DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A University of Dayton law professor weighed in on the release of the report detailing Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion of the 2016 Presidential Election and any possible obstruction of justice from the President or his staff.
The professor, Thaddeus Hoffmeister, said Thursday’s redacted version is being treated differently than past investigations into presidents because in the past, the full report has been made public, while this time, only Trump’s attorneys have seen the full unredacted report.
Hoffmeister said while President Trump claims the redacted report vindicates him, that’s not quite the case.
He said with respects to collusion, it’s a victory for the president, but there is still room for Congress to take action in regard to obstruction of justice.
“The criminal standard is proof beyond reasonable doubt, that’s a legal standard that applies to anyone who is being prosecuted for a criminal law,” said Hoffmeister. “That’s the standard he would have to meet to prosecute. That’s not the same for impeachment.”
A subpoena has been issued by Congress to get the full report, but Hoffmeister said that sets up a legal battle between the House Judiciary Committee and the Attorney General.
“The Attorney General has said ‘we’re going to allow certain members of Congress to see a quasi-unredacted report,’ but they still won’t be able to see grand jury testimony,” said Hoffmeister.
But Hoffmiester added possibly the biggest takeaway is the basis of the investigation that is getting lost in the headlines, the fact that there was Russian interference in the election.
“We’re having another election next year, some people this year, but the big one in 2020,” said Hoffmeister. “Are we prepared? Are we taking steps to make sure foreign countries don’t influence the way we vote?”
Congress had requested Mueller to testify in front of them.