Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says the Mueller report has opened the possibility for prosecutors to indict Donald Trump once his term in the White House ends, according to The Hill.
Legal experts, political pundits, and the American people on both sides of the aisle have waited for the Mueller report with bated breath. The release of a redacted version by Attorney General William Barr has unsurprisingly generated a lot of debate. While Trump and his Republican aides have declared exoneration after the special counsel’s report was made public, Democrats in the House appear to be pushing for more information, with some prominent leaders even conceding that impeachment proceedings could soon be on the table, as reported by The Inquisitr.
But Preet Bharara, who served as New York South District’s attorney, told CNN’s State of the Union that the Mueller report shows there’s “potential” for President Trump to be prosecuted after he leaves office.
“The Mueller view, it seems to me, if you look at the document, is that they absolutely believe there is a potential viable prosecution once Donald Trump leaves office.”
Bharara, who was fired in 2017 by Donald Trump and has been a critic of his tenure in the White House, said that there was more than enough evidence in the Mueller report to suggest that prosecutors would likely indict Trump once he was not protected by the executive privilege of being in the White House.
“[Mueller] says in great particularity that, although you cannot prosecute a sitting president under the OLC [Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel] interpretation, we are nonetheless preserving evidence, while memories are fresh and documents are available, because a president, once he leaves office, can be charged with crimes committed while in office. I don’t think it could be more clear,” Bharara said.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 21, 2019
Essentially, what Bharara seems to be suggesting is that special counsel Robert Mueller didn’t indict the president because he couldn’t do so. But in the future, once Trump is not protected by his office, he could be in legal jeopardy because of the vast trove of information that is now available to prosecutors. Whether or not someone decides to prosecute Trump is another matter, but it is entirely possible for him to be tried once he leaves the White House.
In the same interview, Bharara also slammed Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, for suggesting that it was okay to take information from foreign powers during presidential campaigns.
“That’s an extraordinary statement,” Bharara said. “And I would hope he would retract it.”