Category: Columns

The No-Show Option: Trump Could Sit Out The Senate Trial And Still Prevail

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.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “The No-Show Option: Trump Could Sit Out The Senate Trial And Still Prevail”

Being Blount: The First Impeachment May Offer The Best Defense For Trump

If American politics shows anything, it is that enmity, not necessity is the mother of invention.

Many continue to feel rage over the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. I condemned the speech of President Donald Trump when it was still being given and opposed the challenge to the electoral votes. However, it is the future of the Constitution, not Donald Trump, that most concerns me as the Senate is about to try to remove a president who has already left office. Continue reading “Being Blount: The First Impeachment May Offer The Best Defense For Trump”

The Senate’s Cadaver Synod: The Trial Of Citizen Trump Would Raise Serious Constitutional Questions

Below is my column in USA Today on the upcoming Senate trial of President Donald Trump. The Hill recently my second column on why the best defense of Trump could be no defense — to skip the Senate trial and force a threshold vote on the constitutionality of the trial of an ex-president.

Here is my column: Continue reading “The Senate’s Cadaver Synod: The Trial Of Citizen Trump Would Raise Serious Constitutional Questions”

How A Snap Impeachment Could Shatter Our Constitutional Balance

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.

Here is the column: Continue reading “How A Snap Impeachment Could Shatter Our Constitutional Balance”

Be Careful With The 25th Amendment

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.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Be Careful With The 25th Amendment”

A Crisis Of Faith: Why We Should Be Worried More About A Desecration Than An Insurrection

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.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “A Crisis Of Faith: Why We Should Be Worried More About A Desecration Than An Insurrection”

I Hate Federal Commissions, But Americans Need One To Look Into The 2020 Election

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

Here is the column: Continue reading “I Hate Federal Commissions, But Americans Need One To Look Into The 2020 Election”

We Must Talk About Constitutional Issues In The Election Certification

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.

What is odd is the President’s continued assurance to his supporters that this is a possible path to victory. Shortly after the election, I wrote that I thought the President was laying the foundations for a “Death Star” strategy but that it would not likely succeed. To make that Luke Skywalker shot, he needed a perfect alignment of elements. None of those elements are present today.  The over-hearted rhetoric from the President and his critics however are magnifying our divisions and anger.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “We Must Talk About Constitutional Issues In The Election Certification”

De Blasio’s Dance and The Delusional Politics Of 2021

YouTube screenshot

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.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “De Blasio’s Dance and The Delusional Politics Of 2021”

Law’s Ahab: Weissmann Makes The Case For A Trump Self-Pardon

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.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Law’s Ahab: Weissmann Makes The Case For A Trump Self-Pardon”

The Case For and Against The Appointment Of A Special Counsel In The Hunter Biden Investigation

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.

Here is the column: Continue reading “The Case For and Against The Appointment Of A Special Counsel In The Hunter Biden Investigation”

Biden’s Pony Problem: Why The Hunter Biden Scandal Is No Dead Horse

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”

Trumpunity: How Democrats Are Adopting Trump Rhetoric and Tactics For The Biden Presidency

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the adoption of Trump-like rhetoric and tactics by Democrats, who seem to believe they have a strange type of immunity in the post-Trump world.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Trumpunity: How Democrats Are Adopting Trump Rhetoric and Tactics For The Biden Presidency”

Comedic Relief: Biden Declares Hunter Investigation Just More “Foul Play” By Political Operatives

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.

That view of many was reinforced in the first interview with Biden about his son since the November election. It was conducted by CBS’ Stephen Colbert, host of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Biden has refused to answer questions on the expanding scandal surrounding his son’s China connections so this was a big deal. However, the president-elect’s team arranged for the all-important question to be asked by a comedian on a late-night show. Continue reading “Comedic Relief: Biden Declares Hunter Investigation Just More “Foul Play” By Political Operatives”