Tweet Storm: Trump Attacks Position Of His Own Lawyers on Twitter On The Eve Of Supreme Court Decision

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedThis weekend I discussed how President Donald Trump’s own words had been the primary problem for lawyers seeking to advance his agenda.  Trump’s comment and tweets have routinely undermined defenses and alienated allies.  The column was prompted by Trump’s London tweets. While discussed for their triggering outrage across the political spectrum in Great Britain, one of the most controversial tweets also contained references to the immigration order as a “travel ban.”  It was a remarkably ill-considered tweet. However, on Monday morning, President Trump doubled down and actually attacked his own lawyers at the Justice Department and directly contradicted their position in court.  As I mentioned earlier, government counsel must feel like they have a daily Perry Mason moment with their client jumping up in court screaming incriminating things. The only logical conclusion that can be reached is that Trump really does not care if he wins the case.  The problem is that there is a large and talented team at the Justice Department that is still laboring under the assumption that the President does want to prevail before the Supreme Court.

Trump blamed his attorneys advancing  a “watered down” version of the controversial order. It is particularly weird since Trump signed the second version.  It makes him look like something of an empty suit if he did not agree with the second version.

Just as the national security staff says that Trump blindsided them with his NATO speech, this appears to be case where the legal team was caught utterly unprepared.

The worst aspect of the tweet is that it plays directly into the hands of those challenging his order.  During the recent litigation, the opposing counsel pointed out to the judges that the Trump campaign was still posting his pledge to impose a Muslim ban (a remarkably idiotic failure that was then embarrassingly taken down). That was less than a month ago.  In trying to get a fifth vote on the Court, it is added baggage that government counsel simply does not need.  Ironically, it makes more difficult the very thing that Trump was demanding: the reinstatement of his immigration order. It must be incredibly frustrating for his counsel who have insisted that his references to a “Muslim ban” during the campaign are immaterial to the executive order.  It does not alter the core of the legal arguments, which I have long stated favor Trump.  However, his reference to a ban (which the order is not) undermines the thrust of the arguments raised in courts across the country.

Now they have to wake up this morning to tweets that could have been written by their opposing counsel: “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” Trump wrote in the first of four tweets. “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C. The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court – & seek much tougher version!”


What is particularly odd is that the President waited for just before the Supreme Court would decide on the difficult question of an emergency order to unleash on his lawyers and deny that the order (and arguments) reflect his true thinking.  We have never seen anything like this in an Administration where the president is routinely undermining his own lawyers and Administration through public remarks.  There remains the question of what the White House Counsel is doing in this increasingly bizarre situation.  It is the role of White House Counsel to help maintain the litigation posture for the White House and discipline in public statements. There is no evidence of any discipline whatsoever as the Trump Administration, again, appears the primary witness against itself.

136 thoughts on “Tweet Storm: Trump Attacks Position Of His Own Lawyers on Twitter On The Eve Of Supreme Court Decision”

  1. Trump just does not know what is he doing, it will make it much more easier for Ryan and Pence to pull the rug out from him. Then the American people will see with their very own eyes what they really voted for, and they are not going to like it…..

  2. Twilight of the Courts: The Elusive Search for Justice in the American Police State

    By John W. Whitehead
    June 05, 2017

    “As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

    We have entered a new regime and it’s called the American police state. -John Whitehead

  3. Trump is eroding the public’s support for the judicial and legislative branches and the media. He wants to have the same power Putin has. The richest 0.1% U.S. oligarchs also want a president with Putin’s power.
    The question is whether the American people have the will to stop the plot.

    1. The Imperial Judiciary is in criminal “overreach” mode as it usurps the

      power of the legislative branch and “legislates from the bench.”

      The legislative branch has all the power through legislation and impeachment

      and it has gone into full sleep mode to oppose a President of the same party

      while it allows criminal usurpation by the judicial branch.

      The president and the “…richest 0.1% U.S. oligarchs…” have no possibility

      of legally or informally usurping all power like Putin.

      The American Founders limited the vote to European, Male, 21 with

      50 lbs. Sterling or 50 acres in 1789 as they knew that the “poor”

      would sell their votes. Never were the poor intended to vote.

      The American people have to get up in the morning and go to work,

      they have no time for your “revolution.”

