Donald Trump Can Be Impeached And Branded A Criminal Even Without Senate Trial, Harvard Law Professor Explains

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Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued to oppose the opening of impeachment proceedings that could, at least in theory, end with the removal of Donald Trump from office. She reportedly even privately this week that she does not want Trump impeached, but does want to see him in prison, according to Politico.

But even though she has described Trump’s refusal to cooperate with Congress — following the release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller detailing more than 10 incidents in which Trump apparently sought to obstruct justice — as a “constitutional crisis,” according to ABC News, Pelosi has yet to change her stance against impeachment, calling the process “divisive.”

And on a recent Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Pelosi said that she believes Trump actually wants to be impeached by the House in order to allow the Republican-controlled Senate to “exonerate” him.

Under the impeachment process detailed in the United States Constitution, the House must agree on articles of impeachment — that is, specific accusations against a president — but it is the Senate that must act as a jury and hold a trial, according to The National Center For Constitutional Studies. If two-thirds of Senators vote to convict, a president may then be removed from office.

Laurence Tribe testifies.
Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe has outlined a plan for impeaching Donald Trump.Featured image credit: Paul SakumaGetty Images

The extreme unlikelihood that the Republican-controlled Senate would vote to convict Trump has also motivated Pelosi’s hesitancy to open Trump impeachment proceedings. But an acclaimed Harvard Law professor on Saturday appeared in an MSNBC cable news interview, according to Raw Story, to explain a plan under which the House could move forward with the impeachment of Trump, even if the Senate were certain to acquit Trump — or refuse to hold a trial at all.

They could have factual conclusions,” Tribe said.

“The House of Representatives is quite capable of reaching a verdict. That is what I proposed it should do.”

In a Washington Post op-ed this week, Tribe explained that the House could reach that “verdict” on Trump’s guilt without bothering to refer their findings to the Senate at all, knowing that there is no chance Republicans would vote to convict.

Instead, Tribe writes that the House could, after closing the impeachment hearings, adopt a “resolution” stating its verdict on Trump’s guilt.

Adopting such a strong resolution declaring Trump’s guilt — if indeed the House reaches that conclusion — is “one that even a president accustomed to treating everything as a victory would be hard-pressed to characterize as a vindication,” Tribe wrote in The Post.

Public support for the impeachment of Trump appears to be rising. A new poll released last week, as The Inquisitr reported, showed that 41 percent of the American public now wants Trump to face impeachment.