Five MU law professors sign open letter to Congress

Posted on 9 December 2019 at 3:30pm

COLUMBIA - Five professors from the University of Missouri School of Law signed an open letter stating that President Donald Trump "engaged in impeachable conduct." The letter, which was addressed to Congress, was posted on Medium on Friday.

"We take no position on whether the President committed a crime," the letter said. "But conduct need not be criminal to be impeachable. The standard here is constitutional; it does not depend on what Congress has chosen to criminalize."

The letter has more than 700 signatures from law professors and other academics across the country.

From MU, signees included Marry Beck, John Lande, Philip Peters, Richard Reuben and Rodney Uphoff.

Uphoff said he got the letter the day before it was released.

"I got an email saying - here is an attached letter regarding the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump," he said.

Uphoff said the part of the letter that he found particularly important was the fact this is not about policy differences.

"For example, the president can't be impeached and should not be impeached even if they do something lots of people disagree with," he said.

Uphoff said a House of Representatives decision would be primarily focused on the phone call to Ukraine and instances of favor from President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in exchange for investigating the Biden's involvement in corruption in the country.

"Whether President Trump’s conduct is classified as bribery, as a high crime or misdemeanor, or as both, it is clearly impeachable under our Constitution," the letter said.

Mike Zweifel, the Boone County Republican Party chairman, said he would note that none of the five MU signees have Constitutional Law listed as an area of their expertise.

"They are giving their opinion and not necessarily stating a fact that President Trump committed impeachable offenses," he said.

Legal scholars from the University of Texas, University of Washington, UCLA, Stanford University, Harvard and Berkeley also signed the letter.