Nancy Pelosi: Congress should allow sitting presidents to be indicted
Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that the Justice Department should be able to indict sitting presidents, per an exclusive NPR interview.
What she's saying: "I do think that we will have to pass some laws that will have clarity for future presidents. [A] president should be indicted, if he's committed a wrongdoing — any president. There is nothing anyplace that says the president should not be indicted," Pelosi told NPR's All Things Considered.
Why it matters: Former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Trump, which neither concluded that Trump obstructed justice nor exonerated him, operated on the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel opinion that prevents a sitting president from being indicted.
- Mueller said Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice after he leaves office at a July House Judiciary Committee hearing, while repeatedly referring to the DOJ's stance against indicting sitting presidents.
- Mueller's investigation did not establish that Trump campaign members colluded with the Russian government, but that the president's actions may have influenced Russia's actions.
Background: In the Mueller report, the special counsel said "it recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President's capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct."
Go deeper ... Pelosi breaks with Justice: Trump can be indicted