Mueller’s supposedly not firing off any more indictments — but that might not tell us much

Mueller’s spokesperson, Peter Carr, didn’t immediately return requests for comment about Mueller’s plans.

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WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller hasn’t recommended any further indictments upon handing in his final report, a senior Justice Department official told media outlets Friday.

Mueller’s spokesperson, Peter Carr, didn’t immediately return requests for comment about Mueller’s plans or the status of any further indictments.

But if Mueller’s indictment days are over, that doesn’t necessarily mean Trump or the rest of his inner circle are out of the woods. Legal experts said unreported indictments may have already been filed under seal, for example. Trump could also potentially face impeachment based on Mueller’s findings — even if his actions don’t amount to crimes.


Other prosecutors may also bring new charges based on leads that Mueller has uncovered, a scenario that has already played out multiple times.

Mueller indicting Trump would have gone against standing DOJ policy that a president cannot be indicted while in office. That point wasn't lost on congressional Democrats, who warned Friday that to “withhold evidence of wrongdoing from Congress because a sitting President cannot be charged is to convert Justice Department policy into the means for a cover-up.”

Legal experts have suggested that Trump could also conceivably be indicted after he steps down, provided the statute of limitations hasn’t expired.

Trump has already been implicated by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York in directing illegal hush-money payments during the 2016 campaign to women who claimed they’d slept with him.

Attorney General William Barr has said he may be ready to begin briefing members of Congress about Mueller’s principle findings as soon as this weekend.

Barr’s statement follows the submission of Mueller’s much-awaited final report on Friday, ending a two-year probe that has already resulted in criminal charges against 34 people and three companies.

Mueller’s astonishing run of indictments has averaged out at nearly two new individuals or entities charged with crimes per month over the course of the 22-month probe. His work has also spawned new investigations in New York State, among federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, and at the main office of the Department of Justice, several of which are still ongoing. Several Congressional committees are likewise investigating Trump’s White House, campaign and transition team.

In his letter on Friday, Barr said there were no instances during the investigation in which he had to overrule the special counsel.

Cover: President Donald Trump greets people on the tarmac as he arrives on Air Force One, Friday, March 22, 2019, at Palm Beach International Airport, in West Palm Beach, Fla., en route to his Mar-a-Lago resort. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)