Ken Starr: President can be indicted, but not under current DOJ policy

Former independent counsel Ken Starr on Wednesday said he thinks the president can be indicted, but longstanding Department of Justice policy will not allow President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE to be indicted in the Russia probe.

“I think the president can be indicted, but that is not the position of the Justice Department traditionally, going back to the Nixon-Ford era and continuing through President Clinton’s tenure,” Starr said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Starr, who led an investigation into President Clinton's sexual misconduct, said that the investigation by current special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia cannot lead to an indictment that's enforceable under Justice Department policy.


“It cannot happen, as I see it, under Justice Department policy that’s enforceable on [special counsel] Bob Mueller,” Starr added.

Whether or not the president can be indicted in Mueller’s probe has been an issue of contention.

The analysis by Starr, whose investigation into Clinton eventually led to his impeachment, is widely consistent with the what Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani told CNN last month.

“They can’t indict. At least they acknowledged that to us after some battling, they acknowledged that to us,” Giuliani said of Mueller’s team.

However, Starr was clear that he believes a sitting president can be indicted, generally.

“No one is above the law,” Starr told MSNBC, saying that the principal outlined in the Supreme Court in Clinton v. Jones, which asserted that the president is subject to civil litigation, can be carried over to criminal issues.

“If anything is clear to me, the public concerns underlining and informing the criminal justice system are even stronger [than those in civil cases],” Starr explained. “In my judgment the president can in fact be indicted.”