      You’ll have to rely on students playing hooky and welfare parasites

      watching Oprah on daytime TV at home.

    2. Linda: The judiciary, legislators and media are destroying themselves. The ‘shining a light’ exposure is refreshing and decades overdue. They are being stripped of the falsehoods they sold to a gullible people. The eroding of public ignorance on that issue is a very, very, good thing. The first step to recovery is admitting there is a problem. Then come the meltdowns. I propose we are in about year 5 of a 20 year process for reversing the decades of progressive indoctrination. (See: Yuri Brezhnev)

      PS: Impressive that you know what Trump “wants”. Could you read my kid’s mind and let me know if law school is really really realllllly what he wants to do ?

    1. John Dingell

      Trump still hasn’t appointed an FBI Director, the DOJ is in shambles, and he spent the entire weekend golfing. But please, lecture London.
      2:39 PM – 4 Jun 2017

  4. No, Jonathan, the only logical conclusion we can draw is that Chump isn’t very bright, that he’s arrogant [screw those lawyers, here’s the real scoop] that he’s impulsive, and that he’s not presidential material. He isn’t even smart enough to shut up and let his lawyers do their job. Most people, wealthy or poor, bright or not so much, have enough sense to listen to their lawyers. Not Chump.

    The 911 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. Notice there is NO travel ban involving Saudi Arabia, and that’s because Chump or his family want to do business with them. He only picked Muslim countries where he doesn’t have any business interests and isn’t planning to have any business there in the near future.

  5. Twitter will always be Trump’s Achilles heel. It will always be a roller coaster. I wish he’d use Twitter like Fireside Chats, but my phone never rings with the President asking my advice. Go figure.

    As for these travel restrictions, my phone has been pinging every day it seems with some new horrific terrorist attack. And it’s not the Amish or the Mormons doing it. The motivation is extremist Islam. Which of course is different than the Westernized Muslims living just fine here in the US. But the goal of ISIS is a global caliphate. Global. Which means that no amount of pandering, fruit baskets, or Turkish tea is going to make them stay away from the most remote island on Earth. It’s spreading, just like it spread during the Muslim Expansion that turned the Middle East from Judeo Christian to Muslim, and put Europe to the scimitar.

    I grieve every time my phone pings with a new attack. Because terrorism works. People polled in Europe do not feel safe anywhere. They are using guns, knives, cars, semis, explosives, pressure cookers. I’m sure they have picked up a rock and thrown it at some point. Our Western nations are not secure from terrorism. That’s a fact. At some point, the US may well experience terrorist attacks ever single day. And at some point, it will become an existential war for survival against Muslim extremism. What are we going to do if we get torn apart with terrorist violence? Terrorism is spreading and increasing; it’s not calming down. And it never will. I wish we could throw all the terrorists on Bikini Island and put some sort of dome over them. Keep the madness contained. But that said, the only appreciable difference between ISIS and Saudi Arabia is that the UAE is not trying to take over the world. But within its borders, gays are killed, women are trapped and controlled, punished for driving or merely speaking to a man to whom they are not related, Jews may not set foot in the country (which makes Jared and Ivanka’s accompanying Trump so historic), and apostates are killed. In my own personal definition, I consider the government of the UAE to be extremist, just not expansive. And that’s true for any Muslim nation that controls women to that extent, kills gays, and persecutes Jews. That’s really extreme. And I fear for moderate Muslims here in the US who don’t want any part of that if we begin to get daily terrorist attacks.

    It’s times like these that I really miss Aridog. He’d pop up and say something reassuring and understanding, and bring up some anecdote from Dearborn.

    1. Wrong. Terrorism is the weapon of the weak. ISIL is not winning.* They are trying to become stronger.
      Dershowitz’s article is about Palestine/Israel nuisances. Terrorism is not even close to working there.
      Suicide bombing started in Sri Lanka. They lost.
      ISIS/ISIL terrorism works if it gets governments to over or under react.
      *They are losing cities.Have no air force. They are mauraders.

  6. The imperial judiciary believes itself to be the legislative branch.

    The legislative branch has turned itself into a court.

    When will “constitutional scholars” call for the implementation

    of the literal Constitution as written by the Founders in 1789?

