Giuliani denies Trump team wants early look at Mueller report

Rudy Giuliani insisted in an interview with The Hill on Friday that the president’s legal team had not asked for a special preview of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE’s report.

“We have not made any request, we have not made any demand,” he told The Hill.

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An Associated Press tweet earlier on Friday had suggested that Trump’s lawyers wanted an “early look at Mueller's findings before they are made public.” 

It attributed that statement to Giuliani, but not as a direct quote. 

Pressed on the apparent confusion, Giuliani said the comment that formed the basis of the AP report “probably goes back a week ago, before they did this.” 

The Mueller report was sent to Attorney General William Barr without any additional comment from the special counsel.

“They did it properly, so there is no reason to ask [for] anything other than that,” Giuliani said.

Barr has said he may be able to provide a summary of Mueller’s findings to the top members of the Senate and House Judiciary committees as soon as this weekend. A public release of the report could potentially take longer, especially if there are claims from parties involved that information contained within it is privileged.

Any early access provided to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE — or to his legal team, of which Giuliani is a member — would be hugely controversial. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Four companies reach 0M settlement in opioid lawsuit | Deal opens door to larger settlements | House panel to consider vaping tax | Drug pricing markup tomorrow Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails Trump urges GOP to fight for him MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTurkey says soldier killed despite cease-fire in Syria Schumer calls for FDA to probe reports of contaminated baby food How Trump and Pelosi went from bad to worse MORE (D-N.Y.) insisted that “Attorney General Barr must not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any ‘sneak preview’ of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings or evidence,” in a joint statement released soon after news broke that the report had been delivered. 

“The White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public,” the duo added.

The White House has suggested, but not definitively stated, that it will stay within those guide-rails. 

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “the next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.”

The political world is at fever pitch about the report on the 22-month Mueller investigation. The probe has led to more than 30 indictments. 

Several former Trump aides have pleaded guilty or been convicted including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortNew York City lawmakers vote to close Rikers Island jail by 2026 Perry says Trump directed him to discuss Ukraine with Giuliani: report Cuomo signs measure allowing New York to press charges despite presidential pardon MORE and Manafort’s erstwhile deputy Richard Gates.

But defenders of the president have emphasized that none of those cases, so far, has involved collusion with Russia to sway the outcome of the 2016 election — the core of Mueller’s investigation.

The special counsel, who is a former director of the FBI, also investigated whether Trump obstructed justice.

Multiple outlets reported on Friday that no further indictments are expected.

That is welcome news for the Trump team but it does not necessarily clear the president. Most legal experts believe a sitting president cannot be indicted. There is also the possibility that Mueller could have uncovered information that does not rise to a criminal level but which would be politically embarrassing.

On the other hand, expectations among the president’s critics have risen so high that an underwhelming Mueller report would badly deflate them.

In an earlier conversation with The Hill on Friday afternoon, before it became apparent that the report had been delivered, Giuliani continued to protest his client’s innocence but stopped short of making any predictions as to what Mueller would say.

“I have no idea what the findings will be, but I am very confident in the facts,” he said.

In his second interview, after the news broke, Giuliani welcomed the end of the probe.

“Obviously we are happy that the collusion and obstruction of justice investigations are over," he said. “We believe the attorney general will handle it properly and the Justice Department will handle it properly. And when any facts come out, we will we able to respond.”