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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Everyone needs a lawyer

So argues Ken White (of Popehat fame) about yesterday's Michael Cohen hearing. Everyone needed the unique skills that trial lawyers provide about how to behave as a witness (Cohen), how to handle a sleazeball witness who helps you (Committee Democrats), and how to conduct cross examination without just loudly attacking the witness (Committee Republicans). It dovetails with this argument that real oversight requires the hiring of skilled lawyers to conduct the questioning, not grandstanding political figures.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on February 28, 2019 at 08:56 AM in Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


Interesting, both respectable authors of both related articles, are totally confident, bout the upside of such hearings or questionings conducted efficiently, aggressively and professionally by prof counsels or lawyers.But bug:

There is a serious potential downside here. Once you start with professional attitude, you would reach very soon, issues of due process or alike. For a witness aggressively questioned, would claim his " counter lawyer " in advance. Then : would rise the issue of allocation of time for each side. Later, evidence and cross examination and more.

And here we have a court, instead of house of representatives. A court that would have to be managed by impartial " manager " of course, what for ?? for guaranteeing each side his fair rights, right ? In accordance, with fundamental principals of due process.

This is not so simple as an apple.....On the other hand, one may argue, that for them ( the house ) to become court alike, is not so bad. I wouldn't bet on it.


Posted by: El roam | Feb 28, 2019 2:05:18 PM

Those of us who were paying attention (and have gotten old) recall the lawyers doing the primary questioning for Iran-Contra, and largely directing matters in Watergate — both investigations that reached results acceptable to the majority party. I suspect things broke down when Certain 1990s Investigations did not reach results acceptable to the majority party, and the politicians (especially those with law degrees) decided that they could do just as well while also getting some free publicity and their personal digs in (not necessarily related to the investigation itself!).

Cynical? Me? Leaving aside that I knew most of those 1990s figures thanks to my particular military service inside the Beltway, one of my law professors/mentors was one of the lawyers involved in the Watergate inquiries.

Posted by: C.E. Petit | Feb 28, 2019 12:21:08 PM

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