UPDATE #4: President Trump goes absolutely bananas when asked about the Mueller comments that were precipitated by Rep. Buck’s questioning. Watch the video below and then tell us: Does this sound like a guy who really thinks today was a big victory?
ME: “Mueller said you could be criminally charged after leaving office?”
TRUMP: Denies Mueller said this and then when I challenge him on facts, calls me “the worst.” #MuellerDay #MuellerHearing pic.twitter.com/1v66aApQKJ
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) July 24, 2019
UPDATE #3: This statement from Colorado Democratic Party Chairwoman Morgan Carroll has to sting a bit:
“Mueller confirmed that the reason he did not indict Trump was because of a DOJ policy that a sitting President could not be indicted. But, I would like to personally thank Ken Buck for confirming with Robert Mueller that President Trump could indeed be indicted and criminally charged with obstruction of justice after he is out of office. Given that the investigation resulted in nearly 200 criminal charges already filed, it’s good for voters to know that Donald Trump soon could face legal consequences for his corruption after they vote him out of office in 2020.”
UPDATE #2: Dammmmmnnnnnnnnn!!!!
Paul Waldman of the Washington Post uses similar language:
That is what soccer fans call an “own goal.” What Buck inadvertently argued, with Mueller’s help, was that while the evidence of Trump’s personal cooperation with Russia was insufficient to sustain a conspiracy charge, the evidence may well have been sufficient to sustain an obstruction charge, and it may have only been Trump’s current position that is saving him from an indictment.
UPDATE: This is really, really, really bad for Buck.
Slide 1: Don’t repeat 👇🏻 https://t.co/6i9OAJBTGW
— Marshall Zelinger (@Marshall9News) July 24, 2019
Former special counsel Robert Mueller is testifying publicly before Congress about his investigation into President Trump’s office and potential Russian interference in the 2016 election. Two Members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation are part of the House Judiciary Committee, which got first crack at Mueller’s testimony: Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Lafayette) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley).
Oddly enough, it was Buck — the man who is also the newest Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party — who ended up creating one of the biggest moments of the morning:
Rep. Ken Buck: “Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?”
Robert Mueller: “Yes”
Buck: “You could charge the President of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 24, 2019
The Hill has more on this back-and-forth:
Buck appeared to be taken aback, and asked the question again, but adding whether Mueller believed a president could be charged with obstruction of justice after leaving office. The former special counsel again said he believed that was the case…
…Whether Trump would be charged with obstruction of justice were it not for the Justice Department guidance has been an area of focus for Democrats, some of whom are pushing to start impeachment proceedings against Trump in light of Mueller’s findings.
Hundreds of former federal prosecutors and DOJ officials have signed onto a letter saying that they believe Trump would have been charged with a crime were it not for the guidance.
Buck is a former Weld County District Attorney, so he should be well familiar with the old axiom to never ask a question of which you don’t already know the answer. Folks watching the Mueller hearings caught Buck’s mistake immediately:
Did Ken Buck just get Mueller to confirm that Trump can be charged with crimes for what he’s done after he leaves office?
A Republican did that?
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) July 24, 2019
There’s really no way to spin this for Congressman/Party Chairman Ken Buck. This was a YUGE mistake.