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Law Expert: Trump 'Vindicated' on Impeachment After Appeals Court Ruling

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President Donald Trump emerged the winner in a recent battle between the White House and the Democrat-controlled House, according to one of the country’s top legal experts.

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rebuffed a House demand that former White House counsel Don McGahn testify before the House Judiciary Committee in one of its many investigations of Trump.

The ruling is significant not only in the terms of the power struggle between Congress and the White House, it also undercuts the premise of one of the articles of impeachment the House passed that claimed the president improperly interfered with Congress in its oversight function.

Legal expert Jonathan Turley, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University who testified during the House impeachment hearings, conducted a free legal clinic on Twitter to explain why the ruling was such a victory for Trump.

“The decision in this case marks one of the greatest losses in the history of the House of Representatives. Congress was wrong in rushing to impeach and its second article was both premature and presumptuous in claiming obstruction,” he wrote.

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“The DC ruling further demonstrates that Article 2 on obstruction of congress was premature, as I testified. The White House is vindicated in showing that it had valid constitutional arguments to make — arguments ridiculed at the Senate trial,” he tweeted.

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“I do not agree with the court’s analysis but I felt that Trump had a right to seek judicial review. Now that judicial review has shown that the court agrees with his constitutional position. It reaffirms the historic blunder of the House in rushing this impeachment.

“Rather than wait for courts to review immunity and privilege arguments, the House impeached Trump for seeking judicial review. Now the court says that he was right in raising his constitutional objections. Article 2 now looks like a case of prosecutorial excess, if not abuse,” he tweeted.

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The court said, in essence, that the White House and Congress need to resolve their differences.

“We cannot decide this case without declaring the actions of one or the other [branches of government] unconstitutional,” appellate Judge Thomas Griffith wrote in the opinion.

“If federal courts were to swoop in to rescue Congress whenever its constitutional tools failed, it would not just supplement the political process; it would replace that process with one in which unelected judges become the perpetual ‘overseer[s]’ of our elected officials. That is not the role of judges in our democracy, and that is why Article III compels us to dismiss this case.”

A spokeswoman from the Justice Department said in a statement Friday that the department was “extremely pleased” with the ruling, according to CNN.

“Suits like this one are without precedent in our nation’s history and are inconsistent with the Constitution’s design. The D.C. Circuit’s cogent opinion affirms this fundamental principle,” the statement said.

According to CNN, Griffith was appointed by President George W. Bush. Judge Karen Henderson, who joined him in the majority, was appointed by President George H.W. Bush.

Judge Judith Rogers, who dissented, was appointed by President Bill Clinton.

According to CNN, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York objected to the ruling in a statement.

“I strongly disagree with today’s split decision. It is fundamentally hostile to reason and precedent, as the dissent recognized. If upheld, it would destroy the power of Congress to gather information and hold this or any future administration accountable,” he said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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