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Sen. Hirono Demands Trump Be Prosecuted Post-Presidency

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Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono said in an interview Wednesday she believes President Donald Trump should be prosecuted once he leaves office.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who spent nearly two years investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 election, said he did not find sufficient evidence to show Trump committed any crimes related to either collusion or alleged obstruction of justice.

Mueller did cite a decades-old internal Justice Department guideline that protects a sitting president from being indicted by the federal government in explaining why he did not charge Trump.

“The Special Counsel’s Office is part of the Department of Justice and, by regulation, it was bound by that department policy,” Mueller said. “Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”

Some Democrats have suggested that if Trump can’t be indicted while he’s in office, he be charged after he leaves the White House.

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When asked for her thoughts on the matter during an MSNBC interview Wednesday, Hirono said she agrees with that sentiment.

“You know, when I look at the 800 or so former prosecutors who said there’s enough in the Mueller report to indict the president, were it not for the fact that he’s a sitting president, I’d say that is grounds for those kinds of further actions,” Hirono said.

“In addition, the other investigations that are going on regarding the president’s activities in his organizations should also continue, including the state of New York, the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, all of those kinds of activities should go on,” she added.

Do you think there are grounds to prosecute President Trump once he leaves office?

“So, yes, he needs to be held accountable.”

Hirono is not alone among Democrats who’d like to see Trump prosecuted post-presidency.

If elected president in 2020, Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris of California said earlier this month her Justice Department “would have no choice” but to prosecute Trump.

“There has to be accountability,” Harris said on the “NPR Politics Podcast

“I mean look, people might, you know, question why I became a prosecutor. Well, I’ll tell you one of the reasons — I believe there should be accountability.”

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“Everyone should be held accountable, and the president is not above the law,” Harris added.

Similarly, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg told The Atlantic earlier this month that if he defeats Trump in 2020, he would want Trump to be investigated by prosecutors.

“To the extent that there’s an obstruction case, then yes, DOJ’s got to deal with it,” he said. “I would want any credible allegation of criminal behavior to be investigated to the fullest.”

But some legal experts have raised concerns over Democrats politicizing the criminal justice system.

“Presidents aren’t supposed to suggest there be investigations or prosecutions of particular people, let alone their political rivals,” Matt Axelrod, who was a senior DOJ official during the Obama administration, told Politico. “President Trump has flagrantly and repeatedly violated that norm, but that doesn’t mean the norm has been obliterated.”

“It’s so un-American to prosecute your political enemies,” retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz added to Politico. “That’s what they do in banana republics.”

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