Author of Trump Impeachment Book Shames GOP Lawyer Who Used Selective Biden Quote: 'It's So Pathetic'

A former acting solicitor general who wrote a book on the case for impeaching President Donald Trump criticized as "pathetic" the selective quoting of his text by the House Judiciary Committee's Republican counsel Paul Taylor.

"It's very similar to a lot of other things they've been doing to try and defend the president," said Neal Katyal, a prominent Supreme Court lawyer who served in the Obama administration and is now a professor at Georgetown University, appearing Wednesday night on MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes.

"This isn't a one-off. This is the defense. It's so bad, it's so pathetic, and it's based on, ultimately, lies. And, you know, here they just ellipsed out all the damning stuff to Trump and his family and everything."

At Wednesday's hearing, Taylor read out a section from Katyal's book Impeach that criticized Hunter Biden's work for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma while his father Joe Biden was vice president—but cut out the section that referred to President Donald Trump's own adult children.

The following section of Katyal's book was read by Taylor during Wednesday's impeachment hearing at the judiciary committee.

"Is what Hunter Biden did wrong? Absolutely. Hunter Biden had no real experience in the energy sector, which made him wholly unqualified to sit on the board of Burisma. The only logical reason the company could have had for appointing him was his ties to Vice President Biden.

"This kind of nepotism isn't only wrong; it is a potential danger to our country, since it makes it easier for foreign powers to buy influence [...] No politician, from either party, should allow a foreign power to conduct this kind of influence-peddling with their family members."

However, the full section from the book includes the following, which was omitted from Taylor's version.

The missing clip says: "The thing is: it's not illegal. That's why Hunter Biden didn't hide his involvement with Burisma. And it's why President Trump's children - Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric - continue to conduct business around the world with impunity. As does President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who works in the White House."

Taylor did not respond immediately to Newsweek's request for comment.

. @neal_katyal reacts to House GOP counsel misquoting his book to justify Trump's request for an investigation into the Bidens: "They just ellipsed out all the damning stuff to Trump and his family and everything." pic.twitter.com/w4HLkaOtZC

— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 5, 2019

Katyal said the allegation that Hunter Biden committed crimes "has always been ludicrous for many reasons" including because he was "investigated and cleared."

The former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told The Washington Post in September that his investigation of Burisma did not show that Hunter Biden violated any laws.

Trump is facing impeachment for alleged misconduct towards Ukraine. The president is accused of trying to coerce Ukraine into opening dubious corruption investigations that would damage his political rivals, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, ahead of the 2020 election.

Moreover, Trump is accused of conspiring to condition a White House visit for Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and $391 million in military aid on a public announcement that the corruption investigations were opened.

The U.S. leader denies any wrongdoing and claims he was legitimately pursuing claims of corruption around Biden.

Trump impeachment hearing judiciary committee counsel
Republican counsel Paul Taylor sits to the left of Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) as he yawns during testimony by constitutional scholars before the House Judiciary Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill December 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images