Experts uncover a fatal flaw in Trump's legal defense
Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the Giant Center in 2019. (Evan El-Amin /

Donald Trump has a key flaw in his efforts to evade a subpoena from the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, three legal experts wrote in a new op-ed published by The Washington Post.

Attorneys Norm Eisen, Joanna Lydgate, and Joshua Perry analyzed Trump's legal case, which is currently before the Court of Appeals in DC.

"As we pointed out in our friend-of-the-court brief to the appeals court, the Constitution’s framers — who led a revolution against a lifelong monarch — gave absolutely no powers to ex-presidents. They affirmatively required sitting presidents to share information with Congress. Trump’s entire argument here rests on urging judges to read into the Constitution powers that the Framers never conferred or even mentioned," they wrote.

They argued that it would be inappropriate for the courts to side with the former president.

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"Trump’s lawyers on Tuesday spoke about separation-of-powers principles — that is, the idea that the Constitution requires each branch of government to respect the others. But Trump no longer represents any branch of government. The real constitutional problem here is the specter of inappropriate judicial interference in the work of the elected branches. With the midterm elections less than a year away, the legislative branch seeks records as it contemplates legislation to protect our democracy from future attacks. The sitting head of the executive branch agrees that the records should be turned over. Respect for those other two branches of government is precisely why the judicial branch must work quickly here, avoiding prolonged intrusion into Congress’s legislative sphere and the sitting president’s executive prerogatives," they explained.

They explained that it appears Trump is hoping to delay the subpoena until after the 2022 midterms, hoping it will become void if Republicans win back the House of Representatives.

"Timing matters here. This inquiry by Congress is urgent because our state and local officials are still confronting the ongoing assault on our democracy. The Jan. 6 attack did not happen in a vacuum, and the justice system owes it to leaders from both sides of the aisle and to the American people to get to the truth. To uphold the rule of law, Trump’s arguments should lose here. To protect democracy, they must lose fast," they wrote.

Read the full column.

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