Cummings: DOJ should 'definitely' reconsider laws against indicting sitting president

A top Democrat on Sunday said the Department of Justice (DOJ) should "definitely" reconsider laws against indicting sitting presidents, amid multiple ongoing investigations circling around President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE.

"I think we should always reconsider laws and regulations, and this is one we definitely should reconsider," Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsWe must act on lowering cost of prescription drugs Voters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? MORE (D-Md.) said on CNN's "State of the Union."


DOJ guidelines state that a sitting president cannot be indicted, but some legal experts suggest that court precedent makes the regulation ripe for challenge.

Cummings, the likely incoming House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman who is expected to launch new investigations into Trump's actions once Democrats take control of the House next year, in his comments echoed fellow Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.).

"I think the Justice Department needs to reexamine that OLC opinion, Office of Legal Counsel opinion, that you cannot indict a sitting president under circumstances in which the failure to do so may mean that person escapes justice," said the likely incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee last week on CNN.

Cummings also said he wants Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen to testify before his committee.

"I am hoping that Mr. Cohen will come before the Congress, where he can tell the American public exactly what he has been saying to Mueller and others without interfering with the [Robert] Mueller investigation," he said.

Asked whether he plans to turn his attention to impeaching Trump in the next Congress, Cummings said Democrats will wait for the results of the special counsel's ongoing investigation into Russian election interference.

"Our major thing right now is to let Mr. Mueller, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for, do his job. Let him complete his job. Then we take a look at what he says and go from there. I think it's actually premature right now to do that. But the evidence is certainly powerful enough. I think the president knows that."

-Updated 12:38 p.m.