Katyal repeated Wednesday that the rules “permit Mueller to depart from DOJ policy.”
Referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein, who is acting as attorney general in the context of the Russia investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, Katyal said on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes”: “The way to do this is to ask the acting attorney general, so he does have a way forward.”
Robert Costa, national political reporter for The Washington Post and a political analyst for MSNBC, said Wednesday night on Twitter that Giuliani told him that the statement didn’t come from Mueller.
“One of his assistants broke in,” Costa quoted Giuliani as saying. “But a day or two later, they called back and acknowledged it, which put it to bed as far as I’m concerned.”
According to Costa, when he was asked which member of Mueller’s team made the comment, Giuliani said: “I’ll check with Jay and let you know tomorrow. Jay got a call and they said we acknowledge that we are bound by Justice Department policy.”
Jay Sekulow is another member of Trump’s personal legal team.
Giuliani, meanwhile, suggested Wednesday that Mueller may not even interview Trump.
“I don’t think they need an interview, particularly if the interview is only for the purpose of giving explanations again that the president has already given,” he told NBC News.
Giuliani said Mueller’s office has not responded to questions that Trump’s team has about a possible interview. He said those inquiries included issues like: “Why do they need an interview, what kind of questions, when are you going to resolve the investigation, show us the authority.”
On Tuesday, Giuliani told NBC News that he had spoken by phone with lawyers for the special counsel’s office and that talks about a potential presidential interview were in a “holding pattern.”
On Wednesday, he also called on Mueller ahead of the one-year mark of the investigation on Thursday to “get it over with.”
The special counsel’s office had no comment.