Would it be Alan Dershowitz, the president’s volunteer Harvard professor lawyer advocate? (Door #1)

Judge Pirro, his favorite TV judge? (Door #2)

America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, the Oliver Wendell Holmes of his legal team? (Door # 3)

Or would it be a zonk!

Those were the possible questions the president contemplated in the legal probability puzzle, based on the Monty Hall TV game show, “Let’s Make a Deal,” my metaphor for the current administration.

The host, the Monty Hall of presidents, had been teasing the choice all last week. Originally, it was to be announced at 9 AM Monday (July 9). Then 12 noon. He was still deliberating, the word was. I kept adjusting my schedule, so as not to miss what Jake Tapper of CNN called “ a momentous event in the history of the nation…The Final Four.”

The suspense was building. It was like the opening of the envelopes at the Emmys. Or the ribbon cutting at a new Golf course. HUGE. Finally at 9 PM, the door was opened.

The winner was none of the above. It turned out to be some judge I had never heard of. His major asset seemed to be a legal paper he had written, saying presidents couldn’t be indicted or otherwise harassed by the courts, thus taking a POTUS mind off the business of serving the people.

My own choice was one of the “goats”, as they were known in solving “The Monty Hall Problem,” which had been perplexing science of probability fans since Monty began playing the three-door game for the big bucks in 1963. I won’t name my goats; it was bad enough they lost out on serving for 35 or 40 years, as the political Monty Hall had described the plum.

It was disappointing to learn that all the president’s time- consuming deliberations were limited to a short list, handed to him as a public service by unbiased right wing institutions (Federalist Society, Heritage Foundation, among other stink tanks).Sad.

It wasn’t as if the author of the definitive “The Art of the Deal” had no training in the law. He had studied as a callow youth at the Roy Cohn School of Law, and had mastered the shady side of the law. The dean of attack law himself had taught young Trump when accused of lying about groping or fleecing students at Trump University (known in academia as Fuck U); the legal defense is “See you in court.” At the time of his inauguration, 1,200 cases were still waiting to be adjucated.

And I can understand why he didn’t have time to compile his own list of possible candidates.

Mr. Entertainment had the obligation of writing up his thoughts on the morning Twitter news feed. Where would the cable news shows get their false facts, lies and other bubbemeisers to fill their hours?

Then there was finding new ways to attack our friends and allies while kissing up to traditional enemies. Just the other day he was accusing the Canadians of scuffing up new shoes, so they could cheat us on new shoe tariffs. “Something he picked up from an FDR speech,” speculated Joe Scarborough on “Morning Joe” (July 9). “In 1943.”

He was busy kowtowing to Chairman Kim,” as he now called the former ‘fat little rocket man.”

Which NATO alliance leader should he push out of the class photo in Brussels meeting next week, as he did Montenegro last time?

And the biggest presidential chore of all, figuring out what to say to Putin at the private one-on-one summit meeting in Helsinki. People were starting to talk about how enamored he is of the ex- KGB killer, what they used to call “a crush.” Maybe he only admired Putin as the master of all Russia. If only he could become the master of all America.

Pardon me if I pause for a personal note.

It made me a little sick to hear the president talk in his brief remarks about revering the Rule of Law and the Constitution.

Now I realize the president doesn’t like to read books, or anything other than Page Six of the New York Post. But then only on days when he is mentioned.

And there are some big words in our Good Book, the Constitution, like “emoluments.”

But could he do us a favor some day and actually read, or have some one translate, the clause (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8) dealing with the inappropriateness of emoluments. For a strict Constitutionalist like himself, it is not okay, during a press conference on the White House lawn, to urge us to buy Ivanka’s products, even if she is a member of his brain trust.

For those of my readers who can’t sleep at night, thinking about the third SCOTUS Mr. Showbiz will be picking when Justice Ginsberg hangs up her robes, my advice is take two Pepto Bismols and call “Fox & Friends” in the morning.

Correct me if I’m wrong about any of this learned essay.



Marvin Kitman,
July 11, 2018

Marvin Kitman is the author of “The Making of the Preƒident 1789.” “George Washington’s Expense Account” by Gen. George Washington and Marvin Kitman PFC (Ret.) was the best-selling expense account in publishing history.