Pelosi Wants To Clarify Laws On Indictment Of Sitting Presidents

Pelosi Wants To Clarify Laws On Indictment Of Sitting Presidents
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told NPR "there is nothing anyplace" that says a president can't be indicted.

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi endorsed the idea of changing federal protocol to clarify that sitting presidents can be indicted.

In an interview on NPR's "All Things Considered," the House speaker reiterated that she's not ready to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. But she said she does believe that the Justice Department's current stance on pursuing criminal charges against a president needs to be reviewed.

She said: "I do think that we will have to pass some laws that will have clarity for future presidents. [A] president should be indicted, if he's committed a wrongdoing — any president. There is nothing anyplace that says the president should not be indicted."

Pelosi also said the idea that a sitting president is immune from criminal charges is "something cooked up by the president's lawyers." 

The Justice Department concluded in 1973, and reaffirmed in 2000, that the criminal prosecution of a sitting president "would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions."

That conclusion gained national attention following Robert Mueller's investigation into possible obstruction by President Trump. The special counsel testified to lawmakers that his team knew from the start of the investigation that they could not pursue any potential charges against the president due to DOJ protocol.

Meanwhile, calls for impeachment are getting louder; over half of Pelosi's caucus now supports beginning proceedings. Recent news of a whistleblower complaint involving President Trump's communications with a foreign leader has only fanned those flames.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.