Trump's 'Civil War' Quote Tweet Is Actually Grounds for Impeachment, Says Harvard Law Professor

President Donald Trump's recent tweet quoting a longtime evangelical pastor who warned of a "Civil War" if Democrats seriously pursue removing him from office could actually be grounds for impeachment, one Harvard Law professor said.

"If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal," Trump tweeted on Sunday night.

The tweet was a quote from Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist pastor who gave the comment during an appearance on Fox & Friends Weekend. Trump added his own parenthetical aside to Jeffress' quote, in which the president asserted that Congress won't be successful in their impeachment efforts.

The president's tweet was immediately met with backlash, and Harvard Law professor John Coates argued that the social media post itself is an "independent basis" for lawmakers to remove him from the White House.

"This tweet is itself an independent basis for impeachment - a sitting president threatening civil war if Congress exercises its constitutionally authorized power," Coates wrote on Twitter on Monday.

The House of Representatives officially launched an impeachment inquiry last week amid reports that Trump tried to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

The communication between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was first revealed in a whistleblower complaint to the inspector general of the intelligence community. The complaint detailed concerns that Trump was "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."

The whistleblower also implicated Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr in the Ukraine debacle. Giuliani was described as a "central figure" in the situation.

Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the inquiry, it's been reported by several news outlets that at least 218 lawmakers in the House (the exact number of votes needed to impeach Trump in the chamber) support moving forward with impeachment. At least 217 Democrats and independent Representative Justin Amash have favored the inquiry.

donald trump impeachment civil war tweet
President Donald Trump speaks to the press after arriving on Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, September 26, 2019, after returning from New York. Trump recently tweeted a quote from an evangelical pastor warning of a "Civil War" if Congress were to impeach the president. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Democrats say they intend to move quickly on impeachment, but so far have only opened an inquiry into the matter. The House will decide after the investigation whether to actually impeach the president. If the chamber votes for impeachment, the Republican-controlled Senate would then decide whether to remove Trump from office or exonerate him.

Historian Kevin Kruse slammed Trump for suggesting in his "Civil War" tweet that only Democrats are responsible for impeachment. Kruse, a Princeton University professor, noted that in order to successfully remove the president there needs to be a significant amount of Republicans backing impeachment.

"Trump can only be removed through impeachment if two-thirds of the Senate votes to remove him. To do that, 20 Republicans would need to join the 45 Democrats and 2 Independents," Kruse wrote. "Removal would be bipartisan. Framing it as some kind of civil war isn't just dangerous. It's dumb."

Trump's 'Civil War' Quote Tweet Is Actually Grounds for Impeachment, Says Harvard Law Professor | U.S.