Reversal of Fortune

The Boss plans to fight impeachment

[The Oval Office. TRUMP at his desk. Celebrity lawyer ALAN DERSHOWITZ sits on a hardback chair facing him. Chief of Staff MICK MULVANEY sits in a hardback chair as well, but slumped, well away from TRUMP and DERSHOWITZ, with the chair tilted back against the wall. He looks as if he may be asleep.]

TRUMP: So listen, Al — or Dersh? You like to be called Dersh, somebody told me.

DERSHOWITZ: Anything’s fine, Mr. President.

TRUMP: What did I call you before?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, usually you call me Dudley, and at first I corrected you, but after a while I came to the conclusion —

TRUMP: That’s okay. Listen, Al, I’ve been getting pushback on my plan and I wanted to get your legal opinion.

DERSHOWITZ: Plan, sir?

TRUMP: Yeah. The one where, if they impeach me I go to the Supreme Court and get them to decide.

DERSHOWITZ: The Supreme — oh, this is that tweet where you said — well, frankly, Mr. President, I thought you were joking.

TRUMP: This isn’t a laughing matter, Al.

[Pause.]

DERSHOWITZ: I see. Well, it’s a novel theory, Mr. President. Not necessarily wrong, just — novel. Now I assume you expect to be convicted in the Senate, which in turn, at least in theory —

TRUMP: [Angry] Convicted? Convicted of what? They have nothing on me! What the hell kind of talk is that? You’re supposed to be my lawyer!

DERSHOWITZ: [Alarmed but trying to maintain composure] I beg your pardon, sir, but I’m not presently serving as your counsel. You remember the letter I gave Mr. Kelly, and the one I gave Mr. Mulvaney, that said I was not your lawyer. I was quite —

TRUMP: Then what the hell am I paying you for?

DERSHOWITZ: You haven’t paid me anything.

TRUMP: Okay, but you can still give me advice?

DERSHOWITZ: So long as it’s absolutely clear that I am not —

TRUMP: Yeah, yeah, I get it. Okay, so what about my plan?

DERSHOWITZ: It’s a tricky question, because no President has ever been convicted. You know you can’t appeal a verdict until it’s been handed down.

TRUMP: But I could get them to stop it?

DERSHOWITZ: Good question, Mr. President. I’m sure you’ve looked at the relevant sections of the U.S. Constitution.

TRUMP: Plenty, and I gotta tell you, these Founding Fathers? They didn’t know shit about contracts. Roy Cohn would have wiped the floor with those guys.

DERSHOWITZ: Well, the Constitution is very clear as to who impeaches and who tries impeached presidents, so I doubt —

TRUMP: Look, all I need is an angle! It doesn’t have to be good! Because once we get in the door, I’m set. You understand me? It’s in the bag.

DERSHOWITZ: How do you mean, in the bag, sir?

TRUMP: [lowers his voice] Kavanaugh! You saw the hearings. We got our hooks so deep in that guy he’ll do anything I say. If it’s 4-4, he breaks the tie. And if we're losing, then he holds out, just holds out like Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men, until everyone comes over to his side.

DERSHOWITZ: That’s not how it works, Mr. President. It’s not like a jury. There’s no holding out. It doesn’t have to be unanimous.

[Pause.]

TRUMP: No holding out.

DERSHOWITZ: No, sir.

[TRUMP stands up, breathing heavily.]

TRUMP: That fucking rummy! He conned me! He said he’d protect me! Goddamn it, somebody better protect him, I’ll rip his goddamn nuts off!

[MULVANEY gets up.]

MULVANEY: [Loud] Gotta go to the bathroom!

[MULVANEY charges out the door. DERSHOWITZ is up now, looking genuinely afraid. TRUMP comes around the desk. DERSHOWITZ starts backing up.]

TRUMP: Listen, Dudley, you gotta help me. I got other ideas. Here’s one Giuliani gave me. See what you think. If they try to impeach me, I have them arrested. I know what you’re thinking — the cops won’t do it. The army probably won’t do it either. But get this — what if I deputize all the people at my rallies. I can do that, can’t I? Those idiots would kill for me. Give ‘em all a badge and a gun and, and a bunch of Harley-Davidsons and send ‘em to Washington. Whattaya think, Dudley?

[TRUMP has DERSHOWITZ backed up to one of the doors to the rest of the West Wing; DERSHOWITZ reaches behind himself and fumbles with the doorknob.]

DERSHOWITZ: I’ll study it, sir. I'll study it and get back to you, first thing.

[TRUMP grabs DERSHOWITZ’s tie. DERSHOWITZ freezes.]

TRUMP: [Quietly.] Just remember the rummy’s not the only one I got something on, Short Eyes.

[TRUMP releases DERSHOWITZ’s tie. DERSHOWITZ flees. TRUMP walks back toward his desk, punching the air and muttering curses. MULVANEY enters.]

MULVANEY: I assume you’ll want your 4 o’clock prostitute, sir. I’ll tell her to brace herself.

TRUMP: That’s not gonna do it, Mick.

MULVANEY: Oooh, I see. I’ll call Mrs. Trump.

[As he leaves the CURTAIN falls.]