10:37, April 04 227 0 abajournal.com

2018-04-04 10:37:06
Mueller reportedly told Trump’s lawyers that the president is a probe subject, but not a target

The disclosure was made during negotiations for a possible interview with Trump, the Washington Post reports. The information is based on three people familiar with the discussions who remained anonymous.

According to the Post, a person is considered a subject when that person’s actions fall within the scope of a grand jury investigation, but there isn’t enough evidence to charge the person. Some presidential advisers viewed the disclosure as an assurance, while others believed the special counsel was trying to bait the president into an interview.

Mueller reportedly said he is preparing a report on Trump’s actions. The report may be written in stages, with the first one focusing on obstruction of justice. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would decide whether to release the findings to the public. If the report is negative, it could serve as a basis for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.

Mueller may believe he doesn’t have the authority to charge a current president with a crime because of an opinion written by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. The opinion was written in 1973 and affirmed in 2000, report Politico and a separate article from the Washington Post.

No court has directly addressed the issue of whether a president can be indicted, but an indictment would interfere with the president’s ability to perform his constitutionally assigned duties, the 2000 opinion said.

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe saw the potential report as significant.

“The key isn’t that Trump is not (yet) a ‘target’ but that he IS a SUBJECT of Mueller’s investigation & that Mueller will write a REPORT on what Trump did, why, and what it adds up to. That is HUGE,” he tweeted.

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