On CNN Saturday, former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Michael Zeldin pointed out that President Donald Trump's aides are on shaky legal ground trying to get immunity from questioning in the impeachment probe — because courts have ruled against the executive branch on this issue before, in much lesser disputes.
"Let's talk about the White House chief of staff [Mick] Mulvaney," said anchor Fredricka Whitfield. "He's claiming he has absolute immunity when it comes to testifying in this impeachment probe. Is the law on his side?"
"I don't think so," said Zeldin. "There's been very little law that addressed this issue. The most recent case was a case where the House asked for the testimony of former White House council under George W. Bush, Harriet Miers, and the court there rejected this absolute immunity argument, saying it would make the branch of government the non co-equal. I'm trying to think of the exact language. He said it would put the House at a disadvantage to the executive branch, and he rejected that argument."
"So the only law on this rejects the executive branch absolute immunity position," said Zeldin. "I think Mulvaney is in a worse case than Harriet Miers was, because this is in the context of an impeachment, where the House has even more powers than it did under the other scenario."