(CNSNews.com) - Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, South Bend, Ind., Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said pursuing charges against President Donald Trump when he leaves office “shouldn't be ordered up by the president.”
“When you've been asked about the president and the Mueller report - you said that if you are elected, that you would consider pursuing obstruction of justice charges,” host Margaret Brennan asked Buttigieg.
“It's not up to the president to pursue charges,” Buttigieg responded. “This is the thing—“
“But his Justice Department,” Brennan interjected.
“So I absolutely- I absolutely believe that there are plenty of reasons to think that there may have been illegal behavior, and prosecutors should look at that, and no one is above the law. Not a president, not a former president, no one,” Buttigieg said.
“I also believe that the last place you look for guidance on how to conduct a prosecution is to the Oval Office. The less our law enforcement and prosecution has to do with politics the better,” he said.
“So when some of your colleagues, your competitors, say that there should be obstruction of justice charges pursued. You're saying you're not endorsing that,” Brennan asked.
“There should be a Department of Justice that can think for itself. There's tons of evidence that would point to an obstruction investigation. I'm just saying it shouldn't be ordered up by the president,” Buttigieg said.
“I'm just saying it shouldn't be ordered up by the president. The whole idea is we're the ones who don't believe that a president ought to be going around calling for their political opponents to be targeted for investigations,” he said.
“If there is criminal activity or a suspicion of criminal activity, then I expect a DOJ that thinks for itself to prosecute that criminal activity and hold everybody accountable, with no extra treatment, better or worse, for somebody because of their political profile,” Buttigieg said.
At a town hall hosted by MSNBC last month, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said she “absolutely" would pursue legal action against Trump when he leaves office.
“Listen, I believe that there needs to be transparency, there needs to be accountability,” she said.
"There is a clear track record of this president and members of his administration obstructing justice, not to mention what we have seen from the current attorney general of the United States, who I questioned in connection with the Judiciary Committee, who clearly thinks his job is to represent the president and his peculiar interests as opposed to representing the people of the country in which we live,” Harris said.
"So there is a lot of work to do, and I plan on seeing it through,” she said.