Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, amzn.to/2sQBWYL). Professor. Dec. 23, 2019 1 min read

Something everyone needs to understand is that there's a difference between targeted assertions of executive privilege—which literally everyone everywhere on the political spectrum supports—and this *completely invented* legal doctrine of "absolute immunity" that Trump concocted.

The Democrats *in no way whatsoever* impeached Trump for targeted assertions of executive privilege—as he *didn't use them* in the Ukraine case. What he did was concoct a legal doctrine *without any authority anywhere* and then use it to intimidate and threaten federal witnesses.

Any person, on social media or anywhere else—whether citizen or politician—who claims Trump asserted executive privilege during the Ukraine case in the conventional way presidents do and that all of us support is quite simply lying to you. That flat-out is not what happened here.

Under the *fake* legal doctrine Trump concocted, Congress must go to the Supreme Court every time it wants documents from the executive branch. But what we learned today is that even *that* was just a ploy, as when Congress got to court, Trump argued that the court *had no role*.

I know there's no way to explain this to Trump supporters—as they're under the sway of Fox News lawyers who've violated their duty to represent in good faith to the public how the law works. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of attorneys haven't become faithless in this way.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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