Patterico's Pontifications

1/22/2020

Impeachment Trial: An Utter Disgrace

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:00 am



The great thing about this headline is that anyone reading this blog can agree with it, albeit from different perspectives.

Perhaps you think it’s an utter disgrace that the Do Nothing Democrats are putting our patriotic president through this ridiculous process over a perfect phone call.

Or, some of you may see it the way I do: as a group of Senators who have bitched and moaned that the impeachment lacks evidence, repeatedly voting 53-47 not to hear more evidence.

I have heard all of the arguments in favor of Trump, and there’s not a single one that doesn’t sound like partisan pablum.

They brought the case without anyone with firsthand knowledge!!1! (Because Trump blocked the testimony of anyone with firsthand knowledge.)

If they thought this stuff was so important they could have gone to the courts!!1! (The same courts where Trump’s lawyers have been arguing that the courts have no business deciding these issues. How many months did they want Democrats to spend in the courts as the election drew closer, and what blame do they put on Trump for issuing a blanket statement that he would cooperate with nothing whatsoever? None.)

Trump had no chance to present witnesses in the House!!1! (Trump sent a letter to the House saying he wouldn’t participate, and if he thought presenting his side through witnesses was important he could do it now.)

They had secret hearings in the House!!1! (Attended by about 100 CongressCritters — and open to, and attended by, puh-lenty of Republicans.)

It’s not the Senate’s job to hear new evidence!!1! (The Senate has always heard new evidence in impeachments. Keep in mind that the precedents for impeachments go beyond those of presidents. And the precedents are clear: the Senate has always heard new evidence. If you don’t believe that, you’re in a bubble.)

You can’t impeach a president for abuse of power!!1! (Whoever is saying that, ask them what they said 20 years ago. In any event, this argument is both horse droppings, and frightening in its implications. Think about it.)

And on and on.

Susan Collins and other people pretending to be “reasonable” are saying, “hey, we’re not shutting down any further evidence! We just want to hear opening statements and answers to questions first!” OK, but they are also voting against issuing subpoenas for documents, which take time to deliver and to get results. Maybe they’ll vote to hear John Bolton in the end — I suspect they will — but they’re not actually interested in the truth.

Actually, if we all wanted the most direct evidence possible, Trump could testify. There’s nothing stopping him — and in my view, nothing stopping House managers from calling him. Just a thought!

The way Republicans have handled this so far, lining up one and all behind the corrupt actions of a corrupt man, solidifies my utter disenchantment with the Republican party. There is not a single one of them left I respect. Not Mike Lee or Mitt Romney, not Ted Cruz or Rand Paul — none of them. (Sure as hell not Donald Trump, who said the other day he doesn’t even care about the debt and nobody does, and it didn’t even seem to merit a post that the President of the United States made such a statement, both because it was obvious he and everybody else feels this way, and also because it is one of 10,000 atrocities he says or does daily.) Then there are the Democrats, who want to run my life like authoritiarians and take all my money.

To hell with all of Washington, D.C.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

263 Responses to “Impeachment Trial: An Utter Disgrace”

  1. *spits*

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. The impeachment is a shampeachment. There are no “high crimes” that were committed, and no Trump can specific the exact Criminal law that Trump violated. Further, the impeachment is a Democrat Impeachment. A bi-partisan minority voted against it. Every vote For it was D, except for Amash who now calls himself Independent.

    This clown show needs to end ASAP. Its a waste of time, and is accomplishing nothing. As Susan Collins, people need to remember that she was AGAINST impeaching Bill Clinton, and constantly broke in 1998 to vote with the D’s. Now she’s breaking with R’s to help impeach Trump. She’s just a phony RINO with no principles.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  3. The impeachment is a shampeachment. There are no “high crimes” that were committed, and no Trump can specific the exact Criminal law that Trump violated.

    Crimes are not necessary for impeachment or removal. Abuse of power is enough.

    Further, the impeachment is a Democrat Impeachment. A bi-partisan minority voted against it. Every vote For it was D, except for Amash who now calls himself Independent.

    This is an indictment of Republicans, not Democrats.

    This clown show needs to end ASAP. Its a waste of time, and is accomplishing nothing. As Susan Collins, people need to remember that she was AGAINST impeaching Bill Clinton, and constantly broke in 1998 to vote with the D’s. Now she’s breaking with R’s to help impeach Trump. She’s just a phony RINO with no principles.

    I’m more convinced than ever that it needs to drag out as long as humanly possible.

    “Now she’s breaking with R’s to help impeach Trump.” Uh, were you living under a rock yesterday? Every vote was 53-47. She voted with the GOP every time. What Breitbart sewer are you getting your information from??

    Patterico (115b1f)

  4. Can’t we go back to that collusion thing? It may have been totally bogus, but at least it was taken seriously.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  5. The Democrats and NEver trumpers (and I’m getting tired of acting like there’s a difference) want to have it both ways. Every demand for a high standard for “high crimes” for impeachment, and criticism that we never impeach someone for such nebulous crimes before was met with “The house can do what they want. They can define high crimes anyway they want. Read the Constitution “sole power” etc.

    Well, now its in the R Senate. And they do the trial anyway they wish. Sole power and all that. A partisan Impeachment is met with a partisan Trial. seems fair.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  6. The Democrats and NEver trumpers (and I’m getting tired of acting like there’s a difference) want to have it both ways. Every demand for a high standard for “high crimes” for impeachment, and criticism that we never impeach someone for such nebulous crimes before was met with “The house can do what they want. They can define high crimes anyway they want. Read the Constitution “sole power” etc.

    Well, now its in the R Senate. And they do the trial anyway they wish. Sole power and all that. A partisan Impeachment is met with a partisan Trial. seems fair.

    That’s at least more honest. You’re not appealing to principles with this argument. You’re just saying: “We have the votes and we can do what we want.” True enough. We’ll see how that plays in November.

    “The Democrats and NEver trumpers (and I’m getting tired of acting like there’s a difference)” — because fealty to Donald Trump is the sine qua non of being a Republican.

    Why don’t you get off my blog? I didn’t like Trump, didn’t vote for him, and never will. So I’m a Democrat, right? So what are you doing here?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  7. You’d think that people like Jonah Goldberg and David French – with their grand principles – would realize the danger in establishing a precedent whereby one party in the House -for purely partisan reasons – can use impeachment as a political weapon to overturn an election.

    Traditionally, impeachment was regarded as something that should be used as a “last resort” and only for obvious, explicit crimes. Even with Nixon, impeachment was regarded as so toxic, that the articles still hadn’t been passed one year after Dean’s testimony. But now that’s all gone. If the D’s had 67 senators, Trump would now be impeached. And Pence would follow and the D’s wouldn’t stop until Pelosi was President. And French and Goldberg would be OK with it. With their “High Principles”

    rcocean (1a839e)

  8. I am starting to believe that Trump is a magical substance that forces whomever it touches to reveal what is normally hidden. For Patterico (and me), it seems to force us to speak about higher issues of honesty and civility and consistency. For Trump supporters, that partisan affiliation is everything. For Democrats, that hypocrisy doesn’t matter.

    I want to return to my own home planet. It’s not here.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  9. Patterico are you a never-trumper? Do you identify as that? I wasn’t aware of that. I thought you were a libertarian who didn’t like aspects of Trump. When i think of Never trumpers, i think of the people who identified themselves as such in 2016. That’s their sole political identify for the last 3 years. People like Kristol, Wilson, Goldberg, Evan mullin, and French. The Bulwark boys. The Dispatch crowd.

    If I was attacking you, i would have wrote your name.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  10. This impeachment just goes to show how neither side is consistent

    and both sides are utterly corrupt.

    Joe-Dallas (debac0)

  11. Patterico are you a never-trumper? Do you identify as that?

    I have never used that term to describe myself and do not identify that way. That said, I will never vote for Trump. And I admire Jonah Goldberg and David French quite a bit.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  12. You’re just saying: “We have the votes and we can do what we want.” True enough.

    Is basically

    Crimes are not necessary for impeachment or removal. Abuse of power is enough.

    Both are saying we get what we want because we’ve got the votes. Another variant of this was Chris Wallace interviewing Graham the other day and saying whatever Trump did was a high crime or misdemeanor because the house voted to impeach.

    For Patterico (and me), it seems to force us to speak about higher issues of honesty and civility and consistency.

    I agree with the first sentence but don’t hurt your arm patting yourself on the back. Let’s just add “forcing” you to speak about honesty, civility, and consistency to Trump’s crimes.

    frosty (f27e97)

  13. Character does matter a lot. Trump pretended or deluded himself that hiring a lot of generals would put him in the midst of real tough guys who would follow orders. But he did not realize that leading men into battle requires mutual loyalty and trust at all levels. Also that US Military officers are trained in what are legal and illegal orders. The flag officers are now all gone, so he’s got former junior officers turned politicians like Pompeo.

    No wonder Trump never had real business partners for very long (for that matter banks, other investors or non-family senior managers.

    dirtyjobsguy (96cdc8)

  14. because fealty to Donald Trump is the sine qua non of being a Republican.

    That doctrine had already appeared during the primaries. If you didn’t love Trump, then you really didn’t want to save America from doom, and you had to be on the side of evil.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  15. Why don’t you get off my blog? I didn’t like Trump, didn’t vote for him, and never will. So I’m a Democrat, right? So what are you doing here?

    There are a number of reasons for people to be here. The real question is which ones are you going to continue tolerating.

    frosty (f27e97)

  16. ”If you didn’t love Trump, then you really didn’t want to save America from doom, and you had to be on the side of evil.”
    Radegunda (39c35f) — 1/22/2020 @ 8:43 am

    All this time, I thought it was Trump and his supporters who were smeared as Putin tools. Guess I’m wrong again!

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  17. All this time, I thought it was Trump and his supporters who were smeared as Putin tools. Guess I’m wrong again!

    Nope, you’re right. AND…he’s still an unethical conman, who’s abused the power of the presidency, is a pathological liar, and is mentally unfit.

    Plus that Putin tool bit.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  18. … can use impeachment as a political weapon to overturn an election.

    So if Trump is convicted, Hillary becomes president?
    One political party is trying to dismiss the trial as soon as possible and suppress evidence and shut down new witness testimony. The other political party wants a full trial with all the evidence/witness bells and whistles. Perhaps the American people are catching on. In the latest poll, 51% want Trump impeached and removed, and 69% want to see new witnesses at the trial. We’ll see.
    We’ll see where McConnell falls–either with the Suppressor or with the People, and so far the Suppressors are prevailing–but this 34 years strong Republican reluctantly sides with the Democrats on this one. Trump tried to rig an election in his favor with the help of the Ukrainian government, and the evidence is sufficient. He should be removed before he cheats again. But Trump won’t get removed, but at least that impeachment taint stick with him this November.
    Here’s what I also see. For every denied subpoena requested by the House Managers, and for every denied witness that won’t be called in the trial, the House will restart all those subpoenas after Trump is acquitted and they will run their course through the courts, and this will all be happening will Trump is running for reelection. It won’t bother his hardcore supporters but independents may well take notice.
    Also this: Bolton is going to say his piece no matter what, either in a book or on CNN or under oath. The GOP Senators would be smart to get Bolton’s words under oath, ten months before the election instead of in October.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  19. “solidifies my utter disenchantment with the Republican party. There is not a single one of them left I respect. Not Mike Lee or Mitt Romney, not Ted Cruz or Rand Paul — none of them.”

    You have been doing nothing but writing that non stop for three years. People get it you aren’t republican anymore and you hate trump. I can get that hot take by turning on cnn or reading Anna Navarro. You throw out that everyone else has some partisan motivation…you have one too. You have such a partisan hatred of your President you can’t get over it. Did you quit the party when McCain won the nomination? He was corrupt as hell and was on tape discussing bribes. You probably voted for him. It’s just when some outsider that you didn’t like from a wing of the party you didn’t like won. Freaking cry baby

    Billy Batson (97af4f)

  20. “ Barely two weeks after Donald Trump took office, Eric Ciaramella – the CIA analyst whose name was recently linked in a tweet by the president and mentioned by lawmakers as the anonymous “whistleblower” who touched off Trump’s impeachment – was overheard in the White House discussing with another staffer how to remove the newly elected president from office, according to former colleagues.”

