President Donald Trump is destroying the credibility of his administration before the United States Supreme Court, former Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained on MSNBC on Monday.
The loss of credibility could have long-lasting ramifications on other, close cases before the Supreme Court.
“The Trump administration was recently rebuked by the Supreme Court over the census controversy,” MSNBC’s Ari Melber reported Monday. “It said it was backing down, then reversed itself saying it would still try to get a citizenship question on the census.”
“That’s not all. The news tonight is fallout over the DOJ replacing the lawyers working on this issue,” he added.
DOJ attorneys Kate Bailey, Marsha Edney, Stephen Ehrlich, Carol Federighi, John Griffiths, Martin Tomlinson, Carlotta Wells, and former DOJ attorney Brett Shumate withdrew from the case on Monday. They were replaced by DOJ attorneys Christopher Bates, Glenn Girdharry, Colin Kisor, David Morrell, Christopher Reimer and Daniel Schiffer.
For analysis, Melber turned to Katyal, “literally the most qualified person to explain all this.”
In addition to having argued dozens of cases before the high court, Katyal was part of the legal team that beat Trump on the Census issue.
“The census decision already was a big deal for the chief justice and four of his colleagues to rule that President Trump’s rationale for the census wasn’t just not good enough, which is what you said before, but also he said it was, ‘contrived,’ made up. So that’s a big deal,” Katyal explained. “You know almost never hear the Supreme Court saying that about any government official, let alone the president of the United States.”
“But now it’s getting way bigger. It’s not just about the census. It’s about the Department of Justice and President Trump’s credibility in the Supreme Court of the United States,” he continued.
“If he can do this, then when will the Trump Administration ever have any credibility whatsoever in the Supreme Court?” Katyal wondered.
Melber followed up on the credibility question.
“The point you’re making is when lawyers go to the Supreme Court on behalf of the United States government and make a claim, they both are bound by all the obvious ongoing oath and perjury laws, but they are also speaking for the United States. And so you’re saying Donald Trump has put these lawyers in a position where if they simply continued along this road, they would effectively be caught in a lie in court on behalf of the United States?” Melber asked.
“You got it 100 percent, Ari. And so, you know, the solicitor general, I think when you hold that office, the most important thing you do is preserve and protect the credibility of the Justice Department before the Supreme Court,” Katyal said. “Every predecessor does that.”
Katyal also said he had talked to current DOJ attorneys who thought Trump’s actions were horrible for the department.
The Republicans’ impeachment lawyer made 2 huge mistakes in questioning Gordon Sondland
Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered complex and convoluted impeachment testimony on Wednesday about his involvement in President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal. He gave detailed evidence recounting the president and the rest of the administration’s involvement in his effort to get Ukraine to launch investigations of Trump’s political opponents — including by leveraging a potential White House meeting and a hold on military aid.
But he also, to the Republicans’ delight, left some ambiguity about how much Trump had been involved in the effort to leverage the aid, saying that he had “presumed” Ukraine’s announcement of the investigations would release the hold. And he noted that, in one phone call the president — as the scheme was slowly being uncovered — Trump angrily denied there was a quid pro quo.
Rick Santorum smacked down for claiming Sondland testimony helped Trump
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tried to argue that the testimony of E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland actually helped President Donald Trump — and was promptly challenged.
"I think the Democrats had a good morning. I don't think they had a good afternoon," said Santorum. "I think what when the Republicans actually started questioning Sondland about the details, I think it fell apart a little bit."
"How so?" asked Chris Cuomo.
"He said the president never said any of these things to him," said Santorum. "In fact, what the president said, he quoted what the president said is, no, there's no quid pro quo. What he says is, well, I'm surmising, this is what I'm just sort of gathering. Did anything come from the president? No, it came from Rudy Giuliani."
‘The cost of acquitting Donald Trump just went up’ for the Republicans: MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid
MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid explained during the post-hearing wrap-up that things aren't looking good for Republican senators up for reelection in 2020.
In the wake of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony, things are getting more difficult for Republicans faced with a vote on impeachment.
"Even if [the numbers] don't move, the problem is going to be a lot of these people have to run for re-election, letting the president off the hook when it's pretty clear what happened," Reid said. "This is pretty simple, and if I'm Cory Gardener (R-CO), I'm not feeling great."
Brian Williams noted that Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) is one of the many Republicans "who's leaving town on a fast horse." If anyone could be pealed off by Democrats, Williams thinks it is Hurd.