Lawyer Examines Impeachment Defenses (Real Law Review)

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  • Published on:  Tuesday, November 26, 2019
  • What defenses do the Trump Administration defenders have left?
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    From the New York Times:
    “Republicans mounted an array of defenses of President Trump at this week’s impeachment hearings — making arguments that at times seemed to conflict with one another logically, but that dovetailed in a key way: All served to undermine Democrats’ allegations that Mr. Trump abused his power. In angry statements from the hearing dais, lines of questioning to witnesses and comments during breaks to reporters, Republicans sought to poke holes in the strength of evidence that Mr. Trump personally put a condition on the government committing official acts — namely, that Ukraine publicize investigations that could benefit him. But at other times, Republicans suggested that Mr. Trump’s pursuit of those investigations was justified — reading into the record related facts and allegations about Ukrainian actions in 2016 and about the Ukrainian gas company Burisma and its decision to give Hunter Biden, the son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a lucrative board seat.”

    As I see it, here are the main Republican legal defenses:
    No quid pro quo
    It’s all hearsay
    The aid was released (the Sideshow Bob defense)
    The Ukranians didn’t feel pressure (no harm no foul)
    The Ukranians didn’t have to pay
    No mens rea
    It’s foreign policy
    The state department went rogue
    The President must root out corruption
    It’s bad but not impeachable

    Great article by Elie Mystal, who you should definitely be following
    I also recommend Orin Kerr:
    And definitely read Neal Katyal:

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