Patterico's Pontifications

12/13/2019

Two Articles of Impeachment Approved by House Judiciary Committee

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:10 am



I gather the Republicans are really upset that the vote didn’t happen last night at midnight, so that they could scream about a “midnight vote!”

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to adopt two articles of impeachment against President Trump – capping a contentious three-day session that Republicans panned as a “kangaroo court.”

The committee adopted both articles, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, on a party-line vote of 23-17. A final vote in the full House is expected next week, which could tee up a Senate trial in the new year just before presidential primaries are set to get underway.

The Senate trial promises to be a serious and sober look at the evidence against the President, conducted by a party that is … coordinating with the President about every aspect of the trial and boasting about it:

Paraphrase: “Trump fans, I wish we could refuse to do this at all, but trust me when I say that the process will be such a pro-Trump sham that it will be pretty much the same as if we refused to do it.”

The Republicans are a disgrace and the Democrats are a policy trainwreck.

A sane person has nowhere left to go.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

143 Responses to “Two Articles of Impeachment Approved by House Judiciary Committee”

  1. At least we got our debt reduction and ObamaCare repeal. Kinda makes the lying, corruption, and rampant criminality all worthwhile.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. How dare the Republicans leave this in the hands of the electorate. Shameful.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  3. @2 Our system of government is based on the idea that individuals have rights and one of the things they need to be protected from is mob rule. The other problem is that crime Trump is accused of committing, abusing presidential power to extort Ukraine into announcing an investigation of a political rival, directly impacts that election. So, you’re wrong and your point is dumb.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  4. Patterico, They didn’t vote from him for policy, the voted for him to own the libs and get revenge on all those uppity people who weren’t showing them the proper respect they felt they were due.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  5. ETA, not all Trump supporters, just his most passionate ones.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  6. How dare the Republicans leave this in the hands of the electorate. Shameful.

    Shameful to let the electorate decide whether it’s okay for the president to abuse his power to help himself in the next election.
    That’s the Truumpist argument.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  7. “Our system of government is based on the idea that individuals have rights and one of the things they need to be protected from is mob rule.”
    Time123 (66d88c) — 12/13/2019 @ 8:27 am

    So relieved that Congress is there to protect us from mob rule. Is that why those provisions for individual rights usually start with “Congress shall make no law”, or some similar verbiage?

    I’m all for protecting individual rights from mob rule. This has zero relevance.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  8. they voted for him to own the libs and get revenge

    “Making liberal heads explode” and “seeing NeverTrumper tears” is what mattes to the superfans.
    Some of those people said their aim was to “blow the whole thing up” and “burn it all to the ground.” They said that Trump was doing things right as long as he was “making the right people mad.” And that if we didn’t love Trump, it was because we hated America.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  9. 3. Time123 (66d88c) — 12/13/2019 @ 8:27 am

    The problem is that what Trump is accused of doing: Abusing presidential power to extort Ukraine into announcing an investigation of a political rival.

    Did not happen.

    Something not so good, (and stupid) did happen, but Trump was not trying to extort
    Ukraine into announcing any investigations.

    Trump wanted the allegation that Joe Biden had stopped a prosecution – and bragged about it – to be looked into.

    Was that true?” was his question.

    Trump was sincere about that and it was his incompetence (and wrong decision to put am unannounced hold on the aid for other reasons that he mostly kept to himself but probably was because he had been told that people in Ukraine had tried to take him down in 2016, and were trying to work their way into Zelinsky’s government) that led some of his subordinates to link the aid money to an announcement of an investigation.

    Trump wanted to Giuliani to give Sondland and Volker the blacklist, (whc were the names of people who opposed corruption that had been supplied by corrupt people to Giuliani) but Giuliani had already done that, and most of those people weren’t associated with Zelensky anyway.

    What Trump did is not the same thing as calling for false accusations to be manufactured against Joe Biden, or a witch hunt, or a fishing expedition, which for along time, the Democrats tried to at least imply, nor was it even, which is where things were heading to in early September, but not before, and what the Articles of Impeachment is limited to, asking for an announcement of an investigation even if he thought they would be honest enough not to make anything up in the end.

    But that is what Harry Reid wanted the FBI to do Donald Trump in 2016: Announce an investigation, regardless of whether or not it had any chance of finding anything.

    That’s not what Donald Trump wanted to do to Joe Biden. For once n his political career, he wanted to find out if an allegation against a political opponent was true or not, maybe because it was so serious.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  10. “There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this…” Thanks juror number one.

    Trump has always gotten away with it. For decades. Multiple bankruptcies. Fake university. Abusing women. Paying nothing in taxes. Lying about his wealth. Lying about everything else. Even in impeachment, he won’t be held to normal standards. No wonder he just keeps screwing everyone.

    2nd term? It would get even worse. We all know it. If he wins, I agree… “A sane person has nowhere left to go.”

    noel (f22371)

  11. A sane person has nowhere left to go.

    … and there are so few of us that we could share an Uber to get there.

    Dave (1bb933)

  12. “ Some of those people said their aim was to “blow the whole thing up” and “burn it all to the ground.”

    When Trump supporters said this they meant the swamp and the taking over of by socialists and radicals of government, media and academia.

    When Dems say this they mean capitalism, individual rights, private property, borders and merit-based advancement and compensation.

    harkin (15bd84)

  13. None of this would have happened without the Electoral College. Just sayin.

    I mean, I’m sure we would’ve been dealing with different iterations of Executive abuses of power. But *Trump’s* abuses of power were brought to you by the Electoral College.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  14. I want a full fledged trial, because I want the truth to get out – and we can take it from there.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  15. Sammy,

    1. No one has provided testimony or evidence under oath to support your theory.
    2. Nothing about Donald Trump’s past or present behaviors is consistent with him ‘just wanting to know what happened’. Prove me wrong, show me statements and actions that show he’s concerned about corruption or rule of law that doesn’t result in benefit to him.
    3. Even if he did want an investigation, and I don’t believe he did, farming the investigation of a US citizen out to a foreign government is also an abuse of power.
    4. People who were involved have testified, under oath, that they were doing what he’s accused of doing.
    5. As smart as you are it boggles my mind that you’re essentially arguing that when a thug says “Nice place, be a shame if anything happened to it. See my nephew Vinni about some safety tips.” it’s sincere.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  16. Why are so many criticisms of Trump and of Republicans based
    hypothetical things they haven’t actually done? Patterico ought
    to wait for the actual Senate trial before calling it a “disgrace”.

    David in Cal (f8ea8c)

  17. When Trump supporters said this they meant the swamp and the taking over of by socialists and radicals of government, media and academia.

    When Dems say this they mean capitalism, individual rights, private property, borders and merit-based advancement and compensation.

    When Dems say this they mean capitalism, individual rights, private property, borders and merit-based advancement and compensation power in the hands of large companies, accumulation of wealth in the hands of the view, systemic discrimination against women and minorities, a tax system that favors capital over labor, and a career system requires 100K of dept just to get started.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  18. accumulation of wealth in the hands of the view

    I admit I don’t watch much daytime tv, but have Whoopie Goldberg and Megan McCain really amassed that much wealth?

    Manatour (20aff8)

  19. When Trump supporters said this they meant the swamp and the taking over of by socialists and radicals of government, media and academia.

    When they said the whole thing, they weren’t being that selective. They also meant most of the GOP, which they called the “GOPe,” and anyone with any government job or office who didn’t line up behind Trump.

