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April 19, 2019


Professor Kennedy in her blog today quotes Ana Navarro to the effect that the current occupant of the Oval Office is a vegetable, and then suggests that a vegetable is too dumb to collude with the Russians, citing reasons why. I responded as follows, slightly edited.

I wrote elsewhere yesterday that as a lawyer I understood robustly defending a client who is charged with wrongdoing, but noted that Trump is not Barr’s client, nor can he be so long as he is the AG. I further noted that the AG’s “client” is the United States and its people, and that since Barr’s real “clients” are adversely affected by his PR stunt(s) on behalf of a non-client he could (in theory) be called up before his bar association for a disbarment hearing.

I note here that ignorance of the law is no excuse, not even for a vegetable. For instance, let’s say I am an ignorant English tourist in Indiana, rent a car, drive on the wrong side of the road (as defined by American law), have a headon and kill five people and then show up in court with a Barr lawyer who says his client did not know you drove on the right side of the road here. Do we look at such misunderstanding as a legal defense or do we look at the harm done? Such a defense may be helpful in mitigation of sentence but has no place in determining guilt. When in Rome. . . .

Thus Barr can say the president was “frustrated” and that that somehow should forgive him of his many attempts to obstruct justice. Millions of us are a bit frustrated by the conduct of this carrot top in office, too, but that doesn’t forgive us a charge of assault and battery on our Trump-loving neighbor. Thus neither ignorance nor frustration play any role as a defense to either criminal or non-criminal misbehavior, and to hold otherwise elevates such as Trump above the law, an intolerable result.

Whether to seek Trump’s impeachment now for his hundreds of attempts to obstruct justice or to wait for further developments since the McConnell-led Senate is unlikely to convict – that is the question. Few want him impeached and removed from office more than I, but I think we are best advised to keep impeachment on the table and wait until congressional committees have uncovered the void in the Mueller report, to wit: his financial shenanigans, including but not limited to Russian money laundered through DeutscheBank, his tax returns (which are likely fraudulent in order to cover up his laundering and other fraudulent activities), uncovering of the activities of his shell corporations, and whatever other criminal activities further congressional investigations may unmask, and if it is proven that he is a crook on several fronts, then (I assume), as the tapes did Nixon in, such revelations will stoke such public outrage that the Senate is forced to convict after House impeachment – but Nostradamus I am not – so my advice is for Congress to keep on digging and amassing evidence for the big show later on. This show has just begun.       GERALD         E


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