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/01/22/whistleblower_was_overheard_in_17_discussing_with_ally_how_to_remove_trump_121701.html
    __

    Rich Lowry
    @RichLowry
    .
    Adam Schiff must be the first prosecutor to show up at a trial and say, “Gosh, there are a bunch of things I don’t know about this case but would be interested in finding out”

    __

    To hell with all of Washington, D.C.“

    and

    “I’m more convinced than ever that it needs to drag out as long as humanly possible.“

    Same guy.
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  21. #16 – I was posting on other blogs during the primaries, and if I said anything critical of Trump, or quoted one of his bizarre statements or proved that he was lying, I would be called a leftist, a Bernie-lover, etc. I didn’t see such angry reactions to criticism of any other candidate.

    People were saying that Trump was the only GOP candidate who could or would “save America” from socialist tyranny.

    Now the president’s “faith advisor” says that to oppose Trump is to oppose God, and lots of evangelicals basically take the same view.

    The alacrity with which people will abandon principles or reverse positions (e.g. on the debt) just to stay on the “Trump is right” bandwagon is quite astonishing.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  22. Who makes a blog, spends time writing, getting guest writers and ads…..then constantly tells his commenters to freaking leave? What kind of lunacy is that?

    If I was a guest writer I’d find a different site. He’s basically minimizing your exposure and ruining your reputation.

    Billy Batson (97af4f)

  23. Buck/Schiff/2020

    mg (8cbc69)

  24. Trump/Giuliani/20 to life

    nk (1d9030)

  25. Hey guys I’m going to open up a restaurant and then if anyone complains about the food I’m going to tell them to leave. What a great business plan.

    Billy Batson (97af4f)

  26. Well, Billy Nomad (Steppe Batson?), you keep coming back. Even after you’ve been disinvited many, many, many, many, many times. But you keep coming back and then pointing out…mouth noises. Do you have a point, other than complain that the owner is engaged, but doesn’t like your mouth noises?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  27. Engaged? He’s a blind partisan screaming calling trump voters cultist all day every day. Yet he’s an anti trump cultists that willingly believes anything negative about him.

    Hey guys Trump started the Australian forest fires! Omg he’s corrupt!

    Billy Batson (97af4f)

  28. Btw you must have me confused with someone else I haven’t been disenvited far as I’m aware. Sure it’s coming tho

    Billy Batson (97af4f)

  29. Hey guys I’m going to open up a restaurant and then if anyone complains about the food I’m going to tell them to leave.

    And I wouldn’t blame you a bit. Anybody who doesn’t like Trump steaks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is probably some Commie Buddhist vegetarian.

    nk (1d9030)

  30. “ And I wouldn’t blame you a bit. Anybody who doesn’t like Trump steaks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is probably some Commie Buddhist vegetarian.”

    Yeah cause every comment I’m saying bleeds over Trump love, if you don’t love him you are a commie!.

    You all do realize you are being just as outlandish as those people automatically labeling anyone that doesn’t agree with you a trump cultist? You are being 100% just like them.

    Billy Batson (97af4f)

  31. Who makes a blog, spends time writing, getting guest writers and ads…..then constantly tells his commenters to freaking leave? What kind of lunacy is that?

    If I was a guest writer I’d find a different site. He’s basically minimizing your exposure and ruining your reputation.

    Billy Batson (97af4f) — 1/22/2020 @ 9:24 am

    Remember when Trump posed for a photo clutching his daughter’s hips, and then walked in on 15 year old girls getting dressed for their pageant, and then bragged he gropped women who didn’t want him to?

    That’s the pathetic creep you’re trying to serve by … fighting information you don’t like.

    All this time, I thought it was Trump and his supporters who were smeared as Putin tools. Guess I’m wrong again!

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 1/22/2020 @ 8:50 am

    You are wrong again because that really isn’t a smear. You really are that.

    Dustin (bf530b)

  32. People like Kristol, Wilson, Goldberg, Evan mullin, and French. The Bulwark boys. The Dispatch crowd.

    “… The Professor and Mary Ann; here on Gilligan’s Isle.” Castaways all.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  33. Hey guys Trump started the Australian forest fires! Omg he’s corrupt!

    Like the pansy could strike a match with his little-girl fingers. He had Kellyanne do it.

    nk (1d9030)

  34. Why don’t you get off my blog? I didn’t like Trump, didn’t vote for him, and never will. So I’m a Democrat, right? So what are you doing here?

    Maybe some people are interested in hearing other points of view, regardless as to whether or not they (currently) agree. They want to see if there’s information that they haven’t heard elsewhere. They prefer not to live in a bubble or an echo chamber.

    A better question is, why when presented with an opportunity to change people’s minds (it’s not just the person posing the question, others may have similar questions but possessing a more open mind) would you want to chase that person away and lose that opportunity? Is it just because hearing things you don’t like upsets you so?

    Another question is, do you ever go to pro-Trump sites to engage in conversation? Curious.

    PTw (894877)

  35. Watching Munroe get this upset, and this delicious HEB Taste of San Antonio coffee, while I sit by this window where I can barely make out the Austin skyline, watching the rain have created quite an ambiance.

    I hope the day the impeachment is done they just impeach him for one of his other many crimes. I hope they do so honestly, which they can. I want Mark Levin to have to develop a new microphone capable of capturing the highest frequencies his voice can create when they impeach Trump a third time the night before election day, not that I will listen to him.

    The Senate behavior was no surprise. The GOP has been less than brave for many years, and Trump’s fans are rabid. These Senators should have done what they know is right, sought information they need, and removed Trump, accepting that this would destroy some of their careers. Greg Abbott has done a lot to earn my respect lately, but it is hard to find a Republican I can vote for. Voting for the GOP is like the Senate voting not to do its job in shutting down an abuse of power. It’s sanctioning corruption. We shouldn’t do it. If you vote GOP, expect a more corrupt future.

    Dustin (bf530b)

  36. Maybe some people are interested in hearing other points of view, regardless as to whether or not they (currently) agree. They want to see if there’s information that they haven’t heard elsewhere. They prefer not to live in a bubble or an echo chamber

    Why would you call this blog an echo chamber when it welcomes all these people who support Trump, only banning absolute trolls?

    What’s the point of ‘opening a restaurant’ where you allow guests to jump on everyone’s table and kick their plates onto the floor? That doesn’t help lefties or conservatives discuss things.

    It’s pretty strange to claim the rule here is to agree and enforce an echo chamber. I can’t think of a single blog with so many commenters saying the author is wrong because [insert Trump meme], ever single post.

    Dustin (bf530b)

  37. Thank Newtie and his Blowfishes for weaponizing and cheapening the cache of ‘impeachment.’

    Contanment remains a sound policy -for both communism and conservatism. Ideological conservatives are getting judges up the wahzoo w/Trump and they still b-tch. They haven’t been close to contentment literally for decades… [BTW Kevin, Reagan has been out of office THIRTY ONE YEARS and TWO DAYS…. and dead nearly 16 years.]

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  38. Why would you call this blog an echo chamber when it welcomes all these people who support Trump, only banning absolute trolls?

    In the spirit of the general zeitgeist of this blog, I demand that you take that back. Nowhere did I call this blog an echo chamber. You completely inferred that. I’d also suggest you be careful with your use of the word ‘absolute’. But that’s just a suggestion.

    PTw (894877)

  39. Maybe they’ll vote to hear John Bolton in the end — I suspect they will — but they’re not actually interested in the truth.

    Walrus Gumbo will never give away for free what he can sell through the pages of a book.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. PTw (894877) — 1/22/2020 @ 10:18 am

    In the spirit of the general zeitgeist of this blog, I demand that you take that back. If you limit the anti-Trump commenters from using words like absolute, obviously, always, etc. it might result in effects we obviously can not foresee and I for one do not want an absolutely irreparable rip in the cognitive continuum.

    frosty (f27e97)

  41. In the spirit of the general zeitgeist of this blog, I demand that you take that back. Nowhere did I call this blog an echo chamber. You completely inferred that. I’d also suggest you be careful with your use of the word ‘absolute’. But that’s just a suggestion.

    PTw (894877) — 1/22/2020 @ 10:18 am

    I was referencing this comment:

    They prefer not to live in a bubble or an echo chamber.

    A better question is, why when presented with an opportunity to change people’s minds (it’s not just the person posing the question, others may have similar questions but possessing a more open mind) would you want to chase that person away and lose that opportunity? Is it just because hearing things you don’t like upsets you so?

    Who is the “you” that you accused of ‘chasing people away’ because ‘hearing things you don’t like upsets you’ and therefore creating the quote “echo chamber” you are referencing? What blog is the echo chamber you are complaining about?

    Do you think making dishonest accusations, then adding a question mark, means it is a ‘complete inference’ to point out what you said?

    Or are you saying you actually were saying nothing?

    Straight question, PTW: who is the “YOU” in your comment referring to if not the blog proprietor? Why did you call the blog an echo chamber, btw?

    Dustin (bf530b)

  42. In the spirit of the general zeitgeist of this blog, I demand that you take that back. If you limit the anti-Trump commenters from using words like absolute, obviously, always, etc. it might result in effects we obviously can not foresee and I for one do not want an absolutely irreparable rip in the cognitive continuum.

    frosty (f27e97) — 1/22/2020 @ 10:26 am

    You guys really have thin skin for the past two days or so. Absolutely paper thin.

    Dustin (bf530b)

  43. “Now she’s breaking with R’s to help impeach Trump.” Uh, were you living under a rock yesterday? Every vote was 53-47. She voted with the GOP every time. What Breitbart sewer are you getting your information from??

    Uh, actually she did ‘break’– once, so it was more of a crack. Still, consider 5347 on your lottery tickets, kids– “Trump Luck” is in the air:

    ‘Sen. Susan Collins (R, Maine) became the only GOP senator to break with her party during a marathon session over the rules for the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump.

    Democrats forced a 10th amendment vote early Wednesday morning that would extend the amount of time House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team have to respond to motions… A spokeswoman for Collins didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about why she broke with her party and voted against tabling the amendment.’ -source, The Hill

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. Dustin, you cannot be serious. It’s rather clear what my comment is saying/asking. There’s nothing risible (to this degree at least) about it. It’s a perfectly legitimate thing to ask/comment to make. You inferred something that appears to be a reflection of your state of mind, you’re embarrassed (I think…hope) and now you want to turn it back on me. Not buying it.

    PTw (894877)

  45. (Trump sent a letter to the House saying he wouldn’t participate,

    The House Judiciary Committee wasn’t hearing any fact witnesses.

    and if he thought presenting his side through witnesses was important he could do it now.)

    In fact yesterday, Adam Schiff played aclip of Trump of Trump saying something like he would be happy to have witnesses in the Senate.

    They had secret hearings in the House!!1! (Attended by about 100 CongressCritters — and open to, and attended by, puh-lenty of Republicans.)

    They weren’t open to all. It took weeks till the transcripts were released. It’s not a very big argument, though.

    Maybe they’ll vote to hear John Bolton in the end — I suspect they will — but they’re not actually interested in the truth.

    Some Democrata re discussing among themselves proposing a deal: John Bolton in exchange for Hunter Biden. (not Joe apparently)

    Some subpoenas could be complied with within a day because the material has already been gathered. It was gathered before Trump gave orders not to respond. Others have been gathered in response to ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

    Adam\

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  46. You’d think that people like Jonah Goldberg and David French – with their grand principles – would realize the danger in establishing a precedent whereby one party in the House –for purely partisan reasons – can use impeachment as a political weapon to overturn an election.

