While special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has officially wrapped up, his final report could still deliver political and legal headaches for President Donald Trump.
Ryan Goodman, a professor at New York University School of Law, has written an analysis at his Just Security website in which he explains what the release of the Mueller report could mean for the president going forward.
In particular, he says that the Trump White House should be very concerned about the fact that Mueller did not specifically exonerate him of criminal obstruction because it means that both the public and prosecutors are likely to see evidence against the president, even if it did not result in formal criminal charges.
This, he says, could give a roadmap for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York to present evidence of Trump's criminality without formally indicting him.
"Trump should worry that the Southern District of New York could, at a minimum, walk through the same open door as Mueller and reach the same question -- a formal determination assessing if the President committed a crime," he writes. "Whether in the form of a prosecution memo, or a memo reviewing the evidence, there would be an interest in preserving the analysis even if an indictment could not be brought presently because Trump is President."
And given that SDNY has already secured a guilty plea from former "fixer" Michael Cohen that implicates Trump in a criminal conspiracy, Goodman argues, the office will have trouble keeping a lid on evidence it has against the president.
"Once prosecutors know that there is sufficient evidence of a crime by Individual-1, how can that be ignored?" he asks.