In an interview with MSNBC’s AM Joy on Saturday, former federal prosecutor Paul Butler predicted that Donald Trump Jr. will be indicted and be used as leverage by special counsel Robert Mueller to ensnare his father President Donald Trump.
Butler, a former Department of Justice public corruption prosecutor, and host Joy Reid discussed the latest developments in Mueller’s probe 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.
Rep. Jackie Speier (CA), a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who questioned the president’s eldest son on his Russian contacts in December 2017, expressed her concerns last week that Trump Jr. lied to the committee after suggesting in December that he lied on “at least two occasions.”
“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 when asked whether she suspected that anyone in Trump’s circle, in addition to the president’s former adviser Roger Stone, lied to the committee.
“Who potentially do you think could have lied?” MSNBC Live host Katy 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.