October 11, 2019

Chris Hayes had two of the conservative lawyers on his show who had signed a joint letter to fellow Republicans calling for the swift investigation and impeachment of Donald Trump. Harvard Law professor Charles Fried was Solicitor General under Ronald Reagan, and Jonathan Adler is a law professor at Case Western. They both had pretty strong words for and about Trump, but also about the Republicans who enable and participate in his crimes.

More than anything, though, they wanted to let other conservatives know that if they had qualms, or were horrified at what has become of their Republican party, that they were not alone. When Hayes asked Prof. Fried why he'd co-signed the letter calling for impeachment, Fried answered, "This man terrifies me." Hayes asked him why, and he responded:

FRIED: Because of the way he thinks, what he says about himself. He says that the constitution said, and he said this to a bunch of high school students. "I can do whatever I want." That's what Article 2 says. Well, it doesn't. Any lawyer knows that. Any lawyer except maybe Bill Barr and Mr. Cippilone. Everybody who studied the Constitution which I teach knows that. Our fidelity is to the law and to the office, not to a man.

Fried went on later to say he believed we are in a Constitutional crisis because of Trump's unlawful behavior, and the criminal and obstructive behavior upon which he's insisting from his staff.

FREED: [I]f the president succeeds in stonewalling the lawful, constitutionally provided processes of the House of Representatives, then something will have to be done. The various officials who will not testify because they have been told not to and they're scared of this thug will have to be sanctioned. They are in contempt. Of course he is in contempt.

He made sure to interject that the second part of the Mueller report gave Congress the charge of indicting Trump for obstruction of justice. Hayes finished by asking Fried what his fellow conservatives are feeling about what's happening with this administration with and to the rule of law. He said very simply, "They are horrified."

If only the Republicans in Congress were equally horrified, or at least horrified enough to take action. But then, that's what these gentlemen claimed the purpose of their letter was, wasn't it? To provide community and cover? Let's see if it actually helps the Congressional GOP take action, or if it ends up just being an eloquent exercise in venting for these 16 conservative lawyers.

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