Breitbart: White House lawyer Patrick Philbin calmly demolished House Democrats’ second article of impeachment during President Donald Trump’s trial in the Senate on Monday — using Democrats’ own past arguments.
Philbin began by explaining the reasons that the White House had resisted congressional subpoenas — not because of a “blanket” refusal, but for three separate reasons. One was that the House had not yet voted to authorize an impeachment inquiry. Another was that the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel told the president to reject subpoenas for senior aides under Supreme Court precedent protecting the deliberations of presidential advisers. And a third was that the House took the unusual step of barring agency counsel from attending depositions, so that the executive branch could protect its privileges when they arose.
Philbin then explained that leading Democrats, and their advisers, had all argued that the president could not be impeached simply for asserting impeached for asserting constitutional and legal privileges and rights.
House Democrats’ obstruction theory is wrong, first and foremost, because in a government of laws, asserting privileges and rights to resist compulsion is not obstruction. It’s a fundamental right. In Bordenkircher v. Hayes, the Supreme Court explained, “To punish a person because he has done the law plainly allows him to do is a due process violation of the most basic sort, and for an agent of the state to pursue a course of action whose objective is to penalize a person’s reliance on his legal rights, is patently unconstitutional. read more