Note: this article originally appeared in The Atlantic.
In November 2018, I helped found a group called Checks and Balances that has called for conservative lawyers to defend the rule of law against presidential assault; I’ve signed a letter with more than 1,000 other former prosecutors arguing that Trump has committed criminal obstruction of justice; and I’ve publicly called for his impeachment and removal. Though I am sure that Trump does not know me from Adam, I am confident that when he speaks of Never Trumper Republicans who are human scum, he means me.
What makes me human scum? Evidently, a belief in enduring American ideals, like the rule of law and the value of a free press. A belief in a system of governance that enshrines the principle of checks and balances in our Constitution—a system in which Congress and the judiciary serve as limits on authoritarian executive overreach.