Even if there is sufficient evidence to find President Donald Trump guilty of obstruction of justice, it won’t be enough to remove him from office, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe said in a tweet Monday night.
.@howardfineman was spot on with @AriMelber when he said Senate conviction of @realDonaldTrump after impeachment trial depends on proof of collusion btw Trump & Russia; obstruction of justice, more obvious legally, probably won’t suffice to get 67 Senators — too technical.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 1, 2018
Tribe said he agreed with HuffPost Global Editorial Director Howard Fineman, who said on MSNBC that if Trump is to be removed from office, it would have to be due to evidence of illegal collusion with Russia.
Tribe acknowledged that an obstruction case is “more obvious legally,” but “too technical” to get the required 67 Senate votes for removal from office. This is similar to what Fineman told MSNBC host Ari Melber Monday evening, when he discussed why evidence of collusion would be necessary. Fineman said, “I think Donald Trump thinks in his own mind that he did not collude,” saying that if president doesn’t think he did anything wrong, an obstruction case would be difficult. Fineman noted that Trump’s defense would likely be that when he fired James Comey, he had the power to do so, so it wasn’t illegal.
Tribe and Fineman agree that even if there is evidence that President Trump obstructed justice, it wouldn’t be enough to truly hurt him, given that the Senate would need 67 votes to convict and remove him after an impeachment trial in the House. In order to sway enough Republicans to vote against Trump, there would have to be evidence that he actively did something illegal with Russia. Merely trying to cover up something by his campaign staff wouldn’t be enough, if he himself wasn’t a part of it.