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Buttigieg: My Ministry of Justice, not the White House, would determine whether to prosecute Trump for obstruction

CNN's Jake Tapper asked Buttigieg in an interview granted Sunday to "The State of the Union" when he agreed with the assessment of California Senator Kamala Harris , hope for 2020, according to which his Department of Justice would have no choice but to pursue his charges of obstructing justice. against President Donald Trump. Buttigieg replied that his Justice Ministry "would be entitled to draw his own conclusions", and the less he would be involved as president, "the better it would be".

"Two things are true and clear," said the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. "One: nobody is above the law, and two: the prosecution process should have nothing to do with politics – the less it has to do with the president, the better."

Harris said that she expected the Justice Department to sue Trump if she or any Democrat beat him in 2020.

"I think they would not have a choice and that they should, yes there must be a responsibility," said Harris, interviewed in the NPR Politics podcast released Wednesday morning, if she wanted the Department of Justice to start prosecuting for obstruction of justice. against Trump after leaving office.

Buttigieg argued that if Trump's behavior would likely result in substantive litigation, the Department of Justice, not the White House, should make that decision.

"At the moment, we have a president who seems to think that the president can only dictate what the DOJ will do, ask for political opponents to be jailed," Buttigieg told Tapper. "I think that the rule of law will catch up with this president.It is not necessary for the oval office to get their hands dirty".

He added, "I'm counting on the GM to make the right decisions, at least on the GM that I would name and organize, and the fewer White House directives there are, the better."

When asked if he disagreed with Harris, Buttigieg said that he "was just talking about how I see the issue".

"But, again, I think we can maintain these two principles: that no one is above the law and that the decisions of the lawsuits must have nothing to do with politics and must come from the DOJ himself, not from the Oval, "he said.

Harris National Press Secretary Ian Sams replied on Twitter to Buttigieg's description of his position in relation to Harris, & # 39; pointing to Buttigieg's comments to The Atlantic earlier this week appeared to support a Trump investigation.
"To the extent that there is a case of obstruction, then yes, the DOJ has to deal with it," Buttigieg told The Atlantic, adding, "I would like any credible allegation of criminal behavior is the subject of a thorough investigation ".

Although the commentary appears to contradict what the mayor said to Tapper, Atlantic later wrote in the same article that "Buttigieg said he would be wary of asking his Attorney General to actively pursue the President against Tapper. President".

Dan Merica and Eli Watkins of CNN contributed to this report.

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