President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani has been raging against the impeachment investigation that came about, in large part, due to his own behavior. On Tuesday, he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal lamenting that the impeachment process is "unprecedented, constitutionally questionable, and an affront to American fair play."
As Danielle Allen wrote for the Washington Post on Wednesday, Giuliani wanting to talk about "fair play" is a rich proposition.
"Let’s talk about fairness to the American people," wrote Allen. "As the Declaration of Independence puts it, governments are instituted among humankind to secure our basic rights. It also argues that legitimate governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Where do we get that consent? It is delivered by our electoral system. The entire legitimacy of our government, in other words, depends on the integrity of our electoral system."
"What’s fair to the American people?" continued Allen. "Having a chance to vote on candidates who have been reasonably vetted through a campaign process that brings out their strengths and weaknesses, and who have the chance to compete on a playing field that is reasonably fair. Taking that away is not fair."
"Trump has a long history of manufacturing conspiracy theories to undermine the integrity of the electoral system," noted Allen. "He was a lead purveyor of the birther conspiracy directed at candidate Barack Obama, a lie that directly affected polling numbers. It was one thing for him to do this as a private citizen, relying only on the resources of his purported fortune to peddle lies and misinformation. It is quite another as president for Trump to direct the vast powers of his office to the project of activating conspiracy theories and Potemkin investigations directed at his political opponents."
"Yes, this impeachment investigation is about fairness. That’s exactly what it’s about," concluded Allen. "It is fundamentally about whether Trump has defended American fair play, in accord with his presidential oath to execute the laws faithfully. Or has he undermined American fair play? Here’s what’s fair to the American people: Having candidates who are willing to fight fair. Having a president who defends, and does not undermine, the integrity of our electoral system."
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