William Cohen, a former Republican member of Congress and a former U.S. Defense Secretary, raised the possibility of Trump’s prosecution during a conversation this week on MSNBC about Donald harboring highly sensitive materials at Mar-a-Lago, his southern Florida resort.
“The fact that he had those documents in his possession is offense enough, subject to perhaps criminal prosecution,” Cohen remarked. “If I had had those at my house after leaving office, I would be in handcuffs by this time… The notion that the former president had documents, highly classified documents, in his possession in unsafe circumstances, or any circumstances, puts our nation at risk potentially. I think there’s no justification.” A report emerged this week stating that FBI agents found information related to the nuclear capabilities of another nation among the materials recovered from Mar-a-Lago in the agency’s recent raid of the premises. The raid took place in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation into the handling of government documents.
Check out Cohen’s interview below:
Notably, even former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr — who served, of course, in the Trump admin — acknowledged a possibility of Trump eventually facing prosecution in connection to the documents scandal during an appearance on Fox. Discussing the possibility of the government accumulating enough evidence to bring an indictment, Barr remarked, “I think they’re getting very close to that point, frankly.” Barr also, however, brought up the issue of potential political impacts from bringing criminal charges against a former president.
There’s also the problem, however, of potentially letting a former president essentially skate by without meaningful legal consequences for ostensibly violating the law in a manner prosecutors can document to the point of bringing an indictment. Why should a former president live under different legal standards than the rest of the United States? If Trump can potentially escape prosecution, who else might Republicans hope to block from facing meaningful legal accountability? Barr pushed against the potential indictment of Trump — something it’s entirely unclear at this point that prosecutors will even pursue. Trump also continues facing scrutiny from a criminal investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis into post-2020 election meddling in Georgia.