Pelosi: Congress Needs To Pass Laws Allowing Indictment of Sitting President

'I do think that we will have to pass some laws that will have clarity for future presidents'

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September 21, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Congress will need to pass a law to allow for the indictment of a sitting president during an interview on Friday.

"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.

"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.

Pelosi's comments come in the midst of an intra-party fight over whether or not to impeach President Donald Trump. Earlier this week, Pelosi blasted House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) for pushing too far, too fast on conducting an impeachment probe.

Nadler has been open about the fact that his committee is currently conducting an impeachment probe. However, Pelosi criticized opening an impeachment inquiry because the Democrats do not yet have the support within the party to vote to impeach the president, according to Politico.

A spokesman for Nadler told Politico Pelosi has been supportive of the committee's work.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testified earlier this week in front of the Judiciary Committee, but provided no new details about potentially impeachable action on the part of President Trump.

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.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller told Congress he did not make a decision on whether to indict Trump during the course of his Russia investigation due to the guidelines.