Patterico's Pontifications

5/19/2019

Rep. Justin Amash: First Congressional Republican To Claim President Trump “Engaged In Impeachable Conduct” (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:34 am



[guest post by Dana]

After reading Mueller’s redacted report in its entirety, Michigan Republican Representative Justin Amash publicly shared his reaction yesterday. Ultimately, he believes President Trump did indeed “engage in impeachable conduct”. His conclusion is entirely at odds with the “No Collusion! No Obstruction!” party line lead by the President.

I’m going to post Rep. Amash’s full comments rather than summing them up. One general point he makes that stands out to me is the danger of allowing party loyalty (and loyalty to a president) to supersede loyalty to the Constitution. I’ve been harping about this forever: Loyalty to one’s party (and the President) is a faulty starting point for being able to accurately and objectively assess our elected officials and hold them accountable. It’s worth noting that Rep. Amash is being entirely consistent in his stated beliefs about the role of an elected official:

Untitled

From Rep. Amash:

Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

I offer these conclusions only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.

In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.

Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.

Under our Constitution, the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” While “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.

Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.

In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.

Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.

While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.

Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution. When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law—the foundation of liberty—crumbles.

We’ve witnessed members of Congress from both parties shift their views 180 degrees—on the importance of character, on the principles of obstruction of justice—depending on whether they’re discussing Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release.

America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it.

President Trump, unsurprisingly, came out swinging:

Untitled

It’s too soon to say whether any other Republican lawmakers will come out in agreement with Rep. Amash. As of this posting, I could only find one Republican lawmaker who has commented on Rep. Amash’s statement. This was Sen. Mitt Romney to Jake Tapper this morning:

My own view is that Justin Amash has reached a different conclusion than I have. I respect him, I think it’s a courageous statement.

The American people just aren’t there. The Senate is certainly not there, either.

[…]

I also believe that an impeachment call is not only something that relates to the law but also considers practicality and politics, and the American people just aren’t there…

And from RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, a jab at Rep. Amash, who has said that he “can’t rule out” running for president as a Libertarian.”:

It’s sad to see Congressman Amash parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia. The only people still fixated on the Russia collusion hoax are political foes of President Trump hoping to defeat him in 2020 by any desperate means possible. Voters in Amash’s district strongly support this President, and would rather their Congressman work to support the President’s policies that have brought jobs, increased wages and made life better for Americans.

UPDATE: Following Justin Amash’s public comments this weekend, we are finding out today that Amash is getting primaried:

A Republican state representative plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, after Amash said this weekend he believes President Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses.

State Rep. Jim Lower, R-Greenville, announced this morning that he would run for the 3rd Congressional District seat Amash has held since 2011 and would forgo a race for a third term in the state House.

Lower said he had been planning to run for some time and had expected to make an announcement closer to July 4. But he said he decided to move up that schedule after Amash said on Twitter on Saturday that after reading Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report he believes the president committed impeachable offenses.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

93 Responses to “Rep. Justin Amash: First Congressional Republican To Claim President Trump “Engaged In Impeachable Conduct” (UPDATE ADDED)”

  1. Hm… specifics?

    Dana (779465)

  2. Oh, I do not look forward to some of the angry comments that will shortly follow. But posts like this are important. Thank you, Dana.

    Simon Jester (b079bd)

  3. Disappointing that Mitt essentially says: Agent Orange dint do nuffin because it’s impolitic to impeach him at the moment.

    Hardly a principled position.

    Dave (7242bc)

  4. If you want to impeach Trump, use something people can understand, like “He’s incompetent, a disgrace, a congenital liar, a fraud and a clear and present danger to the Republic.” All perfectly understandable and true, and from the discussions at the Philadelphia Convention, more or less what the Founders had in mind.

    It is only the legal mind that forces the charges into codified crimes, which both obfuscates the real reasons for the impulse to impeach and brings charges that are too easily defended:

    “Sure, I didn’t want this effing witch hunt to continue, and I was reluctant to cooperate, but my lawyers eventually convinced me that I had to. They call it obstruction, but I cooperated far more than Bill Clinton did in the Lewinsky matter. He actually did what they said, lied under oath and bought off witnesses, yet the people bringing charges against me all voted to acquit.”

    Of course he’ll have to have it written down for him.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  5. I think it’s consistent for Romney: a bit weak and overall, non-committal.

    Dana (779465)

  6. A month later, and only one GOP member of Congress…

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  7. Impeachment is a political act and has no relation to speak of with US statutes. The charges against Nixon included several which were not specific crimes (e.g. auditing his enemies), along with obstructing the investigation INTO those activities.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  8. A month later, and only one GOP member of Congress…

    Well, it could be that everyone’s afraid they’ll be primaried (As Amash will be), it could be that they, or their people back home, don’t feel the charges are adequate, it could be because they don’t want to give the Democrats any support.

    But there have got to be several dozen #NeverTrump Congressmen in the GOP; this dog don’t hunt.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  9. How does this guy keep getting reelected? Like AOC, right? Safe GOP district. A glass of water with an (R) would win. All he has to do is get around 15,000 votes in the primary.

    nk (dbc370)

  10. Justin Amash’s public position on all issues is entirely consistent with his personal interests:

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/05/18/republican-justin-amash-calls-for-impeachment-while-holding-personal-business-interests-in-china/

    “What you quickly discover is it appears Republican Congressman Justin Amash was challenged in 2010 [News Link] for his family business claiming to sell hand tools made in the U.S.A. but were actually manufactured in China.

    Dynamic Source International and “Michigan Industrial Tools” (financial disclosure) appear as same corporation doing manufacturing in Hangzhou, China. The finished product is then shipped/sold in the U.S. by the Amash family (Justin and his brother Jeff) under the name Tekton Tools.”

    Yes, HIS interests. Just not in America, or his party, or his constituent’s interests. Hypocrisy and misleading rhetoric in HIS industry, of course, is just an unimpeachable best practice. He also, naturally, voted against all immigration restriction, something which also inconveniences the Chinese birth tourism industry. Oddly enough, people who come in as foreigners and get rich quick tend to be much more willing to bribe, mislead and misdirect (easier when you have an established getaway.)

