December 30, 2018

Harvard law professor Noah Feldman suggested in an interview with CNN that the Founding Fathers of the United States intended impeachment to cover election crimes.

In an interview that aired on Sunday, Feldman talked to CNN's Fareed Zakaria about the role of impeachment in the case of obstruction of justice, which may have occurred when Donald Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey over an investigation into election malfeasance.

"My own view is he could have done so if he did [the firing] with corrupt intent," Feldman explained. "The director of the FBI works for the president and the president has the right to remove him on any whim that he might have. But the fact that the president can remove Comey doesn't mean that it's permissible for him to do it, if he did it for gain."

Feldman also conceded that it is "very hard to prove corrupt intent."

But the law professor argued that it may be easier to impeach the president in another case in which former Trump attorney Michael Cohen has admitted to being directed by Trump to pay off alleged mistresses. Cohen claimed that Trump ordered him to make the payments to influence the 2016 election.

"A president who distorts the electoral process and breaks the law in doing so is someone who is potentially impeachable," Feldman noted. "If there were evidence that Donald Trump further colluded with Russians in a way that undercut the legitimacy of the election, that would be an even deeper parallel to the Richard Nixon case."

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