President Donald Trump is basically winging his impeachment strategy, and Republicans gloomily predict the Senate will eventually decide his fate.
Trump allies readily admit the president’s strategy has no legal philosophy, but they don’t believe he can win his fight against the Democratic-led House and will force Senate Republicans to vote on his impeachment and removal, reported Politico.
“What legal strategy?” said a Republican close to the White House. “It’s a delay strategy to force the Democrats to impeach on procedural grounds of obstructing the investigation. There won’t be a court battle because the Democrats have no need to go to court, they will impeach for failing to provide documents.”
The White House sent a letter Tuesday evening to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warning the administration will not cooperate with the Democrats’ investigation, which Trump lawyers insist is invalid, but legal experts say those claims are highly unlikely to survive a challenge.
“There is no discernible legal strategy coming out of the White House,” said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor with experience on past impeachment procedures. “Many of the latest positions laid out in the letter undermine the White House’s best legal arguments.”
Turley said those arguments are intended to impress the president, and not a judge.
“The lawyers are dealing with a client who wants to see this type of aggressive and, frankly, reckless public banter,” Turley told Politico. “There has never been any evidence of the legal team being the driving force behind the White House’s public statement or strategy. At some point, they will have to mount a legal defense.”
Former Rep. Trey Gowdy is joining the president’s legal team, but he’s expected to serve as a TV surrogate more rather than working alongside White House counsel Pat Cipollone or Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow.
“The counsel’s office wants to concentrate the flow of information as much as possible,” said another Republican close to the White House. “They keep a narrow circle on this. Lawyers do not like others meddling.”