Donald Trump will likely be indicted as the Russia probe moves forward, lawyers who have worked closely with Robert Mueller’s investigation predict.
The Russia investigation appears to be circling closer and closer to the president, with reports that Special Counsel Mueller is focusing heavily on whether Trump committed obstruction of justice. Mueller is reportedly requesting an interview with Trump, and experts say it will likely end with the first indictment against a sitting president in U.S. history.
On Friday, Politico spoke to two attorneys whose clients are swept up in the Russia investigation — including one representing a senior Trump official.
“If I were a betting man, I’d bet against the president,” one of the lawyers told the outlet.
Another attorney told Politico he expects Mueller to bring an indictment against Trump in order to “demonstrate the gravity of his findings,” even though it will undoubtedly draw fierce challenges from Trump’s own lawyers.
“It’s entirely possible that Mueller may go that route on the theory that, as an open question, it should be for the courts to decide,” the attorney said. “Even if the indictment is dismissed, it puts maximum pressure on Congress to treat this with the independence and intellectual honesty that it will never, ever get.”
The report added that there is no legal precedent for an indictment of a sitting president, with legal experts predicting it would be taken to the Supreme Court.
The fight over the Russia investigation ramped up on Friday when Trump released a controversial memo written by Republicans that claims the FBI was biased in its steps to investigate those related to Trump’s campaign. As the Financial Times noted, Democrats and intelligence experts have cast doubts on the conclusions made in the memo, as has the FBI itself.
Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said publicly that the underlying documents which have not been made public do not support the conclusions of the memo, the report added.
Even if Donald Trump were to be indicted, political experts believe that removing him from office through impeachment would still be quite a task. It would require a significant number of Republicans to turn on Trump to move the proceedings through, and it is not clear if there is a political will among the president’s own party to do so. For his part, Trump has denied any improper collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign.