Trump legal team to challenge Mueller probe legitimacy in counter-report
In an interview with the Daily Beast on Thursday, Giuliani revealed that Trump's legal advisers have been busy covering all the possible allegations against the US president that might be included in Mueller's final investigation report, in a counter-report of their own.
Giuliani said that the document will be divided into two sections, with the first one looking into "possible conflicts" of interest by members of the prosecutor's team involved in the investigation.
One of the most high-profile cases that is likely to get a mention in the upcoming report is that of Peter Strzok, a former FBI agent who briefly served on the Mueller team. Strzok and his girlfriend, former FBI agent Lisa Page, who was also a part of the investigative team, exchanged anti-Trump text messages, including one in which Strzok vowed to stop Trump from becoming president.
The second part will seek to debunk the allegations of collusion and obstruction of justice against Trump, if there are any in Mueller's final draft.
While the Mueller team has not released its findings as of yet, Giuliani said that the first part of the counter-report has already been finished and consists of 58 pages. The second part is still in the works and may go over 100 pages once it's ready.
As the one in charge of preparing a response to the anticipated Mueller report, Giuliani admitted that the team, consisting of him and Trump's other lawyers, Jay Sekulow and Marty Raskin, had to make their report as broad as possible since they are effectively in the dark about the contents of Mueller's paper.
"Since we have to guess what it is, [our report so far] is quite voluminous," Guiliani said.
While Mueller's team has held numerous interviews and testimonies with former Trump associates, the counter-report draws upon open sources, Guiliani said, noting that "there is no [secret] grand jury material here." Nevertheless, the former New York mayor said that his team might use the report in court or give it to Congress.
Trump himself personally endorsed the endeavor, and "knows it is a part of our [legal] strategy and he's happy with it," Guiliani said. However, the US president, who considers the Russia probe to be a "witch hunt" waged by "13 angry Democrats," was not the one who came up with the idea, which Giuliani said was "probably" his own. Both papers are reportedly expected to be out in two or three weeks' time.
Guiliani has previously mentioned that Trump's side would hit back with a report that would lay bare the facts, proving that Trump had "nothing to do with Russians" and did not attempt to obstruct the investigation.
The lingering Mueller probe has been a favored target of Trump's scathing attacks. In one of his latest Tweets, Trump lashed out at the investigation, branding it "McCarthyism at its WORST." It came after the New York Times reported that former White House counsel Donald McGahn had been cooperating with the Mueller team, prompting Trump to respond that he was the one who authorized the contact as he has "nothing to hide."