Former Attorney General Eric Holder, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, suggested last week that the president should not be prosecuted after he leaves office.
He offered the stunning opinion while being interviewed for CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod’s podcast, “The Axe Files.”
“If there is no impeachment, do you believe that he is subject to prosecution after he leaves office?” Axelrod asked him, as the relevant portion of the interview began.
“I don’t think there’s a question about that,” Holder replied. “We already have an indictment in the Southern District of New York relevant to the payoffs. Michael Cohen’s already in jail with regard to his role there. Individual 1 is the president, and it would seem to me that the next attorney general, the next president will have to make a determination.”
In disgraced former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s sentencing memo released late last year, federal prosecutors in New York recommended he be served with “[a] substantial term of imprisonment” for committing “four distinct federal crimes,” including violating campaign finance laws and attempting to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
“During the campaign, Cohen played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the right to stories –– each from women who claimed to have had an affair with Individual-1 –– so as to suppress the stories and thereby prevent them from influencing the election,” the memo read.
As noted at the time by other Trump critics, “Individual 1” was the president.
Dear @realDonaldTrump: I think you might not know that the person prosecutors identify as Individual-1, who committed multiple felonies, is you.
You may want to read the court filings today. https://t.co/w7gn0kazzw
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 7, 2018
You are Individual-1. https://t.co/zSoa2EOyeB
— Evan McMullin (@EvanMcMullin) December 7, 2018
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) December 7, 2018
Axelrod continued the interview by asking about the potential costs of prosecuting Trump.
“You came here in the post-Watergate period,” he said. “President [Gerald] Ford made a decision to pardon President [Richard] Nixon because he thought it’d be bad for the country to go through a trial of a former president. Will there be a cost to that?”
“I think there is a potential cost to the nation by putting on trial a former president,” Holder candidly admitted. “And that ought to at least be part of the calculus that goes into the determination that has to be made by the next attorney general.”
“I think we should understand what a trial of a former president would do to the nation. I think that shaped the determination that Gerald Ford made in regard to …”
Axelrod then cut him off to say, “It may have cost him his election in 1976.”
Ford’s pardon of Nixon did in fact cost him reelection.
“It has become the presidential pardon all others have been measured against, largely because of the political fallout that ensued,” The New York Times noted in a profile last year.
“Mr. Ford’s press secretary, J.F. terHorst, resigned in protest. Many Americans were outraged, while others argued Mr. Nixon suffered plenty. It was also devastating for Mr. Ford, a Republican who lost a re-election bid in 1976 to Jimmy Carter, a Democrat.”
Nevertheless, Holder to this day believes that Ford made the right decision.
“It might have [cost him the election], but I think looking back I tend to think that was probably the right thing to do,” he said as the relevant portion of the interview concluded.
While the case could be made that the former AG’s perspective on the matter is insightful and even wise — especially given how much personal animosity he clearly holds for the president — it triggered outrage from the arguably less insightful and rational members of the far-left.
“You are part of what is wrong with this country. Nixon was never held accountable. George Bush was never held accountable. You suggest Trump should not be held accountable for his crimes. So, accountability is only for poor schmucks like me?” one exasperated critic wrote.
“I’ve lost any sense of belief, trust, in what you say; you exempt power from justice!!” another added.
Look at these and other exasperated responses below:
@EricHolder You are part of what is wrong with this country. Nixon was never held accountable. George Bush was never held accountable. You suggest Trump should not be held accountable for his crimes. So, accountability is only for poor schmucks like me? https://t.co/ZcmeK8vbCi
— Patricia Dianne Rose (@thediannerose) September 14, 2019
@EricHolder you stated, re:trump being prosecuted post presidency-Ford did the right thing letting Nixon off, because of what it would do to the country; stating same for POTUS now! Remarkable! I’ve lost any sense of belief, trust, in what you say; you exempt power from justice!!
— Blancoh (@Blancoh17) September 14, 2019
Holder lost me at 7:50 when he stated Ford did the “right” thing. Apparently only while in politics is it legal to break our Rule of Law and escape justice. Nixon and Reagan were elected by colluding with hostile foreign govts. Bush et al should’ve been prosecuted for war crimes
— Deb (@EquoAmicus) September 15, 2019
In the same interview, he states presidents should be above the law, as in Nixon and Trump.
I was not expecting that.
— Moss? (@2know) September 14, 2019
@EricHolder speaks total BS
Holder is an elite who probably supports Mercer, Koch, and Putin
To say that Trump is above the law and that he should not be prosecuted, is insane
Trump destroys our democracy daily
Enough of these traitors who give Trump a pass#PITTvsPSU
— Rick Ragan (@Rick_Ragan) September 14, 2019
Who would have ever thought that Eric Holder, of all people, would be accused by the far-left of being a traitor / puppet to Russian President Vladimir Putin? WOW!
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