Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Professor. Jun. 04, 2019 1 min read

This is *not a thing*.

The WH can assert executive privilege or STFU. This is just more obstruction from a president whose crimes of obstruction are already well-documented.

But to be clear, these witnesses are villains also for participating in this degradation of rule of law.

1/ Understand the White House's game here: they want to make sure there isn't a clearly justiciable executive privilege assertion for a court to rule on; instead, they're challenging Democrats to position these witnesses as the scofflaws they are. They're betting Democrats won't.

2/ If more had been done by media to position (say) Hicks as an unrepentant liar working for years, eyes wide open, for the most monstrous politician of our age, perhaps Democrats could threaten her with a judicial contempt finding and punishment. Instead, it's like, *poor Hope*!

3/ Hope is a thirty-something woman who is today making *her own decision* to violate a subpoena. *She* is responsible for her actions, as any adult is—not the White House. It misogynistically infantalizes her to act like she's a *thrall* of Donald Trump. She's making a *choice*.

4/ So every news story the reads, "White House tells witnesses not to testify" is a "Man yells at cloud" story. *No*—today's news is about two smart, talented, successful women who've made a clear-headed decision to spit in the face of the rule of law without legal justification.

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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