Robert Ray Quoted in Japan Times on Trump’s Potential Interview with Mueller

“As Robert Mueller pursues interview, Trump left without easy options”

The special counsel’s office wants to talk to Donald Trump about the firings of James Comey and Michael Flynn, but as the president’s lawyers negotiate the terms and scope of a possible interview, they’re left with no easy options.

Balking at an interview, even a narrowly tailored one focused on obstruction of justice questions, risks perpetuating the perception that Trump has something to hide. But agreeing to discuss those matters with Robert Mueller’s team is risky for Trump, whose statements can be unpredictable and inconsistent. Weeks of dialogue between the sides have yet to resolve a question of extraordinary consequence: Will Trump, like many of his aides before him, get grilled by Mueller’s prosecutors?

“Obviously this is not just a legal problem, but this is also a political problem,” said Robert Ray, who succeeded Kenneth Starr as the independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation. “Life is not that simple. It requires a delicate balance between weighing the important legal issues that are involved but also recognizing the important political consequences as well.”