Former special counsel Robert Mueller told Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) at the House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday that President Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice after he leaves office.

The exchange:

  • Buck: "You made the decision on the Russian interference. You couldn't have indicted the president on that, and you made the decision on that. But when it came to obstruction, you threw a bunch of stuff up against the wall to see what would stick."
  • Mueller: "I would not agree to that characterization at all. What we did is provide to the attorney general in the form of a confidential memorandum our understanding of the case. Those cases that were brought, those cases that were declined. And the — that one case where the president cannot be charged with a crime."
  • Buck: "Okay. But could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?"
  • Mueller: "Yes."
  • Buck: "You believe you could charge the president with obstruction of justice after he left office?"
  • Mueller: "Yes."

The big picture: Throughout the hearing, Mueller repeatedly referred to the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel opinion that prevents a sitting president from being indicted. Asked why he continued his investigation after determining that he would be unable to charge Trump, Mueller said that the OLC opinion does not apply once Trump leaves office and that other people involved in potential obstruction could also be indicted.

Go deeper: Live updates: Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
12 mins ago - Health

The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Some states are seeing dangerous levels of coronavirus hospitalizations, with hospitals warning that they could soon become overwhelmed if no action is taken to slow the spread.

Why it matters: Patients can only receive good care if there's enough care to go around — which is one reason why the death rate was so much higher in the spring, some experts say.

Scoop: The Lincoln Project is becoming a media business

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Lincoln Project is looking to beef up its media business after the election, sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: The group recently signed with the United Talent Agency (UTA) to help build out Lincoln Media and is weighing offers from different television studios, podcast networks and book publishers.

Trump, Biden strategies revealed in final ad push

Data: Bully Pulpit Interactive; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

President Trump is pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into Facebook ads on the Supreme Court and conservative judges in the final stretch of his campaign, while Joe Biden is spending over a million on voter mobilization, according to an analysis by Axios using data from Bully Pulpit Interactive.

The big picture: Trump's Facebook ad messaging has fluctuated dramatically in conjunction with the news cycle throughout his campaign, while Biden's messaging has been much more consistent, focusing primarily on health care and the economy.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!