    President Trump should not even have cause to tweet on this subject.

    The judicial branch and other political opponents create false charges

    and incidental, secondary “process crimes” in lieu of factual violations.

    This case should not be in any court and needs no review.

    Article 2, Section 4 must be strengthened and accelerated

    to impeach most of the criminal judicial branch.

    The Constitution and related legislation clearly allow the President’s actions.

    Minority political positions control the edicts by the imperial judiciary.


  7. I wonder if in a Machiavellian way, Trump is not sabotaging his own case. Lose the legal battle but gain a political issue when we inevitably get hit again by ISIS. Trump won because of his anti-PC. Just a possibility.

  8. hey hey, ho ho, all these lawyers have got to go!

    Why are our political institutions not subject to massive reforms the way they impose reforms on the very things they regulate? Why does the political class deserve to be the unregulated regulators? Because that’s how it’s always been done?

    1. I thought the maxim was: “when your client enters the room, your personal opinion goes out the window.”

      1. The rule is that your personal opinion stays in the room but “sits quietly in the corner” which is of course what your client should do as well if he/she wants to win the day.

  9. Come on Professor….
    Triggering? As in “triggering outrage” Really. First you sorta (previously) criticized those snowflakes for creating all those nifty neat new words and now you’ve included it in your own Funk and Wagnall. SUCKA! Drank the kool-aid, didn’t ya!

    Let me put it this way. Donald J. Trump won and he is President. You are so right…he SO doesn’t not care.

    Sorry he does not fit a beltway mold. He went for a ban and lost. Then the legal beagles said…got to go with a more finely honed version that will pass….our only goal. He says…well ok we’ll do it your way. So now we have a President that is completely open, candid and honest (which is so, so refreshing) that all of a sudden it’s his tweets.

    There is a good chance that by 2024 we’ll have a
    6-2 court or better yet 7-2. (my hope and desire, has and remains via retirement).

    1. Agree that candor is so wanting and so refreshing to hear! Let’s not communicate with each other through with our mouths taped and our “lawyers” telling us what we really intended to say!

    2. No, CV, Chump is none of those things. He’s not “open, candid or honest”, nor even slightly “refreshing”. Chump is an immature, petulant, impulsive, spoiled brat who’s not fit to be President. First and foremost, he’s not a patriot. His ego and money interests always come first and always will. He’s not a good negotiator, either. He’s used to pushing people around and suing the snot out of people to force them to do his bidding. Being President of the US doesn’t work like this. He hired consultants to tell him what campaign promises to make so that he could get the white, racist, misogynist vote. Chump used to be a Democrat!

      1. Natacha – Hillary used to be a Republican and she had to ask her staff what platform she should be running on. And right now, there are a lot of people who used to be Democrats.

        1. Whatever–but at least she’s smart, doesn’t brag about sexually assaulting people, she IS a lawyer, and IS a patriot.

          1. Natacha – didn’t Hillary have to give up her law licence? And when does a patriot put the blame for the death of Americans on a video when they know different? A patriot stands up for right and wrong. She is incapable of admitting she made a mistake. I wonder what she was like to have as a student?

            1. Bill had to surrender his law license. He’d spent almost no time as a working lawyer so it did not injure his income stream. The partisan Democrats who hand out the honoraria in this country promptly forgot about it.

              Hilligula hasn’t practiced law since 1991, so I imagine her law license has long since lapsed. She was never compelled to surrender it, however.

              1. dss – her arkansas licence lapsed because of a continuing education credit problem. By this time, a lot of credits.

        2. I thought “Hillary used to be a Republican” —- back in high school. And not really since.

          1. Jay S – she was head of the Young Republicans her freshman year at Wellesley and stayed with them for about three years before radicalizing.

      1. George Conway just turned down a high level legal position in the Trump administration. He probably did not want to work in a situation where he would be undermined by Trump’s tweets. Smart move on his part

        1. A lot of potential administration members evidently feel the same way.

  10. Will Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse herself because of her many swipes at President Trump during the campgaign? Is she emotionally or intellectually capable to set aside her obviously biased view of the President and follow the law and not her prejudidice?

    Will JT call for her to recuse herself from the temporary travel ban case.

