(PhatzNewsRoom / The Hill) — Rudy Giuliani, a member of President Trump’s personal legal team, predicts there is a “50/50” chance the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election subpoenas the president to testify.
“I think it’s 50/50,” Giuliani told ABC News on Thursday on the possibility of a subpoena. “But I got to prepare for that 50 percent.”
The former New York City mayor joined the president’s legal team last month as it discusses possible questions special counsel Robert Mueller could ask Trump in a sit-down interview.
Mueller reportedly threatened earlier this year to subpoena Trump in the Russia probe, setting up a potentially historic clash that legal experts say could reach the Supreme Court.
Giuliani also said Thursday that he thinks a new addition to Trump’s legal team, Emmet Flood, was selected for his experience defending former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings.
“I think Emmet was brought in because he represented Clinton during their subpoena battle and knows a great deal about it,” Giuliani said.
Ty Cobb, the White House counsel that Flood was selected to replace, has openly urged the Trump team’s cooperation with Mueller and advised Trump to stay quiet on the Russia probe.
Giuliani, however, has signaled a more aggressive tact in defending the president.
“They’re going to close the investigation within a month [and a half] or two months of the interview. We’ll get all the questions in advance, we’ll knock it down to about half of what they wanted to ask,” he said, according to ABC News.
As the world turns so does the Russia probe headed up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who filed a request Thursday for 70 blank subpoenas. Mueller requested subpoenas for appearances in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) in the case against former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Details at this point are sparse, but Courthouse News reported that in Virginia, where Manafort is accused of concealing foreign bank accounts, income taxes fraud and failure to report foreign bank accounts, that those subpoenaed would have to appear in Alexandria at 10 a.m. on July 10.
Here’s what the filing said:
It is respectfully requested that the Clerk of the Court issue subpoenas as indicated below for appearance before said Court at Alexandria, Virginia, in the United States District Court at 10 o’clock a.m., on the 10th day of July, 2018, then and there to testify on behalf of the United States.
What is a blank subpoena, you ask?
Under Title IV, Rule 17 of Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the clerk “must issue a blank subpoena—signed and sealed—to the party requesting it,” in this case Mueller, “and that party must fill in the blanks before the subpoena is served.”
Signed, sealed, filled in blanks, then delivered.
Former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah explained that it is common to issue trial subpoenas for witnesses to make sure they show up, but they are blank because Mueller doesn’t want all of the witnesses revealed at this time.