Sunday, January 19, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He said he shouldn't be removed from office even if he did everything he's accused of.

On Saturday, Trump's legal team released a formal response to the impeachment articles drafted by the House of Representatives. Today, Trump sent one of his impeachment defense lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, out to make the case on ABC News' This Week. Dershowitz is a criminal defense lawyer whose career has been built on engineering acquittals for unpopular clients

Dershowitz began by explicitly refusing to agree with Trump's official response, which contains a number of Constitutional claims that are not widely regarded as plausible outside of Trump's immediate vicinity. As the Washington Post reported:

Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard Law emeritus professor who recently joined President Trump’s legal team, distanced himself Sunday from a response by two White House lawyers to House Democrats’ impeachment case against the president, noting that he did not sign onto the document.

“I didn’t sign that brief,” Dershowitz said in an interview on ABC News’s “This Week.” “I didn’t even see the brief until after it was filed. That’s not part of my mandate. My mandate is to determine what is a constitutionally authorized criteria for impeachment.”
Dershowitz also refused to say whether he thought Trump had done anything wrong. While shocking to hear from the man who amounts to Trump's criminal defense lawyer, it may be smart politics. Huge majorities of Americans want to hear witnesses and have evidence produced at his trial, but Trump gains nothing from actually discussing the facts of the case.

Dershowitz's main argument was that assuming Trump had done everything he's accused of, it still wouldn't warrant impeachment.
Trump is accused of trying to blackmail a foreign country into announcing a fake investigation into of one of the people running against him in the 2020 election, and then trying to cover it up by withholding evidence from Congress. 

Why should I care about this?

  • If what Trump is accused of isn't grounds for impeachment, then nothing is. 
  • The President fo the United States should hold himself to a higher standard than criminals.