In an op-ed for Slate this Friday, Jeremy Stahl writes that it looks like President Trump's impeachment trial is likely to end without any witnesses called, a result that was attained by Republicans buying into what is "perhaps the most brassy legal defense in history" -- a defense that devolved after Trump lawyer Ken Starr managed to argue that "impeachments had become too partisan and were happening too often these days without being laughed off of the Senate floor."
"The president’s legal team argued simultaneously that the president wasn’t guilty of abuse of power and that the Senate didn’t need to call more fact witnesses because even if he were guilty of everything the House charged him with—extorting a foreign ally by withholding security assistance to get them to smear a political rival—that it would not rise to an impeachable offense," Stahl writes.
Stahl adds that Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz argued that if a president commits impeachable offenses while acting in what he/she perceives to in the nation's interest, he/she cannot be guilty of high crimes -- "a proposition so nutty that even other members of the Trump team had to walk the theory back as 'radical.'"
But according to Stahl, the "most unhinged and innovative legal theory presented at Trump’s trial came from the previously little-known Patrick F. Philbin, who told the Senate that not only were Trump’s actions OK, but there is no legitimate mechanism to even investigate a corrupt president."
Read Stahl's full piece over at Slate.com.