(NEW YORK) — A member of Donald Trump’s legal team says he does not believe the president will have to testify under oath to special counsel Robert Mueller, whose Russia investigation the president believes is part of a “witch hunt.”
ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked lawyer Jay Sekulow on This Week Sunday whether the president is including the special counsel probe when he talks about a “witch hunt.”
“Yeah,” Sekulow said on This Week. “When he talks about the scope and nature of the investigation, he’s concerned about the nature of what’s going on here.”
Sekulow said former FBI Director James Comey “said under oath that he hoped to get a special counsel, which he did, so the special counsel then is based on evidence that was illegally leaked, and that to me raises questions about the whole spectra of what’s going on here.”
The president has repeatedly called the Russia investigation a “witch hunt” on Twitter, most recently tweeting last week, “My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!”
In a June joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Rose Garden, President Trump told Karl that he would be “100 percent” willing to testify under oath about his conversations with Comey.
But Sekulow said he doesn’t believe the investigation will lead to having the president testify.
“Look, the president was very clear: that if it came to that, and I don’t think it will, but if it came to that, he will do that,” Sekulow told Karl on Sunday. “You asked him the question in the Rose Garden; the president answered it. So, you know, I take the president on his word there.”
Karl also asked Sekulow if the president would rule out giving pardons to individuals such as former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn or his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a result of the Russia investigation, but the lawyer didn’t answer.
“I have not had the conversation with the president about any of that, and I wouldn’t share it if I did because of the attorney-client privilege,” he said. “He can pardon individuals, of course — that’s because the founders of our country put that in the United States Constitution, the power to pardon. But I have not had those conversations, so I couldn’t speculate on that.”
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