Sunday, December 1, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He decided "due process" wasn't that important after all.

Today was the deadline for Trump to notify the House Judiciary Committee that he would be sending a lawyer to represent his interests in the next phase of the impeachment proceedings against him. By all accounts, Trump failed to do so.

Pretending that impeachment isn't happening might be a good political strategy—or at least a good psychological defense mechanism—for Trump. But he's been complaining bitterly about not getting "due process" in the House procedure so far, and one of his complaints had been that the House Intelligence Committee hadn't allowed him to send a lawyer to the first round of witness depositions.

Impeachment isn't a criminal process, so "due process" in the usual Constitutional sense doesn't apply. But by analogy, Trump wanting a lawyer in the depositions would be a little like a murder suspect asking to take witness statements for the police.

Why does this matter?

  • Trump is being accused of extremely serious abuses of power and crimes for which he'd already be in jail if he weren't the president.