President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow is opposing a public release of his client’s written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller, calling them “confidential communications.”
“As a lawyer, you don’t waive privileges and you don’t waive investigative detail absent either a court order or an agreement between the parties ― and you’d have to weigh a lot of factors there on how that affects other presidencies,” he said during a Monday appearance on CNN. “So I think that it’s not a simple just wave your hand and we release the document. I think that would be very inappropriate.”
Sekulow’s remarks come less than 24 hours after Attorney General William Barr delivered his summary of Mueller’s findings to Congress, prompting a mix of criticism and celebration.
Among the president’s allies, the outline of the report ― in particular, the finding that Trump and his campaign did not conspire with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election ― is being hailed as a triumph for the president.
Trump’s critics are focusing more on the quote from the report that states, in reference to obstruction of justice, that although the president was not found to have committed a crime, he was not exonerated either.
Ultimately, Sekulow told CNN, it was up to Barr to decide whether Trump’s responses to Mueller would be revealed.
Last November, the lawyer said his team would neither discuss nor divulge any of the answers, which were being submitted to Mueller at that time, The Associated Press reported.
It remains to be seen whether Barr will make Mueller’s report public in its entirety, but many Democratic lawmakers and 2020 presidential hopefuls have demanded such transparency. Even a few Republicans have joined that chorus, albeit some not as strongly as others.
Elated by Barr’s summary of the report, Trump tweeted that it was a “complete and total exoneration” of his own actions on Sunday. Sekulow appeared to be pushing the same line on Monday.