I’m more asking a question here rather than making an argument but I’ll frame it as an argument anyway because I’m annoyed.
Why is it that the question of whether a sitting president can be indicted is being answered most vociferously by the DOJ? Correct me if I’m wrong (and that is a distinct possibility), but it seems like the executive branch is making a judicial and/or legistlative decision here. I can’t see how someone can possibly read that a sitting president can’t be indicted from this:
There is zero indication that there is some sort of temporal order here. One would think that if you were going to make such an extraordinary exception for the president, one would make it abundantly clear. To me the “shall not extend further than removal from office” simply means that an impeachment is not a criminal trial.
One of the DOJ sentencing memos indicates that indicting a sitting president “would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.” Are they making what seems to me a legistlative call here or is there something in the constitution that they can point to where they can say “I’m not wasting my time prosecuting this when the SCOTUS will eventually rule against me?”
Now I understand that the DOJ has to place their priorities on legal battles they believe they will eventually win, but the whole thing, at least as I read it, seems like they are acting outside their branch. The fact that the DOJ works for the president makes me further suspect of this “guidance.” What am I missing here?