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sábado, 3 de febrero de 2018

Attorneys in Russia investigation believe Mueller could indict Trump

Is special counsel Robert Mueller planning to indict President Donald Trump?

Two attorneys who represent those involved in the investigation believe that scenario is plausible, though it would be unprecedented. While they don’t know of Mueller’s exact plans, “their experience with the law leads them to believe the president could be indicted for obstruction of justice,” according to The Hill.

At this time, no charges have been filed against the president.

Pressuring Congress

The attorneys, one of whom represents a top official in President Donald Trump’s administration, told Politico that Mueller indicting the president is completely possible.

“If I were a betting man, I’d bet against the president,” one of the attorneys, who has contact with the Mueller team, told Politico.

A second attorney said that Mueller could indict Trump in an effort to show how serious he believes the charges are, and to pressure Congress to act.

“It’s entirely possible that Mueller may go that route on the theory that, as an open question, it should be for the courts to decide,” the lawyer said. “Even if the indictment is dismissed, it puts maximum pressure on Congress to treat this with the independence and intellectual honesty that it will never, ever get.”

Constitutional Crisis

These comments remain hypothetical — and widely controversial. Not only has the indictment of a sitting president never occurred; the U.S. Constitution suggests that it cannot be done. Article 1, Section 3, Clause 7 of the Constitution outlines the punishment for a crime committed by a president:

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law. [emphasis added]

Founding father Alexander Hamilton further interpreted the sequence of punishment in his Federalist Papers.

“The President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from office,” Hamilton wrote, “and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law.”

But before Democrats get too excited, it’s important to note that the Republican president would have to be impeached by the Republican House, and then earn a two-thirds majority of the Republican-run Senate to vote to remove Trump from office — something that has never been done in American history.

They would also need the next-in-line president, Mike Pence, to refrain from pardoning Trump to allow the former celebrity businessman to be prosecuted.

For all that, far-fetched is an understatement.