Can a sitting president be prosecuted in a criminal proceeding?
According to FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, the answer is “no.” In his first public remarks since the release of his report, he said on Wednesday that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”
But the question isn’t as settled as Mueller makes it out to be.
My colleague Dylan Matthews has an in-depth explainer on whether Trump can be prosecuted. But for a quick explainer on this question, we made this concise diagram to sort out the debate, with the help of Michigan State University’s Brian Kalt, who has written on this exact issue. (Kalt concludes that presidents are immune from prosecution but concedes that there are unsettled arguments on both sides.)
There are several key questions that need to be answered before concluding that a sitting president can be indicted. But eventually, all roads likely lead to the Supreme Court.