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. 28, 2019 2 min read

Here's my view on the Biden subpoena issue: no lawyer, including me, should condone anyone ignoring a subpoena, no matter how specious it is. If Biden were to be subpoenaed, he would and should fight the subpoena in court. If he lost, the rule of law says he must appear. Period.

PS/ Our system has checks and balances. No Senate subpoena would issue without GOP "moderates" backing it—which they likely wouldn't. Then a court would—assuming Biden sought an injunction—have to okay it. If Biden lost, at testimony his lawyer could object to certain questions.

PS2/ A problem I've had with certain Democratic elites for years is they act too much like GOP elites for my taste. Either one has principles, like a belief in equal justice under law, or one doesn't, and how long one has been in politics or how powerful one is shouldn't matter.

PS3/ We shouldn't be talking about Biden being subpoenaed, as there's no basis to subpoena him. The only reason we're talking about it is because *Biden* made the stupid mistake of saying that he'd violate the law if subpoenaed. It's the sort of unforced error I *hate* from him.

PS4/ Now that Biden, completely unnecessarily, has spoken on the subpoena issue and in a way that condones ignoring subpoenas, he's materially weakened Democrats' public rhetoric on the importance of White House witnesses honoring subpoenas. In other words, Biden fell for a trap.

PS5/ Everyone can make up their own mind, but in the *primaries* there's no chance I'll be voting for any Democrat who regularly falls into Trump's traps, as there will be 100 traps a day during the general election, and media will *decimate* any Democrat who falls for even one.

PS6/ So my message to Democrats is that at least when it comes to *rule of law* we *do* have to be better than Republicans or else there's no point fighting against Trump's degradations of the rule of law. My second message would be, don't be a *moron* and fall for Trump's traps.

PS7/ I guess I'd offer one more thought, which applies to me and you and everyone on social media: if someone you follow has completely variable principles depending upon whose ox is gored in a given situation—a Democrat or a Republican—be careful about trusting that person. /end

UPDATE/ Just saw the below (thanks for the reader who pointed me to it). About two or three hours ago, Biden came out and said (and did) the right thing. Good for him (I mean that earnestly). Now he has to be better at doing the right thing the first time.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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