    Whether their name is Justin Amash or Kim Jong-un, the Panda Puppets are nothing if not reliable in their rhetoric when their leashes are jerked by their Chicom masters.

    Patriotic Palestinian (7b0b96)

  11. Minority Leader McCarthy

    “He votes more with Nancy Pelosi than he ever votes with me. It’s a question whether he’s even in our Republican conference as a whole,” McCarthy said of Amash, a libertarian, on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the leader of House Democrats.

    “What he wants is attention in this process. He’s not a criminal attorney,” the California congressman added. “It’s very disturbing. … He never supported the president, and I think he’s just looking for attention.”

    steveg (354706)

  12. I’ve been wrong about many things, but my lack of respect for Romney’s courage and vision ain’t one of those things.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  13. If this is true:

    “his [Amash] family business claiming to sell hand tools made in the U.S.A. but were actually manufactured in China.

    Then any principled stand he makes should be ignored as posturing by a deeply unprincipled man

    steveg (354706)

  14. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is Mitt Romney’s niece, his older brother’s daughter. Whatever her place in the Romney Family Matriarchy vis a vis the other women, she still outranks Mitt and he has to do what she says.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. Pat Miles Jr ran against Amash

    Firing back, the Miles campaign also furnished a photo of what it said is the packaging for a tool set bought at a Grand Rapids hardware store, with the words: “Manufactured in China for Michigan IndustrialTools.”

    The Miles campaign released a second TV ad, saying “Amash has given up on West Michigan workers.”

    It features a picture of Justin Amash, along with an audio track of his brother, John Amash, saying: “Trade with China is providing American consumers with good quality tools that could not be made for those prices in the United States.”

    steveg (354706)

  16. Sigh.

    NJRob (e883f2)

  17. the predicate of this operation, is rarely examined,

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/19/gowdy-papadopoulos-transcripts/

    narciso (d1f714)

  18. How does this guy keep getting reelected? It’s reddish purple. Nearly went for Obama in 2008. A compelling Democrat would win over an iffy Republican, and Amash just pissed half his voters off.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  19. Tektron (owned by Amash) is said to be “made in usa” and some are, most not.
    I think tool design work, engineering, prototyping is done in USA

    As near as I can tell from the Tektron website
    https://www.tekton.com/about-us

    “At this time, less than 10 percent of our tools are made in China, 15 percent in the United States, and about 75 percent in Taiwan. We challenge ourselves and those we work with to increasingly higher standards of rigor, precision, and creativity. And, in the end, we bring you a tool that’s designed and engineered better and more intentionally than anything else out there.

    The coolest part about what we do is something new taking place here in West Michigan, one of the world’s leading manufacturing hubs. All sorts of high-level, cutting edge fabrication methods are found here to meet the needs of the automotive, furniture, and medical device industries at globally competitive costs.

    Why, we wondered, don’t we employ the resources right in our backyard to make tools like no one has ever made them? So we did. We built our own specialized local supply chains to roll out products like our Angle Head Wrenches, Screwdrivers, and Nut Drivers—and more are on the way.”

    That last paragraph is weaselly. “We built a supply chain…”

    steveg (354706)

  20. Another never trumpet republican bites the dust. 90% g.o.p. are trump supporting populists and will vote against this never trumpet and democrats will vote for the democrats bye bye!

    lany (75c619)

  21. What price SCOTUS? The party of America Watergate knows the score– and how now to play the game.

    Now, in sports; The Patriot Games Update:

    Rule of Men – 1,066 [and all that]
    Rule of Law – 0

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  22. ^America’s – typo

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  23. A RINO comes out with Resistance talking points after a month of no traction whatsoever on non-stop lefty impeachment pleadings…..

    I’m shocked.

    harkin (1aa46f)

  24. If Justin Amash ran as a Libertarian, I would vote for him in a heartbeat – as a minor hero, who understood what our system had become and the kind of sacrifice that was necessary to introduce an element of hope into its otherwise hopeless inevitabilities.

    Leviticus (6b28ef)

  25. A RINO

    Yeah, the guy he criticized, who endorsed Hillary Clinton for president and donated thousands of dollars to her, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, Jimmy Carter, Charlie Rangel and Anthony Weiner is the “real” Republican.

    Dave (1bb933)

  26. Yet another installment of Trump the Trivial.

    Meanwhile, Donald, back in the day when America was truly great and bonespurs were groovy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGT1hmII1T8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LayF0VXu_xI

    Say, Willard, weren’t you off in France w/a Bible in hand around this time, too– while Mueller was battling the Vietcong?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. Amash and his family business- a tool company that has all its products made by the commies in dear old china could have something to do with it.
    Guarantee those tools suck.

    mg (8cbc69)

  28. Taiwan isn’t Communist.

    Dave (1bb933)

  29. The high end line the sell Tekton tools are well thought of. Since Amash got hit hard by an opponent for saying tools were made in USA, the company has clarified that 15% are made in USA and that engineering, design and prototype work are done here.

    My personal opinion is that Amash’s company was claiming “Made in USA” and was later forced to be more specific.

    At this point in time I see no legal justification to impeach Trump so I can’t see what is driving Amash.
    People want to speculate that it is because Trumps China tariffs will hurt Amash in the pocketbook, fine, but Taiwan makes 75% of Tektons tools. The thing I don’t know is what the percentages mean. If China produces 10% of the tools and those 10% tools bring in 90% of the revenue you could change my mind, but the company doesn’t release those statistics

    steveg (354706)

  30. Why is it Republicans ALWAYS have these “Mavericks” and the Democrats NEVER Do? This COngressman not only wants Trump impeached, he’s voted against almost every bill to enforce the immigration law. He’s not a reliable R vote on anything.