    RCocean, you continuously refuse to believe people when they assert that what Trump did, using military aid to pressure an ally into announcing an investigation of a political rival this is not supported by fact, is an abuse of power that does not have precedent in previous administrations. You continue to assert that JG, DF, and by extension me, think of this as a purely partisan action because we don’t like DT.

    It’s annoying and more than a little insulting.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  47. You’re just saying: “We have the votes and we can do what we want.” True enough.

    Is basically

    Crimes are not necessary for impeachment or removal. Abuse of power is enough.

    Both are saying we get what we want because we’ve got the votes.

    I think using the power of the presidency to pressure an ally to announce a baseless investigation of a political rival is legitimately an abuse of power.

    You could be right in theory, but I don’t think that applies here. And I think that matters.

    Let me illustrate with a silly example;

    -Trump plays a lot of golf. Some partisan could say he should be impeached because he doesn’t come to work enough. This person would rightfully be laughed at.

    -If Trump (or any president) stopped coming to work and just played golf/hung out at the beach in Hawaii/whatever every day for a year saying they should be impeached for refusing to do their job would make sense.

    There’s no law about it, but refusing to do your job and saying “I’m the president. I decide what my job is” would be grounds for impeachment.

    Time123 (dba73f)

  48. 39. DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/22/2020 @ 10:21 am

    . Walrus Gumbo will never give away for free what he can sell through the pages of a book.

    I think you have him wrong, and there’s always more stuff to put in a book and it would tell it in a different way. Books about World war II and the U.S. Civi War sell, even though everyone knows how it went.

    People who write books give lots of it away in free interviews on radio and TV.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  49. RCocean, you continuously refuse to believe people when they assert that what Trump did, using military aid to pressure an ally into announcing an investigation of a political rival this is not supported by fact, is an abuse of power that does not have precedent in previous administrations. You continue to assert that JG, DF, and by extension me, think of this as a purely partisan action because we don’t like DT.

    BTW, this isn’t even something that Trump and his TV lawyers dispute. They agree he did it, just that it isn’t impeachable. Obviously the House has proven that wrong, he is impeached. Now, there’s as close to zero chance of the Senate convicting him, but that’s a different argument.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  50. Yesterday, CBS stopped broadcasting at about 4pm. NBC at 5pm and ABC went longer.

    Rush Limbaugh noted today that Adam Schiff and the House managers moved what is effect their argument over the facts into the argument over the rules. We did have video (not just from the House hearings but also from press conferences, resulting in effect in Trump being called as a witness on on e or two points (his eagerness or willingness to have witnesses in a Senate trial) And graphics. Rush said that is because audience levels decline with time.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  51. 43. ‘Sen. Susan Collins (R, Maine) became the only GOP senator to break with her party during a marathon session over the rules for the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump.

    Democrats forced a 10th amendment vote early Wednesday morning that would extend the amount of time House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team have to respond to motions… A spokeswoman for Collins didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about why she broke with her party and voted against tabling the amendment.’ -source, The Hill

    Susan Collins was taking lots of notes yesterday.

    You can’t see pictures of that because the on;y pictures are done by Senate TV (not even C-Span) and they have only two cameras – one focused on the speaker at the podium and the other one abroad shot of the front of the chamber (but no Senators)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  52. The Senators can’t use laptops or smartphones but they can use pencil and paper – probably pens too.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  53. Dustin, you cannot be serious. It’s rather clear bla bla bla

    PTw (894877) — 1/22/2020 @ 10:36 am

    Hey man, just answer my questions.

    Straight question, PTW: who is the “YOU” in your comment referring to if not the blog proprietor? Why did you call the blog an echo chamber, btw?

    Dustin (bf530b) — 1/22/2020 @ 10:29 am

    Two simple questions.

    Dustin (85808e)

  54. Welcome to the knowledge that all politics is corrupt. It’s a terrible thing to discover that “good government” is an oxymoron. But once you get past it, the other side is much freer.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  55. Breitbart sewer

    I miss the man himself, but he should never have allowed his name to be used by others like this.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  56. Sigh…Dustin, this is why I suggested you be careful with your use of the word ‘absolute’, but in the interest of clarity and in being done with you in general as I really cannot take you (you meaning ‘Dustin’) as a serious person, I will address your two questions. As I said, you inferred that I called the blog an ‘echo chamber’. If you can infer that I called the blog an echo chamber from my previous comment, perhaps you can put on your thinking cap and try real hard to deduce from my response to your inference that I did not call the blog an echo chamber. But to be clear…AGAIN, no I did not call the blog an echo chamber.

    As for the ‘you’ I was using the term in a general sense. Sigh….I dunno…as in “You don’t want to play with chainsaws after you’ve been drinking.” Or perhaps better, “You really shouldn’t feed the trolls.” You know, like that.

    Sheesh.

    PTw (894877)

  57. The number is going up. Now it’s 71% of Americans who want to see new witnesses at the trial.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  58. True, Kevin. It’s not like these guys were wholesome before Trump started behaving this way. But still, he’s so clumsy that he’s put corruption front and center, testing us to either accept it or deny it (or worse, defend it, striking fear into our politicians). It isn’t necessarily better that corruption wasn’t front and center before, but front and center and celebrated does seem to be a lot worse.

    Then again, I don’t think other presidents withheld aid for dirt so nakedly. It’s more that they scratched the back that scratched theirs. This is like how Trump’s real estate empire paid off locals… all real estate was dirty, but they took it to a new level of transactional payoffs.

    Unfortunately, even in my wildest dreams, Trump removed and prosecuted, doesn’t solve the heart of the issue.

    Dustin (85808e)

  59. BTW, Dustin, I’m going to be in Austin in late May.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  60. Dustin,

    My main problem with Trump is that he’s incompetent and ineffective. And STOOPID. All charges I would have brought. But they didn’t, as if they intended this impeachment to be a sham — just to tell their base they did it and rile them up for November.

    He’s even an incompetent crook. Nixon would be embarrassed. Hell, even Teddy Kennedy wasn’t this sloppy.

    That this is the bulwark of our defense against people like Warren and Bernie (and/or a Democrat Congress) is frightening.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  61. I miss the man himself, but he should never have allowed his name to be used by others like this.

    Kevin M (19357e) — 1/22/2020 @ 11:08 am

    It’s really irritating.

    Dustin (85808e)

  62. Time123 (ca85c9) — 1/22/2020 @ 10:37 am

    I’ve disagreed with this description a number of times. There is reason to be suspicious of what the Biden’s are doing in Ukraine. You’ve concluded that there is no valid reason to withhold the aid and that it is solely based on a corrupt motive which I’m not convinced is true. You’ve argued that Trump’s motive has been unambiguously detailed in sworn testimony and the sworn testimony I’ve heard is people describing their personal opinions. You seem to take the same position that anyone who disagrees with your assertions is only doing so for partisan reasons.

    I agree that it is annoying but despite rumors to the contrary, I don’t find it insulting.

    I’ve also got no sympathy for the argument that impeachable offenses are whatever the house votes on. Especially, the obstruction of congress charge. That charge is based on Trump not helping the house impeach him. Having that as a charge instead of actual crimes colors the entire process as partisan. It would have been better to just leave it at the abuse of power.

    frosty (f27e97)

  63. As for the ‘you’ I was using the term in a general sense. Sigh….I dunno…as in “You don’t want to play with chainsaws after you’ve been drinking.” Or perhaps better, “You really shouldn’t feed the trolls.” You know, like that.

    Sheesh.

    PTw (894877) — 1/22/2020 @ 11:08 am

    You were referencing Patterico.

    Don’t be a liar.

    Dustin (85808e)

  64. BTW, Dustin, I’m going to be in Austin in late May.

    Kevin M (19357e) — 1/22/2020 @ 11:12 am

    We should get coffee.

    Dustin (85808e)

  65. Dustin,

    My main problem with Trump is that he’s incompetent and ineffective. And STOOPID. All charges I would have brought. But they didn’t, as if they intended this impeachment to be a sham — just to tell their base they did it and rile them up for November.

    He’s even an incompetent crook. Nixon would be embarrassed. Hell, even Teddy Kennedy wasn’t this sloppy.

    That this is the bulwark of our defense against people like Warren and Bernie (and/or a Democrat Congress) is frightening.

    Kevin M (19357e) — 1/22/2020 @ 11:17 am

    I would switch parties in a heartbeat if it weren’t guys like Sanders and Warren. It’s really amazing to me that the most simplistic caricatures of both parties… are now the parties. This isn’t Ted Cruz vs. Paul Tsongas. It’s Muslim Ban vs Free college.

    And your real point, at least as far as I can see it, is that both sides are pushing the other side to be more ridiculous. I think a lot of this is the primary process. I wonder if simply having runoff primaries would break the cycle.

    Dustin (85808e)

  66. Welcome to the knowledge that all politics is corrupt. It’s a terrible thing to discover that “good government” is an oxymoron. But once you get past it, the other side is much freer.

    I thought Trump was supposed to Drain the Swamp! That he alone has no conceivable self-interest in the game, and he alone has the guts to take down every last crook in D.C.
    So how could it be that the people defending Trump from his enemies have corruption in their hearts and we should just accept it as natural?

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  67. A disgrace is when a former federal prosecutor says the “Z” in Parnas’ texts to Guliani stands for Zelensky, when he knows that “Z” stood for Zlochevsky.

    Good thing for the DOJ that Schiff is operating politically, or there might be a number of defense attorneys who wonder aloud how Schiff might have indulged in his penchant for pettifoggery in their clients cases and demand they be reopened.

    steveg (354706)

  68. If I were a ruthless bastard who didn’t love our country as it is and thought our current system needed to be torn down and replaced with a new system (i.e. Sanders or Warren) in the beginning of my term I’d want to make sure that none of the family members of GOP senators (or Dem senators that weren’t on board) were breaking the law in other countries. Anti-Corruption would be a big part of what I needed from China, might drop some tariffs if they can run an investigation of Mitch’s kid & wife.

    I’d probably also make sure that Trump properties in other countries were getting proper scrutiny. Don Jr. seems politically active so Panama, Scottland, and Turkey should make sure he wasn’t engaging in any illegal conduct. Actually, my hypothetical bastard should just destroy the Trumps and Kushners as a lesson to others (like Bezos, wapo should get on board).

    No right to due process. No right to face my accuser and challenge the evidence in a US court. No right to be treated like other citizens because it’s all being done in another country.
    And this would all be OK? because there’s no specific law against it and abuse of power by the president is just fine?

    Time123 (dba73f)

  69. “Now it’s 71% of Americans who want to see new witnesses at the trial.”
    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/22/2020 @ 11:09 am

    Maybe we’ll finally hear from Julie Swetnick.

    Munroe (464dab)

  70. And your real point, at least as far as I can see it, is that both sides are pushing the other side to be more ridiculous. I think a lot of this is the primary process. I wonder if simply having runoff primaries would break the cycle.

    I’ve said before that one simple reform would fix this (and gerrymanders): Elect two or more representatives from each district, each voter having ONE choice. Even in single-party districts you’d get a moderate, but in most districts any sizable minority (racial, ethnic, political, etc) would get a voice.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  71. But they didn’t, as if they intended this impeachment to be a sham — just to tell their base they did it and rile them up for November.

    Not “as if”, “because”. This is all a political game. The congressional D’s are trying to maneuver the R’s into positions they think will make them lose seats and vice versa.

    You could be right in theory, but I don’t think that applies here. And I think that matters.

    Being right, in theory, is what matters. Otherwise, you’re just justifying the means for the end you want. Either due process is a thing and you should be able to articulate a high crime or misdemeanor or you are after the fact declaring that whatever is voted on retroactively becomes one. Basically, I’ll know it when I see it. Or said a different way

    They agree he did it, just that it isn’t impeachable. Obviously the House has proven that wrong, he is impeached.

