Law Professor Bernard E. Harcourt Comments on the Mueller Report

April 18, 2019

"The Mueller Report is as damning as it could possibly get about President Trump's obstruction of justice. 

The Special Counsel followed Department of Justice policy, so Robert Mueller could not recommend prosecution, nor even suggest that President Trump committed obstruction of justice, nor even cast a shadow on him, given the extremely delicate situation of a sitting president who would not be able to defend himself by means of a trial.

In addition, the report goes out of its way to declare that Trump could be prosecuted after leaving office, which contradicts what Attorney General William Barr had written.

When you put all of that together, and you understand how the legal standard that Mueller applied works, President Trump got the worst possible outcome on obstruction of justice. There is a good probability he might be prosecuted for obstruction of justice after he leaves office.

That, of course, depends on the politics and priorities of the following administration."


Man with round-framed glasses in dark suit & tie.

Bernard E. Harcourt is the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of  Law, Professor of Political Science, Executive Director of the Eric H.  Holder Initiative for Civil and Political Rights, and Founding Director of the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought at Columbia University. 


This column is editorially independent of Columbia News.