Pelosi Questions Why The President’s Lawyers Are Not Disbarred

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Cal.) made an extraordinary statement yesterday that suggests that lawyers representing President Donald Trump should be disbarred: “I don’t know how they can retain their lawyer status, in the comments that they’re making.” Just as I have been highly critical of President Donald Trump’s attacks on Adam Schiff and others, this is a truly outrageous suggestion. These lawyers are performing a key function in our constitutional system in not just representing an accused person but fulfilling a vital role in an impeachment trial. Because Pelosi disagrees with their legal arguments, she insinuates that they should not be licensed attorneys. It is precisely the type of ad hominem attack that Democrats criticize with the President.

Pelosi added that Trump “will not be acquitted” even if he is acquitted — entirely decoupling the Democratic position from either constitutional or ethical norms.

She is not the only person engaging in such low-grade, personal attacks. Harvard Law Professor Larry Tribe denounced Alan Dershowitz as a “charlatan” for his views. Dershowitz denounced another Harvard professor as a “coward” for his criticism.

These are good-faith disagreements over the scope and meaning of the constitutional standard. Moreover, the White House counsel has done an able job in responding to the House, including landing a couple of haymakers on the record. Both sides have had brilliant and not-so-brilliant moments. However, they have all conducted themselves will professionalism and civility for the most part.

Nevertheless, this scurrilous slander has become a favorite of even lawyers on the left. Two days before Pelosi’s comment, Mediaite published a column by lawyer and CNN opinion contributor Dean Obeidallah entitled “If Trump’s Legal Team Continues to Lie in the Senate Trial, They Should Be Disbarred.” The column states “Lawyers — and I am one — are officers of the court and we are held to a higher ethical standard than the average person.” He then lists “facts” that are contested by the White House.

Cipollone and Sekulow have been around long enough to know that not one client — not even the president — is worth destroying your career over. But if they continue down this path, they should be investigated for possible ethics violations. For example, he says

Sekulow served up another statement that does not line up with the facts. He told the Senate jurors that Ukrainian officials were not aware of the pause on military aid “until late August.”  In reality, Defense Department official Laura Cooper testified in November as part of the impeachment inquiry that Ukraine officials “were asking about the delay of a U.S. military aid package to their country as early as July 25 — the same day as President Donald Trump’s call with Ukraine’s leader at the center of the House impeachment inquiry.”

However, the White House maintains that the rest of the testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Laura Cooper showed only that an inquiry on the aide was conveyed to her from someone in Ukraine. The White House claims that she stated that she did not recall the details or reason for the query. That is called a disputed fact, not an unethical act.

The effort to attack lawyers for being lawyers in certainly in vogue. I recently wrote a column defending Dershowitz from attacks tied to his past representation of controversial figures. As I noted, Dershowitz was attacked defending unpopular individuals like O.J. Simpson and Jeffrey Epstein. That is what criminal defense attorneys do. They represent accused and often highly unpopular individuals. It is the rankest form of attack to suggest that a lawyer defending a client is somehow tainted by the crimes alleged in the case.

This attack is even more reckless and unfair. In this age of rage, advocates prefer to attack lawyers making the arguments than address the arguments themselves. It is all an attempt to assure readers that they do not have to seriously consider what they are saying.

Members of Congress have previously suggested disbarring Jay Sekulow.

I have on occasion called for bar actions against other lawyers, including former Trump counsel Michael Cohen and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. They committed both unethical and criminal acts. However, I would have defended both of these men if they faced disbarment based on their legal advocacy. The House Manager have been challenged for statements that are viewed as misleading or false, but it would be equally outrageous to call for the disbarment of Adam Schiff.

Rather than respond to the merits of their arguments, Pelosi elects to discredit their professional standing. Pelosi owes these attorneys an apology for this insulting and unwarranted comment.

178 thoughts on “Pelosi Questions Why The President’s Lawyers Are Not Disbarred”

  1. Can you imagine the DNC if Trump gets reelected? Kool-aid and Jonestown will be common references.

    1. Regarding Above:

      More than two months before he asked Ukraine’s president to investigate his political opponents, President Trump directed John R. Bolton, then his national security adviser, to help with his pressure campaign to extract damaging information on Democrats from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript by Mr. Bolton.

      Mr. Trump gave the instruction, Mr. Bolton wrote, during an Oval Office conversation in early May that included the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, who is now leading the president’s impeachment defense.

