June 08, 2018

ABA Legal Fact Check explores the legal basis for saying, ‘A president is not above the law’

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2018 — The American Bar Association posted today a new ABA Legal Fact Check that explores the legal precedents related to whether a U.S. president can act “above the law.”

Political conversation turned to this question in the past few days when Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, suggested a sitting president could not be indicted. Trump himself fueled the conversation a day later when he tweeted that he had the “absolute right” to pardon himself if necessary.

The new fact check explores the relevant parts of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving then-Presidents Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1997 and how they might pertain to legal situations today. It also analyzes the Supreme Court’s assertion in the Nixon case that a president does not have “unqualified presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances.”

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. The URL for the site is www.abalegalfactcheck.com. Follow us on Twitter @ABAFactCheck.

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