Yeomans: Trump Can’t Lie to Mueller, Oath or No Oath

Press Release


Washington, D.C., January 26, 2018  – In the latest edition of Yeomans WorkAFJ Goldfarb Fellow for Justice Bill Yeomans writes about a possible approaching interview of President Trump by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in the wake of Trump’s off-the-cuff remark to a reporter that he is open to testifying under oath. Yeomans warns:

“Despite Trump’s accommodating statements, there is still no guarantee that Trump will submit to a voluntary interview.  Putting political considerations aside, his lawyers would almost certainly advise against it.  The possibility that Trump will make false statements or otherwise incriminate himself is too great.  But political considerations dictate that Trump appear fearless and cooperative.  Refusal to submit to questioning will almost certainly result in a grand jury subpoena.  Before the grand jury, Trump will have to answer questions or assert his Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent.  He and his lawyers may decide to head off that possibility by agreeing to a voluntary interview with negotiated limits.”

Furthermore, Yeomans notes that the law says it’s irrelevant whether Trump is officially under oath or not when he speaks to Mueller: “Trump will commit a felony if he lies during questioning by Mueller, members of Mueller’s staff or FBI agents, regardless whether he has taken an oath to tell the truth.”

Yeomans Work focuses on the challenges to the justice system in the era of Trump. Bill Yeomans is available for media interviews. Contact Laurie Kinney, Communications Director, at laurie@afj.org or 202-464-7367.