    You can see it today when anyone who says anything that doesn’t boost Trump is immediately cast as a swamp creature from the Deep State.
    Trump’s handpicked FBI director became an enemy in the eyes of Trumpsters because he didn’t endorse their narrative of poor innocent Donald being unjustly attacked by haters for no reason at all. His handpicked ambassador to the EU, having donated a million dollars to his campaign, was also painted as a perfidious swamp creature because his testimony was unhelpful to the “Trump did nothing wrong” argument.

    Most of the GOP cowers in fear of the voting bloc that sees Trump (bizarrely)as the only incorruptible person in government and as the nation’s savior from the sins of politicians. For those voters, defending Donald Trump at all times, no matter what, is Principle #1.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  20. A sane person has nowhere left to go.

    A sane person would

    1) Find the broad-based party that is most capable of returning to sanity and then work for that. Or
    2) Help create a new broad-based party that would supplant one of the others, at least in their state. Or
    3) Join a third party and attempt to broaden its base (good luck with that).

    Staying home and yelling at the TV isn’t one of the sane options.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  21. The only thing I am certain of in the coming trial is that Trump will be represented by mouthpieces, not first-rate legal minds. Throughout his term, Trump’s lawyers have left so many strong arguments on the table, favoring specious arguments that could have come from Trump himself.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  22. Why are so many criticisms of Trump and of Republicans based
    hypothetical things they haven’t actually done? Patterico ought
    to wait for the actual Senate trial before calling it a “disgrace”.

    Do you think McConnell was lying in the FoxNews interview?

    Dave (1bb933)

  23. I expect his main defense will be “The Bidens are corrupt, and it was in the national interest to prove it.” Never mind the pot/kettle problem.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  24. @23 it helps him just to have the question asked repeatedly.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  25. Staying home and yelling at the TV isn’t one of the sane options.

    That depends entirely on the amount of effort involved in your options #1-3, and the chance of success.

    #1 and #3 involve non-negligible effort and the probability of success right now is exactly zero.

    #2 involves huge effort and expense, and the probability of success is indistinguishable from zero.

    The corrupt criminal traitor Trump has the support of about 90% of Republicans. We all understand that the Democrats’ policies are hopeless.

    So to summarize: all is lost.

    Dave (1bb933)

  26. Near as I can tell, any trial runs like this:

    The trial is in the Senate, but the Chief Justice presides. HE sets the rules of evidence, issues subpoenas, and controls the lawyers? I think the CJ in all circumstances is the “court.” Not clear if the Senate has any direct role here. If it were to approve subpoenas, a fair hearing would be impossible.

    The two legal teams are the House managers and Trump’s chosen defenders, who present evidence and call/question witnesses.

    The Senate, I think, sets the schedule and votes. Individual Senators might be able to ask questions if the CJ allows it, but the Senate itself does not conduct the trial, the Chief Justice does.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  27. No Kevin, the Senate defines the rules. The CJ ensures they are followed.

    Dave (1bb933)

  28. Do you think McConnell was lying in the FoxNews interview?

    Odd, isn’t it, how the people who have been screeching that the impeachment hearings are a sham have no objection to the Senate majority leader declaring that he will run the trial as if the court were a fully owned instrument of the defense counsel.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  29. They also aren’t bothered at all by the president’s blocking of testimony by key players — because that’s how they sustain their narrative that the president has never abused his power in his own interest.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  30. The Senate rules on impeachment govern how the Senate trial works. The Chief Justice doesn’t make them up. He presides over the trial according to the Senate’s rules.

    DRJ (15874d)

  31. Allahpundit covers the same ground with his usual panache:

    Critics outraged after McConnell vows “total coordination” with White House on how to handle impeachment trial

    I understand the critique here but I’ve slid far enough past cynicism into nihilism that I just can’t get exercised about it.

    Would people prefer that McConnell lied to their faces about how this is gonna go down when everyone knows the truth?

    Credit the man for frankness.

    “The Majority Leader proudly announcing he is planning to rig the impeachment trial for Trump,” harrumphed Dem Sen. Chris Murphy after that aired. Bill Kristol found it strange that the de facto jury foreman for the upcoming trial would admit that he’s working with the defense, particularly when the Senate’s own rules bind him to swear an oath that he’ll approach impeachment not as a politician but as a neutral finder of fact: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”

    An “oath”? In 2019?

    You serious, bro?

    The bit about the oath just drives home the corruptness of McConnell’s promise to rig the outcome.

    Read the whole thing.

    Dave (1bb933)

  32. Screw mitch wooooo, put these hacks on trial. We Americans deserve to see the coke head Biden exposed for all his poor choices. And that pajama boy wannabe needs a question and answer session. MAGA

    mg (11f2e5)

  33. Allahpundit also includes this gem:

    Republicans: Impeachment is a trial and the President should be granted the same rights as any accused defendant.

    Also Republicans: The defendant should run the trial.

    Dave (1bb933)

  34. It’s a rainy gloomy day at Ghettysburg

    mg (11f2e5)

  35. I demand payback to the left. Whatever manuvrer is possible – use it
    This is about revenge for all the lying and scheming the last 4 decades. Payback is wonderful when the enemy is completely destroyed. Up yours mitch wooo.

    mg (11f2e5)

  36. #2 involves huge effort and expense, and the probability of success is indistinguishable from zero.

    You and Pat could form a new party in California with pocket change. It is MUCH easier to run a 4th Party candidate in CA elections than an independent one. Since there is no meaningful 2nd Party in CA, a lib-center party (think old GOP without the pesky social agenda) might get some traction.

    Failing that, the CA GOP is in such disarray that a concerted hijack might accomplish the same thing, especially if the new group started winning.

    Or find a GOP candidate in your state that more reflects your ideals. Example: Carl DeMaio in the Duncan Hunter by-election.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/461424-can-carl-demaio-save-the-california-gop
    https://carldemaio.com/

    Kevin M (19357e)

  37. Dave, how do you square that oath with the following:

    From the Congressional Record
    Friday, January 15, 1999

    Mr. HARKIN addressed the Chair.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Senator from Iowa.

    Mr. HARKIN. Mr. Chief Justice, I object to the use and the continued use of the word ‘jurors’ when referring to the Senate sitting as triers in a trial of the impeachment of the President of the United States.

    Mr. Chief Justice, I base my objection on the following:

    First, article I, section 3, of the Constitution says the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments–not the courts, but the Senate.

    Article III of the Constitution says the trial of all crimes, except in the cases of impeachment, shall be by jury–a tremendous exculpatory clause when it comes to impeachments.

    Next, Mr. Chief Justice, I base my objection on the writings in ‘The Federalist Papers,’ especially No. 65 by Alexander Hamilton, in which he is outlining the reasons why the framers of the Constitution gave the Senate the sole power to try impeachments. I won’t read it all, but I will read this pertinent sentence:

    There will be no jury to stand between the judges who are to pronounce the sentence of the law and the party who is to receive or suffer it.

    Next, Mr. Chief Justice, I base my objection on the 26 rules of the Senate, adopted by the Senate, governing impeachments. Nowhere in any of those 26 rules is the word ‘juror’ or ‘jury’ ever used.

    Next, Mr. Chief Justice, I base my objection on the tremendous differences between regular jurors and Senators sitting as triers of an impeachment. Regular jurors, of course, are chosen, to the maximum extent possible, with no knowledge of the case. Not so when we try impeachments. Regular jurors are not supposed to know each other. Not so here. Regular jurors cannot overrule the judge. Not so here. Regular jurors do not decide what evidence should be heard, the standards of evidence, nor do they decide what witnesses shall be called. Not so here. Regular jurors do not decide when a trial is to be ended. Not so here.

