I’ve been frequently tweeting the following:
“Warning: If Trump gets reelected in 2020, 5 yr. “Statute of Limitations” kicks in which isn’t tolled in criminal law. Trump could skate from being held criminally liable while House refuses to use 1 power via I-inquiry to hold him accountable NOW…”
With some fancy, expensive lawyering there may be way around the 5 year “Statute of Limitations” that’ll go into effect if the republican President Donald Trump wins reelection in 2020 which is a possibility, but any remedy for this legal fubar is currently non-existent.
The House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler has publicly promised that he would craft a legislative solution but unfortunately, it would be DOA in the current GOP-led US Senate.
The objective of any legal finagling to fix this legal sink-hole would be for the attorneys to argue that the “Statute of Limitations” should be tolled/ paused because President Trump could not be criminally indicted as per current (DOJ) US Department of Justice’s (OLC) Office of Legal Counsel’s 2000 legal memo barring the criminal indictment of a sitting president while he’s still serving on office.
But the courts could argue that the US Constitution did craft a remedy via a non-legislative, judicial like solution, specifically designed by US forefathers, to hold a tyrannical lawless US president accountable for his crimes and abuses of power, which is the power of the impeachment process to be solely initiated by the US House of Representatives. This is why I and many others have been arguing in favor of impeachment.
The House Judiciary Committee’s role would be to conduct an impeachment investigation which the current Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler has formally set the start date on the 26th of July 2019. Once the impeachment investigation is completed, then the House’s Judiciary Committee will draft “Articles of Impeachment” (indictment) which will be voted up or down by the House members. Once the House passes the “Articles of Impeachment” then the I-word will forever be associated with President Trump. Then the case will be transferred to the US Senate with the presiding trial judge being the US Supreme Court’s Chief Justice John Roberts.
This is why the Democratic Party House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been so firm in the importance of the House Judiciary Committee’s obligation to develop an air-tight case. Because the GOP-led US Senate will most likely NOT spontaneously develop a streak of courage to where the Senate would actually consider convicting President Trump, Speaker Pelosi wants these GOP senators to pay a high political price, like the loss of their majority position in the US Senate, for not convicting their standard bearer even when there’s overwhelming evidence compiled against him. This is why the 3/22/2019 Mueller report isn’t sufficient for the House to go directly to drafting “Articles of Impeachment.” It may very well take several months to conduct this high-level of an investigation due to the White House’s efforts to block all such efforts.
I agree with the impeachment investigations’ objectives publicly shared by the House Judiciary Committee’s Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler on 7/26/2019, with one caveat, which is the priority of pursuing President Trump’s financial records.
See: TY Resisters: House Judiciary Chair Rep. Nadler Is Starting Impeachment Investigation
Here’s the rest of the story…
On April 29, 2019, of Bloomberg Law penned the following analysis, “Statute of Limitations” DOJ May Prevent Trump Ever Being Charged”
“Robert Mueller declined to decide whether to charge President Donald Trump with obstructing the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia’s election interference. But the policy that prompted the special counsel’s non-decision could effectively keep Trump out of federal prosecutors’ crosshairs for good if he’s reelected.”
“Mueller, in his report, cited Justice Department policy against indicting sitting presidents while leaving open the possibility of prosecution later, saying the policy “also recognizes that a President does not have immunity after he leaves office.”
“Yet the allegations—even if they could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt—would normally have to be charged within five years, so as not to run afoul of applicable statutes of limitations.”
“That may mean Trump will never be prosecuted by the feds—especially if he wins re-election, experts say. It may hinge on the highly technical but practically explosive question whether those limitations rules can be “tolled”—or paused—while Trump is in office.”
“The only way to get a definitive answer would be to file charges and test the theory in court, but that seems unlikely,” said Barbara McQuade, former U.S. Attorney in Detroit who is now a University of Michigan Law School professor.”
“If a prosecutor were to charge Trump after he leaves office after serving out a second presidential term, the prosecutor “could argue that the statute should permit tolling during the time he was in office.”
“But McQuade said it’s “not clear that that argument would prevail, because there was no legal prohibition from charging” Trump. Just the Justice policy.”
The Tolling Long Shot
“Constitutional scholar Josh Blackman says that if Trump is reelected, “he would run out the five-year statute of limitations.” The South Texas College of Law Houston professor said he does “not envy the prosecutor who tries to indict the former President based on a creative theory of statute-of-limitation tolling.”
“The prospect of tolling here “is theoretically possible but a long shot,” said former federal prosecutor Joseph Moreno. “I wouldn’t count on it,” he said.”
“The 400-plus page Mueller report dedicates an entire volume to Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation—including by pressuring then-FBI-head James Comey to drop his investigation into then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in early 2017; firing Comey that spring after he failed to do so; and pressuring various officials not to cooperate with—and even to end—Mueller’s investigation, including then-White House Counsel Don McGahn, who has emerged as a potential key witness against the president.”
“Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen also implicated the president in campaign finance crimes.”
“While pointing out the instances that could be construed as obstruction, Mueller said he had to abide by the 2000 memo from DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel that says the prosecution of a sitting president “would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.”
