This book provides a detailed look at the constitutional, historical, and political arguments concerning presidential immunity from prosecution, as well as the opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel that provided the justification for the decision not to prosecute President Trump. Focusing on those opinions, the book examines the constitutional basis of presidential immunity, both textual and historical, as reflected in the deliberations of the 1787 Convention and the ratification debates. The opinions are viewed in the context of the criminal investigations of Presidents Nixon and Clinton that gave rise to those opinions, as well as the pronouncements of the Supreme Court concerning their claims, and those of President Trump to immunity from judicial inquiry. Lastly, the book analyzes presidential immunity in light of the separation of powers, the availability of impeachment, and the discordance between presidential immunity and the rule of law.
H. Lowell Brown is a practicing attorney specializing in white collar criminal defense and compliance, and has taught courses in white collar crime, international criminal law and procedure and jurisprudence at the University of Maine Law School, USA. He has written numerous law journal articles on issues of white collar crime and ethics, and is the author of five books, including The American Constitutional Tradition (2017) and High Crimes and Misdemeanors in Presidential Impeachment (2010).
Chapter 1: The Founding Era
Chapter 2: The Nixon Era and the 1973 Office of Legal Counsel Memorandum
Chapter 3: The Clinton Era
Chapter 4: The Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Presidential Immunity
Chapter 5: The Second Memorandum of the Office of Legal Counsel
Chapter 6: Donald J. Trump V. Cyrus R. Vance
Chapter 7: The Separation of Powers
Chapter 8: Impeachment: Sequentiality
Chapter 9: Impeachment: Criminality
Chapter 10: The Rule of Law