The Atlantic

Abuse of Power Is a Dangerous Standard for Democrats to Play With

Republicans are surely learning a lesson: An impeachable offense is what you say it is.
Source: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Almost the minute after the White House released its 110-page brief for the Senate impeachment trial, careful observers noticed a contradiction between the White House counsel’s view and Attorney General William Barr’s. The White House brief argues that there can be no impeachable “abuse of power” without a violation of established law. Meanwhile, in a memorandum to senior Justice Department lawyers written while he was still a private citizen in 2018, Barr argued that abuse of power can indeed be impeachable even if there is no crime.

As a purely legal matter, the position of the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, is incorrect. But that doesn’t

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