When it comes to primary documents like the 20-page letter dated January 29, 2018 from former Trump lawyer John Dowd and the preceding 11-page memo dated June 23, 2017, both resisting an interview of the president by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, my preference is to give readers the originals via Scribd. Having obtained their own copies, the New York Times is forcing us to consult the originals here along with the Times’s annotations. The related Times article is posted here.
These documents are must reading. Paul comments on one aspect of Dowd’s January 2018 letter here. I especially enjoyed the list of 16 topics about which Mueller seeks to sit the president down. I have quoted them below with the paragraphs immediately preceding and following:
In our conversation of January 8, your office identified the following topics as areas you desired to address with the President in order to complete your investigation on the subjects of alleged collusion and obstruction of justice:
1. Former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — information regarding his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak about sanctions during the transition process;
2. Lt. Gen. Flynn’s communications with Vice President Michael Pence regarding those contacts;
3. Lt. Gen. Flynn’s interview with the FBI regarding the same;
4. Then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates coming to the White House to discuss same;
5. The President’s meeting on February 14, 2017, with then-Director James Comey;
6 Any other relevant information regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn;
7. The President’s awareness of and reaction to investigations by the FBI, the House and the Senate into possible collusion;
8. The President’s reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation;
9. The President’s reaction to Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee;
10. Information related to conversations with intelligence officials generally regarding ongoing investigations;
11. Information regarding who the President had had conversations with concerning Mr. Comey’s performance;
12. Whether or not Mr. Comey’s May 3, 2017, testimony led to his termination;
13. Information regarding communications with Ambassador Kislyak, Minister Lavrov, and Lester Holt;
14. The President’s reaction to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel;
15. The President’s interaction with Attorney General Sessions as it relates to the appointment of Special Counsel; and,
16. The statement of July 8, 2017, concerning Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting in Trump Tower.
It is our understanding that the reason behind the request for the interview is to allow the Special Counsel’s office to complete its report. After reviewing the list of topics you presented, it is abundantly clear to the undersigned that all of the answers to your inquiries are contained in the exhibits and testimony that have already been voluntarily provided to you by the White House and witnesses, all of which clearly show that there was no collusion with Russia, and that no FBI investigation was or even could have been obstructed.
Putting the legal disputation to one side, I would simply like to note that the list of topics runs far afield from the subject of Trump-Russia campaign collusion that we are led to believe is the subject of Mueller’s investigation. Anyone can see that this is a living farce.