NEW: President Donald Trump is entitled to lifetime protection by a Secret Service detail, but those same agents could also be hauled into court to testify against him under oath. by @rbravender & @davelevinthal ($) in @Politicsinsider
It's a prospect that might have seemed outlandish, even until recently, but now appears real as Trump is expected to face a raft of criminal and civil challenges in federal and state courts once he loses his presidential immunity.
Legal experts are contemplating such a scenario as Trump continues to shatter norms — and potentially break laws — in the final days of his presidency
There's clear precedent for Secret Service officials to be compelled to testify against sitting presidents, and legal experts and former agents say Trump's protective detail could also be subject to subpoenas.
"There's no doubt that the Secret Service could be subpoenaed," said Michael Gerhardt, a constitutional law professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill.
There's no legal privilege that would prevent agents from sharing information about potential criminal behavior or the abuse of power that they might have witnessed while doing their job.
"There are so many ways in which we're in uncharted territory right now," said Stephen Vladeck, a constitutional law expert at the University of Texas School of Law. "But of course, that's all because we have a president who put us there."
Backing up, Secret Service agents watched in horror as investigators forced their former colleague Larry Cockell to testify to a grand jury during the investigation into then-President Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
"That is a very, very slippery slope to go down as far as the Secret Service is concerned," said former Secret Service agent Joe Funk, a 21-year veteran of the Secret Service who served on the details of presidents George H. W. Bush and Clinton.
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More from @dsamuelsohn

13 Jan
NEW: After the violent and mostly White pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol last week, Black & brown people had to clean up the mess. Several told @Politicsinsider they were well aware of the racial dynamics. By @elvina_nawaguna & @KaylaEpstein ($)
The Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol left behind shards of broken glass and ripped-apart furniture, blood, empty bottles, and even feces smeared on the walls.
The custodial staff cleaned up in places where people were bludgeoned & in one instance fatally shot, & where dozens of Capitol Police officers were wounded. "It felt bad. It's degrading," said a custodial employee in his 30s, who works for the Architect of the Capitol.
Read 17 tweets
13 Jan
NEW: With just 8 days left in office, the "adults in the room" who had been keeping Trump from flying off the rails are leaving him to fend for himself after he spurred his supporters to attack the Capitol. by @tomlobianco & me @Politicsinsider ($)
Sure, most Rs aren't joining the charge to oust Trump. But they're not standing in the way either. And they're not rushing to his defense as they've done for the last 4 years, even in the face of a House plan to impeach him again, this time for inciting an insurrection."
There's no serious effort either involving vice president and other Republicans to send the president out the door via the 25th Amendment. Pence and his team are instead counting the hours until Trump leaves office.
Read 8 tweets
13 Jan
NEW: Democrats are conflicted about Joe Biden's inauguration. They want to showcase the peaceful transfer of power but are terrified for their own safety and for the incoming new leaders of the administration. by @TinaSfon ($) in @Politicsinsider…
Dems also have no other choice than to put their faith in Trump's administration for the holding of a secure event. After all, his federal agencies are overseeing inauguration security and being looked to to come through in their final days to protect Biden and Congress.
Making matters even more complicated is the fact Trump has also said he will not attend Biden's inauguration. Twitter last week warned that the lame duck's absence could be interpreted by some supporters of the president as a sign it's "safe" to cause more trouble on Jan. 20.
Read 6 tweets
8 Jan
NEW: The Trump administration failed to follow a well-known playbook for coordinating police and law enforcement responses ahead of the deadly pro-Trump riots at the US Capitol this week, national security experts told @Politicsinsider - by @rbravender ($)
It's a framework government officials regularly use for big events that pose major threats to national security, like a State of the Union address, the Olympics, or the Super Bowl.
Those events are officially known as National Special Security Events, and they usually happen a few times per year for significant occasions. Getting an NSSE designation means top law enforcement officials get in a room together to address threats and respond in real time.
Read 9 tweets
8 Jan
How Congress could vote to bar Trump from ever holding federal office again and kill any chances of a 2024 run… by @KaylaEpstein & @davelevinthal ($) @businessinsider
Congress is once again threatening to impeach Donald Trump — this time over accusations he incited a mob to break into the Capitol — and the process could lead to the Senate barring him from ever again serving as president.
It's a long shot, given the dwindling number of days left in the Trump presidency & the rapidly-unfolding politics of the situation. But the Constitution allows the Senate to ban an official that lawmakers have convicted in an impeachment trial from holding federal office again.
Read 10 tweets
7 Jan
NEW: VP Pence doesn't support removing President Trump from office via the 25th Amendment despite the growing bipartisan chorus for a last-minute change at the very top of the American government, Pence advisors told @Politicsinsider by @tomlobianco ($)
"Not happening," said a Republican close to Pence when asked about growing calls for him to replace Trump.
Pence and his team are trying to avoid a 25th amendment/impeachment showdown. They're worried that it could spiral the country even further into chaos and partisan divide while potentially putting into jeopardy Pence's own White House ambitions.
Read 8 tweets

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