    And Mittens of course, calls his standing with the Democrat Crazies “Courageous”. It seems Mittens is the knew John McCain. Going on the talk shows every Sunday, shooting his mouth off, criticizing trump, virtue signaling and trying to get some NYT/WaPo Love. Just remember Mittens is NOT a committe Chairman or a member of the Senate Leadership. Of course, we can be sure that on every upcoming Controversial Vote he’s be a “waving question mark”, demanding everyone pay attention to Mitt Romney and his undecided Vote.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  31. Impeachment is supposed to be for “High Crimes AND misdemeanors”. That’s an “AND” not an “OR”.
    Andrew Johnson broke the law. Clinton lied under oath and tried to get others to do the same.

    And Trump? Oh, he hoped Rosenstein would fire Mueller and appoint someone else, because he didn’t collude with Russia, as Mueller stated. But somehow that’s a “High Crime”. Its hard to take the Congressman seriously. Hopefully, he’ll be primaried, not run for re-election, or turn Democrat. I’m betting on the 3rd option.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  32. Its hilarious that 90% of Republicans stand with Trump, but the Sunday talk shows are full of Never-trumpers like Mittens.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  33. Taiwan isn’t Communist.

    That kind of talk cost Gerald Ford dearly.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  34. Amash was the only republican to vote for illegals to vote.
    six democrats said no.
    When does Amash announce he is running for POTUS?

    mg (8cbc69)

  35. Why is it Republicans ALWAYS have these “Mavericks” and the Democrats NEVER Do?
    Hunh? AOC, Ilhan Omar…

    It seems Mittens is the knew John McCain. Going on the talk shows every Sunday
    This is Romney’s first time on Sunday shows since he was elected a Senator.

    shooting his mouth off, criticizing trump, virtue signaling
    Mitt:

    [T]he Democrats are making a huge error by making border security an issue and saying it’s a partisan issue. Look, this is an American issue. We can’t have millions upon millions of people flooding into our country without a border that’s secure, without ICE making sure the people that are here illegally are sent back. This is, this is a winning issue I think for Republicans. But more importantly, it’s a winning issue for Americans to say, “We have to have the sovereignty of our nation.” I think the president has tapped into something which the people feel very deeply….

    I would provide legal status for those Dreamers in the country. That’s something the president’s put on the table. I think we should get that job done. And hope we will get that job done. But overall, we need to complete the border fence. We need to have a system that keeps people from getting jobs here if they’re here illegally, and that’s an e-verify system. And then we’ve got to deal with this asylum issue that’s really overwhelming our system.

    … going after his tax returns through a legislative action is moronic. That’s not going to happen. The courts are not going to say that you can compel a person running for office to release their tax returns. So he’s going to win this victory. He wins them time after time. And, you know, the Green New Deal, all these candidates out there talking about getting, getting rid of Obamacare and traditional health care and putting in place Medicare, these things are just, just nonstarters. And I think the Democratic party is finding itself in a real difficult position with those kind of positions.

    I was in his office just a couple weeks ago and said I disagreed with the steel and aluminum tariffs. On the other hand, I said, “I’m overwhelmingly in favor with what you’re doing on China.” In my opinion, you can get as hard as you want to get, pushing back on China. I think you also have to say the president has followed the Republican playbook when it comes to the domestic economy. Lowering taxes, lowering regulation. The economy’s doing very, very well. It’s hard not to recognize that’s a pretty strong record.

    I’m gonna bet you didn’t watch it.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  36. Its hilarious that 90% of Republicans stand with Trump, but the Sunday talk shows are full of Never-trumpers like Mittens.

    See above

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  37. I’d vote for him.

    If Amash wanted more power and control, he’d be a Trumpalo. I oppose impeachment for complicated reasons, but I don’t think Amash is doing this just for the headlines. He explains every vote – he’s the best congress critter out there, for my money. And I disagree with him on lots of things, but I know where he stands and he actually has principles.

    JRM (c80289)

  38. Andrew Johnson broke the law.

    Andrew Johnson broke a patently unconstitutional law that said he could not fire cabinet officers without the advice and consent of the Senate. They were impeaching him for interfering with Reconstruction and not letting the Union Army deal with the rise of the KKK.

    Impeachment is supposed to be for “High Crimes AND misdemeanors”. That’s an “AND” not an “OR”.

    So, a high crime, but no misdemeanor, and he gets off?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  39. One thing: Trump did collude and he did obstruct. A lot of folks pretend to didn’t happen right in our faces but it did. Pounding the table about it doesn’t change it. Cowardice because Trump’s fans will go after you is the biggest problem today… Very much a preference cascade situation.

    History will not be any kinder to the romneys than to the Trump supporters. It’s one thing to screech “no collusion”like bagdad Bob. Some people even believe it! But to know and say you can’t stand up to it because of politics. What is your time on Earth for if not to take a stand right now?

    Dustin (6d7686)

  40. History will show what a bunch of jack asses no trumpers are.

    mg (8cbc69)

  41. According to the Congressional Research Service, impeachement may be based on actual crimes, and often is, but need not be. Judge Halsted Ritter was acquitted of 6 charges related to actual events, but was convicted of a 7th count of “general misbehavior” that encompassed the other 6 charges. Another judge was charged with being drunk and intemperate. Some argue judicial impeachment is different from other impeachment due to the “good behavior” language relating to their life term, but it is clear that judges can be impeached for non-criminal acts.

    But Clinton’s impeachment included charges that he had “undermined the integrity of his office, brought disrepute on the Presidency, betrayed his trust as President, and acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.” However it did list distinct crimes:

    “[i]n his conduct while President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” had “willfully corrupted and manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his personal gain and exoneration, impeding the administration of justice” by making false statements to a federal grand jury regarding an extramarital affair, and had “prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, and ha[d] to that end engaged personally, and through his subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or scheme designed to delay, impede, cover up, and conceal the existence of evidence and testimony related to a Federal civil rights action brought against him in a duly instituted judicial proceeding.”

    The aborted Nixon impeachment did not limit itself to actual criminal acts, but claimed

    Nixon abused the powers of his office, causing “injury to the confidence of the nation and great prejudice to the cause of law and justice,” and resulting in subversion of constitutional government; that he failed to carry out his constitutional obligation to faithfully execute the laws; and that he failed to comply with congressional subpoenas needed to provide relevant evidence for the impeachment investigation.

