In a column for Politico, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti explains that President Donald Trump and his legal team’s strategy to stonewall the Democrats and run out the clock by using the courts until after the election is backfiring spectacularly.
With Trump ignoring Congressional subpoenas, all but daring Democrats to take him in court, Mariotti claims the president will come to regret it because it could prompt impeachment hearings sooner rather than later.
“In the space of three days this week, two federal judges ruled decisively in favor of Congress’ right to subpoena President Trump’s personal financial and business records,” he writes. “The speed of the decisions—unusual in complex federal litigation—demonstrates a significant flaw in the administration’s ‘fight all the subpoenas’ strategy. More importantly, it suggests that Trump’s strategy of categorically fighting all Congressional subpoenas will undermine his ability to stonewall Congress in subsequent cases.”
According to the ex-prosecutor, Trump is doomed because the Constitution could not be clearer about how the government is supposed to work.
“Trump’s argument is doomed to fail in the courts because the constitution gives the House the ‘full Power of Impeachment’ and it could not exercise that authority without investigating presidential wrongdoing,” he explained. “If Trump’s team is not alarmed by the speed and sweeping nature (not to mention the almost dismissive tone) of the two judgments against the president, it should be. Trump’s strategy on a variety of fronts has been to take extreme positions denying Congressional authority to investigate the presidency.”
“The Achilles heel of Trump’s strategy is that his extreme positions are not fact-specific or nuanced and are easily disposed of as legally groundless,” he elaborated, adding, “If Trump continues down this path—over former White House counsel Don McGahn’s refusal to appear before the House Judiciary, for example—expect to see more swift rulings swatting down his legal arguments in the coming weeks and months. No court is going to rule that the Executive Branch can categorically refuse to produce evidence and witnesses from a criminal investigation of the president of the United States from the House of Representatives.”
He then advised Trump’s adviser’s to re-think what they are doing if they hope to succeed because they could be accelerating presidential impeachment hearings.
“His strategy is not only generating adverse results quickly, but it could very well convince a court that he is acting in bad faith,” he suggested. “If that happens, the House could get the courts to do what it is ill-equipped to do itself—enforce compliance with Congressional subpoenas.”
“That could get Congressional investigations, or even an impeachment inquiry, off the ground,” he concluded.
You can read more here.