Category: Columns

What History Really Tells Us About Senate Trials

200px-110th_US_Senate_class_photoBelow is my column on history — and some dubious historical claims — related to Senate impeachment trials.  As with the conflicting position on witnesses of some senators, the growing narrative in the media that Republicans senators have departed from the tradition of the Senate in commenting on trial has more hypocrisy than history behind it.  I have repeatedly encouraged senators not to discuss the evidence or their likely votes, but that is a rule honored historically in the breach by members of this curious trial jury.

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How The Supreme Court Could Be Pulled Into The Trump Impeachment

Supreme CourtBelow is my column in the Washington Post on the real possibility that the Supreme Court could be pulled into the Senate impeachment trial if witnesses are allowed. If you hated Bush v. Gore, this could be one sequel that you will not want to see.  Certainly few on the Court are eager to play a role in the possible removal of an American president.

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Pelosi’s Blunder: How The House Destroyed Its Own Case For Impeachment

Below is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the blunder by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of not submitting the impeachment case to the Senate — a mistake that now threatens not just the trial but the rules for impeachment trials.

On Sunday, Pelosi went largely unchallenged in her obviously incorrect claim that the House is still in court seeking witnesses in the impeachment. The House is litigating pre-impeachment witnesses, but has never sought to subpoena, let alone compel, key witnesses in the impeachment from John Bolton to Rudy Giuliani to others with direct knowledge of any alleged quid pro quo. Indeed, the House has done nothing for four weeks after the vote – a vote that I strongly discouraged in favor of spending a couple months seeking these witnesses and/or court orders. Now Pelosi is actually suggesting that they could still seek the witnesses while the House does nothing. It remains the most baffling blunder of the impeachment.

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Courting Disaster? The Democrats Are Demanding Witnesses With One Notable Exception

Below is my column in the Washington Post (slightly expanded) on the upcoming fight over witnesses, including the unresolved question of Hunter Biden. The problem facing Democrats is that Hunter Biden is a clearly material witness to the defense on why there was a hold on military aid to Ukraine. The plain fact is that, from the perspective of the defense, the worst Hunter looks, the better the hold looks.

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“How Did It Get So Late So Soon?”: The Democratic Impeachment Erodes With Opinions and Time

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the recent decision on the appearance of a key witness, Charles Kupperman, in the House investigation. The abandonment of the subpoena on Kupperman highlights what will be a major question in the Senate of why the Senate should demand witnesses who the House failed to seek to compel. By rushing the impeachment and forcing a vote before Christmas, the House gave up control over an incomplete and insufficient case for removal. It gave up that control to a chamber controlled by the opposing party. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to game the system has not achieved any concession from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Few of us believed it would. Now the House will proceed on the thinnest record ever presented in a modern presidential impeachment trial.

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Pelosi’s Half Right Constitutional Claim Leaves The House All Wrong

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the position of Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe that the blocking the submission of the impeachment to the Senate by Speaker Nancy Pelosi is both constitutional and commendable. He is half right but the House is entirely wrong in its gaming of the system in this fashion.

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The Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Testify For Republicans

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the perils of professors who agree to testify as Republican witnesses, particularly in an impeachment. It is not the continuing threats against me and my family. That happened when I testified in the Clinton impeachment. No, it is the response of fellow academics and the degree of flagrantly false stories in the media. As a lawyer, I have worked with accused murderers, polygamists, spies, terrorists, and others. However, nothing produces the unhinged rage as appearing as a Republican witness.

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What If Monica Actually Had Taken The Stand?

Below is my column in the Wall Street Journal on the issue of witnesses at impeachment trials and how they can have a determinative impact on the outcome of such trials. The best example remains the Senate trial of Bill Clinton and the ultimate “what if.” What if Monica Lewinsky actually took the stand in the Senate trial?

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Christmas Torts: The 2019 Listing Of Holiday Mishaps and Madness

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on my annual list of Christmas torts and crimes. Fortunately, the holiday is much more than the entries on the criminal docket. However, these cases remind us all that, even when chaos lurks around holiday gatherings, we somehow survive and return year in and year out. So Happy Holidays to everyone.

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The Impulse Buy Impeachment: How The Democrats Yielded To The Holiday Frenzy Over Facts

Below is my column in the Los Angeles Times on the impeachment of President Donald Trump. The failure to take a little more time to secure additional witnesses (or court orders against the Administration) has already come back to haunt the House. If the Senate now decides to try the President on the thin record of the House, the House will have given the White House an easy avenue to acquittal. If the House was not willing to seek to compel the testimony of these witnesses, it will be in a poor position to demand that the Senate now complete the record that it prematurely closed with its vote. Had they waited just a couple months, they might have been able to secure some of these witnesses, particularly if they had not burned four months without seeking to compel witnesses like Bolton or, bizarrely, withdrew its subpoena for Kupperman before a court could rule.

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“Let Them Impeach And Be Damned”: History Repeats Itself With A Vengeance As The House Impeaches Donald Trump

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the striking similarities between the Johnson and Trump impeachments — a comparison that should be unsettling for most voters as history repeats itself with a vengeance.

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An Apology To Carter Page

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on what the recent Horowitz report says about the treatment of former Trump adviser Carter Page. While the media has been quick to call developments as “vindication” for figures like Comey, it is largely silent on the poor treatment shown Page and the lack of evidence against him (and supporting the Russian investigation as a whole). Page has emerged as the Richard Jewell of the Russian investigation.

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