    It seems clear that some matters other than criminal law (e.g. failure to carry out the duties of the office, abuse of power) are sufficient to cause impeachment of a President. What has not been tested is whether incapacity is impeachable. While the 25th Amendment speaks to this, it does not say what happens if the Cabinet doesn’t act.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  42. Not only did he not collude, he also did not conspire, according to all evidence presented. He sure DID want to obstruct but his demands were ignored. I am willing to bet that every lawyer in the world has had a client ranting along these lines, and I’d be surprised if they turned any of them in.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  43. Some people even believe it!

    Could you please refer me to the page number in the Mueller report where he says that Trump collude3d or conspired?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  44. mg,

    I have never referred to Trump loyalists as jackasses, and would ask that you show the same courtesy to those who are not supporters. Of course if you’re referring to politicians, fine. But if you’re calling commenters jackasses because they do not support Trump, don’t.

    Dana (779465)

  45. No mavericks in democrat party? this is because democrat party co-ops them. jerry brown gov. moonbeam then the party decided he was right and joined him then bernie sanders and now AOC. Mavericks take over democrat party. just like trump has done with republican party.

    lany (d0cbf2)

  46. Andrew Johnson broke a patently unconstitutional law that said he could not fire cabinet officers without the advice and consent of the Senate.

    That was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court only 60 years after, and wrongly in my view, in case involving removal of a postmaster. Finding no hint in the actual text of the Constitution to limit Congress’s power over an office Congress itself created, the court’s decision was based on same sort of chimerical penumbras and emanations used to justify Roe. As Justice Holmes noted in his terse and eloquent dissent:

    We have to deal with an office that owes its existence to Congress, and that Congress may abolish tomorrow. Its duration and the pay attached to it while it lasts depend on Congress alone. Congress alone confers on the President the power to appoint to it, and at any time may transfer the power to other hands. With such power over its own creation, I have no more trouble in believing that Congress has power to prescribe a term of life for it free from any interference than I have in accepting the undoubted power of Congress to decree its end. I have equally little trouble in accepting its power to prolong the tenure of an incumbent until Congress or the Senate shall have assented to his removal. The duty of the President to see that the laws be executed is a duty that does not go beyond the laws or require him to achieve more than Congress sees fit to leave within his power.

    All of which applies equally well to the Tenure of Office Act, which had been repealed by that time.

    They were impeaching him for interfering with Reconstruction and not letting the Union Army deal with the rise of the KKK.

    And it was one of the greatest tragedies in American history that they fell short by a single vote.

    Dave (1bb933)

  47. I have to agree with Romney here.

    “I don’t think impeachment is the right way to go,” Romney said.

    “The American people just aren’t there,” the Utah Republican said. “And I think those who are considering impeachment also have to look at the jury, which would be the Senate. The Senate is certainly not there either.”

    Impeachment is political, and without the political demand from more than the loud people it just doesn’t work. It took over a year to make the case against Nixon, and after the 407th bombshell or so, the political mood had changed. He went from winning 49 states in a rout, to support in the 20% range 18 months later.

    The real test comes up in November 2020. I get the feeling that some people are unwilling to let that happen.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  48. Could you please refer me to the page number in the Mueller report where he says that Trump collude3d or conspired?

    Dustin didn’t specify which Trump.

    The section on the Trump Tower meeting says clearly that Junior conspired with Russian agents to violate the election laws.

    Mueller did not bring charges in part because he felt it would hard to overcome the “we were too stupid to know that enlisting the Russian government in our presidential campaign was illegal” defense.

    Dave (1bb933)

  49. History will show what a bunch of jack asses no trumpers are.

    mg (8cbc69) — 5/19/2019 @ 5:56 pm

    Doubt it! Look, I get that a lot of people here literally live and breath politics, and are actually invested in the Republican party as some kind of institution they should respect. I do get that. I get that the democrats and RINOs alike have treated a lot of working family folks dismissively, ignoring real concerns with fairness, justice, the budget, and immigration. That doesn’t make it ok that Trump colluded with Russia, or obstructed justice. It definitely doesn’t make it OK to pretend you don’t think that happened, or to fool people into actually believing that.

    But I think history will have a special place for those who knew what Trump was, but helped him or feared him and short term political consequences. It’s not even good politics. Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney… maybe they see themselves as opposites, but they are just the same.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  50. Well, Dave, you have your opinion but most people think that Congress has no role in executive department management after they fulfill their ordained role in approving appointments. This line has continued in INS v Chadha, where the congressional veto over regulations by departments the Congress created was axed.

    Of course Congress created the offices. Except for 3, it created every office in the other two branches. Your line of argument could go so far as saying that since Congress appropriates all the budgets, so it gets to control all those offices directly, approving all acts and certainly all HR decisions.

    Which is stuff and nonsense. Separation of powers, man.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  51. invested in the Republican party as some kind of institution they should respect

    However perverted the situation is right now, it is one of two, and STILL the better one of those two. If you think that there is some other choice, that effective political power can come outside of a major party, well I just have to believe you haven’t learned the falsity of that yet.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  52. But I think history will have a special place for those who knew what Trump was, but helped him or feared him and short term political consequences.

    There are plenty of people who fought him tooth and nail until he was nominated, and offered him no support before he was elected, who now come forward in some hope of mitigating the damage. Call it what you want.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  53. I have to agree with Romney here.

    Romney’s political calculus is certainly impossible to argue with.

    But he could and should have condemned the Trump campaign’s illegal attempt to enlist the Russian government to influence the election (Mueller, vol. 1), and the President’s corrupt efforts to obstruct investigation of the Russian military’s attack on our country, which was carried out for his benefit (Mueller, vol. 2).

    Dave (1bb933)

  54. Amash and Romney are why we got Trump. Amash more than Romney. Romney’s heart is in the right place, it’s just that his balls are in his womenfolks’ sewing basket.

    Amash, on the other hand, is a phony baloney talk-a-lot-do-nothing on the lines of the Pauls. He spouts a lot of high falutin Libertarian cocktail-party small talk, but if you look at his record, all he accomplishes is to raise money for his reelection, and to trade his vote for earmarks for his district to whomever controls the House at the moment, Republican or Democrat, and I don’t know that he can hold a candle to Ron Paul on that second thing.

    nk (dbc370)

  55. Your line of argument could go so far as saying that since Congress appropriates all the budgets, so it gets to control all those offices directly, approving all acts and certainly all HR decisions.

