美国总统是否能够被起诉犯罪?

It is a constitutional question without a clear answer: Can a sitting American president be charged with a crime?
这是一个尚无定论的宪法问题:美国现任总统可否被起诉?

The question has new importance as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates the Trump 2016 presidential campaign. He is looking into possible connections between the campaign and Russians who reportedly interfered in the 2016 election.
正值特别顾问罗伯特·穆勒(Robert Mueller)调查川普2016年总统竞选之际,这个问题有了新的重要意义。穆勒正在调查川普竞选团队同据传干涉2016年美国大选的俄罗斯人之间可能存在的联系。

Last week, it was reported that Mueller is using a grand jury as part of his investigation. Grand juries decide if government investigators may legally demand private records and information from witnesses. There was no information about when—or whether—Mueller would bring criminal charges in the case.
据报道,穆勒上周在调查中开始成立大陪审团。大陪审团能够决定政府调查人员是否可以合法要求获取证人的私人记录和信息。目前尚不清楚穆勒何时以及是否会就此案提起控罪。

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that federal investigators searched and gathered evidence from the house of Paul Manafort, a Trump campaign manager.
华盛顿邮报周三报道称,联邦调查人员搜查了川普的竞选经理保罗·马纳福特(Paul Manafort)的私宅,并从中收集了证据。

Mueller can prosecute any federal crimes linked to the investigation. In theory, that could include legal action against the president. Mueller is reportedly investigating if Trump obstructed justice when he dismissed James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
穆勒可以起诉跟调查相关的任何联邦犯罪。在理论上来说,这包括对总统采取法律行动。据报道,穆勒正在调查川普解雇联邦调查局局长詹姆斯·科米(James Comey)是否妨碍司法公正。

If Mueller's team decides to bring charges against Trump, it could create a legal battle -- one that could likely end at the Supreme Court.
如果穆勒的团队决定起诉川普,就会引发一起法律大战,这场大战可能会在最高法院落下帷幕。

The Constitution lists conditions under which a president can be impeached and removed from office.
美国宪法列出了总统可以被弹劾下台的条件。

But the Constitution does not directly say whether the president can be prosecuted, or tried for a crime. Also, federal law does not say whether a president can be prosecuted. Courts have never ruled on the issue.
但是宪法并没有直接表明总统是否可以被起诉或是受审。此外,联邦法律也没明确总统是否可以被起诉。法院也从没就这个问题做出过裁决。

Eric Freedman teaches constitutional law at Hofstra University in New York. He says legal opinion is divided as to whether a sitting president can be charged with a crime.
埃里克·弗里德曼(Eric Freedman)在纽约霍夫斯特拉大学教授宪法。他说,对现任总统是否可以被起诉存在法律观点上的分歧。

"It's an important and unsettled question," says Freedman. He says the possibility of legal charges is another way to keep presidents answerable for their actions.
弗里德曼表示:“这是一项事关重大而又悬而未决的问题。”他说,可能发起法律指控是另一种让总统对自己行为负责的办法。

Those who believe a sitting president is protected from criminal charges say it comes down to governing the country. A criminal charge, they say, could prevent presidents from carrying out their duties. That would damage the ability of the government to work. They say this is an understood constitutional principle.
认为现任总统可以免于刑事指控的人士表示,这涉及到治理国家。他们说,刑事指控会妨碍总统执行他们的职责,这会损害政府的工作能力。他们说,这是一项不言自明的宪法原则。

Others argue that the Constitution would include clear terms of such legal protection for the president if that is what its creators had wanted. These experts also argue that the Constitution clearly states no person is above the law.
其他人认为,如果这是宪法创造者想要的效果,宪法就会包含对总统做出这类法律保护的明确条款。这些专家还认为,宪法明确规定任何人不得凌驾于法律之上。

Kenneth Starr agrees with this view. He was the independent counsel who investigated former President Bill Clinton.
肯尼斯·斯塔尔(Kenneth Starr)同意这一观点。斯塔尔是调查前任总统比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)的独立检察官。

In a Starr office memo recently uncovered by The New York Times, Starr said it is right, constitutional, and legal for a president to be charged for serious crimes that are not part of the president's official duties.
在纽约时报最近揭露的一份斯塔尔办公室的备忘录中,斯塔尔表示,总统被指控职责之外的严重罪行是正确的,也是符合宪法和法律的。

"In this country," he wrote, "no one, even President Clinton, is above the law."
他写道:“在美国,没有人可以凌驾于法律之上,哪怕是克林顿总统。”

Impeachment
弹劾

Impeachment is the process by which Congress brings charges against the president. It means Congress is the court that tries the president.
弹劾是国会对总统提出指控的过程。这意味着国会是审判总统的法庭。

Impeachment is a political, not legal, process, according to James Pfiffner, a public policy professor at George Mason University. He believes impeachment is the best way constitutionally to hold a president accountable.
乔治梅森大学的公共政策教授詹姆斯·菲菲纳(James Pfiffner)表示,弹劾是一项政治进程,而不是法律进程。他认为弹劾是让总统承担责任的最合乎宪法规定的方式。

The Constitution says reasons to impeach a president include "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." Congress alone has the power to decide what that means.
宪法规定弹劾总统的原因包括“叛国、贿赂或其它重罪和轻罪。”只有国会有权解释这是什么意思。

What does it take to impeach a president?
怎么弹劾总统?

A majority of lawmakers in the House of Representatives must agree on impeachment for it to happen. The Senate then holds a trial. And a president could be removed from office if two-thirds of the Senate agree the president is guilty.
想要弹劾总统必须获得绝大多数众议员的同意。然后由参议院进行审判。如果参议院有三分之二的议员同意总统有罪,总统就能被免职。

Only two American presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives - Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson. The Senate ruled not guilty in both cases.
美国历史上只有两位总统受到了众议院的弹劾,那就是比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)和安德鲁·约翰逊(Andrew Johnson)。这两起弹劾案都被参议院裁定无罪。

President Richard Nixon was facing possible impeachment when he resigned. The next president, Gerald Ford, pardoned Nixon after he left office. As a result, the former president could not face criminal charges.
理查德·尼克松(Richard Nixon)在辞职时面临着可能的弹劾。下一任总统杰拉尔德·福特(Gerald Ford)在尼克松辞职后赦免了他。因此,这位前任总统不会面临刑事指控。

Pardons
赦免

Now, some are questioning if a sitting president could pardon him or herself. Last month, The Washington Post reported that President Trump had asked his lawyers about such a possibility, although his lawyer denied the newspaper story.
现在有人开始质疑现任总统是否可以赦免自己。华盛顿邮报上个月报道称,川普总统已经向他的律师询问过这种可能性,尽管他的律师否认了这一新闻报道。

It appears the Constitution would permit a sitting president to pardon anyone for any crime at any time.
似乎美国宪法允许现任总统在任何时间赦免任何人的任何罪行。

I'm Caty Weaver.
我是卡蒂·韦弗。

And I'm Anne Ball.
我是安妮·波尔。(51VOA.COM对本文翻译保留全部权利,未经授权请勿转载,违者必究!)