    Granted, I can’t really tell whether the argument is crimes are not necessary for impeachment or removal or ex post facto. But, it seems like the framers were smart enough that if impeachment was possible for anything the house voted on they could have said that more simply and with fewer words. They wouldn’t have needed examples of crimes like treason and they didn’t seem like big fans of ex post facto.

    frosty (f27e97)

  72. #68: I remember when the “politics of personal destruction” was more civil.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  73. You seem to take the same position that anyone who disagrees with your assertions is only doing so for partisan reasons.

    I’m sorry that I come across that way to you.

    We disagree with what the facts prove. I don’t think you’re motivated by tribalism / partisanship. I don’t think it’s because you’re not smart or thoughtful. I think you’ve looked at the facts and reached a different conclusion.

    Some of trumps supporters are purely motivated by tribalism / partisanship and I do call that out. I should probably be careful not to over generalize because that’s not true for everyone.

    Regarding obstruction of Congress. Over the years presidents have gotten better and better at running out the clock on oversight. Eventually this will result in a situation where oversight is no longer a meaningful thing. I want limited government and I think oversight is an import check on government power. Because of that i don’t mind seeing obstruction in the articles of impeachment.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  74. frosty:

    I’ve also got no sympathy for the argument that impeachable offenses are whatever the house votes on. Especially, the obstruction of congress charge. That charge is based on Trump not helping the house impeach him. Having that as a charge instead of actual crimes colors the entire process as partisan. It would have been better to just leave it at the abuse of power.

    The Constitution does not mandate that impeachment be over a crime. So that does leave absolute discretion as to what is impeachable to the House. Those are just the rules. The Senate is free to say “yeah, right” in response. No court is going to overturn an impeachment vote.

    I do agree that the second count is weak. If I were a Senator, I would vote yes on Count 1 and no on Count 2.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  75. Frosty–

    The Founders never intended to limit impeachment to criminal acts. Go look for yourself

    https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/farrand-the-records-of-the-federal-convention-of-1787-3vols

    As I’ve said before the 1787 usage of “misdemeanor” did not refer to a crime, as such. “High crimes and misdemeanors” was a term of art that included serious crimes and seriously bad behavior affecting the legitimacy of government.

    See here, for example which discusses Blackstone‘s take on the subject: https://www.lawliberty.org/2018/08/08/the-original-meaning-of-high-crimes-and-misdemeanors-part-1/

    Kevin M (19357e)

  76. Time123 (dba73f) — 1/22/2020 @ 11:37 am

    Does anyone really expect anything other than this to happen when we get the next D POTUS? I’ve seen comments on this board that this should happen as soon as he’s impeached. I don’t think you’re comment is exaggerating a feeling that is held by a lot of people.

    The opposition to Trump has not wrapped itself in integrity. I can agree with complaints about Trump and also think that the effort to take him out signals a much bigger problem.

    frosty (f27e97)

  77. Appalled,

    If I was voting regarding simple guilt (as a juror would), I would vote yes on the first and no on the second.

    My problem comes with the nature of impeachment and the paucity of the charge sheet. Do I, as a Senator, bring in information not charged or presented? A juror cannot do this. They must judge John Gotti on the charges alleged, not with what they might have read about him.

    If I felt free to just take charge one as “do I think this man should be removed from office, charges be damned?” then I’d probably vote yes. If it was restricted to the charge made? Probably not. The impeachment itself is a sufficient censure.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  78. I think I’d be voting “no” on the second as a form of juror nullification — the crime alleged is not a crime. Again, hard to separate the juror from the role of a Senator here.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  79. A disgrace is when a former federal prosecutor says the “Z” in Parnas’ texts to Guliani stands for Zelensky, when he knows that “Z” stood for Zlochevsky.

    Your proof that he knew, rather than made a mistake?

    But let’s pretend he knew. Have you called Trump’s lies a disgrace? I’m not talking lip service. Have you expressed the same level of disgust for his lies? You are welcome to do so right now, if you feel so inclined.

    If you have, I’d love links.

    If not, how can we take seriously someone who decries Democrat lying (even if they have no evidence it’s a lie as opposed to a mistake) while ignoring Trump’s?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  80. Time123 (ca85c9) — 1/22/2020 @ 11:49 am

    I would agree that we’re in the reasonable people disagree area. Or maybe different positions on the pendulum.

    I would like a lot more oversight of the executive by Congress. I’m also uncomfortable with the extent Congress has delegated power to the executive branch. But, I’d also probably be willing to tolerate more from the executive than you would be based on your golfing example. But I don’t think this impeachment has much to do with that or that it will fix it.

    frosty (f27e97)

  81. We should get coffee.

    I’m in Austin every year. I should think to let you know next time I’m there. I was there just three weeks ago.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  82. “Now she’s breaking with R’s to help impeach Trump.” Uh, were you living under a rock yesterday? Every vote was 53-47. She voted with the GOP every time. What Breitbart sewer are you getting your information from??

    Uh, actually she did ‘break’– once, so it was more of a crack. Still, consider 5347 on your lottery tickets, kids– “Trump Luck” is in the air:

    ‘Sen. Susan Collins (R, Maine) became the only GOP senator to break with her party during a marathon session over the rules for the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump.

    I had missed that. My apologies to whatever Trump superfan I yelled at earlier, although the notion that this is making it easier to remove Trump is still risible.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  83. I’m in Austin every year. I should think to let you know next time I’m there. I was there just three weeks ago.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 1/22/2020 @ 12:15 pm

    That would really make my day.

    Dustin (bf530b)

  84. @Dustin. it’s other blogs or other places on the Internet, like some Twitter feeds, that PTw may have called an echo chamber.

    The question was: If he feels Patterico is just the same as a Democrat, then “what are you doing here?”

    And he answered:

    Maybe some people are interested in hearing other points of view, regardless as to whether or not they (currently) agree. They want to see if there’s information that they haven’t heard elsewhere. They prefer not to live in a bubble or an echo chamber.

    He’s here because he doesn’t want to live in a bubble. Now that is consistent with this, too, being a bubble, just a different bubble than some other bubbles, but think he means you get multiple points of view here, [PTw said “points” and not “a point” of view and it’s an answer to the question of what is he doing here] And you also get information you haven’t heard elsewhere.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  85. @82. Actually, P, you’re sorta missing nothing. These two major parties have managed to turn something serious into something ‘snoring.’ More drones in the Senate than over the skies of Colorado.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  86. 65. Dustin (85808e) — 1/22/2020 @ 11:29 am

    I wonder if simply having runoff primaries would break the cycle.

    They do, almost, more in the Democratic Party than the Republican Party but they don’t use it. In the Democratic Party anyone who gets even 15% in every state gets delegates. In Iowa and other caucus states, there is a runoff in every precinct. (Iowa totals votes 3 ways: initial straw poll, delegates elected to higher level caucuses and delegate equivalents at the convention.)

    But they never get together and make a compromise or Condorcet choice in a convention. You get all candidates selected at the first ballot.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  87. Does anyone really expect anything other than this to happen when we get the next D POTUS? I’ve seen comments on this board that this should happen as soon as he’s impeached. I don’t think you’re comment is exaggerating a feeling that is held by a lot of people.

    All I can go by is that Dem’s haven’t done anything like this yet, and didn’t when Obama was in power. Not to say they were saints, but Obama wasn’t pressuring other countries to announce investigations of Baine Capital as a way to attack Romney. Will they try to do more and point to this incident by Trump as justification? Probably. But if the political pain in high enough here maybe they wont.

    My point with the Golf thing was that there will be things that happen that fall under the technical definition of an impeachable offense but are so small as to not matter. Where that line is will need to be a judgement call.

    I think this crosses that line, but i recognize there’s some ambiguity.

    Time123 (a7a01b)

  88. Thank you Sammy. Actually though, I wasn’t specifically referencing other blogs or twitters, just any other points of view regardless of media or form. People who are interested in challenging their own beliefs will go places where they, or more accurately their ideas, may not be welcome. Some people go to those places only to read other people’s thoughts, to lurk, and thus any questions that those who are bold enough to ask questions will help other people understand even if they don’t care to contribute. But those who do engage should not be so quickly dismissed as trolls. That is if one is sufficiently intellectually curious oneself. There are many ideas that I have today that I at one time scoffed at. If I totally shut people down when they expressed those ideas I’m quite certain I’d be a lesser man for having done so.

    I kinda thought this was what people were supposed to learn from college and such. I really don’t think it’s all that complicated. Though it is, in the traditional sense of the word, a very liberal idea. But if encountering other ideas is so terribly upsetting, perhaps requiring some form of registration in order to comment would best serve all parties. Just a thought.

    PTw (894877)

  89. RIP: Terry Jones, Monty Python, 77, complications of dementia. Directed “The Life of Brian.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/jan/22/terry-jones-monty-python-founder-and-life-of-brian-director-dies-aged-77

    Splitter!

    Kevin M (19357e)

  90. . it’s other blogs or other places on the Internet, like some Twitter feeds, that PTw may have called an echo chamber.

    He very well may have, but in his reply that quoted Patterico, the person he is responding to (Patterico) is indeed who he meant by “you.” And the echo chamber he was referring to in that comment was this blog, because he specifically says

    ” [why] would you want to chase that person away and lose that opportunity? Is it just because hearing things you don’t like upsets you so?”

    He even incredulously asks Patterico if he ever reads anything ‘pro trump.’ His meaning was plain, and there’s no problem with his saying he thinks Patterico is biased. His problem was that my response, that obviously his ability to write those comments proves this isn’t an echo chamber, could have been responded to in one of two ways:

    1) good point I guess this isn’t an echo chamber. I just disagree with its perspective bla bla bla

    2) fake news! I never said what I said. Hoax! No collusion!

    More and more, there is an actual war on reality. Trump is showing us that every day, and I think it’s sobering how the internet has made this more effective, rather than less. In the right hands, the internet is the means to John Stuart Mill’s fantasy where all ideas get a fair shake/challenge, and merit wins the day. Ours are not the right hands.

    Dustin (bf530b)

  91. Appalled (1a17de) — 1/22/2020 @ 11:57 am

    Kevin M (19357e) — 1/22/2020 @ 12:03 pm

    Assume for a minute that this wasn’t Trump but some other relatively non-polarizing president and the target wasn’t Biden, i.e. there is a reasonable claim that Ukraine had corruption issues. Would it be legal to hold the military aid to get some sort of concession, i.e. would it be legal otherwise?

    Is Biden made immune because he’s a political opponent? Does the illegality depend on the assumption that it’s impossible for Trump to have any valid motive? And this isn’t a question about spending the money within the time window, etc. This an attempt at a simpler question about executive discretion that probably doesn’t apply here but I’m trying to understand the envelope.

    Assume I’m asking for a friend and if it helps avoid the Trump-humper ad hominems.

    frosty (f27e97)

  92. Ukraine does have corruption issues.
    Trump (and his agents) didn’t ask them to address those. That question had already been asked and addressed by (I think) the pentagon. He asked them specifically to announce an investigation of Biden & Burisma.

    If he could show a non-corrupt motive for what he did that would a defense. He has refused to do so.
    He has refused to provide evidence that is supported by testimony and facts. His supporters point to the video clips of Biden bragging about getting shorkin fired, but that’s about it.

    Time123 (dba73f)

  93. More and more, there is an actual war on reality. Trump is showing us that every day, and I think it’s sobering how the internet has made this more effective, rather than less.

    I agree with this 100% and it is one of the reasons I’m not anti-Trump and one of the reasons I’ll vote for a 2nd term if given the chance. I think we would just disagree on when this started.

    I forget where I heard it so I can’t attribute it properly but things that can’t go on forever won’t. Also, ’twere well It were done quickly, although I’m sure I’m using that in the exact opposite way as the original.

    frosty (f27e97)

  94. Adam Schiff just finished his presentation. He went through his version of the facts. A lot of it hews quite close to reality. But he stuck with David Holmes fabricated testimony of what he overheard on July 26, and there are a few mild misrepresentations. He had a few bad arguments, too.