    Now, Mr. Chief Justice, it may seem a small point, but I think a very important point. I think the framers of the Constitution meant us, the Senate, to be something other than a jury and not jurors. What we do here today does not just decide the fate of one man. Since the Senate sits on impeachment so rarely, and even more rarely on the impeachment of a President of the United States, what we do here sets precedence. Future generations will look back on this trial not just to find out what happened, but to try to decide what principles governed our actions. To leave the impression for future generations that we somehow are jurors and acting as a jury—-

    Mr. GREGG. Mr. Chief Justice, I call for the regular order and I ask, as a parliamentary point, whether it is appropriate to argue what I understand is a statement as to the proper reference relative to Members of the Senate. This is not a motion, and if it is a motion, it is nondebatable, as I understand it.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Yes. I think you may state your objection, certainly, but not argue. The Chair is of the view that you may state the objection and some reason for it, but not argue it on ad infinitum.

    Mr. HARKIN. Mr. Chief Justice, I was stating the reason because of the precedents that we set, and I do not believe it would be a valid precedent to leave future generations that we would be looked upon merely as jurors, but something other than being a juror. That is why I raise the objection.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair is of the view that the objection of the Senator from Iowa is well taken, that the Senate is not simply a jury; it is a court in this case. Therefore, counsel should refrain from referring to the Senators as jurors.

    Mr. HARKIN. I thank the Chair.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/harkintext011599.htm

    Kevin M (19357e)

  38. And does anyone care to argue that the Senators in the Clinton case voted solely on the facts presented? Here were the charges, as summarized by Wikipedia.

    Article I charged that Clinton lied to the grand jury concerning:

    * the nature and details of his relationship with Lewinsky
    * prior false statements he made in the Jones deposition
    * prior false statements he allowed his lawyer to make characterizing Lewinsky’s affidavit
    * his attempts to tamper with witnesses

    Article II charged Clinton with attempting to obstruct justice in the Jones case by:

    * encouraging Lewinsky to file a false affidavit
    * encouraging Lewinsky to give false testimony if and when she was called to testify
    * concealing gifts he had given to Lewinsky that had been subpoenaed
    * attempting to secure a job for Lewinsky to influence her testimony
    * permitting his lawyer to make false statements characterizing Lewinsky’s affidavit
    * attempting to tamper with the possible testimony of his secretary Betty Currie
    * making false and misleading statements to potential grand jury witnesses

    Kevin M (19357e)

  39. All true, of course.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  40. Or find a GOP candidate in your state that more reflects your ideals. Example: Carl DeMaio in the Duncan Hunter by-election.

    Unfortunately, he’s part of the problem:

    DeMaio Blasts Pelosi and House Democrats for Backing Articles of Impeachment
    December 5, 2019
    With the announcement today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the Democrats are moving forward with articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump, Carl DeMaio offers the following statement:

    “Instead of focusing on solving important problems that actually matter to the American people, Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats are wasting all their time and energy on a pointless political stunt. Nancy Pelosi knows this absurd impeachment is going to go absolutely nowhere, but she’s content turning the People’s House into an arm of the Democrats’ campaign to win back the White House. If anyone is abusing power, it is Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats — and I urge the American People to hold them accountable and return Congress’ focus to the issues that matter to working families by giving the majority back to House Republicans in this next election.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  41. Dave, how do you square that oath with the following

    I don’t see any inconsistency.

    The point of the colloquy you cited was that senators control the trial, in addition to be finders of fact.

    Nowhere does it suggest that they should fail to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws”, as the oath requires.

    Dave (1bb933)

  42. “the management of the trial will be coordinated with defense counsel so as to achieve the outcome the defense wants, but it’s the prosecution which is violating the traditional expectations of criminal procedure, it’s perfectly normal for the trial court to coordinate all activities to best benefit the defendant.”

    aphrael (971fba)

  43. Radegunda, at 19: and this is why the Trumpist movement is a huge long-term threat to the security of our democratic system. They’ve convinced himself that there is one incorruptible person and that anyone who stands against him must perforce be corrupt, and they’ve cowed the rest of the Republican party into going along with that — this *is* the foundational step towards the establishment of a tyranny. we might not take the other steps, but we’re definitely on the road.

    aphrael (971fba)

  44. R.I.P. Danny Aiello

    Icy (6abb50)

  45. And does anyone care to argue that the Senators in the Clinton case voted solely on the facts presented?

    Of course not, nor should they have.

    The facts in the Clinton case were not really in dispute. The decision hinged on whether the facts constituted sufficient cause to remove the president from office.

    Of course the nearly party-line outcome of the verdicts indicates that “impartiality” was mostly honored in the breach.

    Dave (1bb933)

  46. This is about revenge for all the lying and scheming the last 4 decades.

    Lying and scheming are terrible — unless Trump does it, right? I seriously wonder what could be going on in the heads of Trump defenders when they fulminate against dishonesty.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  47. Off-topic: Not content to steal elections and chunks of neighboring countries, now the Russians are stealing the Earth’s north magnetic pole!

    The BGS and the US National Centers for Environmental Information has released a new update to the World Magnetic Model this week, confirming that the magnetic north pole, whose coordinates are crucial for the navigation systems used by governments, militaries and a slew of civilian applications, is continuing its push toward Siberia.

    Never bet against Putin.

    Dave (1bb933)

  48. ‘Kinda makes the lying, corruption and rampant criminality all worthwhile.’

    This outta be on Larry Hagman’s tombstone. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  49. > Payback is wonderful when the enemy is completely destroyed

    Doesn’t it seem wrong to you to describe fellow citizens as *the enemy*?

    And what is it going to do to the fabric of our society when the overwhelming majority of people think some other set of Americans are *the enemy*?

    This rhetoric, and this mindset, are terrible for the country.

    aphrael (971fba)

  50. Dave, @50: i’m wondering how close we are to a periodic flip, and how many of our systems will be messed up if that happens.

    aphrael (971fba)

  51. 52 – Well I’m darn sick and tired of hacks like clinton and biden making a livelihood off of what they consider peasants, like me. Like i said it was a rainy day in Gettysburg today. Burn it down.

    mg (8f83ac)

  52. When your trapped in a hole stop digging! This goes for both sides.

    asset (a0532e)

  53. being independent ill keep digging

    mg (8f83ac)

  54. mg- why disgusted at #49, might portend a CBC no-vote. At least he’s not huffing and puffing racilialist rhetoric like Al Green and the Moms Mabely squad of Waters, Jackson Lee, and of Lee-Oakland. He’s just there as the ringer Ace of the Dems pitching staff anyhow.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  55. Well I’m darn sick and tired of hacks like clinton and biden making a livelihood off of what they consider peasants, like me.

    Donald J. Trump: Man of the Working Class

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but Trump has lived like a prince since the day he was born, and has never done.a day of real work in his life. And he spent years trying to claw his way into the Clintons’ social circle, going so far as to bribe them into attending his most recent wedding.

    What’s your evidence that Biden considers you a peasant? Maybe you should have a little more self-esteem.

    Dave (050ab0)

  56. How dare the Republicans leave this in the hands of the electorate. Shameful.

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 12/13/2019 @ 8:20 am

    How dare the electorate be ignored. They said no to Trump every chance they had. They said no in 2016. They said no when they elected a House to impeach him. Their representatives said no to Trump cheating at the election you want to decide everything.

