Fact or Fiction: A Sitting President Cannot Be Criminally Prosecuted While in Office

This is a fact! Trump’s lawyers have said special counsel Robert Mueller already has told them he would abide by a longstanding Department of Justice view that the Constitution bars prosecuting sitting presidents.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), the executive branch’s most authoritative in-house lawyer, has long taken the position that the president cannot be prosecuted or even indicted while still in office. The reason is that any indictment or criminal prosecution would impermissibly undermine the executive branch’s capacity to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.

The Justice Department first reached this conclusion in 1973 during Nixon’s presidency. This does not mean that the president is above the law, but rather that any criminal case must wait until after the president leaves office.

Only Congress may remove a sitting president through the impeachment process. A sitting president cannot be removed through a criminal prosecution even if he or she is obviously guilty!

If Trump is Prosecuted After His Presidency, What’s the Crime?

Trump can be indicted after he leaves the presidency, but what would he be charged with?

Under federal law, an individual could not donate more than $2,700 directly to Trump’s primary or general election campaign in 2016. But Trump’s longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, admitted to making an excessive campaign contribution at the “direction” of Trump.

Experts in campaign-finance law were unanimous in concluding that Trump would be in immediate legal jeopardy if he were not president. According to Cohen, Trump conspired to violate the law by directing Cohen to make payments to two women to gain their silence and boost his election prospects.

Image Source: bbc.com

These include Stormy Daniels, who said she had sex with Trump in 2006, and received $130,000 from Cohen days before the election in exchange for her silence. To funnel the money to Daniels, Cohen created Essential Consultants, a limited-liability company, several weeks before the election. Federal law bars direct corporate contributions to federal candidates. After months of denying that he knew of any payment to Daniels, Trump filed a financial disclosure report in May showing he reimbursed Cohen for the Daniels payment.

What do you think? Should sitting presidents be prosecuted for crimes, or is the current policy better?

6 comments on “Fact or Fiction: A Sitting President Cannot Be Criminally Prosecuted While in Office

  1. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
  2. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    B. Armann on

    I absolutely believe a sitting president should be prosecuted and imprisoned if proven, without a shadow of doubt, to be guilty of high crimes. I also believe President Trump is innocent of all the alligations brought up by those who wish him out of office. However Biden is, and has been, involved with criminal doings and should be in federal prison!!!

  3. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Brian Ewers on

    The above position of the OLC, states that the reason a president can’t be indicted while in office, is because it would impair his ability to uphold “constitutionally assigned functions.” Upholding and defending the constitution for which he or she takes an oath to do, should be one of those “assigned functions.” Therefore if a president violates or disregards the constitution hence violating the rights of all US citizens, this should leave a loophole open for the police powers or even military police, to apprehend and or remove the traitor of the US constitution immediately. This should be added as a law in the Amendments. If Congress cannot secure a vote to do so, let the people vote for the new amendment.

  4. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
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    nick dailey on

    one of the pillars of america is “no one is above the law” including a sitting president. impeachment, through our elected representatives, is the means available “to we the people” to adjudicate a sitting president. trump may yet find himself in court as a defendant. some how hillary managed to avoid an orange jump suit but i dont think creepy joe and hunter the crack head will be as fortunate,


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