    One thing I liked: saying that you can’t stick to just the 4 corners of the July 25 call. What he said happened outside of it not so much. It ignores the fact that nobody, nowhere, not Sondland or Giuliani, not anybody, said they had any kind of private communication from Trump linking any official acts to investigations, not through documentary evidence, or even hearsay or triple hearsay. Schiff didn’t even say he wanted the Senate to try to obtain such evidence. (I don’t think this is a point the president’s lawyers will be good enough to pick up on.)

    And Mulvaney specifically limited the quid pro quo to 2016 to some degree, but not Biden!

    Schiff said that how could it be that the aid was withheld because of corruption considerations, or to try to get Europe to contribute more, when the whole thing was kept secret? But the same thing goes for requesting investigations in exchange! because Ukraine was never informed of the aid hold until Vice President Pence implicitly acknowledged it on Sept 1 to Zelensky.

    Schiff seems to detect Trumps’ knowledge of the aid withholding by linking these two sentences in the July 25 call: (it’s better than the attempt to say Zelensky had just asked for military assistance) Schiff merely said it showed that Trump was thinking of the hold

    Zelenskyy: …. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes

    The President: I would like you to do us a favor though

    Schiff thinks this hearkens back to the defense aid. I thought it’s more to the mention of reciprocity that Trump finished with before Zelensky’s lengthy response. I think that’s a followup to Trump saying this:

    but [unlike European countries] the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. [Trump then ignores everything Zelensky said and continues:] I would like you to do us a favor though

    The mention of the Ukrainian decision to buy Javelins is, I think, because Zelensky and his team thought the holdup in the aid, which Ukraine in fact knew about, but only through (illegal?) leaks, was because Trump wanted U.S. military aid to be used to purchase weapons made in USA. The trade deficit and all that, you know.

    Schiff has to handle why after getting news of co-operation in investigations from Zelensky in the July 25 call, Trump did not release the hold, if cooperation in investigations was the reason for the hold, and the best he seems to be be able to do is that Ukraine maybe backed out, or didn’t want to go along with Giuliani’s prepared statement. Schiff shows that Ukraine was being discouraged, but that already happened on July 20. Schiff tries to work it in.

    Schiff made a few plain errors. One transcript has “system” when it almost certain;y should be “assistance” as Schiff had it at first; and he said Zelensky cancelled his CNN interview one week after (Sept 11 – but the interview was scheduled for Sept 13.)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  95. Time123 (dba73f) — 1/22/2020 @ 12:59 pm

    Trump (and his agents) didn’t ask them to address ]corrption in general] He asked them specifically to announce an investigation of Biden & Burisma.

    No, he didn’t. His agents wanted an announcement (because how coudl they ask for more?

    Trump wanted answers. Not investigations or announcements of investigations. Schiff argues the motive is corrupt because Trump alledgedly did not care about what any investigation found out.

    If he could show a non-corrupt motive for what he did that would a defense.

    He does. He’s STOOPID.

    His supporters point to the video clips of Biden bragging about getting shorkin fired, but that’s about it.

    That’s what Trump pointed to. And didn’t notice that’s not Biden claiming to have done that to stop an investigation Even Giuliani noticed that and said that Biden was hiding his true motive from the audience.

    Now I just wonder if Vladimir Putin or Viktor Orban referenced that video.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  96. 93. frosty (f27e97) — 1/22/2020 @ 1:03 pm

    I forget where I heard it so I can’t attribute it properly but things that can’t go on forever won’t.

    I think that’s Milton Freidman

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  97. 1. Trump blocked the testimony of anyone with firsthand knowledge.
    Don’t attorneys move to block testimony, “evidence” as a matter of course?
    Its part of the game.

    2. Take it to court.
    The same courts where Trump’s lawyers have been arguing that the courts have no business deciding these issues. How many months did they want Democrats to spend in the courts as the election drew closer, and what blame do they put on Trump for issuing a blanket statement that he would cooperate with nothing whatsoever? None.

    One set of the clients lawyers says: “Take it to Court”
    Another set of the clients lawyers (or even the same lawyers) then argue that the courts have no business. Those two things are not completely inconsistent.
    Its a way of saying: Take it to court then… but we will start by claiming the court has no business here due to separation.
    Isn’t time delay is a patented lawyer move? Let him sit in custody in a not very nice block for a while and see if he wants to get on with it and tell us what he knows.
    In civil cases, drag it out and hope the other side needs the money now and settles for less.
    The other day there was a civil case where the lawyers for an elderly, sick man claimed the other side was dragging it out in hopes of settling with the heirs… the air was filled with indignant harrumphs but it sounded like a quacking walking duck.

    3.No Trump witnesses. The House Minority claims that they asked for certain witnesses that were not objected to by Trump and Schiff denied them.

    4. Secret hearings.
    The House Minority also claims that portions of Schiffs witnesses testimony was exculpatory but Schiff buried that in the closed hearing and barred release of the entire transcript, instead leaking out the Schiff version that buried exculpatory testimony.

    5. Not Senates Job to hear new evidence
    I think this is a tit for tat reprisal for the SCIF hearings, but just because they have heard new evidence in the past in the past when there were felony charges doesn’t mean they have to hear new evidence now.

    6. You cannot impeach a President for Abuse of Power is both horse pucky and frightening.
    “Abuse of Power” seems to be on a bit of a sliding scale. Is exoneration of this charge only available to Presidents we like? How thick or how thin does the evidence need to be?
    Thick for Obama and flimy for Trump? What is the standard and is that standard applied equally under the law to everyone? If it is, have at it. If not then GTFO and don’t come back until you’ve got one.
    Right now its in the eye of the beholder like that old saying about pornography.

    7. Regarding your lack of respect for…. everyone lately. My guess is their response should be along the lines of: what you think about me is none of my business.
    I’d ask you this: If Romney, Collins, Lee, Cruz, Bennett have all seen or been briefed on the entirety of the behind closed doors hearings, testimony, transcripts etc. do you think they know more about this than you do? Would their decision be more informed than yours on the specifics?

    A guy who was sick of Washington and its ilk is Gowdy. I think he was once asked what advice he’d give Trump and he said something along the lines of, if you are innocent, stop acting like a guilty person. Gowdy has his apparent flaws as do all who are on display, but I think the level of disdain he has for Schiff is warranted.

    steveg (354706)

  98. This whole thing is garbage from front to back. The Democrat House did not offer convincing charges and never intended to. They could have come up with a list that would have been hard to defend (e.g. incompetence, arbitrariness, pettiness, venality and conduct unbecoming) but they didn’t actually want Trump to be removed. They wanted to be able to claim that the 23 GOP senators up for re-election were “complicit” in keeping an unfit man in office.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  99. Off-topic (mostly): Even more of the US.personnel “unharmed” by Iran’s missile attack have been MedEvac’ed to Germany for treatment of the injuries they didn’t sustain.

    All is well!

    Dave (fb0dd0)

  100. Herbert Stein

    Stein’s Law (1976): “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

    Kevin M (19357e)

  101. They wanted to be able to claim that the 23 GOP senators up for re-election were “complicit” in keeping an unfit man in office.

    Kevin M (19357e) — 1/22/2020 @ 2:23 pm

    Yeah and it’s a sound strategy. If it fails, it still works. But it’s not failing. We all know that in coming years Trump will be widely regarded as a national disgrace. The GOP is hoping to ride the storm and then distance themselves with a chuckle and a sorry. Instead, they are uniformly lining up. The GOP cannot be separated from Trump now. He’s not an aberration. This strategy is probably a necessary step towards major socialist concepts like universal healthcare. Can it go that far? We’ll soon know. They barely were able to pass Obamacare. I think the reaction in 2020 could be profound if the democrats play their hand well. It will only take one or two particularly Trumpy scandals to depress GOP turnout.

    Off-topic (mostly): Even more of the US.personnel “unharmed” by Iran’s missile attack have been MedEvac’ed to Germany for treatment of the injuries they didn’t sustain.

    All is well!

    Dave (fb0dd0)

    They tried to cover this whole thing up, and have resorted to drip drip drip. Now Trump’s got his impeachment pushing his Iranian BS off the front page. Fascinating how this all works out.

    Dustin (bf530b)

  102. A disgrace is when a former federal prosecutor says the “Z” in Parnas’ texts to Guliani stands for Zelensky, when he knows that “Z” stood for Zlochevsky.

    It’s hard to figure out who the Z is…

    Good lunch – thanks. Heard from White House—assuming President Z
    convinces trump he will investigate / “get to the bottom of what
    happened” in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good
    luck! See you tomorrow – kurt

    One of the Z’s was President, one was not, so maybe it’s not that hard after all.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  103. Q: So is it fair to say that this message is what you received from President Trump on
    that phone call that morning?
    A: Again, if he testified to that, to refresh my own memory, then, yes, likely I would
    have received that from President Trump.
    Q: But the sequence certainly makes sense, right?
    A: Yeah, it does.
    Q: You talked to President Trump.
    A: Yeah.
    Q: You told Kurt Volker to call you. You left a message for Kurt Volker. Kurt
    Volker sent this text message to Andriy Yermak to prepare President Zelensky
    and then President Trump had a phone call where President Zelensky spoke very
    similar to what was in this text message, right?
    A: Right.
    Q: And you would agree that the message in this—that is expressed here is that
    President Zelensky needs to convince Trump that he will do the investigations in
    order to nail down the date for a visit to Washington, D.C. Is that correct?
    A: That’s correct

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  104. Sworn testimony, first hand witness, you know all of the things being complained about not actually being in existence, existing, in the record, that you can watch yourself.

    But “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening”.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  105. These guys texting back and forth over and over using Z for Zelensky, again and again. Does it mean that in the one instance they’re not talking a completely different Z, no. But it defies logic.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  106. Hakeem Jeffries just said one minute or two ago that the prosecutor General that Donald Trump accused Joe Biden of wanting t remove was…Yuri Lutsenko!

    A lot of the rest is familiar facts or accusations.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  107. e—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / “get to the bottom of what
    happened” in 2016,

    Trump used those exact words in referring to 2016 twice

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

    I would like you to get to the bottom of it…I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call [probably referring to Biden or supposedly corrupt Ukrainians] and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  108. They wanted to be able to claim that the 23 GOP senators up for re-election were “complicit” in keeping an unfit man in office.

    You’re finally catching on to the strategy. If Trump is removed it’s a win; if Trump is replaced, it’s a win — an if the Senate flips, it’s a yuuuuge win. The Turtle will do everything in his power to avoid a sea change. Just keep rackin’ up them judgeships.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  109. Hakeem Jeffries definitely is saying that when Trump referred to the good prosecutor who was “treated very badly” he was talking about Lutsenko!

    By him what the whistleblower complaint says is the Bible.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  110. Disruption in the gallery. Protesters gotta protest.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  111. It’s all true about Zelensky being prepped to convinces trump he will investigate / “get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016.

    They heard that from the White House = Mulvaney. Not Trump.

    As someone wrote:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html

    …many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  112. The first day of news coverage of President Trump’s impeachment trial delivered 11 million daytime viewers across six networks. -source, THR

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  113. Blame it all on my roots
    I showed up in boots
    And ruined your black tie affair

    The last one to know
    The last one to show
    I was the last one you thought you’d see there

    And I saw the surprise, and the fear in his eyes
    When I took his glass of champagne
    I toasted you, said, honey, we may be through
    But you’ll never hear me complain

    ‘Cause I got friends in low places
    Where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases
    My Blues away

    And I’ll be Okay

    Now, I’m not big on social graces
    Think I’ll slip on down to the oasis

    Where I’ve got friends, in low places

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0_der_5hRM

    I have a serious question for you, Patterico. And it is a serious question. Have you left the Republican party, or has the Republican party left you?

    Welcome to the club. This is a place where individualists sit and drink, listen to bands, and don’t adhere to either party. What he do is live and laugh, and have fun. Politics is for the boring.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  114. @102 – @105 The Q/A you’ve got is from Sondland’s testimony about the July 25 call. Now we’re talking about the date for the visit to Washington instead of military aid correct?

