Ex-Prosecutors: DOJ Could Charge Trump With Obstruction If He Wasn't POTUS

07 Mai, 2019, 04:04 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Ex-Prosecutors: DOJ Could Charge Trump With Obstruction If He Wasn't POTUS

A former assistant to President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani is among several hundred ex-federal prosecutors who signed a statement Monday asserting that Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice if not for a policy against indicting a sitting president.

"Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice", the prosecutors wrote in part.

McQuade called Mueller's report a "prosecution memo" and said, "All of the elements of obstruction of justice are met there".

Read the entire letter at this link.

Almost 400 prosecutors have signed onto a letter arguing that if he were an ordinary citizen, President Trump would be facing "multiple felony charges" of obstruction of justice.

The former prosecutors did not say what they believe should happen next. Mueller had declined to weigh whether to charge Trump, citing justice department guidelines prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president.

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By Monday afternoon, the statement contained 387 signatures.

It was signed by, among others, Bill Weld, a former U.S. attorney and MA governor who is running against Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination; John S. Martin, a former U.S. District Court judge in the Southern District of NY; and Paul Rosenzweig, senior counsel to independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who led the investigation that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. House Democrats are calling for Mueller to testify, but no date has been set.

Among signers of the statement were Donald Ayer, who was the Justice Department's No. 2 official under Republican President George H.W. Bush, and Bill Weld, a former head of the Justice Department's criminal division under Republican President Ronald Reagan.

The organization Protect Democracy helped organize the letter - a Protect Democracy representative said that some of the former prosecutors had approached the organization about assembling the letter.

Mueller's team, though, wrote that it decided not to make a "traditional prosecutorial judgment" in part because of the Justice Department opinion on not indicting sitting presidents and because the evidence obtained "presents hard issues that would need to be resolved" if they were to do so. They say that firing Mueller would've disrupted the investigation and is "obstruction in its most literal sense".

Still, the ex-prosecutors in Monday's statement argue Trump tried to obstruct Mueller's probe through his attempts to fire Mueller - something the report notes he pressured White House Counsel Don McGahn to pursue - though McGahn never carried out the alleged order. "Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him".

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