Since President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after implicating the president in a hush-money scandal, several people have wondered if Trump could be indicted as well.
Several people have debated that a sitting president cannot be indicted, however, Georgetown Law professor Marty Lederman wrote in the New York Times that it is actually constitutional to indict the president.
“The possibility of such criminal conduct has, in turn, renewed an old debate about whether it would be constitutional to indict a sitting United States president,” Lederman said.
He explained, “The more pertinent question, then, is whether a sitting president can be charged, even if the trial itself wouldn’t take place until after his term ends. The Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department acknowledged in 2000 that nothing in the text of the Constitution or evidence of the framers’ intent would preclude a grand jury indictment of a sitting president.”
“The Justice Department has never disputed, for instance, that a grand jury could name a president as an unindicted co-conspirator — as it did with Richard Nixon in 1974 — even though the opprobrium of such a designation shouldn’t be materially more damaging than the stigma of a pending indictment,” he wrote.
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin columnist suggested that even if Trump is indicted he has a game plan set in place.
“He risks being prosecuted after he leaves office,” she said. “I would predict here on MSNBC that when Trump leaves office he will resign the presidency 10 minutes before [Vice President] Mike Pence leaves office, allowing Pence to pardon him if there is not a Republican president to follow him.”
“Perhaps Mr. Trump will become the first president to face criminal charges. Perhaps not. But that’s the least of it. We’d be wise to shift our attention from the unlikely possibility of a trial to the much more important matter of what the Mueller investigation might tell us about Mr. Trump’s relationships with Russia and whether they compromise his ability to protect and defend the nation,” he wrote.
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