Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) said that if she wins the White House in 2020, her administration would have “no choice” but to prosecute President Donald Trump given the findings of the Mueller report.
What are the details?
Campaigning in Iowa this week, Harris sat down with the NPR Politics Podcast to discuss an array of topics. Roughly 20 minutes into the interview, one journalist said, “I want to ask you about a possibly future prosecutorial decision. Whether or not you would be in the room, you would be appointing the people who would be in the room. You ended that recent speech talking about the 10 counts of obstruction of justice — as you frame it — in the Mueller report.”
“No, I didn’t frame it,” Harris interjected. “The Mueller report, right?”
The reporter continued, “But, of course, as Robert Mueller said, there’s that current [Department of Justice] policy that you can’t charge a sitting president. You have been very clear that you want impeachment proceedings to begin. If you become president, if he was never impeached, would you want the Department of Justice — now that he is no longer a sitting president — to go forward with those obstruction of justice charges?”
Harris, who once served as California attorney general, replied, “I believe that they would have no choice, and that they should, yes. There has to be accountability.”
“I mean, look, people might, you know, question why I became a prosecutor,” she continued. “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.”
The journalist pressed further, “Even if it meant a former president going on trial, serving jail time?”
Harris answered, “Well, the facts and the evidence will take the process where it leads. But, I have read the Mueller report. I do believe that we should believe Bob Mueller when he tells us, essentially, that the only reason an indictment was not returned is because of a memo in the Department of Justice that suggests you cannot indict a sitting president.
“But I’ve seen prosecution of cases on much less evidence,” Harris emphasized.
Fox News reported that Harris joins a chorus of high-profile Democrats who have suggested President Trump should face criminal charges once he exits the White House. Fellow Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) bluntly stated that if the president were anyone else, he would be “carried out in handcuffs.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) reportedly told colleagues a week ago that she wants to see the president “in prison,” but stopped short of saying she was willing to pursue impeachment.