Bad News for Trump: Newly Disclosed Memo Says Yes, Presidents CAN Be Indicted

Bad News for Trump: Newly Disclosed Memo Says Yes, Presidents CAN Be Indicted

Trump’s Russian Troubles Grow Even Worse

Donald Trump is in trouble.

The Russian probe isn’t going away. In fact, the investigation is growing even deeper and broader, and the stories are breaking quicker than most people can even comprehend. As one major, earth-shattering story is splashed across the headline, another tends to follow quickly on its heels.

The Russian connection is not “fake news,” no matter how adamantly Trump tweets that it is, and as that fact is finally digested by the president, he has turned to other means of trying to get himself out of trouble.

By pardoning.

On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Trump was exploring the possibility of pardoning his aides, his family, and himself. As CNN reported, the chilling fact that the president is exploring the possibility of a self-pardon “seems directly linked to the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the foreign power.”

The idea of a president pardoning himself has raised some really tricky legal questions, and even more really tricky legal answers. Can the president pardon himself?

Well, the answer seems to be, “Maybe.”

Trump Could Face Indictment While In Office

But all of the answers assume that the president would be prosecuted after he left office. Because it is assumed that a sitting president cannot even be indicted. That you cannot charge a sitting president with a federal crime.

The New York Times, however, uncovered a Clinton-era memo that says otherwise.

“A newfound memo from Kenneth W. Starr’s independent counsel investigation into President Bill Clinton sheds fresh light on a constitutional puzzle that is taking on mounting significance amid the Trump-Russia inquiry: Can a sitting president be indicted?

“The 56-page memo, locked in the National Archives for nearly two decades and obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, amounts to the most thorough government-commissioned analysis rejecting a generally held view that presidents are immune from prosecution while in office.”

In other words, Trump is in even bigger trouble than he (and his legal team) previously thought.

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The memo, which can be read here, concludes the following:

“It is proper, constitutional, and legal for a federal grand jury to indict a sitting president for serious criminal acts that are not part of, and are contrary to, the president’s official duties. In this country, no one, even President Clinton, is above the law.”

Of course, no matter how much the right still points their fingers at the Clintons in order to get people to look away from Trump, this has nothing to do with the Clintons.

And everything to do with Trump.

Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Image