Rudy Giuliani, a recently appointed member of President Trump’s legal team, claims Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have concluded they do not have the authority to indict a sitting president.
“All they get to do is write a report,” Giuliani told CNN. “They can’t indict. At least they acknowledged that to us after some battling, they acknowledged that to us.”
The alleged admission by Mueller’s team, which would likely be based on Department of Justice guidelines, does not preclude investigators from recommending that Trump be impeached in a report to House lawmakers.
The notion that a special counsel cannot indict a sitting president has been a settled position of the Department of Justice since the Nixon administration and was reaffirmed during the Clinton years, but has never had to withstand a legal challenge.
“The Justice Department memos going back to before Nixon say that you cannot indict a sitting president, you have to impeach him. Now there was a little time in which there was some dispute about that, but they acknowledged to us orally that they understand that they can’t violate the Justice Department rules,” Giuliani said.
“We think it’s bigger than that. We think it’s a constitutional rule, but I don’t think you’re ever going to confront that because nobody’s ever going to indict a sitting president. So, what does that leave them with? That leaves them with writing a report.”