Lawyer Jeffrey Harris worked as the principal assistant to Rudy Giuliani, and also served during the Carter administration. He was one of over 400 former Justice Department attorneys who oppose the decision not to indict President Donald Trump on obstruction of justice. During a Monday conversation with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Harris explained precisely why Trump’s own lawyer would disagree with Attorney General Bill Barr’s decision.
“When you read the Mueller report it’s not just one instance of what is conduct that would be obstruction of justice,” said Harris. “For example, if you tell a witness to lie, that’s enough. That’s obstruction right there. If the witness is in a federal criminal case, if you read the statute, it’s pretty clear. And what the Mueller report describes is multiple instances over a long period of time, any one of which would probably be enough to indict a person who wasn’t the president.”
While testifying before the Senate, Barr claimed that there is a requirement that the evidence be convincing beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, that is not the legal standard to be met for an indictment.
Former federal prosecutor Jack Weiss said that Barr was “dead wrong,” noting that the law is clear.
“I’ll just say it’s not only former prosecutors such as Jeffrey and myself, but I dare say if people in the DOJ currently were allowed, if it were at all proper, which it isn’t to sign such a letter, you’d have an overwhelming response as well,” said Weiss. “I’ll just give you one example of why I feel so strongly about this: When Trump orders Cory Lewandowski to go make that back channel to Jefferson Sessions to try to get Sessions to un-recuse himself, that’s not an official act. He’s not acting as president directing a subordinate. Those are the sort of things Barr has said in the past the president is immune from prosecution for. Just the Cory Lewandowski episode alone is enough to convince me this is a prosecutable case.”
When it came to Giuliani working as Trump’s free legal spokesman, Harris explained that the man he worked with at the Justice Department was an entirely different person.
“I worked with Rudy on a daily basis for nearly five years in a variety of positions,” Harris said. “We were prosecutors together. I have absolutely no doubt that prosecutor Rudy Giuliani would have indicted someone who committed the acts that are put out in the Mueller report in a heartbeat. I am 100 percent confident of that.”
Watch the full conversation below:
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