Friday, May 19, 2017

Trump’s Lawyers Are Just as Ignorant of Basic Law as He Is

Well, What Did You Expect

Donald Trump knows nothing about how the legal system works, which is odd since he has been sued so many times.  Recently he confused the federal circuit courts with the federal district courts.  And now his attorney in a case involving his being sued for encouraging violence at a rally demonstrates real ignorance.

The question is whether or not a sitting President can be subject to a civil lawsuit.  The Supreme Court decided this issue when it said Bill Clinton could.  But an idiot attorney for Trump doesn‘t know this.  An informative piece on the TakeCare blog explains.

"To prepare his response, Donald Trump hired a Louisville lawyer named R. Kent Westberry. Mr. Westberry filed his answer to the complaint last Friday. As "fourth affirmative defense" Westberry asserted that "Mr. Trump is immune from suit because he is President of the United States." This is, of course, flatly and obviously wrong. The Supreme Court held unanimously in Clinton v. Jones that a sitting president is not even temporarily immune from suit for pre-presidential conduct."

But wait there’s more.

"The fourth affirmative defense is followed by a fifth: "Mr. Trump is immune from proceedings pursuant to Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997)." At least Mr. Westberry's bluebook form is unassailable. Had he read the case that he so flawlessly cites, he would know what any student who has taken a basic course in constitutional law knows, that Clinton v. Jones refutes the proposition for which he cites it. . . .

When a lawyer makes such demonstrably false assertions to a court, there is a more concrete recourse available. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 authorizes a court to impose sanctions on any attorney who signs a pleading if "the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions therein are [not] warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law." Mr. Westberry signed a pleading that does not seek the reversal of the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in Clinton v. Jones, instead it actually cites the case and asserts a defense that existing law plainly repudiates. The District Court should sanction Mr. Westberry and refer his egregious misconduct for disciplinary action."

We do not know Mr. Trump’s reaction to all of this, but it is likely he admires his attorney who can lie and deceive with the best of them.

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