    With the exception of presidential powers actually enumerated in the Constitution (like being Commmander in Chief) I think Congress has the power, through the law, to control those things, yes.

    With that said, laws generally require the assent of the president, unless an overwhelming majority of both houses agree. Once a law is passed, with or without his assent, the president’s job is to faithfully execute it.

    Separation of powers, man.

    Emanations and penumbras all the way down…

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. Dustin,

    Cite chapter and verse of Trump colluded with Russia or actually obstructed the case of a nonexistent crime except by refusing to testify in person.

    Or are you saying him holding a press conference asking Russia to release the emails is collusion?

    NJRob (e883f2)

  57. So this is ‘Making America Great Again,’ Donald?!?–

    End Of An Era; Bethlehem Steel’s World HQ Demolished

    https://actifypress.com/end-of-an-era-bethlehem-steels-world-hq-demolished-truthdig/

    And gee, JoeyBee, you made it to Philly to honk your own horn but couldn’t drive to Bethlehem to be with the “FOLKS” as they watched the hands of the economic gods and implosion experts turn 16,000 tons of history soaked American steel [not “steal” as in the plagiarism you know so well] into a steaming pile of scrap metal– likely destined for recycling in— China?

    “Tariffic;” send in the clowns: so goes the circus.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. Amash and Romney are why we got Trump. Amash more than Romney. Romney’s heart is in the right place, it’s just that his balls are in his womenfolks’ sewing basket.

    Amash, on the other hand, is a phony baloney talk-a-lot-do-nothing on the lines of the Pauls. He spouts a lot of high falutin Libertarian cocktail-party small talk, but if you look at his record, all he accomplishes is to raise money for his reelection, and to trade his vote for earmarks for his district to whomever controls the House at the moment, Republican or Democrat, and I don’t know that he can hold a candle to Ron Paul on that second thing.

    nk (dbc370) — 5/19/2019 @ 6:48 pm

    I agree. Amash is basically a non-entity to me, though.

    Cite chapter and verse of Trump colluded with Russia

    Yeah let me get right on that, because with evidence you and your pals will surely be quite reasonable and open minded. Let me go ahead and play debate 9000 with you about whether or not Trump did what you already saw him do.

    Wait a few minutes I’ll be right back with that.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  59. Yeah let me get right on that, because with evidence you and your pals will surely be quite reasonable and open minded. Let me go ahead and play debate 9000 with you about whether or not Trump did what you already saw him do.

    Wait a few minutes I’ll be right back with that.

    Dustin (6d7686) — 5/19/2019 @ 7:10 pm

    It wouldn’t be for my benefit because it’s likely you aren’t going to bring any new information to bear on the situation that had Mueller decline to prosecute and all of the media and both parties saying there is no collusion. It’s why the left has tried to pivot to obstruction after all.

    But if you do believe there is relevant information out there that is being missed, it could benefit the silent readers that do post here from time to time. Up to you.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  60. “He votes more with Nancy Pelosi than he ever votes with me.”

    McCarthy is making s**t up. According to his voting record, he’s with Trump more than three-fifths of the time.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  61. McCarthy is making s**t up. According to his voting record, he’s with Trump more than three-fifths of the time.

    Yeah, well, Pelosi is probably with Trump 2/5ths of the time. A lot of what they vote for isn’t controversial. National Kumquat Day.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  62. LOL rob

    Dustin (6d7686)

  63. In 2016, Gary Johnson received 4.5 million votes for a little over 3% of the total, which is the most by any Libertarian in history and the highest number for a third party candidate since 1996. Justin Amash, with the right running mate, would easily exceed those totals, especially if he travels the country giving interviews like this one with Nick Gillespie.

    https://reason.com/2019/05/19/donald-trump-responds-to-justin-amash-never-a-fan-total-lightweight-loser/

    I doubt he’ll seek the nomination for the Libertarian party in 2020 though. He might, because he hasn’t ruled it out, but he’ll probably remain in the House and position himself to seek the nomination for the Republican party in 2024. He’s young and can bide his time.

    It may depend on how the primaries work themselves out though, who the most likely nominee for the Democratic party looks to be. The Republicans have gone all in with Trump, to the extent that the National Committee has said it will not offer support to a primary challenger.

    There is a timeframe with deadlines involved should Amash decide to run as a Libertarian, of course. So if he’s going to announce, it will be within the next few months.

    He would have the advantage of being the only third party candidate on the ballot in all fifty states. And if he wins a high enough percentage of the vote during the election, the Commission on Presidential Debates would have to invite him on the stage. Now, that I for one would like to see.

    The American people are becoming increasingly frustrated with the duopoly, for the reasons Gillespie discusses with Amash. If the Libertarian party nominates a credible candidate with wide spread appeal, the time may be ripe for an upset victory, maybe not next year but in the coming years.

    Perhaps Amash intends to return the Republican party to its conservative libertarian principles from within. Which is why I think he’ll remain in the House. He’s obviously getting under Trump’s skin and stands as a reminder to the party sell outs how far they have moved away from their rhetoric. If the Republicans ostracize him for that, he may well decide to leave the party and become a Libertarian. And he could win election as such.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  64. What we’re seeing in Congress’s uninterest in impeachment is its further diminishment and the ever-increasing expansion of the executive branch. This is great news for Trump fans which will change to terrible news when he leaves office.

    JRH (52aed3)

  65. 49. Dustin (6d7686) — 5/19/2019 @ 6:29 pm

    Trump colluded with Russia, or obstructed justice. It definitely doesn’t make it OK to pretend you don’t think that happened, or to fool people into actually believing that.

    Trump didn’t collude with Russia, because Russia didn’t collude with him

    They never reached any kind of an agreement – Russia wasn’t even able to get a working relationship established with anyone in the Trump campaign, not even Paul Manafort. (Caveat: maybe they did with Mike Flynn, but if so, we don’t know about it, which isn’t to say it didn’t happen; and you could wonder about Roger Stone.)

