Just two days after Robert Mueller’s unexpected press conference — one in which he said that charging a sitting president with a crime was “not an option,” based on Justice Department rules — Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled a new plan which would roll that policy back.
On Friday morning, Warren, a 2020 presidential hopeful, called on Congress to pass a law which would allow for a sitting president be indicted. Should she win the presidency, she vowed to appoint Justice Department officials that would make sure of it.
Her plan comes on the heels of a new wave of Democrats calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment after Mueller’s bombshell presser.
“Mueller’s statement made clear what those of us who have read his report already knew: He’s referring President Trump for impeachment, and it’s up to Congress to act,” Warren wrote in a post published to Medium.
“But impeachment isn’t supposed to be the only way that a President can be held accountable for committing a crime,” Warren added. “That’s why I’ve got a plan to make sure that no President is above the law.”
According to The Hill, Warren’s plan would include legislation that would make charging a current president with a crime a lawful action, on top of amending obstruction of justice statutes that would allow the same.
Her goal, she wrote, is to make sure that a president can be charged — just like any other government official. The plan essentially gives an additional government entity, the Department of Justice, the power to hold a president accountable for alleged crimes.
Warren railed against Trump in her post, charging that the president used the Justice Department to help him get away with a crime. “That’s not how our country is supposed to work,” she said.
She also points out that previous lawyers for past presidents have argued that the only way a president can be held accountable for potential wrongdoing is through impeachment, but also that “constitutional experts” have criticized that argument.
Warren also accused Attorney General William Barr of acting like Trump’s personal defense attorney, claiming “he disgraced himself” in the process. Other Democrats have echoed that statement, and have implied that there’s good reason Barr was hand-picked by the president.
The 2020 presidential candidate doubled down regarding her plan’s conclusion.
“No matter what he may think, Donald Trump is not a King. No President is. And our democracy only works if everyone can be held accountable. These changes will make sure that’s the case for generations to come,” she wrote.
Warren, who has used similar policy plan proposals as part of her presidential bid, currently sits in fourth place in the Democratic primary race, per RealClearPolitics data.