    Would it be fair to say that any attempt to investigate the Biden/Burisma situation would have triggered an abuse of power charge? This seems to be the foundation of the interference in the election claim. Directing the DOJ or State to work through normal channels would have had the same effect. Basically, anything adjacent to Biden is untouchable.

    This seems problematic especially considering Biden has told the press to avoid this and they have generally complied. Lending credence to the idea that there’s nothing there. That’s some serious next level immunity skills. But shutting down press coverage and making sure there’s no investigation isn’t interfering in the 2020 election at all.

    frosty (f27e97)

  115. Somebody should tell Hakeem Jeffries that, on Julu 25, 2019, Yuriy Lutsenko was not a former </i? Prosecutor General.

    Who supplied him with his research?

    Of course what we see here is altering a few facts in order to try to make them make more sense.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  116. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/479333-schiff-misidentified-zelensky-in-some-parnas-materials-report

    Unredacted materials indicate House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) may have mischaracterized a text message from Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas referencing “Mr. Z” as referencing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to Politico.

    In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Schiff said Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,” citing the text in question, where Parnas tells Giuliani he is “trying to get us mr Z.”

    However, the unredacted communications show Parnas referring to Mykola Zlochevsky, founder of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, as “mr Z” in a Word document outlining his notes after meeting with Zlochevsky.

    Sometimes an abbreviation is used for two different things:

    Exp: This can stand for explanation or express.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  117. R.I.P. Terry Jones

    And now for something completely different…

    “Two down, four to go.” – John Cleese

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  118. Frosty
    1. The state department can make witnesses available tomorrow who can testify if Biden’s work on Ukraine was part of official US policy or not. Since Trump/Pompeo control those witnesses I assume their lack means they don’t have anything useful Trump to say. Their testimony would likely be supported by emails, meeting notes, etc.
    2. There are contemporary news articles about Shokin from before / around the time of his firing. It wasn’t a huge story in English press but google can find them for you.
    3. A properly predicated investigation run per DOJ process would be fine.

    Time123 (284a51)

  119. 114. frosty (f27e97) — 1/22/2020 @ 3:37 pm

    The Q/A you’ve got is from Sondland’s testimony about the July 25 call. Now we’re talking about the date for the visit to Washington instead of military aid correct?

    Yes, and the House managers mostly go along with that. Sond;and did not tie the military aid to investigations ntil after the August 28 Politico story.

    The House managers are trying to prove, indirectly, and by careful choice of exerpts from testimoy, that everything he or Giuliani did came from Trump.

    Would it be fair to say that any attempt to investigate the Biden/Burisma situation would have triggered an abuse of power charge?

    I dont know whether it would hae triggeredd it. But they way theydrafted it, yes

    Although they also call the charges bogus and say nobody around Trump believed there was any basis for it. Indeed, Biden does not say on the video what Trump says he said nor apparently does anybody but Viktor Shokin claim he was actively investigating Burisma

    This seems to be the foundation of the interference in the election claim. Directing the DOJ or State to work through normal channels would have had the same effect. Basically, anything adjacent to Biden is untouchable.

    Well, that’s what they’re saying now: It’s soliciting help in an election from a foreign country.

    Put that way, truth or falsehood, and probability or improbability doesn’t matter. But they won’t say it that way!

    But shutting down press coverage and making sure there’s no investigation isn’t interfering in the 2020 election at all.

    It seems to be, according t the Democrats, the only way not to interfere.

    https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2019/11/johnson-responds-to-house-republicans-request-for-information-on-ukraine

    [In a meeting in Kyiv on Sept 5 between Ukrainian President Volodyrmyr Zelensky and United States Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.] Murphy made the additional point that one of the most valuable assets Ukraine possesses is bipartisan congressional support. He warned Zelensky not to respond to requests from American political actors or he would risk losing Ukraine’s bipartisan support. I did not comment on this issue that Murphy raised.

    Apparently that referred only to requests to DO something, nit requests NOT TO DO something. Or maybe requests from Republicans and not from Democrats. Because I think Senator Murphy is an American political actor. But maybe this is not a request.

    Anyway, Ukraine also has frozen any investigation of Burisma:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-president-holds-back-on-probe-linked-to-impeachment-inquiry-11575490990

    For the Zelensky administration, Burisma and the allegations around it have become so wound up in U.S. politics that it has decided to hold off taking any actions for now, fearing proceeding would damage Ukraine’s bipartisan support in Washington, according to officials and other politicians.

    “Burisma has become so political, that unlike other similar situations, upholding the rule of law has its costs,” said Igor Novikov, adviser to Mr. Zelensky on U.S. affairs.

    – Wall Street Journal December Dec. 4, 2019 3:23 pm ET

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  120. I mean, it would be one thing if there was video of Trump saying that he did the thing.

    Uhh, what now?

    Now, if you think it’s fine, that’s a different thing.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  121. You continue to assert that JG, DF, and by extension me, think of this as a purely partisan action because we don’t like DT.

    I haven’t asserted anything about you or the people mentioned.

    I am stating a fact. The House impeachment was a PARTISAN impeachment. NOT ONE R voted for it. Some D’s voted against it. It was a partisan act by the House. Further, the R’s leadership on the applicable committees continually complained during “the Inquiry” that the D’s were shutting them out of the process, acting unfairly, and behaving in a partisan manner. I also note that many of the D’s involved had gone on the record as favoring an impeachment before Trump’s July phone call.

    Also, it should obvious that just because the Democrat Shampeachment was partisan, that doesn’t mean every single person on planet earth who supports the impeachment is MOTIVATED PURELY by Democrat partisanship.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  122. 118. Time123 (284a51) — 1/22/2020 @ 4:36 pm

    1. The state department can make witnesses available tomorrow who can testify if Biden’s work on Ukraine was part of official US policy or not.

    I don’t think Biden would like that.

    Because some of his work was fictional.

    Since Trump/Pompeo control those witnesses I assume their lack means they don’t have anything useful Trump to say.

    Well, the Democrats can still set off that land mine, if they have some Republican votes.

    Their testimony would likely be supported by emails, meeting notes, etc.

    Yes, yes. Including the fact that the aborted press conference, or was it an aborted announcement of $1 billion in loan guarantees,..

    Never happened.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  123. 2. There are contemporary news articles about Shokin from before / around the time of his firing. It wasn’t a huge story in English press but google can find them for you.

    The New York Times ran a story:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/30/world/europe/political-stability-in-the-balance-as-ukraine-ousts-top-prosecutor.html

    Bowing to pressure from international donors, the Ukrainian Parliament voted on Tuesday to remove a prosecutor general who had clung to power for months despite visible signs of corruption.

    But in a be-careful-what-you-wish-for moment, veteran observers of Ukrainian politics said that the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, had played an important role in balancing competing political interests, helping maintain stability during a treacherous era in the divided country’s history… n the final hours before Parliament voted him out, Mr. Shokin had fired his reform-minded deputy prosecutor, David Sakvarelidze, with whom he had been feuding. It was not immediately clear whether that firing would remain in force.

    With the prosecutor’s office in turmoil throughout Ukraine on Tuesday, one of Mr. Sakvarelidze’s appointees in the Odessa regional office was arrested by military prosecutors, assumed to be loyal to Mr. Shokin.

    He wasn’t fired in one day. In fact he resigned and seems to have unresigned and finally was ousted.

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

    On 16 February 2016, Shokin submitted a letter of resignation,[25] although the next day an official of the prosecution office stated, “As far as I know he has taken a paid leave”.[26] On 19 February 2016 presidential press secretary Sviatoslav Tsegolko wrote on Twitter that the presidential administration had received an official letter of resignation from Shokin.[27]

    On 16 March 2016 an official of the prosecution office stated that Shokin had resumed his work.[4] On the same day, his office carried out a raid against one of Ukraine’s leading anti-corruption groups, the Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC), claiming that it had misappropriated aid money.[17] AntAC was a frequent critic of the Prosecutor General’s Office under Shokin.[28] In one notorious case, two of Shokin’s prosecutors were caught with stashes of diamonds, cash and valuables in their homes, likely indicating bribery. Prosecutors from another department of Shokin’s office were fired or reassigned when they attempted to bring a prosecution against the so-called “diamond prosecutors”.[29]

    On 28 March, protesters called for Shokin’s firing, after his office was authorized by a Kiev court to investigate AntAC.[17][30] Shokin was formally dismissed in a parliamentary vote on 29 March 2016.[31] The European Union praised Shokin’s dismissal due to a “lack of tangible results” of his office’s investigations, and also because people in Shokin’s office were themselves being investigated.[6] Following his dismissal Shokin went into retirement.[32]

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  124. Stylistically doesn’t matter if your jury is 12 bored people who managed not to get off jury duty on a shoplifting case or serious jurors judging John Gotti in a major federal case or the impeachment trail of a president in front of the US Senate; GET TO THE GODDAMN POINT. Nobody likes their time being wasted. Get to your strongest point, j=keep it simple, tell them what you will prove, and get out. One real problem the Left especially has is they assume everyone agrees with them, so they can beat their talking points to death. This isn’t effective trial advocacy, this is crap. Again, don’t think I’m convincing those who this Trump should be removed they’re wrong. But there’s nothing in these interminable redundant recitations of dry nothingness that’s changing any minds, not US Senators. And not anyone who makes the mistake of tuning in to this dreck.

    Bugg (ebf485)

  125. Those writers of the Constitution should have included the crime of bribery in “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” since they could have*.

    *Bribery wasn’t statutorily defined as a crime until 80 years later.

    Where may we see what they were thinking…

    A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.

    The delicacy and magnitude of a trust which so deeply concerns the political reputation and existence of every man engaged in the administration of public affairs, speak for themselves. The difficulty of placing it rightly, in a government resting entirely on the basis of periodical elections, will as readily be perceived, when it is considered that the most conspicuous characters in it will, from that circumstance, be too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction, and on this account, can hardly be expected to possess the requisite neutrality towards those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  126. Again, lets be honest about what is happening. The Democrats in the House impeached Trump for “abuses of power” not crimes. These “abuses” were of such a low magnitude not one R voted for impeachment. And almost every POTUS since 1932 has committed “abuses” worse then Trump. However, except for Nixon and Clinton none were impeached or forced to resign. Why? Because the standard for impeachment was a high one, for the good of the Country.

    That is now gone. Its now OK to impeach a POTUS and remove him because you just don’t like him. And as I wrote before, if the D’s had 67 Senators, Trump would be removed from Office, followed by Pence and whoever else had to go, to put Pelosi in charge. This is what will happen in the future. The precedence has been set.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  127. Schiff says Sondland on aug 22 included the military aid in the logjam. But this was never discussed with the Ukrainians.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  128. 3. A properly predicated investigation run per DOJ process would be fine.

    Not according to he Articles of Impeachment.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  129. Now we’re talking about the August 29 cable Ambassador Taylor sent at the behest of John Bolton/

    Schiff says would like me to read it? You can subpoena it.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  130. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cQNkIrg-Tk&list=RD3cQNkIrg-Tk&start_radio=1&t=0
    a country boy will survive, how about you city slickers?

    mg (8cbc69)

  131. @118 We may be talking about different Bidens. You think Hunter is working on behalf of State? And you’re convinced Joe didn’t have any corrupt motive for getting involved because there are plausible reasons for threatening to withhold aid in that case?

    It sounds like this just comes down to benefit of the doubt.

    frosty (f27e97)

  132. Colonel Klink @120. Trump is saying, after this had become public, that there really should be an investigation re; Biden and China should too (that would have Xi Jinping investigating his own rule)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  133. @126

    Got any examples?

    Time123 (d54166)

  134. Come to think of it, Hakeem Jeffries said Trump shold not be above the law like Putin iis in Russia, Erdogen in Turley and Kim Jong Un in North Korea.

    What about Xi Jingping in China?