    When it comes to obstruction, the question is obstructing what?

    The latest supposed obstruction is what Trump’s lawyers said to Mike Flynn. But if that was obstruction, his lawyers would have to have been guilty of it, too. Would they, really?

    Trump’s complaining about why he wasn’t told (before the election?) that Mike Flynn was under investigation. And it is said that investigation are secret and that he was warned about him by Obama and others.

    Well, first, Mike Flynn wasn’t under investigation – people in the Obama Administration had been concerned that he might have been recruited as a spy by the GRU while he was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, but I don’t think there was an investigation – Obama simply had him leave the job early, or, in simplified terms, he fired him, letting him leave under honorable terms. He didn’t leave a warning that woudld put anyone else on notice to be wary.

    Second, it is a very good question as to why Trump, and if not Trump, somebody like Christie or Giuliani, wasn’t warned about Flynn during the campaign, and it would have happened with another candidate and the only possible explanation, besides the idea that they wanted to tar him with having a Russian spy, as national security adviser, (and if that is the case, the time to do is is before the election) was that they didn’t trust him. (Trump)

    But even when you don’t trust the person in charge you should still warn unless you’ve utterly written him off. They didn’t even have to tell all. It was enough to point out that he (Mike Flynn) was following the Russian line with regard to Syria and some other things. They seemingly didn’t even trust Chris Christie! Or felt somehow that would backfire.

    As it is, the general thinking about Flynn was what Carly Fiorina said in the December 15, 215 Republican debate:

    One of the things I would immediately do, in addition to defeating them [terrorists] here at home, is bring back the warrior class — Petraeus, McChrystal, Mattis, Keane, Flynn. Every single one of these generals I know. Every one was retired early because they told President Obama things that he didn’t want to hear.

    Now if Obama had good reasons for retiring Flynn early it would be good for him to let people know.

    Third, the warnings to Trump by Obama and others after the election were too vague.

    They did succeed eventually in getting him fired through a combination of illegal leaks to the press and Mike Flynn’s prevarication.

    But I think history will have a special place for those who knew what Trump was, but helped him or feared him and short term political consequences. It’s not even good politics. Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney… maybe they see themselves as opposites, but they are just the same.

    Trump was what? A cynic? Not the person to be president?

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  66. Dave (1bb933) — 5/19/2019 @ 6:28 pm

    The section on the Trump Tower meeting says clearly that Junior conspired with Russian agents to violate the election laws.

    no, it didn’t. There’s a discussion somewhere in the Nueller Report about whether that would violate the campaign finance laws – and I don’t think people would want to live under an interpretation that it was. It mentions that there are freedom of speech issues and the lack of any court decision that held that and cites how far courts did go.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  67. When it comes to obstruction, the question is obstructing what?

    Obstructing the investigation into how Russia broke our laws in an effort to influence our presidential election. The evidence of their criminal actions, as laid out in the results of that investigation, is overwhelming.

    The fact that there isn’t clear evidence that Trump was involved in the criminal actions doesn’t mean the crime didn’t happen.

    The fact that Trump’s (apparent? alleged?) obstruction was motivated by something other than clear involvement in the base crime doesn’t matter as far as the obstruction charge goes.

    He might have wanted to obstruct justice because
    1. He felt it made him look bad by diminishing his victory.
    2. He was embarrassed to have benefited from Russian involvement.
    3. He was concerned that people he cared about might be implicated.
    4. He was concerned that the investigation might revel other embarrassing things about him.
    5. Any other reason whatsoever.

    None of that matters. It’s not an element of the crime, and I know that the republican administration is fine with the criminal statute as written because
    1. They’ve made no effort to change it through legislation.
    2. They’ve issued no changes to DOJ policy or procedure around obstruction.
    3. The DOJ has continued to prosecute obstruction throughout this entire thing.
    4. They haven’t even started a work group to hold hearings to take public comments about the idea of writing a report on recommending changes to obstruction.

    Time123 (353edd)

  68. UPDATE: Following Justin Amash’s public comments this weekend, we are finding out today that Amash is getting primaried:

    A Republican state representative plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, after Amash said this weekend he believes President Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses.

    State Rep. Jim Lower, R-Greenville, announced this morning that he would run for the 3rd Congressional District seat Amash has held since 2011 and would forgo a race for a third term in the state House.

    Lower said he had been planning to run for some time and had expected to make an announcement closer to July 4. But he said he decided to move up that schedule after Amash said on Twitter on Saturday that after reading Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report he believes the president committed impeachable offenses.

    Dana (779465)

  69. Romney was happy to have Trump’s endorsement for his Utah Senate race. Then, Romney turns on him like a weasel.

    DN (116571)

  70. Dave #48

    The section on the Trump Tower meeting says clearly that Junior conspired with Russian agents to violate the election laws.

    Mueller did not bring charges in part because he felt it would hard to overcome the “we were too stupid to know that enlisting the Russian government in our presidential campaign was illegal” defense.

    There is a discussion in Vol I, P185 of the Mueller Report on whether or not to prosecute Trump Campaign officials for violating election laws.

    “b. Application to June 9 Trump Tower Meeting
    The Office considered whether to charge Trump Campaign officials with crimes in connection with the June 9 meeting described in Volume I, Section IV.A.5, supra. The Office concluded that, in light of the government’s substantial burden of proof on issues of intent (“knowing” and “willful”), and the difficulty of establishing the value of the offered information, criminal charges would not meet the Justice Manual standard that the admissible evidence will probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction.” Justice Manual § 9-27.220.”

    As to the “stupidity” defense, since when is that a valid defense? If it were 90% of incarcerated felons would be free.

    Stu707 (bb0c06)

  71. Mueller found insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to undermine the election. However, there were multiple incidences of contacts with campaign members and Russian operatives that warranted suspicion and necessitated investigation. Kushner attempting to set up a back channel with Moscow through the Russian embassy, for example, in addition to Donald Junior and Manafort agreeing to meet with a Russian agent at Trump Tower, not to mention suspicious business activities with several members of the campaign and Russian oligarchs and operatives. None of them were reported to federal authorities, and when asked by investigators were lied about. That many not amount to collusion, which is not a crime, but it certainly indicates a willingness to collude, just not to the point of actively engaging in conspiracy.

