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Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:09 PM

 

SETTING IT STRAIGHT This Idea That a President Can't Be Indicted Is a Myth

[Excerpts]

SETTING IT STRAIGHT
This Idea That a President Can’t Be Indicted Is a Myth
There’s no law saying a president can’t be indicted. Just a couple of Justice Department memos. And they can be rewritten.
Dean Obeidallah
08.23.18
Daily Beast


Let’s be clear on a couple points that the right tries to obscure. First, the U.S. Constitution does not bar charging a sitting president with a crime. Second, the U.S. Supreme Court has never handed down such a decision. Thus, it’s an open question.

What we do have, though, are two memos drafted by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel that opine that a sitting president should not be indicted. The first in 1973 was drafted in connection with Richard Nixon and Watergate. The second was written in 2000 after the Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

Both memos conclude that presidents are not immune from crimes they may commit. The only question is the timing of the legal proceedings that can be brought against them. In the 1973 memo, the DOJ lawyers stated point blank that as “a general proposition, the Constitution does not require that an officer of the United States be impeached before criminal proceedings may be instituted against him.”

They concluded, however, that the president is an exception to this rule and shouldn’t be subject to criminal proceedings while in office. Their rationale was that if a president is focused on fighting criminal charges, it will “hamstring the operation of the whole governmental apparatus, both in foreign and domestic affairs,” adding, “The spectacle of an indicted president still trying to serve as chief executive boggles the imagination.”

The DOJ lawyers’ view that impeachment of a president is OK but defending against criminal charges is too much of a burden is simply not grounded in reality. Just look at Bill Clinton’s impeachment and trial, which grabbed headlines for most of 1998 and into 1999. The Senate trial alone took five weeks from Jan. 7, 1999, until Feb. 12, 1999, when Clinton was acquitted. That was longer than Paul Manafort’s trial, which just concluded in three weeks. So the wheels of criminal justice can turn faster than the wheels in Congress.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/this-idea-that-a-president-cant-be-indicted-is-a-myth


Can the President Be Indicted? A Long-Hidden Legal Memo Says Yes
By Charlie Savage
July 22, 2017
New York Times


WASHINGTON — A newfound memo from Kenneth W. Starr’s independent counsel investigation into President Bill Clinton sheds fresh light on a constitutional puzzle that is taking on mounting significance amid the Trump-Russia inquiry: Can a sitting president be indicted?

The 56-page memo, locked in the National Archives for nearly two decades and obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, amounts to the most thorough government-commissioned analysis rejecting a generally held view that presidents are immune from prosecution while in office.

“It is proper, constitutional, and legal for a federal grand jury to indict a sitting president for serious criminal acts that are not part of, and are contrary to, the president’s official duties,” the Starr office memo concludes. “In this country, no one, even President Clinton, is above the law.”

Mr. Starr assigned Ronald Rotunda, a prominent conservative professor of constitutional law and ethics whom Mr. Starr hired as a consultant on his legal team, to write the memo in spring 1998 after deputies advised him that they had gathered enough evidence to ask a grand jury to indict Mr. Clinton, the memo shows.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/us/politics/can-president-be-indicted-kenneth-starr-memo.html


Newly Disclosed Clinton-era Memo Says Presidents Can Be Indicted
By CHARLIE SAVAGE JULY 22, 2017
New York Times


Although nothing in the Constitution or federal law explicitly says presidents are immune from indictment while they remain in office, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has asserted that they are. A newly disclosed legal memo from the office of Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton, challenges that analysis. The National Archives made the memo public in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The New York Times.

Read the full memo at:
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/22/us/document-Savage-NYT-FOIA-Starr-memo-presidential.html?module=inline


Top Democrat: Constitution allows Trump to be indicted in office
by Naomi Lim
December 09, 2018
Washington Examiner


Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., doesn't buy Justice Department guidelines that suggest a sitting president can't be indicted.

"I disagree with the Office of Special Counsel and the Department of Justice: There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the president from being indicted," the likely next chairman of the House Judiciary Committee told CNN Sunday. "This country originated in a rebellion against the English king. We did not seek to create another king. Nobody, not the president, not anybody else, can be above the law. There's no reason to think that the president should not be indicted."

