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According to Trump, a president who is under investigation,  would cause a “constitutional crisis.”

A fresh argument has been sparked by former president Donald Trump’s claim that the indictment of a serving president would result in a “constitutional crisis.” His remarks come as debates between lawyers and politicians alike center on whether or not a sitting president has absolute protection from criminal prosecution.

Trump voiced his anxiety about the consequences of indicting a sitting president in a recent interview. He warned that this would throw the nation into a constitutional crisis, calling into question the separation of powers and threatening the executive branch’s ability to do its job.

There has been debate over and examination of the idea of presidential immunity from criminal proceedings for quite some time now. Although the Constitution does not state directly that a serving president cannot be charged, this is the common view as a result of legal interpretations and historical precedence. This view is grounded in the idea that a president facing criminal charges may be prevented from doing their job, which would be detrimental to the nation as a whole.

Trump’s comments follow a period of increased debate about presidential responsibility and the limits of executive authority. Some people think a president shouldn’t be protected from criminal prosecution since the idea of immunity from indictment violates the premise of equal protection under the law. However, supporters stress the need of avoiding politically motivated charges and keeping the executive branch stable.

During Trump’s presidency, the debate over whether or not a sitting president may be indicted for a crime became more prominent than ever. The investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by the president has stoked heated discussions. The Justice Department guideline that a sitting president cannot be charged with a federal crime was followed, thus Mueller’s report did not clear Trump of wrongdoing or indict him.

Recent statements by Trump have rekindled the discussion, leading lawyers and politicians to question the constitutionality of this long-held practice of presidential immunity. Criminal charges against a sitting president have been argued to have both political and constitutional implications. Proponents of the latter view say that no one, including the president, should be above the law.

There are serious concerns about the state of accountability and government efficiency that have been brought to light by the discussion of presidential immunity and the possible indictment of a sitting president. One side argues that it’s more important to keep the executive branch functioning smoothly and efficiently, while the other side insists that it’s more important to build a fair and transparent system that can hold presidents responsible for any criminal activity.

Legal academics, politicians, and the general public continue to discuss the ramifications of indicting a sitting president and the difficulties of presidential immunity. How these debates will inform future legal interpretations, and maybe influence changes addressing the responsibility of people in the highest position in the land, remains to be seen.

The topic of whether or not a sitting president may be indicted during his or her term will remain controversial no matter what the verdict may be, since it is at the crossroads of constitutional interpretation, legal precedent, and our ever-evolving notion of executive authority.