Amid continuing speculation over who leaked a list of questions the special counsel would allegedly be asking President Trump, the answer may lie in who stands to gain something from their release.
Fox News’ Laura Ingraham tackled the thorny question on Tuesday, recounting how the finger-pointing has not provided anything definitive.
Michael Zeldin, a CNN legal analyst and former assistant to Robert Mueller believes the president himself leaked the list of nearly 50 questions which were published by The New York Times on Monday. Fox News host Sean Hannity blasted the report as “full of crap,” and Trump on Tuesday called the release of the list “disgraceful.”
Other reports suggested the leak was orchestrated by someone on Trump’s own legal team, and could represent a list of questions compiled by the president’s attorney Jay Sekulow.
Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe DiGenova told Ingraham he doesn’t care who did the leaking but is more interested in what the questions reveal which is that the investigation is “now lurching into territory protected by the constitutional privileges of the president.”
Trump will not answer the questions “under any set of circumstances,” DiGenova said, predicting that a subpoena by Mueller when Trump refuses an interview will lead to a “constitutional crisis.”
Former Whitewater deputy independent counsel Sol Wisenberg agreed but added that Mueller may not actually have been granted the explicit power to contest executive privilege if, in fact, the president chooses to invoke it.
DiGenova slammed the leaked questions as “sophomoric,” pointing to examples asking Trump “what were you thinking when” he made certain decisions like firing former FBI Director James Comey.
“The notion that a special counsel can intrude on the thinking process of a sitting president, while he was president,” and has authority to do so, he said, “tells me one thing about Mueller: he has gone goofy.”
The panel discussed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who dismissed threats against him from members of Congress, including reported “articles of impeachment.”
“There have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time and I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted,” Rosenstein said in the video clip played by Ingraham.
DiGenova declared Rosenstein had just shown “his ignorance of the Constitution,” explaining that Congress is considering his impeachment because he has refused to turn over documents that were demanded by the body under its oversight authority.
“If he thinks that’s extortion, I suggest that he resign from office because he’s clearly a legal incompetent,” DiGenova said.
Ingraham described Rosenstein delivering his remarks in a “Comey-esque, priggish, prickly manner.” DiGenova slammed the use of the word “extortion” as an “absolute outrage” coming from a constitutional officer.
“That is unbecoming and it’s a fireable offense,” he said.
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