Obama attorney general Eric Holder says the DOJ should indict Trump over the Capitol riot

Obama attorney general Eric Holder says the DOJ should indict Trump over the Capitol riot
Then-Attorney General Eric Holder at the Justice Department.Kris Connor/Getty Images
  • Former Attorney General Eric Holder said Donald Trump should be held accountable for the Capitol riot.
  • Previously, he was concerned that a DOJ prosecution of Trump could be politically divisive.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said that former President Donald Trump should be indicted over his role in instigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Holder, who served as President Barack Obama's attorney general, discussed the Justice Department's investigation of the Capitol riot in an appearance Sunday on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

"At some point, people at the Justice Department, perhaps that prosecutor in Atlanta, are going to have to make a determination about whether or not they want to indict Donald Trump," Holder said.

Holder was referencing an investigation into Trump's bid to overturn the 2020 election being conducted by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

"Would you do it?" host Margaret Brennan asked of a decision to indict Trump.


"Well, I think there's going to be sufficient factual information," Holder said. "And I think that there's going to be sufficient proof of intent. And then the question becomes, what's the impact of such an indictment?"

"I'm an institutionalist. My initial thought was not to indict the former president out of concern of how divisive it would be. But given what we have learned, I think that he probably has to be held accountable," he said.

Insider has contacted Trump's office for comment.

Trump has repeatedly denied being responsible for the riot while continuing to promote the election-fraud conspiracy theories that helped to incite it.

A separate investigation into Trump's role in the Capitol riot is being conducted by the House January 6 commission, with Republican commission member Rep. Liz Cheney saying last month that it had uncovered sufficient evidence to bring a criminal referral against Trump on charges of obstructing congressional proceedings and conspiring against the American people.


But the question of whether to make the criminal referral has split members of the panel, who don't want to create the impression that Attorney General Merrick Garland is conducting a partisan investigation at the behest of the Democratic-led commission, The New York Times reported last month.

The DOJ is yet to act on a criminal referral made by the January 6 commission in December about Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

The FBI is conducting a separate investigation into the Capitol riot, though it is unclear if the probe implicates Trump at this stage.