      Mr. Trump told Mr. Bolton to call Volodymyr Zelensky, who had recently won election as president of Ukraine, to ensure Mr. Zelensky would meet with Mr. Giuliani, who was planning a trip to Ukraine to discuss the investigations that the president sought, in Mr. Bolton’s account. Mr. Bolton never made the call, he wrote.

      The previously undisclosed directive that Mr. Bolton describes would be the earliest known instance of Mr. Trump seeking to harness the power of the United States government to advance his pressure campaign against Ukraine, as he later did on the July call with Mr. Zelensky that triggered a whistle-blower complaint and impeachment proceedings

  2. Any wagers that Pelosi’s delay in sending the articles of impeachment over was related to the timing of Bolton’s draft manuscript being released? It would make sense given the nothingburger of a case they had to present in the Senate trial.

    1. OLLY – I think Nancy was waiting for those special pens with her signature on them. They just took longer than she thought to get there.

  3. It is shocking that Pelosi would compare President Trump’s lawyers with Bill Clinton, who actually was disbarred for lying under oath.

  4. The idea this should have ever gone this far is pure insanity.
    The hose has given up all pretext of the Rule of Law and the Constitution, they have admitted they want to keep Trump out of office.
    If sanity ruled, pelosi, schiff, nadler and swalwell would be subject to ethics investigations and expulsion

  5. Democrats are going through Kubler-Ross stages of grief!

    Such a pitiful site



    “Nancy Pelosi Rants Incoherently That Trump Isn’t Acquitted Even If He’s Acquitted“

    We all knew this stage of grief was coming and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has welcomed it in her trademark style.

    Pelosi gave a press conference yesterday in which she was asked (by a supposed unbiased journalist) whether Trump would be checked by the House’s actions or if he’d be “emboldened” because of the coming acquittal.

    Her answer? That Trump isn’t real acquitted or something.

    Daily Caller

    Speaker Pelosi:

    If Trump is acquitted, “he will not be acquitted. You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial and you don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation…”

    12:09 PM – Jan 30, 2020

    3,997 people are talking about this

    Well, alrighty then

    1. Democrats are going through Kubler-Ross stages of grief!

      Natacha’s still on Denial. I think Gainesville’s moved on to Bargaining.

    1. Anonymous – much as I think JT would make a good judge, I do not want to lose this blog. I am sorry, it is all about me, me, me. Sorry, JT. 🙁

  6. Americans are waiting expectantly for the Dems and MSM to set themselves on fire. It is the only to go when no one cares about your existence.

    Peter Shill, this does not apply to you because we all value you. Who else would be left for us on these boards to mock, ridicule and otherwise give us a welcome laugh from our meaningful and intellectually worthy careers?

    1. Estovir, this has nothing to with anything except your mental health, or lack of.

    2. If Peter sets himself will the other trolls do likewise?

      Im not a religious person but I will offer a prayer to that end!


  7. Lets see, Trump’s former lawyer is in jail, his current lawyer Rudy is under investigations from NY and US. Bolton said WH lawyer was in meetings about Ukraine. John Kelly is warning Republicans don’t stick your neck out for Trump, because more is sure to come. So, yes, if anyone was around Trump should be getting better lawyers than Trump had, that’s for sure. But don’t forget, Trump always has the “best” people. Just ask the ones in jail and the ones under investigation.

  8. The only one who needs to be disbarred is the doddering old fool Laurence Tribe who cast aside the shreds of his reputation as a constitutional scholar for saying that Senator McConnel is a dxxxhead

    this is a violation of the Mass. Rpc 8 the way i see it and welcome complaints to the Mass state disciplinary authority

    oh this also reminds me of the disbarrment that followed on Bill Clinton’s impeachment. that was Bill Clinton who got disbarred by the way

  9. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, perhaps in response to comments from Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz, accused Trump’s legal team of trampling the Constitution and wondered how they could hold on to their law licenses.

    That is one ‘sick’ comment from a rabid anti constitutionalist who has never been known in her life to uphold her Oath of Office. Fine by me if the miiitary is caed out to support their oath of office complete with tribunals against anti Constitutional scum like Pelosi.

  10. This is what happens when nations subvert the law: “As the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and, before that, as a Red Cross delegate, I have seen lots of horrors and violence and have seen how quickly peaceful countries like Yugoslavia or Rwanda can transform into infernos. At the roots of such developments are always a lack of transparency and unbridled political or economic power combined with the naivete, indifference and malleability of the population. Suddenly, that which always happened to the other – unpunished torture, rape, expulsion and murder – can just as easily happen to us or our children. And nobody will care. I can promise you that.”

