A CNN legal analyst and a former House impeachment counsel threw cold water on hopes for criminally prosecuting Donald Trump.
Former House impeachment counsel Daniel Goldman and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin dashed hopes of CNN “New Day” hosts Brianna Keilar and John Berman Friday. The legal beagles explained that prosecutors would need to gather facts about Trump’s actions and comments before they could make a decision about charging him.
It takes more than progressive wishes to indict a former president; it takes factual evidence to support a charge.
“I just think as a matter of prosecutorial discretion, you can’t charge the President of the United States with trying to overturn an election where he is acting in public,” Toobin explained, “where he has a constitutional authority to tell Mike Pence what to do.”
The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot (J6J) has conducted three public hearings since June 9. Republicans criticized the hearings as “illegitimate,” more akin to the Festivus “airing of grievances.” After the second hearing Monday, some media outlets hyped potential fraud charges against the 45th president.
“We can have these interesting discussions about what’s a good case to bring, but mostly what we need are facts,” Toobin said. “Like, what happened?” The attorney explained it remains unknown exactly what happened. It would also be necessary to know what Trump’s state of mind was. “Was he really encouraging violence?”
Toobin added that more details would be needed about his conversations. He pointed to talk surrounding allegations early in the hearings that Trump said hanging Mike Pence sounded like a good idea, that he deserves it. The lawyer cautioned that the allegations have only been heard secondhand. He noted no direct evidence has yet been presented showing the former president making such incendiary remarks.
Goldman, a candidate for the Democratic nomination in New York’s 10th Congressional District, suggested prosecutors could go into Trump’s past to find times he made a “veiled threat” that prompted supporters to act.
FBI investigators found no coordinated conspiracy to attack the capitol, according to an August 2021 report from Reuters.
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