    And what happened to the Ayatollah in Iran, or General Soleimani? (who was above the law of several countries, and who had on;y Ayatollah Khamenei, but not the law, above hm in Iran.)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  135. 133. The example of a 2/3 majority in the Senate of a party where the president is not of their party. happened in 1868 because Andrew Johnson, although elected with Lincoln, was, in reality, a Democrat.

    I think there probably was not a 2/3 Whig majority when Tyler was president 1841-45.

    It would need to be either a unpopular vice president who had become president or a third party president who had been selected in the House of Representatives.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  136. I meant of Presidents doing worse things than this.

    Time123 (d54166)

  137. What rcocean is saying I think, is that we’ll go through futile impeachments any time the president’s party does not have a majority in the House.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  138. Just in case you weren’t sure that this is all about overturning an election:

    CNN Newsroom
    @CNNnewsroom
    ·
    “The President’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won ,” lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff says during his opening statement at the Senate impeachment trial

    __ _

    Siraj Hashmi
    @SirajAHashmi
    ·
    Fairness in the eyes of Schiff is suggesting the electoral college, which was established by the Constitution, is unfair, yet in the same breath, arguing that removing Trump is their “constitutional duty.”
    __

    harkin (d6cfee)

  139. Adam Schiff is half undermining his own case.

    What kind of quid pro quo is it when Trump tells Sondland that Zelensky should want to do it himself?

    What kind of a quid pro quo is it when Taylor is afraid that the Ukrainians may be stiffed, and Sondland says “Let’s hope it works?”

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  140. 138. Schiff isn’t saying anything about the Electoral College; he’s arguing that Trump will fool the people, perhaps by getting other countries to slander Biden..

    Schiff is arguing that Sondland et al spoke in code.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  141. Just in case you weren’t sure that this is all about overturning an election:

    Do you not understand that what you quoted means absolutely the opposite of what you think/claim it means?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  142. if the D’s had 67 Senators, Trump would be removed from Office, followed by Pence and whoever else had to go, to put Pelosi in charge.

    I agree with the spirit of the comment although I don’t think Pelosi wants to be POTUS. She’s got a nice grift with no term limit. Anyway, if they take out Trump they’ve got to convince Pence to name a VP both houses would approve. It doesn’t go to Nancy. Under your hypo of a D senate they might be able to put in someone more establishmentarian by promising Pence not to impeach him and then double crossing him.

    frosty (f27e97)

  143. @141 I understand that any version of Trump winning in 2020 will be claimed unfairly won by the D’s no matter what Trump does.

    frosty (f27e97)

  144. Assume for a minute that this wasn’t Trump but some other relatively non-polarizing president and the target wasn’t Biden, i.e. there is a reasonable claim that Ukraine had corruption issues. Would it be legal to hold the military aid to get some sort of concession, i.e. would it be legal otherwise?

    Sure, let’s assume a Democrat president or former SecState traded on their overseas relationships to dig up dirt on one of their opponents, even if it was a wild conspiracy theory. Surely there would be a hue and cry in Congress. Surely the press would cover the “treason” night and day! Surely …

    Oh, wait.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  145. “Two down, four to go.” – John Cleese

    His eulogy for Graham Chapman was worse.

    “I guess that we’re all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, of such capability and kindness, of such unusual intelligence, should now, so suddenly, be spirited away at the age of only forty-eight, before he’d achieved many of the things of which he was capable, and before he’d had enough fun. Well, I feel that I should say, “Nonsense. Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard, I hope he fries!” And the reason I feel I should say this, is he would never forgive me if I didn’t, if I threw away this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf. Anything for him, but mindless good taste.”

    Kevin M (19357e)

  146. If the D’s had 67 senators, Trump would now be impeached. And Pence would follow and the D’s wouldn’t stop until Pelosi was President. And French and Goldberg would be OK with it. With their “High Principles”

    It’s an interesting fairy tale. But, well, you don’t understand how the constitution works, there is no scenario in which impeachment gets to a Pelosi presidency.

    There is a difference between order of succession if the President and Veep are killed or otherwise indisposed, and impeachment. If Trump’s bounced, Pence becomes President. Do you think Pelosi becomes Veep? Pence would have to appoint her, and she’d have to be confirmed by the Senate. Because that’s the only way she’d be in line to take over if Pence was impeached.

    I can’t tell if you’re pathologically incapable of knowing things, or lying for effect? Either way, it’s a bad look.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  147. Piss on the Senate; piss on the Ds & Rs– piss on ’em all tonight… gonna binge watch some DVD Python, a little Holy Grail — and maybe cook up some spam, eggs, bacon, sausage and spam.

    Terry Jones introduces the outtakes – Monty Python & The Holy Grail:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGl4P1sokwI

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  148. Adam Schiff should not be a manager at all. He is a witness. There is evidence that the whistleblower contacted him first and he helped the whistleblower compose the tune for the whistle.

    Where’s Giuliani when you need him? He got Gotti’s lawyer disqualified by naming him as a witness (and then never called him) (or sent him flowers).

    nk (1d9030)

  149. @121 It could be said that the lack of R yes votes is what is partisan. Given what we know and the fact that probably not every Republican Congressman is blinded by Trump-love, it is beyond belief that every single Republican Congressman looked at the fact pattern and went, yeah, this seems on the up and up.

    @138 Nah, he’s saying that Trump tries to get other countries to help him cheat. Which we know he does, because he’s done it.

    @144 Congress investigated HRC for everything they even thought she might possibly have done and the media covered it. Nothing ever came of it and whatever Trey Gowdy saw of that process caused him to quit Congress.

    Nic (896fdf)

  150. @133 I think the Obama/Iran deal was worse. Bush2/WMD. Reagan/Iran-Contra. Kennedy/Bay of Pigs. Johnson/Gulf of Tonkin. There are a couple of things in the FDR admin I don’t think were constitutional but that would get into the weeds. What LBJ did to the parts of the country that didn’t vote for him.

    frosty (f27e97)

  151. @147 Yes sad that Terry Jones died. seems the poor man was suffering from some disease “primary progressive aphasia” and By 2017 couldn’t say more than a few words. But watching Monty Python is 10x more interesting then the impeachment.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  152. If Trump’s bounced, Pence becomes President. Do you think Pelosi becomes Veep? Pence would have to appoint her, and she’d have to be confirmed by the Senate. Because that’s the only way she’d be in line to take over if Pence was impeached.

    SMH

    rcocean (1a839e)

  153. Is anyone concerned about the precedent that the House has set with impeachments… or nah?

    Is it okay with me expressing this concern without being labeled as a Trumpalo/GOP hack?

    Is it okay with me commenting that Democrats are scaring the bejesus outta me, such that I can make a principled stand that Trump would be better than any DNC candidate? (c’mon, Trump isn’t going to be primaried…but if he did, I’d welcome it).

    Furthermore, I’ve said this numerous times on this blog, that the Kavanaugh nomination and Convington ordeal solidify my outright opposition to all things Democrats. Not because I want to punish the Democratic political candidates… it’s to punish the Democratic supporters who’s fomenting these reactions and trending dangerously socialist/leftist.

    Saying all of that, why can’t I take a principled stand that I don’t believe Trump’s maladministrations are such that impeachment is necessary.

    These are political determinations and as such, purely subjective. (with exception to a smoking gun on Treason/Bribery of course).

    Just about every Presidential Administration (except for Harrison as he’d only been in office for a month) has done things that we can point to, yep that’s definitely categorized as maladministration. Can we agree to this without accusations of spin, granting cover, or whatabouting?? The founder’s intent expressly rejected maladministration to justify impeachment and feared a partisan impeachment.

    I disagree with our host that the fact that zero GOP Congress critters voted for impeachment in the House signifies political hackery/Trump worshiping (paraphrasing here). In fact, the opposition was bi-partisan and only democrats supported it…which is exactly the scenario that our founders warned against.

    If you’re upset that there’s no support for impeachment by GOPers, maybe its because they recognize that the actions identified by House Democrats doesn’t align with the passed articles and more importantly that it doesn’t justify the high bar of impeachment/removal. Is there room for that kind of deliberation?

    The question then become: What does Congress do about it? Impeachment is *NOT* the only tool in their toolbox. If impeachment doesn’t look likely, the other tools are (not limited to):
    a) Censure
    b) Play hardball on confirming political appointees
    c) The Power of the Purse

    These are substantial tools that would be FAR easier to deploy instead of Impeachment/Removal. Because if the Senate don’t remove, then the President can spike the football claiming exoneration. Failed impeachment/removal would do more harm in various ways:
    1) increase partisanship
    2) Governance basically stop/or governing more difficult
    3) Future President would believe the “bad behavior” identified in previous impeachment won’t incur another impeachment trial.

    Whereas the other tools, the President couldn’t claim exoneration for his misdeeds. Congress essentially can carve a line in granite that informs the POTUS “no, this is not acceptable”.

    To those who believe that the House met that standard, with regards to Abuse of Power, are you willing to live with the new-precedent whereby the opposing party would impeach a future President under such standard?

    I know I’m all Eeyorish on this, but if so, nothing would get done in a divided Congress/WhiteHouse. Hey, for some of you, that may be a feature rather that bug…but, at the very least it will be chaotic.

    I believe Impeachment/Removal need to be over something that is understandable to laymen AND incur bipartisan outrage sufficient enough to warrant removal. While technically, the House doesn’t need a crime to impeach… it *DOES* make a more compelling case to include actual crimes.

    I know it’s purely a political process and as such, we shouldn’t ignore the political realities. The reality is this:
    -Democrats has been clamoring for impeachment since day one. This isn’t hyperbole.
    -The election is right around the corner, so the cynics amongst us can’t help to think that this is nothing more a ploy to “dirty up” Trump.
    -Trump’s maladministrations doesn’t seem any worse than previous Presidents.

    So, it’s hard for me to ignore the Democrat’s bad faith during this process, such that I don’t give any credibility to their impeachment process.

    Process matters.

    I know this drives some of you nuts…but during Presidential election, in all practical terms, it *is* a binary choice as to which candidate becomes President. Voting for 3rd party or not voting is kosher, yes…but that has no real impact as the President will either be Trump or a Democrat.

    So, given that I don’t believe that House made a good case for impeachment/removal and the fact that current Democrats are tilting dangerously left…I feel comfortable in taking a principled stance to vote for GOP and Trump in next election for if nothing else, to deny any power to the Democratic Party.

    whembly (91455b)

  154. ”and the media covered it”
    Nic (896fdf) — 1/22/2020 @ 6:22 pm

    … with a pillow.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  155. SMH

    Because you’re not lying, or you disagree with the reality that you’re phantasy scenario is pure dunderheadedness?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  156. @154 Nope. With a microphone and video, often of the Benghazi hearings and of HRC’s Congressional testimony, and in interviews where they asked her quite often about her email. Did you not watch the news?

    Nic (896fdf)

  157. @156 Sometimes I think the Mandela effect is a real thing. Did the press also aggressively cover Obama?

    frosty (f27e97)

  158. @156 I think what @154 meant was with a cloth

    frosty (f27e97)

  159. There is a difference between order of succession if the President and Veep are killed or otherwise indisposed, and impeachment. If Trump’s bounced, Pence becomes President. Do you think Pelosi becomes Veep? Pence would have to appoint her, and she’d have to be confirmed by the Senate. Because that’s the only way she’d be in line to take over if Pence was impeached.

    Pelosi is next in line unless and until a new VP is appointed and confirmed by Congress. Confirmation might be withheld. Of course this would play badly next election.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  160. See, for example “The West Wing”, Season 4, Ep 23 “Twenty-Five”

    Kevin M (19357e)

  161. @157 Not as much. Obama put some effort into being low key. Plus Clinton controversy always has good ratings and most people weren’t emotionally elevated about Obama, which lead to lower ratings. The press always wants the ratings.

