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Georgetown Law professor explains why indicting Donald Trump is constitutional

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

Read the full article here. 

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Lindsey Graham ripped for telling Americans to ‘accept the pain’ from Trump’s trade war: ‘Tell that to the farmers’

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Appearing  with CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation" on Sunday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told viewers they will start to see increases in products coming from China -- despite Donald Trump saying the Chinese will abord the costs of his tariffs -- and that they need to suck it up and "accept the pain."

As Graham explained it, "The Democrats for years have been claiming that China should be stood up to. Now Trump is, and we just got to accept the pain that comes with standing up to China. How do you get China to change without creating some pain on them and us? I don’t know.”

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Harvard psychiatrist exposes why ‘extremely successful sociopath’ Trump seeks Putin’s love and approval

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Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy" on Sunday morning, retired Harvard clinical psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes diagnosed Donald Trump as having a "fundamental psychological problem" that has led him to seek approval from autocratic leaders like Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Dodes got right to the point while admitting that he has not sat down and questioned the the president.

"Donald Trump does have a fundamental psychological problem," he bluntly stated. "He needs to be loved all the time, he needs to have power over everyone all the time. Once you get that idea down, the rest of his behavior and his speech makes sense."

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No cushion for the Trump recession: Why this one could be worse than 2008

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As the corporate media bangs the drum of imminent recession, we need to take a look at how tens of millions of American households that live paycheck to paycheck are situated for another choreographed downturn.

This article first appeared in Salon.

It will tell you all you need to know about the predatory nature of late-stage vulture capitalism, over which Donald Trump presides as its orange mascot. What jumps out when you look at the data is just how phony the “longest recovery” has been — the one for which Joe Biden wants to take a victory lap.

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