Trump Tweet Undermines Privilege Claims For Barring Testimony

Today, President Trump tweeted on the decision to bar EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying since it would be in front of a “a totally compromised kangaroo court.” The problem is that any fight would be on the basis for executive privilege, not the disagreement with the Committee agenda or fairness. Executive privilege is based on protecting confidential communications and diplomatic relations. Trump seems to be saying is that he simply does not trust the Committee, which is not a ground for refusal if a subpoena is now issued.

Trump also says that he would “love” to have the testimony occur if it were not for his dislike or distrust for the Committee. Again, that undermines later possible privilege arguments.

Donald J. Trump✔@realDonaldTrump · 20m

I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public….

Donald J. Trump✔@realDonaldTrump

….to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland’s tweet, which few report, stated, “I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” That says it ALL!9,5849:23 AM – Oct 8, 2019

Trump has previously undermined litigation arguments in areas like immigration. However, this could be a costly misstep as Congress heads toward court fights over privilege.

143 thoughts on “Trump Tweet Undermines Privilege Claims For Barring Testimony”

  1. Can’t privileges be asserted regardless of motivation? For example, the murderer who emails her lawyer admitting she is the killer will move to exclude that email from trial. Her primary motivation in doing so will be to prevent the jury from hearing her admission. Of far less concern for her is the ability to speak openly and honestly with counsel (the purpose of the privilege). Nevertheless a court would exclude the email on attorney-client privilege grounds regardless of the motivation for asserting the privilege.

      1. Mespo,
        Like a lot of other people, I’ve followed poll results fairly regularly over the course of a number of election cycles.
        The reporting on the polls has really seemed to change since the summer/ fall of 2016.
        Gee, I wonder why that could be🤔.

  2. Trump’s overarching goal is to compel the Democrats to declare a formal impeachment inquiry, thus forcing them to allow Republican house members to ask questions of all witnesses – which they are currently prohibiting. Moreover, the alleged “offense” – asking a foreign leader to investigate a possible crime by the Bidens – is not even a crime.

    Its a gutsy, risky move. But this president is risk on. And the Democratic refusal to allow questions stinks and is being ignored by the media. And you professor Turley.

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