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Can a Sitting President Be Indicted? The ACLJ's Jay Sekulow Answers the Question

06-19-2017
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Jay Sekulow and Gordon Robertson

The media firestorm rages on over the possible investigation of President Donald Trump for the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

While critics appear to blame the situation on a tweet by the president last Friday - appearing to confirm he was the target of a probe -  one of the president's lawyers, Jay Sekulow with the American Center for Law and Justice, believes the mainstream media is culpable.

Sekulow explained Trump's tweet was specifically directed at a Washington Post story about the expanding investigation into Russia's election meddling.

"It was a busy weekend because the Washington Post issued a story that was just fabricated," Sekulow told CBN's Gordon Robertson Monday. "I mean, five unnamed sources from an agency they don't disclose saying the president was under investigation – and we've had no indication that the president was under investigation," he said.

"By the way, ABC News received a leak – they also confirmed that the president was not under investigation," Sekulow noted.

"So I think that the response to this was set up by a story in the Washington Post that was not factually accurate by unnamed sources from unnamed agencies," he charged.

Meanwhile, the flap raises the question: Can a sitting president be indicted?

"Office of Legal Counsel opinions going back almost 50 years say 'no,'" Sekulow said. "The president in this particular case received a letter and a memorandum from his attorney general and his deputy attorney general respectively – that letter lays out the reasons why James Comey should be removed from office."

Sekulow explained that Trump determined it was appropriate to terminate Comey based on that letter.

"So if the legal theory they were applying was correct, this is what it would be: The president of the United States takes legal action based on a recommendation from the Department of Justice to remove the FBI director. He follows their recommendation and the DOJ through the special counsel's office is investigating him for doing exactly what they told him to do. That can't be constitutional," Sekulow concluded.

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