Administration

Schiff: Trump should probably be indicted when he leaves office

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that President Trump should probably be indicted once he leaves the White House for his alleged role in campaign finance law violations and bank fraud. 

Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty last year to multiple crimes he says he carried out at Trump’s behest, though most legal experts agree that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

{mosads}”It’s very difficult to make the argument that the person who was directed and was coordinated should go to jail but the person who did the directing and did the coordinating should not,” Schiff told reporters at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor.

Schiff added that the current evidence “militates very strongly in favor of indicting the president when he is out of office.” 

Cohen was sentenced last year to three years in prison. Federal prosecutors in December released a court filing saying he “acted in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump before the 2016 election in steering payments to silence adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal about alleged affairs they had with Trump.

Cohen also testified before Congress in February that Trump directed him to break the law and make the payments. Trump has repeatedly denied taking part in the scheme. 

Republican lawmakers have dismissed Cohen’s credibility, pointing to his prior admission of lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. 

A sitting president cannot be indicted under current Department of Justice (DOJ) guidelines. But Schiff contended that the department’s guidelines were flawed because of the statute of limitations. 

“The Justice Department policy against the indictment is the wrong policy particularly … when there is any risk that the statute of limitations may allow a president to escape justice,” he said. 

DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

Tags Adam Schiff Donald Trump Indictment Michael Cohen
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