Mueller prosecutors told the Justice Department Trump should have been charged if he weren't president: report

Mueller prosecutors told the Justice Department Trump should have been charged if he weren't president: report
Special counsel Robert Mueller and Donald Trump (Wikimedia Commons)

Two anonymous prosecutors who worked with Special Counsel Robert Mueller during the Russia investigation privately believed that President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, the New York Review of Books is reporting.

Murray Waas of the New York Review of Books is reporting that “privately,” the prosecutors told other Justice Department officials that had Trump not been president of the U.S., they “would have advocated that he face federal criminal charges.”

Trump’s problematic actions, according to Waas, included allegedly trying to pressure former FBI Director James Comey—who Trump fired—into ending the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser in the Trump Administration.

Waas explains, “I learned of the conclusions of the two former Mueller prosecutors not by any leak, either from them personally or from the office of the special counsel. Rather, the two prosecutors disclosed this information in then-confidential conversations with two other federal law enforcement officials, who subsequently recounted what they were told to me.”

The U.S. Department of Justice has a longstanding policy against indicting a sitting president. Trump has been claiming that Mueller’s final report for the Russia investigation was a total vindication of him, but Waas notes that Mueller, in his report, “described how his office had investigated eleven separate instances in which the president might have obstructed justice.”

In many of these instances, Mueller also laid out how the evidence of these acts demonstrated all three necessary components of an obstruction of justice charge.

These acts include Trump's attempts to pressure and then fire Comey, his work to curtail the special counsel investigation, and his efforts to tamper with witness testimony.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.