Tag: Constitution (US)

Democrats, Seeking to Pre-empt Trump’s Defense, Delve Into Biden

WASHINGTON — House Democrats sought on Thursday to pre-emptively dismantle President Trump’s core defenses in his impeachment trial, invoking the words of the nation’s founders, Mr. Trump’s allies and the president himself to argue that his pressure campaign on Ukraine was an abuse of power that warranted his removal. On the second day of opening […]

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Day 3 of Mr. Trump’s Trial: The Legal Seminar

Thursday was constitutional analysis day in the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump, which means the House managers’ case got more complicated, more abstract — and that much harder to hold the audience’s attention. This is not a dig at the prosecution. As on Wednesday, when they spent eight hours constructing a detailed blueprint of […]

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In Defense of Donald Trump

This article is part of the Debatable newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Monday, President Trump’s chief lawyers in his impeachment trial, Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone, submitted a 110-page brief to the Senate laying out the case for his acquittal. The articles of impeachment, they say, are […]

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Trump Acts Like a Politician. That’s Not an Impeachable Offense.

The way things look, President Trump will almost certainly not be removed from office. The precedents set by the articles of impeachment, however, will endure far longer. And regrettably, the House of Representatives has transformed presidential impeachment from a constitutional parachute — an emergency measure to save the Republic in free-fall — into a parliamentary […]

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What if Trump Gave Alaska to Putin?

Let’s not dismiss the Senate impeachment trial as a “kangaroo court.” That’s an insult to kangaroos, who lately have been suffering enough. President Trump and Senate Republican leaders seem to be planning a rushed, sham trial with no witnesses and limited evidence. This reminds me of a trial I once monitored of a Chinese journalist […]

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Why Did Alan Dershowitz Say Yes to Trump?

Forty years ago, when I was a student at Harvard Law School, I enrolled in Alan Dershowitz’s class on professional responsibility. “Everyone is entitled to a lawyer,” he told us. “But not everyone is entitled to me.” Any lawyer in private practice can generally say no when asked to take on a case. So why […]

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Why Trump’s Threadbare Legal Argument Will Probably Work

Let’s dispense with one thing off the bat: President Trump’s impeachment defense is — in addition to being riddled with false factual claims and misleading characterizations — legal claptrap. It’s also likely to work. The essence of the argument, which appears in a 110-page brief submitted on Monday by the president’s ragtag legal team in […]

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Barr Once Contradicted Trump’s Claim That Abuse of Power Is Not Impeachable

WASHINGTON — Scholars have roundly rejected a central argument of President Trump’s lawyers that abuse of power is not by itself an impeachable offense. But it turns out that another important legal figure has contradicted that idea: Mr. Trump’s attorney general and close ally, William P. Barr. In summer 2018, when he was still in […]

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‘Constitutional Nonsense’: Trump’s Impeachment Defense Defies Legal Consensus

WASHINGTON — As President Trump’s impeachment trial opens, his lawyers have increasingly emphasized a striking argument: Even if he did abuse his powers in an attempt to bully Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election on his behalf, it would not matter because the House never accused him of committing an ordinary crime. Their argument […]

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Trump’s Defense Team Calls Impeachment Charges ‘Brazen’ as Democrats Make Legal Case

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s legal defense team strenuously denied on Saturday that he had committed impeachable acts, denouncing the charges against him as a “brazen and unlawful” attempt to cost him re-election as House Democrats laid out in meticulous detail their case that he should be removed from office. In the first legal filings for […]

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In McGahn Case, an Epic Constitutional Showdown

WASHINGTON — “Has there ever been,” the judge asked, “an instance of such broad-scale defiance of a congressional request for information in the history of the Republic?” It was the first Friday of the new year, and an appeals court was considering whether President Trump could order his advisers to refuse to comply with congressional […]

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