In banana republics, leaders sometimes get ousted and end up in jail or dead. But in America, presidents are never pursued legally. In fact, it’s widely held that the president cannot be prosecuted.
There are incidental powers, belonging to the executive department, which is necessarily implied from the nature of the functions, which are confided to it, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote in 1833. Among these, must necessarily be included the power to perform them, without any obstruction or impediment whatsoever.
The President cannot, therefore, be liable to arrest, imprisonment, or detention, while he is in the discharge of the duties of his office.
But some legal experts say a president can be prosecuted after leaving office, and some liberals have expressed a desire to target Trump, should he officially lose the presidential election.
Joe Biden reportedly does not want to open investigations into Donald Trump, saying such an effort would consume a new administration and further divide the nation, according to a new report.
President-elect Biden has privately told advisers that he doesn’t want his presidency to be consumed by investigations of his predecessor, according to five people familiar with the discussions, despite pressure from some Democrats who want inquiries into Donald Trump, his policies and members of his administration, NBC News reported on Tuesday.
Joe Biden has raised concerns that investigations would further divide a country he is trying to unite and risk making every day of his presidency about Donald Trump, said the sources, who spoke on background to offer details of private conversations.
They said he has specifically told advisers that he is wary of federal tax investigations of Donald Trump or of challenging any orders Trump may issue granting immunity to members of his staff before he leaves office. One adviser said Biden has made it clear that he just wants to move on.
Even though the NBC piece says there may be no “federal investigations” of Donald Trump, probes being conducted by state and other non-federal officials, including by New York state Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., could still occur.
Vance has headed up a years-long battle to get Trump’s “tax returns“, while James has been investigating the Trump organization’s business dealings.
NBC says Joe Biden would not interfere if the Justice Department decided to go after Donald Trump. His overarching view is that we need to move the country forward, an adviser told the network. But the most important thing about this is that he will not interfere with his Justice Department and not politicize his Justice Department.
He can set a tone about what he thinks should be done, an adviser to Joe Biden said, adding he’s not going to be a president who directs the Justice Department one way or the other.