Removal from Office

“The President . . . of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

~ Article II, U.S. Constitution

The Overlap Between Impeachment and the 25th Amendment

1/9/18  //  Commentary

These are different mechanisms for achieving overlapping goals.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Versus Trump: 2017 Scorecard

1/4/18  //  Uncategorized

On the first episode of Versus Trump of 2018, Jason and Charlie look back at Versus Trump cases in 2017 and score them as Administration wins, losses, or not-yet-decided. They also look ahead at big issues to come in 2018. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

What Will You Do if Mueller is Fired?

12/23/17  //  Commentary

If your tendency, like mine, is to deliberate when called to action, my humble suggestion is simply this: Deliberate now. Reflect on what you will do now. Decide now.

Andrew Crespo

Harvard Law School

Yes, the President Can Obstruct Justice through Official Acts

12/12/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

If one branch — one person — can monopolize law enforcement with impunity, it is hard to see how their interpretation takes checks and balances, constitutionalism, and limited government seriously.

Jed Shugerman

Fordham Law School

Legal Grounds for an Impeachment Investigation of the President

12/7/17  //  Commentary

By Ron Fein et al: Based on publicly reported information, as of today there are at least eight grounds for the House to authorize the Judiciary Committee to begin hearings on whether to impeach President Donald J. Trump.

Take Care

Update | The Week of November 27, 2017

12/3/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump expressed skepticism about the authenticity of the infamous Access Hollywood recordings.

Jeffrey Stein

Columbia Law School

Updates | The Week of November 13, 2017

11/19/17  //  Daily Update

The House passes its version of a tax bill that would dramatically alter the tax code as President Trump faces trouble over the diversity of his federal judicial nominees and the fitness of his appointees to office, some of whom have alleged conflicts of interest.

Updates | The Week of November 6, 2017

11/12/17  //  Daily Update

As the GOP attempts tax reform, the Mueller investigation keeps heating up, as does Trump's rhetoric on North Korea.

Updates | The Week of October 30, 2017

11/5/17  //  Daily Update

Rep Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) announced that a group of House Democrats plan to file new impeachment charges against President Trump before Thanksgiving and are currently consulting with constitutional scholars

The Pardon Power is a Bug, Not a Feature

11/1/17  //  Commentary

The pardon power is a kind of booby trap that threatens to explode our system of constitutional accountability.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

Updates | The Week of October 23, 2017

10/31/17  //  Daily Update

Commentators expressed sharply differing views on the proper bases for impeachment or removal from office under the 25th Amendment.

Updates | The Week of October 16

10/21/17  //  Daily Update

A group of mental-health professionals launched a petition to remove President Trump through the Twenty-Fifth Amendment on the grounds that he is psychologically unfit to be president. Eugene Robinson argues President Trump should be impeached if he withdraws emergency assistance to Puerto Rico before Puerto Rico is ready.

Rights, Powers, Duties, and Responsibilities: A Comment on the Language of Presidential Compliance with the Law

5/18/17  //  Commentary

No, the President cannot act for any reason. If President Trump fired Comey in an attempt to obstruct an investigation into the Russian connection, that too would constitute an impeachable offense and a federal crime.

Ira C. Lupu

George Washington University Law School

President Trump Shouldn't Be Impeached If He Hasn't Committed a Crime

5/22/17  //  Commentary

It would be a grave mistake to call for President Trump's impeachment if he hasn't committed a crime. In an era of tit-for-tat partisanship, lowering the impeachment standard to “anything Congress thinks is wrong” is a recipe for dysfunctional government, one in which the House of one party could perpetually threaten to impeach the White House of another.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

The Comey Firing - Legal Analyses From Around the Web

5/15/17  //  Latest Developments

A day-by-day guide to legal analysis of the many questions raised by Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Take Care

What if Trump Fires Mueller or Starts Mass Pardons? It Would Backfire.

