Ex-federal prosecutor says he would have already indicted Trump if he weren't president

Former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi said on Monday that if he were special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE, he would have already presented an indictment against President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE if he were not the president. 

"If the president of the United States weren't the president, and he was just a 34-year-old, 35-year-old candidate, and his buddy [Michael] Cohen had pleaded guilty with all of the corroboration," Rossi, who currently serves as counsel at Carlton Fields, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising."

"They got that Sept. 7 tape recording. They got [Allen] Weisselberg, who's probably singing like a bird," he continued, referring to the Trump Organization's chief financial officer. 

"I would have presented to the grand jury in August, an indictment against Donald Trump. The only reason he is not currently indicted is he's the president," he said.

Rossi, who has been critical of Trump in the Russia probe, is a Democrat and was defeated in the party's primary for Virginia's lieutenant governor in 2017. 

His comments come after The New York Times reported on Sunday that federal prosecutors are continuing to investigate potential links between Trump Organization executives and the two payments that Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen says the then-candidate helped set up.

Rossi went on to say that he believed a sitting president could be indicted, an opinion that divides legal scholars. 

"Now he may be indicted during his presidency because the memo, this office of legal counsel memo that said you can't indict the president. That was written, I think, in 2000 at the height of the Clinton saga," he said.

"Ken Starr's office had a contrary view. So it's up in the air," referring to the former independent counsel who investigated Clinton during his administration.

"What if Donald Trump, heaven forbid, Donald Trump woke up today and he kills somebody in the White House? Are you telling me we can't indict the president of the United States for murder?" Rossi asked.

— Julia Manchester