Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan, who offered a fiery rebuttal to Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) during impeachment hearings in the House Judiciary Committee, delivered testimony on Wednesday that succinctly explained why President Donald Trump’s actions constitute bribery.
During her testimony, attorney Norm Eisen described bribery as one of the offenses specifically listed in the Constitution as an offense that would warrant impeachment of the president.
Karlan began by explaining that there was no federal law against bribery until decades after the Constitution was ratified, which meant that the inclusion of bribery in the country’s founding document referred to the term as understood by common law.
“So what they were thinking about was bribery as it was understood in the 18th century based on the common law up until that point,” she explained. “But what they were understanding then was the idea that when you took private benefits or when you asked for private benefits… in return for an official act, or someone gave them to you to influence an official act, that was bribery.”
Eisen then asked her to evaluate whether the president’s actions in pressuring the government of Ukraine to investigate his political rivals constituted bribery.
“If you conclude that he asked for the investigation of Vice President Biden and his son for political reasons — that is to aid his re-election, then, yes,” she said. “You have bribery here.”
Watch the video below.
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