President Trump will likely agree with many points of a new editorial from the conservative pages of the Wall Street Journal. It blasts the "secret testimony" of impeachment witnesses, accuses Democrats of "selective leaks" to make Trump look as bad as possible, and calls on Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff to immediately release full transcripts of witness testimony. "If the evidence against Mr. Trump is so damning, then why not make it all public now so the American people can judge for themselves?" the editors ask. The editorial, however, acknowledges that the opening statement of diplomat William Taylor "doesn't make Mr. Trump's Ukraine interventions look good," before suggesting an unusual defense.
It "may turn out that while Mr. Trump wanted a quid-pro-quo policy ultimatum toward Ukraine, he was too inept to execute it," says the editorial. "Impeachment for incompetence would disqualify most of the government, and most Presidents at some point or another in office." As Matt Naham of Law & Crime notes, the editorial has received a lot of pushback from attorneys pointing out that "criminal activity attempted but not executed as planned is still criminal." Among the tweeted responses: "That POTUS and Rudy and company were inept at executing their impeachable acts is irrelevant," writes Brian P. McKeon. (Steve Bannon has a new podcast whose sole mission is to provide impeachment advice to the president.)