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Does a federal grand jury have the power to indict a sitting pResident?

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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:11 PM
Original message
Does a federal grand jury have the power to indict a sitting pResident?
May 22, 1807: Former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr was indicted for treason by a grand jury - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Burr#Conspiracy_and_...

Question: Does a federal grand jury have the power to indict a sitting pResident for high crimes and misdemeanors? Or does he first need to be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate?

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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Based on the Clinton affair I would say
Impeached the indicted. If they could have gone straight to a Grand Jury to indict Clinton they would have...

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kanrok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. If the president committed a felony
let's say, he murdered his wife. A Grand jury in the jurisdiction where the murder occurred would have every right in the world to indict him. Any GJ can indict anyone (even a ham sandwich) if they have a crime committed within their jurisdiciton. Impeachment just removes a sitting president from office.
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MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Impeachment doesn't remove a sitting president from office,
If it did, Clinton would never have finished his second term. I can't remember what impeachment actually does though. Can anybody help me out?
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Internut Donating Member (436 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. After successful impeachment in the House
the case moves to the Senate, which can convict the President by the supermajority (two-thirds) vote. If the Senate convicts, the President is removed from office.
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MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Thanks! So even if Bush is impeached, which he won't be with a
Thanks! So even if Bush is impeached, which he won't be with a republican congress, he won't be removed because the Senate won't convict him at all, let alone by a supermajority. Damn the BFEE!!
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Think of it like this
The House is like a Grand Jury, The Senate is like a Jury.

The House Impeaches, (indicts) the case is heard before the Senate.

A grand (or petit) jury can indict whomever they please. The trial would be continued until a sitting Pres finishes the term, which could include being evicted from office by the Senate.

-Hoot
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converted_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. I didn't think you could really indict him..........
Edited on Sun May-22-05 06:56 PM by converted_democrat
because you can't really make him testify or go to court? I think the only person who can do anything of substance is the Attorney General.
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Internut Donating Member (436 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Here is some info:
http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/...

This decision states that "President of the United States, is entitled to absolute immunity from damages liability predicated on his official acts.". I presume that this refers to civil lawsuits.

As for criminal indictment:

http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/sitting_president.htm

"n 1973, the Department of Justice concluded that the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unduly interfere with the ability of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned duties, and would thus violate the constitutional separation of powers. No court has addressed this question directly, but the judicial precedents that bear on the continuing validity of our constitutional analysis are consistent with both the analytic approach taken and the conclusions reached. Our view remains that a sitting President is constitutionally immune from indictment and criminal prosecution.'
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. "indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting President..."
So this means that a crusading DA like Jim Garrison could go after * in 2009?
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Internut Donating Member (436 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I don't think anything prevents criminal proceedings
against former presidents. Has never been done before, though.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. he can be forced to testify
he can be sued

(post-Clinton)

he can be tried in the Congress.

I don't think he can be indicted by a criminal court.
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converted_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Okay,
but I thought to impeach the proceedings started in the House then he's tried by the Senate?
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. for impeachment, yes
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