President Donald Trump’s lawyers should be deprived of their livelihoods for defending the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said this week.
Pelosi suggested to reporters at the Capitol on Thursday that Trump’s lawyers have “disgraced themselves” and that they should be disbarred, The Hill reported. “I don’t know how they can retain their lawyer status, in the comments that they’re making,” the House speaker said.
“What a president’s behavior should be”
As Democrats despair of stopping Republicans from swiftly ending the Senate trial in Trump’s favor, they have shifted from pressuring Republican senators to admit additional witnesses to smearing Republicans and Trump’s lawyers as traitors, while tainting the president’s likely exoneration. Pelosi’s unhinged threat was a response to law professor Alan Dershowitz, who has argued forcefully in the Senate that Donald Trump cannot be impeached for vague “abuse of power” charges.
The lawyer has been the focus of Democrats’ ire for claiming that even if Trump did pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his conduct is not impeachable. Democrats have said that Dershowitz, and by extension Trump’s whole legal team, is making a blanket defense of tyranny.
“Some of them are even lawyers,” Pelosi said, according to Fox News. “Imagine that you would say — ever, of any president, no matter who he or she is or whatever party — if the president thinks that his or her presidency…is good for the country, then any action is justified — including encouraging a foreign government to have an impact on our elections.”
Pelosi was alluding to Dershowitz’s argument that Trump’s conduct, to be impeachable, must have some element of criminality, and that all presidents naturally act with both the public interest and their re-election in mind — in fact, presidents often see the two as congruent, he has argued. Since presidents act with mixed motives, Democrats cannot possibly claim to know that Trump acted with only corrupt, personal intentions, Dershowitz added.
But Pelosi wasn’t buying it. “I don’t think they made the case,” she said Thursday, according to The Hill. “I think they disgraced themselves terribly in terms of their violation of what our Constitution is about and what a president’s behavior should be.”
Pelosi: Trump “cannot be acquitted”
For weeks, Democrats have accused Republicans of staging a “cover-up” to protect Trump by blocking witnesses and documents. They spent this week pushing for testimony from John Bolton — who they did not subpoena in the House — after portions of his upcoming book, which reportedly mentions a direct link between aid to Ukraine and Trump’s desire to investigate Biden, was leaked to The New York Times.
Two Republican senators, Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mitt Romney (R-UT), have said that they will likely vote in favor of witnesses, but Democrats need a total of four defections to clear a 5- vote threshold on Friday to extend the trial. Momentum appeared to be decidedly on the side of Republicans Thursday after Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), both potential swing votes, said they would vote against witnesses.
As the final push from Democrats began to falter, Pelosi made a predictable shift in messaging: even if Trump is acquitted, she argued, it won’t count because the trial was unfair. “He will not be acquitted,” she said. “You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial, and you don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation.”
Who’s the tyrant?
It’s worth taking a second to think about what Pelosi is really saying here: Trump’s lawyers should not have livelihoods because they made arguments that Pelosi and her party don’t like. Because Republicans are done wasting time on what is obviously a partisan impeachment, they’re all traitors to the Constitution, in Pelosi’s mind.
This is standard Democrat strategy: threaten, smear, waste the country’s time with ridiculous nonsense, and then when you lose, just say the game was rigged. And they say that Trump is the tyrant.