NEVADA – U.S. citizens accused of crimes go through due process regardless what state they’re in. The further up the political ladder you go, however, it seems standards of criminal justice fluctuate. Senators, congressmen, representatives and others with “clout” are indicted, tried and sentenced but with extreme leniency as compared to common folks.
With the recent Cohen testimony, sources believe POTUS is mere months from being criminally indicted for a myriad of offenses he has either orchestrated himself, or partook in while in office. The exact magnitude of his crimes are unknown until Special Counsel Mueller releases his final report.
We’re all aware of what’s going on around us. But what many aren’t aware of is what would happen if the President was caught red-handed shooting an innocent person, bilking millions from the very government they work for, or committing acts of arson.
Can the President be criminally indicted? Let’s see what laws say, and what must happen first.
Impeachment before or after arrest?
If any sitting President commits acts of treason, capital offenses or anything that defies their oath to lead America, the House of Representatives would select one or several articles to impeach the President under. Once those articles impeach the President, a hearing must commence to adjudicate him. One or several members of the House will act as “prosecutors”, while the President will have counsel of their own. Senate will act as the jury.
Once evidence is presented, it’s up to the jury to find the President guilty or not. At present, 67% of the Senate panel must agree, or the President regains his powers. Unless the President has committed crimes so heinous that imprisonment is imminent, you’d be hard pressed to have a majority Senate split from their party to railroad the president in non-criminal matters.
Should the President get caught committing crimes like murder, theft, treason or whatnot, the only individual with presidential arresting powers in America is the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, who will act under the guidance of the Attorney General. They would then be formally indicted.
Are Presidents immune to citizen’s arrests?
Most states allow citizens to lawfully detain individuals accused of crimes. While yes, a citizen could perform a citizen’s arrest on any sitting president, getting past Secret Service may be challenging. Besides, if the Secret Service decided not to detain the President, citizens would be hard pressed to justify doing the same.
Vice Presidents, cabinet members and others who call Capitol Hill their place of employment may also be lawfully detained, although doing so on Pennsylvania Ave may be tricky.
Senators, other political figureheads and their ilk can be criminally tried by regular courts of law, although you would be hard pressed for anything short of murder, genocide or selling trade secrets get indicted.
Why we’re bringing this up
With America in utter disarray due to numerous White House actions (or the lack thereof), people are wondering if any actual crimes have been committed. Aiding a foreign government by giving them access, information or tools to help disrupt our election process, or simply passing information to foreign interest groups, could be considered treason.
The forthcoming months will be challenging for us all. Should any sitting President be found incompetent to perform their job, or have committed offenses against the American people, expect impeachment proceedings (and possible criminal hearings) to commence.
Any American citizen, regardless of position of power and prestige, who commits crimes that commoners would be indicted for, can and will be held criminally accountable. The sentences may be more lenient, but one would be passed down nonetheless.
Stay tuned as this story unfolds.