May 31, 2019

Warren wants to let DOJ indict sitting presidents

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren unveiled a plan Friday to allow the Department of Justice to indict a sitting president.

Why it matters: The proposal would reverse a policy that Robert Mueller said would have prevented him from bringing charges as part of his investigation of President Trump.

The plan includes:

  • Appointing an attorney general who will uphold what Warren cited as the "rule of law."
  • Appointing an Attorney general who will uphold what Warren cited as the "rule of law."
  • Appointing an Assistant Attorney General to lead the Office of Legal Counsel who will reverse an opinion saying the president cannot be indicted.
  • Calling for legislation making it clear that DOJ can indict a sitting president.
  • Updating obstruction of justice statues to allow for indictment "when the President abuses the powers of the office."

Context: In his first on-camera statement since being appointed special counsel, Mueller said Wednesday that "long-standing" DOJ policy would have prohibited the Department from indicting Trump. Warren is seeking to change that.

"If Donald Trump were anyone other than the President of the United States right now, he would be in handcuffs and indicted. Robert Mueller said as much in his report, and he said it again on Wednesday."
— Warren in a Medium post Friday

Of note: Warren also used the announcement as a chance to double down on calls to impeach Trump, stating that she believes Mueller's report "made clear what those of us who have read his report already knew: He's referring President Trump for impeachment, and it's up to Congress to act."

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  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
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