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Tulane University

Impeachment process poses challenges for both parties, Tulane law professor says

10-Dec-2019 3:30 PM EST, by Tulane University

Newswise — Impeachment expert Stephen Griffin, a constitutional law professor at Tulane University School of Law, says the articles of impeachment submitted by Democrats on Tuesday create opportunities and challenges for both parties moving forward.

“The articles of impeachment are arguably the first in American history not to be ultimately grounded in allegations that the president committed a federal crime or other violation of the law,” said Griffin, the W.R. Irby Chair and Rutledge C. Clement Jr. Professor in Constitutional Law.

For Democrats, it means they do not have to worry about whether the established facts satisfy the technicalities of a given crime such as bribery or obstruction of justice, he said. For Republicans, it creates the opportunity to respond by demanding clear criteria for the somewhat abstract offense of the “abuse of power.”

“Democrats have the corresponding challenge of defending their criteria as specific and arguing that (President Trump) is different from past presidents,” Griffin said.

Even if Trump is not ultimately removed from office, the impeachment process gives Republican senators a “genuine chance to caution Trump that his behavior, while not impeachable, is not permissible, especially as the 2020 election draws closer, Griffin said.

“Whether or not they favor removal, they should be put on the record as to whether Trump’s conduct is acceptable in our constitutional democracy,” he said.

Griffin is available for media interviews and can put the legal aspects of impeachment in context for readers and viewers. He can be reached at sgriffin@tulane.edu or by contacting Barri Bronston at bbronst@tulane.edu or 504-314-7444.
 

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