Trump’s Counter-Report Could Result In His Lawyers Being Forced To Testify, According To Former White House Counsel
Bob Bauer, who served as White House counsel to former President Barack Obama, penned an analysis piece for Lawfare on Wednesday that suggests current President Donald Trump’s “counter-report” on Robert Mueller’s findings may end up hurting his cause more than helping it.
Bauer noted that the Mueller report, which is set to be released on Thursday and that details possible instances of the president attempting to obstruct the Russia investigation, will require Attorney General William Barr to testify before Congress, and that Mueller himself will likely be asked to speak about it, too.
From that basis, Bauer posits that any counter-report from Trump’s legal team would be subjected to the same standards to explain it as well.
“With Barr and Mueller testifying, the president’s lawyers should also have to appear and answer questions under oath about their own document — if indeed that document is released,” Bauer wrote in his post. “The counter-report, for this reason, would probably not be the public relations masterstroke that Giuliani may have in mind.”
"Trump’s Planned Counter-Report Is Fair Game for Congressional Testimony ," the latest from Bob Bauer: https://t.co/3Vf0xUzUQC
— Lawfare (@lawfareblog) April 17, 2019
Bauer noted that the president’s legal team, in crafting a defense of Trump, would have to explain that defense in greater detail, if they submit this report to lawmakers and the American people to consider.
“On what grounds will they assert that their version of events is more dependable than the official narratives that they intend to refute?” Bauer asked. “Legitimate questions include the range of sources on which the president’s legal team relied for their claims,” including who they spoke with and what evidence they have on them to make such assertions.
“This information, including documents, should be made part of the public, congressional record,” Bauer wrote.
Earlier in the week, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, stated that Trump’s legal team was constructing a counter-report to Mueller’s official Russia investigation findings that would be dozens of pages long. Giuliani didn’t delve into the details of the report, but according to sources who spoke to Fox News, their counter-report will largely defend Trump against any allegations of obstruction of justice.
Bauer wrote in his analysis that the counter-report, the evidence from within, and the principal authors behind its own conclusions, ought to be subject to Congressional scrutiny.
“Congress will need to hear from Barr and Mueller about the reports, edited and full, for which the two are responsible. Rudy Giuliani is an entirely justified addition to the witness list,” Bauer concluded.