Trump's lawyers likely to try to block release of Robert Mueller's Russia probe, says Rudy Giuliani

The White House is working on its own 'counter-report'

Andrew Buncombe
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Monday 03 September 2018 23:23 BST
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Donald Trump’s legal team will likely try to stop the release of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, the president’s top lawyer has said.

Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who now serves as legal adviser to the president, said the White House legal team will probably try to use executive privilege to block it being made public.

“I’m sure we will,” Mr Giuliani told the New Yorker, when asked about the possible invoking of privilege. He said the final decision would taken by the president.

Because attorney general Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing the Russia probe – something that has infuriated Mr Trump and which may see him being fired – Mr Mueller will issue the report, when completed, to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

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The magazine said Mr Rosenstein will then have the ability to release the report to Congress and the public. But Mr Giuliani has signalled that the president may move to stop that from happening, a move that would result in a legal battle over whether Mr Rosenstein is allowed to disclose the report.

He said Mr Trump’s original legal counsel struck a deal with the special counsel reserving the White House the right to object to the public disclosure of information covered by executive privilege.

He also said the White House was planning to release a report of its own to refute Mr Mueller’s findings. He said the “counter-report” was already forty-five pages and will likely grow in size, saying: “It needs a five-page summary – for me.”

Last week, ahead of the Labour Day holiday, there was speculation that Mr Mueller was poised to release his report and his final indictments. The special counsel has said he does not want his report to interfere with the midterm elections, which are about 60 days away. As it was, Mr Mueller made no such announcement.

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