Former Federal Prosecutors Renew Statement That Trump Would Have Been Indicted If he Weren't President

In a follow-up to Robert Mueller's public statement on Wednesday, in which he refused to clear President Donald Trump of wrongdoing, a group of former federal prosecutors renewed their previous statement that under nearly any other circumstance Trump would be facing criminal charges.

More than 1,000 bipartisan former prosecutors have now signed their names on a petition maintaining that if Trump weren't president of the United States, he would have been indicted on multiple charges for obstruction of justice.

Eleven of those former federal prosecutors appeared in a video with actor Robert De Niro, in which they asserted that Mueller's 448-page report on Russia's interference in the 2016 election has "more than enough evidence to indict President Trump."

The prosecutors added that the document specifically detailed how Trump attempted, multiple times, to "stop, limit and interfere with the Mueller investigation and other federal investigations surrounding him."

In his final report, Mueller cited 10 episodes in which Trump attempted to disrupt the ongoing investigation. Those events included his firing of former FBI Director James Comey, multiple attempts to have former Attorney General Jeff Sessions take over the investigation and Trump's efforts to remove the special counsel through then-White House Counsel Don McGahn and others.

The former federal prosecutors also pointed to Trump's behavior during the trials of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. They argued that the president repeatedly dangled pardons, posted threatening tweets and private messages to try to sway his former associates from working with the special counsel's office.

"But if he weren't in the White House, President Trump would be charged with serious crimes. This isn't even a close case," the former federal prosecutors said.

federal, prosecutors, trump, indicted, weren't, president
President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing ceremony at the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Building May 30, 2018 in Washington, D.C. On Thursday, more than 1,000 former federal prosecutors renewed statement that Trump would have been indicted in the Russia probe had he not been president of the United States. Alex Wong/Getty Images

While Mueller did not make a final determination on whether Trump obstructed justice, Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein subsequently cleared the president of any wrongdoing shortly after Barr received the report. The move stumped legal experts and raised questions about the attorney general's credibility.

However, in his public statement on Wednesday, Mueller said he would have exonerated Trump if he had determined the president was innocent; he did not.

"As I set forth in the report after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so," Mueller said in his televised remarks. He also implied that it is now up to Congress to formally accuse the president of wrongdoing.

But Democratic leaders in Congress have been wary to start impeachment proceedings so close to the 2020 election, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other high-ranking party members have argued that removing the president is an incredibly divisive and unpopular action.

In response to Mueller's public remarks, Pelosi released a statement of her own in which she said that "Congress holds sacred it's constitutional responsibility to investigate and hold the president accountable for his abuse of power."

Former Federal Prosecutors Renew Statement That Trump Would Have Been Indicted If he Weren't President | U.S.
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