If the Supreme Court accepts Barr’s twisted logic, it will sideline itself, collapse the balance of powers, and leave Congress and the White House to literally battle things out.
Mitch McConnell is trying to help his swing-state senators in 2020 with this idea of a quick, no-witness trial. But he may be sending them to early retirement.
By Barr’s twisted logic, a president would have a strong incentive to get impeached by the House to gain, quite literally, a license to break the law without recourse.
The three non-impeachment cases the Supreme Court has agreed to hear have a major role in determining whether courts will countenance the president acting without accountability.
Back when he worked for Ken Starr, the future justice had no tolerance for anything that could be construed as obstructing Congress.
The Supreme Court has avoided taking sides in what Bill Barr calls a “scorched earth, no-holds-barred war” between Congress and the president. That could end this week.
With its own legitimacy at stake, the Supreme Court has avoided weighing in on the president’s attempts to make the legal system his personal guardian. That’s about to change.
If Barr’s DOJ had even pretended to follow procedure, it could have bottled things up. Instead, Barr himself opened the door for—and all but necessitated—Congress’ investigation.
He’s arguing that Congress can’t talk to anyone who heard directly from him, and can’t trust anyone else.
Rao, whom Trump appointed, sided with his dubious contention that the Constitution provides the president with “enhanced protections” from impeachment.