Stymied by actual law when it comes to persecuting and prosecuting President Donald Trump for any manner of crimes imagined since no real ones have ever been proven, the Democrats are looking at possibly changing the law. As President Trump would need to sign it into law, there is little chance that it would actually become law in the long run, but two familiar faces who have specifically been humiliated by this administration are still looking into the matter.
U.S. Rep. Swalwell, D-Calif., and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler introduced legislation Friday that would freeze the statute of limitations for federal offenses committed by presidents before or during their time in office. The move is the latest in the feud between Nadler’s committee and the Trump administration, and one the Democrats hope will allow presidents to be held responsible for misconduct.
“It’s a basic American value that no one – not even the president – is above the law,” said Swalwell in a statement. “While I disagree with the legal opinion that says a president cannot be indicted during their term in office, Congress can step up right now and change the law to ensure any president can be held accountable for crimes.”
No one being above the law includes the Democrats, but they don’t want to admit that.
The Justice Department has long held that a sitting president cannot be indicted, but the merits of its policy have been under a magnifying glass during Trump’s first term.
Swalwell, Nadler and Florida Democrat Ted Deutch – all members of the House Judiciary Committee – feel the policy could allow Trump to get away with crimes he may have committed over the last several years since the five-year statute of limitations for most federal crimes will run out before Trump leaves office. Their solution is to pause the clock on sitting presidents and allow prosecutors to circle back later.
“I have concerns with the Justice Department interpretation that a sitting president cannot be indicted, but if that is the policy, a president who commits a crime before or during their term in office could exploit this loophole and avoid prosecution just because the statute of limitations has run out,” Nadler said. “This is unacceptable. The presidency is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.”
This particular move dovetails with former FBI Director, Deputy Attorney General under John Ashcroft, and former U.S. Prosecutor under Ronald Reagan James Comey claiming that President Trump might be prosecuted after leaving the office. He did not say for what, though.