The newest addition to President Trump’s legal defense team, Rudy Giuliani, says Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team is “scrambling” and unsure how to move forward with their investigation into Trump after getting tripped up in court.
“I think it got delayed by the judge’s rather fierce criticism of their lack of authorization and their inability to produce any,” Giuliani recently said, per Washington Examiner. “They’re scrambling around right now.”
Giuliani was referencing the exchange between U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III and Mueller’s team. Ellis criticized the investigative team late last week for trying to threaten former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort with charges to get something substantive on Trump. The judge also challenged the investigation for working outside of their intended scope of operations, as Manafort’s charges are not at all related to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Rudy Giuliani says recent court setbacks faced by Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors has thrown them for a loop, and says it’s only a matter of time before they wrap up without any case against President Trump.
Trump cheered the judge’s tough take on Mueller’s charges, and Giuliani said the probe against Trump “should be over by now” because of “no proof of a Russian connection of any kind with the president” — something the president has said repeatedly.
Giuliani said Trump’s lawyers have not yet decided if Trump will speak with Mueller’s team. He said his team’s “next steps” are to “master all the facts” and “see what happens” in Manafort’s case in Virginia.
“And how does that affect our case and our willingness to further cooperate with them?” he said. “Each time that we’ve gotten near making an agreement, they’ve done something wrong and it’s set it back.”
Giuliani elaborated those “wrong” things done by Mueller include the FBI’s April raid of Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, and the “leak” of the questions the special counsel’s team wants to ask the president.
As Politico reports, the rumor mill has already began to speculate that Giuliani’s addition to Trump’s legal team could be facing some troubled waters:
President Donald Trump has shaken up his legal team in the last three weeks — and he’s still not happy.
The president has been griping to associates that Rudy Giuliani, his new personal attorney, has failed to shut down the Stormy Daniels hush money saga. And he has expressed frustration that Giuliani’s media appearances are raising more questions than they are answering, turning the story into a days-long drama capped by the admission Sunday that the president may have made similar payments to other women.
For now, White House aides said, Giuliani still has a direct line in to Trump – the two speak almost daily – and nobody in the West Wing is eager to insert themselves between the two irascible New Yorkers by yanking Giuliani off TV. But some aides said they expect the president to fire Giuliani if his behavior doesn’t change.
In a phone interview Monday, Giuliani pushed back against the notion that the president is unhappy with his performance. “If I’m not up to it, I don’t know who is,” he told POLITICO. “I know the Justice Department better than just about anyone.”
Trump’s legal shake-up will continue as attorney Ty Cobb announced he would be leaving the team and Emmet Flood would be filling his vacancy:
Giuliani’s press tour has coincided with the announcement that White House lawyer Ty Cobb will be leaving and Emmet Flood, who worked on President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, will joining the president’s legal team.
White House aides said that while they have been trying to recruit Flood for months, the president did not want to lose Cobb in the trade. Trump and his daughter Ivanka both personally called Cobb to express concern about his decision, according to a White House aide with knowledge of the situation.
Flood’s hire was a long time coming: Trump, White House counsel Don McGahn, Kelly and Cobb have all been in rare alignment with their shared desire to bring him on board. McGahn himself has advocated for his hiring for over a year, according to one White House aide.
But the president never made clear what the reporting structure of his Russia team would be when Flood’s hiring was announced, according to two people familiar with the situation, creating uncertainty about whether Cobb and Flood would be co-equals or whether one would report to the other.