Tuesday, former Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr appeared on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” and weighed in on President Donald Trump’s ability to direct Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI special counsel Robert Mueller to not subpoena him in the Russia interference investigation.
Host Hugh Hewitt asked Starr, “Can the president direct Rod Rosenstein, who is the deputy attorney general in charge of Mr. Mueller, can he direct Rod Rosenstein to direct the special counsel not to subpoena him?”
“Yes,” Starr responded. “The president does have that power as our duly elected chief executive. We only elect two people as a nation. We elect representatives, and we elect senators. But we only elect the president. And then the president really has plenary choice in who’s going to be the vice president. So in a very real sense, the nation comes together on a single day, yeah absentee voting or whatever, but on a day, on a critical day, and says you’re the president. And Article II of the Constitution vests executive power in the president. He has plenary authority, full authority, over the operations of the executive branch. And so yes, he can do that under the Constitution. Is it wise? No.”
Starr then added that the president cannot commit obstruction of justice, absent a “bribery” or “corrupt bargain.”
He stated, “He’s got that authority. That will be interpreted as virtually everything the president does in connection with the investigation as an “obstruction of justice.” I disagree with that. I do not believe that the president of the United States in the exercise of his authority, absent a bribery or that sort of corrupt bargain, can constitution, can commit obstruction of justice. And that’s under, I think, very well settled Supreme Court case law.
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