7/21/17  //  Commentary

There are more and more signals that Trump is exploring firing Mueller and pardoning anyone and everyone in his circle. So what would happen next? Those moves would backfire spectacularly.

Jed Shugerman

Fordham Law School

Trump, Pardons, and Guilt

7/25/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

By Mark Osler: Pardons by Trump would be a significant departure from what the pardon power has meant. Clemency is for the guilty, not the innocent.

Take Care

The Self-Pardon Question: What Comes Next?

7/27/17  //  Commentary

By Jeffrey Crouch: Might Congress amend the Constitution to take the self-pardon question off the table permanently?

Take Care

Tax Consequences of Legal Defense Funds

10/24/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

President Trump and a number of his associates have established legal defense funds (LDFs) in connection with various Congressional investigations. What rules govern these LDFs?

Take Care

Should the United States Have Special Elections for the Presidency?

3/27/17  //  Quick Reactions

Proposals for a "special election," potentially in response to evidence of Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential Election, raise major constitutional, political, and policy questions.

Ian Samuel

Harvard Law School

Can Congress Call A Special Election if Trump and Pence Are Impeached?

9/11/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Congress has the legal authority to remove the President and Vice-President and to call a special election to replace them. But the odds that it would ever do so are vanishingly small.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

Why Impeachment Must Remain A Priority

5/23/17  //  Commentary

The appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller must not lead progressives to put the thought of impeaching President Trump on a back-burner.

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

Can the President Pardon Himself? Well, He Can Try.

7/21/17  //  Commentary

By Brian Kalt: Presidential pardons are an important part of our constitutional system of powers, checks, and balances. A self-pardon would test several others parts of that system. As interesting as that might be, here’s hoping that it never happens.

Take Care

Treason and Cyberwarfare

7/27/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

By Carlton Larson: There are two forms of treason recognized under the United States Constitution: (1) levying war against the United States; and (2) adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Each raises slightly different issues with respect to cyberwarfare.

Take Care

The Attacks on Mueller’s Investigation are Desperate, Baseless, and Unprecedented

7/13/17  //  Commentary

The President’s minions have been laying the groundwork for Mueller’s dismissal. But their attacks are ill-founded.

David Sklansky

Stanford Law School

The Road to United States v. Trump is Paved with Prosecutorial Discretion

5/21/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Should former FBI Director Robert Mueller decide to bring criminal charges against President Trump for obstruction of justice, he would be acting well within the law, the norms of the profession, and the reasonable bounds of the discretion with which he has been entrusted.

Andrew Crespo

Harvard Law School

On Presumptions Of Regularity, And Incidents Of Irregularity

5/11/17  //  Commentary

The Presumption of Regularity, Like All Presumptions, Is Rebuttable, Not Conclusive Evidence

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Trump, Trust, and the 25th Amendment

5/15/17  //  Commentary

Imagine that the President lacked credibility entirely, whether because he was a pathological liar or because his lying was – hypothetically speaking – one symptom of a narcissistic personality disorder. Would there be anything the American people or government officials should or could do about it, short of waiting until the end of the President’s term.

Jamal Greene

Columbia Law School

The One Question Worth Asking

7/25/17  //  Commentary

Here's the most important question to ask about indictments, pardons and self-pardons, and obstruction of justice.

Daniel Hemel

University of Chicago Law School

Russia and 'Enemies' under the Treason Clause

7/24/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

By Carlton Larson: If we use “treason” in a loose, rhetorical sense, it is plausible to claim that Trump, Jr., Kushner, Manafort and others committed treason by knowingly meeting with a Russian operative for the purpose of obtaining dirt on Hillary Clinton. But the argument fails as a legal matter.

Take Care

Presidential Bad Faith

3/16/17  //  Commentary

If the President cannot be trusted to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” then that obligation falls on “We the People."

