Longtime former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirshner needed nothing more than a paper coffee cup to debunk claims by Donald Trump's legal defense that special counsel Robert Mueller is setting a "perjury trap" by seeking to interview the president.
During a Saturday appearance on MSNBC with David Gura, Kirshner not only debunked the claims made by Rudy Giuliani, but also advised viewers on how to translate President Trump's legal defense.
"The back and forth continues between President Trump's legal team and special counsel Robert Mueller, will the president sit down for an interview or not? This week the president's lawyers rejected Mueller's terms, saying they considered questions about obstruction of justice to be legally inappropriate," the host said.
Gura played a fascinating video sequence from Trump's last known legal deposition.
"Rudy Giuliani talks about the prospects for their being a perjury trap," Gura noted. "I must say Glenn, watching that, I can understand some of the trepidation the counsels might have."
"Can I just unpack the loaded term perjury trap for a moment?" the guest asked. "It's one of Mr. Giuliani's favorite refrains, that the president won't sit down because Mr. Mueller because Mr. Mueller has set a perjury trap."
"Let me use an example, let's assume that Mr. Mueller is trying to determine whether I had a cup of coffee on set today," Kirschner suggested.
"He interviews the cameraman, he interviews the gentleman who mic'd me up, interviews the makeup artist who did her best to make me camera-ready this morning and he has a pretty good picture of the evidence supporting the notion that I had a cup of coffee this morning," he explained.
"He then invites me in for an interview and I sit down and I say, 'I did not have a cup of coffee this morning,'" Kirshner continued. "Mr. Giuliani would call that a perjury trap."
"If it's a perjury trap, it doesn't take Houdini to escape from it, all you have to do is tell the truth," he noted.
The former prosecutor offered advice for how to decipher the claims from President Trump's lawyers.
"I would suggest every time Mr. Giuliani says that Mr. Mueller is setting a perjury trap for the president, the American people should hear that as the president is either unwilling or incapable of coming in and telling the truth," he concluded.