Facebook pixel Douglas Kmiec | Trump Can't Be Indicted. Can He Be Subpoenaed? | Pepperdine School of Law Skip to main content
Pepperdine | Law

Wildfire Information: Pepperdine Monitoring Wildfires – Update #12 Updated at Nov. 15, 10:54 a.m.

Douglas Kmiec: Trump Can't Be Indicted. Can He Be Subpoenaed?

New York Times

June 5, 2018  | 1 min read

An op-ed piece by Professor Douglas W. Kmiec, U.S. Ambassador (Ret.), has been published in the New York Times. The article, "Trump Can't Be Indicted. Can He Be Subpoenaed?" considers the questions of whether President Trump can be compelled to testify in response to a criminal subpoena and, more consequentially, if a sitting president be criminally indicted. Professor Kmiec headed the Office of Legal Counsel, an elite division within the Department of Justice, during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

Excerpt from "Trump Can't Be Indicted":

In a confidential letter for the special counsel, Robert Mueller, Mr. Trump’s lawyers lay out an aggressive defense against the special counsel’s pursuit of the president’s testimony. Their answer to first of those questions is a categorical no.

The letter is more monarchal than respectful of the separation of powers and our democracy’s constitutional checks and balances. Its claims that the president can “order the termination of an investigation by the Justice Department or F.B.I. at any time and for any reason” is unprecedented and far exceeds even Harry Truman’s brazen and rejected attempt to take over the steel mills to blunt labor unrest in the 1950s.

In fact, the letter’s absence of meaningful constitutional inquiry beyond baldfaced claims that Article II establishes a unitary executive gives the impression that these questions have gone unexamined.

But many Americans have wrestled with these questions.

The complete article may be found here