The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. There are doubts, however, that the Senate will convict and remove the president from office, which has sparked some debate over whether President could be criminally charged following his presidency. WGBH Morning Edition Host Joe Mathieu spoke with Northeastern University law professor and WGBH News legal analyst Daniel Medwed about the legal implications in the impeachment against President Trump, and what could happen once he leaves office. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

Joe Mathieu: Could Donald Trump be charged as a civilian on these same offenses down the road?

Daniel Medwed: Yes, it appears as though Trump could be subject to criminal charges in theory as a private citizen. On the one hand, if he is actually impeached, the Constitution is quite clear: Article 1 Section 3 clarifies that a person who is convicted at an impeachment trial could be liable in a court of law for punishment and so on. On the other hand, even if he is not impeached — as many people predict because the Senate refuses to do so — he could still be charged as a private citizen in part because the Office of Legal Counsel, which is part of the Department of Justice, has indicated that there is nothing to really prevent someone from being charged after office. So I think in theory, he could be charged with crimes. In practice, it might be a little bit more complex.

Mathieu: Interesting. The House Judiciary Committee, which, of course, drafted the articles of impeachment issued an assessment of the case for the president's removal from office, pointing specifically to criminal bribery and wire fraud. Those are severe charges.

Medwed: They are severe charges. And if, in fact, Trump is impeached or he is not re-elected, Democrats assume the presidency and there's a Democratic nominee in the attorney general's office, I imagine that the investigation would continue. And it's quite plausible that charges would ensue based on bribery or wire fraud, depending on the particular facts. Those are some of the practical political hurdles. There's also an issue related to statutes of limitations. Many federal crimes have five-year statutes of limitations. And depending on the time frame and the outcome of the 2020 election, it's possible that the certain crimes filed against President Trump could be time barred. For instance, in addition to the crimes cited in the House Judiciary Committee report, there are lingering questions concerning campaign finance violations leading up to the 2016 election, obstruction of justice related to the Russia investigation and so on. There is the possibility that those could result in criminal charges, too. The argument, however, especially for crimes that occurred many years ago, is whether or not the statute of limitations would be "tolled" — stopped or suspended — during President Trump's time in office. And I think there are arguments that suggest it might be. That's a long way of answering your fairly targeted and short question, which is I think it's possible that he could be charged with crimes depending on certain political and strategic considerations.

Mathieu: Well, you bring up a great point there, Daniel. It's not just the Ukraine matter that's at the center of the impeachment inquiry and impeachment vote. It's also the Muller report and the vast amount of information that was contained in his summary.

Medwed: Absolutely. And there's nothing — no argument whatsoever, really — to protect him from potential criminal charges, especially relating to behavior that predated the presidency. [For] those campaign finance violations, statutes of limitations might be a problem [and] political variables might be a problem, but I don't know if there are any legal obstacles. There also is the whole issue about whether or not a Republican wins in 2020 and could potentially pardon Trump for federal crimes. That, of course, is a possibility. We saw that movie before with Gerald Ford, who wasn't elected, but just took over the presidency after President Nixon resigned. The other issue to consider is, of course, state criminal charges. Many of us have been following New York State's investigation into various alleged misbehavior by Trump and his organization. Again, depending on statutes of limitations concerns, it's quite possible that the state authorities in New York could charge him with crimes. And even a sitting Republican president would be unable to pardon Trump for New York state crimes, just potential federal ones.