Legal experts offer analysis on what historic impeachment could mean for Trump

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, chief legal analyst Dan Abrams and contributor Kate Shaw discuss the impending second impeachment of the president.
3:39 | 01/13/21

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Transcript for Legal experts offer analysis on what historic impeachment could mean for Trump
Let's bring in chief legal analyst Dan Abrams, Kate Shaw, professor of Cardozo law school and Chris Christie. Chris, let me begin with you. You heard Jon Karl there say that the president's pretty much divorced from reality and the number calling for him to go, calling for impeachment are growing. Is resignation now on the table for the president? Might that be his best option in this final week? You know, I just don't see it happening, George. You know, everyone that I've spoken to who, you know, is also speaking to the president doesn't give me any indication that is something he's even considering and I will tell you knowing him for as long as I have I would find it hard to believe he would her do something like that I think he's just going to do what he always does which is kind of attempt to ride it out. Okay, if that's the case, Dan Abrams, what does defense look like? It would be substantive and proceed sural. On the procedural front they'll say the senate shouldn't be able to convict when he's out of that's probably not a winning argument. It's happened before in the nonpresidential context but then on the substantive grounds they're going to try to focus very, very specifically on what he said on January 6th and say, that doesn't rise to the level of being a federal crime under the incitement of insurrection law. Now, Democrats are going to make it much broader and say this shouldn't just be about factually what he said before then. This is an angoing story of what happened before, during and after. Kate, take on that argument about an impeachment trial after the president leaves office. There is precedent, a senator was tried, a member of the cabinet was tried but no precedent for the president and a former judge is arguing that when it comes to the president it is simply unconstitutional to hold the trial after he leaves office. That's right, that's the argument that former judge luttig is making. History points in the other direction and have had trials follow departure from office, of course, not of presidents. You know, I think two thing, one, a court would actually not weigh in on this question most likely. The supreme court said impeachment process is for the senate to decide and it's not really for courts to say what is permissible and what isn't so even if luttig is right, it's unlikely a court would weigh in and post-departure proceedings were insulate conduct. Saying a president can't be held accountable for the things he does in the final months or weeks of office and sees problematic. I don't know that it's a winning argue. What is happening with Republicans is it possible at this point that the senate would actually convict Donald Trump? You know, George, given what I've heard so far I think it's unlikely but it's possible. You know, there is certainly a lot of discontent as was mentioned earlier in your report in the Republican party and a lot of upset over the conduct that's happened over the last nine weeks really. Now talking about since election day and so, you know, you can never -- put it this way, I wouldn't bet it one way or the other but if you ask me to a make a prediction I would say less likely than likely. Thanks very much. I'll anchor our coverage of the impeachment proceedings starting at 9:00 eastern. Thank you, George.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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