Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

When the (ex-)President Does It, It is Not Illegal

How do Republicans justify Donald Trump's hiding of defense documents? Let us count the ways. There are nearly a dozen of them already. But in the end, they all kind of come down to Richard Nixon's famous remark: "Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal." In effect, Nixon was saying that the law doesn't apply to the president. Now Republicans are expanding that and saying that it doesn't apply to ex-presidents either. A good question to ask them might be: "If Bill Clinton shot and killed Donald Trump, would that be legal?"

But getting back to the original point, how are Republicans justifying Trump violating the Espionage Act? Here are some of the claims they have made:

In short, all the defenses are basically just made up out of thin air, but defenders gotta defend. When the case actually comes to court, we suspect few of these will show up, as Jack Smith will be able to shoot them down by telling the jury what matters is the actual law, not what someone feels like or what the law could have been. We suspect that a lot of the defense will have to be attempting to claim the process is improper and the evidence is tainted. It is hard to see what else might work. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates