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President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said special counsel Robert Mueller intends to end his investigation into whether Trump obstructed the Russia investigation by Sept. 1, The New York Times reported.
Mueller shared his timeline for the investigation a couple of weeks ago during negotiations over whether the president would be willing to be interviewed by Mueller’s team, Giuliani told the Times in an interview.
According to the Washington Post, which spoke with Giuliani later on Sunday, Mueller said he could wrap up the obstruction probe by September if Trump agreed to sit down for an interview with investigators.
According to the Times, Giuliani’s comments appeared to be a way for him to publicly pressure Mueller as the two sides negotiate a potential interview. Giuliani expressed concern over the probe influencing the outcome of the midterm elections.
Giuliani urged Mueller to wrap up the investigation quickly, noting how former FBI Director James Comey’s decision to reopen an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server close to Election Day was blamed by Democrats for influencing the election, according to the newspaper.
“You don’t want another repeat of the 2016 election where you get contrary reports at the end and you don’t know how it affected the election,” Giuliani said.
As part of its investigation into whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation, Mueller’s team is looking into Comey’s reports that Trump asked him to end his investigation into then-national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“We want the concentration of this to be on Comey versus the president’s credibility, and I think we win that and people get that,” Giuliani told the Times.
He added that he wants the results of the investigation to be made public.
Ending the obstruction case would not mean the end of Mueller’s overall investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Giuliani told the Times he is still discussing the terms of a possible interview with Trump, noting that the president was willing to be interviewed.
However, he said that an interview would be a distraction for the president and could not happen until after the planned summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12. He said Trump would likely be questioned around Independence Day, the Times reported.
Giuliani also wants an investigation into Comey for perjury and for his role in leaking information about his meetings with Trump that led to Mueller’s appointment, the Times reported.