    The more redacted portions of Part 1 of the report are not limited to grand jury testimony, but also include subjects, sources and methods in ongoing investigations, of which there are at least a dozen, with more to come concerning Deutsche Bank. They’ve been fined hundreds of millions for money laundering for Russia and other corrupt regimes, and are now under investigation for failing to file suspicious activity reports for both the Trump and Kushner organizations to US authorities. This is far from over.

    The less redacted portions of Part 2 of the report concern obstruction of justice. Mueller followed DOJ policy, which states that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Thus, he laid out the evidence, which he clearly stated does “not exonerate” the president, and referred the matter to Congress.

    Under federal law, the attempt or the instruction, even if unsuccessful or ignored, to interfere with or intervene in a federal investigation is obstruction of justice. Merely telling a subject to not cooperate with investigators, certainly telling them to lie, is obstruction. That is the point Amash and Napolitano are making.

    High crimes and misdemeanors do not refer to criminal law, so the standards of evidentiary proof, rules of evidence, in court do not apply. Rather, the phrase refers more the military code of justice, which includes such acts as dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming, abuse of power, failure to comply with lawful orders, and such. Because the president is the commander in chief, he must be held accountable to the same code as the soldiers and officers that serve under him, and more to the people he represents.

    A court martial would be appropriate in a proceeding under the military code of justice, however since the president is not an active member, but a civilian, the matter falls before Congress.

    Impeachment and/or censure is a political act. It is not a criminal trial held before a civilian or military court of law. However, it is a proceeding before the House, which if it results in an indictment, will proceed to a trial in the Senate, which if it results in a conviction, will result in removal from office. And that has never happened in American history.

    Trump seems to be acting as if he daring the House to impeach him, going out of his way to do everything he can with impudence to disregard oversight. Impeachment made Clinton more popular with his base, why wouldn’t impeachment make Trump more popular with his? This is simplistic, reactionary, derivative, and short sighted thinking, more suitable to Tweeting.

    The Democrats under Pelosi are playing it cool, not throwing Trump in the briar patch. They are holding off impeachment proceedings and instead concentrating on congressional investigations. Amash’s and Napolitano’s calls are early warning signs that Trump’s support in Congress is shaky at best and becoming more shaky in the media, even on FOX. Briar rabbit wanted to be thrown in the briar patch, because he knew he could easily escape. So does Trump. But Pelosi is a conniving woman. She knows if he doesn’t get thrown into the briar patch, he has nowhere to go. Better to let him jump around, scamper, scramble and squeal under the sun, as evidence piles up against him. He can sneak out of a patch, but he cannot crawl out from under a mountain.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  72. Great comments, GG. You certainly are less lazy than me!

    I think in addition to all those obviously unethical meetings, Trump made his intentions crystal clear on national TV and also when he fired the guy investigating the matter. He’s clumsily clever (if that’s possible) about his life of fraud and cheating. But he thinks he could murder someone in broad daylight and many of his fans would play debate theater games forever, despite generally understanding they are the bad guys. apparently they can actually be that afraid of democrats.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  73. He calls Amash a lightweight. He has a slam for just about everybody. “Alfred E. Neuman” was the insult for Mayor Pete a few days ago.

    Biff Tannen. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

    noel (e07fb0)

  74. Time123 (353edd) — 5/20/2019 @ 9:59 am

    The fact that Trump’s (apparent? alleged?) obstruction was motivated by something other than clear involvement in the base crime doesn’t matter as far as the obstruction charge goes.

    He might have wanted to obstruct justice because
    1. He felt it made him look bad by diminishing his victory.
    2. He was embarrassed to have benefited from Russian involvement.
    3. He was concerned that people he cared about might be implicated.
    4. He was concerned that the investigation might revel other embarrassing things about him.
    5. Any other reason whatsoever. There needs to be corrupt intent.

    Now barr gave to Trump that the motive was the cloud over his presidency which hampered him – say because it made him unnecessarly look like a bit of a lame duck. I think another legitiate reason could be a feeling the investigation would be, or was, biased.

    Barr himself thought (but he didn’t go by this) that Trump’s supervisory authority pretty much made a charge of obstruction of justice invalid.

    There’s a big question as to whether or not an investigation, or this kind of investigation should exist in the first place. Who decides?

    Your numbers 1, 2 and 4 might have been Trump’s real or most important reasoss for not wanting an investigation – number 3 he probably wasn’t worried about, although he may be now because they’re going over the laws with a microscope. (for his son)

    The law really should be changed to require either an underlying crime, or certain kinds of things like perjury or destroying documents.

    None of that matters. It’s not an element of the crime, and I know that the republican administration is fine with the criminal statute as written because
    1. They’ve made no effort to change it through legislation.
    2. They’ve issued no changes to DOJ policy or procedure around obstruction.
    3. The DOJ has continued to prosecute obstruction throughout this entire thing.
    4. They haven’t even started a work group to hold hearings to take public comments about the idea of writing a report on recommending changes to obstruction.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  75. Trump did pardon Conrad Black for an act of obstruction that, according to a newspaper column or editorial, involved taking some documents (where copies had already been given to the SEC) out of place where he was being evicted. The whole case involved a power struggle within acorporation, it seems)

    There seems to be an attempt to lump together different kinds of pardons. One that looks bad is pardonin U,S. soldiers convicted of war crimes – he;s edging to doing them all. Or at least all those with a lobby.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  76. 74. Trumps’ target said e had to Google “Alfred E. Neuman”

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  77. The main charges involving honest services were reversed but he still lost his company.
    Justice but a pipe dream
    https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/17/know-far-justice-departments-spygate-scandal-investigations/

    Narciso (2d6988)

  78. There’s a big question as to whether or not an investigation, or this kind of investigation should exist in the first place. Who decides?