    IF both parties consistently and strictly vote by partisan lines, it means at least one party does not care about the facts. I know it’s really both parties that don’t care. If this were Hillary’s impeachment for literally identical conduct, Ted Cruz would be freaking out about how terrible it is. Munroe would be saying ‘lock her up! We can’t let an election cheat resort to an election!!!’

    The system is broken. It would take selfless republicans putting truth before their future to fix it. They have a chance to do it, but no one thinks they will. I’m am grateful to get to see it before I vote again, and it will determine my voting for a long time.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  57. 57 see 54

    mg (8f83ac)

  58. Dave maybe you should kiss my azz

    mg (8f83ac)

  59. 54. Do you think the Republicans are any better?!

    The American love of political theater makes as much sense to me as the American love of athletic sports — which is to say, none.

    Politicians are not your friends. Ever. On either side of the aisle. Whenever they advance a policy that benefits someone, it is always at someone else’s expense and for their ultimate benefit.

    How many times are We the People going to get ****ed up the *** before we decide it’s not okay? When are we going to stop cheering celebrity politicians who say all the right things while doing nothing important to change the status quo (and I don’t just mean Trump)? King George’s offenses as outlined in the Declaration of Independence were paltry compared to the state-sanctioned ****ing we tolerate every time we fill out a federal tax form. And I’m supposed to care whether Donald J. Trump is removed from office?! Puh-leez. They’ll find someone to replace him, and whoever succeeds him, and nothing of any substance will change. And you people will eat up your bread and circuses like somebody is doing you a favor.

    /rant

    Gryph (08c844)

  60. #28

    Odd, isn’t it, how the people who have been screeching that the impeachment hearings are a sham have no objection to the Senate majority leader declaring that he will run the trial as if the court were a fully owned instrument of the defense counsel.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5) — 12/13/2019 @ 10:08 am

    #33

    Allahpundit also includes this gem:

    Republicans: Impeachment is a trial and the President should be granted the same rights as any accused defendant.

    Also Republicans: The defendant should run the trial.

    Dave (1bb933) — 12/13/2019 @ 10:15 am

    I would expect the Senate GOP to exhibit the same amount of partisanship whackdoos that the Democrats has done in the House.

    Reap what you sow and all that.

    whembly (51f28e)

  61. 63. If we’re going to be completely honest with ourselves and each other, let’s point out that the GOP writ-large is quite capable of exhibiting the same amount of rank corruption and do-nothing-ism that the Dems are as well.

    Gryph (08c844)

  62. #64: Totally. Gutter politics begets even more gutter politics.

    whembly (51f28e)

  63. 65. In case I haven’t made it already clear, I’ll reiterate: While “gutter politics” might be on display in those impeachment hearings (and going forward in the hearings to come on that matter), even on their best days I don’t think there is a single politician in Babylon-on-Potomac that is worthy of the authority we have vested in them. Not. One.

    Gryph (08c844)

  64. Who is left to care about America if partisanship is all that matters?

    DRJ (15874d)

  65. #68

    Who is left to care about America if partisanship is all that matters?

    DRJ (15874d) — 12/13/2019 @ 2:08 pm

    ???

    Partisanship has always been the bread & butter in politics.

    When has it not?

    whembly (51f28e)

  66. 65.

    In case I haven’t made it already clear, I’ll reiterate: While “gutter politics” might be on display in those impeachment hearings (and going forward in the hearings to come on that matter), even on their best days I don’t think there is a single politician in Babylon-on-Potomac that is worthy of the authority we have vested in them. Not. One.

    Gryph (08c844) — 12/13/2019 @ 2:03 pm

    Again, I agree with you.

    ‘Tis why I’m such a cynic and resort to supporting any candidate who’s likely the advance my preferred agendas.

    whembly (51f28e)

  67. 69. There were three major turning points in American politics that were not for the better:

    A) The election of Abraham Lincoln

    B) The establishment of the Federal Reserve system

    C) The passage of the 16th amendment to our constitution

    Before that, partisanship was tolerable as politicians did not have enough power to do any lasting damage.

    Gryph (08c844)

  68. 70. Ahem…cough cough cough…

    There is no candidate who’s likely to advance your preferred agenda. I’m not sure you understand the point I’m trying to make here. Oh well…

    Gryph (08c844)

  69. 70. Ahem…cough cough cough…

    There is no candidate who’s likely to advance your preferred agenda. I’m not sure you understand the point I’m trying to make here. Oh well…

    Gryph (08c844) — 12/13/2019 @ 2:18 pm

    Que?

    Judges and the tax cuts were on my agendas…

    Withdrawing from Paris Accords and and the Iran Deal was on my agenda…

    Of course there are some stuff that I don’t like, but if you’re expecting to find a candidate that will advance everything that’d you want: Please find me that unicorn. 😉

    Regardless, the GOP and Trump does get credit for some of those stuff with me.

    whembly (51f28e)

  70. 62 – I think republicans suc. That has been clear here for many years.

    mg (8f83ac)

  71. 62 – used to sign off as sickofrinos before Patterico asked me to stop.

    mg (8f83ac)

  72. A) The election of Abraham Lincoln

    I take it you aren’t descended from the 1/8 of the population that was enslaved at the time?

    Dave (1bb933)

  73. 76. Lincoln is no hero to me. This is not a very appropriate forum for me to discuss why, but here we are.

    73. Judges and tax cuts will be undone by the next Dem to be elected. And you know it’s just a matter of time before another Dem is elected. Sooner or later people will decide they’re sick of Republican shenanigans, and then they’ll decide they’re sick of Democrat shenanigans, and the cycle won’t ever end until/unless someone decides to actually break it.

    Gryph (08c844)

  74. It saddens me that you can’t think of any people who have put country ahead of partisanship, whembly.

    DRJ (15874d)

  75. 78. Did you mean Whembly, or did you mean me?

    Gryph (08c844)

  76. whembly 69.

    DRJ (15874d)

  77. @71. ‘Before that, partisanship was tolerable as politicians did not have enough power to do any lasting damage.’

    Yes, watching McConnell and Schumer cane each other on the Senate floor would make for some lively CSPAN2 TeeVee and a ratings rival to the WWE– and any rerun of the Vader/Obi Wan light saber dual.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  78. 81. I meant to the country, not each other, chucklehead.

    Gryph (08c844)

  79. @82. Sure you did; ambiguity, where is thy sting.

    Impeachment is now ‘entertainment’– you know how this story is going to end already- so don’t watch. But Hollywood will tell you millions will. See the boxoffice numbers for ‘Apollo 13′, ‘Titanic’ and ‘All The President’s Men’ for details.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  80. #78

    It saddens me that you can’t think of any people who have put country ahead of partisanship, whembly.

    DRJ (15874d) — 12/13/2019 @ 3:00 pm

    In politics? Particularly our national politians? I have zero faith of any one of them who’d put their country ahead of partisanship. Sure, some may be worst than others… but, they’re also human and there’s always other motivations.

    whembly (c30c83)

  81. “Trump fans, I wish we could refuse to do this at all, but trust me when I say that the process will be such a pro-Trump sham that it will be pretty much the same as if we refused to do it.”

    Wow! This is about as blatant and transparent an act of corruption as watching a prosecutor conduct a full, fair and open grand jury investigation of a police officer accused of wrong-doing before announcing that the grand jury has regrettably declined to return a true bill and the defendant is free to go.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  82. Then: Impeachment is a political process.
    Now: The Senate trial should conform to impeccable legal standards.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  83. @84. Look to July 27, 29 and 30, 1974; you’ll find a few:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_process_against_Richard_Nixon

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  84. Does believing humans always take the easy/selfish low road explain Trumpism, whembly?

