Trump impeachment: More than 600 law academics conclude there is 'overwhelming evidence' for president's removal

Experts sign letter stating US president ‘betrayed his oath of office’

Peter Stubley
Sunday 08 December 2019 02:01
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Impeachment: Trump is first US president to solicit favours from foreign government inquiry hears

Hundreds of legal scholars have concluded there is “overwhelming evidence” that Donald Trump engaged in impeachable conduct

In an open letter to Congress, more than 600 academics from law schools including Yale, Rutgers and Harvard said it would be constitutional to remove the president.

“There is overwhelming evidence that President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to use presidential power to pressure a foreign government to help him distort an American election, for his personal and political benefit, at the direct expense of national security interests as determined by Congress,” they wrote.

“His conduct is precisely the type of threat to our democracy that the founders feared when they included the remedy of impeachment in the constitution.”

The scholars said their conclusion was based on the evidence heard so far in the impeachment hearings of Mr Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rival Joe Biden.

That includes testimony from US officials Gordon Sondland and William Taylor and Mr Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president.

The scholars said they were not giving their opinion on whether the president committed a crime.

They concluded: “Ultimately, whether to impeach the President and remove him from office depends on judgments that the Constitution leaves to Congress.

“But if the House of Representatives impeached the President for the conduct described here and the Senate voted to remove him, they would be acting well within their constitutional powers.

“Whether President Trump’s conduct is classified as bribery, as a high crime or misdemeanour, or as both, it is clearly impeachable under our Constitution.”

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