What should the special counsel do next? I’d suggest it’s subpoena time.
Robert S. Mueller III has proved himself a remarkably patient prosecutor. His negotiations with President Trump’s lawyers have stretched on for at least six months of slow-walking and subject-narrowing. And Mueller has stayed silent, as a responsible prosecutor should, while Trump bad-mouthed his investigation as a rigged “witch hunt” and demeaned his team as being led by “13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats.”
But the clock is ticking on the investigation. Trump’s latest lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, has been on television asserting that the president dearly wants to testify but can’t be trusted to do so. (“This is the reason you don’t let the president testify,” Giuliani said on ABC’s “This Week,” by way of explaining shifting accounts about Trump’s involvement in misleading the public about his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer.)
In any event, Giuliani added, he’d need all sorts of other assurances before making his client available. “There’s got to be a high bar they have to reach in terms of convincing us that they’re fair, convincing us that we’re going to get the things we need,” he said. “I want to see the ‘Spygate’ report, haven’t gotten it. I want to see the authorization that they have, which they gave to [U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who is overseeing one of the cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort] . . . but Judge Ellis hasn’t written an opinion yet, which convinces me there’s a real problem with it.”