In Deranged Quasi-legal Rant, Trump Calls Impeachment Unconstitutional

In Deranged Quasi-legal Rant, Trump Calls Impeachment Unconstitutional

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2 mins read
Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Advising President Donald on the law, and formally expressing his views thereof, is a pitiable task. ’s worldview is almost wholly incompatible with the law. The latter is premised on neutral rules, mediated by precedent and constructed with the goal of some notion of abstract fairness. The former is rooted in an entitlement to absolute domination regardless of circumstance.

The White House letter rejecting the House impeachment inquiry is an effort to reconcile the irreconcilable. At the level of tone, it reads like an extended Trumpian rally diatribe lightly edited by an attorney. At the level of substance, it is almost pure, uncut Trump. It repeats a series of immaterial, laughably false claims, surrounding the audacious thesis that impeaching Trump is literally illegal.

answer. That is, Trump will cooperate with an impeachment probe if Democrats stop the impeachment probe.

Such Catch-22 absurdities give this administration no embarrassment. Since Democrats took control of the House last January, Trump has asserted it has no right to investigate him for crimes, no right to obtain his tax returns despite a law clearly authorizing exactly that, and that prosecutors can neither charge nor even investigate his criminal activity. He has claimed the right to start or stop any federal legal proceeding. Some of his positions grow out of the extreme unitary executive theory that figures like William Barr have developed for years, though only for Republican presidents.

But it is, in the main, an expression of Trump’s idiosyncratic convictions. This is a president who asserted his “absolute right” to investigate any person he wants, for any reason even while facing impeachment for abuse of power. He has no conception of the law, except as a tool to compel his opponents to submit to him. His every response to impeachment proves its necessity.

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