During a segment on MSNBC’s AM Joy on Saturday, Paul Butler, a former Department of Justice public corruption prosecutor, and host Joy Reid discussed the latest developments in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Moscow officials.
“Does Mueller have to indict Trump in order to put the proper coda at the end of the long symphony?” Reid asked the ex-prosecutor.
“Mueller is not going to indict Trump, because he’s going to follow the DOJ employee handbook, but he has leverage over the president in terms of Donald Trump, Jr.,” Butler explained. “We’ve seen Mueller use people’s kids to get to folks in the past. He could do this with Donald Trump, Jr.”
He continued: “Trump, Jr. went into the Senate Intelligence Committee, took an oath to tell the truth, and lied his butt off.”
“You think he will get indicted?” Reid asked.
“If Roger Stone and Michael Cohen get indicted for lying to the Intelligence Committee and Donald, Jr. lied, then he gets indicted too,” Butler responded.
Earlier this week, Rep. Jackie Speier (CA), a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who grilled the president’s eldest son on his Russian contacts in December 2017, restated her concerns that Trump Jr. lied to the committee after suggesting in December that he lied on “at least two occasions.”
When asked by MSNBC Live host Katy Tur on Tuesday whether she suspected that anyone in Trump’s circle, in addition to the president’s former adviser Roger Stone, lied to the committee, she suggested Trump Jr. without directly naming him.
“I am concerned that other people lied to the committee and I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out through the Mueller investigation and report that he has identified others,” the Democratic representative said.
“Who potentially do you think could have lied?” Tur pressed.
“Well, I’m not going to go there with you right at the moment, but I think you could probably figure out. People within the Trump Organization who have testified before the committee,” Speier said, a description that pointed to Trump Jr.
After attending a Trump tower meeting in June 2016 where he was offered information about former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump Jr. told the committee he didn’t disclose the meeting to his father. However, Trump’s former attorney and personal “fixer” Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress last year, disagreed with Trump Jr.’s claims.