Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that President Donald Trump wouldn’t have to comply with a potential subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller.
“We don’t have to,” the former New York City mayor now working as Trump’s attorney said when asked on ABC’s “This Week” whether the president would comply if Mueller tries to compel him to appear for an interview about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“He’s the president of the United States,” Giuliani said. “We can assert the same privilege that other presidents have,” he said, noting former President Bill Clinton’s resistance to a subpoena as part of an investigation into his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton ultimately appeared before a grand jury for 2½ hours.
Giuliani said the president wants to testify but that his legal team has concerns whether he would be treated fairly.
“It’s only prosecutable if they have some built-up, manipulated evidence,” he said.
Giuliani also didn’t rule out the possibility that the president would assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination amid the investigation. “How could I ever be confident of that?” he said.
The former mayor also downplayed the significance of the $130,000 payment from Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to adult film star Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels.
“I know this sounds funny to people there at home, I never thought $130,000 was a real payment,” he said. “It’s a nuisance payment. When I settle — when it’s a real possibility, it’s a couple million dollars, not $130,000. People don’t go away for $130,000 with a meritorious claim.”
In a March interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Clifford alleged she had been threatened to keep quiet about her relationship with Trump. On “Saturday Night Live” this past week, she called on the president to resign.
Giuliani also left open the possibility that the president’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, made payments to additional women on Trump’s behalf.
“I have no knowledge of that, but I would think if it was necessary, yes,” he said.