Kamala Harris: DOJ Would Have ‘No Choice’ but to Prosecute Trump If She Is Elected

June 12, 2019 Updated: June 12, 2019

Echoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial comments last week, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has come out to warn President Donald Trump that her Justice Department would charge him with criminal obstruction of justice if she is elected to the White House.

“I believe that they would have no choice and that they should, yes,” Harris said during an appearance on this week’s NPR Politics Podcast.

“There has to be accountability,” she continued. “I mean look, people might, you know, question why I became a prosecutor. Well, I’ll tell you one of the reasons—I believe there should be accountability. Everyone should be held accountable, and the president is not above the law.”

During the interview, she said she believes the reason why special counsel Robert Mueller did not prosecute Trump was because of a Department of Justice (DOJ)  policy that prevents a sitting president from being indicted. But she said she believes that after Trump leaves the White House he could face potential criminal charges. She pointed to 10 instances of possible obstruction detailed in the special counsel’s report.

Mueller’s report, released in April, concluded that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Moreover, Mueller said he could not make a determination as to whether the president obstructed justice due to a DOJ policy that prohibits charging a sitting president with a federal crime.

But Attorney General William Barr later disputed that claim, saying that Mueller’s stated reason for not making a determination was not true. He said that the DOJ’s policy was relevant but didn’t prohibit Mueller from making a determination about whether the president obstructed justice.

Harris’s comments come a week after Pelosi reportedly said she wanted to see Trump face criminal charges.

“I don’t want to see him impeached. I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi said, reported several media outlets, citing anonymous officials.

Trump reacted to the reports about Pelosi’s alleged remarks while in France during a Fox News interview, calling the House speaker “a disgrace.”

“I actually don’t think she’s a talented person,” the president said. “I’ve tried to be nice to her because I would have liked to have gotten some deals done. She’s incapable of doing deals. She’s a nasty, vindictive, horrible person.”

“Nancy Pelosi’s a disaster, OK? She’s a disaster, and let her do what she wants, you know what? I think they’re in big trouble because when you look at the kind of crimes that were committed, and I don’t need any more evidence, and I guess from what I’m hearing there’s a lot of evidence coming in,” Trump added, referring to how Mueller’s investigation relied heavily on an unverified dossier compiled by an ex-British spy that was paid for by Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic National Committee.

Pelosi declined to respond publicly to the president, telling reporters while at a ceremony in France: “I don’t talk about the president while I’m out of the country. That’s my principle.”

Along with Harris, other Democratic presidential hopefuls—Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock—have expressed similar sentiments about Trump, saying that if they were elected they would not pardon Trump if he was charged after leaving office.

According to RealClearPolitics, Harris is currently polling at an average of 7.2 percent behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Warren.

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan
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