House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller would be making a mistake if he concludes his investigation without interviewing President Donald Trump first.
But in an interview on “Meet the Press,” Schiff acknowledged what he said were constraints under which Mueller is operating.
“I’ve said all along that I don’t think Bob Mueller should rely on written answers,” Schiff told NBC News’ Chuck Todd. “When you get written answers from a witness, it’s really the lawyers’ answers as much as the client’s answer. And here, you need to be able to ask follow-up questions in real time.”
But, Schiff said, “I think the constraint that Bob Mueller is operating under is he had an acting attorney general who was appointed because he would be hostile to a subpoena on the president.”
The same can be said for newly-confirmed Attorney General William Barr, Schiff said.
The Intelligence Committee chairman said he also thought Mueller “feels some time pressure to conclude his work,” and “knowing that the White House would drag out a fight over the subpoena, that may be an issue, as well.”
Trump, he said, has “made plain” that he feels comfortable lying when he’s not under oath.
“After all, he has said, ‘It’s not like I’m talking before a magistrate.’ Well, maybe he should talk before magistrate.”
Schiff: "I do think ultimately it's a mistake," if Mueller doesn't interview Trump under oath. pic.twitter.com/eKe9bY9lM7
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) March 10, 2019