Had President Donald Trump not been elected, it is "dangerously close" he would have been indicted in the Southern District of New York on campaign finance violations in connection with a guilty plea from his ex-attorney Michael Cohen, Preet Bharara, the district's former U.S. attorney, said Tuesday.
"The particular legal peril for him is what has been spelled out in a plea allocution, the statement given by Michael Cohen in federal court," Bharara told MSNBC's "Morning Joe," noting Cohen had said he committed the crime of campaign finance violation was done at the "direction of Individual 1, everyone's favorite pet name for the president of the United States."
As the Southern District accepted Cohen's statement, "that says to me, given that I know the folks who did all this, actually I hired them and they're all great, honorable, hard-working people, that they believe Donald Trump was involved in that crime," Bharara said.
He said the policy is "very clear" about not indicting a sitting president, but he does believe special counsel Robert Mueller will feel "bound" by that practice and policy and he would have felt that way if he was still the U.S. Attorney.
"But once you're not president, then anything can happen," Bharara said.
He added critics should not pin all their hopes on Mueller's report, but he does think the president's oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., might be in legal jeopardy.
"We're all in jeopardy because if something would befall Donald Trump Jr., I don't know what his father is capable of," Bharara said.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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