Senator: We’re “In a mode of moving toward indictment and charges of the president”
While there has been much debate during the last year and a half over whether a sitting president can be charged with a crime, one Democratic Senator from Rhode Island, Sheldon Whitehouse, believes it’s very possible, if not likely.
Whitehouse, who joined Chris Cuomo on Cuomo Prime Time last night, discussed the prospects of indicting Trump.
“I think that if there are crimes that he has committed he should be indicted,” Whitehouse said. “I do not at all subscribe to the OLC theory that a president can’t be indicted.”
The Office of Legal Counsel for the DOJ has said in the past that indicting a sitting president “would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions,” but this theory has never been tested in the court of law.
“I think a court taking a look at this would say, no, no, no, no, no… It would create a terrible situation. You have a President who the public knows is the subject of a criminal investigation and could very well be involved in criminal activity and you don’t get a resolution of that question, you don’t get pressure on him to answer questions and get out. That doesn’t seem like an appropriate way to deal with it,” Whitehouse explained.
Cuomo then asked the senator if there was enough to bring a case against President Trump right now. Whitehouse suggested that if he was the prosecutor, he’d want to know more, and he would sit down with federal agents to pin down additional details of the alleged crimes.
“We are certainly in a mode, I believe, of moving toward indictment and charges of the president, but I do not believe, based on what I know ― Mueller may know more ― that we’re at the stage of actually being able to make the charge,” he explained.
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) January 16, 2019
Whitehouse, who was the former attorney general for Rhode Island prior to taking office as a US Senator in 2007, has been one of the Trump administration’s biggest opponents when it comes his dealings with Russia and handling of the special counsel’s investigation.