Can Trump Defy a Mueller Subpoena? Buchanan and Giuliani Suggest Just That

Rudy Giuliani, said in an interview Sunday "Trump Could Invoke Fifth Amendment."

“We don’t have to” comply with a possible subpoena for Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani said during an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “I’m gonna walk him into a prosecution for perjury, like Martha Stewart did?” Mr. Giuliani also left open the possibility the president could invoke his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify if forced to appear before a grand jury.

Agreeing to a voluntary interview would allow Mr. Trump’s lawyers to set conditions, including the length of the interview, the topics raised and whether Mr. Trump could be accompanied by counsel.

“When you volunteer at least maybe you can constrain the questions. When you’re subpoenaed, a subpoena is broad. Your lawyer isn’t present. This is a tough decision for the president’s team to make,” Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.

The high court has weighed in on cases involving presidents before. At the height of the Watergate scandal, the Supreme Court ordered Richard Nixon to turn over tapes and other evidence, but that case didn’t deal with testimony. Years later, the high court ruled Bill Clinton didn’t have immunity from civil suits, paving the way for his eventual deposition in a sexual-harassment case—but that case didn’t deal with questions of testimony in criminal investigations.

Memo to Trump: Defy Mueller

In a Memo to Trump, Pat Buchanan says Defy Mueller.

If Donald Trump does not wish to collaborate in the destruction of his presidency, he will refuse to be questioned by the FBI, or by a grand jury, or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his malevolent minions.

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena, and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower. If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify to a grand jury, Trump should defy the court.

The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

The goal of Mueller’s prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions — to which they already know the answers — any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller’s team has all the answers in advance while Trump must rely upon memory. Why take this risk?

Wrong Answer From NBC

This NBC headline comes up with the wrong answer: Trump probably could not refuse Mueller subpoena to answer questions.

Why can't he?

There may or may not be consequences, but no one can ever force anyone to talk if they refuse to talk.

Why Give a Reason?

Giuliani says plead the Fifth. Buchanan's approach seems more logical. Just refuse. Why give a reason other than Mueller has no authority?

Let the Supreme Court hear the case.

The Risk

The primary risk of such an approach is not legal. Rather, the primary risk is economic. The secondary risk pertains to the battle of public opinion and possible impact on the midterm elections.

A legal battle between Trump and the Supreme court would not change the downtrend (assuming one is in place), but it could speed things up. The fact of the matter is the market is insanely overvalued, and due to plunge anway. But Trump could get the blame.

Then again, Trump could see a benefit to such an outcome.

If the economy or stock market declined, Trump would have a nice scapegoat. He could and would blame the "Witch Hunt".

Trump's Best Option

Plead the Fifth? Why Bother?

All things considered, Trump's best option would be to defy Mueller with a "Go to Hell" speech along the lines that Pat Buchanan suggested.

The Supreme court may side with Trump and Trump would get a scapegoat.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (24)
No. 1-24

It's kind of frightening that a President can commit any criminal act that they want, including murder, and can't be prosecuted.


What's even more frightening is that the country apparently learned absolutely nothing in the wake of the disgraceful Scooter Libby witch hunt. Here we set, 15 years later, with partisan lawyers and politicos teeing up another witch hunt...presidential this time.


Don’t forget The Starr Commission and the tons of evidence it unearthed about the Clintons. What did the spineless spaghetti noodles in the US Senate do with that? Vote to impeach? Certainly not!!

Trump was elected because he showed voters some backbone. Never mind policies or ethics or experience or anything else, but as a candidate will you finally stand up and fight back? He has tried and now the world will see what happens whence one stands up to TPTB.


both serve in a p.r. role and not as legal experts or advisers. they are acting as surrogates advocating a position and not how the law works or is likely to. i would not be surprised if rudy's role ends very soon. its been a disaster. shambolic to say the least

i imagine trump will refuse, it will go to the courts and trump will either follow clinton's lead or take the 5th. he's hired emmett flood, which tells me trump will follow a legal process and respect the courts. with trump its best to avoid the tv drama


Meanwhile, Isreal, The Saudis, and the deep state continue to aggravate Syria and Iran to trigger a war. M
ueller and his mayhem are the perfect cover.