Republican Legal Scholar Says Trump Call 'Wasn't Perfect' and President 'Committed Impeachable Offenses Including Bribery'

A Republican legal scholar and former Trump staffer took to social media Tuesday to state that he believed that President Donald Trump had committed "impeachable offenses including bribery."

The law expert in question was J.W. Verret, an associate professor of law at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School. The conservative lawyer previously worked for the president as a member of Trump's pre-transition team.

Verret's tweet came in response to Joyce Alene White Vance, another law professor, who commented that the president should elaborate on his claim that "legal experts" reviewed the transcripts of his July phone call with the president of Ukraine and found it "absolutely perfect." The president made the claim during a press conference with reporters in London, where he arrived Tuesday for the annual NATO summit.

The scholars Trump referenced in the clip "should be interviewed," Vance wrote. However, she also wrote that she is "certain they don't exist."

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While the president's legal scholars may not believe that he committed any impeachable offense in his phone call with Ukraine's president, Verret vehemently disagreed. "The call wasn't perfect," Verret, wrote in the tweet. "He [Trump] committed impeachable offenses including bribery."

Verret doubled down on his assertion in a phone call with Newsweek, stating that in his opinion, Trump committed offenses other than the bribery mentioned in his tweet.

"I believe that the president has committed impeachable offenses in his refusal to comply with lawful congressional subpoenas as part of the impeachment inquiry," he said. "And I believe that if the House continues to investigate his tax returns, they may find evidence of tax fraud, and if so, and if the IRS has covered it up, that may be impeachable as well."

Tuesday was not the first time Verret has spoken out about the possible impeachment of the president.

On April 20, less than a week after the release of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report that investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including whether or not Trump's campaign had worked with the Kremlin, he published a tweet that said the report contained enough information to start impeachment proceedings.

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Three days later, he elaborated on the point with a piece in The Atlantic.

"I called for impeachment the week after the Mueller report was released, because I thought that the Mueller report clearly demonstrated a pattern of nearly a dozen instances of obstruction of justice by the president of the United States," Verret told Newsweek.

For Verret, the Ukraine scandal has only served to reveal more reasons why the president should be sanctioned.

"I think that the evidence is clear," Verret said. "And so I do think he will be [impeached]."

JW Verret
J.W. Verret, assistant professor of law at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, testifies at a hearing on Capitol Hill on September 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Brendan Hoffman/Getty
Republican Legal Scholar Says Trump Call 'Wasn't Perfect' and President 'Committed Impeachable Offenses Including Bribery' | U.S.