RNA - Responding to a question on whether Trump could be prosecuted, the Barack Obama administration’s top judicial official said during a Saturday interview with CNN that "I don’t think there’s any question about that".
Holder was being interviewed by former Obama adviser David Axelrod, who asked him, “If there is no impeachment, do you believe that [Trump] is subject to prosecution after he leaves office?"
"We already have an indictment in the Southern District of New York," Holder further asserted, referencing former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s guilty plea to campaign finance violations.
"Individual-1 is the president, and it would seem to me that the next attorney general, the next president, is going to have to make a determination," he then emphasized.
Cohen is in prison for campaign finance violations stemming from hush money payments. He testified before Congress last February that Trump directed him to make the payments.
Justice Department guidance states, however, that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
The development came a day after the US House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York revealed that an "impeachment inquiry" has already begun against Trump.
Speaking with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday, Nadler further discussed the role of his committee, which has taken the lead in investigating potential charges against Trump that were raised in the Special Counsel Robert Mueller report.
Highlighting on the legal term “impeachment inquiry,” Cuomo asked Nadler specifically whether that "was what his team was doing right now?”
“It is not necessarily called an impeachment inquiry ... It is, however, what we are doing,” Nadler replied.
“We have been very clear the last several months. We are conducting an investigation with the purpose, among other things, of determining whether to report Articles of Impeachment to the entire House. That’s exactly what we are doing. Whether you want to call it an impeachment investigation, impeachment inquiry, I am not interested in the nomenclature,” he noted.
The US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to adopt a resolution aimed at stepping up its impeachment probe of Trump. The resolution will entitle the panel to qualify hearings as impeachment proceedings, while also endowing the committee with greater questioning powers.
Nadler reportedly relied on the findings of the Mueller report over the course of the probe into Trump. The investigation has expanded to include allegations that Trump has improperly mixed his business interests with his role as president, and paid money during the 2016 campaign to silence women claiming to have had affairs with him. The report on alleged Russian election meddling in the 2016 presidential vote and Trump's purported attempts to obstruct justice during the probe failed to provide any facts implicating or exonerating the US president.
The US House of Representatives has the sole authority to impeach or indict a sitting president, while the Senate has the sole power to make a conviction, according to the constitution. If Trump is impeached by the Democratic-controlled House, many believe the Republican-majority Senate will not uphold the action.