The attorney who helped oversee the first impeachment of Donald Trump has told Newsweek the leaked Supreme Court justice opinion threatening abortion rights is an example of the negative legacy of the former president.
Norman Eisen, who was co-counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment trials in 2019 and 2020, described the draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito as revealed by Politico showed “the cancer of Trump’s influence.”
Alito wrote that the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling protecting the rights of women to seek an abortion “was egregiously wrong from the start.”
Politico said at least four of the court’s nine justices back Alito’s opposition, suggesting that federal abortion rights could be overturned in the coming months by the Supreme Court, whose three Trump appointees have sealed its conservatism for a generation.
“The opinion is full of distortions of the law and the facts,” Eisen told Newsweek from Los Angeles. “It’s only a draft but it is a draft masterpiece of Trumpery.”
‘Trumpery’ for Eisen encompasses “seven deadly sins” ranging from ethical breaches, conflicts of interest and pursuing a personal agenda at the expense of the public interest.
Of these “deadly sins of Trumpery… all of them can be found in Alito’s opinion,” said Eisen.
“For example, throwing out stare decisis— the foundation respecting precedent is a foundation of Supreme Court jurisprudence.” He said Alito’s “personal feelings” about abortion should not sway his decision.
“The cancer of Trump’s influence has fully spread to the body politic to reach the judicial branch,” he added.
Trumpery is part of the title of his upcoming book, Overcoming Trumpery: How to Restore Ethics, the Rule of Law, and Democracy, in which he and scholars dissect what they believe can be fixes for the Trump era.
Since the impeachment process he was involved in, Eisen said “the stakes have steadily escalated,” in Trump’s legal wrangles. This is because in his view, “Trump’s own party refused to address the danger in the first impeachment over Ukraine and the second impeachment over January 6.”
“And so now we’re forced to have the January 6 committee hearing,” Eisen said, with the investigation of the insurrection in the U.S. Capitol set to take place next month.
Trump is facing other mounting legal difficulties, which include an order to comply with a subpoena from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James. But Eisen believed the Fulton County probe into whether Trump and his allies committed crimes in trying to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia was the most likely for him “to face actual consequences, including potential jail time.”
It came only days after the Trump-backed J.D. Vance won the Republican nomination for the Senate in Ohio. Eisen said that Republican politicians like Florida governor Ron DeSantis, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo) or Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH) show the grip that Trump still has on the GOP for the midterms in November and in 2024. “Make no mistake, Trumpery is now on the ballot.”
Newsweek has contacted the Trump team for comment.
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