In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff said that the Department of Justice should go back and take a look at their legal justification for not allowing a sitting U.S. president to be indicted. Schiff said it was in conflict with the fact that Trump could be beyond the statute of limitations by the time he leaves office, meaning he will have gotten away with his crimes.
Said crimes, mind you, being very minor campaign finance violations worth no more than an administrative fine under normal circumstances. Of course, Trump has driven the Democrats well outside “normal circumstances” by this point.
“I think the Justice Department needs to re-examine that OLC opinion, the Office of Legal Counsel opinion, that you cannot indict a sitting president under circumstances in which the failure to do so may mean that person escapes justice,” Schiff said. “I don’t think that the Justice Department ought to take the position — and it’s certainly not one that would be required in any way by the Constitution — that a president merely by being in office can be above the law by waiting out the statute of limitations.”
Schiff was referring to a legal opinion issued by the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2000, which states: “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.”
While that has been the official opinion since 2000, it has been the essential position of the Justice Department since the days of the Nixon Administration.
Seeing as how Robert Mueller is working under the direct auspices of the Justice Department, there is some doubt as to whether he would try to upend precedent and challenge that opinion in court by indicting President Trump. The same cannot be said of the U.S. attorney’s office in New York, which has some stake in the game as well. If they decide to move forward with an indictment, we could indeed see this precedent wind up on the front burner – a move that would undoubtedly put us in the very constitutional crisis that liberals have been squawking about since the day Trump took office.
This would be a domestic disaster, a national security crisis, and a democratic tragedy all rolled into one. And over what? A couple of payments to a couple of thinly-disguised prostitutes? Are you kidding? Are they really still THAT upset about Hillary Clinton’s loss?
The answer, of course, is an unqualified yes. And they are more than willing to throw this country into chaos if it means ripping Donald Trump out of the Oval Office.