his chief investigator a man that has some kind of vicious bias against Donald Trump,” Giuliani said, referring to Strzok.

Related: Trump Legal Team ‘Leaning Toward’ No Mueller Interview

Mueller later removed Strzok from the probe after his anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages exchanged with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page came to light.

“[Mueller] didn’t vet [Strzok] properly. Nor has he vetted the people he has with him right now,” Giuliani insisted. “He’s got very, very severe partisans working on an investigation that should be done by people who are politically neutral.”

Many of Mueller’s team members are registered Democrats and donated to Democratic politicians.

“The reality is that there are biases that have to be explored surrounding Mueller,” Giuliani said. “How you could end up hiring a group of people that are as prejudiced and biased as this group…is extraordinary.”

Although Trump still “wants to testify,” as Giuliani insisted, the likelihood of him speaking with Mueller looks increasingly slim.

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter.

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter.