Democrats are consulting with Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Tribe, who has pushed for impeachment since before Donald Trump took office in 2016, as they prepare articles of impeachment.
The New York Times reported Saturday: “Laurence H. Tribe, the constitutional law professor at Harvard, planned to travel to Washington on Saturday to discuss impeachment with Democratic members, kept in town over the weekend for two lengthy prep sessions.”
Update: Tribe later confirmed the report:
For those who wondered why I was being so secretive about my whereabouts and plans for this weekend, it looks like the facts have somehow leaked. The NY Times has sources everywhere, it seems . . . https://t.co/XXcEuI7Hh6
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) December 7, 2019
Tribe declared in December 2016 that Trump’s impeachment “should begin on Inauguration Day,” basing his argument on a dubious interpretation of the Emoluments Clause.
Later, in May 2017 — less than five months into the Trump presidency — Tribe wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post declaring: “The time has come for Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Trump for obstruction of justice.” He called Trump a “danger to our system of government.”
Though the House Judiciary Committee’s staff report, released Saturday, on the legal and constitutional basis for impeachment declares that impeaching the president is a “last and most extraordinary resort,” it relies heavily on Tribe for its analysis.
For example, it cites Tribe in one of its most dubious arguments, using the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in 1868 — almost universally recognized as a mistake — to claim that presidents can be impeached for “illegitimate motives” even if they have acted lawfully.
Notably, the report completely ignores the testimony of the four “experts” who appeared before the Judiciary Committee last week.
As the photograph above indicates, Tribe worked with then-Vice President Joe Biden in the Obama administration on an initiative to expand access to legal assistance to the needy.
Questions about Biden’s conflict of interest — serving as the Obama administration’s leader on Ukraine policy while his son, Hunter, held a board seat on Ukraine’s largest gas company — are central to Trump’s defense of his request that Ukraine investigate Biden’s intervention to force the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.