    DRJ (15874d)

  85. Cocaine Mitch may propose, but he’ll need 51 votes to dispose. Will he get them? Is every Senate Republican a Trumpablican? Will they all go with the fix? Will all of them be willing to dis the House for the sake of a cretinous corrupt criminal traitor Fifth Avenue poofter boy who was almost certainly buggered by Roy Cohn?

    nk (dbc370)

  86. ”Does believing humans always take the easy/selfish low road explain Trumpism, whembly?”
    DRJ (15874d) — 12/13/2019 @ 4:04 pm

    It explains the Constitution.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  87. *blatantly* dis the House

    nk (dbc370)

  88. #88

    Does believing humans always take the easy/selfish low road explain Trumpism, whembly?

    DRJ (15874d) — 12/13/2019 @ 4:04 pm

    It certainly explains partisanship DRJ. Every President has their “-ism”, and I’m not one to argue that Trumpism is unique.

    whembly (c30c83)

  89. Yup:
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/12/the-costs-of-trivializing-impeachment/
    What goes around comes around . . . and around . . . and around . . .

    whembly (c30c83)

  90. Do you think internal Party divisions and debate is bad, whembly?

    DRJ (15874d)

  91. True, Munroe, because the Founders did not trust power in government hands so they created checks and balances to limit its ability to infringe on individual rights. They distrusted Parties for the same reason.

    DRJ (15874d)

  92. Do you think internal Party divisions and debate is bad, whembly?

    DRJ (15874d) — 12/13/2019 @ 4:31 pm

    Not necessarily. Robust debates inter-party is healthy.

    whembly (c30c83)

  93. Trump, like Nixon, hates anyone who stands up to him. Is that good for the GOP? Is it good for America?

    DRJ (15874d)

  94. Is every Senate Republican a Trumpablican? Will they all go with the fix? Will all of them be willing to dis the House for the sake of a cretinous corrupt criminal traitor Fifth Avenue poofter boy who was almost certainly buggered by Roy Cohn?

    Put me down for “hell yeah they will”.

    They need 50 senators plus Pence. They might lose Romney, Murko and Collins. If that’s all, then it’s already a done deal. But they might pick up Manchin and Sinema (breaking my heart, like they always do…) too.

    Dave (1bb933)

  95. Now: The Senate trial should conform to impeccable legal standards.

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 12/13/2019 @ 4:01 pm

    You think the Senate Majority leader promising a corrupt impeachment process that will cover for years of corruption from the president, is simply falling short of impeccable? Asking for any better than being a 100% hack is asking for perfection?

    Or is it more accurate to say that you picked your side and that’s all that matters to you?

    Dustin (cafb36)

  96. #97

    Trump, like Nixon, hates anyone who stands up to him. Is that good for the GOP? Is it good for America?

    DRJ (15874d) — 12/13/2019 @ 4:35 pm

    No. I’ve argued in the past Trump makes things harder on himself and the GOP. He should be expanding the party by going after the “not Trump” voters.

    But, when Trump is gone, the GOP will still be there. Just like it was still there after Nixon.

    whembly (c30c83)

  97. @DRJ: I echo a lot of what Beldar has posted previously, in that I *choose* to engage with the GOP party in my own small way, because I don’t have a home in the Democrat party and I don’t want to be disengaged from the political process.

    I’ve mentioned before, that the modern democratic party broke me after Kavanaugh and the Convington Kid fiasco. I going to be that “stick in the mud” to do what I can so that these people don’t even regain power.

    I can only be that stick if I’m in the GOP party…voting for whomever is in that party.

    Furthermore, to bring it closer to the topic of this thread, I believe that impeachment ought to be reserved as a nuclear option for misconduct so egregious that Congress must act…which transcends partisan, factional, or other ideological considerations.

    What Democrats landed on doesn’t rise that level imo.

    whembly (c30c83)

  98. @DRJ: …continuing…
    However, that doesn’t mean Trump, GOP or anyone in between is immune from criticism.

    It’s fair to criticize Trump over Ukraine…

    It’s fair to criticize Trump over his actions under the Mueller investigations…

    Hell, it’s fair to criticize him as we all do with other politicians… I’ve mentioned that Trump isn’t that ideal statesman that we ought to elect.

    So, I criticize him when its warranted…and I give him praise when he does something good.

    At the end of the day, for a supposed newbie “outsider” of politics, Trump is simply turning into that standard presidential politician whom his supporters will love and his detractors will hate.

    Really, no different than the Presidents in my living memory (starting with Reagan).

    whembly (c30c83)

  99. Really, no different than the Presidents in my living memory (starting with Reagan).

    Nobody is perfect, including Ronaldus Magnus, but comparing him to Donald Trump is shameful.

    Dave (1bb933)

  100. I would expect the Senate GOP to exhibit the same amount of partisanship whackdoos that the Democrats has done in the House.

    The House Dems — contra to Trumpster myth — were not rushing to impeach Trump at the first opportunity, even when the Mueller report gave them material to start with.

    Since the House leadership launched an impeachment inquiry (prodded by pundits to do so), the GOP response has been to cover for Trump at all costs, and now the Senate leader says he’ll basically act as part of Trump’s defense team.

    Meanwhile, the Trump faithful keep blustering about how partisan the process is — as though that were entirely the Dems’ fault!
    Some of them fall back on the mantra “impeachment is a political process,” as though the constitutional mechanism for dealing with abuse of power can only operate along strictly partisan lines, and is simply a way for one party to get back at the other party.

    Oddly enough, Trump defenders had a different view of impeachment when a Dem was president.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  101. The Democrats are about to pass impeachment on a part line basis. Nobody – outside of the D Partisans and Never trumpers – think there are a “High crimes”. And everyone is ignoring it, except for the Political junkies and Trump haters.

    Senator McConnell had BETTER be dismissing this clown show out of hand. The less time spend on the D’s partisan attempt to destroy a President through fake “High crimes” the better.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  102. And the people who hate Trump and think the D party is a “Train-wreck” truly don’t have “anywhere to go”. Fortunately, we’re talking about 10 percent of the R Party.

    As for Never-Trumpers (which I exclude Patterico since I don’t know him well enough) are basically, the “Loyal opposition” to the Democrat Party. The sort of people like the Bulwark Boys or Erick Erickson or David French who agree with the Liberal/Left on foreign policy, immigration, trade, fighting “racism”, and many social issues. Their only real disagreement with the NYT/WaPo is on economics, aka tax cuts for the Rich and business regulation. Of course, French and Erickson SAY they’re concerned about Abortion, but that concern never extends to actually trying to get Conservatives who will overturn Roe v wade on the SCOTUS. And they SAY they’re against deficit spending but they rarely discuss it.

    And so you can’t help notice these people always moving left, as the Liberals move Left. Because that’s their job, their reason for living. Its to always occupy the sweet spot as “reasonable conservatives” so they can get on TV and noticed by the liberal media.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  103. As for Never-Trumpers ….

    Naah, none of that stuff applies to me. I just can’t stand the cretinous corrupt criminal traitor creepy-crawly New York sewer vermin.

    nk (dbc370)

  104. Nobody – outside of the D Partisans and Never trumpers – think there are a “High crimes”.

    “NeverTrumpers” in Trumpspeak = Republicans (and former Republicans, and independents) who think it’s okay to criticize Trump and hold him to account for abuse of power. And approval of impeachment can be found among independents, just just “D. Partisans.”