Laurence H. Tribe

Harvard Law School

Versus Trump Podcast: Prosecuting Trump FAQ + James Williams

5/17/17  //  Commentary

On today's two-part episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, we answer three burning questions related to whether the sitting President can face criminal charges, and how that prosecution could be started. We also have an interview with James Williams, the County Counsel for Santa Clara County, where he discusses his County's lawsuit against Trump Administration that has so far successfully prevented the Trump Administration from enforcing an executive order that would have withdrawn federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Jason Harrow

Equal Citizens

Undemocratic Pardoning

7/24/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

By Bernadette Meyler: History teaches that Trump should not be considering whether he possesses the power to pardon himself but rather what the consequences of employing that power would be.

Take Care

First Tragedy, Now Farce

5/15/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Those who forget history are indeed doomed to repeat it. But when history repeats, it often shifts in the repetition: first acts come as tragedy and then return as farce. By many measures, Nixon was a tragic figure. Trump, by contrast, is pure farce. And unlike tragedies, farces don’t end with a flash of recognition—a moment of self-awareness like King Lear’s on the heath. Farces just keep going until someone cries "enough!"

Jon D. Michaels

UCLA School of Law

Updates | The Week of September 11, 2017

9/17/17  //  Daily Update

Trump's decision to end DACA spurs a flurry of legal challenges; his election fraud commission gets into more trouble; and the Supreme Court stays the Ninth Circuit's latest trvel ban ruling.

Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017

6/4/17  //  Daily Update

As calls by local officials for President Trump’s impeachment mounted, commentators continued to analyze the standard for impeachment.

Helen Klein Murillo

Harvard Law School '17

Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017

4/2/17  //  Daily Update

Proposals for a "special election," potentially in response to evidence of Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential Election, raise major constitutional, political, and policy questions, as Ian Samuel explains on Take Care.

Updates | The Week of July 24, 2017

7/31/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump targeted special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation for criticism as the president reportedly considered whether to pardon himself, family members, and others tied to the Russia investigation.

Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017

8/20/17  //  Daily Update

Even if the President is not impeached, he may not be beyond other sanctions, including being indicted.

Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017

7/23/17  //  Daily Update

Representative Al Green continues his fight to impeach the President, but it is unlikely a majority of the Senate will join him, which some believe is an abdication of congressional duty.

Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017

6/11/17  //  Daily Update

Rumblings continue about the potential impeachment of President Trump.

Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017

6/18/17  //  Daily Update

"Hope" is a sufficient basis for obstruction of justice, argue Daniel Epps and Leah Litman (in one Take Care post) and Ryan Hayward (in another). Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible obstruction of justice by President Trump.

Updates | The Week of June 19, 2017

6/25/17  //  Daily Update

While President Trump's disregard for the rule of law is unique, impeaching him would be a difficult task for his opponents.

Updates | The Week of August 7, 2017

8/13/17  //  Daily Update

Examining impeachment solely through the lens of criminal law and prosecution obscures the real purpose of the impeachment power, wrote Gene Healy at the Cato Institute. Also this week, Eric Posner evaluated the chances of President Trump's impeachment.

Updates | The Week of August 28, 2017

9/3/17  //  Daily Update

Trump's pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio sets off a firestorm; another battle over Trump's immigration ban is heard by the Ninth Circuit; and investigators and journalists turn up more evidence of Trump's business dealings with Russia.

Updates | The Week of September 25, 2017

10/1/17  //  Daily Update

Representative Al Green plans to introduce articles of impeachment next week in response to President Trump's comments about the NFL protests. The President's denial of Russian interference may have consequences for potential impeachment proceedings.

Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017

8/24/17  //  Daily Update

Commentators discussed the implications of Steve Bannon's departure for the future of the Trump administration.

Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017

9/24/17  //  Daily Update

Although President Trump's approval ratings remain historically low for a first-year president, they have slowly increased over the past month.

Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017

8/6/17  //  Daily Update

Anthony Scaramucci was fired after only ten days as White House communications director. Congress could censure President Trump without pursuing the formal impeachment process.