June 12, 2019 | Reading Time: < 1 minute

Harris: Justice Dept. ‘Would Have No Choice’ But To Prosecute Trump After Presidency

From NPR this morning: California Sen. Kamala Harris says that if she’s elected president, her administration’s Department of Justice would likely pursue criminal obstruction of justice charges against a former President Donald Trump. I know lots of people will clutch their pearls in agony over “precedent” and “norms.” What are your thoughts? (By the way,…

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From NPR this morning:

California Sen. Kamala Harris says that if she’s elected president, her administration’s Department of Justice would likely pursue criminal obstruction of justice charges against a former President Donald Trump.

I know lots of people will clutch their pearls in agony over “precedent” and “norms.”

What are your thoughts?

(By the way, this is a new thing from the Editorial Board. Click the button to reply to this thread and join the conversation. I’ll jump in after I’ve published today’s edition of the daily newsletter.)

—JS

John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition open and available to all. Find him @johnastoehr.

15 Comments

  1. AnneO on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Honestly. If we get Trump out of office I think the Democratics should move forward, stop talking about him, and take him out of our country’s narrative. In other words, treat him like a blip on the radar screen and not a continuing story for Republicans to rally behind.

    • Danielle72 on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

      So you would be ok with allowing him and his family to get away with everything? That’s the 1 problem in my opinion w Dems, they don’t hold anyone accountable. If the tables were flipped heads would be rolling & a Dem potus would already have been dealing w impeachment not still discussing it. We need a backbone!

      • AnneO on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

        No. I would put it in the states court. Like NY. For 8 years we’ve been hearing Lock Her Up and crimes of the Democrats. They’ve created this distorted reality that way too many people now believe. Trump has been a master at gaslighting. But I think for the betterment of our country, we need to focus on what the country needs. If the Justice Department thinks high crimes have been committed — then so be it. But I don’t want my next President pushing that any more than I wanted Trump pushing his agenda with the DOJ. No one went after Nixon once he resigned.

        • Mirjam on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

          Nixon was pardoned and couldn’t be prosecuted. Something Trump is too dumb for, he can only be pardoned when he resigns and Pence takes over.
          “The pardon of Richard Nixon (Proclamation 4311 ) on September 8, 1974, by President Gerald Ford granted Nixon, Ford’s predecessor as president, a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president.” (wikipedia)

          • AnneO on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

            Yes. That is correct. I think what I was trying to say is – the country moved forward. I agree with you – that if the DOJ has stronger criminal offenses other than obstruction then the DOJ needs to pursue because THEY think it is worth pursuing not because the next President pressures them.



          • Mirjam on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

            Indeed. The only thing a next president can do, whether it’s Pence because Trump resigns or is impeached or the next elected president, is issue a pardon and take all federal charges off the table. Apart from that there should be no interference for or against prosecution. Let the evidence speak. And there’s no way he will get away from state charges, the current investigations will unearth plenty misbehavior.



          • John Stoehr on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

            Re Nixon’s pardon: this has some value for us currently. After Ford pardoned Nixon, Ford’s approval rating cratered and never recovered. That, to me, suggests the electorate did not approve of Nixon getting off scot free. I can’t say what the consequences should have been, obviously, but the yen for justice is strong if conditions are right.



        • Carrington Ward on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

          The Nixon/Reagan/Iranamok precedent suggests that bad actors will continue to plague us if they aren’t locked up. Did we really need to see Ollie North again?

        • John Stoehr on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

          I think any Dem admin would be hands off. In fact, any Dems admin would go out of its way to demonstrate neutrality in the prosecution of justice.

  2. Jacob on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

    good! If our national project is going to have any hope of succeeding over the long term, Trump and co. must face real punishment. Not because of any deterrent effect, (which may or may not exist) but because of faith in the system of laws. The American system will flat out cease to function if the belief that ‘bad things ultimately happen to the worst people who break the staunchest rules’ is shattered. If ex-President Trump is not punished for his crimes, then I see no way that that reality won’t come to fruition.

  3. Mirjam on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

    I wouldn’t pursue the obstruction of justice if that’s the only criminal offence that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s not important enough for that. Now if any of the other threads, the conspiracy (‘collusion’) thread or any of the 20 still under investigation, produce enough evidence for a conviction then yes, I would like to see those prosecuted.

    • John Stoehr on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

      I think obstruction is one route for prosecution. Another is conspiracy. Collusion is a political term of art not a legal term.

  4. Carrington Ward on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

    My quarrel is with the focus on Trump himself. I’d be happy to see him walk free and sink into dementia as long as he is willing to testify against his co-conspirators.

    • John Stoehr on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

      He’d never testify against anyone, I think.

      • John Stoehr on July 30, 2021 at 7:48 am

        Moreover, I think it would do the country good to see a long process in which Trump is held accountable. Even if he dies in the middle of it.

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