Judge Jackson’s ruling today striking down the WH’s claim of absolute immunity for WH aides
Judge Jackson ruled today that McGahn had to at least show up in response to his Congressional subpoena. Her ruling was also expansive, implying the same judicial stripping of claims of absolute immunity from other past and present WH aides, like Bolton and Mulvaney. 1/3
No matter how extensive the claims of executive privilege in each case might be, this is a huge political setback for Trump. The appearances of WH aides before the House Judiciary Committee will be televised, and that is not going to be a good look for the WH. 2/3
And the more claims of executive privilege the aides make when they do testify, the worse the look is likely to be. 3/3
Schiff said in a letter to his D House colleagues today:
READ: Adam Schiff letter to lawmakers laying out path forward for impeachment inquiryHouse Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, sent a letter to House colleagues Monday laying out the path forward for the impeachment inquiry.https://tinyurl.com/vhgjbss
Imagine McGahn being asked: Did the President ever order you to do x (describing x could come directly out of the Mueller Report, where x would be proof of OOJ), and then McGahn saying: “I can’t answer that, because the WH has asserted executive privilege.”
Impeachment isn’t like a criminal trial, where the judge instructs the jury that the defendant’s taking the Fifth cannot be taken as evidence of guilt. The Fifth can be taken as evidence of guilt in a civil trial, and impeachment isn’t even a civil trial, it’s political.
Similarly, voters will be free to decide whether any assertions of executive privilege by McGahn and others should be taken as evidence of guilt.
As Schiff says: the obstruction “… would tend to incriminate the President further since he would have encouraged — rather than blocked — the testimony of … if he believed it would somehow be helpful to him.”
Same for assertions of executive privilege.
You see the picture.