Why is there even a question about President Trump submitting to a Mueller interrogation? Are political calculations controlling here? Legal complications surely disturb and pollute political decisions, and the obverse is definitely true. Reports about some accommodations for Trump’s interview and how it might go down all indicates a willingness on the part of President Trump to be interviewed by Mueller. I suppose it’s possible for that to be a good political decision, but it seems hard to understand how it can be a good legal one.
Perhaps the best YouTube video ever posted is “Don’t Talk to the Police”. The 46-minute simply shot presentation is a classroom lecture by criminal defense attorney turned law professor James Duane and police detective George Bruch. They proceed to build the case, brick by brick, from a cop and a lawyer about how talking to authorities who think you may be the perpetrator of a crime is never in your penal interest.
Will Be Used Against You
It’s the best video because heeding the advice given may keep you out of prison. The video is filled with indisputably excellent legal advice, something difficult to find, and here it is a click away for free. Both men do a good job of keeping the lecture active and engaging. One of the harder realities to drive into the heads of defendants or potential defendants is how their own statements made to investigators are often so damaging. Duane does an especially good job explaining this point:
“Even if your client is innocent and denies his guilt and mostly tells the truth, he can easily get carried away and tell some little lie or make some little mistake that will hang him.”
Is there some reason President Trump should deviate from this course and submit to examination by Robert Mueller? It’s hard to understand how the answer can be yes. Is it possible that Mr. Mueller has been misunderstood by Trump’s team? Perhaps Mueller is an honest broker inclined to fair dealing in a non-partisan way as we might wish. That’s not what Team Trump believes, however. On Meet the Press, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani accused Mueller or his lieutenants of (illegally) leaking details of White House Counsel Robert McGahn’s cooperation with the investigation to the New York Times.
The Times’ piece detailed how extensively McGhan was cooperating with Mueller, and even alleged that McGhan was doing so because he feared that Trump was trying to set him up as a fall guy for obstruction charges. Giuliani said:
“[L]ook, this whole McGhan thing leaked from them. If they had, if they had some kind of evidence that there was collusion or there was obstruction, don’t you think it’d have been leaked? I mean, they leak everything else.”
Giuliani went on to call Comey one of Mueller’s best friends. What more can be said? There are thousands and thousands of federal criminal laws. So many that neither the Congress, DOJ, nor the American Bar Association can tell you how many there even are. In his book, Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, civil rights attorney Harvey Silverglate makes a persuasive case that modern federal criminal laws have both exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague, and “how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior.”
Hammers drive nails and prosecutors file charges. Here’s why you shouldn’t talk to investigators, and neither should President Trump: