Jane Harman & Gérard Araud on Calls for Trump’s Impeachment

Today, world leaders gather in New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly, but as President Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson appear before the world, they both face major crises at home, with controversies that call into question their commitment to the rule of law and to democracy itself. Jane Harman and Gérard Araud join Christiane Amanpour to give their perspectives.

Read Transcript EXPAND

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: There’s increased pressure on Nancy Pelosi who stood back from the idea of getting in meshed in an impeachment but there’s a huge amount of pressure on her now, right?

JANE HARMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, WILSON CENTER: There is. But, of course, the rule of law should prevail here. I think it’s important to see what the whistle blower wrote, and I think it will either leak or be given to Congress soon and then we’ll know more information. I think a partisan impeachment is a very sad result of this, should it come to that. I saw the movie in 1998 against Bill Clinton. What happens is the president gets stronger, this will feed his sense of grievance, you just showed a piece where he said that, and it will keep us divided. Instead, if we wait and get more information and there is a bipartisan way forward, I think that will be much healthier for the country and for the world.

AMANPOUR: Gerald Araud, I want to ask you also about — well, let me ask you first actually about the U.K. Parliament and the U.K. Supreme Court that is determined that it was unlawful, unconstitutional what Boris Johnson did. I know you’re looking at it also in a lens of Brexit. What do you make of the whole rule of law aspect of it?

GERARD ARAUD, FORMER FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S. AND UN: I think what is embarrassing is that for a lot of cities and, you know, especially, you know, the people who are close to the populist wave that we’re facing, it could appear as a new attempt by the establishment to block Brexit. And so, I do think whatever are my personal feeling towards Brexit, of course, I would I prefer the U.K. to remain in the European Union, I think that the U.K. has to leave the E.U. You know, 52 percent of the British have voted for it. You know, in France, we had a referendum in 2005 about the E.U. constitution, 55 percent of the French said no. And eventually, it went through the Parliament. And today, the populists are still saying, you stole the vote of the French. So, I really — again, we have to respect the rule of law but we have also to understand that there is a sort of attention between what the citizens want, express their anger and the decision of the judges.

AMANPOUR: You know, I’m really interested to hear you both say, you on the Donald Trump situation that an impeachment might, in fact, strengthen him and you’re a Democrat. So, I’m saying it in that regard. And, actually, produce a backlash. And you are saying that even the Supreme Court ruling might produce a backlash. That’s interesting. I mean, what’s the alternative?

HARMAN: Well, I think there is an alternative. I think Nancy Pelosi suggested last week that the procedure of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department that prevents a sitting president from being indicted might be overturned by legislation.

About This Episode EXPAND

Jane Harman and Gérard Araud join Christiane Amanpour to analyze renewed calls for Donald Trump’s impeachment and Boris Johnson’s unlawful parliament suspension. Al Gore discusses the climate crisis and whether or not a carbon tax will work in the United States. McKinsey’s global managing partner Kevin Sneader talks through his company’s past controversies with Walter Isaacson.