There are several things I’ve noticed about the lawyers employed by El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, besides that a) some of them show no signs of having, you know, been to law school, and b) none of them are likely to get paid. Perhaps because of these two facts, and perhaps because their client is a delusional nutball, these lawyers take the most extreme positions possible at almost every opportunity. These include assertions of privilege and confidentiality that exist only amid the Special Sauce-encrusted stalactites of their client’s mind. This gives the judges to whom these arguments are presented no choice but to toss the former president*’s case completely—and rapidly—out of court. It also gives federal judges a chance to crack wise from the bench, and you never want to do that.
For example, on Tuesday night, for the second time in two days, Judge Tanya Chutkan 86’d the former president*’s effort to shield records and documents from the special congressional committee investigating the insurrection on January 6. Currently, this material is stored at the National Archives, and the former president* is transparently desperate to make sure it stays there, locked away amid Lincoln’s breakfast orders and rum-stained early drafts of the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty. Late Monday night, she refused to issue an emergency order blocking the transfer of the material. And then, on Tuesday, Judge Chutkan made it official. From CNBC:
“At bottom, this is a dispute between a former and incumbent President,” Chutkan wrote in a 39-page opinion. “And the Supreme Court has already made clear that in such circumstances, the incumbent’s view is accorded greater weight.” Trump’s view “appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity,’” Chutkan wrote.
“But president are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”
Ooooh, as the kidz say, snap!
The problem with this approach, besides the fact that it always loses, is that it doesn’t give the judge any room to ponder. The arguments are so threadbare and the theories on which those arguments are based so comically absurd that they don’t give most judges anything to chew over. Lawyers like to present arguments that cause a judge to say, “Let me think that over.” (Judges love to ponder.) The Trump legal teams consistently present arguments that cause judges to say, “No, seriously, what’s your point?” This is not helpful.
The former president* will appeal this ruling because that’s what he does. But the U.S. Congress isn’t some unlucky glazier from New Jersey. He can’t money-whip it into exhaustion and defeat. So he will send his lawyers once more unto the breach with increasingly preposterous arguments and legal theories developed by the renowned law professor, Dr. Otto Yerass. The hope for the Republic is that, sooner or later, he’ll run out of bad lawyers and/or judges willing to listen to this nonsense.
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