Philip Bobbitt, a well-respected constitutional theorist and leading professor of law at Columbia University, made a dire prediction about how Trump will react to the constitutional crisis brought about by his eldest son’s decision to take a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer during the campaign. Bobbitt predicted that Trump will resign; doing so, he says, is “the likeliest possibility” to prevent Donald Trump Jr. from being prosecuted.
Per a bombshell report last week, Donald Trump Jr. responded to an e-mail offering “damaging” information about Hillary Clinton ahead of the election – writing “if it’s what you say I love it” – effectively proving collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trump, for his part, denied any knowledge of the meeting despite the fact that his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, were both also in attendance.
Per an editorial in the Evening Standard, Bobbitt, who has served as special adviser to every President since Lyndon B. Johnson, except Nixon, George W Bush, and Trump, writes:
“Whatever [Trump’s] policy goals, it has long been clear that creating a dynasty — having destroyed the two reigning political dynasties in the last campaign — is his greatest objective. Resignation, as remote as it seems right now, might well be a choice the President would make to save his children from prison, and himself from future prosecution.”
The law professor went further to explain the basis on which Trump himself would probably be impeached should he decide not to resign.
“By determining that the head of the FBI, James Comey, wished to continue in his post, the President came perilously close to violating the constitution when he then stated that he would “think about it”, and raised the subject of Comey terminating the Russia investigation.
“Indeed, the offering of such a bribe formed one of the counts in Richard Nixon’s impeachment when it was alleged he offered a judicial promotion to a judge for favourable treatment in court.”
By giving both his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, posts in the White House, and his two sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., control of the Trump Organization, Trump has shown enduring loyalty – perhaps to a fault – to his family members. It may very well be that this same loyalty is what will ultimately bring the Trump administration to its knees in the end. While resignation won’t save Trump’s legacy, it may at least keep his family out of prison.