Legal scholar and professor Laurence Tribe said on Saturday that Democrats should launch an impeachment inquiry, but they should leave the Republican-controlled Senate entirely out of it.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Tribe said the biggest political problem related to impeachment is not public opinion, but instead is the inevitable refusal of Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to convict the president, no matter what crimes he has committed.
“[House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] is assuming that launching an impeachment inquiry puts you on a collision course with the stone wall represented by McConnell and the GOP in the Senate,” Tribe said. “The House can say, ‘We are reaching our own conclusion after a full and fair hearing. We find that Donald J. Trump has committed the following serious criminal offenses, the following high crimes and misdemeanors.'”
“The likelihood is he’d be convicted,” Tribe added.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) June 8, 2019
She is assuming that launching an impeachment inquiry puts you on a collision course with the stone wall represented by McConnell and the GOP in the Senate. It doesn’t. If the Senate continues to shirk its duty and say, ‘case closed,’ the House can say, ‘It’s not closed at all. We are reaching our own conclusion after a full and fair hearing. We find that Donald J. Trump has committed the following serious criminal offenses, the following high crimes and misdemeanors. It is possible they’d acquit him. They shouldn’t decide before they have the inquiry, but the likelihood is he would be convicted. And there would be a negative verdict and he would carry it around his neck. His forehead would be stamped with a scarlet I. He would bear the mark of Cain when he goes into the election. I think it is a silly prospect to say that he would be strengthened. He would claim vindication. He could always claim vindication, that is his style, but the American people are not as stupid as he seems to think. They are not. They need to be educated by an impeachment inquiry that could be begun and ended in the House of Representatives.
Republicans – not impeachment – are the problem
It is true that Democrats should be careful about how they approach the impeachment issue. They need to make clear to the public that it’s not a politically motivated act, but instead an effort to protect the rule of law from a corrupt president.
As Laurence Tribe said on Saturday, one effective strategy in doing that could be to completely remove Republicans from the process as the GOP has shown that they, not Democrats, are playing politics to protect a president who has committed crimes.
The best way forward is for Democrats to continue their investigations, letting the facts drive the discussion, while leaving Senate Republicans completely out of the process.
After all, in the age of Donald Trump and under the leadership of Mitch McConnell, it has become clear that the Senate GOP is nothing but an extension of the Trump White House.