WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval Office, President Trump and his attorney unleased a fresh series of attacks Sunday on the investigators, questioning their integrity while categorically ruling out the possibility of a presidential interview with the special counsel.

Trump and Rudy Giuliani used Twitter and television interviews to deliver a series of broadsides against special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in New York. Giuliani said he was “disgusted” by the tactics used by Mueller in his probe into Russian election interference, including in securing guilty pleas from the president’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn on a charge of lying to federal investigators.

Trump, Giuliani said, would not submit to an interview by Mueller’s team.

“They’re a joke,” Giuliani told “Fox News Sunday.” “Over my dead body, but, you know, I could be dead.”

The special counsel, who is investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, has continued to request an interview with the president. Last month, the White House sent written answers in response to the special counsel’s questions about possible collusion. The White House has resisted answering questions on possible obstruction of justice.

Giuliani sarcastically said that the only thing left to ask the president was about “several unpaid parking tickets that night, back in 1986, ’87 that haven’t been explained.”

If the president officially refuses an interview request, the special counsel’s team could theoretically seek to subpoena him to compel his testimony. Such a move would almost certainly trigger an immediate court fight.

The Supreme Court has never directly ruled on whether a president can be subpoenaed for testimony in a criminal investigation, though the justices have said that a president can be forced to turn over records that have been subpoenaed and can be forced to answer questions as part of a lawsuit.

The special counsel’s investigation has spun out charges and strong-armed guilty pleas from Trump underlings while keeping in suspense whether the president – “Individual-1,” in Mueller’s coded legalese – will end up accused of criminal behavior himself.


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