Thursday, July 18, 2019

Lighten Up, Francis!

I agree with Rick Wilson on this (quelle surprise!) and find the argument that impeachment creates a magic sword utterly specious.

The Trump Administration is claiming an "absolute immunity" that makes "executive privilege" look like a red-headed stepchild.  They are claiming droit seigneur, and impeachment is not going to magically dissolve that claim into mist.  Even with impeachment hearings, the House would have to go to the courts to enforces subpoenas against witnesses and for documents, a path that would not be accelerated in the least.  I don't see any indication the courts are disinclined to grant Congress the investigations they are currently pursuing.  Impeachment would not fire up some kind of judicial afterburners.  Congress' power to investigate has been challenged by Trump, but no court is taking those challenges seriously.

This is the way the system works, and so far it is working just fine.  The same people screaming that the investigations are moving too slowly would be making the same claims for impeachment.  I remember the impeachment of Nixon:  it was a slow and ponderous process, and it wasn't impeded by Nixon declaring absolute immunity for all persons who'd ever shaken his hand. Trump's claims of immunity, like Nixon's claims of privilege over the White House tapes, need to be decisively suppressed and rejected.  It will take the courts to do that.

And that will simply take time.

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