Joaquin Castro: Trump would be 'in court right now' if he weren't the president or 'privileged'

Texas Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroState Department establishes chief officer in charge of diversity Texas governor faces criticism over handling of winter storm fallout DC bureau chief for The Intercept: Impeachment managers became 'like the dog who caught the car' when permitted to call witnesses MORE (D) said Friday that there is only “one thing” keeping President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE from being indicted following the release of court filings that shed light on his associates' contacts with Russian officials leading up to his presidential election.

“The only thing keeping Donald Trump from being indicted and being charged with a crime, beyond wealth and privilege, is that he occupies the office of the presidency, and that he's in the White House, and if he didn't it's very likely he'd be in court right now,” Castro told Ali Velshi during an appearance on MSNBC on Friday night.

Castro’s remarks came as the Texas Democrat, a member of the House Intelligence Committee that is probing Russian interference in 2016 presidential election, discussed court filings released earlier on Friday that detailed an attempt by a Russian to help Trump's campaign that was previously unknown.


Federal prosecutors also recommended in a filing that Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen receive “substantial” prison time despite his cooperation agreement on multiple investigations.

The document stated that Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" the president in steering payments to keep Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal quiet about alleged affairs with Trump before the 2016 election.

Trump also appeared to be implicated in the prosecutors' filings in violating campaign finance laws in relation to the payments. The document does not specifically name Trump, but makes an apparent reference to Trump as "Individual-1.”

When asked during the segment whether he is in a position to consider discussing Trump's impeachment in Congress, Castro replied: “We have to be.”

“When the evidence becomes so clear that you very likely have a criminal sitting in the Oval Office, what is the Congress left to do at that point?” he continued.

Trump blasted special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE the morning after the release of the three long-awaited filings in an all-caps message on Twitter.

“AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!” he tweeted.