Editor’s note: This column is adapted from Gregg Jarrett’s new book “Witch Hunt: The Story Of The Greatest Mass Delusion In American Political History.”

It has always been suspicious that Robert Mueller met with President Trump in the Oval Office the day before he was officially appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate Trump.

Newly uncovered documents show that Mueller and Rosenstein had been privately communicating in the days before that meeting. They worked sedulously to keep it a secret. Trump had no idea that Mueller was already on board to serve as special counsel.

So, why was Mueller there in the Oval? Was it part of a scheme to furtively gather evidence that, as special counsel, he could then use against Trump? Did he lure the president into a conversation under false pretenses? The answer appears to be yes.

When I interviewed president Trump for my new book, “Witch Hunt: The Story Of The Greatest Mass Delusion In American Political History,” I asked him why Mueller was there:

President Trump: “Mueller wanted very badly to have the job as FBI director and to return to the FBI. I didn’t want him. I rejected him. By the way, how much of a conflict is it when a guy comes in wanting a job, I say no, and the next day he’s your special prosecutor? It’s outrageous.”

It was outrageous. It seems increasingly clear that Trump was being set-up, and that Mueller was neither forthcoming nor honest during the meeting.

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He deliberately concealed from the president that he was about to launch a damaging investigation that threatened Trump’s presidency. The duplicity was more than a sufficient basis to require that he disqualify himself from the special counsel position.

The president’s account of his meeting with Mueller was corroborated by his then-assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, who arranged it and was privy to its purpose and content. I questioned her about this. She confirmed to me that, without a doubt, Mueller had been there interviewing for the job of FBI director. Recently, multiple administration officials backed up this account to Fox News. Newly released records also substantiate it.

There has been widespread speculation about Mueller’s intentions. Tuesday, Fox News’ Bret Baier and Jake Gibson reported that Mueller was indeed “pursuing the open post as the director of the FBI – something the former Russia probe special counsel denied under oath during congressional testimony this summer.”

So, has Mueller been lying about this all along? Consider his July 24, 2019 testimony before congress:

Mueller: “My understanding was I was not applying for the job. I was asked to give my input on what it would take to do the job.

Question: So it is your statement that you didn’t interview to apply for the FBI director job?

Mueller: That’s correct.”

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