Media Mention

Ilya Somin: “Bridgegate” Decision Doesn’t Vindicate Trump on Impeachment

May 7, 2020

Note: this piece was originally published in Reason, and was written by Checks & Balances member Ilya Somin. 

Jonathan Turley and co-blogger Josh Blackman argue that the Supreme Court’s unanimous acquittal of the defendants in the “Bridgegate” case vindicates Donald Trump on impeachment. As Josh puts it, their argument is that the Court’s holding that “abuse of power” does not violate federal fraud statutes proves that Trump (who was himself charged with abuse of power in the impeachment trial) also committed no crime, and therefore did not deserve to be impeached and convicted.

Josh adds that both Trump and the Bridgegate defendants were acting within the scope of their official powers, albeit for personal political gain, and therefore cannot be punished, except perhaps by the voters. If the Bridgegate defendants did not commit a crime when they partially shut down a bridge in order to punish a political opponent of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, then Trump committed no crime when he withheld aid from Ukraine in order to pressure the Ukrainian government into investigating Trump’s political opponent, Joe Biden.

Continue reading at Reason.