Trump’s attorneys say redacted Mar-a-Lago affidavit is ‘misleading’
President Trump’s attorneys argued Friday in the case brought by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller in federal court in Washington, D.C., that a lengthy redacted version of a sworn statement submitted to Special Counsel Mueller by his longtime friend and confidant, Russian President Vladimir Putin, is misleading.
The redaction in question is made by Mueller to give the Special Counsel a chance to make sense of Putin’s statement at a pre-Trump event in January 2017 during the U.S. presidential transition.
“The president’s version of the statement, in his redacted version, is far more damaging to the president’s claim that he was unaware of any compromising information about him,” the Trump attorneys argued.
Here was the lengthy redacted version of Putin’s statement to Mueller:
This is the redacted version of the statement, with redactions made by Mueller to protect the identity of the sources who have supplied details about the Trump campaign. The key source was a dossier written by former British spy Christopher Steele that was used by the FBI to justify a surveillance warrant for Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The FBI relied heavily on the dossier, and used it to make the FISA application to surveil Page, and to surveil former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos.
Putin’s statement came in the context of the Trump Tower meeting, where Putin and Trump discussed the possibility of firing then-FBI director James Comey. At the end of the statement, Putin said: “I think we will achieve success. Russia-US relations are not what they used to be, but they still are in the world’s top ten.”
The statement was submitted by Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow, in the form of a letter he sent to Mueller. Mueller was seeking the statement as the basis for his own investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice.
It is in Trump’s interest to protect his claims about any campaign or transition information on the Russia probe, rather than turn it over to Mueller. Why would Trump want Mueller investigating him, or his advisers? Trump should try using his resources