Former Trump White House Lawyer Says Ex-President Has to Be Prosecuted Because He ‘Forced It Upon the Department of Justice’


Former White House attorney Ty Cobb said Special Counsel Jack Smith has no choice but to prosecute Donald Trump for his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Trump was arraigned in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Thursday where he pleaded not guilty. He was indicted on four counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights.

In the weeks after losing the 2020 election, Trump sought to stay in power by pressuring public officials in states he lost into overturning the results.

“As you know, I think this is sad,” Cobb told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday’s OutFront. “The situation could’ve been avoided. Trump forced it upon the Department of Justice by the way he conducted himself in the last few days in office and by the criminal conduct that he committed as he finished his presidency.”

Later in the interview, Cobb addressed the popular talking point among conservatives that Smith’s prosecution of Trump is tantamount to punishing political speech. Indeed, Trump lawyer John Lauro has suggested as much.

“He’s been making only political arguments,” Cobb said of Lauro. “He’s been out insisting that they’re criminalizing speech, where the simple counter to that is you actually can facilitate and further crime through speech and be prosecuted for it. I saw an example in some of the reporting today where if Tony Soprano tells one of his guys to whack a witness, well, that’s speech, but that’s a crime. So, I think some of his arguments are a little not well thought out and purely theatrical.”

Trump also faces federal charges over his retention of government documents after he left office. Additionally, he is also under indictment on state charges in New York for allegedly falsifying business records. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Watch above via CNN.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under:

Mike is a Mediaite senior editor who covers the news in primetime.