Hundreds of former federal prosecutors have gone on record in a statement to argue that Donald Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice based on the Mueller report’s findings if he weren’t president. The statement was posted online on Monday, and included signatures from prosecutors who worked for Republican and Democratic administrations at all levels of the federal justice system. According to The Washington Post, the signatures were collected by Protect Democracy, a nonprofit that employs several former Justice Department employees.
“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the statement reads.
The prosecutors identified three specific cases in which they argue Trump’s actions merited an obstruction charge based on provable corrupt intent and connection to pending legal proceedings. These included his attempts to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation and prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators.
The statement’s list of signatories has ballooned to over 430, each of whom have reportedly been “vetted to the best of our ability.” Each prosecutor lists their name, the highest position they held in the Justice Department, the number of years they served and the administrations under which they served.
However, just as Attorney General Barr’s memo did not fully exonerate the president, other prosecutors are pointing out that this statement doesn’t constitute the be-all, end-all proof of guilt that some might be hoping for. For example, Ken White, a former federal prosecutor who practices First Amendment law at Brown White & Osborn LLP in Los Angeles, tweeted on Monday, “I’m a former federal prosecutor here to tell you that you should exercise skepticism when a group of former federal prosecutors tells you a politician should or should not have been charged.”
However, a group of 400 qualified federal prosecutors is no small thing, and this statement represents yet another voice in the growing call for Congress to carry the torch passed by Robert Mueller and hold the president accountable to the fullest extent of the law.