Don’t be misled by President Biden’s statement on the Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity.

As reported in The Hill, Biden stated: “For all practical purposes, today’s decision almost certainly means that there are virtually no limits on what a president can do. It’s a fundamentally new principle . . . It’s a dangerous precedent, because the power of the office will no longer be constrained by the law, even including the Supreme Court of the United States.”

These comments are provably false. Here are the facts:

  • Even before this decision, most experts believed the President could not be prosecuted criminally while in office.
  • However, while in office, he is remains liable to impeachment and removal for any “high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” whether official or unofficial, including his “core” exclusive duties. Some scholars believe that a President can be impeached even after leaving office.
  • After a President leaves office, he is potentially criminally-liable for all unofficial acts.
  • After a President leaves office there is a presumption of immunity for official duties outside “core” areas, but potentially the presumption can be rebutted by showing that criminal prosecution would not impair the duties of the presidency. If the presumption is rebutted, he can be liable criminally.

This Supreme Court decision was well within the scope of what was expected. It was made necessary by Biden himself—specifically, the unprecedented scale of his weaponization of the legal system against a political opponent.

Rob Natelson