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House Democrats’ Top Impeachment Lawyer: ‘If We Had Litigated It All, Then the President Wins’


President Donald Trump’s impeachment legal team repeatedly hammered House Democrats for rushing their case and for not even bothering to enforce subpoenas in the courts. House Manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said time and again that the president was trying to cheat in the 2020 election, and so the rush was not only justified but necessary.

Daniel Goldman, the former Southern District of New York prosecutor and cable news legal analyst who questioned impeachment witnesses for House Democrats, shed more light on the legal strategy last week during a podcast interview with his former boss, Preet Bharara.

Goldman repeated something like what Schiff said, but painted a picture of Democrats as being in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of situation.

The fundamental allegation, per Goldman, is that President Trump was soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election by seeking investigations from Ukraine of political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, dangling congressionally appropriated military aid to make that happen. If Democrats tried to enforce all the subpoenas by litigating this in the courts, as the Trump legal team said they should have done, then Trump would have won anyway.

“The allegations were that the president was trying to solicit foreign interference in the election that is occurring in November 2020. If our investigation were tied up in the courts until after November 2020, which would have been the case if we had litigated it all, then the president wins,” Goldman said. “Because the object of his scheme has already come and gone before Congress can do anything to stop it.”

Democrats are now reportedly weighing which direction to go post-impeachment acquittal.

[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.