Brow Beat

Stephen Colbert: Trump’s Legal Theories About Stormy Daniels Are So Bogus Even Walter Sobchak From The Big Lebowski Sees Through Them

It’s not every day that you can demonstrate that the president and his legal team don’t have a leg to stand on with a 3-second clip from Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1998 film The Big Lebowski, but every day of the Trump administration brings new surprises. On Monday, Stephen Colbert took a look at Trump’s reported plan to prevent CBS from airing a 60 Minutes interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels, and noticed that Walter Sobchak, the irascible Vietnam veteran played by John Goodman in the Coen’s ode to slacking around Los Angeles, delivers an impassioned explanation as to precisely why Trump and his lawyers are full of shit. Here’s what Sobchak has to say:

The Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint!

It’s worth noting that in the context of the film—Sobchak explaining to an angry waitress that he has the right to holler, “Forget about the fucking toe!” regardless of what she or the other patrons might think of it—his legal theories are not entirely accurate. But in the previously unimaginable context we’re living in right now—a presidential candidate allegedly paying hush money to an adult film star, then becoming president, then trying to prevent a TV network from airing an interview with the adult film star in question despite well-established legal precedents that make that an unlikely prospect—well, sometimes there’s a man for his time and place. Still, as satisfying as this Trump-related-Walter-Sobchak-from-The-Big-Lebowski coincidence is, it will pale compared to the inevitably approaching day when Robert Mueller sits Trump down and asks him, under oath, “Is this your homework, Larry?

Matthew Dessem is Brow Beat’s nights and weekends editor and the author of a biography of screenwriter and director Clyde Bruckman.