Trump Attorney: If Not Impeached And Convicted, President Has Power To Assasinate Political Rivals
This is the logical result of Trump's legal arguments & that should give everyone pause
The DC Circuit hearing about whether or not Presidential Immunity applies to former President Trump is underway, and it’s already produced a potent moment. Oral arguments began with the three-judge panel questioning the former President’s legal team. Here a report of the Trump team’s response to one of the judge’s questions:
[Update 1] The audio of this exchange (the hearing audio is being streamed) for this has been provided by CNN (note that the person posting this is not associated with CNN).
This is logically consistent with the theory of Presidential Immunity that the Trump team has been advancing. I also hope that everyone, regardless of political persuasion, can see the utter problem with this–especially considering the political nature of the impeachment process. I also hope that originalists can see how this contradicts the drafters of the Constitution’s thoughts about the Presidency. They had just rebelled against one monarchy–I don’t think they were keen on creating another one.
I realize we are supposed to take anything Donald Trump says figuratively and not literally. And still, even figuratively, is incredibly scary for a leading Presidential candidate, not to mention a former President, to be operating from this broad concept of Presidential Immunity. Regardless of the results of this case, I think we will be hearing about this exchange and it’s implications for months to come.
Interestingly, some of the judges’ broader questioning seems to suggest that at least two on the panel have questions about whether or not this appeal can even be brought because the Constitution doesn’t affirmatively give the President immunity from criminal prosecution and the current Supreme Court doctrine on immunity doesn’t address this issue. For more on that, I recommend yesterday’s Lawfare podcast.
[Update 2] Nicholas Grossman adds an novel twist to this line of legal reasoning:
This is actually consistent with this line of legal argumentation when taken to its extreme conclusion.
[Update 3] Example of how Fox News provides its audience with an alternative narrative: