Former Watergate prosecutor talks about Mueller investigation - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Former Watergate prosecutor talks about Mueller investigation

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Special prosecutor Robert Mueller Special prosecutor Robert Mueller

MADISON (WKOW) --- After months of waiting, charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation are expected to be filed Monday.

On Friday, a federal grand jury in Washington approved the first charges in the investigation led by Mueller.

The special counsel team is investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election and possible links to the campaign of President Donald Trump.

“We should learn a lot tomorrow,” said Frank Tuerkheimer, U-W Professor of Law Emeritus.

Tuerkheimer knows a thing or two about a special prosecution in Washington. He worked as associate special prosecutor and defense attorney during Watergate.

Tuerkheimer said there are similarities between Watergate and the current Russian investigation.

“You have a president who, in a moment of truthfulness, said I’m really upset that this guy's around. Well, President Nixon wasn't very happy to see Archibald Cox or Leon Jaworski around,” he said.

But there are also stark differences.

“At the time both the house and the senate were in control of the democrats. So you had the president’s party, the president in one party and the house and the Senate in another. So the possibility of impeachment was a bit more viable than it is now,” Tuerkheimer said.

While he doesn't know who or what the target is of Mueller's investigation, Tuerkheimer has an idea.

“I suspect that it's probably either Mr. Manafort or Mr. Flynn. But I don't know that.”

And he believes other charges will follow.

“I think Mr. Mueller has interpreted his mandate very broadly. And so I think it will go pretty broadly. And there’s no reason to think otherwise.”

Tuerkheimer said there are signs to look for in terms of how the indictments are reached.

“Obviously who. How close to, persons close to the president or to the president, is the person who has been charged.”

Tuerkheimer said during an investigation like this, a prosecutor will go after low-hanging fruit in hopes of getting to the top of the tree.

“And if you can get somebody at the bottom to cooperate and provide evidence, then you go to the next step, and then the next step.”

Tuerkheimer said collusion is not necessarily a federal crime. But if someone is indicted on charges grounded on collusion, then you have a trial.

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