President Donald Trump attacked reporters Wednesday for asking if he's concerned about being indicted once he leaves office. The reporters had good reasons for asking the questions if Trump had listened carefully to Robert Mueller's comments on the topic.
In the first hearing about obstruction of justice, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) brought up examples of obstruction of justice.
"I'd like to ask you, the reason again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC opinion [stating] that you cannot indict a sitting president?" Lieu asked.
"That is correct," Mueller said.
In the second portion of the hearings, Mueller clarified his statement, saying it wasn't that he "didn't" but that he "couldn't." Saying "didn't" implies he wanted to. Where, saying "couldn't," is the more accurate take. As Mueller explained, over and over again, the OLC opinion prevents indictments of a sitting president.
When Mueller was asked again about whether Trump could be indicted after he leaves office, he said yes.
That is not to say Mueller will indict Trump, wants to indict Trump or anticipates anyone indicting Trump. Mueller is simply saying that looking at the OLC opinion, Trump cannot be indicted as president. After he is no longer president, he can be indicted, as the OLC opinion no longer applies.
Trump's idea that he is in the clear is incorrect. Unless he wins the 2020 election, a prosecutor can indict. There was at least one question about that, because the statute of limitations would be up before Trump is out of office if he is elected to a second term. That would, in a sense, mean that the president is above the law, which flies in the face of the Constitution.
Here's Rep. Mike Quigley asking that question below: