Indictment against US President: Only the office protects Donald Trump now

Michael Cohen's guilt confession weighs heavily on the US president. But even constitutional experts disagree about the consequences that might threaten him.

Indictment against US President: Only the office protects Donald Trump now
  • Page 1 — only office protects Donald Trump now
  • Page 2 — "an indictment against Trump would destabilize country"
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    If se were normal circumstances, n legal consequences of this Wednesday would probably be clear: when a lawyer reveals in his guilt admission to investigators to have been arrested by his client to criminal acts and himself guilty in eight points Confession – n it is only a matter of time before criminal authorities mselves take on client. However, it becomes more difficult if client is President of United States.

    On Tuesday, Michael Cohen, former "fixer" and personal lawyer of Donald Trump, pleaded guilty in several respects to a court in Manhattan, including this one: in 2016 campaign, he had – on instruction of a candidate for a federal office – Silence paid to two women who would have had affairs with same candidate. The whole, Cohen said, was done with aim of "influencing elections" and to prevent women from going to public in decisive campaign phase.

    Cohen – and his client – have, among or things, violated American Campaign Financing Act, because payments have not been officially reported and amounts allowed for individuals have been exceeded many times over. But it is also unclear day after, wher se accusations have legal consequences for president. Even constitutional experts disagree on this issue.

    Can president be prosecuted?

    The American Constitution does not explicitly prohibit a president-in-Office from accusing a felony of a crime, but re is no immunity in United States for German model. For decades, however, Ministry of Justice has been regarded as a common practice that an incumbent cannot be prosecuted – it is also in internal guidelines. "According to this reading, Trump could only be accused when he leaves office, eir because his term ends or because it comes to impeachment procedure," explains Joshua Dressler, professor of law at Ohio State University.

    Most legal experts in country believe it is extremely unlikely that re could be an accusation against Trump and thus a precedent. While re is no formal rule to prevent this, Diane Marie Amann of University of Georgia also says. "But hurdles for this move are very high within authority." Should investigators decide to break with usual practice, y would have to justify it before competent authority chief – in this case, Justice Minister Jeff Sessions or his deputy Rod Rosenstein. "It would be beginning of a long internal tug-," says Amann.

    And even n way is far. In this case, Trumps lawyers are likely to appeal, and case will eventually end up in country's Supreme Court. The nine judges would have to clarify basic question of wher a President-in-Office could be prosecuted. "I assume that Supreme Court would decide in present composition that this is not appropriate," says Dressler. Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's candidate for vacant post at Supreme Court, and once a member of investigation team against Bill Clinton in Lewinsky scandal, wrote already 1998, an impeachment, no criminal prosecution, was right way to go on offense of an acting president.

    Updated Date: 23 August 2018, 12:00

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