More than 500 former federal prosecutors have signed on to an open letter declaring that President Trump appears to have has committed numerous felonies, and would already have been charged if he were not the commander in chief.
The open letter, posted to Medium, had been signed by 566 former Justice Department lawyers as of Monday night, including two former chiefs of the criminal division in the Southern District of New York, among other notables.
Signers incl "Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush Administration; John S.Martin, a former U.S. attorney and federal judge appointed to his posts by two Republican presidents; Paul Rosenzweig, who served as senior counsel to Kenneth W. Starr"+more
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) May 6, 2019
The letter states: “We are former federal prosecutors. We served under both Republican and Democratic administrations…. Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”
The letter groups Trump’s actionable conduct into three categories:
· The President’s efforts to fire Mueller and to falsify evidence about that effort;
· The President’s efforts to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation to exclude his conduct; and
· The President’s efforts to prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators probing him and his campaign.
The former prosecutors make clear that charging Trump’s conduct would be an easy call if he were not living in the White House: “We emphasize that these are not matters of close professional judgment,” the lawyers write. They add that “the overwhelming weight of professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the conduct outlined in the Mueller Report.”
The letter underscores the severity of Trump’s conduct, as detailed in the redacted report by the special counsel. And it amps up pressure on the House of Representatives to consider the Constitution’s one remedy for lawlessness by a sitting president: impeachment.