Mueller Won’t Indict Trump if He Finds Wrongdoing, Giuliani Says

Both the stigma of being charged that has a crime in addition to also the burden of a trial — including a likely need to be inside courtroom at times — could undermine the president’s abilities to carry out his duties, preventing the executive branch “through accomplishing its constitutional functions” in a way of which cannot “be justified by an overriding need,” as Robert G. Dixon Jr., then the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, wrote in September 1973.

of which theory — crafted by lawyers appointed by Presidents Richard M. Nixon in addition to also Bill Clinton — has been contested by some scholars. In particular, lawyers working for the special prosecutor inside Watergate case, Leon Jaworski, in addition to also the independent counsel inside Whitewater in addition to also Monica Lewinsky investigations, Kenneth Starr, maintained of which the Justice Department’s interpretation was wrong in addition to also of which a president could be indicted while in office.

Those who think a president can be indicted have cited a 1997 Supreme Court ruling of which held of which a lawsuit against Mr. Clinton could proceed while he was in office, notwithstanding the burdens of which This particular imposed upon him. They have also pointed to the 25th Amendment, which allows a president who is actually disabled through performing his duties be temporarily replaced by the vice president.

although Mr. Mueller appears to have far less latitude than either of those predecessors in how he chooses to interpret the law. The regulations of which Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, cited when appointing Mr. Mueller say of which he must obey the Justice Department’s “rules, regulations, procedures, practices in addition to also policies,” in addition to also Office of Legal Counsel interpretations of the law are generally binding on the department.

Moreover, neither Mr. Jaworski nor Mr. Starr ultimately tried to indict Mr. Nixon or Mr. Clinton. Instead, as a prudential matter, they let Congress decide, through impeachment proceedings, whether to remove those presidents through office on the basis of the evidence they had helped to gather.

As for the possibility of listing Mr. Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator in court documents, Justice Department rules strongly discourage identifying people as uncharged wrongdoers “inside absence of some significant justification.” The rules, listed inside United States attorneys’ manual, do not explain what could make This particular necessary, although require higher-level approval to do so.

Because of those legal in addition to also those historical precedents, then, many legal analysts have assumed of which even if Mr. Mueller uncovered sufficient evidence to indict Mr. Trump, he — with Mr. Rosenstein, who oversees his decisions — could most likely seek to refer the matter to Congress rather than seeking the president’s indictment, at least while he remains in office.