    1. No! Because her “motivations” are not deemed by them to be “bad!” It’s complete nonsense! Indefensible on any level! If this order would have been legal for a democrat president, then it must be legal for a republican president. All the contorted legalese in the world will not change the OBVIOUS fact that our courts are now tainted with political spin doctors!

  11. reposted here as equally pertinent:

    I have heard of the legal maxim, that a law that would otherwise be legal on its face, can be struck down if the the motivation for the law is clearly unconstitutional.

    How far that goes in the face of a distinct branch of government issuing a law/executive order, that is constitutional on its face, while the executive head of state makes statements that imply an unconstitutional motive.

    Does this work only at the onset of such implementation of the law? If the law is enacted, and the drafters later say explicitly they had unconstitutional motive in issuing it, does that strike down the law post hoc?

    Does the oratory of the president, who is speaking on the fly, undue any formal executive order he may issue, if those statements can be interpreted as motivations contrary to law – even when the law itself is facially legal?

    I guess it depends on the clarity and explicitness of the statements as to the motivation.

    I don’t think what Trump has said post election is explicit enough to conclude a unconstitutional motive, yet.

    But we’ll see what the SCOTUS renders out of all of this.

    1. Just think about the awesome power that statement give to an unelected group of legal pinheads: “a law that is legal on its face can be struck down if they determine bad motive!” WTF?! Who the hell do ths guys think they are?! They’re killing our system with their stupidity!

      1. Exactly. Not only are our Executive & Legislative branches of government corrupted by Big Money (Citizens United was one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in US History)–but the Judicial branch is in trouble. The use of campaign rhetoric as a devise to judge cases is unwise.

  12. Our author is a specialized expert in his field: “…question…White House Counsil is doing? It is the role of the White House Council to help maintain the litigative posture for the White House and discipline public statements”
    This is the conclusion of the post that should be saturating your head. Listen to the legal expert just like when we consult other specialists in life (engineers,doctors,builders,or what have you).

  13. I think Trump is right. As I said on another blog. Attorneys would like all their clients to be mute. The Donald tells it like he thinks.

    1. Boy, you’re gonna stick with cray cray right until the end. Enjoy the ride.

        1. Can you imagine the frightful state that body and mind will be in 8 years?

      1. Sadly, we were STUCK, with Socialism for 8 years with a Liar President and his lying Administration. No body believes anything out of a Democrat/Socialist’s mouth anymore. Trump is a breath of fresh air. He he fumbles occasionally, so what? Covfufu to you!

        1. Obama a socialist? He did not even give us single payer or nationalize the banks.

        2. Elise….
          – I think that’s “covfefe”, not “covfufu”.
          But Trump may want to borrow your variation of the “spelling” in one of his future tweets.😄

        3. Elise – does anyone know what Covfufu is/was supposed to mean? I know it drove the press crazy for several days, but I was hoping you were in the loop. 🙂

        4. Elise, do you even know what Socialism is? Or, let me ask you this: What do you THINK Socialism is?

      2. smoothie – The Donald is telling the truth. Would you rather have someone who says “If you want to keep your doctor, you can keep your doctor”?

        1. “The Donald is telling the truth.” HAHAHAHA. SNORT, SNORT, LOLOLOL, GASP, SNORT, HAHAHA. Of course you’re joking. Whew.

          I had an ACA plan and I kept my doctor the whole time. And I, unlike Don the con,
          am telling the truth.

    2. Trump is one of the smartest and most entertaining presidents we’ve ever had. Enjoy the ride.

      1. not to mention a spine of steel, balls of brass, and absolutely flawless instincts. What the world needs now ….. is a whole lot more Trumps.

        1. His instincts were better in the campaign. Seems to be rapidly deteriorating. Hard to tell if it is stress, mental illness or self destructiveness.

          1. “Seems to be rapidly deteriorating. Hard to tell if it is stress, mental illness or self destructiveness.”

            Or a combination of all of the above.

          2. It’s RINO’s, stupid!

            Sorry, that’s just a play on the classic James Carville line.

            Were the republicans actually republicans Trump’s entire agenda

            would have been passed and implemented by now.

            The democrats must LOVE the republicans

            ’cause they thwart every effort of the republican President.

            May you live in interesting times.

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