    There was a crime; the hacking of the DNC. Trump fired the head of the FBI to stop that investigation. He said so on TV.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  79. He calls Amash a lightweight. He has a slam for just about everybody. “Alfred E. Neuman” was the insult for Mayor Pete a few days ago.

    Biff Tannen. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

    noel (e07fb0) — 5/20/2019 @ 12:27 pm

    He even hates the people who devoted decades of their lives to Trump’s frauds, the second they express any remorse. We only see the public side, but clearly there’s a darker side behind closed doors. Of course once you compromise your ethics with Trump he owns you.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  80. Didn’t LBJ use back channels to have Kennedy killed by Soviet agents and again to (stick with me here this is HUGE!!) kick off the Gulf of Tonkin confrontation(s) so he could fight the Soviet client state North Vietnam.
    LBJ was that kind of man
    This kind of man:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIrhcOIYfA8

    steveg (354706)

  81. No bolshakov lied to Bobby about the missiles on Cuba (he was gru) so his brother was left looking like an idiot.

    Narciso (2d6988)

  82. Time123 (f5cf77) — 5/20/2019 @ 1:09 pm

    There was a crime; the hacking of the DNC. Trump fired the head of the FBI to stop that investigation.

    No, he didn’t.

    The FBI actually did not have the full co-operation of the DNC (probably they didn’t wabt the FBI to see their secrets) but that basic investigation was over.

    The investigation was into whether anybody associated with Trump was involved in either the hacking or thhe leaking. They were really investigating the contents of the Steele/Fusion GPS dossier.

    He said so on TV.

    When did he say that? He said it had something to do with Russia – the idea was that he or somebidy else had conspired with Russia. Comey wasn’t being straight with him.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  83. LBJ
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/22/lyndon-johnson-anniversary-death-awful-man-my-political-hero

    I remember how polarizing he was…. and speaking of members I’d forgotten he’d nicknamed his “Jumbo”

    From another article
    “President Lyndon Johnson had a voracious appetite for FBI political intelligence reports. Under his presidency, the FBI became a direct vehicle for servicing the president’s political interests.”

    steveg (354706)

  84. 82. steveg (354706) — 5/20/2019 @ 1:27 pm

    82.Didn’t LBJ use back channels to have Kennedy killed by Soviet agents

    No, no, no. Lee Harvey Oswald was not a Soviet agent – he just thought he was.

    If there was aconspiracy, a key conspirator was Eugene Locke, the Chairman of the executive Committee of the texas Democratic Party. But he didn’t take LBJ into his confidence. Governor Connally, an old friend and the college roommate of Eugene Locke, was a crucial member of the conspiracy – but he didn’t know it. He was instrumental in getting the parade route switched so it would pass by the Texas School Book Depository. See page 25, and footnote 1 there in William Manchester’s “The Death of a President.”

    Now I can further speculate that Locke, naturally didn’t want Connally, who was his connecton to LBJ, to be in the same car with Kennedy. And he gave LBJ a false reason why that shold not happen. LBJ had abig argument with Kennedy as to who wuld ride here but he lost that argument. eiter Johnson nor Connally knew what was going to be tried.

    Further, Oswald wasn’t in the original plan, but the original assassins backed out. (Nobody would have started with Oswald) But Locke, a Dallas lawyer associated woth the pil business, had heard about Oswald from George de Mohrenschildt.

    And so Plan B was born.

    Oswald was maybe led to believe that the “Red Cross” – his term for the KGB – wanted him to do it.

    That’s why he asked for the chief Communist Party lawyer. Who had nothng to do with it and naturally refused. But Locke had arranged a different thing:

    He had a former New York State assemblyman, who would argue his innocence, lined up as Oswald’s lawyer, a man by the name of Mark Lane.

    That is, if Oswald didn’t escape to Mexico. If Oswald wasn’t caught, he planned to blame the assassination, or the failed attempt, on the John Birch Society.

    When Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby, Mark Lane did not want to lose the gig.

    There’s more possible.

    and again to (stick with me here this is HUGE!!) kick off the Gulf of Tonkin confrontation(s) so he could fight the Soviet client state North Vietnam.

    No, the whole idea was to end Robert F, Kennedy’s war on organized crime. His office was re-arranged during the trip by his private secretary, Angela Novello, and some things probably thrown out that he didn’t know the significance of, but which were important to certain cases. She later went to work for Edward Bennett Williams.

    Maybe somebody was doing something with Vietnam too, but that was not drectly connected.

    LBJ was that kind of man

    No he wasn;t.

    LBJ was sold on the theory that Fidel Castro had arranged the assassination, but that he shouldn’t say anything about it.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  85. steveg (354706) — 5/20/2019 @ 1:59 pm

    “President Lyndon Johnson had a voracious appetite for FBI political intelligence reports. Under his presidency, the FBI became a direct vehicle for servicing the president’s political interests.”

    The FBI spied on Goldwater in 1964 and delivered practical intelligence of use to LBJs campaign.

    Donald Trump is wrong in saying no campaign was ever spied on before. The came out during Watergate but nobody (besides Nixon) was much interested and that;s why this isn’t so well known.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  86. LBJ
    I respect him a flawed man who felt he was doing the best for the country. The people chose him in 64
    We survived LBJ and Nixon back to back in a time of great internal social distress and dangerous nuclear power international upheaval… Trump should be a breeze

    steveg (354706)

  87. “LIGHTWEIGHT”????? Who could ever confuse the orange idiot Trump for any intellectual giant? He was elected to “Burn down the party” and stick it to the Republican establishment and the left……..MISSION ACCOMPLISHED !

    I hope Rep. Amash does run on the Libertarian ticket at least I’d have someone with right wing principles to vote for.

    The Conservative Curmudgeon (c118b3)

  88. LBJ & The Big Dick: Slaughterhouse Jive.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. not that anything but this snipe hunt matters,

    https://streetwiseprofessor.com/gday-greenies-i-frolic-in-your-salty-tears/#comments

    narciso (d1f714)

  90. The congressmans statement utterly lacks specifics. You should really have specifics if you want to justify impeachment.

    SGT Ted (9e64b9)


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