After a grueling two years of investigating, press coverage and several indictments of former associates of President Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, former FBI director and current director of the special council’s investigation, was called into court on July 24, to testify.
Previously in April, Mueller released his report stating several key offenses made by the Trump campaign. Despite the dramatic build-up and the lack of patience felt by many members of the House, there was no definitive answer as to whether or not President Trump was guilty.
However, even though the results were inconclusive, President Trump immediately jumped the gun and proceeded to post on his twitter account. “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total Exoneration,” Trump tweeted.
Fast-forwarding to today, Mueller’s testimony highlights key facts that the Trump administration has attempted to deflect. Although President Trump and fellow cabinet members such as Attorney General William Barr have concluded innocence, Mueller had other things to say.
In his report, Mueller “established multiple contacts between Russia-linked individuals and members of the Trump campaign,” according to Business Insider. Despite the concerning connection, there is not enough to support a criminal conspiracy.
Although Trump’s presidency has survived the latest firing round, his troubles are not over. During the latter half of Mueller’s testimony Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo, inquired whether or not Mueller could charge the president with a crime after he left office?” and if he “could charge the President of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?”
In both instances, Mueller promptly answered “Yes.” This revelation although initially confusing must be taken into further consideration.
Mueller’s investigation was an independently contracted exercise from Congress. Therefore, the actual power of impeachment belongs to congress and congress alone. And without a two-thirds approval from the House of Representatives, the impeachment process cannot begin.
But, once president Trump exhausts his year in the White House, he will no longer be protected by such legislative processes. It is at this time in which Trump may and most likely will be exposed to the entirety of the U.S. legal system.
At the end of this costly and exhaustive investigation, the results were a far cry from the smoking gun that the Democrats were looking for. However, unlike Trump’s misleading tweets and Attorney General William Barr’s statements, Trump is not completely safe.
In fact, at the end of his presidency, he is most likely to be prosecuted once again. But more importantly than the legal results, Mueller’s testimony has shed light on a more important matter: verifiability and credibility of the president.