President Donald Trump falsely claimed Wednesday afternoon that Robert Mueller had not testified that Trump could be indicted once he is out of office.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump insisted repeatedly, and wrongly, that Mueller “didn’t say that” and that Mueller had issued a “correction” of the claim.
Facts First: Mueller did say that, unequivocally, and did not correct it. His correction was about a different statement he had made earlier.
Mueller was direct about whether Trump could be indicted after his presidency. He was asked by Republican Rep. Ken Buck, “Could you charge the President with a crime after he left office?” Mueller said, “Yes.”
But Trump called a reporter “fake news” for asking him about this later in the day.
“Read his correction. Read his correction,” he said.
But the correction was not about this. Rather, Mueller was clearing up an answer he gave to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning about why he did not indict Trump while in office.
Democratic California Rep. Ted. Lieu had asked him, “The reason, again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president, correct?” Mueller responded, “That is correct.”
Mueller explained later, at the outset of his afternoon testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, that he did not mean to suggest he would have charged Trump if not for the Department of Justice policy Lieu was referring to. Rather, he meant that, because of the policy, they did not even consider charging Trump.
“As we say in the report and as I said at the opening, we did not reach a determination as to whether the President committed a crime,” he said.