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Anthony Gaughan on Indicting the President
Michael Ramsey

At The Faculty Lounge, Anthony Gaughan (Drake Univ. Law School): Indicting the President.  From the introduction: 

The constitutional question is straightforward: Is a sitting president immune from criminal indictment by federal or state prosecutors? Or, to put it another way, is the House of Representatives the only institution with the constitutional authority to bring criminal charges against the president?

I think the answer to both questions must be yes. The Constitution’s text, historical precedent, and compelling public policy considerations weigh strongly in favor of the conclusion that Congress is the only appropriate venue for adjudicating the alleged crimes of a sitting president. Any other approach entails enormous risks to our constitutional order. Indeed, in the toxic environment of contemporary American politics, the special counsel’s filing of criminal charges directly against the president would plunge the United States into dangerously uncharted territory with unpredictable consequences for our democratic institutions.  

Professor Gaughan makes several textual points including this one:

Yet another reason to doubt the constitutionality of a pre-impeachment indictment of the president is Article I’s explanation that the president is “subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law” after “conviction” and “removal from office.” A plain reading of Article I thus suggests that the president is only amenable to punishment after leaving office.