In yet another leak masquerading as journalism, the New York Times printed a lengthy list of what it claims are questions that special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Trump. You can read more about them at the link. Suffice to say, it’s an entire tackle box full of lures for a fishing expedition, very few of which have any relation to the alleged object of the probe, “Russian collusion” to influence the election.
They range from questions about Trump’s business dealings with Russia to whether he knew about Jared Kushner’s efforts to set up back-channel communications with Russia prior to his Inauguration (which as President-elect, he had a perfect right to do, and it was after the election) to his motivations for firing FBI Director James Comey (Ooh, let me answer that one! He was motivated to fire Comey because everyone on both sides agreed that he richly deserved to be fired – up until he was, of course -- something he continues to prove every time he opens his mouth; and Trump probably realized that as President, he had both the duty and the unquestionable power to fire him at any time for any reason. Next question!)
Law professor Alan Dershowitz is doing his best “Star Wars” impression, warning Trump, “It’s a trap!” He says the wide-ranging questions are designed to get Trump talking freely, as he’s wont to do, so he'll make a misstatement or accidentally contradict himself, and then Mueller can pull the time-tested special prosecutor’s trick of charging him with perjury or obstruction of an investigation for which there is no crime.
But the big story isn’t really the list of questions, but how the New York Times obtained it. Trump critics are suggesting that his legal team leaked it so Trump could attack Mueller and the media. They don’t want to consider the far more likely possibility: that like previous news stories involving releases of confidential information, it was illegally leaked to the media by the investigators.
Of course, you’d have to be pretty paranoid to think that a former FBI Director would ever cynically leak classified information to the New York Times just to advance his own partisan agenda and take down a President he disapproves of.
Sorry, I should clarify: the leaking, partisan former FBI Director I’m talking about is Robert Mueller.
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