Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(13,199 posts)
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 12:28 PM Apr 25

Presidential Immunty, not a black and white issue... lots of gray area.

Unconditional immunity is a non-starter, obviously.

But can a former POTUS be charged with crimes involving legitimate use of Presidential powers?

How many times have US missiles accidentally hit a wedding party or some thing?

Remember Anwar al-Awlaki?

an American-Yemeni Islamic scholar and lecturer who was killed in 2011 in Yemen by a U.S. government drone strike ordered by President Barack Obama. Al-Awlaki became the first U.S. citizen to be targeted and killed by a drone strike from the U.S. government. U.S. government officials argued that Awlaki was a key organizer for the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda, and in June 2014, a previously classified memorandum issued by the U.S. Department of Justice was released, justifying al-Awlaki's death as a lawful act of war. Civil liberties advocates have described the incident as "an extrajudicial execution" that breached al-Awlaki's constitutional right to due process, including a trial.

How many would advocate for ZERO Presidential immunity?

Certainly the al-Awlaki strike was justified but if not for Presidential immunity, some future political foe might prosecute for something like this?

So here's the GRAY AREA.

There must be a mechanism to extend immunity when legally appropriate and deny immunity when the acts aren't covered by law.

That mechanism is probably the Federal Court System.

9 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies


(21,355 posts)
1. Im pretty sure there is no immunity
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 12:32 PM
Apr 25

And presidents could be charged for war crimes, they just aren't. The international community is no better at policing war crimes than America is. However, I see no reason to give a free pass on war crimes. There are rules of engagement and if they are violated . . .


(27,211 posts)
9. No - presidents absolutely do have "absolute immunity"
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 01:28 PM
Apr 25

Reporting on this issue has been unnecessarily confusing.

The question has never been whether or not the immunity exists. The question has been whether or not it applies to Trump’s behavior.

Presidents have absolute immunity for their official actions (just as judges and congress members have immunity for theirs). But Trump’s efforts to block the certification of an election weren’t official actions.


(93,482 posts)
3. It is a black and white issue in the context of DOMESTIC issues. Overturning the US election is not an official
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 12:38 PM
Apr 25

duty of a president.


(53,096 posts)
4. The police have "qualified immunity"
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 12:40 PM
Apr 25

Not saying it's at all perfect when it comes to keeping the police in line, but it's a reasonable framework in theory.

Basically, this police should be allowed to possess and sell illegal drugs undercover as part of an effort to investigate a large criminal drug ring.

But the police shouldn't be allowed to raid and steal and murder.

The problem with the right wing in this case is that they think literally anything a president does is part of the job and totally cool. Well, as long as it's a republican president.

They seem eager to give Donnie his own Enabling Act.


(53,096 posts)
8. We're long overdue for massive police reform, but I wouldn't go so far
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 01:24 PM
Apr 25

as to say a cop giving chase for a legitimate law enforcement reason should be pulled over for speeding.


(22,625 posts)
5. Bull Puckey
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 12:57 PM
Apr 25

There are zero reasons to give presidents immunity. We have precedence with Richard Nixon. Why did Nixon need a pardon from Gerald Ford? Answer; because he was about to be indicted and convicted.

No US court would convict a president for "accidently" bombing a wedding party based on CIA intelligence.

Gray areas constitute a foot in the door, there can be no gray areas. A president must be treated like every other citizen.


(33,161 posts)
7. Everything worked fine before trump. The key is to get rid of psychotic presidents and Congress members. smh.
Thu Apr 25, 2024, 01:02 PM
Apr 25

They can figure out any nuances at another time but don't tie it to trump's current cases!

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Presidential Immunty, not...