Tags: Russia | Russia Probe | ken starr | vladimir putin | robert mueller | investigation | indictments

Ken Starr: Russian Charges 'Shadow Indictment' of Putin

Ken Starr: Russian Charges 'Shadow Indictment' of Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 February 2018 09:46 PM

Former independent counsel Ken Starr said Tuesday that Robert Mueller's recent charging of 13 Russians for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election was "a shadow indictment" of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"He had a huge operation," Starr, who investigated former President Bill Clinton, told Anderson Cooper on CNN.

"There's no evidence of any collusion with any American campaign.

"There is some unwitting participation," Starr added. "That's an important word.

"The 'unwitting' participation, which again suggests to me it's a contra-indication that this was some kind of conspiracy with Trump Tower.

"But we'll see."

Mueller, the Moscow special counsel, indicted the Russians in charges announced Feb. 16 for allegedly targeting social media propaganda seeking to help Republican Donald Trump and to harm Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Three Russian companies were also charged in the elaborate scheme.

"Bob Mueller is a total professional," Starr told Cooper. "One of the key things is for us to allow Bob Mueller to do his job, to get it done as promptly as he can.

"He's moving with great efficiency — and I think he's moving with integrity."

Starr also disagreed with Trump's attacks on the Moscow probe as a "witch hunt," though he said the president's firing on FBI Director James Comey last year does not constitute obstruction of justice, based on Supreme Court precedent.

"The Supreme Court has warned, don't think everything is obstruction of justice," he said. "The Supreme Court has been absolutely clear with federal prosecutors: You're going too far."

Further, Trump's "amazingly transparent" attacks on the investigation also pointed to no corruption on his part, Starr added.

"The president has been so amazingly transparent — 'I don't like the investigation. I think it's hurting the country. It's deflecting attention and so forth.'

"That doesn't sound to me like corruption."

Another limitation on Mueller's parameters is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who announced the earlier indictments, Starr said.

"Rod Rosenstein can step it under the regulations and say: 'You're not going to go there. I'm the one who is the deputy attorney general, who says this is a red line.'

"That the indictment against the Russians was announced by Rod Rosenstein, I think, is very powerful symbolically.

"It is reminding the country that he is the head of the Justice Department probe and he is in charge."

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Robert Mueller's recent charging of 13 Russians for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election was "a shadow indictment" of Russian President Vladimir Putin, former independent counsel Ken Starr said Tuesday.
ken starr, vladimir putin, robert mueller, investigation, indictments
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2018-46-27
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 09:46 PM
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