Former asst. special counsel: Don't expect public updates

Posted at 5:46 PM, May 18, 2017

Following the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, few people have the perspective on the process about to unfold like Peter Zeidenberg.

Zeidenberg was the assistant special counsel in the 2003 investigation into the leaking of the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, which ultimately lead to Vice President Dick Cheney's advisor Scooter Libby being convicted of obstruction of justice, among other counts.

Zeidenberg says he agrees with the wide array of Congress members who believe appointing the special counsel was the correct move to further the investigation following the firing of FBI director James Comey.

"From what we've heard about this case," Zeidenberg said. "It's going to be lengthy. We're talking more likely years than months."

He says from the public's standpoint, not much is going to change. Evidence won't be released to the public and there won't be press updates.

"The problem with this whole process is the public doesn't find out what the heck is going on and whether our election was hacked," Zeidenberg said.

He says that's why he believes Congress needs to keep conducting its investigations which are meant for the public.

Mueller's investigation is only to see if criminal wrongdoing occurred.

"The only thing that will become public is evidence used in a courtroom," Zeidenberg said.

That could include evidence the public has wanted to see for a long time.

"They're going to want to get tax records," Zeidenberg said. "I'm sure they're going to get Trump's tax records ... and they're going to try and find links."

President Trump has insisted he is not the one under investigation, but that could easily change. Mueller has the ability to take the investigation in almost any way he sees fit.

"If there is obstruction of justice, perjury or false statements made in connection with that investigation," Zeidenberg said. "I would say up to and including the statements that President Trump allegedly made to Jim Comey, they would come within (Mueller's) purview."

Zeidenberg now works for Washington D.C. law firm Arent Fox.