Fox News host Chris Wallace pushed back hard in a Sunday interview with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference, confronting him head-on as he tried to shift the interview to attack his client’s former political opponent Hillary Clinton.
When Attorney General William Barr revealed that his office would not pursue obstruction of justice charges against Trump, in part, because Mueller had determined that the president had not committed any underlying crime to be covered up. But on his show Sunday, Wallace challenged Giuliani on this concept.
“Mueller says the injury to the justice system is just as great, it doesn’t matter if there was an underlying crime, it’s still obstruction,” Wallace pointed out in his Fox News Sunday interview with Giuliani.
The president’s personal lawyer, who formerly served as the mayor of New York City, asked: “Well, when did Mueller become God?”
“There was no injury by the way,” Giuliani asserted. “We’re talking about something that didn’t happen. There was no obstruction.” The former federal prosecutor then tried to turn the criticism to Clinton, pointing to allegations that, during her tenure as Secretary of State, she had obstructed justice by deleting emails and destroying cell phones when she was investigated by the FBI.
Later in the interview, Wallace brought it back to Clinton and then used Guiliani’s own question against him. The host played a clip of Trump describing how Clinton had declined to answer questions by investigations, saying she did not recall. The president, who was still just a candidate at the time, argued that was a “problem.”
Wallace, pointing to Trump’s decision to decline to answer numerous questions from Mueller using the same excuse, asked why it was a “problem” for Clinton but not for the president?
“Because Hillary Clinton was guilty of the underlying crime,” Trump’s lawyer responded. “She did crush the cellphones. She did –”
But Wallace cut him off abrupt, asking: “Well, who made you God as you said about Mueller? You’re saying, who made Mueller God, and now you’re saying whether she was guilty or not.”
Fumbling to respond, Giuliani said: “I’m not saying she’s guilty,” despite having — only moments earlier — said Clinton “was guilty.”
Mueller concluded his 22-month investigation in March and submitted his final report to the Justice Department. Attorney General William Barr then released a four-page summary letter explaining the reports findings, before releasing a redacted version of the full report on Thursday.
The team of investigators did not establish that Trump or his campaign associates had conspired with Russia. But the report laid out allegations that the president had obstructed justice by interfering – or attempting to interfere – in the special counsel’s probe. Although it did not make a determination over whether Trump had committed a crime, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that the president had not obstructed justice.
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