Jack Goldsmith, a former assistant attorney general who served under President George W. Bush, found himself shocked at the weakness of President Donald Trump's defense against the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry.
Goldsmith, who is a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution and a professor at Harvard Law School, wrote on Twitter Thursday that the Trump White House is completely flailing in its efforts to halt impeachment from barreling through the House of Representatives.
"I’ve long said... that the [White House] and especially the president are astoundingly, even historically, weak in their ability to assert executive power to control what happens within the administration," he wrote. "The Executive branch response to the impeachment inquiry is revealing."
In particular, Goldsmith pointed to the letter from White House counsel Pat Cipollone released earlier this month in which he asserted that the president "cannot permit his Administration to participate" in the impeachment inquiry. Despite this letter, however, multiple current and former administration officials have gone to deliver damaging testimony against the president.
"Yovanovitch, Kent, Cooper, Taylor, and Sondland, all current executive officials, have testified to the president’s detriment on Ukraine matter and in defiance of WH instructions not to cooperate," he writes. "I think Vidman defied the WH as well, but cannot confirm that. This is a really remarkable breakdown of soft and hard presidential power. Congress might have legal authority to access some of this info. It’s a complicated question how much. But the WH isn't even putting up a fight."