Norman Eisen is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and an internationally recognized expert on law, ethics, and anti-corruption. He served as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee from 2019 to 2020, including for the impeachment and trial of President Trump, which he wrote about in his 2020 book, A CASE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: THE UNITED STATES VS. DONALD J. TRUMP. From January 2009 to January 2011, he worked in the White House as special counsel and special assistant to the president for ethics and government reform. Norman Eisen served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014. In 2003, He co-founded Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog organization.
His most recent book, OVERCOMING TRUMPERY: HOW TO RESTORE ETHICS, THE RULE OF LAW AND DEMOCRACY, is published by The Brookings Institution Press. We spoke with him on June 21, 2022.
Unfortunately our interview was cut short due to technical issues, but this allowed us to share excerpts from the June 23, 2022 session of the House Jan. 6 Committee featuring former Acting Attorney General, Jeffrey Rosen, Deputy Attorney General, Richard Donoghue, and Steven Engel. It is chillingly relevant to our discussion of overcoming Trumpery. In fact, their testimony recounting their united refusal to enable efforts by Donald Trump and his minions to orchestrate a coup d’état, using the Department of Justice to add credence to his baseless assertions of fraud in the 2020 presidential election was riveting. The hearing came one day after the FBI executed a warrant to search former DOJ employee, Jeffrey Clark’s, residence. The hearing revealed that he was the lone member of the DOJ who was willing, even eager, to serve Donald Trump instead of DOJ process or policy. Their testimony, illustrate how radically norms and policies were violated.
In response to news of Matt Gaetz’s 1st Tweet after his request for a general pardon was made public (see below), Norman Eisen responded:
At Least 5 Members Of Congress Asked Trump For Pardons, According To Jan. 6 Committee https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ongress-members-asked-trump-pardons-january-6_n_62b4d3c4e4b0cdccbe68f26a
Twitter Users Mock Matt Gaetz’s 1st Tweet After His Pardon Request Is Made Public https://www.huffpost.com/entry/matt-gaetz-pardon-request-twitter-snark_n_62b4e5f7e4b06594c1e1c79b
DOJ searches home of former official who aided alleged pro-Trump ‘coup’ https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/23/law-enforcement-trump-official-coup-00041767
SAY NO TO OPTIONAL GOVERNMENT ETHICS! https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2022/06/the-bridge-say-no-to-optional-government-ethics
Supreme Court appears ready to hear election case that could increase state lawmakers’ power https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/supreme-court-appears-ready-to-hear-election-case-that-could-increase-state-lawmakers-power
Bipartisan senators reach a general agreement on updating Electoral Count Act https://www.cbsnews.com/news/electoral-count-act-senators-agreement-electoral-college/
To Avert January 6, We Needed Whistleblowers—and We Never Got Them https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/january-6th-pence-eastman/
Who Is Financing Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ Caucus? Corporations You Know. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/15/opinion/jan6-companies-donate.html
Republican Drive to Tilt Courts Against Climate Action Reaches Crucial Moment https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/19/climate/supreme-court-climate-epa.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage§ion=Climate%20and%20Environment