Wary of how frequently their client engages in falsehoods

Sharon LaFraniere at the Times notes that one thing Mueller has for sure exposed is what an entrenched determined liar Trump is and how that has shaped his gang. They all know he expects lying-for-Trump and they all oblige.

Mr. Trump looks for people who share his disregard for the truth and are willing to parrot him, “even if it’s a lie, even if they know it’s a lie, and even if he said the opposite the day before,” said Gwenda Blair, a Trump biographer. They must be “loyal to what he is saying right now,” she said, or he sees them as “a traitor.”

Part of what’s so odd and extreme it is is how obvious it is. He tells lies on Twitter that everyone knows are lies. His missing theory of mind makes lying second nature to him, because he can’t grasp the fact that other people are not necessarily as stupid as he is; he thinks a clumsy obvious absurd lie is just as convincing as an artful one that few people will spot. That seems to rub off on the people who work for him – like Spicer and Sanders for instance.

Mr. Trump’s own lawyers, wary of how frequently their client engages in falsehoods, are trying to hold the special counsel at bay. Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s lawyers, has already been forced to pull back his own public remarks about an issue of concern to Mr. Mueller.

In a confidential memo to the special counsel, Mr. Trump’s legal team admitted that the president, not his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., drafted a misleading statement about a Trump Tower meeting between a Kremlin-tied lawyer and campaign officials in 2016. That statement could figure in the special counsel’s scrutiny of whether the president obstructed justice.

A “misleading” statement. A lying statement, is what it was.

Fearful of more deceptions, the president’s legal team has insisted that Mr. Trump answer questions only in writing. They delivered replies to some of the special counsel’s queries on Nov. 20 after months of negotiation. If unsatisfied, Mr. Mueller could try to subpoena the president to testify.

But the new acting attorney general, Matthew G. Whitaker, a vocal critic of Mr. Mueller’s inquiry who now supervises it, would have to sign off. And even if he did, the White House could still mount a legal battle to squash it.

Note: Matthew Whitaker himself is an energetic liar, also a lawyer who uses his lawyer cred to bully people cheated by the fraud company on whose board he sat.

But many witnesses or subjects of the inquiry lack the president’s negotiating power or resources. Some have been stunned by their encounters with prosecutors, who arrive armed with thick binders documenting their text messages, emails and whereabouts on any given date.

Sure they’re stunned. They’re used to working for an empty-headed bladder who sits behind an empty desk and watches hours of Fox News every day. People who actually document things are an alien species to them by now.

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