Donald Trump and his ragtag team of bumbling lawyers are trying out a new argument to protect the President from being impeached. Their latest line of defense is that the entire thing violates the President’s civil rights, which is quite a stretch. Impeachment is spelled out in the Constitution, and the President is growing desperate to find a way to stop the inevitable. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Donald Trump has tried a lot of different strategies to try to make this impeachment inquiry go away. And one of the strategies that was laid out recently in his attorney, Pat Cipollini letter to Nancy Pelosi is that they’re actually trying to argue that the entire inquiry in general violates Donald Trump’s civil rights. Like somehow impeaching a president is illegal in the minds of Donald Trump’s attorney. And what they’re saying to expand on it a little bit is that, Hey, you’re not allowing us to go in and see the evidence. You’re not allowing us to cross examine witnesses. You’re not allowing us to call our own witnesses. What kind of kangaroo court is this? To paraphrase Matt Gates? Well, it’s not a court guys. I would think you would know that. I mean if you went to law school, you’d know that if you studied American history of American politics, you would also know that if you had more than two brain cells functioning at once, you would also know that this is not a court folks. And the Trump administration is trying to distract you, trying to mislead you and trying to convince you of something that is not real. There are very few guidelines at all for the US house of representatives to launch an impeachment inquiry. They do not have to bring the inquiry inquiry up for a full vote to fully authorize impeachment. They can carry out these investigations as part of this. They can bring it to a vote whenever the hell they want and they’ve already got the numbers. I mean, they could go ahead and formalize it today. There were Democrats have the majority, they’re gonna vote for it and it’s going to go forward and that’s not going to change anything. So why bother at the moment? Right. But there is no trial in the house of representatives and sure in both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment hearings, the house did allow president and his lawyers to look at some of the evidence, even to talk to some of the witnesses, but they didn’t have to do that. They did that because they said, yeah, sure, okay, we’ll let you whatever. Believe it or not, things weren’t as crazy partisan at the time. Today they are. You have Republicans that are actively trying to obstruct not just in the white house but also in the house of representatives. Why should we trust these nincompoops to allow anything to go forward that they want? They’re trying to make this thing die immediately. Not legally argue that the president did nothing wrong. They’re trying to misdirect us. If they were acting in good faith, trying to actually be attorneys, that would be a different story, but that’s not what they’re trying to do. If the white house wants to call witnesses, cross examine witnesses, examine all the evidence, they will absolutely have that right when it goes to trial in the Senate, that at that point that Senate does become, in essence a courtroom as we have. The president will have access to everything. His lawyers will have access to everything. They can come up with their lines of questioning, they can cross examine, they can call their own witnesses, they can do exactly what they would be able to do in a true legal proceeding because that is what this is. But in the house of representatives when it comes to impeachment folks, it’s basically the wild West. There are no laws. There’s really no governing other than can we impeach him? Yes. The way you get there is completely up for interpretation of whoever’s running the thing, and that is actually how the founders wrote it in there because they didn’t want to hamstring Congress on this. If Congress wants to impeach, dammit, they could impeach, but if you want to get the president out of office, you got to go through and do it the right way. Give them a real trial, not violate his civil rights and make sure everything’s on the up and up, and then you have the vote. The Senate at that point becomes the jury, and that is where the president can have a say. That’s where his attorneys can have his say. But as we’ve seen from Donald Trump’s attorneys, and quite literally every court case, they’ve argued, that’s probably not going to end very well for the president.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced