Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said Tuesday on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” that running for president would not “immunize” former President Donald Trump from being prosecuted.
Cooper asked, “You’ve been uniquely positioned over the past several years as someone who understands the legal and constitutional issues swirling around the former president. If he is making this announcement in part believing that this will somehow protect him from investigations or indictments, is that accurate, do you think?”
Raskin said, “No, it’s absolutely wrong. In fact, the people who made that point most emphatically were his defenders in the Senate during the second impeachment trial, who said that the proper way to deal with a former president who has engaged in criminality is to prosecute him rather than impeach anymore he has already left office. Of course, that contradicted more than two centuries of understanding that a public official does not have to still be in office in order to be impeached, tried and convicted. But any event, everybody agreed that he could be tried. I mean, under our Constitution, we don’t have an office of former president of the United States. A former president of the United States is just a citizen, and the highest office in our land is that of citizen, not president and not former president. So you don’t have a right to commit murder as a president or embezzlement or bribery or seditious conspiracy or attacks on federal proceedings or what have you. He can still be tried. I think the Department of Justice has been clear about that. All that matters is the facts of the case and the law. There is a slight exception to that that they don’t bring cases against candidates several weeks or maybe a month before an election. But other than that, you know, running for office is not something that will immunize you against prosecution.”
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