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Noah Feldman

How Mueller's Investigation Into Trump Unfolds

If a case can be made that the president obstructed justice, Congress will have to act before the courts can.
Building his case.

Building his case.

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Both President Donald Trump and his critics seem to think that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which has now reportedly expanded to include obstruction of justice, is focused on criminal charges. But when it comes to the president, that’s not necessarily true.

Sure, if Mueller finds evidence of criminal activity, he can charge Trump’s associates. But because he can’t charge Trump while he’s in office, Mueller’s investigation necessarily must focus first on showing Congress that the president has committed an impeachable offense -- which is different from a crime that can be proved in court.