Ruling Declaring Trump ‘Likely’ Broke Laws May Not Mean He’ll Be Prosecuted

WASHINGTON — A federal judge’s conclusion this week that former President Donald J. Trump likely committed felonies related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election intensified scrutiny on the question of whether the Justice Department can, should or will try to charge him with the same crimes.

But the fact that a judge reached that conclusion does not necessarily mean that a prosecution would arrive at the same outcome. Here is an explanation.

It is a dispute over a subpoena issued by the House committee that is investigating the Jan. 6, 2021,