Chris Cuomo Grills Jay Sekulow on Mueller Investigation in Marathon Face-Off

Fresh off a series of Sunday show appearances in which Jay Sekulow chanted “the president is not under investigation,” President Donald Trump’s lawyer appeared on CNN’s New Day for a marathon showdown with Chris Cuomo. Cuomo kicked off the segment by noting the “obvious contradiction” between Trump’s statement in a tweet that he is “under investigation,” and his legal counsel’s contention that he is not the subject of a probe by Robert Mueller. Sekulow re-upped his argument from Sunday — that the president’s tweet was a response to the Washington Post story that cites unnamed sources claiming Trump is the subject of an investigation into potential obstruction of justice. “Those reports in The Washington Post were false,” Sekulow said. “The legal team has not been notified of an investigation.” “But just because you haven’t been notified doesn’t mean you’re not under investigation,” Cuomo shot back. “There’s no duty inform you.” Sekulow responded that Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey does not amount to obstruction of justice, before sparring with Cuomo over leaks to the press. “My question is this, do you think that Bob Mueller is looking at the circumstances surrounding Comey’s firing?” Cuomo asked. “Do you think that’s part of the purview of his probe?” “I have no idea if he’s looking at that or not,” Sekulow responded, before noting the president has the constitutional authority to fire the FBI director. “To fight the notion that Mueller would be looking at this at all seems to be something that only the president wants to be not true,” Cuomo said. “But it makes perfect sense. Why fight that notion?” Things got testy as the two sparred over Sekulow’s contention that they have not been informed about an obstruction investigation, before Cuomo asked why Sekulow can’t simply “make a phone call” and find out if Trump is being looked at. Sekulow again said Trump is not under investigation, to which Cuomo responded “you don’t know whether or not that’s true. You could know. Why you haven’t picked up the phone and find out is a little odd.” “If I hired you I’d want you to make that phone call,” he added. “Well you haven’t hired us, because we represent the President of the United States,” Sekulow replied. “Thank God!” Cuomo quipped. “Thank God I don’t need you right now Jay Sekulow.” Cuomo again pressed why Trump’s legal team can’t just pick up the phone and find out definitively if Mueller is investigating the president, but Sekulow demurred.
Cuomo and Sekulow next got into the weeds about the conflict between the White House’s contention that Trump fired Comey on the attorney general’s recommendation, and the president’s own remarks that he was going to fire Comey anyway. Sekulow concluded that the president can’t be investigated for obstruction of justice, because he had full authority to fire Comey — something the former FBI director himself pointed out in his testimony. If this legal team’s strategy is to bore us to death, they may just succeed. Watch both segments above, via CNN. [image via screengrab] — Follow Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) on Twitter

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