Ty Cobb (AP/Susan Walsh)

Former Trump White House counsel Ty Cobb calls Robert Mueller an "American hero" and "class act"

President Trump's former White House counsel says the special counsel's Russia investigation is not a "witch hunt"


Shira Tarlo
March 5, 2019 8:34PM (UTC)

Ty Cobb, the veteran Washington attorney who served as President Donald Trump's lead counsel during the early stages of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling, called the former FBI director and federal prosecutor an "American hero" in a new interview released Tuesday.

"I think Bob Mueller's an American hero," Cobb, who joined the White House's legal team in July 2017 and left in May 2018, said on ABC News' "The Investigation" podcast. "I think Bob Mueller's a guy that – you know, even though he came from an arguably privileged background – you know, has a backbone of steel."

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"I think the world of Bob Mueller," Cobb added. "He is a very deliberate guy, and – but he's also a class act and a very justice-oriented person."

Cobb also disagreed with the president's view that the Russia probe is politically-motivated "witch hunt."

"I don't feel the same way about Mueller," Cobb said. "I don't feel the investigation is a witch hunt."

Cobb was replaced by Emmet Flood, who represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings. During his time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Cobb was reportedly in favor of  the possibility of the president sitting down for an interview with Mueller, which never occurred, and encouraged the commander-in-chief and his legal team to take a cooperative approach to the special counsel's investigation.

As Mueller prepares to detail his findings to recently-confirmed Attorney General William Barr, Cobb said he believes the special counsel has already revealed most of his investigative and prosecutorial work through sentencing memos and indictments against defendants like former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was convicted of tax and bank fraud charges last year that were not connected to his 2016 work for the president, as well as a group of Russian intelligence officers.

As of this writing, Mueller has charged 34 people and secured guilty pleas from six Trump associates or advisers, including Manafort, former deputy campaign manager Rick Gatesformer national security adviser Michael Flynnformer Trump attorney Michael Cohen, longtime Trump associate and informal adviser Roger Stone and former campaign aide George Papadopoulos.

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In his interview with ABC News, Cobb said he  believes Mueller's report will not be politically devastating for Trump and his administration. At the same time, maintained that Mueller's investigation is "never going to be over."

"I mean, this is going to go through 2020," he said. "And if the president is re-elected, it'll go beyond that."


Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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