Monday, a list of potential questions for President Donald Trump from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, compiled and written by Trump’s personal lawyers, was leaked to the press. Now those 49 questions, written out by Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, are being touted as proof of overreach by Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Trump’s legal team denied any connection to the leak of the questions. However their strategy to discredit the Russia probe for overreach is dependent on the questions being made public.
According to a report in The Washington Post, the plan is for the president and several spokespeople to point to Sekulow’s leaked list of questions as evidence Mueller strayed beyond the original scope of the investigation. They’re also invoking the name of a prominent figure in the Clinton presidency: Kenneth Starr.
“Mueller is in Kenny Starr territory now,” said a Trump adviser. In 1994, Starr was appointed by a special three-judge division of the D.C. Circuit Court to continue the Whitewater investigation.
Whitewater referred to a series of real estate deals made in Arkansas by Bill and Hillary Clinton. The Whitewater investigation, however, fell under a different law than the current Russia probe.
Starr was appointed by the judicial branch as an independent counsel citing the Ethics in Government Act. Robert Mueller’s appointment as a special counsel falls under the executive branch, by the Attorney General’s office, pursuant to the General Powers of Special Counsel.
The Trump team’s reference to “Kenny Starr” relates to the controversial investigation lasting years and broadening to examining almost every aspect of the first lady and President Clinton’s lives, including the president’s sexual relationship with a White House intern that eventually led to his impeachment.