Here’s something that will soothe you, calm you down.
It’s a 57 page brief filed in court yesterday by the House Judiciary Committee requesting the D.C. Court tell Don McGahn he has to obey the subpoena to testify. Now.
I just skimmed it and even a skim got me excited. Here are some things I picked up:
Among the references to cases supporting the argument is one dating from the Jefferson Administration. That is, Thomas Jefferson.
And another more recent one quotes current Chief Justice John Roberts. (I think this is really clever. It seems to be telling Roberts, oh, gee whiz, if the Trump people appeal this to you, here are your own words saying, uh uh.)
A non-lawyer (like me) might find the arguments repetitious. They’re not. What they’re doing, I believe, is not just dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. They’re covering every space in every sentence of every potential argument.
Since I once worked on complex briefs to the extent of proofing, formatting them and delineating and generating tables of contents (takes hours), again I say: briefs like this are time consuming for a bunch of lawyers, law students (who are given credit) and maybe staff secretaries (who are not given credit but hey).
There is no boilerplate for something like this. A lawyer can’t call up a friend and say, “Hey, do you have a brief for this nonsensical “absolute Executive immunity” thingee hanging out in your hard drive somewhere? Yes? Great! Can you email it to me? Thanks.”
So that’s what the House Judiciary Committee has been quietly doing, even as a number of intelligent people who should know better have been screaming on Twitter about “WHY ARE THE DEMOCRATS TAKING A BREAK INSTEAD OF CANCELLING THE BREAK AND WORKING ON IMPEACHING THIS MONSTER?????!!!!!”
First, House Democrats are back in their districts discussing with their constituents the issue of impeachment so they can return to work with a mandate (or not) from their voters. (Which is, in essence, what Nancy Pelosi has been asking for.)
And second, as this filing demonstrates, nobody involved in this impeachment investigation has been taking a break. This brief is asking the court to hurry up and make one of two decisions: either tell McGahn he has to appear — a decision which would be used as precedent for all the other Trump people who’ve said they won’t appear — or give us a summary judgment on the entire issue of “absolute immunity” for anyone who has ever worked for, around or nearby Trump and his family.
That is, instead of forcing us to go back to you over every single one of these doofuses (doofusi?) whose testimony we require to perform our Constitutional duties, give us an overall go-ahead for this entire mess.
That’s how I read it, anyway. I’m sure I’ve missed much.
But I haven’t missed how much great work has been done by the House Committee while a lot of people were yelling.
Hopefully things move expeditiously, but tempis fugit !