On Monday, former Gov. Bill Weld (R-Mass.), a candidate for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination, joined a group of 370 former federal prosecutors urging obstruction of justice charges against President Donald Trump.
“As Ronald Reagan’s U.S. Attorney in Boston, I successfully won 110 of 111 public corruption cases,” Weld, the only 2020 Republican candidate to “vouch” for Hillary Clinton in 2016, said in a statement. “I know that if Donald Trump were sitting in a governor’s mansion or city hall instead of the White House, he would have been indicted for obstruction of justice. There’s not a prosecutor alive who wouldn’t bring charges against someone who tried to prevent witnesses from cooperating with a federal investigation.”
Weld joined the other prosecutors in signing an open letter arguing that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation would have led to obstruction of justice charges if Trump were not the sitting president of the United States.
Mueller’s report into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election found no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, but it also could not absolve him of potential obstruction. Mueller did not recommend obstruction charges, however.
Some have argued that the ten incidents where Mueller suggested there might have been obstruction prove that Trump is guilty, even though Mueller did not recommend charges against him. Attorney General William Barr said the events did not constitute obstruction.
Weld argued that Mueller’s decision not to recommend charges against Trump effectively allowed Trump to get away with wrongdoing that would not have been acceptable for those who hold lower offices.
“When I worked for the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate, we were guided by the principle that the president should be held to a higher standard than a mob boss or corrupt mayor,” Weld argued. “For Donald Trump’s defenders to insist that he is above the law because he sits in the Oval Office is a perversion of American ideals.”
“We are a nation built on the principle that we are equal and that no man is above the law. And that includes the President of the United States,” Weld concluded.
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