Elizabeth Warren Wants Law Allowing Sitting Presidents to Be Indicted

Elizabeth Warren
AFP/Getty/Robyn Beck

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote an op-ed posted on the Medium website claiming that she stayed up all night reading Robert Mueller’s report, which she said confirmed that Russia helped elect President Donald Trump. She then vowed to change Department of Justice rules so a sitting president may be indicted.

“I started reading it that afternoon, and I read all through the night and into the next morning. And when I got to page 448, three things were clear to me,” Warren wrote, elaborating:

First, a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help candidate Donald Trump get elected. Second, candidate Donald Trump welcomed that help. Third, when the federal government tried to investigate, now-President Donald Trump did everything he could to delay, distract, and otherwise obstruct that investigation.

That’s a crime. If Donald Trump were anyone other than the President of the United States right now, he would be in handcuffs and indicted.

Warren said that Mueller, in his recent public statement, was “referring President Trump for impeachment, and it’s up to Congress to act.”

Warren also said her call for impeaching Trump was not about “politics,” but “principles.”

Warren continued using her tagline “I’ve got a plan” talking point, which is that impeachment is not harsh enough treatment for Trump, whom she claimed believes he can violate the law with impunity.

Yes, Congress has a constitutional obligation to impeach the President when he violates the law. But lawyers for previous presidents have used this constitutional duty to argue that the only way the President can be held accountable for criminal behavior is through impeachment.

Here’s my plan:

  • Pass a law clarifying Congress’s intent that the Department of Justice can indict the President of the United States.

Warren cited Title 18 of the United States Code as the statute that should apply to Trump’s alleged crimes.

“Congress should clarify that it intends for this provision to apply to all persons — including the President of the United States,” she wrote.

The senator claims the president obstructed the Russia collusion investigation of his 2016 presidential campaign when he fired then-FBI director James Comey and “forced out” Jeff Sessions.

Warren also slammed Attorney General William Barr in her op-ed, claiming he has “disgraced himself” because he has not pronounced the president guilty of collusion and obstruction.

“That should come as no surprise to us. Bill Barr was hand-picked by Donald Trump to be his Attorney General after campaigning for the position,” Warren wrote.

On the other hand, as president, Warren would “appoint an attorney general who shares [her] strong conviction that no one — not even a President — is above the law.”

Warren concluded her op-ed by noting that Trump is not a “king” and that her action would prevent any future royalty in the White House.

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