Donald Ayer, who served as deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, called on the Justice Department to prosecute former President Donald Trump for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election results in his favor.

“We can’t have a system where a president can willfully, deliberately and with no ambiguity act to overturn a legitimate election, and nobody does anything about it,” Ayer said.

The January 6, 2021, public hearings held by the House select committee that has been investigating the Capitol attack and events surrounding it for the past year have revealed a clearer picture of what may have been going on behind the scenes and in Trump and his allies’ minds following the election loss to President Joe Biden.

While some political pundits think the Justice Department doesn’t have a chance at a prosecution that ends in any other scenario than Trump’s acquittal, Ayer disagrees.


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“Trump was ready to have Mike Pence be killed,” Ayer told the Los Angeles Times. “You tell that story to a jury, and I think you win.”

Ayer, however, acknowledged that Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department are proceeding by the book by thoroughly investigating before prosecuting. It has issued subpoenas to members of Trump’s inner circle such as Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and attorney John Eastman, who is widely credited with being the mastermind behind the legal plan to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject certain electors in swing states as he oversaw the certification of Biden’s electoral win.

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