Trump, Top Admin Officials to Be Indicted, Former Attorney General Predicts

Former Attorney General Eric Holder predicted Friday that Donald Trump as well as other top officials from the former president's administration will be indicted by the U.S. government over the events of January 6, 2021, and their efforts to change the 2020 election results.

In early May, Holder, who led the Justice Department from 2009 to 2015 under former President Barack Obama, told CBS News that he believed Trump's actions related to January 6 merited an indictment. Hundreds of Trump's supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol that day after the then-president told them to walk to the federal legislative building and "fight like hell" to save their country. Those directions came after Trump claimed for months that President Joe Biden's 2020 election victory was fraudulent, while pressuring state and local officials across the country to overturn his political rival's win.

In a Friday evening interview on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Holder reiterated his view that Trump should face an indictment. The former attorney general explained that he previously was "concerned about the divisive nature of a case against the former president."

"But now because of what we know from what great journalists have done, the leaks that have come from the January 6th committee, if you show me that Donald Trump was involved in the efforts to, in essence, to foment a coup, and you can show the requisite intent, he has to be indicted," he said.

The former attorney general pointed to an ongoing investigation by Georgia's Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, suggesting this could be the strongest case against Trump. The former president, according to a leaked audio record, called Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, and told him to find enough votes to flip the state's election in his favor.

"You've got him on tape saying find me 11,780 votes," Holder said. "That one is close to a layup, it seems to me," and added that the Georgia probe could also become part of a federal case against Trump.

Holder went on to predict that "a lot of high-level people in the Trump administration, I suspect the president himself, people at the Justice Department, are all going to find themselves on a little document that says, 'The United States vs. fill-in the blank.'"

Newsweek reached out to a Trump spokesperson for comment.

Eric Holder
Former Attorney General Eric Holder predicted Friday that former President Donald Trump and other top administration officials will be indicted. Above, Holder speaks during a gala on October 10, 2019, in Santa Monica, California. Lester Cohen/Getty Images for City of Hope

The former president has consistently denied any wrongdoing relating to the Capitol riot and efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. He continues to insist that the results were fraudulent, despite no evidence corroborating the allegation. To the contrary, dozens of legal challenges to the election have failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump have ruled against the lawsuits.

Trump's former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely viewed as a loyal Cabinet member, has said repeatedly that there is "no evidence" to support the former president's claims. He wrote in his memoir that he told Trump directly that the allegations were "bullish*t" and that his legal team after the 2020 election was a "clown show."

Notably, Peter Navarro, who served as Trump's director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, was indicted by a grand jury on Friday for not complying with a congressional subpoena to testify in the House select committee investigation into January 6. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was also indicted in a similar case in November.

The New York Times reported Friday that similar steps were not being taken by the Justice Department against Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows, or his former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino—despite their failure to comply with congressional subpoenas.

In his interview with CBS News last month, Holder said he believed there would be "sufficient factual information" to indict Trump.

"And I think that there's going to be sufficient proof of intent. And then the question becomes, what's the impact of of such an indictment? I'm an institutionalist. My initial thought was not to indict the former president out of concern of what—how divisive it would be," the former attorney general explained. "But given what we have learned, I think that he probably has to be held accountable."