Can the President get arrested?

A viewer asked this question on 6/23/2000:

Who has the authority to arrest the President of the United States?

budgetanalyst gave this response on 6/24/2000:

The President is not exempt from the law, so he can be legally arrested for the same reasons as any other person in the United States. (The Supreme Court so found in relation to the recent unpleasantness related to the current President's affairs. The President's lawyers argued that he could not be made to testify on a lawsuit while he was President. The Supreme Court decreed otherwise, stating that the President was not exempted from the laws that applied to all citizens.)

The practicalities involved may be something else. The President is protected by the Secret Service, and it is not likely that any law officer will be allowed to simply walk up to the President and place him under arrest. If it ever came to arresting the President, it would be a very delicate situation. In my opinion, the matter would be legally dragged out so that any actual arrest (if justified) would take place after the President leaves office, either after the end of the term, resignation, or removal from office as a result of impeachment actions.

One thing that may be somewhat confusing is that the Constitution protects members of Congress (Representatives and Senators) from arrest while they are on their way to Congress or while performing their duties. In the Washington, D.C., area this privilege sometimes comes into play - a Senator has refused to abide by the HOV rules while he drives to the Capitol, and there is nothing that the police can do about it; Senator Byrd of W. Va. recently waived his immunity in this regard when he hit another vehicle from behind.

JesseGordon responded:


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