A Big and Necessary Defeat for Trump

The law advances against the lawless.
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting at the White House on October 21, 2019 in Washington,DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
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The ruling out tonight from US District Judge Tanya Chutkan is a big one. The decision can and certainly will be appealed. Trump actually tried to appeal the decision in advance of it even coming out. But Chutkan’s ruling vindicates the principle – long assumed and all but inevitable in the logic of the constitution and the office of the presidency it creates – that decisions about executive privilege inhere in the office and thus the current occupant of the office. Which is to say, Joe Biden.

As Chutkan puts it succintly: “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”

Josh Kovensky has more details and analysis of the ruling here. I recommend his piece to you. But the key is her finding that since the Executive branch and Congress are in full agreement about what should happen, that really settles it – “the combined will of the legislative and executive branches to study the events that led to and occurred on Jan 6…” There’s no dispute between any parties with any standing to dispute anything. The National Archives must begin producing the documents by Friday.

Trump is just a private citizen who used to have the powers exercised today by Joe Biden. Elections have consequences.

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