According to a report in the Washington Post, President Donald Trump is of the belief that the Supreme Court — which contains two of his own appointees — will keep him from having to face jail time.
The president is banking on a longheld tradition that sitting presidents can’t be indicted, with the Post noting that Trump tweeted “I DID NOTHING WRONG. If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
According to the report, Trump is likely wrong on the legal aspects, but that hasn’t kept him from believing he might get a helping hand from a conservative court.
“Constitutional experts immediately derided Trump’s faulty legal analysis,” the report states. “But the more striking message, the day after the court considered the administration’s plan to put a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, seemed to be Trump’s consistent theme that he views the nation’s highest court as an ally, and safeguard against lower court defeats and congressional opponents.”
The Post notes that Trump’s lawyers are pushing their cases to the Supreme Court at an accelerated pace in the hopes of getting the probable 2020 Republican candidate out from under a cloud of possible forced ouster and to get his policies implemented so he can claim wins for his agenda.
According to Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, “President Trump views the Roberts Court as his potential, perhaps literal, ‘get out of jail free’ card.’ The question is, what does Chief Justice Roberts do?”
Princeton University political science professor Keith Whittington claims Trump may be in for a big — and unpleasant surprise.
“It’s one of the odd features of the Trump presidency that he says things out loud and in public that other people might say in private,” he explained.
What Trump does have going for him has been the high court’s recent rulings that have not considered the president’s on-the-record comments and tweets when reviewing his policies.
“With this court, they seem very inclined to put on blinders when it comes to really parsing the president’s words and understanding the motives driving the policy actions he’s undertaken during his presidency,” explained Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
As for all the president’s men who are advising him — regardless of what case law states — Trump has little choice but to reach as far as the Supreme Court as a “hail Mary” pass for his legal woes.
“More than anything, what’s the choice?” one adviser admitted. “He’s not going to just comply with Congress with their overreaching demands.”
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