Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) have introduced a bill that would allow for Trump to be indicted.
The No President Is Above the Law Act
The No President Is Above The Law Act would pause the statute of limitations for any federal crime that a president commits during his/her time in office. The legislation would ensure that presidents can’t escape justice by hiding behind the office of the presidency.
“No person can be permitted to evade accountability for their actions just because they happen to be President,” said Chairman Nadler. “I have concerns with the Justice Department interpretation that a sitting president cannot be indicted, but if that is the policy, a president who commits a crime before or during their term in office, could exploit this loophole and avoid prosecution just because the statute of limitations has run out. This is unacceptable. The presidency is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.”
Democrats Tell Trump That He is Not Above The Law
Rep. Swalwell said:
It’s a basic American value that no one – not even the President – is above the law,” said Congressman Swalwell. “While I disagree with the legal opinion that says a President cannot be indicted during their term in office, Congress can step up right now and change the law to ensure any President can be held accountable for crimes. I appreciate Chairman Nadler and Congressman Deutch introducing this bill with me today so that no President can evade punishment just by running out the clock. President Trump is living proof of the urgent need to close this loophole.”
While some argue there is nothing to prevent a president from being indicted while in office, the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice and others take the opposing view. In fact, Special Counsel Mueller cited the OLC opinion as the reason he believed he could neither accuse President Trump of a crime nor seek his indictment. He explained that “while the [OLC] opinion concludes that a sitting President may not be prosecuted, it recognizes that a criminal investigation during the President’s term is permissible. The OLC opinion also recognizes that a President does not have immunity after he leaves office.
Democrats aren’t going to allow the statute of limitations to expire on potential Trump crimes to expire without a fight.
Criminal Presidents Can’t Hide In Office
As Rep. Ted Deutch said, “No one should be able to escape responsibility for their crimes by hiding in the Oval Office,” said Congressman Deutch. “Even Special Counsel Mueller emphasized in his report that no one is above the law in our country–not even the President. If the Justice Department maintains its policy giving presidents a break from the threat of criminal prosecution during their term, Congress should act to ensure that it doesn’t ultimately prevent the pursuit of justice. Our bill pauses the statute of limitation for offenses committed by sitting presidents to ensure that winning an election isn’t a legal defense.”
House Democrats are out to change the loophole that could keep Trump out of prison, and if they are successful Donald Trump could go from the Oval Office to a jail cell.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association