Protect Democracy & Republicans for the Rule of Law

Presidential Accountability Project

In July 2020, the Supreme Court affirmed that the president is not a king, that neither the president, nor Congress, nor the courts themselves can have unlimited power. However, President Trump’s attorneys tried to tell the Court that the president is immune from all accountability. By rejecting the president’s extreme arguments, the Supreme Court took necessary action to defend the rule of law and the future of our democracy.

President Trump is not above the law.

Every time one part of the government – Congress, the courts, the states – tries to hold President Trump accountable, he tells them he’s only accountable to another part of the government. But who that is keeps changing, so in the end President Trump never concedes accountability to anyone.

A foundational principle of our democracy is that everyone – from ordinary citizens to the president – must follow the law. But President Trump and his lawyers are playing a shell game with the states, Congress, and the courts. Whenever one entity tries to hold the president accountable, he insists that only another entity can do so, but then turns around and claims that the second entity has no power over him, either. Examples of this strategy are compiled here.

  • President Trump has told federal judges that the presidency entitles him to immunity from any form of investigation.
  • He has argued Congress has no oversight power over presidents and that the only way presidents can be investigated is via impeachment.
  • At the same time, President Trump has also argued that it is impossible for Congress to impeach him for refusing to cooperate with its investigations unless they go to court… where President Trump claims immunity.
  • Meanwhile, the president has also argued that he has complete immunity from state investigators.

President Trump’s arguments fundamentally undermine the system of checks and balances designed by the framers to ensure neither the president, nor Congress, nor the courts could have unlimited power. And when put together, they create a world in which presidents are immune to all accountability.

The goal of The Presidential Accountability Project is to expose the danger President Trump’s posture poses to the future of American democracy. And, indeed, with the Court’s rulings in Trump v. Vance and Trump v. Mazars/Trump v. Deutsche Bank, the Court has finally recognized President Trump’s dangerous shell game and repudiated his reckless disregard for the Constitution and rule of law. 

To use the words of Chief Justice Roberts writing for the majority in Vance, the highest court in the land has affirmed that “a king is born to power and can ‘do no wrong.’ The President, by contrast, is ‘of the people’ and subject to the law.” 

Protect Democracy and Republicans for the Rule of Law have partnered to remind President Trump that he is not above the law, and that he is subject to both congressional and judicial oversight – just as our Founding Fathers intended.