Michael Gerhardt is a law professor at the University of North Carolina. During the House impeachment hearings, Gerhardt embarrassed himself. He claimed that if what President Trump was accused of doing “is not impeachable, then nothing is.”
That’s absurd. If the House hadn’t impeached Trump because of his Ukraine stunt, presidents could still be impeached for a multitude of offenses — e.g., selling state secrets to a foreign power or shutting down the Supreme Court.
Now, Gerhardt is saying that “at some point we are going to see ethics charges brought against the lawyers” who represented President Trump during the Senate impeachment trial. That’s what he told CNN yesterday.
This time, the professor is probably right. Bar complaints, however frivolous, are likely to be filed against one or more of Trump’s lawyers.
It’s hard to go wrong betting that the left will engage in authoritarian tactics. The modern left is hostile to any right that stands in the way of its quest for power — be it the right to free speech, to free exercise of one’s religion, or to a vigorous legal defense.
Ethics charges against members of Trump’s legal team would be baseless. As Jonathan Turley observes, in litigation, lawyers typically present one-sided renditions of the facts that include claims the other side considers false and that may, indeed, be false. But even if a judge or jury rejects these assertions of fact, we don’t hit the losing lawyers with bar charges.
Turley also notes that the Washington Post gave Adam Schiff four Pinocchios for his denial of any contacts between his staff and the whistleblower. If bar complaints are to be filed in connection with the impeachment, Schiff should be the subject of one.
But arguments like these are of no importance to the modern left. All that matters is that the lawyers in question defended a president the left despises. Therefore, the left despises these lawyers. Therefore, these lawyers must be punished.
They aren’t going to be jailed, so the left will settle for bar complaints. For now.