Yesterday, I discussed briefly George Conway’s Washington Post op-ed, in which he claimed that President Trump is a racist. The op-ed was long on biographical information about Conway, but devoid of argumentation.
That’s fitting, because Conway’s biography is his calling card when it comes to getting op-eds published by the mainstream media. From the Post’s perspective, he’s a two-fer — a Republican and the spouse of one of Trump’s most trusted advisers. You can’t top that in a Trump critic.
Just last month, Conway published an op-ed in the Post calling for Trump’s impeachment. Co-written with Neal Katyal, it was another example of the tired “one of us is a conservative Republican, one is a liberal Democrat — we both agree that Trump sucks” genre.
Conway and Katyal argued that Trump had invited impeachment proceedings because of a position the administration took about executive power in a court filing. The specifics are discussed briefly below.
But here’s the point: The notion that an argument to a court might give rise to an impeachment proceeding is ludicrous. It would be one thing if the court were to reject Trump’s argument and Trump were to disobey its order. But where is the “high crime and misdemeanor” in making an argument to a court?
Conway and Katyal see an impeachable offense in the very fact that Trump holds the view expressed in the brief. Whatever the Constitution means by “high crimes and misdemeanors,” it surely doesn’t mean thought crimes.
Jim Dueholm, a former law partner of John and Scott, said this about the Conway-Katyal piece:
The George Conway, Neal Katyal op-ed in the June 13 Post is astounding.
The op-ed addresses President Trump’s appeal to the DC Court of Appeals from a federal district court decision that Congress can investigate alleged illegal conduct by the president when he was a private citizen. The brief on appeal apparently argues that it’s up to the Justice Department, not Congress, to investigate alleged criminal conduct by a private citizen that isn’t related to proposed legislation.
This seems like a reasonable argument, but not according to Messrs. Conway and Katyal. The brief, they say, is “a spectacularly anti-constitutional brief, and anyone who harbors such attitudes toward our Constitution’s architecture is not fit for office.” They add that the brief “is nothing if not an invitation to commencing impeachment proceedings.”
So we have come to this: A brief filed by the President of the United States in the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia is an invitation to, if not grounds for, impeachment. Where does this end? Should the lawyers on the brief be disbarred? If the president wins the appeal, should the circuit court judges, who don’t have the last word on the permissible scope of congressional investigations, be impeached?
Just. mind. boggling.
Do Katyal and Conway really want to punish people for making arguments with which they strongly disagree on constitutional grounds? Or are they so determined to resist and remove this president that they will say almost anything?