Yeomans: Trump Girds for War

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Zack Ford

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 4, 2018 – In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, AFJ Goldfarb Fellow for Justice Bill Yeomans writes that turmoil in President Trump’s orbit in the past week — including the departure of lawyer Ty Cobb, the bizarre statements of Rudy Giuliani on cable news, and the emergence of questions that Robert Mueller might ask Trump in an interview — confirms that the White House is in chaos. “More important,” he writes, “the choices for the next months came into brighter focus.”

Yeomans writes that many of these choices revolve around whether Trump will sit for questioning by Mueller. The departure of Cobb, Yeomans suggests, and the arrival of the combative attorney Emmet Flood suggest that we are “unlikely to hear more discussion of a voluntary interview. Instead, the focus will shift to Mueller’s power to compel Trump’s testimony by grand jury subpoena.” As for granting an interview to Mueller, Yeomans writes, “Despite Trump’s protestations that he wants a speedy resolution to the investigation, he benefits from delay if Mueller is headed toward a damning report and Trump toward impeachment or, at least, political paralysis. Continuing to function as president requires either that he shut down the Mueller investigation prematurely or that he keep it going as long as possible without resolution.”

Meanwhile Mueller’s choices regarding whether he should force Trump to testify are also coming into focus, says Yeomans: “Ultimately, Mueller will have to decide whether this battle is worth prolonging the investigation and allowing Trump and his allies more time to delegitimize our institutions of law enforcement.” All this, as the New York investigation of Michael Cohen remains the “wild card” that could ultimately change everything.

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 or 202-464-7367.