Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has called for President Donald Trump to “serve time” in prison over Jan. 6.
Gonzales, a Republican who served as AG under former President George W. Bush, said Friday that Trump “should” be jailed if convicted on federal charges brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Gonzales made the call during an interview on MSNBC.
“If in fact he’s convicted of the crimes charged by Jack Smith and the Department of Justice, yeah, I think he should serve time, quite frankly,” he told host Jen Psaki, Democrat President Joe Biden’s former White House press secretary.
“There are people that on Jan. 6, went to the Capitol — maybe not at the clear direction of President Trump — but certainly, he did nothing to stop what happened that day,” he continued.
“They’re serving time.”
Gonzales argues that it would be “fair” for Trump to go to prison too if he is convicted of the crimes he has been charged with.
However, he cautioned that “we’re a long way there.”
Trump, the 2024 GOP front-runner, is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
If convicted, Trump faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the two charges related to obstructing an official proceeding.
He could see an additional maximum sentence of 10 years for the conspiracy against rights charge and a maximum five-year sentence for conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Trump pleaded not guilty to these charges earlier this month at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The indictment comes out of Smith’s investigation into whether Trump or other officials and entities interfered with the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election.
The alleged “interference” includes the certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, 2021.
Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee who has presided over several January 6 cases, is overseeing Trump’s case.
As Slay News reported, Chutkan has a notorious reputation for being harsh on Jan. 6 defendants
The Justice Department recommended in court filings that Trump’s trial should start on January 2, 2024.
However, Trump’s attorneys want a trial date of April 2026.
They argued that the years-long delay is necessary both because of the unprecedented nature of the case and the “massive” amount of information — 11.5 million pages — that they have to review.
They said they would have to review about 100,000 pages per day in order to meet the Justice Department’s proposed trial date.
Chutkan is expected to set a tentative trial date during an August 28 court hearing.
Trump and 18 others were charged in Fulton County, Georgia earlier this week related to the 2020 election results in that state.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has proposed a March 4 trial date.
Conveniently, the date is on the eve of Super Tuesday when the most delegates are at stake in the primary contest to decide the next Republican presidential nominee.
Trump will also be in court on March 25 for a New York state case related to alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Additionally, a federal judge in Florida has set a May 20 trial date on charges against Trump related to the classified documents hoax.