Breaking on Monday afternoon was the revelation that Donald Trump may be interviewed by Robert Mueller's team in the coming weeks. If so, this would be an amazing development for both Donald Trump and the investigation itself.
Donald Trump is a chronic, unapologetic, despicable liar. He lies constantly, about everything - from crowd size to the size of his *hands* to his involvement in a conspiracy to steal our election using the assistance of a hostile nation. He lies so much that it is quite possible he fully lives in an alternate universe where his lies are truth, truth is fake and he is a fully persecuted saviour, sent to the White House to MAGA.
In reality, he is screwed if this news is true. Here is how it will go down:
1. Trump will lie. Blatantly. Unapologetically. But Mueller won't ask a question that he doesn't know the answer to. So this will set Trump up for at the very least a charge of lying.
2. Trump will refuse to comply/answer questions. This will lead to a showdown with the DOJ where Mueller will probably subpoena Trump.
3. Trump will fire Mueller. This would lead to a crisis the likes we have not seen in our country, possibly ever.
4. Trump will tell the truth. This is the least likely of the scenarios, largely because Trump doesn't actually have a grasp of what "truth" is anymore. His entire world is lies.
Matt Miller joined Katy Tur on MSNBC this afternoon to discuss this news. Here is a bit of what they had to say:
Tur: Matt, let's just talk about Robert Mueller and whether or not he will end up interviewing Donald Trump. What do you think is going to happen?
Miller: I think he will certainly insist on interviewing -- at that point Donald Trump will have a choice. He can either submit to a voluntary interview or decline it, at which point the special council will send him a grand jury subpoena. Every American citizen has the right to go to the grand jury and take the fifth amendment and not testify, because they don't want to incriminate themselves. I think most people would find that unacceptable behavior from the President of the United States.↓ Story continues below ↓
Tur: What about from Donald Trump. A lot of the things he does, people would find unacceptable.
Miller: He promised at the start of this investigation 100% cooperation. Asking for an interview done through written questions is not 100% cooperation. And taking the fifth amendment is not 100% cooperation.
Tur: Can he defy a grand jury subpoena?
Miller: He can attempt to. There's precedent for a President receiving a grand jury notification before. President Clinton received one. The subpoena was withdrawn only after the President agreed to testify under oath. He should not be, he should not have to appear before a grand jury, not have to testify like any other American citizen. Courts historically have been pretty skeptical by claims like that from the President of the United States. For example, in the Nixon administration, the Supreme Court held that the president had to turn over his tapes. Appeals courts have ruled that executive privilege does not apply in the context of a grand jury subpoena. I think it would be he could push that.
Tur: Donald Trump is no stranger to litigation. He's been under oath a number of times. It would be wrong to say that he doesn't know what he's doing in these circumstances. He certainly does. Is it more difficult, though, to face a special counsel, to face Robert Mueller than it is to face anybody in the civil world that he has dealt with in the past?
Miller: Yeah, it's a big difference doing a civil deposition and an interview in a criminal inquiry, where he's the subject of the investigation. He's facing off with some of the most experienced prosecutors and FBI agents in the country. We watched Donald Trump in the public eye for the last 2 1/2 years, he seems incapable of telling the truth. That's why you see his lawyers really pushing back on doing an interview.
Tur: Can't he just say to the best of my knowledge no. Isn't that a strategy to get him around this?
Miller: Of course it is, or he could say, "I don't recall that." If you say that, and Bob Mueller has other testimony where aids to the President recall him talking about these events a couple weeks ago, a month ago, that's a false statement.
Which door will Trump choose? The narcissistic one, where he tries to outmaneuver a team of trained and brilliant prosecutors or the calm and composed one, where he keeps his mouth shut and says he doesn't remember anything?