Former independent counsel Ken Starr on Wednesday argued that there was a “fair concern” over whether special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted final report, set to be released Thursday, would be “fair and balanced.”
In an interview on Fox News, Starr said “the concern, that I think is a fair concern,” was: “Is the report going to be written in a fair and balanced way?”
Starr blamed Mueller’s “choice of staff.”
“So many questions have been raised about that staff and their leanings and so forth,” he said, referring without naming him to President Donald Trump, and his characterization of Mueller’s team of prosecutors as “angry Democrats.”
Some on Mueller’s team donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, though Mueller himself and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed him, are Republicans. Justice Department regulations would have prevented Mueller from considering his prosecutors’ political leanings.
Mueller and his staff, Starr said, have “had the opportunity without any kind of cross examination — and kind of check, any kind of balance — to write whatever they want to write. And that, I think, legitimately raises concern of fairness and balance.”
If Mueller had announced any new criminal charges in his final report, the accused would have their day in court. Because he didn’t, according Attorney General Bill Barr’s recent four-page summary of the report, people mentioned in the report must instead defend themselves in the court of public opinion, or, potentially, the impeachment process.
Starr’s own prosecutorial staff as independent counsel included Democrats, though it was famously attacked as part of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” by then-first lady Hillary Clinton. One Republican name on Starr’s team has only grown in stature since: Brett Kavanaugh.
Ken Starr: "The concern, that I think is a fair concern is, is the report going to be written in a fair and balanced way? It’s a concern." pic.twitter.com/PG3UwsQLkh
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) April 17, 2019