Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1997

Abstract

This article addresses whether the Constitution protects a sitting President from indictment. The text of the Constitution is not clear on this question as it might be, but it is clear enough. No court has ever addressed the question of the President’s amenability to criminal charges, although the courts have considered the related question of whether federal judges can be subjected to criminal charges. Those courts have answered that judges and other officials are subject to criminal prosecution while in office. Congress has implicitly approved this conclusion in its passage of the Ethics in Government Act with its provision for an Independent Counsel. Unfortunately, Congress and the courts are wrong: the President—and federal judges and other public officials—is not subject to criminal prosecution until first having been impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate. Impeachment is the first remedy for the criminal acts of a sitting President.

Publication Citation

2 NEXUS 53 (1997).