Many say that Trump needs to win in 2020 to stay out of prison. The reality of a criminal prosecution of Trump after office is nearly certain according to some. While there are reports of tax dodges, illegal campaign contributions, and improper foreign contributions, for now, those are just reports.
There are many federal prosecutors that claim there is “an overwhelming case” that the president engaged in obstruction of justice.
Several associates are in prison or headed there now for this crime. Roger Stone was the seventh person to be convicted and sentenced for crimes unearthed by former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
What did Trump do wrong? According to many federal prosecutors, the strongest count would be his attempt to fire Mueller. He tried to fire the man appointed to investigate interference in the 2016 election and the possibility that the Trump campaign conspired to do it.
Very simply, obstruction of justice is when someone acts to undermine an investigation with the intent to do so, and there can be no serious question that firing Mueller would have curtailed the investigation.
Weeks earlier, White House counsel Don McGahn warned Trump about his “trying to meddle in the investigation” and that “knocking out Mueller” would be “another fact used to claim obstruction of justice.”
When your lawyer tells you that doing something could be a crime and you do it anyway, that is extremely strong evidence of your criminal intent—“substantial” evidence, in Mueller’s own words.
Fact: In the second volume of his 448-page report, Mueller sets forth evidence of obstruction of justice that any competent federal prosecutor could use to draft an indictment. And Mueller made it clear himself that his detailed report was intended, in part, to “preserve the evidence” because “a President does not have immunity after he leaves office.”
Some of the potential charges are so strong that they are virtually certain to be included in any indictment of Trump. They’re strong enough that over 1,000 former federal prosecutors signed a letter stating that Trump would be indicted if he were not president. Fact.
Can he pardon himself?