Trump’s legal arguments are so weak that they are causing the courts to speed through their ruling and destroy his strategy to stonewall Congress.
Renato Mariotti wrote in Politico Magazine:
If Trump’s stonewalling strategy was intended to run out the clock by forcing Democrats into interminable court fights, it appears so far to be having the exact opposite effect—almost like a little league game that gets called early because one team is scoring too many unanswered runs.
If Trump’s team is not alarmed by the speed and sweeping nature—not to mention the almost dismissive tone—of the two judgments against the president, it should be. Trump’s strategy on a variety of fronts has been to take extreme positions denying congressional authority to investigate the president. On Monday, for example, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that the president’s senior advisers are immune from subpoenas to testify about their official duties. Buried on Page 9 of the memo was an admission that the only court to consider this issue had ruled to the contrary. Hiding an unfavorable precedent in this manner might work on a first-year law student, but it won’t fool a federal judge.
The Achilles’ heel of Trump’s strategy is that his extreme positions are not fact-specific or nuanced and are easily disposed of as legally groundless. Mehta noted that the “legal issues presented do not require the court to resolve any fact contests because the material facts are not in dispute.” Because Trump challenged the very right of Congress to investigate these matters, the only facts the court needed to consider were basic facts that no one could possibly dispute.
A White House that is so unconcerned and disinterested in details and policy proposals that they can’t get press releases right is also an administration that can’t make a coherent legal argument for their actions. The losses in court have been a constant theme of the Trump administration. At one point, the Trump administration had lost 63 federal court cases in three years. Trump is averaging over 20 defeats in federal court per year.
The lack of attention to legal argument and detail is leading to Trump getting crushed in the cases involving the Democratic House investigation. Trump doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, and his inability to make an argument of merit is resulting in quick court decisions that are blowing up his stonewalling. Trump thought that he could stall in the courts. Instead, he is sowing the seeds for investigations that will lead to his political demise.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association