Meanwhile, time is on Mr. Trump’s side. The realistic window for Congress to consider impeaching him is closing, with the 2020 election less than a year away. If the overriding goal is to keep information from coming out while his term and potential re-election hang in the balance, the Trump legal strategy is succeeding despite all the adverse rulings.
“This is not about putting down markers for all time — it’s more about particular short-term objectives,” said Martin Lederman, a Georgetown law professor who worked on executive-power issues as a lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.
Like a football team up late in a game whose defense hangs back to prevent big plays while letting its opponent make shorter gains, Mr. Trump’s legal team is looking to run out the clock, putting forth aggressive legal theories often backed by scant precedent.