Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani insisted on Sunday that President Donald Trump cannot be charged with obstruction of justice because he never told former FBI Director James Comey to go easy on disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
During an interview on CNN, Giuliani denied an earlier admission that Trump told Comey to give Flynn “a break” in the Russia investigation. Flynn was eventually fired and pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents.
“The president says that he never told Comey that he should go easy on Flynn,” Giuliani opined. “Comey says he did. He put it in his memo. We do have a prior contradictory statement by Comey under oath to the contrary. But put that aside.”
“So if [Trump is] going in and testifies to that under oath, instead of this just being a dispute, they can say it’s perjury,” he continued. “If they believe Comey instead of Trump. We know by now who they believe.”
“I just want to be clear about what happened in that conversation with Comey about Michael Flynn,” Tapper said. “What exactly did President Trump say?”
“There was no conversation about Michael Flynn,” Giuliani insisted. “The president didn’t find out Comey believed there was until about — I think it was February when it supposedly took place, memo came out in May. And in between, Comey testified under oath that in no way had he been obstructed at any time. And then all of the sudden, in May, he says he felt obstructed. He felt pressured by that comment, ‘You should go easy on Flynn.'”
Giuliani argued that “the president didn’t say that.”
Tapper pointed out that Giuliani had told ABC News that Trump asked Comey to “give the man a break” when speaking about Flynn.
But Giuliani shot back that he had never admitted that Trump spoke about Flynn to Comey.
“I never told ABC that, that’s crazy,” Giuliani complained. “What I said was, that is what Comey is saying Trump said. I have always said, the president denies it. Look, it would be easier for me if the president did say that.”
“That is what he will testify to if they ask that question,” he added. “But they already know that. So why are they asking us for him to repeat what they already know under oath.”
“You’re saying a month ago, you didn’t tell ABC News that he said something along the lines of, ‘Can you give him a break?'” Tapper pressed.
“No, I did not,” Giuliani laughed. “I said that is what Comey says.”
While speaking to ABC News last month, Giuliani appeared to admit that Trump spoke to Comey about Flynn.
“He didn’t direct him to [go drop the investigation],” Giuliani said. “What he said was, can you, can you …”
“Comey says he took it as direction,” the ABC News host interrupted.
“Well, that’s okay. He could have taken it that way, but by that time he had been fired,” Giuliani responded. “He said a lot of other things, some of which has turned out to be untrue. The reality is, as a prosecutor, I was told that many times, ‘can you give the man a break,’ either by his lawyers, by his relatives, by his friends. You take that into consideration. But you know that doesn’t determine not going forward with it.”
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