Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal: Trump’s ‘Future Looks Like It’s Behind Bars’
Former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal said on CNN that President Donald Trump is facing “strong criminal liability” over his former lawyer Michael Cohen‘s alleged campaign finance crimes, adding the president’s “future looks like it’s behind bars.”
New Day anchor Alisyn Camerota first asked Katyal, now a law professor at Georgetown, about Trump’s tweet claiming the latest sentencing memos of his former staffers had cleared him.
Totally clears the President. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
“That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever,” Katyal said. “That is an incredibly damning document that his own Justice Department filed, essentially against him, on Friday, saying President Trump ordered the commission of various felonies. Serious felonies.”
Katyal went on to make the case that the Justice Department can indict a sitting president, but that they cannot be tried until they leave office. Katyal explained that prosecutors can charge Trump after the 2020 election, if he is out of office.
“Trump knows he’s facing some pretty strong criminal liability when he leaves office, one way or another,” Katyal said. “Even if a sitting president can’t be indicted, he’s got to know his future looks like it’s behind bars unless he cuts some sort of deal with the prosecutors.”
Katyal also rejected arguments that Trump’s suspected campaign finance violations are the same as ones committed by John Edwards, who used donor funds to cover up an affair. Edwards was indicted on felony charges but eventually acquitted.
“This is not an ordinary campaign contribution,” he said. “These are potentially the most significant campaign contributions ever in the history of the United States. These payoffs very well may have swung the entire election. That’s very different than payments made over a period of years, as it was in Edwards, to an individual.”
“Here, the timing really smells,” he added.
Watch here, via CNN:
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