- Speculation was running rampant on the Friday before Labor Day,that Mueller could issue a final report and formally conclude his end of the investigation
- But Mueller was also predicted to be planning a bombshell announcement that could send shockwaves through Washington
- A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice told DailyMail.com on Friday morning it's 'fake news' that action is imminent
- Special counsel's office declined a request for comment
- Trump's legal team says it has not heard from Mueller in weeks
- President warned Thursday that he could 'get involved' in the DOJ & FBI
Mum has been the word for last year as Special Counsel Robert Mueller sorts through allegations of collusion and obstruction and chases down election-hacking Russians.
Speculation was running rampant on the Friday before Labor Day, however, that Mueller could issue a final report and formally conclude his end of the investigation before the long weekend.
Speculation was running rampant on the Friday before Labor Day, however, about the possibility that Mueller could issue a final report and formally conclude his end of the investigation before the long weekend
Or, worse for the president, Mueller was predicted to be planning a bombshell announcement that could send shock waves through Washington.
As of Friday morning, Mueller had not responded to a weeks-old letter from Trump's legal team laying out the conditions on which the president would consent to an interview, suggesting with the action that the president's testimony is no longer required or that investigators are tracking down new leads before consenting to a deal.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice told DailyMail.com on Friday morning it's 'fake news' that action is imminent. Sarah Flores said an announcement coming out of DOJ would be minor and would not directly involve the special counsel.
Special counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined a request for comment.
A U.S. attorney later charged an associate of Paul Manafort's for failing to register as a foreign agent after allegedly accepting more than $1 million to advise a Ukrainian political party that aligned itself with Russia.
Mueller referred the case to the U.S. attorney for Washington.
As of Friday morning, Mueller had not responded to a weeks-old letter from Trump's legal team laying out the conditions on which the president would consent to an interview, suggesting with the action that the president's testimony is no longer required or that investigators are tracking down new leads before consenting to a deal
A person familiar with Trump's case told DailyMail.com that Mueller's silence shouldn't be interpreted as a plot to strike, necessarially. His refusal to respond to the Trump legal team's letter does not mean the two sides are not talking.
The White House has been relatively quiet since a double-whammy news hour last week on Tuesday, when ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen copped to eight crimes and a jury found Manafort, a former Trump campaign chairman, guilty of eight others, although the president has personally spoken out about the matters.
The president's staff has mainly been leaving the talking to Trump, who has addressed his associates' crimes - which he says he was not involved in - in remarks to reporters and on Twitter.
Manafort was tried by the special counsel and convicted by a jury of financial crimes that pre-dated his work for Trump.
Cohen, on the other hand, claimed in a guilty plea that two of the crimes he says he committed, which amounted to campaign finance violations, were at the direction of President Trump. He says the president ordered him to enter into hush-money agreements to prevent women from talking about affairs they say they had with Trump.
Just once since courts weighed in on Manafort and Cohen's crimes in back-to-back announcements has the White House conducted a televised briefing for reporters.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters the following day, 'The Manafort case doesn’t have anything to do with the president, doesn’t have anything to do with his campaign, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the White House.'
Of Cohen, she claimed the White House had commented on claims about the president's conduct out of office 'extensively' and reminded 'there are no charges against him.'
'As the President said, and we’ve stated many times,' she said, 'he did nothing wrong.'
Giuliani has not appeared on television, aside from an ambush interview in Scotland, since Cohen and his attorney accused the president of committing crimes.
He said in a short paper statement at the time that 'there is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges' and that Cohen's 'actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time.'
Roughly two weeks prior, Giuliani and another Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, had submitted a letter to the special counsel responding to a request for an interview with Trump.
They have declined to say on the record what the letter said, but it has been reported that they are trying to limit the number of questions that Mueller can ask that speak to allegations of obstruction of justice.
'We’ll leave a little wiggle room,' Giuliani told Politico on August 7. 'It’s not so much obstruction questions. It’s really sucker punches.'
Giuliani told the outlet that Trump's legal team doesn't 'want to put a date on it' but that their willingness to recommend an interview with Mueller to Trump would wane as the midterm elections approached.
He told CNN the next day, 'We do not want to run into the November elections. So back up from that, this should be over by September 1.'
He said at the time that Trump's legal team would need about three weeks to prepare the president for an interview with Mueller and that process had not started.
Sekulow confirmed to DailyMail.com on Friday that Mueller's team had not responded to the letter. He stressed that Labor Day was never a hard and fast deadline for the special counsel investigation to end.
Another person said Friday that the terrain is not nearly 'as roiling as people want to suggest' and that Mueller is likely to wrap up the probe soon.
The person said that Mueller had clearly wanted an interview with the president. That's not looking like it will happen, though, so he's most likely in the end stages of filling out his final report.
Mueller's report could drop as 'early as tomorrow, or it could take another couple of weeks' the person said. 'I don't think it's a long way away.'
Michael Cohen claimed in a guilty plea that two crimes he says he committed, which amounted to campaign finance violations, were at the direction of President Trump
It was who Giuliani first set the expectation that the probe that began in May of 2017 would be finished by Monday.
Giuliani told the New York Times this May that the office of the special counsel said Sept. 1 was a possible end date, so long as Trump cooperated with an interview.
Since then, the president's legal team has been working with the special counsel's office to create an interview framework in which the president would submit to questioning about alleged collusion but not obstruction of justice.
Trump's legal team maintains that the president has the constitutional authority to hire and fire whomever he pleases. He cannot be charged with a crime for cutting loose former FBI Director James Comey, they say, because its within his constitutional rights and also because a sitting president cannot be indicted.
The U.S. Constitution says the only way by which a president can be removed from office for committing 'high crimes and misdemeanors' is by a vote and trial in Congress.
An Office of Legal Counsel opinion from 2000 supports the claim, but the charge has never been tested in a court of law.
An indictment of the president by the special counsel or subpoena to testify would rocket up to the Supreme Court, which is currently split 4-4 after Justice Anthony Kennedy's summer retirement.
Trump is racing to put another conservative on the bench before the court begins its October session, and the Republican-run Senate Judiciary Committee is working furtively to meet his demands. The committee will hold a three-day hearing on nominee Brett Kavanaugh's appointment next week.
Trump has predicted openly that Mueller, a Republican, and his team of 'angry Democrats' will continue their work into the fall in order to 'put some hurt on the Republican Party' in the federal elections.
'Don’t worry about Dems FISA Abuse, missing Emails or Fraudulent Dossier!' he said, touching on misdeeds that Republicans say the opposing party committed.
The pandemonium created by the ongoing special counsel investigation has been eating away at Trump, who tweeted ad nauseam this week about abuses he says have been going on within the Department of Justice.
He made plain at a rally on Thursday evening that if the FBI and DOJ don't start 'doing their job' he could take unilateral action.
'What's happening is a disgrace and at some point, I wanted to stay out, but at some point if it doesn't straighten out properly,' he warned, 'I will get involved.'
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to eight charges