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Can a US-detained US president face a criminal prosecution?



WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US Constitution explains how the President can be dismissed from office for "high crime and misconduct" by the Congress, using the process of impeachment. But the Constitution is silent about whether the president can be prosecuted in court, and the US Supreme Court has not resolved this issue directly.

FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA on August 2, 2018. Mueller is preparing a report on his investigation of Russia's role in the US elections in 2016, whether the president of the campaign of President Donald Trump with Moscow and whether Tramp illegally sought to prevent the investigation. The US Department of Justice has a long-term policy that can not be preceded by a prosecution meeting of the president, indicating that criminal charges against Trump are unlikely, according to legal experts.

Here is an explanation of the justification of the policy of the Ministry of Justice and its application to Müller.

WHAT IS POLITICS OF JUSTICE SEPARATION? In 1973, at the height of the Watergate scandal involving President Richard Nixon, the Office of the Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Justice adopted an internal note stating that the accused president could not be held accountable. Nixon resigned in 1974, and the House of Representatives moved to impeachment.

"The spectacle of the accused president, who is still trying to fulfill the duties of the executive director, impresses with the imagination," the memo says.

The Department confirmed this policy in a 2000 document, stating that the court's decisions in the interim years did not change its conclusion that the presidential meeting was "constitutionally immune" from prosecution and prosecution. He came to the conclusion that criminal charges against the president "violate the constitutional separation of powers", defining the powers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the US government.

"The prosecution or prosecution of a President's sitting will unconstitutionally undermine the ability of the executive to perform its constitutional functions," the statement reads.

The memories of 1973 and 2000 are mandatory for the staff of the Ministry of Justice, including Muller, in the opinion of many legal experts. Müller was appointed in May 2017 by the official headquarters number 2 of Rhodes Rosenstein.

But some lawyers argue that the founders of the country could include in the Constitution a provision that protected the president from prosecution, but did not do so by suggesting an indictment. According to this view, immunity for the president violates the fundamental principle that nobody is above the law. Nixon himself in 1977 offered the opposite view when he told an interview to David Frost: "Well, when the president does this, it means that it is not illegal."

Maybe. The statutory acts of the Justice Department, which regulate Muller's appointment, allow him to deviate from the policy of the department in "extraordinary circumstances" with the consent of the Attorney General of the United States, the highest representative of the law-enforcement agencies of the country. Trump appointed by William Barr is currently taking up this post.

Some legal experts argue that Muller could apply for this exception if he found serious violations and was not convinced of the ability of the divided Congress to bring Trump to justice. Some attorneys also said that Muller was not affiliated with the notes of 1973 and 2000, because he was not a typical employee of the department.

Ken Starr, who researched President Bill Clinton in the 1990s in the slightly different role of an independent lawyer, in 1998 conducted his own analysis of whether a judge who was not considered by the Justice Department in 1973 could be appointed. The memory is required for it.

Starr did not declare Clinton in his investigation, linked to the president's relationship with the White House policeman, for Monica Lewinsky, but lawyers in his office came to the conclusion that he had the power to do so, according to sometime the secret in-house report of the New York Times in 2017.

Following the status of an independent lawyer, according to which Starr was named in 1999, the Ministry of Justice has developed procedures governing the appointment of special advisers for the consideration of certain investigations. Mueller was named after Trump, who fired the director of the FBI James Wemi, who controlled the investigation of the agency in Russia.

TO BE USED TO TURN?

Yes. There is no dispute as to whether the former president can be charged with behavior that occurred during his term of office. In fact, President Gerald Ford, who replaced Nixon after his resignation, remembers this when he provided "complete, free and absolute forgiveness to Richard Nixon for all crimes against the United States that he, Richard Nixon, did or could [19659003] The statute of limitations – the limitation of the period during which prosecution may be initiated – may work in favor of Trump if he is re-elected in 2020 and will have a full two-four-year term, the President until January 2025.

Many federal crimes have a one-year limitation period, that is, prosecutors have been in existence for about ninety years from the date the proceedings took place to present the allegations. This means that criminal charges against re-elected Trump may be terminated.

Some attorneys said that, as a matter of fairness, ordinary rules on the timeliness of accusations should not apply to the president. The issue could potentially be resolved in the courts.

Jan Wolf's report; Editing: Will Dunham

Our Standards: Trust Principles Thomson Reuters.

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