A SENIOR prosecutor in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to President Donald Trump said Trump’s “criminal exposure is clear” and that he should be prosecuted after departing the White House.
Andrew Weissmann, who partook in the probe that stretched from 2017 to 2019, shared his views in an opinion piece titled, “Should Trump Be Prosecuted?” published in The New York Times on Tuesday.
Weissmann pointed out that President-elect Joe Biden and his administration will face the decision whether to criminally investigate Trump for possible links between his associates and Russian officials, as well as obstruction of justice.
“Any renewed investigative activity or a criminal prosecution would further divide the country and stoke claims that the Justice Department was merely exacting revenge,” Weissmann wrote.
“But as painful and hard as it may be for the country, I believe the next attorney general should investigate Mr. Trump and, if warranted, prosecute him for potential federal crimes.”
The senior prosector opined that “Mr. Trump’s criminal exposure is clear.”
Weissmann said he was part of Mueller’s team that “amassed ample evidence to support a charge that Mr. Trump obstructed" and “that view is widely shared,” supported by hundreds of former prosecutors.
The Mueller Report concluded that the Trump campaign welcomed Russian interference in the election but there was insufficient evidence to charge Trump and his associated with conspiracy.
In addition, Mueller did not make a conclusion about obstruction of justice, citing a Department of Justice guideline that does not allow a federal indictment of a sitting president.
Weissmann wrote that Trump “can’t point to what the special counsel investigation did not find (e.g., 'collusion') when he obstructed that very investigation.”
The prospector said that evidence against the president includes testimony from his former White House counsel Don McGahn that Trump ordered Mueller to be fired.
Other evidence, according to Weissmann, is that Trump was “holding out the hope for a pardon to thwart witnesses from cooperating with our investigation.”
Weissmann said Trump’s “potential criminal liability goes further” to his pre-White House days, including a Manhattan investigation into tax and bank fraud.
Trump could “pardon not just his family and friends before leaving office but also himself in order to avoid federal criminal liability,” Weissmann said, but added that if that were the case, New York and other states could “see that the rule of law is upheld.”
“Pardons would not preclude the new attorney general challenging a self-pardon or the state calling the pardoned friends and family before the grand jury to advance its investigation of Mr. Trump after he leaves office,” Weissman wrote.
Weissmann concluded that being president should mean more—not less—accountability to the rule of law.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Sun on Tuesday.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing on the matters that Mueller investigated and the special counsel’s report essentially cleared him for the remainder of his presidency.
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