Trump Lawyers Argue That Unanimous Watergate Case Was Wrongly Decided

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Back in 1974 Congress subpoenaed various documents from President Nixon, including, most famously, the tapes of his Oval Office conversations. Nixon refused to hand them over, but the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he had to comply. A couple of weeks later Nixon resigned.

For a while, that was that: the court had spoken, and presidents had to comply with congressional subpoenas for use in a criminal trial. A generalized interest in confidentiality was not enough to override a legitimate judicial need.

This was a landmark case, but the Trump administration says it’s hokum:

Apparently the Trump argument is that the grand jury materials would be really helpful to the Democrats pressing for impeachment, so they should be held back. Judge Howell seems unpersuaded, but I’m sure the Trumpies don’t care. She’s just an Obama flunky anyway and obviously prejudiced against them. They’ll just appeal, and then appeal again. The point here is mainly to take up lots of time, not to actually win the case.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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