Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe told CNN on Thursday that former President Donald Trump could “wipe out” all criminal charges against him, including both state and federal cases if he gets elected to the White House in 2024.
“How big of a test, professor, is this for America’s judiciary and for the rule of law?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Tribe.
Tribe said it is a “very important test” but cautioned that “the rule of law is subordinate to the rule of politics.”
Tribe said a Republican president could “simply erase” the charges against Trump if Trump does not win the presidency.
“And even though the former president tried unsuccessfully to overturn the election, he might succeed this time in becoming president again or having someone else become president and then simply erase this trial,” Tribe said. “Simply appoint an attorney general who dismisses it all.”
However, if Trump wins, Tribe said the former president would “weaponize” the Department of Justice (DOJ) policy that does not allow sitting presidents to be charged with a crime, even at the state level.
Tribe warned that Trump could “wipe out” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is suspected of bringing a case against Trump, as well as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who indicted Trump earlier this year.
“So if Trump becomes president again, he can wipe out Fani Willis, he can wipe out Alvin Bragg, he can get rid of these state cases, he can get rid of this case,” Tribe added.
The fact that Tribe recognized a Trump presidency would “wipe out” all of Trump’s criminal cases is notable because House Democrats consulted with Tribe as they prepared their first articles of impeachment against Trump.
House Democrats consulted with Tribe after he praised disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti. “Michael Avenatti’s contribution to the political dialogue deserves a hearing. He’s smart, clear & committed to facts and evidence,” Tribe tweeted after Avenatti announced his “qualifications” to run for president. “A powerful fighter, he seems to be a good listener, knows how to use the media, knows what he doesn’t know & seems practical as well as progressive.”
Tribe said if Trump gets elected again, it will leave the country with “Someone who has demonstrated his willingness, his ability to simply disregard the election returns. and conspire with a number of so far unindicted coconspirators to submit fake electoral slates.”
Last year, Tribe claimed Trump attempted to murder former Vice President Mike Pence when speaking on January 6.
“Ordering your vice-president to violate the law in order to stay in power is a very serious federal crime, but there are other crimes as well. One that occurred to several people today is attempted murder,” Tribe said. “You know, under the criminal code of the United States, the attempted murder of the vice-president is punishable by life imprisonment.”
Trump was indicted by a Washington, DC, grand jury on Tuesday on four counts, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights, in relation to the January 6 capitol riots.