A longtime Republican lawmaker and former secretary of defense called for a grand jury to investigate Donald Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss.
William Cohen, who represented Maine in the House and Senate for more than two decades before leading the Pentagon through Bill Clinton's second term, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that GOP lawmakers had shamed themselves by blaming him for the Jan. 6 insurrection but pledging to vote for him again.
"What? What are you saying?" Cohen said. "After you have seen everything he has done to the country you will vote for him? Is it party over country? Is it party over Constitution? You have ambition? Because you fear his supporters will attack you or your family? What is driving you to say, 'I know how bad he is, I know what he did for the country and I'll vote for him again if the party nominates him.' That, to me, is one of the real crimes of this case."
Cohen, who was one of the first Republican lawmakers to break with his party against Richard Nixon and voted for his impeachment, said Trump appears to have committed crimes.
"We're looking at whether he was a conspirator or co-conspirator," Cohen added. "I would suggest there's an element he could be charged with being an accessory before the fact and after the fact. Crimes were committed on Capitol Hill, and in traditional law enforcement if you are a participant by encouraging with a runaway car then you are an accessory before or after the fact. I think they have a look at the Justice Department, and I say make haste immediately, not slowly. Start the investigation if you haven't started or assemble the grand jury and bring in people, including the Secret Service."
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