Laurence Tribe warns Democrats hoping to impeach Trump: 'You have to shoot to kill'
Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe. Image via screengrab.

Discussing his new book titled To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment, Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe warned Democrats seeking to impeach President Donald Trump that they must take such action swiftly and with purpose when it comes time.

Tribe's book, CNN host Chris Cuomo pointed out, cautions that "Democrats shouldn’t be rushing down the road of impeachment," and although Tribe admitted he is concerned Trump is "disregarding the most fundamental protections that we have for the structure of our government and for our democracy," the iron may not yet be hot enough to strike. 

"It's clear from what the framers said at the very beginning and it's clear in the history of the impeachment power is that it's really about abusing the authority that we give to high officials like the president," the constitutional law professor continued. "It's not about garden variety crime. If it turns out, as I wouldn't be surprised to find, that Donald Trump has been guilty of tax evasion, that may be a crime, but it's not an impeachable offense." 

If it was proven, Tribe continued, that Trump used "the powers of the United States government to cover-up his own criminality or to cover-up the way in which he cooperated with Moscow in order to win the presidency, that may or may not qualify as an ordinary federal crime — but it's certainly an impeachable offense.

"But it will be available only if we don’t use it loosely, and ring the bell every time something looks amiss,” the legal author said. “You can’t be the boy who cried wolf and have a viable impeachment power. You can’t use it over and over again against the same president."

"If you’re going to shoot him, you have to shoot to kill,” Tribe concluded. “And that requires an overwhelming majority of a bipartisan kind. Otherwise you’re just going to nick the guy, and make him feel empowered and vindicated."

Watch below, via CNN: