The great temptation to talk to the cops, of course, is in how it will seem if you are silent. “Too many, even those who should be better advised, view [the Fifth Amendment] privilege as a shelter for wrongdoers,” mused the majority opinion of the Supreme Court in another case, Ullmann v. United States (1956). “They too readily assume that those who invoke it are either guilty of crime or commit perjury in claiming the privilege.”

So it is with Trump. When Scaramucci told his fellow news show panelists he would advise Trump against testifying, he was met with wide-eyed shock. Trump is not the originator of the “talking = innocence” framework he presented to the media; his critics generally believe it, too.

But that framework is mistaken. If the president is innocent of collusion, as he incessantly claims, his lawyers will only be doing their most basic duty in preventing him from speaking to Mueller or his investigators. Not talking ≠ not innocent.