Former federal prosecutor: Trump could be indicted upon leaving office

Former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi said Wednesday that he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE could be indicted after leaving office.

“If he is defeated, that’s up in the air now, he may get reelected and if the Democrats shoot themselves in the foot, he will get reelected,” Rossi, a Democrat, told Hill.TV during an appearance on "Rising." “But he could be indicted based on what I know,” he added.

Rossi contended that Trump could have been indicted a year ago if he were not in the White House. The former prosecutor emphasized that the statute of limitations for certain instances of criminal wrongdoing that the president has been accused of committing wouldn't expire once he leaves office.

“If it were Donald Smith instead of Donald Trump, Donald Trump would have been indicted a year ago for the campaign violations,” he told Hill.TV.

Trump's former personal attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenDemocrats aim to amend Graham subpoena to include Trump allies Harris, Jeffries question why Manafort, Cohen released while others remain in prison Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham's Russia investigation probe MORE pleaded guilty last year to committing campaign finance violations in relation to hush money payments to women alleging affairs with Trump ahead of the 2016 election. In doing so, Cohen implicated Trump in the scheme.

Trump, who initially denied knowledge of the payments, has maintained that he did not break any campaign finance laws and attacked Cohen as a liar.

Rossi’s comments come as former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE gives back-to-back testimonies before lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

During his first congressional hearing Wednesday morning before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller said he believed that Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice after he leaves office.

Mueller's hearings before the House panels comes months after the contentious release of his more than 400-page report on Russian election interference in the 2016 election and his investigation into possible obstruction of justice. 

The former special counsel said in his report that his investigation did not exonerate Trump on obstruction and, when pressed on the topic Wednesday, Mueller demurred on whether orders from Trump that were never carried out could rise to the level of obstruction of justice in the legal sense.

—Tess Bonn