Mueller: Trump Could Be Charged With Obstruction After Leaving Office

REUTERS/Leah Millis

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report leans heavily on a Department of Justice (DOJ) policy against indicting a sitting president — but he made clear during his Wednesday congressional testimony how he believes Trump could be charged after leaving office.

In addressing potential incidents of obstruction of justice by the president during his investigation, Mueller explained in his report how his team accepted a ruling from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel on the question of indicting the president:

“The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has issued an opinion finding that ‘the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions’ in violation of the Constitutional separation of powers.'”

Instead, the report outlined multiple potential incidents of obstruction and seemingly punted to Congress to address the underlying facts. While the Department of Justice may not be able to indict a sitting president, Congress has the power to hold a president accountable through impeachment and subsequent removal from office.

Multiple questions lobbed at Mueller during his Wednesday appearance before the House Judiciary Committee focused on how the OLC opinion impacted Mueller’s final conclusions.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Co.) asked Mueller point-blank if he could charge the president with a crime after he had left office, to which the special counsel responded with a terse, “Yes.”

“You believe that you could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?” Buck reiterated.

Mueller responded once more with a simple, “Yes.”

Mueller’s statement is in line with the original memo from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel.

“Recognizing an immunity from prosecution for a sitting President would not preclude such prosecution once the President’s term is over or he is otherwise removed from office by resignation or impeachment,” the memo reads. “The relevant question, therefore, is the nature and strength of any governmental interests in immediate prosecution and punishment.”

What do you think?

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James
Member

There has always been a huge difference between “Could”, “Would”, “Should” and “Will” just like Nadler and Schiff’s “Believing” the President “obstructed justice”.

Where’s your “PROOF” called “evidence”, dipsticks? Writings on the Men’s room wall is NOT evidence.

James
Member

It’s understandable that Mueller was simply the “figure head” which was certainly confirmed is his disgraceful appearance before the two Committees. He knew nothing and said nothing except “it’s in the report”. It’s apparent his right hand man – Andrew Weissmann – was running the show called “The Mueller Report” which in itself was a waste of time and money and accomplished nothing the demented ones could use to unseat a duly elected POTUS. Better luck with your next failed attempt, dimwits. Maybe they should take their no talent show on the road starring born for television clowns Jerrold Nadler… Read more »

banstan
Member

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banstan
Member

Like there was only ONE statement philly. He was lost through the WHOLE thing. What is illogical is how you hold fast to a report that he didn’t even write, doesn’t even know what is in it and how he contradicted what was in it during his testimony. You seem to be the one who did not watch.

Phyllis Softa
Member

Ban, illustrates a very illogical practice of Trumpsters. If you do not believe or accept one statement, then all statements are false. If that is your position, why do you still believe the R’s that told you for cycle after cycle that they were going to repeal and replace Obamacare? Why do you still believe those who told you during the WORST economic recession since the Depression that they did not believe stimulus works—but in what they declared a “great economy” they called their “middle class tax cut” a stimulus? Why do you still believe AG Barr, when your own… Read more »

Phyllis Softa
Member

Ban, Did you read the report OR listen to the hearings? How did you miss that the counterintelligence investigation is NOT under his purview. Mueller said it more than once. WHERE in the report did you perceive the counterintelligence findings were indicated? Is that what you thought was under the redacted portions?

banstan
Member

Give it up, josh. Such a pathetic attempt to salvage SOMETHING from mueller’s pathetic performance today. EVERYBODY’S red flags should have come up immediately when the dim’s knight in shining armor, boobie mueller said he was NOT familiar with fusion gps. NOTHING else he says is credible. This is NOT HIS report. PERIOD.

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