Donald Trump and his Republican allies are working to undermine the various prosecutors investigating his alleged crimes, but legal experts say those efforts could actually backfire.
The ex-president routinely complains about those prosecutors, often using racist language against Black investigators, and his GOP allies have tried to discredit them or launched their own counter-investigations to derail them.
However, some legal experts told The Guardian those efforts posed a potential threat to Trump.
“The folks who Trump is enlisting to help him with a legislative fix need to be reminded of how easy it is to potentially become part of a cover-up to the American people after the fact,” said former Georgia U.S. attorney Michael Moore. “A prosecutor can easily argue that these continued efforts to generate help are both proof of his guilt and proof that he knows he’s caught.”
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Participating in a public cover-up could pose a threat to elected officials who do Trump's bidding, he added.
“Given the status of the multiple inquiries involving Trump, I wouldn’t want to be the one getting the call to help," Moore said. "I’d feel like a fireman answering the alarm yet knowing I was the one likely to get burned.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has been particularly aggressive in his defense of the twice-impeached former president, and he has issued subpoenas to Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, who indicted Trump on 34 fraud charges, and former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, who is expected to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
“[Jordan's gambit] is going to boomerang because Mark Pomerantz, as he detailed in his book, is likely to shiv Trump," said Paul Pelletier, a former acting chief of the fraud section at the Justice Department.
Trump's lawyers last month wrote House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) asking him to order special counsel Jack Smith to "stand down" and allow GOP legislators to conduct their own investigation of the former president, but some veteran lawmakers said even that could backfire.
“I think the letter to Turner was stupid,” said former GOP congressman Tom Davis. “Why they would do that is bonkers.”
Legal experts agreed all these efforts were unlikely to deter prosecutors and would set a dangerous precedent.
“Not long ago, a savvy legislator would try hard to keep away from pending criminal or civil enforcement investigations, perhaps out of a sense of propriety, perhaps for fear of scandal,” said Columbia law professor Daniel Richman, a former prosecutor. “Maybe this is no longer true, and what otherwise would seem like naked obstruction for partisan gain or out of partisan loyalty can hide behind a claim of fighting the alleged weaponization of the federal government.”