An expected report by special counsel Robert Mueller may be delayed by a continuing investigation to determine if Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner lied in congressional testimony, a former U.S. attorney said on MSNBC Saturday.
Sources told CNN earlier this week that Attorney General William Barr was preparing to announce that Mueller had finished his nearly two-year investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. But Justice Department officials said Friday that the report would not be released in the coming week.
One reason for a longer timeframe could concern congressional testimony by Trump Jr. and Kushner, including their comments on talks with Russian officials on building a Trump Tower Moscow during the presidential election, noted former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade. She said she was basing her observation on redacted court filings that continue to be released in the Mueller probe. Redactions indicate that investigations linked to the hidden information are ongoing.
“One area that seems likely to be ... under scrutiny by Robert Mueller is whether other people have lied to Congress,” as Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen has admitted to doing, McQuade told MSNBC host Alex Witt.
She pointed out that redactions concerning Cohen indicate he may be providing information to the Mueller team about others who also lied about Trump Tower Moscow negotiations.
“I would think that if others lied about that matter [or] other matters, then we might see charges against them. That would include Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner,” she said.
The Moscow Tower negotiations timeline is critical. If it turns out the elder Trump was trying to win approval for the project throughout his campaign, that could explain his surprisingly positive declarations about Russian President Vladimir Putin. It could also raise questions about what else might have been on the negotiating table for the project, particularly if he won the presidency.
Donald Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in testimony in 2017 that he knew “very little” about discussions concerning Trump Tower in Moscow. One such discussion “died of deal fatigue” before 2016, he testified, according to Senate transcripts.
But one of the president’s attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, told The New York Times and NBC that the elder Trump told him negotiations were ongoing throughout the presidential campaign. (Giuliani later said the president had no recollection of the timeline.)
Check out McQuade’s interview above. She refers to possible targets still under scrutiny beginning at 2:15.