Can a Sitting US President Be Indicted for a Crime?  Why the Framers Intent is Irrelevant to Answering this Question

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Possibly within a matter of days or weeks Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller or New York federal prosecutors are going to have to confront an significant question:  Was it the intent of the American constitutional framers to allow a sitting president to be indicted for a crime, or was impeachment the only recourse to remedy a chief executive who broke the law?  In light of the Michael Cohen plea and how it may have implicated Donald Trump, or even possible charges that might be filed against the president as a result of special prosecutor Robert Muller’s investigation,  these questions are getting significant scrutiny.  However, despite what legal scholars such as Harvard’s Akhil Reed Amar may think, Framers’ intent is largely irrelevant to answering them, and originalism fails to provide an adequate solution.

Ascertaining the constitutional framers’ intent when seeking to determine what is an impeachable offense and whether it is the only remedy for presidential criminal misbehavior  is a near futile exercise, from both a historical and linguistic approach.  What would Trump have to do to constitute an impeachable offense?   Article II, section four lists three possibilities–treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors.

Treason and bribery are somewhat clear but what are high crimes and misdemeanors?  In adopting this phrase the constitutional framers employed language that had existed in England since  1386…

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