The president and due process

Donald J. TrumpPresident Trump’s tweets about due process for two men formerly on his staff accused of domestic violence reveals a misunderstanding of how due process works, according to a legal analyst at CNN. Caroline Polisi says Trump’s refusal to acknowledge victims of alleged abuse reveal that his defense is really all about himself.

In this aftermath of #MeToo, it is critically important to make the distinction between courts of law and courts of public opinion. Trump’s conflation of the two by way of a disingenuous appeal to “Due Process” is a commonly used, but ultimately dangerous argument, because it damages our collective understanding of the issues, both legal and otherwise.

Due process applies to governmental action, Polisi says, not to the news media, political races or social media. The due process rights owed to the accused are “alive and well in our justice system. They are thriving, in fact,” according to Polisi. Her complete commentary is available here.

Can a sitting president be indicted?

Donald J. TrumpAs the White House debates whether to allow President Trump to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, legal scholars are debating another issue: can you indict a president while he or she is still in office? The Office of Legal Counsel, of course, says you can’t. But is Mueller bound by that opinion, or will he disregard it? Former White House Counsel Bob Bauer writes at Lawfare that constitutional arguments against indicting a president are problematic. Click here to read his opinion.