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Fri May 18, 2018, 09:49 AM

Question: Is there any difference between state laws and federal laws pertaining to

Indicting a sitting president? Can RUMP be indicted by state law violation?

17 replies, 1127 views

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Response to bluestarone (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2018, 10:01 AM

1. A court might delay state action until presidency over

Bugliosi wrote a compelling argument that legal action against Clinton should have been delayed in Paula Jones because the President has important work to do. The same logic here. But the state courts are not blocked from indictment imo.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #1)

Fri May 18, 2018, 10:04 AM

4. i don't think there's a difference between state and federal action in this regard.

if a president is too busy for a trial, it doesn't seem to matter whether it's a state or federal trial, or a civil or criminal trial.

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Response to unblock (Reply #4)

Fri May 18, 2018, 01:10 PM

10. Yes, bugliosi said feds we're wrong not to delay

Bugliosi criticized the us Supremes for not delaying Paula. I agree state and fed are the same here. I just wanted to point out a different court will probably see it as bugliosi saw it and will delay.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #10)

Fri May 18, 2018, 01:19 PM

11. i don't think that will happen.

once the precedent has been set, it's harder to reverse it. especially because the clinton experience was that the country didn't fall apart due to scheduling conflicts.

i could see the supreme court saying that trials for sitting president have to be suspended during time of war, for instance, but not under routine circumstances.

i really don't think a president should have effective license to commit all manner of crimes and to be immune from prosecution for as long as he can stay in office. that's very clearly not what the founders intended.

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Response to unblock (Reply #11)

Fri May 18, 2018, 01:38 PM

13. AGREE here!

We gotta believe the SC DOES NOT want a sitting president to have a license to continue committing crimes and be immune from prosecution!!! Heaven help us if they allow that!!!!!!!!

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Response to bluestarone (Reply #13)

Fri May 18, 2018, 01:47 PM

15. people forget that the court has to look beyond the particular case.

they're trying to establish clear guidelines so that people understand what the law is and how lower courts are expected to react in similar cases, not just to try every single case as a one-off.

it's one thing to figure a president can't be prosecuted while in office when the alleged crimes are what some people might consider relatively minor or in dispute or whatever.

but it's another thing for the supreme court to then say, hey, we don't care if the president is killing people in cold blood, threatening to kill family members of any congressperson who tried to impeach him, stealing money from cash registers, etc., we still have to wait until he's out of office before we can try him.


theoretically, the supreme court could say, well, that's different somehow, but it's hard to make that distinction or give guidance as to where the line is. in practice, i think the only logical decision is to permit trials of sitting presidents.

in practice, if a president genuinely is too busy (say, in a time of actual war -- not the kind that still allows the president plenty of free time) then the president could get an extension at that time. but the "normal" rule would be you have to stand trial.

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Response to unblock (Reply #15)

Fri May 18, 2018, 02:07 PM

16. Would him playing golf almost every weekend come into play?

He's not too busy to do this.

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Response to bluestarone (Reply #16)

Fri May 18, 2018, 02:14 PM

17. Indeed it would.

Clinton was a workaholic and he couldn't get out of a civil trial on that argument.

It would be very inconsistent to let Donnie off the hook.

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Response to bluestarone (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2018, 10:03 AM

2. a few differences:

first, regarding federal law, doj appears to have a policy to not indict a sitting president.

each state may or may not already have a policy on this matter, but most likely the vast majority, if not all of them, have no such policy restriction. that said, even the doj could reverse its policy or find an exception to it.


second, the president can pardon people for federal crimes, but not state crimes. this could be used as leverage in his own interest in either case (though it may open the president up to a further charge of obstruction of justice or witness tampering), but it's probably more helpful in defending himself against a federal charge.

third, it's an open question as to whether the president can self-pardon for federal crimes. i think he can't, but it's an open question because it's never come up. the president very clearly cannot self-pardon for state crimes.

finally, the supreme court may decide that a sitting president's constitutional duties conflict with either
(a) being indicted,
(b) standing trial,
(c) being sentences, or
(d) serving that sentence.
they may decide that any or all of these need to wait until he's out of office.
this logic would apply to either federal or state charges, i really see no difference on this particular point.


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Response to bluestarone (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2018, 10:04 AM

3. There are no explicit laws preventing the indictment of a sitting President - ultimately...

it would fall to the Supreme Court to decide.

Ask yourself this - would you want any state in the US to be able to indict & arrest a sitting President?

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #3)

Fri May 18, 2018, 10:07 AM

5. arresting a president seems hardly necessary.

if anyone on the planet can be released on their own recognizance....


also note, the constitution explicitly bars arrest of members of congress during, or while commuting to and from, a session of congress; but it plainly does not prevent them from being arrested otherwise. the absence of any such restriction for the president tends to imply that there's no constitutional bar on arrest of a president.

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Response to unblock (Reply #5)

Fri May 18, 2018, 10:32 AM

6. "if anyone on the planet can be released on their own recognizance"

There do seem to be a few people here on DU that think Trump is a flight risk.






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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #6)

Fri May 18, 2018, 10:39 AM

7. fair point, though really anyone released on their own recognizance is as well.

donnie has a powerful job here in america and many assets that could be seized here in america, and is obviously widely recognized. those are the sorts of things that usually convince a judge that someone can be released on their own recognizance.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #6)

Fri May 18, 2018, 11:08 AM

8. Trump a flight risk? LOL! Who would take him in? Putin, wouldn't. I don't think they'd want

him in Russia.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #3)

Fri May 18, 2018, 01:31 PM

12. My answer to your question about the states.

 

You write:

Ask yourself this - would you want any state in the US to be able to indict & arrest a sitting President?


Yes, I would.

Suppose Trump did shoot someone on Fifth Avenue. Would I want New York State to be able to prosecute this crime, just as it does other such crimes by non-Presidents? Of course.

We could reverse the question: Would you want a sitting President to enjoy complete immunity from all state criminal laws? I wouldn't. Trump probably won't actually shoot anyone, but if he files a false and fraudulent New York State income tax return, or just refuses to pay any state tax at all, he should certainly be subject to prosecution.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #12)

Fri May 18, 2018, 01:40 PM

14. Excellent point here!!!! TY

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Response to bluestarone (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2018, 12:56 PM

9. TY all for your answers here!

The only reason i'm thinking it would be nice if States could indict a sitting president, is in RUMPS case! I understand that it would be messy if States used there power (if they have it) to indict future presidents, BUT this is uncharted territory and i'm afraid RUMP will use his power, with Congress's blessing to stay in power! I do have faith in Mueller. TY again!

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