Professor Laurence Tribe: Donald Trump and Mike Pence may both need to be impeached over Russia

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Donald Trump Jr.’s confession this week has blown the Russia scandal wide open. It’s bringing additional meetings and contacts to light. It’s prompting a review of existing evidence that now makes more sense in proper context. It’s causing questions to be asked that many in the Donald Trump campaign don’t have answers for. And according to respected Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, Donald Trump and Mike Pence may both need to be impeached over it.

Yesterday, Mike Pence’s press secretary appeared on Fox News and curiously refused to deny that Pence had also met with the Russian government, even after he was asked the question repeatedly. This led Palmer Report (link) and others, including MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, to send up red flags yesterday about whether this meant that Pence did meet with the Russians, and what role Pence may have played in trying to rig the election in Donald Trump’s favor. This morning, Laurence Tribe weighed in with his own verdict.

Professor Tribe cited the Fox News incident and tweeted: “Pence is in up to his neck. Impeachment conversation may be premature, but whenever it occurs it may need to cover both POTUS & VPOTUS” (link). This is significant because Tribe is considered one of the foremost scholars on the U.S. Constitution. So when he says that Trump and Pence will both need to be looked at regarding impeachment, it carries significant weight. While the Republicans may refuse to impeach now, the Democrats will move forward with it if they take the majority in the midterm elections.

   

This of course leads to the question of who would end up being President of the United States if Donald Trump and Mike Pence were both impeached and removed from office. It’s important to keep in mind that impeachment does not automatically mean removal. Paul Ryan is next in line, while Senate Pro Tem Orrin Hatch (not Mitch McConnell) is next after him. But as Palmer Report has previously laid out (link), it’s more likely that Trump and Pence would be impeached in succession, not simultaneously, to allow the appointment of an agreeable new VP in the interim who would then take office.

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