Senator Richard Blumenthal: Trump Can Be Indicted And His Trial Can Be Postponed
Senator Richard Blumenthal told CNN’s New Day Tuesday morning that a sitting president can be indicted but that any trial resulting for that could be postponed. The Connecticut Democrat was discussing President Donald Trump’s possible links to Russia and Rudy Giuliani’s recent contradictory comments.
CNN’s John Berman asked Blumenthal if Trump could have broken a law by having his team continue negotiations to open a hotel in Moscow during the 2016 election.
“Certainly, it smacks of illicit negotiations and dealings with an adversary, with Putin’s henchmen,” Blumenthal said.”He lied to the American people.”
Berman pushed him to say whether that was illegal or not.
“It may well be if he also lied under oath or in other contexts but the fact is Putin had something on him, which may be the reason why he issued a statement about the Trump Tower meeting that was plainly false, why Trump Jr.’s testimony may well be false insofar as he is saying, ‘I didn’t tell my father’. And the important point here, which was raised just minutes ago, is we need to see the Mueller report, it needs to be disclosed.”
“Lying to the American people may not be itself breaking the law, but if it’s part of a conspiracy, if it’s part of aiding and abetting, other illicit actions…we need to see the full Special Counsel report and all that he knows because — here’s another point I think is irrefutable,” Blumenthal said. “Bob Mueller knows a lot more than we do. He knows the answer to your question. When Trump lied to the American people, was he aiding and abetting, was he part of a conspiracy that may have been to break laws?”
Berman pressed Blumenthal on whether a sitting president could be indicted. Blumenthal replied that he could be, but Berman pointed out that the Justice Department had issued opinions to the contrary.
“The Justice Department has two legal opinions which are very old and really quite unpersuasive in their legal merit,” Blumenthal said. “The reason I think a president can be indicted is that the trial can be postponed, the burden is no less than a pending investigation and the statute of limitations could expire on crimes that she or he has committed. I think there’s nothing in the Constitution to prevent it, should this President be indicted. That’s the purpose of the Special Counsel investigation.”
“As a general matter, putting aside this President and what the Special Counsel has in the way of evidence, I think a sitting president can be indicted but the trial postponed,” he added later.
Watch the video above, via CNN.