Michael Zeldin Talks Impeachment Inquiry Against Donald Trump

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On this episode of ZUCKER, legal analyst and IOP Spring ’19 Fellow Michael Zeldin joins host Andrew Zucker to talk about the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.

On parallels between Clinton's impeachment proceedings and the Trump inquiry: The language that Trump and his team is using to attack the legitimacy of the impeachment proceedings is very similar to that which the Clintons used. There is a playbook almost that is being followed by the Trump people that was used by the Clinton people. The principle difference being, however, that Clinton was able to compartmentalize — meaning he continued to work as president of the United States, doing as they say, ‘the people’s business’ everyday. And he had his team of advocates out there in the media — Paul Begala and others — who did the messaging for him. In the case of Trump, Trump is his own microphone and his own spokesperson. And while he has some surrogates out there, he’s taking up most of the airtime with his own voice, which I think is a mistake on his part.

On whether Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine can be protected: He possibly could have claimed that the call between himself and the president of Ukraine was protected by national security or diplomatic privileges or commander-in-chief privileges. It’s not really executive privilege in the traditional sense of an advisor giving him advice as to the telephone call itself. But he chose — or his administration chose — to release it and once it’s released, the privilege is waived, it cannot be reasserted.