Ari Melber

Ari Melber


Anchor of @thebeatwithari airing nightly at 6pm ET on MSNBC | NBC News Analyst | MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent | Lawyer | Emmy-winning reporter? PODCAST:

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@washingtonpost  @PostOutlookThe  legal argument is that Trump abused his office to seek a bribe -- corruptly soliciting something of value “in exchange for official action.” Several administration officials have said as much (they sought a Ukraine probe in exchange for action).

@washingtonpost  @PostOutlookA  focus on bribery may also distinguish this case from the 2 presidential impeachments in history, neither of which resulted in conviction in the Senate The Johnson & Clinton cases were bogged down by a difficult question: What defines a high crime or misdemeanor?

@washingtonpost  @PostOutlookHe  can argue that his goal was not corrupt, that he was advocating a probe he believed was good for the country (not just his campaign); he can argue others views don't determine his intent; and he can argue this is a bad precedent for foreign policy.

@washingtonpost  @PostOutlookAnd  it is true that the Constitution’s bribery prohibition doesn’t turn exclusively on whether officials say the conduct occurred -- be that Mulvaney or a whistleblower or POTUS -- but rather in the end, on Congress’s view of what the *evidence proves*

@washingtonpost  @PostOutlookThat  boils down to what people believe - because if an official is *legitimately* demanding something for the benefit of the United States, that's not demanding a bribe.

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Speaker Pelosi argues Pres. Trump broke the law, but that is best addressed through the next election not impeachment. What happens to that argument when Trump’s conduct may undermine whether there even is a fair election?

FACT: A President under investigation for *firing the FBI Director* & obstructing justice who recently watched guilty pleas & flipping by his personal lawyer, campaign chair, deputy chair & national security adviser just fired his handpicked AG & replaced him with a loyalist.

Paul Manafort’s lenient 4-year sentence — far below the recommended 20 years despite extensive felonies and post-conviction obstruction — is a reminder of the blatant inequities in our justice system that we all know about, because they reoccur every week in courts across America

If you can delay it, schedule it, or decide later whether or not it exists ... it’s probably not an emergency.

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