Posted by Dean James at Right Wing Tribune
Democrats are working on a way to go beyond impeaching President Donald Trump and actually get him into prison.
They are working on a way to overturn a Department of Justice guidance that says that a sitting President of the United States cannot be indicted, The Hill reported.
House Democrats are weighing legislation to scrap the executive guideline that bars the Justice Department from indicting a sitting president.
The informal rule is decades old but has come under heavy new scrutiny since Robert Mueller cited it explicitly as the reason he declined to recommend — or even consider — bringing obstruction charges against President Trump during the course of his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
In response to the special counsel’s report, Democrats are piecing together a package of legislation focused largely on shielding elections from foreign influence, including proposals to bar candidates from accepting foreign help of any kind, while making it mandatory that campaigns alert the FBI when such offers are extended.
But some lawmakers want to press further, eying legislation to nullify the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) long-standing determination that presidents cannot be charged with federal crimes while they remain in office.
“It strikes me as a reasonable thing to consider,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman and New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said.
“It’s fair to say that one of the options we should consider is revisiting that Department of Justice rule so you don’t have a rogue and lawless president immunized from criminal prosecution,” Jeffries said.
“It’s definitely on the menu,” (House Oversight and Reform Committee member and Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly said.
“I’m in favor of expanding enforcement tools and accountability tools, and that’s definitely one of them,” he said.
Connolly said that he was not certain how the proposal would come to the forefront but “I guarantee you it will be a topic of discussion,” he said.
“A necessity to defend a criminal tri.al and to attend court in connection with it, however, would interfere with the President’s unique official duties, most of which cannot be performed by anyone else,” the guidance reads.
“It might be suggested that the same is true with the defense of impeachment proceedings; but this is a risk expressly contemplated by the Constitution, and is a necessary incident of the impeachment process.
“The Constitutional Convention was aware of this problem but rejected a proposal that the President should be suspended upon impeachment by the House until acquitted by the Senate.
“During the past century the duties of the Presidency, however, have become so onerous that a President may not be able fully to discharge the powers and duties of his office if he had to defend a criminal prosecution.
“This might constitute an incapacitation so that under the provisions of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, Sections 3 or 4, the Vice President becomes acting President.
“The same would be true, if a conviction on a criminal charge would result in incarceration. However, under our constitutional plan as outlined in Article I, sec. 3, only the Congress by the formal process of impeachment, and not a court by any process should be accorded the power to interrupt the Presidency or oust an incumbent.”
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune