Will Trump plea the fifth?

Whether Trump colluded with the Russian government, we have to imagine the moment Robert Mueller’s team the president’s lawyers sit at the same table hashing out details of a formal meeting. What will the Mueller team ask? How would the White House response? Will the president be involved? Is it required of him? Months ago Trump said he would sit down with the investigators and clear the air. But as of now, Trump isn’t committed to the questioning because Mueller’s team hasn’t found any evidence of direct wrongdoing from the president. Speculation wise, Randall Eliason surmised,

The president is wrong. What is unlikely — unimaginable, in my assessment — is that Mueller would conclude his investigation without seeking to interview the president.

The president’s repeated insistence that he did nothing improper does not mean an interview is unnecessary. After all, if prosecutors decided there was no need to speak with every subject who proclaimed his own innocence, they would never get very far. Mueller, of course, is not required to take the president’s word for it on the question of collusion.

Mueller’s team would just needed some probable cause to put forward a request for an interview. How the White House response to that will be telling. They will have to fend off the perception of pressure: What does he have to hide?

The Republican party realizes this year will be a tough year. Democrats are making inroads into taking back the Senate and possibly the House too. How high the chance depends on how much noise the Mueller investigation makes. If the president is hobbled, he can’t campaign with them. And if his supporters don’t see him on the road, their enthusiasm will take a big dip. Already, their 2018 legislative agenda is in jeopardy. With the remaining free time, they’d focus on undermining the Mueller investigation. They insisted that the so-called Trump-Russia dossier was a left-wing propaganda that hoodwinked the FBI into launching the misguided investigation, which led to Trump firing FBI director James Comey for refusing to make it go away, which led to the current Mueller dilemma of will Trump or won’t Trump testify.

And the year only just started.

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