    This is a clear article of what is is stake in our an other nations. Impeachment is the circus of this time. Here is the reality of what lies before us:

  11. Pompeo Visits Ukraine To Tell Zelensky Trump Can’t See Him Yet

    KYIV, Ukraine — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the Trump administration was committed to supporting Ukraine in its defense against aggression by Russia, though he did not offer President Volodymyr Zelensky the one thing he has sought since last May: an invitation to meet President Trump at the White House.

    Mr. Pompeo’s visit was aimed at calming unease among Ukrainian officials about the relationship between Washington and Kyiv, which has been thrust into the spotlight because of the impeachment of Mr. Trump.

    An invitation to meet Mr. Trump at the White House would be an important signal to Russia of American support for Ukraine. Mr. Pompeo’s message that Mr. Trump was not ready to receive Mr. Zelensky at the White House was a blow to the Ukrainian president’s national security efforts.

    Ukrainian officials are angry that the Americans have granted Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, two visits with Mr. Trump in the White House, most recently in December.

    In renewing his request for a meeting Friday, Mr. Zelensky said, “If there is anything we can negotiate and discuss, and if I can bring something back home, I am ready to go straight away.

    Edited from: “Meanwhile In Ukraine: Pompeo Meets The President But Does Not Invite Him To Visit”

    Today’s New York Times

    1. “…the one thing he has sought since last May.” —
      The point is moot. Trump DID meet with Zelensky weeks later in (I believe) Warsaw (?) when mutual schedules permitted.

          1. Trump has never met Zelensky in person.
            They held a press conference together in new York

            One of the things you notice in the press conference is that Zelensky does not speak English as fluently as it seems in the phone call.
            Mr Z is a trained actor and can speak English quite well from a script

        1. To Anonymous and Seth Warner: I stand corrected, thank you. I guess Trump was committed to another appointment elsewhere and Pence went in his stead to meet Zelensky in Warsaw.

          1. lin – we had a disaster that we were dealing with, which is why Trump canceled the Warsaw trip and sent Pence instead.

    2. “Pompeo visits Ukraine to tell Zelensky Trump can’t see him”.
      That’s the only reason Pompeo went there?

        1. Tom / Anonymous,

          This was also in your WaPo story:

          Pompeo continued to dodge questions about whether the United States was still seeking a Ukrainian investigation of Biden, whose son Hunter Biden was paid generously by the Ukrainian energy company Burisma at a time when the then-vice president oversaw U.S. policy on Ukraine.

      1. I didn’t know if the headline about Pompeo going there “to tell Zelensky Trump can’t see him” was the New York Times spin, or Seth’s spin.
        The articles about Pompeo’s visit mentions that he was there for other reasons as well.

      1. Kate – The New York Times is the “Paper of Fake Record” isn’t it? 😉

  12. “Because Pelosi disagrees with their legal arguments, she insinuates that they should not be licensed attorneys.” Can you imagine, if she was able to sweep away dissent, disbarring lawyers who opposed her. Maybe jailing those who criticize the Democrat Party.

    Leftism believes in strengthening government at the expense of individual rights. Do you really want to allow that to happen?

    Look what Leftists are doing to those who disagree with gay marriage, or with celebrating the mental disorder of gender dysphoria. Do they live and let live? Tolerate other beliefs? No. They seek and destroy businesses that disagree with their policies. They phone up a little pizzeria in a small town, and ask if, hypothetically, someone asked them to cater a gay wedding, would they do it. When the owners’ daughter said they’d never catered any weddings, as they are a pizza parlor, but no, they would probably not be interested in participating, Leftists flooding them with fake orders and harassment, forcing them to close their doors. Leftists have harassed a Christian baker for years. The latest was one guy asked him to bake a satanic cake. He declined. He asked him to bake a cake that was blue on the outside, and pink on the inside, to symbolize the biology doesn’t matter, and womanhood has been reduced to a guy just deciding he’s a woman. He said no. He’s spent years in court fighting lawsuits over his right not to participate in something he doesn’t want to. He has ready made cakes anyone can buy, but no, that’s not good enough. They have to force a Christian to custom make something he really, really doesn’t want to. Bondage. Dissent is not tolerated.

    Does our country want to give people who behave this way more power? It would be self destructive.

  13. Pelosi is suffering from emotional problems. another example may be seen in her comments before the house in the discussion of H.R. 5543 which would prohibit federal funds from being used re iran. she is truly a nut-case.

  14. Here’s a little dittie going out to that Wicked Witch of the West who wants everyone ag’in her disbarred or dismembered.