    Also, “High crimes” as the founders defined the term is not what Trump apologists think (or pretend to think) it means.

    Senator McConnell had BETTER be dismissing this clown show out of hand.

    If Trump is so innocent, you’d think his defenders would want to make that case, instead of blocking witnesses and announcing beforehand that they don’t intend to give the evidence a good-faith hearing.

    Radegunda (3bc3b5)

  105. No Kevin, the Senate defines the rules. The CJ ensures they are followed.

    My bad. Are you also saying the Senate chooses which witnesses can be called or what subpoenas can be issued, within those rules?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  106. Unfortunately, he’s part of the problem:

    Well, heck, Dave, if you limit yourself to “republicans” who support impeachment you are going to spend a long time in the wilderness waiting for “them” to come along with a party that suits you.

    Part of the problem is those who point at everything as “part of the problem.” They sure as spit aren’t part of any solution.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  107. Probably the best thing about Dave, et al, refusing to dirty their hands with fixing the GOP is that whatever results won’t have have their input.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  108. The part I like is that Trump has this GOP so terrified of him that they won’t even be able to censure him for doing anything improper. It was either a “perfect” call or abuse of office, no in between. Bill Clinton is kicking himself for not thinking of this strategy. “Of course I had s*xual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky! It was a perfect BJ! ” Genius.

    JRH (52aed3)

  109. It will be fun if they follow the same rules as the Clinton impeachment. No witnesses or evidence, only arguments (speeches, really) by the House managers and Trump’s defense team, with the Rodentia Rectalis Trumpensis furiously competing with each other to burrow in the deepest and to wriggle the most adoringly.

    nk (dbc370)

  110. But *Trump’s* abuses of power were brought to you by the Electoral College.

    Um, no, Trump’s abuses of power were brought to us by the Democratic Party, which nominated a candidate so bad that she couldn’t win a constitutional majority over a clown.

    Paul Montagu (af70d6)

  111. It will be fun if they follow the same rules as the Clinton impeachment. No witnesses or evidence, only arguments (speeches, really)

    Not sure what you’re talking about.

    In the Clinton impeachment, the senate voted (with one Democratic senator, Russ Feingold, voting with the Republicans) to take videotaped depositions of Lewinski, Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal over the following three days, and then played excerpts as evidence in the senate, lieu of the witnesses appearing in person.

    According to Wikipedia:

    The videos were played in the Senate on February 6, featuring 30 excerpts of Lewinsky discussing her affidavit in the Paula Jones case, the hiding of small gifts Clinton had given her, and his involvement in procurement of a job for Lewinsky.

    Dave (1bb933)

  112. Probably the best thing about Dave, et al, refusing to dirty their hands with fixing the GOP is that whatever results won’t have have their input.

    Always have to make it personal…

    Dave (1bb933)

  113. Over three days, February 1–3, House managers took videotaped closed-door depositions from Monica Lewinsky, Clinton’s friend Vernon Jordan, and White House aide Sidney Blumenthal. On February 4, however, the Senate voted 70–30 that excerpting these videotapes would suffice as testimony, rather than calling live witnesses to appear at trial.

    But I don’t remember even that much. They must have snuck them into their droning on occasions when I had dozed off or stepped away from the TV.

    nk (dbc370)

  114. Fortunately, the GOP, by the time Trump is through with it, will be only 10% of the electorate so it won’t matter nohow.

    nk (dbc370)

  115. Well, heck, Dave, if you limit yourself to “republicans” who support impeachment you are going to spend a long time in the wilderness waiting for “them” to come along with a party that suits you.

    Trump is guilty as sin. He tried to use a foreign aid grant to bribe the head of a foreign government into doing a personal favor for his re-election campaign. There is no doubt about this, because the moron gave us a read-out of the call himself.

    He’s guilty of plenty more, too, including aiding and abetting a covert foreign military attack on our country.

    Anybody Republican politician who denies his guilt for the sake of political expediency is an immoral hack, and yes, the reason the GOP is up its neck in sh*t is because nobody has had the guts to call out Trump for what he is.

    Until Trump is repudiated, he will have to be defended, with all the dishonesty and bad faith that requires, sinking the party even deeper into the cesspool.

    Dave (1bb933)

  116. When it was formed, the Republican Party stood for keeping the Union together. Now it stands for keeping a piece of garbage in the White House and his butt gerbils keeping their phony-baloney jobs. F**k it!

    nk (dbc370)

  117. The trial is in the Senate, but the Chief Justice presides. HE sets the rules of evidence, issues subpoenas, and controls the lawyers? I think the CJ in all circumstances is the “court.”

    That’s only half the story because all it takes is a majority vote to override the Chief Presiding Officer’s rulings. If the Chief Justice is to run the court per the Senate rules, there will need be to be four Republicans brave enough to stand up against McConnell and Trump, and I doubt there are four with the political courage. It would be unfortunate because, unlike the Clinton situation, this trial will begin without key pieces of evidence and testimony, particularly putting Bolton and Pompeo and Giuliani under oath.

    Paul Montagu (af70d6)

  118. BTW, I’ve already written about what I’d like to see in the coming impeachment trial.
    http://www.theforvm*dot*org/heres-what-id-see-trial

    Paul Montagu (af70d6)

  119. One other thought. McConnell is not dumb, so he must’ve considered his.
    We have seen (or a lot of us have seen) how Trump has committed multiple impeachable offenses, starting with concealing his payments to a pornstar to obstructing justice to asking a foreign government to interfere in an American election.
    After Mueller testified, you’d think that a more judicious president would’ve thought, “I got away with this, so maybe I should not do stupid sh*t.” Instead, Trump almost immediately did stupid sh*t, literally committing an impeachable offense the day after Mueller appeared before Congress. The guy can’t help himself: he doesn’t have the self-discipline or judgment or morality to not re-offend. The thing is, I seriously doubt getting impeached will stop Trump from violating his oath of office yet again.
    And this is why McConnell should approve a more traditional trial for Justice Roberts to preside, because it’s not about Trump being the third impeached president, he could very well be the first twice-impeached president, and the second time around may not go so well. If McConnell makes this upcoming trial a piece of kabuki theater, it’s going to affect his legacy and place in history, and it’s going to help further kill this Republican Party for still standing behind this horrible, detestable human being.

    Paul Montagu (af70d6)

  120. 123. If he doesn’t have the self-discipline or judgment not to re-offend, no way in the ninth level of hell does he have the self-discipline or judgment to occupy the presidency in the first place.

    Gryph (08c844)

  121. this trial will begin without key pieces of evidence and testimony, particularly putting Bolton and Pompeo and Giuliani under oath.

    That would be a travesty, of course. As would denying Trump’s side the opportunity to defend his call for a Ukrainian investigation. But much of this is borrowing trouble — the Senate trial will be there for all to see and the public, ably assisted by the MSM, will see any shenanigans.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  122. #42:

    Dave, what is incorrect about DeMaio’s statement? DO you think the Democrats returned to the majority of the House on a platform of “Impeach Trump” or on issues like medical care and immigration?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  123. Dave, what is incorrect about DeMaio’s statement? DO you think the Democrats returned to the majority of the House on a platform of “Impeach Trump” or on issues like medical care and immigration?

    Very simple – it does not condemn Trump’s corrupt attempt to use foreign aid to bribe the leader of a foreign government into doing a personal favor for his re-election campaign.

