Prof. Tribe, whose contribution to American jurisprudence is undeniable, makes herein a weak case.
In Dr. Tribe’s article, he bioviates about tangentially related matters for seven or eight paragraphs before getting to the actual issue of obstruction, and then does so without citing any relevant statues. To me, that’s a big flashing neon sign that tells me that Dr. Tribe knows that he’s arguing this matter for the Court of Public Opinion rather than a court of law. Even a respected professor such as Dr. Tribe gives way to strong political preferences on occasion, and Dr. Tribe is, as everyone knows, a Democrat partisan.
Politifact lays the actual legal case out in more detail, and does not avoid the fact that in both the Clinton and Nixon cases, judges affirmed that a sitting president may not be criminally prosecuted while in office.
It is not controversial to point out that there will be no criminal indictment of Mr. Trump. Period. Forget about it.
Obstruction of justice, immunity, impeachment: A primer
Americans are hearing a lot of comparisons these days between Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, particularly after news…
And then, there’s the matter of evidence. To put it bluntly, there is more hard evidence at this moment in time that Mrs. Clinton should be prosecuted than there is for Mr. Trump. Dr. Tribe assumes uncritically that (a) newspaper reporting of the (b) worst case scenarios (from Mr. Trump’s perspective) gleaned from (c )anonymous insiders (ostensibly) are (d) completely factual, even though (e) the accounts from the reporting have varied from media source to media source.
The law doesn’t work like that, and for good reason.
All that aside, I’m sure you’ve already viewed the contrary opinion of a professor no less famous than Dr. Tribe:
Dershowitz Says Special Counsel Will Help Trump: 'He's Going to Find No Crime'
Although many on the left have expressed their approval of Robert Mueller being appointed as special counsel to…
I want Congress to quickly and thoroughly investigate the entire Russia question, not the much narrower question of Comey’s firing (although, since the president says he fired Comey over Russia, that would be a part of the larger investigation).
First off, I don’t want Congress’ bumbling hands anywhere near this thing. The conflict of interest issues are staggering. They wouldn't be able to agree on what they are investigating, the grandstanding for the cameras would be legendary, and both parties would spend 80% of their time trying to gotcha the other for the 2018 election.
Now, if someone were to suggest a 9/11 style Commission, that would pique my interest.
At any rate, if you’re stating that the most important thing to investigate here is the DNC hack and the connection of that material to Wikileaks, then I’d agree with you entirely. Trump is tangential to that question.
Keeping in mind, of course, that something we assume as fact (that the Russians hacked the DNC) is itself not proven.
Here's the Public Evidence Russia Hacked the DNC - It's Not Enough
There are some good reasons to believe Russians had something to do with the breaches into email accounts belonging to…
Getting back to Trump, however, the Politifact article lays out the case:
Unlike the judicial system, impeachment is ultimately a political process. A majority of lawmakers, rather than a jury or a judge, is charged with determining what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor. And given that Republicans control both chambers for now, any impeachment of Trump seems unlikely.
I agree and disagree with that statement. To start with my objection, don’t conclude that Trump is invulnerable because the GOP hold both Houses, and probably will continue to hold them through to 2020. Trump’s support is 10 miles wide but only an inch thick; if his popular support drops to Bushian levels (sub 30% on average, and he’s on his way to getting there), the smart thing to do will be to move him out and move ahead with Mr. Pence, who is a preferable partner to both sides of the aisle.
What I agree with is that impeachment is a political decision that has little to do with actual infractions of the law. The Constitution provides impeachment as the solution to “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Taken at face value, the President may be impeached for jaywalking, by that standard. Ultimately, impeachment is the only remedy here, and that remedy will be vetted based on polling of Trump’s core supporters, not anything he does or does not do.
The fastest path forward is probably to remind Republican voters that they can put themselves and Trump out of their respective misery rather quickly by supporting a move to President Pence; and unlike cod liver oil, that’s medicine that, for the GOP politicians and voters, tastes good.