hough Donald Trump may feel “assured” by special counsel Robert Mueller’s admission that he is not currently seeking criminal charges against the president, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned that he’s far from being out of the woods.
The Washington Post‘s Tuesday reporting on the communication between Mueller’s team and the president’s lawyers included that the special counsel considers Trump a “subject” rather than a “target” of the investigation — a distinction Bharara, who is now CNN’s senior legal analyst, said is “very significant.”
“There’s a distinction that a lot of people get confused about,” the former federal prosecutor admitted. “But if you’re a subject of an investigation, what people should understand is that means you are under investigation. It may not have reached the point where a prosecutor’s office has determined with absolute certainty that you’re going to be charged with a crime, but if you’re told you’re a subject, that means you’re something more than a witness and people are taking a deep look at whether or not you have committed a crime.”
“To say that the president is a subject and for that to have been communicated as reported by the Mueller team to the Trump legal team, that’s a very significant thing,” he continued.
“The president is not out of hot water,” Bharara concluded.