General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

What laws are Trump subject to?

Asked by LostInParadise (27896points) January 14th, 2017

Trump seems to think that as president he is above the law. Suppose that a law was passed saying the president must place private savings in a blind trust. I don’t think this is likely, but just suppose for the moment that it happens. What if Trump refuses to comply? What happens?

During the election, Trump said that he could shoot someone in a New York crowd and nothing would happen. What if he did that as president? Who would arrest him or put him on trial? If he was impeached, could he be arrested and tried afterward?

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9 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Congress cannot pass a law requiring the Executive to do something that is not consistent writhe Constitutional division of powers. So they cannot force him to put his assets in a trust.

And, he is immune from prosecution other than impeachment proceedings while in office. But once removed from office, he can be arrested and tried like any private citizen. That is why Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, before Nixon was arrested and tried for obstruction of justice.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I’ll put it this way:

If you were to steal a car, or rob a bank, or commit rape or murder, you would be arrested, jailed, arraigned, hopefully bailed, dragged back into court, tried, either found guilty by a judge or jury, then you would either be sent to prison, then wash dishes for the rest of your life as a convicted felon, or be sent home with an arrest for a serious felony on your record.

If Trump does the same things as you did above, because he is POTUS, nobody will arrest him. He will resume his position and his private life as if nothing has happened. In the meantime, the House will have to hold a simple majority vote on whether or not the charges against him are valid, and if they so decide, they will then send the charges to the Senate for trial by that political body. That is called the impeachment process. And that is all impeachment means. It means that charges have been found valid.

After the House submits the articles of impeachment to the Senate, each charge will be argued seperately and each conviction will require a two-thirds vote of the Senate. If he is found guilty of any high crime or misdemeanor, he will lose his job. Then he will go home and resume being a billionaire.

The last time this happened, the process took four years. It took three and a half years for the House to vote on the charges, and three months for the Senate to acquit the president by one vote on each of three charges. The president finished out the last months of his term and went home to his horse breeding farm in Kentucky.

zenvelo's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus the last time it happened was less than twenty years ago. President Clinton was acquitted and finished his term.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Did it go to the Senate for trial?

LostInParadise's avatar

Yes, Clinton was officially impeached,though he made it unscathed through the trial.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Hmmm. So it did. I wasn’t paying attention after I realised it was about a guy getting his cocked sucked. Everybody on the Hill is sucking the president’s at one time or another. It was his and Hillary’s problem. We’ve had perfectly fine presidents who were inveterate adulterers. That was a bunch of vanillas raising hell over their own projected insecurities. It had no place in national politics. What a bunch of bullshit that was.

flo's avatar

Is it dictatorship if a president isn’t subject to the laws of the land?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

^^^ No @flo it is not, she/he can’t do anything he/she wants; they can just be impeached.

Darth_Algar's avatar

A law is only effective so long as the people responsible for enforcing it are willing to enforce it. If the Congress is not willing to enforce the laws when it comes to the president then yeah, he is effectively above the law.

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