President Donald Trump is trying to stop Congress from investigating him and from obtaining his financial records. His attorneys appear ready to do or say just about anything.
Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon would likely be surprised over the latest claim by President Donald Trump’s personal attorneys: That Congress has no authority to investigate the personal affairs of any sitting President, as Buzzfeed’s Zoe Tillman reports.
The highly-controversial claim was made in court on Tuesday by Trump’s personal attorney, William Consovoy, who “argued that Congress had little, if any, power to investigate a president, to the point of avoiding a direct answer on the lawfulness of two of Congress’s most famous investigations — former president Richard Nixon’s role in the Watergate scandal and former president Bill Clinton’s role in the Whitewater scandal.”
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta “asked how Consovoy’s argument squared with Supreme Court precedent that said Congress didn’t have to point to specific legislation to justify its investigative demands,” Buzzfeed explains. “Consovoy said Democrats had repeatedly made clear that subpoenaing Trump wasn’t about adopting legislation, and that Congress’s oversight power was more about the actions of federal agencies, not the president himself.”
If all this sounds like more gobbledygook from Trump’s tweets, you’re not alone.
Attorney Luppe B. Luppen, who writes for Yahoo News and Just Security, and more frequently on Twitter, offers this critique of Trump’s attorney’s argument:
Consovoy may just have an impossible position, idk, but compared to this it might have been more valuable advocacy to just say nothing. Many of his quotes aren’t even grammatical. https://t.co/lv5Nplth4W
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) May 14, 2019
USA Today adds that Judge Mehta “suggested history might not be on the president’s side, saying courts had not found that Congress overstepped its subpoena authority since 1880 and questioning Trump’s lawyers about the basis for previous investigations of presidents.”
Tillman sums up Trump’s strategy: “Buy time, go big, and prepare to lose.” Then appeal.
In other words: Wash. Rinse. Repeat. And run out the clock.
So much for ‘originalism’ — Trump’s impeachment defense is a constitutional dumpster fire
In the absence of any exculpatory evidence, Donald Trump's defense against impeachment increasingly relies on arguments that fly directly in the face of the Constitution. Trump himself set the standard last July with his grandiose claim that "Article II says I can do anything I want," which encountered no serious pushback from his fellow Republicans.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Trump lawyer Purpura busted by MSNBC for lying on the Senate floor during impeachment trial
Moments after the end of the Saturday's Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump concluded, MSNBC host Brian Williams pointed out that one of Donald Trump's attorney's lied on the Senate floor about the president's Ukraine scandal-- and he had a clip handy to prove it.
Sharing footage of attorney Mike Purpura stating the higher-ups in Ukraine were unaware that Donald Trump was withholding aid until after the government helped him by announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, the MSNBC host called the attorney out.
To make his point that Pupura was being untruthful, Williams then showed a clip of Defense Department official Laura Cooper, who testified that Ukrainians were asking about the delay on the day of the Trump phone call that was the starting point of the impeachment trial.
‘That dog doesn’t hunt’: Ex-senator burns down fake GOP outrage over Schiff’s ‘heads on pikes’ comment
Speaking to MSNBC's Brian Williams on Saturday, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) had no patience for the GOP senators, including the so-called "moderates" Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), complaining about the closing comments by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) quoting an anonymous source to CBS News saying President Donald Trump and threatened senators would have their "head on a pike" if they voted to convict.
"Several Republican senators took umbrage," said Williams. "Collins is said to have reacted verbally in the chamber. Murkowski was hurt afterwards. Can they really pin a vote on injured feelings?"