Trump Can Be Indicted – Here's the Constitutional ProofRoundup
tags: Constitution, impeachment, Trump
Mark Medish, a lawyer, served at the White House and the Treasury Department in President Bill Clinton's administration. He is president of The Messina Group, a strategic and political consultancy.
The question of whether a president can be indicted has sparked increasingly heated debate over special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Reading various legal scholars and pundits, one might conclude the answer is murky. The logic that underpins the Constitution, however, keeps the door wide open for indictment. And we must keep talking about why.
Get-out-of-jail free cards exist in Atlantic City real estate board games, not the U.S. Constitution. Fortunately for Americans, we know what kind of country we live in: one with equality before the law, not immunity for political leaders. The Constitution contains no provision that would preclude the criminal indictment of the president or any other government official. The Fifth Amendment names the only exceptions — and the president is not one.
Respected constitutional scholars, such as Philip Bobbitt, argue that impeachment is effectively the exclusive path to prosecute a president. It is not. Impeachment by Congress is one way to remove a president from office. Indictment and prosecution for a federal felony provide a separate avenue that need not automatically include removal — just as impeachment need not involve violation of a criminal statute.
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