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Sun Jan 31, 2021, 03:12 PM

Something went terribly wrong with Trump's defense [View all]

Just over a week before the start of his second impeachment trial, former President Donald Trump's entire legal team has walked away. What already promised to be an unpredictable and unprecedented show on the Senate floor just got even messier, as it appears that Trump will insist on repeating the same dangerous lie that sparked the Capitol riot -- that the election was stolen from him -- and led to his (second) impeachment in the first place.

Here's what we know. The mass resignations of all five of Trump's lawyers show us something has gone terribly wrong on the defense team. And these lawyers were no hacks -- several of them are Justice Department alums, and the (former) lead attorney, Butch Bowers, was a government ethics specialist. They would not abandon a client this close to trial without darn good reason.

Any defense attorney holds a broad obligation to represent his or her client zealously. That's a crucial part of our adversarial justice system. But there are limits on what a defense attorney can argue. For example, per the American Bar Association, it would be unethical for any attorney to raise an argument "that he knows to be false." The "rigged election" narrative certainly fits that description.

It's telling that the source of the falling-out between Trump and his (former) lawyers was his insistence that they raise the "stolen election" defense. Trump's defenders certainly could have argued in good faith and within ethical boundaries that it is unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for a former president, or that Trump's actions were protected political speech under the First Amendment. I disagree with both of these arguments on the merits, but Trump and his attorneys certainly would have been within their rights to make these claims before the Senate. But the "stolen election" argument crosses a line.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/something-went-terribly-wrong-with-trumps-defense-opinion/ar-BB1dgm3V?li=BBnb7Kz

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Reply Something went terribly wrong with Trump's defense [View all]
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jan 2021 OP
onecaliberal Jan 2021 #1
Skittles Jan 2021 #3
onecaliberal Jan 2021 #6
OMGWTF Jan 2021 #15
calimary Jan 2021 #27
onecaliberal Jan 2021 #34
dchill Jan 2021 #8
COL Mustard Jan 2021 #45
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louis-t Feb 2021 #54
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mn9driver Jan 2021 #9
LiberalArkie Jan 2021 #16
Nitram Jan 2021 #25
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calimary Jan 2021 #28
LiberalArkie Jan 2021 #33
central scrutinizer Jan 2021 #10
mdbl Jan 2021 #18
Stuart G Jan 2021 #5
magicarpet Jan 2021 #7
yellowdogintexas Jan 2021 #11
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ShazzieB Jan 2021 #31
electric_blue68 Feb 2021 #52
Loge23 Jan 2021 #13
Thekaspervote Jan 2021 #19
leanforward Jan 2021 #14
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mdbl Jan 2021 #29
Bmoboy Jan 2021 #20
Mr.Bill Jan 2021 #24
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Walleye Jan 2021 #42
KS Toronado Jan 2021 #21
Mr.Bill Jan 2021 #22
DENVERPOPS Jan 2021 #37
yonder Jan 2021 #43
Jon King Jan 2021 #23
calimary Jan 2021 #51
erronis Jan 2021 #30
Aussie105 Jan 2021 #32
PatrickforO Jan 2021 #35
The Animator Jan 2021 #40
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Blue Owl Jan 2021 #50
chriscan64 Feb 2021 #53
marble falls Feb 2021 #55
tclambert Feb 2021 #56