Democrats never let their minds wander too far from the thought of impeaching and prosecuting President Donald Trump.
Despite the next presidential election being right around the corner, sights are firmly set on impeachment and prosecution, a process complicated by the fact that there is nothing solid to impeach or prosecute the president for.
Some Democrats are now looking to overturn an executive guideline that prevents the Department of Justice from prosecuting a sitting president. The rule stems from a 1973 memorandum from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that determined a sitting president could not be prosecuted for federal crimes while in office. The rule was upheld in 2000 during Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
The rationale behind repealing or challenging that rule is that it would presumably make it much easier to both impeach and then prosecute Trump. What crime he would be charged with is anyone’s guess at this point. Democrats are so all over the place in their attacks that you might as well pick a charge out of a hat.
Democrats are currently piecing together a bill that focuses on preventing presidential candidates from taking any help from foreign countries and to mandate that they contact the FBI if a foreign group contacts them — this is obviously in response to the president’s recent declaration that he would at least look at any information offered to him from foreign countries on political opponents.
Some Democrats are trying to add the overturning of the Office of Legal Counsel rule into this bit of legislation being drafted.
“It’s definitely on the menu,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA.), a member of the Oversight and Reform Committee, told The Hill. “I’m in favor of expanding enforcement tools and accountability tools, and that’s definitely one of them.”
No matter how it is ultimately presented, Connolly promises it will be a “topic of discussion” in the near future.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) said overturning the rule is a “reasonable” thing to do.
“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,” he added.
Though it would never get support in the Senate, a proposal to overturn the DOJ rule regarding a president being prosecuted could likely gain real steam in the House where plenty of Democrats cling to the fantasy that the rule is the only reason Trump was not prosecuted — in reality, Mueller presented nothing solid in his report.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi expressed disappointment in the president not being charged following the Mueller report. She said she felt “the deepest disappointment in the Department of Justice holding the president above the law.”
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) said the Founding Fathers didn’t want anybody “above the law.”
“It’s clear the Founding Fathers didn’t want anybody to be above the law. They had just ousted a king who flaunted that,” he said.
The Department of Justice rule states that the reason a sitting president cannot be prosecuted with a federal crime is because they cannot properly govern while also defending themselves from criminal charges. Makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense is the fantasy that this standard being dropped is going to make any difference. The Mueller report does not suddenly get rewritten. It’s still a big nothing burger that presents no legal basis to pursue the president. Mueller could have recommended charges and he didn’t.
Author: Zachary Leeman
Source: Bizpacreview: Dems move to overturn rule so DOJ can indict a sitting president