Rudy Giuliani trashes Mueller statement on Trump as 'perversion'

New York (tca/dpa) - [US President Donbald Trump's attorney] Rudy Giuliani slammed Robert Mueller's statement Wednesday as a "perversion" and suggested the special counsel overstepped his bounds by asserting he would have cleared President Donald Trump of criminal wrongdoing if he could.

The ex-New York mayor-turned-personal Trump lawyer said Mueller should have stayed silent and let his report speak for itself, instead of expanding on his decision to not exonerate the president of obstruction during a rare public appearance at Justice Department headquarters.
"He and his team have buffaloed all of you into accepting a perversion of the norm," Giuliani told the New York Daily News. "This is the first case ever where someone has to prove his innocence."
Giuliani portrayed Trump as a victim of an out-of-control prosecutor in Mueller, a theme that may shape the #MAGA [Make America Great Again, Trump's presidential campaign slogan] response to Mueller's damning statement.
"Indecision for a prosecutor is a decision. Prosecutors don't conclude you didn't do it," the former New York mayor said, ignoring the fact that Mueller was blocked by longstanding Justice Department regulations from indicting Trump. "You normally cannot prove a negative."
Mueller said in the Justice Department remarks - his first public ones since being appointed special counsel in May 2017 - that his team never considered indicting Trump since the regulations stipulate a sitting president can't be criminally charged.
However, Mueller stressed his investigation didn't clear Trump of obstruction either and said Congress alone has the authority to punish a president for potential crimes - an apparent reference to impeachment.
Giuliani, by personally attacking Mueller, seemed to be floating a different and more direct political strategy: trash Mueller as an unethical tool of Democrats.
"The real question is to whether it's ethical at all for him to be discussing it or writing about (whether to clear Trump)," Giuliani said in an interview on Fox News earlier in the day.
In a sign the scorched-earth approach to Mueller might be gaining favor, [Harvard Law School professor] Alan Dershowitz compared Mueller to former FBI Director James Comey, who has been widely criticized for his statements about [former Democratic presidential candidate] Hillary Clinton's email scandal in 2016.
"By implying that President Trump may have committed obstruction of justice, Mueller effectively invited Democrats to institute impeachment proceedings," Dershowitz wrote in The Hill.
"By putting his thumb - indeed, his elbow - on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias," the Dershowitz continued. "He also has distorted the role of a prosecutor in our justice system."

Thursday, May 30th 2019

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