The narrative over the justification for the assassination of Soleimani has been changing over the past several days. In order to be legal under US law, Soleimani had to present an imminent threat to the United States. Initially, the White House defended the strike by citing things Soleimani had done in the PAST (and mostly before the JPCOA). Several congressmen of both parties said no evidence of an imminent threat came from their briefings on the matter. Then president said in the Oval Office that Soleimani was looking to “blow up an embassy.” Congress was not presented with this information. Later, Trump changed that to FOUR embassies being targeted. The US submitted justification for the strike to the UN. This submission says nothing about a threat to embassies and in fact only mentions past acts. This morning, Defense Secretary Esper admitted he had not seen any intelligence regarding the targeting of four embassies. Our embassies were not alerted to any such threats as procedure would dictate. Trump made this up and likely on the fly. The president is lying about the legal justification for an assassination.
Rudy Giuliani, acting as the president’s personal lawyer, is calling on the Supreme Court to end Trump’s impeachment as unconstitutional. He’s parroting a right wing argument that impeachment can only happen over criminal matters. This argument is farcical. Firstly, there were no federal crimes when the Constitution was adopted. Secondly, it’s a deliberate misinterpretation of what “high crimes and misdemeanors” means. “High crimes” refers to the office of the president, not the seriousness of the charges. “Misdemeanors” in this case refers to wrongdoings. The founders wrote extensively on impeachment and what the phrase meant. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, several impeachments without a criminal violation have already happened.
The Department of Justice ended its last investigation into Hillary Clinton, finding no wrongdoing. The common Trump campaign of “lock her up” continues to this day despite SIX members of the Trump campaign being convicted of felony crimes.
The day Trump learned that Karen McDougal was shopping around the story about the affair she had with Trump, he called David Pecker and The National Enquirer and asked if he could make the story go away. The Enquirer bought the story with the intention of never publishing it, as they had done for several damaging stories on Trump. The president’s lawyer was convicted of a felony over the payment to The Enquirer and directly implicated the president in the crime.