“Now a partner at Cadwalader in Washington, Moreno noted that one type of situation where tolling can apply is when a defendant absconds and therefore can’t be brought into court to face charges.”
“Moreno said it’s “conceivable” that a court in this hypothetical Trump scenario could say, “Look, a president shouldn’t be able to have it both ways. You can’t be immune from prosecution while you’re president, but then also enjoy the running of the statute of limitations.”
“But Trump “hasn’t done anything wrong” in terms of delaying his apprehension, the former prosecutor observed, distinguishing this scenario from a defendant who skips town.”
“Odds are that Trump “would effectively run the clock out by benefiting from the OLC opinion and a friendly Department of Justice that’s not looking to revoke that opinion and change the policy, and by the running of the statute of limitations,” Moreno said.”
“So I do think that ultimately Trump could avoid prosecution,” he said, “putting aside the difficulties of bringing an old case, putting aside the political implications of do you really want to charge a two-term president who’s going to be 80 years old.”
website for FederalCharges.com publication of Obstruction Of Justice + Laws, Charges & Statute of Limitations by Geoffrey Nathan, Esq.
Hello Gronda. I have been listening to several podcasts from lawyers who claim that the DOJ policy has never been tested in court and wouldn’t stand up legally. In fact the SCOTUS found that Presidents could be sued for things they did before becoming President and also right now courts are refusing to stop cases against tRump in state courts shows the DOJ policy memo is wrong. So tRump’s lawyer could argue that he could have been charged but was not in the time frame and the statute of limitations ran out. I think the Democrats in the House made a good move to start the inquiry and use it to force the courts to give them the power to force the tRump administrations to provide the information the House requested. Hugs
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The attorneys are right. The DOJ OLC memo should have been challenged in the courts but SC Mueller was thinking about not having his FBI’s Trump-Russia probe, cut short, which would have happened if he went there.
That’s why I want to go forward with I-word. Rep Jerry Nadler had to act counter to Speaker Pelosi’s wishes but he managed to push her to get her approval for the step he took towards -I-word on 7/26/2019.
You are right. If President Trump wins reelection, if the House Dems didn’t act to commence -I-word, they would have placed President Trump, literally above the law.
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Think I’m getting a migraine….
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These circumstances would give anyone a migraine. There are always those who by nature are too timid, too reticent to poke the bear, confront the bully in the WH, but then there are others who get that folks can’t win against a bully by appeasement. He needs a bloody nose, figuratively.
One major offensive tool to bring the fight to President Trump is by the House commencing the I-investigation because as it gathers steam, it will force President Trump to share his media megaphone on a daily basis with drip, drip, drip neg news being publicly shared regarding the president. The Democratic Party presidential candidates would have to waste a lot of monies to market all the neg ads against him, that they’ll be getting for free.
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Obstruction of justice as an indictment of a crime should not be confused with impeachment. The statute of limitations to charge with obstruction is 5 years from the time that the crime was committed. A Committee member asked at Mueller’s testimony a question that inferred if Trump’ obstruction was ongoing. I don’t remember which Committee member it was now. However, if Trump committed obstruction in 2019, the statute of limitations does not expire until 2024.
Impeaching Trump is not the same as charging him criminally. They are two different processes, and about 100 percent chance that Barr will not go forward with indictment if Trump is impeached. It will require getting him out of office either by resignation or voted out.
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It’s great to hear from you. I’ve seen you more often on Twitter. Congrats on having good news regarding your health.
I’ve had to be a lot more judicious with my blogging. In the Fall/ Winter of 2018, i suffered excruciating pain that was driving me nuts. I had ignored the warning signs which I no longer do. I have to limit my time on the computer. As soon as I start feeling any pain, I quit.
You are absolutely right, up to a point. The Constitution granted the House of Representatives this one non-legislative, judicial role which is its power of initiating the impeachment process. With the House Judiciary Committee using the words, “impeachment investigation” in its pleadings to the court,it’s signaling to the courts, its intent to take on the mantel of its judicial role. The courts will honor this distinction by being more expeditious, with rulings tending to favor to the House.
But the impeachment process is not = to a criminal court.
If President Trump, by hook and by crook, wins reelection in 2020, he’ll be exiting the White House in January 2025, outside of the 5 year “Statute of Limitations” time frame, which means it is probable that he’ll skate from being held liable via the federal criminal courts for his federal crimes.
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Gronda, I’m still receiving targeted therapy and although the drugs are not as harsh as regular chemo drugs, they do have their bad side-effects. It has rendered me unable to concentrate long enough to write blog posts. Because I’ve slowed down on doing so, there isn’t much activity on my blog, and I lose motivation.
I don’t disagree with you about impeachment. Indeed, Trump has committed impeachable offenses. He continues to do so which re-starts the statute of limitations. My main concern is that if he is impeached before the next election, it might make Pence more electable. In my opinion, Pence is more dangerous that Trump. Some Republicans who might not vote for Trump just might vote for Pence. They might not see his passive-aggressive characteristic. There’s a better chance of a Democratic winning the presidential election against Trump. If voted out of office, he can be charged criminally.
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