House Democrats can call what they’re doing “impeachment” or an “investigation” or a “banana tree” and it still won’t change the fact that they have to win court battles over testimony and evidence before they can do anything to take Donald Trump down. Most of the subpoenaed witnesses are refusing to show up until the courts eventually rule on the matter.
In the meantime Hope Hicks showed up and played defense. She may not have intended to help House Democrats any, but it turns out she sure did. Palmer Report pointed out yesterday that because Donald Trump sent lawyers to object to every single White House related question that Hicks was asked, it helped legally establish that Trump is invoking privilege in bad faith. Sure enough, it turns out that’s the case.
Various members of the House Judiciary Committee have publicly expressed outrage that Donald Trump once again obstructed justice yesterday. This is an accurate take – but it’s not the full picture. Chairman Jerry Nadler, who orchestrated the entire thing, told Politico today that it “very much played into our hands.” The reason: Trump’s lawyers just spelled out precisely what their idea of “blanket immunity” looks like, and made it easy for any judge to see that it’s legal gibberish.
None of this will matter, of course, to those observers who are listening to the pundits who are insisting that impeachment is a magic wand that will somehow cause Donald Trump to instantly fall through a trap door. But back in the real world, Trump’s downfall is entirely about the legal battle over testimony and evidence – and that battle just took a major turn, thanks to the Hope Hicks debacle.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report