There he goes again on his own.
President Donald Trump’s man in Kiev and alleged personal attorney Rudy Giuliani elicited a collective groan and eye-roll from legal experts and observers after he suggested the Supreme Court intervene in the ongoing impeachment process.
The Supreme Court should step in and rule this impeachment unconstitutional, to prevent a precedent from forming which would allow the House to overstep its bounds and impeach for policy differences or political leverage.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 9, 2020
National security attorney Bradley P. Moss set the critical tone in an email to Law&Crime:
These remarks are so ludicrous they aren’t even worthy of dissecting in a legal context. Rudy is just gaslighting people.
Former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal appeared more than happy to dunk on the man formerly known as “hizzoner.”
“This is just about as good of a legal argument as everything else Giuliani says,” he tweeted. “Back in the world of legal reality, the Supreme Court resoundingly and unanimously concluded in US v Nixon that it had no role to play in impeachments whatsoever.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti was also quick to counsel the long lost mayor of New York City:
Others were simply dismissive—like Iowa Law Professor Andy Grewal:
Others snarkily joined in, too.
“Sometimes you make it so hard to believe that you used to be a lawyer,” tweeted CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers.
University of North Carolina Criminal Law Professor Carissa Byrne Hessick nominated Giuliani’s take for a prize—of sorts:
— Carissa Byrne Hessick (@CBHessick) January 9, 2020
Grewal later offered an upshot to the bizarre and constitutionally-averse argument after a Twitter user pointed out that Giuliani was previously affiliated with a prestigious legal journal:
Not sure if he’s lost his marbles or if he’s just throwing out nonsense for the sake of doing so, but either way it’s not a good look
— Andy Grewal (@AndyGrewal) January 9, 2020
Undeterred by the avalanche of expert criticism—and the complete implausibility of his suggestion—Giuliani turned the initial statement into a thread.
“If this impeachment is not declared illegal it would remove the constitutional limitation of crimes on the power to impeach,” Giuliani continued via Twitter. “It would allow the House to impeach for policy differences or political leverage. It would prevent a future president to raise any challenge to the most illegal, overbroad subpoena from any of the multitude of congressional committees and sub-committees. Anytime Congress disagrees, it could charge abuse of power.“
Giuliani’s elaboration seemed to confirm that it wasn’t simply a bit. But legal experts weren’t content that it wasn’t also essentially a troll.
Former federal and state prosecutor and current CNN analyst Elie Honig took the opportunity to call Giuliani’s bluff on the matter:
Katyal himself returned to the fray with a simpler version of the dare:
Such a suit would, of course, have standing concerns—and would face non-legal hurdles of selective justiciability as the Trump administration has previously argued the courts simply cannot intervene in disputes between the legislative and executive branches.
But the fact that this novel theory is emanating from someone so close to Trump could signal such a ploy is in the offing. No word yet on whether such a lawsuit is in the works.
[image via ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images]
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