On Aristotelian Logic, Sound Defense Strategery, and Trump’s World-Historical Genius

ceco

Either A or Not-A

Aristotle teaches that a thing is either A or not-A. Permit me to give these examples.

Example 1: Dolly is either a sheep or she is not a sheep.

Example 2: Nixon was either a crook or he was not a crook.

Example 3: The object in my hand is either a pipe or it is not a pipe.

Example 4: There either was a Ukrainian quid pro quo or there was no quid pro quo.

Trump’s World-Historical Genius

Aristotle, who was plainly an idiot, taught that he “law of non-contradiction” was based on considerations of logic, of psychology, and of ontology.

But Trump, world-historical genius that he is, has far transcended mere logic, psychology, and ontology, and knows that the Ukrainian quid pro quo can both exist and not exist at one and the same time. That is to say, the quid pro quo applies fully in the case of the United States’ relation with Ukraine. Whereas the concept has no application whatsoever to considerations of presidential wrongdoing or possible impeachment.

Sound Defense Strategery

Regrettably, mere mortals cannot comprehend the depth of Trump’s world-historical genius and its transcendence of mere logic, psychology, and ontology. Mere mortals live in an Aristotelian world where a thing is still either A or not-A.

If Trump would let himself be represented by competent counsel, competent counsel would immediately grasp that ceci n’est pas un quid is not going to fly as a defense to impeachment. You gotta pick column A or column not-A.

Obviously, you would like to pick column not-A: there was no quid pro quo, and them who say different are a bunch of lying Democrats.

But it appears there is what we of the defense bar used to call a slight problem: the evidence overwhelmingly shows there was in fact a quid pro quo.

That being the case, competent defense counsel would conclude they have to pick column A, lest their client be crucified as a lying liar with his pants on fire.

And having picked column A, they would just make the best argument they could make, all things considered.

A World-Historical Genius Under a Compulsion to Deny Himself the Effective Assistance of Counsel

Alas and alack, an occupational hazard associated with being a world-historical genius is the extreme inability to think like a more mortal. As a consequence, it appears that Trump is acting under an irresistible compulsion to deny himself the effective assistance of counsel.

Sauve qui Peut

sauve qui peut

To the little collection of articles in the immediately preceding post, let’s add this very useful perspective by a criminal lawyer: Ken White, Manafort, Cohen, and Individual 1 Are in Grave Danger.

I spoke of several salient aspects of the circumstances in which we find ourselves at the end of this week: the increasing stench; the midterm numbers that indicate a well advanced, but still on going, process of cleavage between the hard core Trump cultists and everyone else; and the calculus of interest that will motivate the behavior of folks like William P. Barr.

Added to these are two additional considerations. One is that, with every passing day, it becomes clearer that Trump’s mental state is such that he cannot act rationally to preserve himself. I suppose at one point in his life he was able to act in his own best interest, but he has lost any such capacity.

In consequence, at a time of great legal peril, Trump’s words and actions deprive himself of the effective assistance of legal counsel.

That, in turn, means that people who would have been willing to support an evil but clever person must now abandon ship, lest the captain’s insanity result in their own death by drowning.

To Illustrate …

Alan Dershowitz, who is an intelligent but very strange person, continues to try to insert himself into the situation. Professor Dershowitz, who strove to teach me criminal law many years ago, plainly derives ecstatic delight in robust lawyering that gets guilty people off the hook. His long list of satisfied clients includes Mike Tyson, Patty Hurst, Claus von Bulow, O.J. Simpson, and Jeremy Epstein.

Quite understandably, Dershowitz looks at this rogue’s gallery of former satisfied clients, and grasps that Donald J. Trump fits in nicely with this crew. Plainly, Dershowitz wants to reprise his role as villain’s heroic defense counsel for at least one last time.

But there is this difference. Simpson and Epstein and von Bulow had the sense to get out of the way and let defense counsel do his work. With Trump, Dershowitz has no spark of evil intelligence with which to work. You can help an evil client. You cannot help an uncontrollable client.

And all Trump has left is poor Rudy Guiliani. Actual lawyers do not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct by making public statements regarding the nightmarish quality of the process of preparing interrogatory responses, or about their inability to control their client.

A real lawyer doesn’t promise to deliver a detailed rebuttal of the charges against his client, and then publicly excuse his inability to produce the rebuttal memo.

If you have they type of person as your lawyer, you do not have effective legal counsel.

Trump does not have effective legal counsel.

And, now, everyone with half a brain can see that Trump does not have effective legal counsel.

Sauve qui peut.