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Impeachment Expert for House Democrats Will Review Trump-era DOJ for Biden Transition


One of three legal scholars House Democrats called almost a year ago to lay the groundwork for the impeachment of President Donald Trump got the nod on Tuesday to review the lame-duck administration’s Department of Justice as part of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.

“Based on the evidentiary record, what has happened in the case before you is something that I do not think we have ever seen before: a president who has doubled down on violating his oath to ‘faithfully execute’ the laws and to ‘protect and defend the Constitution,” Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan testified on December 4, 2019.

You may recall that the president’s supporters lashed out at Karlan back then for punning on the name of the youngest member of the First Family.

“The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, and so while the president can name his son Barron, he cannot make him a baron,” Karlan quipped, later apologizing and making clear that she meant no personal offense.

Karlan’s expertise and deep well of knowledge of the law is beyond dispute: the Ivy League-educated scholar serves as co-director of Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, and she briefly served as a deputy assistant attorney general inside the Justice Department’s Civil Division from 2014 to 2015. The New York Times described her as a “full-throated, unapologetic liberal torchbearer,” whom some hoped would replace former Supreme Court Justice David Souter upon his retirement in 2009.

Souter ultimately was replaced by the high court’s current liberal torchbearer: Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina woman on the Supreme Court’s bench.

Among the 28 legal luminaries on Biden’s agency review team are Barbara McQuade, an ex-U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan and NBC News analyst; Marty Lederman, a Georgetown Law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel under President Barack Obama; and Danielle Conley, a partner at former special counsel Robert Muellers law firm WilmerHale.

The Biden transition team said these individuals “will also review the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the Commission on Civil Rights, the National Council on Disability, the United States Access Board, AbilityOne, the State Justice Institute, and the Legal Services Corporation.”

This is a developing story…

[Image via PBS screengrab]

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."