    He calls impeachment “pointless” and “a political stunt”, but note that nowhere does he offer any defense or deny Trump’s guilt in any way! It’s the statement of an unprincipled weasel. If he wants to be elected, he has to “earn his bones” by demonstrating that he has no scruples about murdering the truth when the tribe demands it.

    If Trump is guilty, but impeachment is nevertheless “pointless”, it’s not the House Dems he should excoriate for doing their job, but rather the GOP senate, for turning a blind eye to corruption and *not* doing theirs.

    If it’s a waste of everyone’s time, then the blame for that falls on the perpetrator, and the accomplices after the fact who are shielding him from justice, not the responders.

    Dave (1bb933)

  124. The guy can’t help himself: he doesn’t have the self-discipline or judgment or morality to not re-offend.

    He doesn’t have the conscience to understand that anything he does could possibly be wrong.

    That aspect of his character is blazingly obvious. He said he’s never done anything that requires forgiveness. He openly defines good and bad, true and false in self-serving terms. He conflates what’s good for America with what’s good for Trump. He saw nothing wrong with tweeting a promo for his personal business in conjunction with a reminder that it belongs to the president.

    His legions of fans and “intellectual” defenders refuse to see the obvious. Instead, they chant their worshipful mantras: “He’s done nothing wrong!” “Trump is right again!” “The haters have been out to get him from Day 1!”

    Trumpsters have thoroughly appropriated the Trumpian credo that when anyone disapproves of something Trump does, the fault is on the disapprover, and never on Trump. They’re enablers of a deeply self-centered sociopath.

    Radegunda (36778b)

  125. “The Republicans are a disgrace and the Democrats are a policy trainwreck.”

    In other words, vote Republican for the tangibles of ‘not being a policy trainwreck’!

    Because “disgraces”, as Britain showed us, aren’t actually obstacles to winning, or governing, though they may be shameless enough to RUIN a system that employs a great many losers without ONCE thinking about how they would feel about it personally.

    Tariq Nasheed (a43a73)

  126. In other words, vote Republican for the tangibles of ‘not being a policy trainwreck’!

    As long as you don’t mind open election-tampering and having a satrap of the Kremlin in charge, sure.

    Dave (1bb933)

  127. @125. That would be a travesty…

    More often than not, ‘Political Trials’ usually are.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  128. Giuliani was in the White House of Friday. Trump is considering using Alan ershowitz. The White House counsel will probably will not be his lawyer for impeachment.

    Nancy Pelosi will appoint 6 to 8 case managers.

    The Senators (at least Lindsey Graham) do not want to hear from Joe or Hunter Biden. Graham says he would be happy to hear from Giuliani what he “found” – just not at an impeachment trial.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  129. 3 9. 15. Sammy,

    Time123 (66d88c) — 12/13/2019 @ 9:25 am

    1. No one has provided testimony or evidence under oath to support your theory.

    Well, who would?

    Donald Trump stands to be, at a minimum, highly embarrassed if the truth of what he was asking Ukraine to investigate becomes clear, and at worst, he and Giuliani get exposed as dupes of Russian disinformation. Which he probably doesn’t realize yet, but some Senators probably do. He’s still got to know that his questions, as stated, are not in line with reality.

    The transcript of the July 25, 2019 call has been released but to say clearly just what Trump was asking for with regards to ” what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine” in 2016, with Crowdstrike and the server and “a lot of things that went on” and in regards to Joe Biden “stopping the prosecution” and bragging about it and treating a very fair prosecutor very badly .. would reveal that he was relying on information that was, to some degree, completely unfounded.

    Republicans in Congress have mentioned some things that might be valid (Ukrainian spreading of information about Paul Manafort, Hunter Biden’s job) but not something that would explain what Trump was talking about in that July 25, 2109 call.

    Democrats don’t want to push any position other than that Trump knew that all the investigations he wanted, or wanted announced, were unfounded, and they don’t even go into detail about that but just say he wanted them to help his 2020 political campaign.

    Whether any investigating was justified or not, is, if you read the impeachment article completely irrelevant! Except that they don’t explicitly say that either. They want to say it without saying it.

    If Giuliani testified, we might get some such testimony about Trump genuinely wanting Ukraine to get to to the bottom of these things, especially if he still believes some of this stuff. I think there has been either some testimony or news stories about Tom Bossert, till John Bolton;s appointment in 2018 Trump’s Homeland Security adviser, (he gave an ABC “This Week” interview on Sept 29 this year) arguing with Trump in 2017 and 2018 about his Ukraine theory. It is also possible that John Bolton might have something to say about that. Maybe Mulvaney, too.

    We know what is the video recording that Trump referred to in the July 25 phone call (according to Vindman) and Trump also mentioned that recording in his September 25, 2019 press conference in New York with Zelensky) but, in the video, Biden doesn’t say what Trump says he said, because there’s nothing in the video about stopping an investigation.

    Nor anything outside the video that, in fact, at that time, Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma.

    Nor any reason to believe that Biden could have added, on his own, firing the prosecutor to the list of U.S. policy objectives without consulting the president.

    Nor that, in fact, he played a crucial role in getting rid of the prosecutor (Biden lied about that, something that people who have figured or checked this out don’t want to publicize because he’s probably finished as a presidential candidate if that becomes apparent, and they either have friendly feelings toward Joe Biden or want a moderate Democratic presidential candidate, and both Democrats and Republicans, except Trump, might want that.)

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  130. “As long as you don’t mind open election-tampering and having a satrap of the Kremlin in charge, sure.”

    We have had open-ended ‘election-tampering’ every four years for the last two hundred years, so that’s pretty much a wash.

    And a ‘satrap of the Kremlin’, whatever the hell that is, sure beats a communist party committee member.

    Tariq Nasheed (a5e8c1)

  131. 15. Time123 (66d88c) — 12/13/2019 @ 9:25 am

    2. Nothing about Donald Trump’s past or present behaviors is consistent with him ‘just wanting to know what happened’. Prove me wrong, show me statements and actions that show he’s concerned about corruption or rule of law that doesn’t result in benefit to him.

    I can’t say that he’s never been interested about corruption or rule of law that doesn’t result in benefit to him, but the fact that it is of benefit to him doesn’t mean that it is not also legitimate to ask about it.

    In fact, the only way these accusations could be of benefit to him is if they were true, and the voting public thought it mattered.

    Although the impeachment article has another theory: Trump wanted Ukraine to slander Biden by announcing an investigation and did not want an actual investigation.

    3. Even if he did want an investigation, and I don’t believe he did, farming the investigation of a US citizen out to a foreign government is also an abuse of power.

    What he wanted investigated were things that Ukraine would know about.

    A) What happened in 2016 with regards to trying to affect the U,S presidential election?

    B) Was the prosecutor, in fact fired, because of Joe Biden’s intervention, and did that stop an investigation?

    He explained:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf

    our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine….

    There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.

    And Zelensky says:

    I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor [probably meaning here replacing the current prosecutor.] First of a11 I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament; the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and
    will start, as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. [Somewhere Burisma must have been mentioned by Trump but the words are lost. Perhaps he mangled the name, although maybe it anyway wasn’t in the software’s dictionary and the call record was put away too fast for all corrections to be made. Note that Zelinsky says he will investigate Burisma, not Hunter Biden.] The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and wi11 work on the investigation of the case. [Zelinsky tells Trump this is actually something valid for Ukraine to do its own] On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to µs, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country. [There should be a period here]

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  132. 4. People who were involved have testified, under oath, that they were doing what he’s accused of doing.

    In te end, yes.

    But they were doing it, and they did not get that from Trump – in fact Trump said specifically that he was not interested in a quid pro quo.

