Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
The bizarre tensions between White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and her husband George Conway have been evident for a while now — but the sharp division in their views of President Donald Trump have perhaps never been as evident as they are now.
In a new article for Lawfare, George Conway dismantles the argument that special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment is unconstitutional — one of Trump’s recent attacks on the Russia investigation. George Conway has been a notable critic of Trump for months, but nothing stands as quite a rebuke to a president as questioning his understanding of the Constitution, even while Kellyanne Conway remains one of Trump’s most fervent and shameless defenders.
He picks apart an argument made by the conservative legal scholar Steven Calabresi in the Wall Street Journal, which Trump seemed to endorse in a tweet (that George Conway amusingly notes was originally misspelled).
While the legal argument is somewhat technical, the overview is that Calabresi argues that special counsels are unconstitutional because they usurp presidential power and that the position is unaccountable to the executive branch. However, George Conway shows that Mueller himself is obviously accountable to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and that there’s no sense in which his authority constitutes an unconstitutional power grab since it all flows from the Justice Department.
At one point, George Conway’s one of Calabresi’s central arguments “uncomplicatedly, flatly wrong.” He deems another argument “very, very, very odd.” Overall, he says the arguments in favor of the claim that special counsels are unconstitutional are “terrible” and that there is no “serious” argument to be made on behalf of the assertion.
It shows how corrupted the right-wing has become that someone like Calabresi would make such a fatuous and transparent argument designed only to protect and please Trump himself.
But it’s also a bizarre sign of the times that such a cogent and powerful refutation of that argument came from the husband of the staffer known for her absurd and asinine defenses of the president.
Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.