President Donald Trump often brags about his own intelligence — so much so that it’s become somewhat of a joke to those who point out he’s not an expert on every subject he talks about.
Trump has called himself a “very stable genius” who has a very high intelligence quotient (IQ). Though he’s frequently bragged about his IQ tests, not one test has ever been made public.
Still, that hasn’t stopped Trump from suggesting in recent weeks that he has “great and unmatched wisdom,” which is why a tweet he made on Thursday was somewhat remarkable.
Complaining about the ongoing impeachment inquiry looking into his alleged attempt to extort the president of Ukraine into investigating Trump’s political foes (in exchange for military aid and/or a face-to-face publicized meeting), Trump complained about the process itself — and revealed he wasn’t aware of how impeachment worked at all.
It was just explained to me that for next weeks Fake Hearing (trial) in the House, as they interview Never Trumpers and others, I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS. It is a Pelosi, Schiff, Scam against the Republican Party and me. This Witch Hunt should not be allowed to proceed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2019
“It was just explained to me that for next week’s Fake Hearing (trial) in the House, as they interview Never Trumpers and others, I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS,” the president said. “It is a Pelosi, Schiff, Scam against the Republican Party and me. This Witch Hunt should not be allowed to proceed!”
As already explained in a previous article at HillReporter.com, the complaint over having “no due process” is itself an illegitimate one. Trump’s Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham made a similar remark along those lines last month, in which she called the inquiry a “sham” that ignores “basic due process rights to the Administration.”
But legal scholars disagree with that viewpoint. They liken the process at this moment to a grand jury investigation — and as anyone with knowledge of how that process works knows, a grand jury is an evidence-gathering moment, not a real trial where the “defense” can try and dissuade people from agreeing that further inquiry is needed.
Indeed, some have even pointed out that Trump is getting MORE due process in the impeachment inquiry than one would receive in an ordinary grand jury investigation.
“With Republican committee members present and able to ask questions at the closed House hearings, the president already has far more representation at the investigative stage than a target of a grand jury investigation,” Randall Eliason, a professor at George Washington University Law School, said to the Washington Post in October.
Beyond being flat-out wrong, Trump’s tweet also reveals that he’s not the smart man he says he is. Anyone with a working knowledge of how impeachment works knows that, at this stage in the game, there’s no process — indeed, no need for — a defense to be given by the president or his administration, other than one in the court of public opinion.
Trump’s tweet on Thursday is an admission in two ways that he’s not a genius — he acknowledges it by writing that he needed to be “explained” how impeachment works, and he demonstrated it by wrongly stating how he believes the inquiry should be managed.