What would self-pardon mean for President Trump? Law professor says it could get messy

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The call for the removal of President Donald Trump from power, or another impeachment, is getting louder from Democratic lawmakers.

A UC Hastings law professor says invoking the 25th Amendment would be the quickest way to move on this, but it would require the Vice President Mike Pence's backing.

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"He needs to be removed from office and he needs to be removed as quickly as possible," says Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

"He is a threat to the security of this country," says Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.

Representative Ro Khanna believes that Republicans needs to act now, saying, "A group of Republicans like Mitch McConnell need to go over to the White House and demand an immediate resignation."

VIDEO: Pelosi, Schumer call for President Trump's removal via 25th Amendment or impeachment
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Jonathan Karl reports on the possibility of members of President Trump's cabinet invoking the 25th amendment.



Less than 24 hours after a mob broke into the U.S. Capitol Building, Democratic lawmakers are now pushing hard for President Trump to be removed from office by either the 25th Amendment or another impeachment.

Sources say that Vice President Pence is highly unlikely to pursue removal of the president using the 25th Amendment. Impeachment would be the next option

"I don't think it would be possible to actually complete an impeachment trial in the time that we have left. It is possible to impeach the president even after he leaves office," says UC Hastings Law Professor Joel Paul.

If that was successful, experts say President Trump would be unable to run for office in years to come.

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Some believe the president could resign from office and then the vice president could pardon him, but Professor Paul believes that would permanently damage Pence's legacy.

As for a self-pardon, Paul doesn't believe it would hold up in court and argues that there would be a major downside.

"It is inconceivable to me that there is a judge in this country that would give effect to that pardon," says Paul.

"One of the drawbacks would be that he would have to list any crimes that he may have committed," Paul explained.

Paul and others believe that would open President Trump up to state prosecution, something that a federal pardon wouldn't protect against.
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