On Saturday’s edition of MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” law professor and former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal walked through the problems with President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team, which includes such notable names as former anti-Clinton independent counsel Ken Starr and retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.
“I’m not going to like join the chorus of those who say because Trump has hired Epstein’s lawyers, that’s somehow bad,” said Katyal. “I think it’s dangerous thing in this country to attack the lawyers for the clients that they’ve represented in the past. We don’t want to incentivize great lawyers not to take hard cases because of fear of personal attacks later.”
“I think if I were Trump, I’d be worried about hiring Ken Starr because of all the things Starr said 20 years ago,” continued Katyal. “For example, he said that President Clinton abused executive privilege, and, therefore, should be impeached and removed from office for it. And what everyone thinks about what Clinton did, it’s nothing compared to the executive privilege abuses of Trump, I mean, that’s a hundred times worse and on steroids. So it’s just a hard thing, because every time Starr tries to mount a defense of Trump, he’s going to be confronted with Ken Starr from 20 years ago.”
“With respect to Dershowitz, his defenses are frankly silly,” continued Katyal. “Yesterday he went on TV and said abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. I don’t think you’ll find anyone to agree with that view, it is what impeachment is about. If you have any doubt, look at what a congressman in 2008 said. He said, what a high crime and misdemeanor is, it’s when a president puts his personal interest above those of the American people. That congressman in 2008 was Mike Pence.”
Never Trumpers fear for their safety if they dare attend CPAC: report
On Saturday, Politico profiled a handful of longtime conservatives who have criticized President Donald Trump — and the general consensus was that they feared hostility at this year's annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
One such figure was former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), a Tea Party darling who has since attacked Trump for undermining the rule of law, and briefly mounted a presidential primary challenge. He attended CPAC as a guest of comedian Trevor Noah, and attendees who saw him seemed conflicted. "Torn between catching up with an old colleague and being singled out by observers as talking to a Trump foe, they split the difference — and instead kept asking him how his wife was doing," wrote Tina Nguyen.
Walkouts as Roman Polanski wins best director at French Oscars
Roman Polanski won best director for "An Officer and a Spy" at a fractious ceremony for the French Oscars, the Cesars, that ended in walkouts and recrimination in Paris early Saturday.
The entire French academy had been forced to resign earlier this month amid fury that the veteran -- wanted in the US for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 -- had topped the list of nominations.
Protesters chanting "Lock up Polanski!" tried to storm the theatre where the ceremony was being held before being pushed back by police firing tear gas.
And France's Culture Minister Franck Riester had warned that giving the maker of "Rosemary's Baby" a Cesar would be "symbolically bad given the stance we must take against sexual and sexist violence".
Trump accuses Democrats of coronavirus ‘hoax’ as confirmed cases in US gather pace
President Donald Trump accused Democrats of a new “hoax” over criticism of his handling of the coronavirus threat, as US health officials reported Friday a fourth case of novel coronavirus of unknown origin, indicating the disease was spreading in the country.
The latest case is a boy under 18 in Washington State who tested "presumptive positive" and is currently in home isolation in Snohomish County. The high school he attends will be shut until March 3 while it is deep cleaned, the Washington State Department of Health said.
A positive test is treated as "presumptive" until the results have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.