The authenticity of a new claim by author Michael Wolff there was a draft indictment of President Donald J. Trump sitting on Mueller’s desk for a year has been flatly denied by the spokesman for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“The documents that you’ve described do not exist,” Peter Carr, Mueller’s spokesman, told the Guardian in response to a leaked copy of Wolff’s new forthcoming book, Siege: Trump Under Fire.
According to the Guardian report, Wolff’s new book–out next week–will claim that Mueller drafted a three-count indictment of President Trump.
The Guardian writes Wolff “reports that Mueller’s office drew up a three-count outline of the president’s alleged abuses, under the title ‘United States of America against Donald J Trump, Defendant’.”
“The document sat on the special counsel’s desk, Wolff writes, for almost a year,” the Guardian adds. “According to a document seen by the Guardian, the first count, under Title 18, United States code, Section 1505, charged the president with corruptly – or by threats of force or threatening communication – influencing, obstructing or impeding a pending proceeding before a department or agency of the United States. The second count, under section 1512, charged the president with tampering with a witness, victim or informant. The third count, under section 1513, charged the president with retaliating against a witness, victim or informant. The document is the most significant aspect of Wolff’s new book.”
The Guardian further describes Wolff’s book’s reporting on the supposed Trump indictment:
Wolff writes that the draft indictment he examines says Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice “began on the seventh day of his administration, tracing the line of obstruction from National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s lies to the FBI about his contacts with Russian representative[s], to the president’s efforts to have [FBI director] James Comey protect Flynn, to Comey’s firing, to the president’s efforts to interfere with the special counsel’s investigation, to his attempt to cover up his son and son-in-law’s meeting with Russian governmental agents, to his moves to interfere with Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe’s testimony …”
The draft indictment, Wolff writes, also spelled out what Mueller considered to be the overriding theme of Trump’s presidency: the “extraordinary lengths” taken “to protect himself from legal scrutiny and accountability, and to undermine the official panels investigating his actions”.
But the fact that Mueller, who did not indict the president on any counts relating to obstruction or conspiracy–commonly colloquially referred to as collusion–is out publicly denying the authenticity of this report from Wolff is another shot at Wolff’s credibility. Wolff’s first book, Fire and Fury, became a sensation and a number one bestseller when it came out after it was revealed Wolff had significant access into the Trump White House.