Philbin Points Out Dem Impeachment Managers’ Contradictions, They “Can’t Have It Both Ways”

PATRICK PHILBIN: The Trump administration position, just like the position of the Obama administration, is that an effort by the House to enforce a subpoena in Article 3 court is a nonjusticiable controversy. That is our position and we would argue that in court. But that’s part of what would have to be litigated. That doesn’t change the fact that House managers can’t have it both ways. I want to make this clear: The House managers want to say that they have an avenue for going to court, they’re using that avenue for going to court, they actually told the court in McGahn that once they reached an impasse with the executive branch, the courts were the only way to resolve the impasse. And as I explained the other day, there are mechanisms for dealing with these disputes between the executive and Congress. The first is an accommodations process, they didn’t do that. We offered to do that in the White House Council’s October 8th letter. They didn’t do accommodations. If they think they can sue they have to take that step because the Constitution, the court’s have made clear, require incrementalism in disputes between the executive and the legislative branch. And so if they think that the courts can resolve that dispute, that’s the next step. They should do that and have that litigated and then things can proceed onto a higher level of confrontation. But to jump straight to impeachment, to the ultimate constitutional confrontation doesn’t make sense. It’s not the system that the Constitution requires and it is unprecedented in this case.