    The problem was Trump cut off the aid and he did not tell anyone except possibly Mulvaney why he did it. I think h did it because he wanted get the wrong people out of the Ukrainian government – now he thought they were the wrong people because they had acted against him, and I am sure they also would have been slandered that they were corrupt. What Trump didn’t know is that Giuliani had long ago supplied the list of people to be blackballed.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  133. 5. As smart as you are it boggles my mind that you’re essentially arguing that when a thug says “Nice place, be a shame if anything happened to it. See my nephew Vinni about some safety tips.” it’s sincere.

    The comparison is not apt. There’s a difference between a thug who’s afraid of the law – they mince words – and a president who is not.

    But let’s say he’s careful because there are a lot of people that are on the call – and that’s just on the U.S. side. Where is he ever more explicit?

    Gordon Sondland says that he’s guessing:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/04/us/politics/ukraine-text-messages-volker.html

    9/8/19, 12:37:28 PM] Bill Taylor: The nightmare is they give the interview and don’t get the security assistance. The Russians love it. (And I quit.)

    ….[9/9/19, 12:31:06 AM] Bill Taylor: The message to the Ukrainians (and Russians) we send with the decision on security assistance is key. With the hold, we have already shaken their faith in us. Thus my nightmare scenario.

    [9/9/19, 12:34:44 AM] Bill Taylor: Counting on you to be right about this interview, Gordon.

    [9/9/19, 12:37:16 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I never said I was “right”. I said we are where we are and believe we have identified the best pathway forward. Lets hope it works.

    Is that also just for the record?

    Here’s the finale of that exchange:

    [9/9/19, 12:47:11 AM] Bill Taylor: As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.

    [9/9/19, 5:19:35 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.

    Lisa Kenna is the Executive Secretary of the United States Department of State and civil service. S = Secretary of State = Mike Pompeo.

    If Sondland is lying, how is he learning what to demand?

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  134. The Democratic counsel thought he spotted a quid pro quo on July 25 (that Zelinsky had already agreed to:

    …I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington DC. On the other hand, [Zelensky probably means to say on “our” hand and that is itself a mistake for “on our part”] I also want to ensure [sic: probably should be assure even if Zelinsky actually said ensure] you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation. [Not clear which investigation or if that means borh]

    This raises the questions of course:

    1) If Trump was already getting the investigations then why was he holding off on anything?

    A. For other reasons, mainly making sure the wrong people did not get into the Ukrainian government
    by which he meant that corrupt people who had worked against him in 2106

    2) If Ukraine agreed, then why didn’t they follow through?

    A> They were dissuaded from doing so by Acting Ambassador Bill Taylor, who said they needed to maintain bipartisan support in the United States, and that this was happening got back to the whistleblower, who, however, thought (or wrote) it was Sondland and Volker who were doing the dissuading, telling them to ignore anything that did not come through really official channels – that is, ignore anything they got only from Giuliani. (A careful reading of the whistleblower complaint leads me to this conclusion)

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  135. Dave @47. on 12/13/2019 @ 11:27 am

    The facts in the Clinton case were not really in dispute. The decision hinged on whether the facts constituted sufficient cause to remove the president from office.

    They would have been enough t get a member expelled from the senate or the House, but, the prresidency being amore conseueuntial office, he was held to a lower standard.

    Me, I felt this was much too minor a thing to impeach Bill Clinton for. He should have been impeached for murdering the Branch Davidians at Waco on April 1, 1993. Of course, the proof for that was never developed. And there were other things but it was clearest about Waco.

    Gryph @66 on 12/13/2019 @ 2:03 pm

    even on their best days I don’t think there is a single politician in Babylon-on-Potomac that is worthy of the authority we have vested in them. Not. One.

    What about Senator Susan Collins of Maine? Not saying that she’s the that discerning. But honest maybe.

    nk @89 on 12/13/2019 @ 4:08 pm

    Is every Senate Republican a Trumpablican? Will they all go with the fix? Will all of them be willing to *blatantly* dis the House…

    No, that’s why he’s shooting for a one week or two week trial and not an immediate dismissal (and has set aside the entire month of January for the trial.)

    I like the 1999 rules (off the floor testimony and the full Senate only hearing closing arguments with excerpted testimony) but think they should have more than a limit of 3 witnesses. And they should be broadcast live, most of them. I wasn’t quite aware that in 1999 that was not testimony taken earlier than the trial. But then again, I don’t think the House Judiciary Committee heard fact witnesses in 1998. Or did they? There were plenty of transcripts released.

    Many have already testified in public on video, but I would have the caveat about that: That there might be a few new questions they can be asked. So they should be available, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  136. If Trump would have directly said: “Alright Zelenski, you are going to publicly announce an investigation into my opponent’s family so I can win this election or no defense money is coming your way…. got it?” Then, the Republicans would have abandoned him. Right?

    Right?

    noel (f22371)

  137. @ noel, #140:

    Then, the Republicans would have abandoned him. Right?

    More likely, they would have praised him for being “a straight shooter who says what he means, unlike those other foul, mealy-mouthed creatures of Washington. #DrainTheSwamp”

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  138. 31. Allahpundit

    Bill Kristol found it strange that the de facto jury foreman for the upcoming trial would admit that he’s working with the defense, particularly when the Senate’s own rules bind him to swear an oath that he’ll approach impeachment not as a politician but as a neutral finder of fact: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”

    Jerry Nadler on ABC’s This Week a few minutes ago just made the exact same argument: That Mitch McConnell is a jury foreman and swears an oath to be impartial. incontrovertible that Trump tried to blackmail the Ukrainian government by withholding Congressionally appropriated military aid.

    McConnell is not a jury foreman, he’s a judge – one of 100 judges – as Kevin M made clear @39 by citing an objection to the use by counsel of the word “jury” by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and a ruling of the Chief Justice in 1999; and the oath is to administer justice impartially, that is honestly without favoritism, but not to start off with no opinion, which is often what an impartial jury (cf 6th amendment) is interpreted to be.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  139. 140. noel (f22371) — 12/15/2019 @ 6:48 am

    If Trump would have directly said: “Alright Zelenski, you are going to publicly announce an investigation into my opponent’s family so I can win this election or no defense money is coming your way…. got it?” Then, the Republicans would have abandoned him. Right?

    Right?

    No. Although I don’t think it would have been handled the same way.

    Some would have started by asking Trump to explain it, i.e., “Say, it ain’t so.”

    And a lot would depend on what the polls said – if 70% or 80% of the public said it was wrong – in the moral or ethical sense – they would tend to abandon him. They would move ina cluster. You would get either a 3 or 4 defections among the Senators – or 30.

    A lot would depend on whether Trump apologized, because an acknowledgment of wrongdoing would have been required.

    Then maybe they could have said that this was a one-time lapse, (although that maybe wouldn’t be true) and that whatever he did, it didn’t last. (and that the serious thing was the withholding of aid itself and not the attempt to help his campaign because it actually wouldn’t help his campaign, that was not the thing to look at.)

    This is something that is quite distinct from what Trump really did so what you are asking is what if Trump had done something else.

    The main things different here in this scenario are:

    1) Trump brutally, demands something.

    2) Without justifying it, so he is doing it quite clearly illegitimately.

    3) What he demands is an announcement of an investigation (that it is only an announcement is a mitigating factor)

    4) And threatens to undermine a country’s defense (an aggravating factor)

    5) He wants it to be into his opponent’s family

    6) For political reasons (another way of emphasizing it is illegitimate.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)


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