At the Davos summit, Trump held a press conference at which he admitted that the second impeachment charge, obstruction of Congress, is true. He practically bragged about it, saying that they’re doing well in the trial because he has all the “material” — documents and testimony that he has refused to allow Congress to have — and the other side doesn’t. Justin Amash pointed it out:
“We’re doing very well. I got to watch enough. I thought our team did a very good job. But, honestly, we have all the material; they don’t have the material.”
President Trump brags about obstructing Congress, which is the second article of impeachment.pic.twitter.com/EpfK4GlTVv
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 23, 2020
The White House later claimed that he only meant that all the evidence is on their side, but since we know from his own public statements that he has ordered his underlings not to testify and claimed executive privilege to prevent giving documents to House committees, that strains credulity beyond all limits. He was admitting to obstructing Congress from performing its oversight duties.
Peter Suderman of the libertarian Reason Foundation makes an interesting observation:
Probably the best defense of Trump, or at least the most honest one, is that the charges are essentially accurate, but do not warrant being forced out of office. Politics and personal gain inevitably seep into presidential decision making, this argument goes, and even bad presidential decisions do not necessarily justify removal. Or, as Mulvaney put it: Get over it.
Still, it is telling that Trump and his allies have all but admitted to the basic charges against him, and that the best defense of Trump involves admitting his guilt.
That is indeed what their entire argument has collapsed down to. That’s why Dershowitz is on the legal team.