When the President does it, it's not illegal

When the President does it, it's not illegal

"When the president does it … that means that it is not illegal "

   --Richard Nixon, 1977 interview with David Frost


Surely Nixon was not the first to put forward a theory of government  that the President has absolute immunity and is in effect above the law. But Trump, in a brief filed yesterday, has brought the question front and center before the SCOTUS where he argues (as reported by the NYTimes)

“The president cannot function, and the presidency itself cannot retain its vital independence, if the president faces criminal prosecution for official acts once he leaves office.”

It's not the first time Trump has raised this point. In a federal appeals court earlier this year federal judge Pan asked a Trump lawyer a very to the point question, and got a disturbing but direct response:   

“I asked you a yes-or-no question,” Judge Pan said. “Could a president who ordered SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival, who was not impeached, would he be subject to criminal prosecution?”

(Trump lawyer) Mr. Sauer said his answer was a “qualified yes,” by which he meant no. He explained that prosecution would only be permitted if the president were first impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate.

It's deeply unsettling that the highest court in the land just might rule that Presidents really are above the law, a question i should have thought has been basically settled since the Magna Carta, or certainly since the US Revolution.

Yet another thing i utterly do not understand.

But i do have a proposal that would kill several birds with one stone. In order to settle the legal issue once and for all, Biden should have SEAL Team 6 take out Trump, and publicly take credit for it.