Trump impeachment team undercuts DOJ position in McGahn case

After arguing in court for months that federal judges should stay miles away from disputes between Congress and the White House — for fear that they become political actors in a divisive impeachment probe — the president’s lawyers spent the first working day of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial arguing the exact opposite, and suggesting that those who disagree are hostile to the Constitution.

“The president’s opponents, in their rush to impeach, have refused to wait for judicial review,” said Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyer, who is working alongside White House counsel Pat Cipollone on the president’s impeachment defense. Sekulow also echoed law professor Jonathan Turley, who recently warned against “making a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts.” Turley testified against Trump’s impeachment during one of the House’s public impeachment hearings.

But that argument is in direct conflict with the Trump Justice Department’s own forceful arguments — some as recently as this month — that allowing courts to step into such battles between Congress and the White House would be an affront to the separation of powers.