Watch: Former Justice Department lawyer thinks DOJ was way too slow in going after Trump
US Attorney General Merrick Garland (AFP)

With the release of the deposition video of Donald Trump there is a renewed conversation about the former president's ongoing legal battles around his personal businesses.

While Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. testified "to their knowledge" about their time working for their father. There were a number of things that Ivanka couldn't remember, such as whether she met with bankers or if she sent the emails that were shown to her during the deposition. The elder Donald Trump, however, refused to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate him, which is itself incriminating because prosecutors can use that detail against him in trial.

Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on Tuesday, former FBI general counsel and senior prosecutor to Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, explained that it has taken a very long time to getting started on financial charges for the former president.

"There has been such a long period where it appears that Donald Trump is circling the drain, but everyone has heard that over and over again and they're not seeing accountability," he explained. "Now when he was president it is important to know he could not under the department of justice 'guidelines' be prosecuted. That didn't, however, prevent either Manhattan or Georgia at the state level from bringing a case, and you do see signs of life, particularly in Georgia, that they are pursuing it."

Since he's not the president anymore, civil cases are surfacing from the New York attorney general and others.

"If I were still in the department I'd certainly be working damn hard on the case, but it would also be in the back of my head, there is nothing worse than bringing the case and losing," Weissmann warned. "So, the goal is to make sure that if you're in the department, if you're in Manhattan, if you are in Georgia, you are bringing a case that will stick. I think that is the phase we're in now. I know people may be tired of hearing that, but I think that all signs are that things are really ramping up and I think that's why you're seeing Donald Trump asserts the Fifth Amendment [rights] so many times."

He went on to say to ask everyone else on the panel, lawyers and reporters that if a prosecutor asked "did you commit financial fraud when you filed your taxes," they'd all be willing to say "no."

Former federal prosecutor Harry Litman went on to say that the civil standard to meet in court is a lot easier than in criminal. In a civil trial, the prosecutors must prove something using the "preponderance of the evidence." It's different from criminal cases demanding "beyond a reasonable doubt." He too echoed that Trump using his Fifth Amendment privilege is essentially evidence that will be used against him.

Litman disagreed with Weissmann that the DOJ was moving too slow, but Weissmann said he meant that they started out too slow with the white-collar crimes. Now, it seems, they're moving much faster.

See the exchange in the video below or at the link here.

Former DOJ lawyer thinks the DOJ was way too slow in going after Trump's white collar crimes