Author Michael Wolff defended the claim in his new book that special counsel Robert Mueller drafted a document outlining legal arguments for indicting President Trump.
Although last week Mueller’s spokesman denied that a draft indictment was drawn up, Wolff said a 56-page memorandum was put together that supposes Trump was indicted for obstruction of justice.
“The document is a 56-page document. It assumes that the president has been indicted. It assumes that he in turn has come back and made a motion to dismiss that indictment on grounds that you can’t indict a sitting president,” Wolff said in an interview Monday evening on MSNBC. “Then this document is a response to that.”
Wolf said the document outlined what charges Trump would face and argued why a sitting president can and should be indicted.
“So it’s in a way I think that missing piece of the Mueller puzzle,” Wolff said.
Wolff cites sources close to the Mueller investigation in his book. When asked by MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell to divulge whether his sources were in the Mueller team, Wolff would only say that these were “gold standard” sources.
The existence of a three-count obstruction of justice indictment was first reported in a preview of Wolff’s new book, Siege: Trump Under Fire, by the Guardian, which also said it had viewed the documents.
In response, Mueller spokesman Peter Carr issued a rare statement that said “the documents that you’ve described do not exist.”
Wolff’s last book, Fire and Fury, was riddled with unsubstantiated allegations, several of which were denounced as false. His new book, which hits bookshelves Tuesday, is already facing accusations of falsehoods, and in an interview with the New York Times Wolff admitted he does not check his stories with his subjects.
In his report, Mueller wrote that his team determined there was insufficient evidence to show criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin during the 2016 election. The report also laid out 10 instances in which Trump might have obstructed justice, but Mueller declined to say whether he committed obstruction, citing a Justice Department guideline that sitting presidents cannot be indicted.
Attorney General William Barr concluded Mueller’s investigation did not find “sufficient” evidence to determine whether Trump obstructed justice. Barr defended the president’s behavior during the investigation as Trump being “frustrated and angry” with a process he believed was politically motivated.
Mueller, who announced he was resigning last week, said charging Trump with a crime was “not an option we could consider,” citing Justice Department policy. “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so,” Mueller said. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
Barr contradicted the reasoning the special counsel gave about why he did not make a determination on obstruction. “I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision,” Barr said during an interview with CBS on Thursday. Barr said Mueller “had his reasons for not doing it” but declined to explain. “I’m not going to, you know, argue about those reasons,” he said.