    “I get a little sentimental
    When I’ve had one or two
    And that tear in my eye
    Was the salt and the lime
    Not the memory of you walkin’”:

          1. Cindy Bragg – my wife and I were thinking of vacationing in Texas, we need some places to stop.

              1. Cindy Bragg – my wife and I are history and art buffs. Start thinking about places. 🙂 Remember we will be driving in from Arizona.

                1. Paul C…First, I would suggest an area that is artsy and historic and 4,000 ft elevation…..I believe Phoenix is 3,000?
                  Van Horn that has the historic El Capitan Hotel… much charm…and now has an elevator. It has a sister hotel in Marfa, the Paisono.. south of Van Horn….again 4,000 ft….where the cast of “Giant” stayed during filming. Marfa is also an art community! Nearby Marathon, Texas, has historic Gage Hotel (did not have an elevator in the past) 4,000 ft.
                  Paris,Texas was filmed in Marathon. Then ….Ft. Davis, Tx, with a mostly reproduced fort on original fort grounds where the Army’s camel experiment happened in the 1800’s. Ft Davis is a great little town. A Texas favorite.
                  You are close to the Big Bend park when you’re in that area. Also, the McDonald Observatory is right there. ….maintaned by UT, I believe…I`m working without a net here..this is off the top of my cabeza!

                  1. Cindy Bragg – right now, since we are completely devoid of info, so far Mary has a river walk in San Antonio and the Alamo. So, this adds a lot. 🙂 Thanks.

                    1. Paul…..Riverwalk is so nice…And you have to eat on the River at Casa Rio….But as we get into March, it will be Spring Break time, and very crowded.
                      We always stay at the Menger Hotel where Teddy R organized his Rough Riders. The north side of Hotel is a few yards across street from Alamo. Those are the best rooms imo, with that view.!
                      There are several wonderful art galleries in San A.

                2. P.S. El Paso supposedly has a really nice art museum. Also, southeast of downtown is the oldest mission in Texas…..Ysleta Pueblo del Sur..built in 1680’s as a result of the Tiwa Indians revolting against the Spanish in Northen New Mexico…and ending up on Rio Grande in what’s now El Paso. I think they bake bread and do tribal dances on weekends….or used to!

                  1. Cindy Bragg – the mission would be interesting since the Tiwa drove the Spanish out of the area for several years.

                    1. Cindy Bragg – I have had Baja, Soronan and New Mexican Mexican food, but not real Tex-Mex. 🙂

                    2. Paul…..I am happy to help. Sorry I didn’t provide links, but can’t on this tablet. If y’all come up this way frm San An would love to meet for coffee!
                      Hubby wishes y’all could go to Ft Worth for the art museums, galleries. The best in the state… longhorn cattle drive, daily ( for 6 blocks!! LOL ) Fort W is on Chisholm Trail. To go back home…..take a Left at I-20….which goes thru Abilene, Midland, Odessa, Pecos, and puts you back on I-10.

                    3. Cindy Bragg – would love to get together with you and your hubby for coffee. 🙂 A lot depends on if the trip actually goes off or not and when. 😉

                    4. Paul…….well you’ve got enough information to be ready to go whenever it happens! Texas highways are so colorful in the Springtime, thanks to Lady Bird. But Texas ain’t going anywhere…’ll be here waiting on you and Mary, whenever you can make it….🤠

                    5. Cindy Bragg – I think we thinking more summer, we are used to the heat but not the humidity. 😉

  15. The idea that a lawyer deserves to have an argument taken seriously because he or she advances it for a client does not include frivolous arguments, which are not permitted and are sanctionable. The ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 3.1, for example, says that “A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law[.]”

    The notorious Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for explicit sanctions for making frivolous arguments, albeit the sanctions are limited to what is required to deter the sanctioned conduct and not disbarment in the first instance. There are also state ethics rules similarly prohibiting frivolous arguments, such as those in effect in NY, which technically could (although it is unlikely) result in disbarment for professional misconduct if such arguments are advanced. I don’t think it’s on view in the impeachment trial to the extent necessary for the kind of sanction that Pelosi is cynically calling for, but one can imagine a lawyer gaslighting one or more tribunals with patently ridiculous advocacy to such a degree that it would warrant disbarment. In any case, the difficulty that may be involved in determining, and the understandable reluctance (among attorneys especially) to declare, that a legal argument is frivolous, does not detract from the general principle that it is unethical for lawyers to make frivolous arguments.

