Ken Starr, the independent counsel whose investigations into Whitewater and other would-be scandals dogged the Clinton administration, said the president will have to testify under oath before the Russia investigation is over.
In an interview on Thursday, MSNBC’s Brian Williams told Starr, “it is my understanding that you are of the belief that the president should be much more wary and on-guard and worried about these Congressional investigations than the Mueller investigation.”
“No, I think he’s going to be worried and on guard about both,” Starr replied.
“I think there is a tendency to ignore what Congress is doing when, famously, during the Watergate investigation so many years ago, the explosive fact of the White House tapes, came not from Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor, but from Congressional investigators during a deposition,” he explained.
Noting that Vice President Mike Pence reached out to special counsel Bob Mueller to voice his willingness to cooperate, Starr admitted it’s good that “the president’s lawyers are all saying that, ‘let’s get this done,’ and the way to get it over with is cooperation.”
Starr explained that it still looks like the investigation is “not too far along” but noted that the raid on Paul Manafort’s home was an “extraordinary action” and “the report is there will be an indictment.”
“I think there will be a number of indictments before this is over,” Starr said, noting that he secured 14 convictions during his tenure as independent counsel in the investigations into the Clinton Administration.
“It’s a terrible situation within the White House,” Starr noted when asked about aides potentially revealing damaging information to prosecutors about co-workers. “It’s very demoralizing.”
Starr urged aides to be as transparent as possible.
“As we see with Jared Kushner, the latest revelations, these facts are going to come out,” he said. “Truth will come out.”
“Yes or no answer,” Williams asked. “Do you see the president being placed under oath before this is all over?”
“Yes,” Starr said.
Starr is very familiar with investigations into presidents but whereas he investigated a Clinton White House filled with experienced political operatives who were used to being under the microscope, the Trump White House is filled with inexperienced staffers and a wealth of incompetency.
Trump’s own family is embroiled in the investigation after Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner met with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer and worked to conceal the meeting from investigators.
Kushner also failed to disclose repeated meetings with Russia’s ambassador to the United States and about one hundred other undisclosed foreign contacts.
Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn repeatedly flouted federal law by illegally working on behalf of foreign governments – possibly even at the White House – and then lied to investigators about it.
Manafort had a plethora of shady dealings with shady people as he worked as an advisor to a Kremlin-backed Ukrainian president and other oligarchs, along with potentially illegal money laundering and real estate schemes back home in the United States.
And then, of course, the incompetent in chief. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and attempted to obfuscate his reasons for doing so to avoid legal scrutiny. He got it anyway, and reports suggest Mueller’s team may be building an obstruction of justice case against Trump himself.