Mueller has dozens of questions for Trump on Russia and obstruction. Read them here


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/30/mueller-has-dozens-of-question.html


#2

I’m not understanding the purpose of revealing the questions. Would it not be better to have Trump sitting in the hot seat already and see how he reacted to them? This way he has plenty of time to prepare pat answers. Or am I missing something? (Never was good at 12-dimensional chess).


#3

Wasn’t one of Trump’s complaints during the campaign that Hillary supposedly got a copy of the questions before the debate? (This was a baseless accusation of course, the truth is she just came to the debate prepared and he didn’t.)


#4

Huh, clever, that could be it. Make them all public for weeks ahead of time and then when the idiot still can’t answer it looks even worse!


#5

Indeed. One thing providing the questions ahead of time does is to take away any chance for Trump to use “I’m not sure let me get back to you.”


#6

We are going to get the same answers whether or not trump is prepared beforehand: I didn’t know, I dont remember, etc etc.

Releasing the questions early is likely some other political chess move that I’m sure I know nothing about.


#7

It was a stipulation of his interview that the questions be made available ahead of time. I’m not sure why they were made public, but disclosure to his legal team was a prerequisite.


#8

The thinking is that these came out of Camp Trump.


#9

Mueller porn, me likey.


#10

The truth is that 1.) his advisors will prepare pat answers, and 2.) he will ignore those answers and start riffing on whatever boosts his ego-endorphins while he’s talking.

That aside, it probably doesn’t matter-- Mueller might already have info, including testimony from other people like Flynn and Papadapoulos that would contradict any “out” Trump thinks he can give Mueller. Example: if Trump says he didn’t know about communications with the Russians and Mueller has evidence he was told about it multiple times, it means he’s lying or going through alzheimer’s, either way he’s unfit for office.


#11

Why not? His legal team gets the questions anyway, it draws some attention to the case, he can’t (as pointed out above) complain about how any of the questions were unfair or that he didn’t have time to prepare that question, because we all knew all the questions weeks in advance.


#12

Never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to?

When Trump lies, he then will get caught.


#13

Honestly, there’s no hot seat here–i.e. some tense situation where Trump has to answer juuuuust perfectly and if he does, he’ll be exonerated, but oh boy will he be sweating bullets. There is no set of answers that will exonerate Trump.

The great thing about Mueller’s job is that it doesn’t matter how Trump answers a lot of these questions.

  • Some of them, he’s already on record about. If he deviates from his former answer, it’s perjury
  • Some of them, there are facts about. If he deviates from the facts, it’s probably perjury.
  • Some of them, Mueller has witnesses to testify against Trump.
  • Some of them, DJT is on record with multiple answers, and in some of those cases all of the answers are admissions of guilt in one way or another.

Mueller just needs to take notes, so he knows what to actually accuse the president of doing.


#14

Yes, that sums it up nicely. These are all setups with no right answer for Trump. However he moves, he’s in deeper shit than before the question is placed in the record.


#15

The investigators will likely have testimony about what the answers to these questions are. The position he is putting Trump in is will he answer truthfully and incriminate himself, or will he lie and contradict the testimony.

This is starting to feel like its wrapping up.


#16

If one is about to be fired for asking such questions, this ensures the investigation can go on since even the public knows exactly where it left off.


#17

With fake questions about fake events?


#18

I have a couple theories:

First is it’s a pretty safe bet you can subpoena a President but Mueller might want to avoid the fight.

But more likely I think it is strategic. We think of interviews like an interrogation on a cop show where you’re trying to get the subject to make a mistake. But the subject is going into this pretty coached, and generally they’re a smart well spoken person who won’t just blurt out and confess. I think the real goal is to get them on the record with as much detail and as little ambiguity as possible.

Assume Trump has something to hide about the Moscow meeting. Knowing the question is coming doesn’t actually tell him how much Mueller knows about it nor whether a certain lie is safe. But if Trump gets a fuzzy memory about Moscow during the interview, even though you specifically said you’d ask, then you know something is probably up.

Giving away the interview questions doesn’t solve the suspect’s central problem, that they need to lie to get through it.

Note I don’t know how binding the interview questions are, for instance none of these questions should be a surprise, but if Mueller knows something damning (ie, that Trump knew about Cohen’s secret trip to Europe). He might keep that one for the actual interview.


#19

One thing this achieves is that now the media can ask him all of these questions even if he never sits down for an interview. Suddenly he’s on the record even if not under oath and based on his history, I’m sure he’ll trip himself up.

Or maybe it was a subtle trick to get inside Trump’s head and let him know what they know about Manafort


#20

And Xeni (and the media in general) continues to be played by Trump’s team. These questions were leaked by Trump’s lawyers. They aren’t Mueller’s questions, they are the questions Trump’s lawyers think Mueller would ask, based on their interactions with Mueller’s investigators. You are doing more harm than good.