Last week, John Yoo, the former Justice Department official who drafted a notorious memo justifying the torture of detainees under President George W. Bush, warned that Trump had gone too far in asserting unbridled presidential power.
"That's what Nixon did," Yoo told NPR. "That's what other presidents who have failed have done."
In an email exchange, Yoo told me he stands by the comparison, and added that Trump's actions are sufficient grounds for the House to consider impeachment.
"Impeachment [is] the only solution to Trump's challenge to the constitutional order," he wrote.
"It seems to me important, especially today, for lawyers to speak with consistency about the rule of law and apply it without consideration of party," said Paul Rosenzweig, a former assistant to independent counsel Kenneth Starr in the investigation of President Clinton that led to his impeachment by the House in 1998.
Why are so many Republican lawyers standing against their party's prevailing tide?
Maybe they just take their professional canons seriously.
"You are the guardians of the rule of law," Rod Rosenstein, then Trump's deputy attorney general, told the American Bar Assn.'s annual meeting last year. "Honorable lawyers defend the rule of law, even when it is difficult, so it will be there when we need it."
These GOP lawyers are reminding their colleagues -- justices as well as attorneys -- that their real duty lies elsewhere.