‘Clear and present threat to democracy’: Republican former defense secretary suggests Trump should be prosecuted
Donald Trump in the White House. (Vasilis Asvestas / Shutterstock.com)

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen says he agrees Donald Trump a “clear and present threat to democracy,” and adds his possession of classified documents including one revealing the nuclear capabilities of a foreign government is “offense enough” for him to be “subject to criminal prosecution.”

Cohen, a Republican and former U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senator from Maine, served as President Bill Clinton’s Defense Secretary. He noted that if he had the same documents in his house where he left office as Donald Trump did, “I would be in handcuffs.”

Late Tuesday night The Washington Post reported that a “document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents who searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club last month, according to people familiar with the matter, underscoring concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about classified material stashed in the Florida property.”

“Some of the seized documents detail top-secret U.S. operations so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them,” the Post continued. “Only the president, some members of his Cabinet or a near-Cabinet-level official could authorize other government officials to know details of these special-access programs.”

Secretary Cohen, who endorsed both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden for President, told MSNBC Wednesday morning, “We go back to the January 6th committee, where Judge Luttig — a very conservative judge — said that Donald Trump is a ‘clear and present threat to democracy,’” Mediate reported. “That’s been confirmed over and over.”

“The notion that the former president had documents, highly classified documents, in his possession and in unsafe circumstances, or any circumstances, puts our nation at risk, potentially. So, I think there’s no justification. There’s no way they can say, ‘oh, it’s a mistake.’ I think that’s been disproved, and anyone who says that is flat-out lying.”

Cohen also suggested the discovery of the nuclear document is a game-changer for how Attorney General Merrick Garland will move the investigation forward.

“I think the Justice Department is going about it very methodically and very deferentially,” Cohen said. “I think that time has come to an end.”