Below is my column in the Hill on why President Donald Trump might want to consider skipping the upcoming Senate trial. This is an expanded version of that column. Rumors continue to suggest that Trump is considering Rudy Giuliani as counsel — a role that would be viewed as open contempt to the Senate and, as Karl Rove noted, would increase the chances of a conviction. There is a better defense: no defense.
As we wait for the impeachment of the President for a second time, I wanted to share what I considered to be the better path not taken by the House. We had an opportunity to speak with one voice in a bicameral, bipartisan resolution. That moment will soon pass.
Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on my concerns over the planned “snap impeachment” this year. In my view, impeaching on the speech alone would raise serious concerns over the use of impeachment in the future. Many Democrats, including members of Congress, refused to accept Trump as the legitimate president when he was elected and refused to do so as rioting broke out at the inauguration. Many of the same members have used the same type of rhetoric to “take back the country” and “fight for the country.” The concern is that this impeachment will not only create precedent for an expedited pathway of “snap impeachments” but allow future Congresses to impeach presidents for actions of their supporters. The point of this column is to call for greater caution and deliberation before we take this step to consider the basis and implications of this impeachment. As with the calls to use the 25th Amendment, there are real dangers to any opportunistic or hurried use of this option. There is also the alternative of a joint and bipartisan condemnation of both houses, which would be both justified and unassailable.
As I have said, there could be evidence to support impeachment on the proposed incitement article but it would have to be found before or after the speech to show an intent to spark rioting or to allow it to continue. As with the 25th Amendment claim, such evidence would be found from within the White House and through a traditional impeachment inquiry.
Below is my column in USA Today on the call to use the 25th Amendment to “remove” President Donald Trump. As a threshold matter, the 25th Amendment does not “remove” a president but rather shifts his powers to the Vice President. The only method for removal of a president from office is impeachment. The 25th Amendment refers to the Vice President as “acting” in his capacity. However, “removal” is a common way of expressing the substitution under the 25th Amendment. The main problem is not the nomenclature but the standard. Section 4 actions under the amendment are designed for physical or mental incapacities. Such evidence may exist but it has not been disclosed. Vice President Mike Pence would need to disclose such evidence of mental illness or irrationality in the President. The speech alone is not a basis for a 25th Amendment “removal.”
This week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is continuing to call for the invocation of the 25th Amendment or impeachment as alternative courses of action. She and others have expressed a preference for the 25th Amendment due to the limited time remaining before President Trump leaves office. However, neither time nor the text for a 25th Amendment action is supportive in this effort. More importantly, without such clear evidence of mental incapacity, the use of the 25th Amendment could introduce even greater instability in our system.
Below is my column in the Hill on the riot at Congress and its implications for our country. As shown by the unfounded rush for a “snap impeachment,” we are experiencing a crisis of faith in this country — not only in our Constitution but ourselves. Pushing for a snap vote (and snap judgment) on these issues will only exacerbate our divisions. This is a time for deliberative, not impulsive, action in Congress.
Below is my column in USA Today on the need for a federal commission on the 2020 election. While I opposed the challenge and the call for the ten-day commission, I do believe that a real commission is warranted. Indeed, the violence yesterday only further shows the deep divisions in this country over these lingering questions. However, there must be the commitment to a real commission — not another placebo commission
Below is my column in the Hill on today’s challenge to the counting of electoral votes in Congress. The challenge raises a long-standing debate over the authority of Congress in making such challenges. What is clear in my view is that Vice President Michael Pence does not have the unilateral authority claimed by President Donald Trump to simply “send back” electoral votes for particular states. Nothing in the Constitution suggests such authority and the Electoral Count Act expressly contradicts such claimed authority. Indeed, such an act could bring an unprecedented challenge and judicial intervention in the certification of the presidential election.
Below is my column in the Hill on the rise of delusional politics in America — a problem captured vividly on New Year’s Eve as Mayor Bill de Blasio dancing with his wife to a virtually empty Times Square. This is not Chicago where Sinatra sang about seeing a “guy dancing with his wife.” It is New York and the only one dancing seemed to be de Blasio.
We are watching as both parties seem blissfully and utterly detached from reality.
Below is my column in the Hill on claims by former Deputy Special Counsel Andrew Weissmann that the recent pardons by President Donald Trump reinforce a possible obstruction of justice case against him. We have previously discussed how Weissmann has proven critics correct in their description of his animosity and bias toward Trump. For my part, his book and recent statements reinforce the view of an abusive prosecutor, particularly in his untethered view of obstruction. Indeed, Weissmann seems intent on making the best case for Trump to grant himself a self-pardon. He is calling for prosecutors to use grand juries to pursue Trump and others in an unrelenting campaign based on unfounded legal theories.
Below is my column in the Hill on grounds for and against the appointment of a Special Counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation. By refusing address the underlying allegations, Joe Biden is magnifying the concerns over possible conflicts of interest and his own possible exposure. Biden is maintaining that he will not ask potential Justice Department nominees about the investigation but he is also refusing to answer specific questions. In the meantime, he appeared to confirm that he views the investigation to be Russian disinformation. That is a familiar profile in a scandal at the start of an Administration and Democrats are likely to face their own prior calls to investigate the Trump family on such questions of foreign influence.
President-elect Joe Biden has a pony problem. During the primary, Joe Biden bizarrely responded to a woman who asked why voters should believe that he could win a national election by saying “You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.” That encounter came to mind when Biden this week mocked Fox reporter Peter Doocy, who violated the virtual news blackout on the Hunter Biden story. by asking about the scandal. Biden immediately walked off stage and then stopped and said “Yes, yes, yes. God love you, man — you’re a one-horse pony, I tell you.” Continue reading “Biden’s Pony Problem: Why The Hunter Biden Scandal Is No Dead Horse”→
We had breaking news Thursday night: Joe Biden is proud of his son Hunter. After a blackout on the Hunter Biden scandal before the election, it often seems as if the media is struggling to offer the appearance of coverage without actually asking questions that could be damaging for the president-elect.