House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress should pass a law that would allow a sitting president – Trump – to be indicted.
“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,” she told NPR on Friday.
Pelosi said that the Justice Department’s protocol not to pursue charges against a sitting president should be changed.
“The Founders could never suspect that a president would be so abusive of the Constitution of the United States, that the separation of powers would be irrelevant to him and that he would continue, any president would continue, to withhold facts from the Congress, which are part of the constitutional right of inquiry,” she continued.
According to the Constitution, the punishment for breaking the law is impeachment under Article II, Section 4, stating that the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
The Trump Admin is clearly violating federal statute by blocking the head of US Intelligence from providing Congress with a whistleblower complaint described as being of "urgent concern & credible.” The stonewalling must end. What is the President hiding? https://t.co/Yg0LqT5HMd
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 20, 2019
The question is, what law has the president broken to invoke the impeachment process. Pelosi and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) have been at odds over moving too fast to try and impeach Trump, but Nadler has been open about the fact that his committee is currently conducting an impeachment probe.
Current Justice Department guidance prohibits the indictment of a sitting president. “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions,” the Department of Justice’s website states.