In the past, Laurence Tribe has said President Donald Trump is vulnerable to impeachment. But following the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, Tribe — a Harvard Law School professor and one of the nation’s most prominent constitutional scholars — says Trump’s impeachment is now an imperative.
In an opinion piece Saturday for the Washington Post, Tribe said Trump’s offenses (potential violations of the emoluments clause and interference with FBI’s Russia investigation) were piling up and called for the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to launch an impeachment investigation.
Even without getting to the bottom of what Trump dismissed as “this Russia thing,” impeachable offenses could theoretically have been charged from the outset of this presidency. One important example is Trump’s brazen defiance of the foreign emoluments clause, which is designed to prevent foreign powers from pressuring U.S. officials to stray from undivided loyalty to the United States. Political reality made impeachment and removal on that and other grounds seem premature.
No longer. To wait for the results of the multiple investigations underway is to risk tying our nation’s fate to the whims of an authoritarian leader.
Tribe added that Trump’s firing of Comey was “vastly more serious” than the “third-rate burglary” President Richard Nixon tried to cover up in the Watergate scandal.
Tribe joins a number of progressive groups and grassroots efforts pushing for an impeachment investigation. Some Democratic elected officials have also increasingly begun floating impeachment since Comey’s dismissal, which reports suggest was motivated by the president’s personal mistrust. However, Republican congressional leaders have largely downplayed Comey’s firing as an issue.
In an appearance Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Tribe said the impeachment process is “our system’s last resort for someone who treats himself or herself as above the law.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 14, 2017
Acknowledging the current political realities, Tribe wrote in the Post that it will take “serious commitment to constitutional principle” and courage to “devotion to the national interest above self-interest and party loyalty” for House Republicans to initiate the impeachment process against Trump. He added that it would be a “terrible shame” if they are preoccupied of the 2018 midterm elections.
Read Tribe‘s full article here.