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Saturday, September 14, 2019
OBAMA's Wing Man Holder: No 'Question' Trump Can Be Prosecuted, Dems Should Weigh IMPEACHMENT
Adds a House inquiry 'doesn't necessarily commit you to actually impeaching the president' In this Sept. 15, 2018 file photo, former Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in Washington, D.C. (Associated Press/File) Andrew Blake
President Trump without question risks being prosecuted once his administration comes to an end, Eric H. Holder Jr., who served as President Obama’s first attorney general, said in an interview airing Saturday.
Mr. Holder said that Mr. Trump could face criminal charges after leaving office in connection with crimes committed by Michael Cohen, the president’s former longtime personal lawyer, and that Congress should in the meantime move forward with considering whether he warrants being removed by impeachment, CNN reported.
The head of the Department of Justice for six years under former President Barack Obama, Mr. Holder made the comments during an interview with CNN host and former Obama adviser David Axelrod. The network published excerpts from the segment ahead of its first airing Saturday night.
Asked during the interview if he thought Mr. Trump could be prosecuted once his presidency ends, Mr. Holder reportedly answered: “Well, I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
“We already have an indictment in the Southern District of New York where Michael Cohen (was charged) relative to the payoffs, Michael Cohen’s already in jail with regard to his role there,” said Mr. Holder, according to the excerpts.
“It would seem to me that the next attorney general, the next president is going to have to make a determination,” Mr. Holder added.
Cohen, 53, pleaded guilty last year to criminal charges stemming from his time working as the president personal lawyer, including campaign finance violations related to making illegal hush-money payments meant to silence two women who alleged having affairs with Mr. Trump. He is currently serving a related three years sentence in federal prison.
Cohen has claimed that the president directed him to make the illegal payments, and Mr. Trump is referred to in related charging documents as “Individual-1.” Justice Department policy prevents criminals charges from being brought against a sitting president, effectively sparring Mr. Trump from prosecution the time being, however.
In the meantime, Mr. Holder said that he believes Democrats controlling the House of Representatives should proceed — cautiously — with plans to consider whether Congress should remove Mr. Trump from office by impeachment.
“I think that they should proceed with an impeachment inquiry, an impeachment investigation,” Mr. Holder told CNN.
“That doesn’t necessarily commit you to actually impeaching the president,” Mr. Holder added, noting the Congress could instead take a less drastic route such as simply censuring Mr. Trump rather than risking putting him on trial.
“I think there is a potential cost to the nation by putting on trial a former president, and that ought to at least be a part of the calculus that goes into the determination that has to be made by the next attorney general,” Mr. Holder added, according to CNN.