Can he plead the Fifth? Wehle says that’s no option for Trump

Professor Kimberly Brown

Professor Kimberly Wehle

Professor Kimberly Wehle has been in demand as an expert commentator as investigations into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election home in on several people close to the Trump campaign and administration, including President Donald Trump himself.

Wehle, a former associate independent counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, took part in a Feb. 8 discussion on CNN Tonight With Don Lemon about the refusal of Steve Bannon and Corey Lewandowski to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, which is looking into the Russia matter. Bannon was Trump’s chief strategist and Lewandowski was a Trump campaign manager.

Asked if the House committee could compel Bannon and Lewandowski to testify, Wehle said, “I think this comes down to the schoolyard question of ‘Can you make me?’”

She then posed a question: “At what point is Congress going to pull some levers of power to get some of these witnesses to actually testify?”

Wehle also appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews in a Feb. 6 segment about reports that President Trump’s lawyers are advising him to refuse an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Matthews’s questions focused on the possibility that Trump could be issued a grand jury subpoena if he refused an interview with Mueller — and on what would happen if Trump ignored the subpoena.

Said Wehle: “There’s not an option, if there is a grand jury subpoena, for the president to simply sit back and say, ‘I plead the Fifth, I’m not doing anything.’ That’s not an option on the table for him.”

Learn more about Professor Wehle.

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