Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team will not indict President Trump while he is in office, according to his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
The investigation into alleged Russian election meddling and Trump campaign collusion in it reportedly includes a look into whether the President obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey, who was involved in the probe.
Mueller was appointed last year to handle the investigation, though former New York mayor Giuliani, a recent addition to Trump’s team, says that it will not lead to any charge against him.
“All they get to do is write a report,” he told CNN. “They can’t indict. At least they acknowledged that to us after some battling. They acknowledged that to us.”
Questions have swirled around the possibility of a Trump indictment since last year, though doing so would set up an unprecedented legal battle.
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel has said since the Nixon administration that it is not possible to indict a sitting president, though the Mueller investigation could have challenged that.
Attorney Nick Akerman, an assistant special prosecutor during the Watergate investigation, told the Daily News after the Comey firing last year that there was probable cause for obstruction of justice but reminded that Nixon was an “unindicted co-conspirator” in proceedings.
Nixon ultimately resigned under the threat of impeachment and was pardoned by Gerald Ford.
The Special Counsel’s report would be sent to the House of Representatives, currently in Republican hands with the possibility of changing to Democrats this November, which would decide what to do with it, including pursuing articles of impeachment.
Questions about a potential Trump indictment come as the Special Counsel wants an interview with the President, though statements from advisers, including Giuliani, show the possibility increasingly unlikely after developments including the raid of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
A source told CNN that Trump’s legal team believes that the President has to be able to be charged with a crime in order to justify an interview.