For over a year now, President Donald Trump has been whining about the ongoing investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the 2016 election, calling it a “witch hunt” and assuring his supporters that there was “no collusion” between him and Russia.
But attorney George Conway — who just so happens to be married to senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway — has just written an article for the Lawfare legal blog which completely destroys Trump’s specious claims about the Mueller probe. And he starts with this tweet from Trump:
The appointment of the Special Counsel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
That argument, Conway notes, is probably based on an article written by right-wing legal scholar Steven Calabresi, and it doesn’t hold water:
“Unfortunately for the president, these writings are no more correct than the spelling in his original tweet. And in light of the president’s apparent embrace of Calabresi’s conclusions, it is well worth taking a close look at Calabresi’s argument in support of those conclusions.”
Specifically, in a column he wrote for The Wall Street Journal, Calabresi asserts that Mueller’s probe is “null and void” because it “violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Clause 2.” In non-legal jargon, Calabresi is saying the appointment of a special counsel violates the separation of powers called for in the U.S. Constitution. Conway tosses that aside by commenting that, as the Huffington Post notes:
“U.S. attorneys [are] ‘inferior officers’ under the Constitution, and says the special counsel also is an inferior officer. That, he maintains, defeats the claim that Mueller’s appointment is unconstitutional.”
And Conway then proceeds to shred Calabresi’s flawed logic by writing:
“In short, there is no serious argument that Special Counsel Mueller’s appointment violates the Appointments Clause specifically or the separation of powers generally.”
But it’s Conway’s conclusion that lays waste to Trump’s attempt at shielding himself from legal responsibility for his actions. No man is above the law, and Conway reminds us all that while Trump may fancy himself a king, he too is responsible for his actions:
“The ‘constitutional’ arguments made against the special counsel do not meet that standard and had little more rigor than the tweet that promoted them. Such a lack of rigor, sadly, has been a disturbing trend in much of the politically charged public discourse about the law lately, and one that lawyers — regardless of their politics — owe a duty to abjure.”
In other words, King Donald has to pay the piper, and all the fancy legal arguments in the world won’t protect him if he did indeed violate the law.
Kellyanne Conway hasn’t commented on her husband’s article. She’s probably busy thinking up some more “alternative facts” that she can spout on Fox News.
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