Should Trump be Prosecuted After Leaving Office?

Published January 6th, 2021 - 11:13 GMT
Former FBI director James Comey has said Donald Trump should not be prosecuted after he leaves office. (AFP/File)
Former FBI director James Comey has said Donald Trump should not be prosecuted after he leaves office. (AFP/File)
Highlights
James Comey has written a new book outlining his view of Trump's presidency.

Former FBI director James Comey has said Donald Trump should not be prosecuted after he leaves office.

Comey, who was unceremoniously fired in 2017 and has been the subject of a series of stinging attacks by Trump, said the next US attorney general should not pursue a criminal investigation, regardless of the evidence against the President.

He writes in a new book that the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller and 'the evidence strewn across his history of porn stars and financial fraud' should be forgotten in order for the nation to heal.

Comey said, according to The Guardian who have obtained a copy of his forthcoming book: 'Although those cases might be righteous in a vacuum, the mission of the next attorney general must be fostering the trust of the American people.'

Trump has been the subject of allegations of financial impropriety and tax fraud throughout his presidency, as well as facing questions over campaign finance spending after hush money was paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

But the former intelligence chief says the next attorney general must rise above the 'partisan scrum' to restore political order. 

Comey has been a powerful critic of Trump since he was ousted and he has subsequently faced the wrath of the President.

His new book, Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency and Trust is his second since office and will be published on January 12, eight days before Joe Biden's inauguration.

The 60-year-old's first book A Higher Loyalty was published in 2018 and has since been adapted for HBO as The Comey Rule starring Brendan Gleeson as Trump and te Jeff Daniels as the author.

Trump turfed out the head of the FBI in May 2017 while Comey was leading the investigation into whether Trump's presidential campaign had colluded with Russia. But the President claimed the move was over Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe. He had previously led the inquiry into her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State under Barack Obama. She has since accused Comey of costing her the 2016 election because of his decision to reopen his investigation just days before the vote.

His shock firing made Trump only the second president in US history to fire his FBI director.'

Trump turfed out the head of the FBI in May 2017 while Comey was leading the investigation into whether Trump's presidential campaign had colluded with Russia. But the President claimed the move was over Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe. He had previously led the inquiry into her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

She has since accused Comey of costing her the 2016 election because of his decision to reopen his investigation just days before the vote.

His shock firing made Trump only the second president in US history to fire his FBI director.

The decision formed part of Mueller's probe into possible obstruction of justice by the president as he investigated links between Moscow and the White House. Biden has not yet named his nominee for attorney general but Sally Yates, the former deputy attorney general, is said to be among the frontrunners.


She briefly led the department but was also ousted by Trump after she ordered the Justice Department not to defend the President's so-called Muslim Ban executive order.

In his new book, Comey discusses his investigation of Clinton and his service under Trump. He also heavily criticizes Trump's second attorney general William Barr for his interference into the Mueller report. Barr claimed Trump had been exonerated over claims of obstruction of justice when in fact, he had not.

Moreover, Comey laments Trump's partisanship and that of supposedly apolitical figures such as Barr, who resigned last month. He writes: 'The traditional blindfold on Lady Justice' has been 'replaced with a MAGA hat'. 

However, Comey said he does not believe Trump should be pardoned by Biden after he leaves office.

The President has reportedly been considering pardoning himself although some question whether he can do that.  Presidential pardons do not touch state law, and Trump is currently being investigated by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance over his financial affairs.

The Trump Organization is also being probed by New York attorney general Letitia James.  

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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