Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe challenged claims Wednesday that a newly released transcript of President Trump's phone call with the leader of Ukraine would help the embattled commander-in-chief in the face of an impeachment inquiry from House Democrats.
Tribe retweeted a post suggesting the transcript clearly showed Trump improperly pressured Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky during a phone call in July. Republicans have pointed out that the transcript showed no explicit offer of a quid pro quo, but Democrats maintained it showed troubling evidence of the president trying to use a foreign government to influence the 2020 election.
Alongside the retweet, Tribe claimed the transcript was "DEVASTATING" for Trump. "This was EXACTLY my take: DEVASTATING — especially with Trump’s use of the word 'THOUGH' to link the military aid Zelensky requests of the US to the help against Biden Trump asks of Zelensky," he tweeted.
"This is how mob bosses talk. It’s a slam dunk, though expect Trump to say it clears him."
Tribe was referring to a portion of the transcript where Trump tells Zelensky, "I would like you to do us a favor," just after the Ukrainian leader thanked the United States for its "great support in the area of defense."
"We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps; specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes," Zelensky said, apparently referring to anti-tank missiles.
In his response, Trump did not immediately discuss Biden but instead mentioned CrowdStrike -- a tech company involved in investigating the 2016 Democratic National Committee hacks -- and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
House Democrats said the transcript was troubling and further justified the move toward an impeachment inquiry.
"Either the president does not know the weight of his words or he does not care about ethics or his constitutional responsibilities," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement.
“The transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the president’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry. Clearly, the Congress must act."
Tribe has a long history of attacking the president, at one point blasting him as a "racist" and accusing him of trying to "reverse the outcome of the Civil War" after the president indicated he would do away with birthright citizenship.
Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.