MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow explained why President Donald Trump may have been better off if he had allowed himself to be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller, instead of only submitting written answers.
At the end of “The Rachel Maddow Show” and start of “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell, the two MSNBC anchors spent over six minutes discussing “the worst Thursday in the history of the Trump presidency.”
“If the president turned in written answers that — that basically gave the same lies that Michael Cohen had previously been trying to get away with, [Robert] Mueller’s office knew at that time they were lies, then they make their decision they’re going to go ahead and put forward the evidence those are lies the president’s already made a submission,” Maddow speculated. “I mean, they’ve got him.”
“Yeah, so the clock may have started ticking tonight on — on a chapter in history which will end with the United States Senate having to decide in an impeachment trial, ‘is this perjury enough?'” O’Donnell noted.
“Because if there is a perjury here, if Donald Trump has put perjury in writing according to the special prosecutor’s analysis of the evidence based on what Michael Cohen has told him, if that is what the special prosecutor is going to report, a Democratic House of Representatives is going to have to move on impeachment if that happens,” O’Donnell explained.
“It’s also going to shine a very harsh light on the decision by president’s legal team that they would have him — they would negotiate to the ends of the earth to make sure that the president would only have to put his answers in writing rather than speaking them out loud in his usual word-cloud sort of way,” Maddow said.
“I mean, the president speaks so elliptically, that might have actually been a pretty good way out of perjury trap, because he never quite says anything declaratively,” she noted. “That’s the way he’s gotten out of lots of depositions and lots of legal proceedings in the past.”
“In this case, by insisting he would only give his answers in writing — if his answers are lies, they’ve got them in writing and there’s no wiggle room there,” Maddow noted.
“Yeah, and the president’s legal team thought they scored a huge victory by limiting the questioning to matters involving Russia,” O’Donnell added as Maddow laughed.