Expert Explains What Would Happen if Trump Doesn't Respond to Possible Subpoena

© AP Photo / Charles DharapakFormer FBI Director Robert Mueller (File)
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller (File) - Sputnik International
Robert Mueller raised the possibility of a subpoena with the US President’s legal team but was met with a scathing response as they insisted that Trump was under no obligation to face questions by federal investigators in relation to the alleged Russian election meddling inquiry.

It’s reported during a meeting it was agreed they would supply the president’s lawyers with more information surrounding the questions they wanted to ask. Sputnik spoke with American Journalist Dave Lindorff about the subpoena and what it could mean for American politics.

Sputnik: What do you make of the possible subpoena?

Dave Lindorff: Mueller raised the Spector of that possibility with Trump’s lawyers probably to pressure them to agree to him coming voluntarily to answer questions.  It’s a new supreme court, from the time when the Supreme Court held that Presidents have to respond to Subpoena’s. So they might not want to test it again at this point. Then again at this point there is precedent in the Supreme Court for sitting Presidents to respond to subpoena’s from Special Counsel. It goes all the way back to Nixon having to had over those tapes he made in his office that finished off his Presidency.

Sputnik: How damaging could this be for Trump if he doesn’t cooperate?

Dave Lindorff: Well, then it becomes a political issue, is stonewalling the prosecutor bad for Trump or good for Trump. I think that where he stands right now with his popularity and the economy not doing as well as he promised it would do, he’s probably lost some of his support going back as far as the election in November 2016. It might work to his disadvantage if he refuses to respond to the subpoena, but we are in strange ground here as sometimes Trump does better by standing up to the powers of the state saying he’s going to go his own way. If it looks like he’s probably guilty of obstruction, I don’t see where there’s an advantage for him legally in getting those questions put to him by a prosecutor where you have to tell the truth or you’re charged with lying to the federal agent.

Sputnik: What do you make of the questions they are reportedly looking to ask?

Dave Lindorff: It looks like the origins of those questions were they actually written by Trump’s lawyers after talking with Mueller and seeing where the direction of his investigation is going, so the soft ball nature of them may have been the way the lawyers wrote them. I don’t think Mueller is a particularly soft ball guy. It might be that they’re afraid that’s how they’d be asked and they’re trying to play to Trump’s tendency to shoot from the hip and talk off top of his head. At some point we are going to have a constitutional crisis because if Mueller is clearly going to have to take this to the limit and Trump will have to decide if he’s going to face that down by responding to questions and trying to beat them or to try to get rid of the whole operation by firing a range of people, he’s have to get rid of Mueller’s boss Rosenstein and maybe even his Attorney General and that’s a big crisis. If you start doing that as that’s clear obstruction.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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