January 28, 2020

I really hope The Nation gives Elie Mystal some kind of bonus for working under extreme duress or something. The Justice Correspondent for the magazine took one for the team by listening to and watching all three days of the White House "legal" team's defense of Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Mystal graced the rest of us with a twitter breakdown of their arguments in non-lawyerly (and hilarious) terms. His also wrote up a summary of Monday's proceedings in article form for The Nation:

Ken Starr argued that impeachment is no longer a constitutional provision that should be applied to a president. Michael Purpura argued that nobody ever heard Trump order a quid pro quo. Jane Raskin argued that Rudy Giuliani was a distraction, but also a great guy who did nothing wrong. Patrick Philbin argued that presidents never have to comply with congressional subpoenas they don’t like. Pam Bondi argued that corruption is rampant in Ukraine because of Joe and Hunter Biden. Eric Herschman argued that… well, he held a MAGA rally from the well of the Senate and argued that President Barack Obama should be impeached. Robert Ray argued that presidents cannot be prosecuted. And finally, Alan Dershowtiz argued that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense, while self-owning the fact that essentially no credible legal scholars agree with him.

Below are highlights from Mystal's feed from Tuesday, for those who don't enter the Twitterverse, and cannot wait for his next article in The Nation. For the most part, he just destroys Jay Sekulow, but that's mostly because he did most of the talking today. Thankfully the White House team didn't have too much to say, since Trump totally has no defense, so they barely argued for even two hours before they said weirdly that we need to LET them keep the Republic.

I think we can ALL agree with Mystal on that last. I mean, how many times could we listen to Jay Sekulow say "DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!"? Though it did prompt probably the best of the tweets:

He ended by summarizing Pat Cipollone's super weird closing argument, which was like a Godfather take on Benjamin Franklin's famous line about the republic.

And finally,

And he did it without setting himself on fire...a real concern a few hours into Monday's arguments. Someone buy that guy a drink.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.