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Did a DC Court Just Secretly Rule on a Donald Trump Subpoena?

Did a DC Court Just Secretly Rule on a Donald Trump Subpoena?

It was less than a month ago that President Trump sent his answers in to the special counsel, providing responses to a list of questions posed to him in the Mueller probe.

At the time, many believed that this would finally put an end to the back and forth demands between the president’s attorneys and the special counsel, in regards to a potential sit-down interview between the parties.

Now two sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, have told CNN that this is far from the case.  While the president’s attorneys remain opposed to allowing Trump to interview with the special counsel under penalty of perjury, Mueller’s team has not changed their stance on the issue.

“Nothing has changed in that sense from the first day,” the source told CNN.

What makes this matter even more interesting, especially considering the timing of this report, is the fact that yesterday the entire 5th floor in the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC was sealed off from reporters. As Politico reports, this appears to be in regards to a special counsel subpoena battle with a witness in the Trump/Russia probe.

Back in October, former federal prosecutor Nelson Cunningham published an opinion piece suggesting that this subpoena battle may be concerning President Trump himself, specifically stating:

“At every level, this matter has commanded the immediate and close attention of the judges involved—suggesting that no ordinary witness and no ordinary issue is involved. But is it the president? The docket sheets give one final—but compelling—clue. When the witness lost the first time in the circuit court (before the quick round trip to the district court), he petitioned, unusually, for rehearing en banc—meaning the witness thought the case was so important that it merited the very unusual action of convening all 10 of the D.C. Circuit judges to review the order. That is itself telling (this witness believes the case demands very special handling), but the order disposing of the petition is even more telling: Trump’s sole appointee to that court, Gregory Katsas, recused himself.”

Cunningham noted that an action was filed in this court the day after Rudy Giuliani publicly stated that Trump’s team was “pretty much finished with [their] memorandum opposing a subpoena.”

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Cunningham went on to note:

“If Mueller were going to subpoena the president—and there’s every reason why a careful and thorough prosecutor would want the central figure on the record on critical questions regarding his knowledge and intent—this is just the way we would expect him to do so. Quietly, expeditiously, and refusing to waste the lull in public action demanded by the midterm elections. It all fits.”

Now with these sources coming forward to CNN, literally the day of this mysterious legal occurrence in DC, it makes us wonder if perhaps a subpoena of the president already does exist, and Mueller is using it as ammunition to entice President Trump to voluntarily cooperate.

Only time will tell.

Photo credit: Kit Fox/Medill DC
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