While being questioned by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) during testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller agreed that authorities could charge the president with a crime.
“You could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?” Buck asked.
“Yes,” Mueller responded.
Earlier, Mueller confirmed that his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election didn’t exonerate Trump, despite the president’s insistence that Mueller’s investigatory report cleared him of obstructing justice in the probe.
Mueller wrote in the report that he personally couldn’t make the call on whether the president committed a crime during the investigation. Instead, he cited an Office of Legal Counsel opinion saying a sitting president couldn’t be indicted. His testimony on Wednesday makes it clear that that opinion doesn’t hold once the president leaves office.
While testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee later on Wednesday, Mueller added that investigators didn’t reach a conclusion about whether Trump obstructed justice because the OLC opinion precluded his office from doing so.
This article has been updated to include comments from Mueller’s testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee.