Legal experts nudge Merrick Garland: Donald Trump is 'running for office as criminal defense strategy'

Legal experts nudge Merrick Garland: Donald Trump is 'running for office as criminal defense strategy'
Image via screengrab.

Legal and government experts are responding to a report that reveals Donald Trump has told advisors he will run for president to protect himself from being prosecuted.

“Trump has ‘spoken about how when you are the president of the United States, it is tough for politically motivated prosecutors to ‘get to you,’ says one of the sources, who has discussed the issue with Trump this summer,” Rolling Stone’s Asawin Suebsaeng and Adam Rawnsley report, citing four individuals with knowledge of the situation they spoke with.

One source reportedly told Rolling Stone: “He says when [not if] he is president again, a new Republican administration will put a stop to the [Justice Department] investigation that he views as the Biden administration working to hit him with criminal charges — or even put him and his people in prison.”

READ MORE: Mary Trump: Donald will 'turn on everybody' if he is indicted

“Trump’s teams of lawyers and former senior administration officials speak about it commonly. ‘I do think criminal prosecutions are possible…for Trump and [former White House chief of staff Mark] Meadows certainly,’ Ty Cobb, a former top lawyer in Trump’s White House, bluntly toldRolling Stone late last month.”

Experts are speaking out in response.

Retired Harvard Law School law professor Laurence Tribe, who literally wrote the book on American Constitutional Law, is urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to act.

“Mr. Trump is counting on your concerns about not ‘appearing’ political when he makes clear his belief that you wouldn’t dare approve his indictment once he announces,” Tribe says in a tweet directed at Garland. “You MUST prove him wrong. Make him a TARGET now. No time to lose.”

READ MORE: 'The gravest circumstances': Political scientist urges Justice Department to prosecute Donald Trump

Georgetown School of Foreign Service adjunct professor, and former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, Peter Strzok, took the opportunity to mock Trump’s former attorney general:

“Exceptionally proud moment in the Barr household tonight.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a professor of law and an MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst, observed: “Trump is afraid of Merrick Garland.”

Law professor Orin Kerr called it, “Running for office as criminal defense strategy.”

Richard Stengel, who has been a U.S. Under Secretary of State, TIME managing editor, and chief executive of the National Constitution Center, observed: “Some candidates for president seek power, some seek fame, but only one candidate in history seeks the presidency for immunity from prosecution.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump could be charged with 'manslaughter' over insurrection inaction: Barbara McQuade

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