Amid news that President Donald Trump has begun informally preparing for a face-to-face meeting with special counsel Robert Mueller, legal experts warned that his one-man legal team in the Russia investigation may not be sufficient to protect him from perjuring himself.
Citing a quote published in the Washington Post by Solomon Wisenberg, the deputy independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton, CNN host Erin Burnett noted that Mueller has a track record of charging investigative subjects for lying under oath.
"'Mueller hasn’t hesitated to [charge] people for lying on some pretty tangential stuff,'" Wisenberg's quote, read by Burnett, said. "How big of a concern should that be, perjury charges be, for the president?"
"The president should be very concerned about being charged with false statement," former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said. Though there's an "open question" on whether a sitting president can be charged, Clinton, the prosecutor noted, was impeached for lying about the cover-up of his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Juliette Kayyem, a former Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, said that it's probably good that Jay Sekulow, Trump's lawyer overseeing his Russia investigation defense, is preparing him for the interview — but later in the segment, Mariotti expressed doubts about the attorney's ability to handle the probe.
Sekulow, the ex-prosecutor noted, "is totally out of his element" defending a client under investigation by a government-appointed special counsel.
"Having Jay Sekulow handle this is like having a podiatrist do your heart surgery," Mariotti quipped.
Watch below, via CNN: