Kim Wehle, a former assistant U.S. attorney and former associate prosecutor for the independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation, warned on Monday that the U.S. is on the “fast track to tyranny” if President Donald Trump refuses to testify in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
During an interview over the weekend, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said that the president would only agree to an interview with Mueller if the special counsel revealed how the investigation would conclude.
Wehle told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle on Monday that it would be “impossible” for Mueller to agree to Giuliani’s demands.
“The idea is the president gets to decide if this is a legitimate investigation in exchange for testimony,” Wehle explained. “We’ve had 23 indictments, including Russian trolls. We have three people in the campaign, we’ve got a former White House adviser. We’ve got charges of lying to the FBI, conspiracy. I mean, this is a far cry from a witch hunt.”
Wehle pointed out that Mueller could subpoena Trump, forcing him to testify.
“I think it’s more likely that Trump will kick the can down the road,” she remarked. “And see how it works out politically with the next election. And tell the voters, ‘Listen, you decide.’ Kind of like what McConnell did with the [Merrick Garland] Supreme Court pick.”
“But if it did come to a subpoena, the next step would be the president saying no,” Wehle continued. “And that could product a contempt citation and then that would certainly go to the courts to determine the extent that the president can thumb his nose at a valid criminal investigation, one that’s consistent with the rule of law.”
The former assistant U.S. attorney added: “And once the rule of law starts to fall apart, then we’re on the fast track to tyranny, regardless of political party. This is a very high stakes game of chicken right now.”
Watch the video below from MSNBC.