5

If the US president commits murder during his vacation as an unofficial action during his presidential term, can he be charged with a crime in court (i.e., in the judiciary branch) before he steps down as a president?

  • 2
    I answered the question you were really asking, but of course, literally speaking, a U.S. President can be charged with any crime that a prosecutor at any level signs his or her name to. The real question you were asking, of course, is whether a U.S. President has legal immunity to criminal charges for such a crime. – ohwilleke Feb 9 '17 at 20:25
9

Yes. The absence of immunity for a U.S. President's unofficial acts was established both in the Nixon Administration and later in the Clinton Administration.

In practice, a prosecutor would be loath to file such charges absent very, very solid probable cause, and a court would often be very deferential in accommodating the President's schedule and, for example, in allowing appearances by telephone when allowed by law, or by electing not to seize the President's passport as a bail condition to be free pending trial, as would be common for someone facing felony charges pending trial.

But, ultimately, the President does not have the right to either defer the charges until the completion of his term, or to any immunity from charges for his or her unofficial acts.

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.