On Friday, I had the pleasure of recording a podcast with Michael Wolff at his hotel in Mayfair. Wolff is on a tour for his book, Siege, the sequel to Fire and Fury, his mega-bestseller about the Trump presidency. We talked Trump, the Trump-Russia inquiry, media screw-ups, Steve Bannon and Boris Johnson. You can listen here:
Perhaps the biggest bombshell in Siege is Wolff’s claim that Mueller laid out an indictment of the president, a long document detailing how such a move would work. Mueller’s office has denied the document’s existence. But Wolff insists he has it ‘in my hands … I tell you: it sits on my desk. It was an interesting thing, because the Guardian called the Mueller people and they responded to the document and they said the document as described does not exist, and I thought that’s a non-denial denial for you.
‘I know it exists because I have it,’ he said. ‘What it is specifically is a 56-page document, which assumes that the president has been indicted, assumes that the president has gone into court and asked for the indictment to be dismissed on the grounds that you can’t indict a sitting a president. This 56-page document is an answer to that.’
Wolff says the document is divided into two parts. The first is an outline of the indictment, which Wolff calls ‘a draft of the indictment.’ The second is an argument explaining why the special counsel can indict the president.
Wolff claims the document includes ‘a very meticulously laid out scenario of an indictment’, including three counts and 20 pages in which it goes ‘over all the particulars.’
Wolff admits that, had Trump been indicted, Siege might have been ‘somewhat more dramatic’ but says that he was always skeptical at the idea that a collusion conspiracy would stick.
Wolff calls the media’s coverage of Trump ‘one of the great journalism fuck-ups of all time.’
Wolff says that the real story of Siege is about ‘meltdown…every day he finds himself more alone, and I think that is unsustainable.’
It was fun asking Wolff about Boris Johnson. He profiled Boris for Vanity Fair in 2008 and predicted he would be prime minister, and is interested by the comparisons of Johnson and Donald Trump.
‘Trump’s rise as a politician has been brief, whereas Boris’s has been…less than brief.
‘Boris has been pretty dogged, if you think about this. In a way, it’s a valiant career of continuing to show at points where other people might have retreated.