Mueller Says Trump Could Be Criminally Charged After Presidency

The former special counsel confirmed he could not prosecute Trump due to Justice Department guidelines.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Before the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, there was intense speculation about whether President Donald Trump would be charged with obstruction of justice. Ultimately, Trump wasn’t charged. But during Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, the former special counsel confirmed that Trump could be prosecuted after leaving office:

In fact, it was a Republican member who first got Mueller to confirm that possibility—and why he didn’t charge Trump. When Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado asked Mueller point-blank if there was sufficient evidence to charge the president with obstruction, Mueller said that his office “couldn’t make that calculation” due to a Justice Department legal opinion that a sitting president can’t be charged with a crime: 


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.