    Apropos, Neal Katyal said yesterday that Dershowitz’s argument, i.e., that “[i]f a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment”, was “ridiculous.” It’s worth reviewing what Katyal said in detail on this point, albeit Katyal himself seemed to equivocate on Dershowitz’s ethical responsibility as the president’s lawyer: If Katyal is right, however, and I think he is right because Dershowitz was at least obliquely seeking to advance a claim of absolute executive authority, then the question of sanctions against Dershowitz for violating ethical rules does arise (one can dispute that the Senate is a tribunal, or that impeachment is a proceeding, and thus claim that the above ethics rules do not apply therein, but that would be pretty thin ground on which to stand an ethics argument).

    Again, Pelosi is cynical and I agree that it was not appropriate for her to call for disbarment, but the politics of this proceeding have been so raucously hotheaded on both sides, that the upright, estimable legal profession, insufferably pompous when it comes to ethics, has become embroiled in it, too, to the degree that frivolous arguments are indeed being made and not properly addressed.

    1. I also am an attorney-litigator, as well as educator, and your argument falls on its face. Dershowitz’s arguments are well-protected under ABA 3.1 and other provisions.

      1. “Frank O. Bowman, a law professor at the University of Missouri and author of the book High Crimes and Misdemeanors, said Dershowitz is bucking the weight of legal thought. ‘In making this argument, Alan is essentially alone, and I mean alone,” Bowman said. “What Dershowitz did yesterday was stand up and be a guy with Harvard attached to his name and spout complete nonsense that’s totally unsupported by any scholarship, anywhere.'”

        I think you have a little more work to do.

        1. Wortmanberg – specifically what was Bowman referring to? There are parts of Dersh’s argument that go back to the Founders, some to 1805, some later. The House managers are using a shotgun approach to evidence, so he had to cover some odd ground. Exactly where does Bowman feel Dersh fails? I, personally, was on JT’s side when this started, and then as more historical references came out, I had to go to Dersh.

        2. Actually, perhaps you are projecting? Please read my comment again. I made no comment about the merits of Dershowitz’s argument, I simply noted that his opinion/argument was well
          protected. “Bucking the weight of legal authority” does not translate to a punishable opinion. what was your point again?

    2. Except that Dershowitz was not trying to advance a claim of absolute executive authority, was he? He was merely taking final nail to Schiff’s rather weak argument of quid pro quo in effort to advance bribery. He’s saying that even if it was a quid pro quo of the form Schiff describes, it doesn’t matter. And he’s absolutely right.

      What’s even sadder is that no one is saying the Biden’s didn’t do it, or that they are not guilty of influence pedaling, which, let’s fact it, is essentially “bribery”… what they are saying instead is that it’s Ok because a) Old Joe is of that political class where such behavior is deemed acceptable, and b), he’s running for office. Sadder still, the Biden’s aren’t even mentioned in the transcript. So the whole thing is imaginary, scurrilous, fantasy. And Schiff should most definitely be held to account. Which is precisely what Pelosi likely attempts here to derail.

      Schiff has read Trump’s mind regarding motivation; well, maybe we should here read Pelosi’s?

  16. So far, it seems there is nothing the Democrats’ side won’t do in order to win or score points against the President. I think they knew up front they’d never have him removed, so they’ve been using this as a giant campaign ad at taxpayer expense. I will never vote for a Democrat for so much as dogcatcher. Dr. Turley, do you ever consider this behavior when you think about why you are a Democrat? You are the ONLY sane one I’ve ever encountered and that includes my friends.

    1. What you said. The Democratic leadership in this country are not good people, concerned about America, who simply disagree with Trump. They are very bad, horrible, rotten people who will lie, dissemble, and cheat to stay in power merely for the sake of power. I do not say that a demonization, but as an accurate description. I used to be a Democrat, and would have voted for Hillary save for the email stupidity and Trump entering the race.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. Aye. And the Democratic Party electorate has turned into a collecting pool of all the a**holes in America. You meet some of them on these boards.

        It’s distressing what comes over our Facebook wall. We have Republican friends. They use Facebook to post pictures of their grandchildren. The obsessive political posters are all partisan Democrats, nearly all of them know-nothings who think in slogans and memes. Absolutely none of them are the least bit disturbed by the conduct of various public agencies in re the President, nor did they object to the conduct of members of Congress in the Kavanaugh matter.

        All of which is to day that committed Democrats have no procedural principles any more and no capacity to see other people as just people who are owed certain courtesies. This will not end well.

  17. Lawyers lie. Dershowitz was most likely a fact witness when he served as Epstein’s lawyer. Conflict of interest maybe?

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