Former U.S. prosecutors: Despite White House statements, Russia probe is just beginning

Last Updated Nov 3, 2017 12:16 PM EDT

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insists that she expects Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election "to conclude soon," after two indictments were handed down and a guilty plea was filed on Monday.

However, two former U.S. prosecutors are saying those developments suggest the very opposite: That things are just getting going.

"We are at the beginning," former Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Myers Wood told CBS News Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett and political director Steve Chaggaris on this week's episode of "The Takeout."

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"We're at the bottom of the second inning of a long game," Wood's husband, former U.S. Attorney John Wood added.

"I don't think the people on Mueller's team would give up the kinds of positions they had unless they believed this investigation was going to go on for some time and really lead somewhere," John Wood said, adding, "I think that people at the White House ought to be nervous."

Meanwhile, President Trump insists that he's not the target of Mueller's investigation and that Monday's charges "have nothing to do with us." He told the New York Times Wednesday, "I'm not under investigation, as you know. And even if you look at that, there's not even a mention of Trump in there."

But, John Wood points out, "We don't know if he's being investigated," adding that because Mueller's team has not leaked very much to reporters, there's a lot we don't know about the investigation. And if the president isn't being investigated, that doesn't mean he won't be roped into the investigation itself, Wood said.

"In terms of whether the president ultimately will have to testify, my guess would be that he will end up testifying in some form. Doesn't mean that he's being investigated himself, but I would think at the very least he's probably going to end up being a witness to something that would be of interest regarding the campaign."

For more from Major and Steve's conversation John Wood and Julie Myers Wood, download "The Takeout" podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning.

Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm ET/PT. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com.

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  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.