Sunday, February 07, 2021

Do It

Donald J. Trump's legal team has turned down a request by the House impeachment managers that the former President testify in his upcoming trial. Prior to this expected rejection, CNN legal analyst Elie Honig offered a tweet thread in which he observed "Trump might simply defy- ignore- a subpoena," which would "push the limits of the law and look terrible politically."

Issuing a subpoena would put the former President into an even more difficult spot. Yet below, Norm Eisen can be seen remarking 

The House managers sent their letter, made the point, their point to the empty chair. Ah, there's no real, uh, end to be achieved to serving a subpoena that he won't answer.


Eisen's argument about "the empty chair" seems to refer to the the remark by the House impeachment manager, in response to Trump's refusal, that "his immediate refusal to testify speaks volumes and plainly establishes an adverse inference supporting his guilt."

However, "there is no real end to serving a subpoena that he won't answer" suggests a subpoena should be served only on those individuals who are largely cooperative. If they are not, wave the white flag. In response to Eisen, this tweeter understands 

Given the reluctance of conflict-adverse Democratic senators such as Joe Manchin and Chris Coons, the Senate would be unlikely to approve a subpoena. Were Trump subpoenaed, he would tie up the process in the courts. That should not be an impediment to issuing a subpoena, though, because as one tweeter understands "serving him says more about the legitimacy of impeachment than not doing so. And, Trump ignoring the subpoena says more about him delegitimizing the Senate, which should be on the record."

Call it white privilege; more accurately, call it the privilege of the rich and powerful because very few of us of any ethnicity would have the resources or the influence to fight a subpoena.  That would yet again make clear what it takes to manipulate the legal system. It's one of the reasons a request for a subpoena should be made, and why it won't be.


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