On his show “The Mark Levin Show” on Friday, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin disagreed with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on indicting a sitting president, suggesting that if we were to indict a sitting president, we the people would suffer.
“Let's say the president’s convicted,” stated Mark Levin. “Does he go to prison? Does the president go to prison? There is nothing that says he had to resign. So is he going to govern from prison? ‘Well, we’ll impeach him.’ Maybe they will. Maybe they won't.
“So, who suffers?” asked Levin later in the program. “We the people, we suffer. Who benefits? Well, his political opponents, and our enemies, they benefit. Because obviously a president is going to be burdened. He’s going to be distracted. You’re going to have the same media pushing indictments, pushing convictions, pushing sentencing. It would be an impossible burden not just for the president as a citizen but for the nation – but for the nation.”
Mark Levin’s remarks stem from an exclusive interview Speaker Nancy Pelosi had with National Public Radio (NPR). During the interview, Speaker Pelosi suggests that it is necessary to pass laws for future presidents to be indicted, further stating that “[t]he Founders could never suspect that a president would be so abusive of the Constitution of the United States, that the separation of powers would be irrelevant to him and that he would continue, any president would continue, to withhold facts from the Congress, which are part of the constitutional right of inquiry.”
Below is a transcript, in pertinent part, of Mark Levin’s remarks from his show on Friday:
“Now Nancy Pelosi has a great idea, and, of course, tongue and cheek.
“Pelosi says ‘Congress Should Pass New Laws So Sitting Presidents Can Be Indicted.’ This is [National Pubic Radio].
“‘House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested a new law is needed to be able to indict a sitting president for potential lawbreaking while in office.
“‘In an exclusive interview with NPR, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has not changed her mind on pursuing impeachment but is ready to change the law to restrain presidential power […] make it clear that a sitting president can, in fact, be indicted.
“‘“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
“‘[I]f he’s commited a wrongdoing’? He should be indicted ‘if he’s committed a wrongdoing’?
“‘“There is nothing anyplace that says the president should not be indicted,”’ she said.
“Now, I’m going to address this. You know, years ago, when I was a young man who hadn’t experienced, you know, the soberness of age and so forth, I used to say, ‘Yeah. We ought to be able to indict a sitting president,” and then I really started thinking about it. It’s like Convention of States. I said, ‘Now let’s think this through.’
“Look at the environment today. If you could indict a sitting president. Now, she doesn’t explain herself because she’s incapable of explaining herself. Does she mean any federal prosecutor can indict a sitting president? Does she mean state prosecutors? Does she mean local DAs? What does she mean? She doesn’t know what she means. Somebody will have to tell her what she means. She’s dimwitted.
“Alright, well, let’s move on from there.
“How about a federal prosecutor?
“Well, ladies and gentlemen, how many U.S. attorneys are there, at least how many U.S. attorney offices are there? There are 93. So there’s 93 U.S. attorneys or acting United States attorneys. There are thousands of assistant United States attorneys – thousands. That’s a lot.
“And so, when you have a U.S. attorney and assistant U.S. attorney who wants to investigate a president, let’s say for campaign finance issues or nondisclosure agreements, or they want to investigate a president because they think the president has violated the emoluments clause or they think the president of the United States has obstructed or they think this, that or the other. What kind of a president will you have? What kind of a presidency will we have? They’ll be crippled.
“Let's say the president’s convicted. Does he go to prison? Does the president go to prison? There is nothing that says he had to resign. So is he going to govern from prison? ‘Well, we’ll impeach him.’ Maybe they will. Maybe they won't.
“Let's take it a few steps further. The president is still a citizen. He’s a citizen. So at the same time he is trying to defend himself in all these phases of an investigation in a court case – he’s dealing with Iran; he’s dealing with China, North Korea, immigration, a thousand issues – that when a president isn’t threatened with an indictment. It takes years and years off their lives. It is an incredibly difficult job, even without the threat of a criminal prosecution.
“So, who suffers? We the people, we suffer. Who benefits? Well, his political opponents, and our enemies, they benefit. Because obviously a president is going to be burdened. He’s going to be distracted. You’re going to have the same media pushing indictments, pushing convictions, pushing sentencing. It would be an impossible burden not just for the president as a citizen but for the nation – but for the nation.
“‘Well, Mark, the president isn’t above the law.’ The president of the United States is one of a kind, whatever the party, whomever it is. There’s only one president. There’s hundreds of members of Congress. There’s hundreds of judges. There’s one president of the United States.
“And so, you could have one prosecutor, one prosecutor, decide, essentially, to reverse the course of an election just by bringing a charge – one prosecutor.
“‘Well, Mark, it would have to be coordinated with the attorney general’s office.’ No, it wouldn’t. Maybe, maybe not, we don't know. It’s never happened. But let's say it’s coordinated with the attorney general. So then you would have a cabinet member, who wasn’t elected by anybody, a cabinet member comes under enormous pressure from the editorial page of The New York Slimes and The Washington Compost, the daily drumbeat from the so-called newsrooms. Look at the attorney general in Israel. Look at how he buckled – and they do buckle. Look at our chief justice, how he buckles to media attention and media pressure. One attorney general might be no different.
“So, you would have a circumstance with the president of the United States, who, coming into office, would have his hands tied.”
Mark Levin also disagrees with Ben Shapiro, who agreed with Speaker Pelosi that a sitting president should be able to be indicted, Shapiro suggesting in a tweet, “Curbing the executive through prosecution shouldn’t be off the table. In fact, I argued that with regard to the Obama administration. She should be careful what she wishes for.”