Nadler added that either way, a president can be indicted after they leave office.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/top-democrat-constitution-allows-trump-to-be-indicted-in-office





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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply SETTING IT STRAIGHT This Idea That a President Can't Be Indicted Is a Myth (Original post)
Muskiteer Dec 2018 OP
KWR65 Dec 2018 #1
Muskiteer Dec 2018 #4
scarytomcat Dec 2018 #9
standingtall Dec 2018 #2
BigmanPigman Dec 2018 #3
FBaggins Dec 2018 #5
Muskiteer Dec 2018 #8
Xolodno Dec 2018 #6
Duppers Dec 2018 #14
NewJeffCT Dec 2018 #16
Xolodno Dec 2018 #17
Name removed Dec 2018 #18
elocs Dec 2018 #7
hueymahl Dec 2018 #10
NotASurfer Dec 2018 #11
Takket Dec 2018 #12
triron Dec 2018 #13
Muskiteer Dec 2018 #15

Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:11 PM

1. The constitution doesn't bar a President to give himself a pardon either.

Just sayin...

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Response to KWR65 (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:23 PM

4. Comparing apples and oranges.

 

Totally different issue. One could also say that the Supreme Court would allow a President to commit murder and than give himself a pardon to escape prosecution.

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Response to KWR65 (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 08:02 PM

9. I think it does

he can not pardon anyone that he is involved in a crime with
I think that would include himself

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Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:12 PM

2. No it is not the supreme court decides rather a sitting President can be indicted

and with this supreme court it is probably true that a sitting President cannot be indicted.

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Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:21 PM

3. We found out AFTER Watergate concluded that Nixon was indicted by the

Grand Jury at the time.

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Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:24 PM

5. The "two memos" however... are binding on Meuller

Which means it isn’t going to happen.

As has been explained since Nov 2016... impeachment and removal are the most plausible course.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:52 PM

8. Sounds like a get out of jail free card.

 

And Trump won't be convicted by the Senate and removed from office. He would resign and be replaced by President Pence.

Trump would be portrayed as a martyr and along with his fellow billionaires would build and finance a far right neo-fascist mass organization to challenge liberals, the left and mass organizations of minorities, women, labor, etc., in the streets.

Trump would prove that he is in fact above the law.

Trump and members his family must be convicted of criminal activity and serve serious time in prison as a lesson to others who may believe they stand above the law and are immune from prosecution.

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Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:32 PM

6. Doesn't matter.

If a President can or can not has never been tried in the Supreme Court. But at the end of the day, it will never happen while the USA is a world wide force/empire. The day we do imprison a President is admittance on the world stage, we are no longer a global power. This is what the corrupt people in Washington bank on. When they lose, we all lose.

I don't like it, but, it proves we need to get our own house in order.

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Response to Xolodno (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 02:09 AM

14. World stage? Ha!

They all know tRump is a pawn of the Russians and Saudis.

I vehemently disagree with your assumptions and approach. This country is strong because each citizen is (should be) equal under the law. Period.

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Response to Xolodno (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 10:00 AM

16. if trump isn't imprisoned, or at least impeached

and convicted, it will make a mockery of the rule of law and also show the world that the US cannot recover from somebody like Trump.

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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 04:07 PM

17. Impeached? Yes. Imprisoned? Won't happen.

He'll get his ass sued that's for sure and will be bankrupt for good afterwards living off of his government salary they get afterwards. But he'll never be imprisoned. He'll get pardoned and then regulated to Fox News commentary host.

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Response to Xolodno (Reply #17)


Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 07:36 PM

7. If this comes up now, the Supreme Court will rule on it.

Now how might that go with this Supreme Court?
Wishing something will happen does not mean it will,
reality is a harsh master but it is what it is.

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Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 09:05 PM

10. Thank you. Been meaning to post something just like that

You did a better job of it than I would have.

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Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 09:28 PM

11. President Grant supposedly was arrested

For reckless driving in the horse-and-buggy era

Could just be an urban legend but if the DC police could arrest the President in the 1870s give or take, state AGs at least should have no compunction today

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Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 10:04 PM

12. DOJ memos are just that... memos

they are suggested courses of action with absolutely ZERO legal binding. To be law it has to be passed by Congress, signed into law by the president (or veto overridden), and pass Constitutional review by SCOTUS to actually be legally binding.

The DOJ is free to dismiss the memo if they wish due to the circumstances. On the other hand they can punt the issue to congress and make them impeach/convict and take responsibility for the situation.

No one is going to know what is actually going to happen until Mueller turns in his report, there is no doubt left a traitor is in the white house... and everyone at DOJ looks around and says "Now what?"

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Response to Muskiteer (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 11:43 PM

13. kick for visibility

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Response to triron (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 09:26 AM

15. Thank you

 

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