Sure, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says that Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget broke the law by withholding aid from Ukraine, but forget about all that, because Fox News has exonerated Trump.
Trump tweeted a spectacularly dishonest claim made by Alan Dershowitz on Fox News’ Sean Hannnity show on Thursday night, that “The GOA (sic) got it exactly backwards. Here’s what they said. The law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities to those Congress has enacted into law. It’s exactly the opposite. The Constitution does not allow Congress to substitute its own priorities for the foreign policies of the President.” While Dershowitz had an impressive career as a criminal lawyer and legal academic, an expert in administrative law he is not—while the professionals at the GAO, though not infallible, are absolutely experts in the law they assess.
Dershowitz joined a series of other Republicans straining to argue that the GAO report is not as damning as it in fact is. Sen. Rand Paul, too, went with the “they misunderstand the law” angle, and it’s still wrong to a ridiculous “up is down” extent.
But Trump jumped so hard on the fake exoneration Dershowitz offered because it’s the best thing he’s got going. And for Dershowitz it appears to have been the final, successful audition to join Trump’s impeachment defense team, to which he’s been added along with Ken Starr and Robert Ray, and which will continue to be headed by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump personal lawyer Jay Sekulow.