"You have to look at everything" in determining whether there is evidence to begin a case for obstruction of justice against President Trump, Ken Starr, who investigated members of the Clinton administration as an independent counsel in the 1990s, told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos today.
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In his testimony before the Senate intelligence committee last week, Comey spoke about a series of interactions with Trump in which he said the president requested his “loyalty” and pushed him to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which the White House has denied.
If Comey’s testimony is accurate and the president indeed attempted to influence the investigation into Flynn -- who was fired after the White House said he had misrepresented the nature of his contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States -- some legal experts believe that it may constitute an obstruction of justice, or a federal crime in which someone “corruptly” attempts to “influence, obstruct or impede” the “due and proper administration of the law” in a pending proceeding or investigation.
For now, Starr said this morning, the situation is "not anywhere near a crime."
The debate about a potential obstruction of justice case has been largely divided along party lines.
Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Member Mike Lee of Utah told ABC News this weekend that even if former Comey's testimony to Congress was true, there's no evidence of even potential obstruction of justice by President Trump.
"I don't see any evidence of intent to obstruct," Lee said. "I don't see any indication that there was even the potential for corruption here or for obstruction of justice.”
Starr this morning also gave a ringing endorsement of former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who has been assigned by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to "oversee the previously confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and related matters," according to a statement issued by the Department of Justice in May.
"Bob Mueller has the integrity to call them as he sees them," Starr told “GMA” today.
Starr investigated Bill Clinton’s “Whitewater” business dealings in the 1990s, as well as his extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky.
He later became president of Baylor University, where he resigned last year from the chancellor role to which he had been demoted amid criticisms of the way the school handled accusations of sexual assault by football players.