    Nic (896fdf)

  162. @146/155
    Were Trump to be removed and Pence then became President, but Pence died or was otherwise eliminated as President before a new VP had been nominated and confirmed, who then, pursuant to applicable Constitutional provisions, would then assume the office of POTUS?

    Dang it. Kevin got it in before me @159.

    ColoComment (8594c4)

  163. “Did you not watch the news?”
    Nic (896fdf) — 1/22/2020 @ 6:50 pm

    Why yes, and here’s proof:
    Benghazi was instigated by a video, and HRC lost the election because 1) Comey kept on reminding people there was some unfair email investigation thing going on, and 2) Trump hacked her emails.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  164. Pelosi is next in line unless and until a new VP is appointed and confirmed by Congress. Confirmation might be withheld. Of course this would play badly next election.

    So the theory is that the Republican Senate will not confirm a Republican VP, in favor of holding it open for Pelosi? That is non-reality based.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  165. Planning on a President Pence dying before naming a Veep, is wholly likely huh. Of course, the other 99.9997% chance is that the normal thing happens, Pence names a VP, a couple of days later the Senate confirms. But I’m saying there’s a chance that blue ice falls from the sky and takes out Pence.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  166. @163 You only watched a single story about each issue? The Benghazi thing was quickly corrected, the speculation on why HRC lost was myriad, nobody said Trump hacked her emails. He wanted Russia to hack and release them, which he said, publicly. There’s video even.

    @165 Don’t worry, Obama never stepped down from the Presidency, he ran a military coup and is serving a 3rd term. This is all just a drug dream that we are having because of flouride in the water.

    Nic (896fdf)

  167. Who said this?

    On Elon Musk…

    I was worried about him, because he’s one of our great geniuses, and we have to protect our genius. You know, we have to protect Thomas Edison and we have to protect all of these people that came up with originally the light bulb and the wheel and all of these things.

    He does good at rockets too, by the way. I never saw where the engines come down with no wings, no anything, and they’re landing.

    He’s going to be building a very big plant in the United States. He has to. Because we help him, so he has to help us.

    Either incomprehensible or a lie.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  168. @146: If the D’s had 67 senators, Trump would now be impeached. And Pence would follow and the D’s wouldn’t stop until Pelosi was President. You missed the “And Pence would follow”.

    1) Impeach and convict Trump on the abuse of power thing.
    2) Immediately impeach and convict Pence for complicity on the abuse of power thing.
    3) Refuse to confirm any Veep nomination from Pence on the grounds that he’s under impeachment.
    4) Pelosi becomes Prez on Pence’s removal and the Veep office empty.
    5) Pelosi appoints HRC Veep.
    6) Pelosi resigns, Newsome appoints her to fill her own vacant seat, she re-assumes the gavel.
    7) HRC is now President.

    An implausible scenario? Sure – but you said *no* scenario. And I have no doubt whatsoever that you’re neither pathologically incapable of knowing things nor lying for effect, nor would I say such a thing.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  169. If the D’s had 67 senators, Trump would now be impeached. And Pence would follow and the D’s wouldn’t stop until Pelosi was President. You missed the “And Pence would follow”.

    Well, reality exists, and the D’s are short 20 from your count there.

    If you’re going to build a house of cards, the foundation should be made with more than puffy fantasy clouds.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  170. “Is Biden made immune because he’s a political opponent? Does the illegality depend on the assumption that it’s impossible for Trump to have any valid motive? And this isn’t a question about spending the money within the time window, etc. This an attempt at a simpler question about executive discretion that probably doesn’t apply here but I’m trying to understand the envelope.”

    A late response to this question, but there are laws, and treaties, and processes that don’t involve sending the President’s personal lawyer to conduct negotiations outside of official channels with a bunch of gangsters. Trump did none of these things.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  171. 1) Impeach and convict Trump on the abuse of power thing.
    2) Immediately impeach and convict Pence for complicity on the abuse of power thing.
    3) Refuse to confirm any Veep nomination from Pence on the grounds that he’s under impeachment.
    4) Pelosi becomes Prez on Pence’s removal and the Veep office empty.
    5) Pelosi appoints HRC Veep.
    6) Pelosi resigns, Newsome appoints her to fill her own vacant seat, she re-assumes the gavel.
    7) HRC is now President.

    1) requires the GOP Senate
    2) requires the GOP Senate and is even more absurd due to a branch of government changing parties. Particularly the speed. It’s literally not possible. That happens in zero universes.
    3) GOP senate refuses to confirm GOP VP? Also impossible.
    5) GOP senate confirms Hillary as VP?
    7) LOL LOL LOL LOL

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  172. 5, 6, 7. Not Hillary. Bernie! Bernie can still be President!

    nk (1d9030)

  173. Oh God he’s right.

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  174. Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d) — 1/22/2020 @ 7:52 pm
    Dustin (b8d6d1) — 1/22/2020 @ 8:12 pm

    Hypotheticals are a real tricky concept, right guys?

    If the D’s had 67 senators

    Totally mind bending.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  175. But I get it that Hillary is Trump’s raison d’etre (the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence) for Trump supporters.

    nk (1d9030)

  176. “ Hey guys I’m going to open up a restaurant and then if anyone complains about the food I’m going to tell them to leave. What a great business plan.”

    – Billy Batson

    Hey guys I’m gonna open a restaurant and then refuse to serve hot plates of steaming sh*t even though some weird moronic subset of people from the broader community sit down and demand it, as though it were their right to have my restaurant serve them hot plates of steaming sh*t.

    Luckily for you, Billy, there are plenty of restaurants that will serve you the sh*t you clearly crave. Buyer’s market out there.

    Leviticus (7fcc89)

  177. An implausible scenario? Sure – but you said *no* scenario. And I have no doubt whatsoever that you’re neither pathologically incapable of knowing things nor lying for effect, nor would I say such a thing.

    Jerryskids (702a61) — 1/22/2020 @ 7:46 pm

    I know you’re saying this isn’t a real concern you have. I just thought it was particularly entertaining. I would 100% watch this Season of 24.

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  178. Hypotheticals are a real tricky concept, right guys?

    If the D’s had 67 senators

    Totally mind bending.

    Hypotheticals are fine, but making an argument in reality world requires reality based hypotheticals. There are 47 Dems, so pitching a universe where there are 67, means the rest of the argument is also based in this other universe, where we don’t exist. In that universe the Dems have a supermajority, making an R president unlikely.

    It’s not sci-fi, it’s pure fantasy with dragons, elves, and sorcerers.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  179. I have a serious question for you, Patterico. And it is a serious question. Have you left the Republican party, or has the Republican party left you?

    I saw that it was going to leave me, so I left it first.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  180. Hey guys I’m gonna open a restaurant and then refuse to serve hot plates of steaming sh*t even though some weird moronic subset of people from the broader community sit down and demand it, as though it were their right to have my restaurant serve them hot plates of steaming sh*t.

    Luckily for you, Billy, there are plenty of restaurants that will serve you the sh*t you clearly crave. Buyer’s market out there.

    LOL. I’d love to know what Billy Batson’s reply to that would be, but not enough to stop me from going and banning him now.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  181. Come see the violence inherent in the System, Trumpkins.

    Leviticus (7fcc89)

  182. @180

    I’d imagine his response would be “SHAZAM!”.

    Colliente (05736f)

  183. 142. frosty (f27e97) — 1/22/2020 @ 6:04 pm

    Anyway, if they take out Trump they’ve got to convince Pence to name a VP both houses would approve. It doesn’t go to Nancy.

    In 1868, there was no Vice President. There was not method for replacing the Vice President until the 25th amendment, effective February 10, 1967. In 1868, Ben Wade, the president pro tempore of the Senate, would have become president if Andrew Johnson had been removed from office. It wold have bee for less tan one year.

    It was another peculiarity of the situation, besides that of a president differently inclined than most of the Senate, that his successor would come from Congress. (The wikipedia article o Benjamin Wade says that he was too radical – and a party man – for some Senators)

    By the way, Richard Cheney vice president under George W Bush, discovered a sittation not anticipated by the 25th amendment which was supposed to take care of all instances of presdental vacancy and disability – the vice president cold become disabled.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  184. 148. nk (1d9030) — 1/22/2020 @ 6:21 pm

    Adam Schiff should not be a manager at all. He is a witness. There is evidence that the whistleblower contacted him first and he helped the whistleblower compose the tune for the whistle.

    Even more Pat Cipollone, since his name came up in Schiff’s presentation, but Schiff has not named him as a possible witness although he did another White House lawyer. The rules anyway here are different than usual trials.

    The whistleblower complaint is mostly detached from the charges, except for Adam Schiff making it the key reason Trump lifted the hold (without explanation, they said, the point being there was nothing that was reviewed, so this was, an imperfectly states argument that it wasn’t impartial principle that put on the hold in the first place.)

    Zoe Lofgren mentioned a lot of other activity in Congress in early September besides the whistleblower complaint, which they know wasn’t the key to Trump’s reversal.

    Schiff later carried the chronology to the night day before, January 21, talking about both Trump and Giuliani having the temerity to still be interested in investigating, and in the new bits of evidence that came to light. He said they had an alternative of finding out things now or finding out things later, and now was better.. (that goes for things about Biden as well even more so, I think.)

    He also periodically alluded to certain items of evidence he would like to have – arguing that they should want it, not to convict Trump, but to get at the full truth and who else was involved. I am not sure what that’s supposed to mean, since he’s not attacking anyone else (maybe Pompeo, or possibly Pence)

    They attributed the significance of May 13 not to Hungarian Prime Minster Viktor Orban
    s visit, but to Giuliani not being able to get a meeting with Zelensky and cancelling his trip to Ukraine.. I’m not all that up on the events with Giuliani in the spring. I should know more.)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  185. 164. Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d) — 1/22/2020 @ 7:14 pm

    So the theory is that the Republican Senate will not confirm a Republican VP, in favor of holding it open for Pelosi? That is non-reality based.

    A new vice president needs to be confirmed also by the House of Representatives.

    A provision unique to the 25th amendment.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  186. 166. Nic (896fdf) — 1/22/2020 @ 7:28 pm

    nobody said Trump hacked her emails. He wanted Russia to hack and release them, which he said, publicly. There’s video even.

    And her personal emails weren’t hacked, and thought impossible to hack, since they’d all been turned over – in hardcopy form only – or been deleted (nobody knew about the emails being stored on Anthony Weiner’s computer)

    Trump had been pressed by reporters to say that Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC (and DCCC)

    @168.

    6) Pelosi resigns, Newsom appoints her to fill her own vacant seat, she re-assumes the gavel.

    Governors only have the power to appoint Senators (pending an election); House vacancies can be filled only by election, and that takes usually a few months to arrange.

    Re: Biden immunity: The House managers seem to be arguing that political considerations should not go into prosecutorial decisions, and that that means they should go on automatic pilot and be decided routinely. And that seems to mean that if evidence of possible corruption by a major candidate comes to the attention of any opponent, that opponent should not try to trigger an investigation. They do this, but at the same time argue the charges vs a vs Biden (and 2016 also) are bogus and that it would have been a sham investigation and that Trump didn’t even want a real investigation but only an announcement of one, that’s how bogus it was they imply. But for their underlying argument that asking for an investigation is wrong, they don’t have to be bogus. Of course there are issues here of conflicts of interest, selective prosecution, and possible dishonesty of requests. Trump, in any case, was not asking for a criminal investigation of Biden, although this has mostly gone unnoticed. Schiff himself says he wanted to “smear” Biden.

    Re: Restaurants. Restaurants close but not because the food is bad. It can be very busy (at night anyway) and charge high prices and still be in financial trouble and pay their workers late.

    @178.

    In that universe the Dems have a supermajority, making an R president unlikely.

    I don’t think anything like that has ever happened – a supermajority in the Senate with a president of a different party and the third in line was an elected official. * Well it did in 1868, because the vice president had become president and there was no method of replacing the vice president, and he was sort of a member of a different party than the president he got elected with. Note you also needed a vacancy on the Vice President’s office, and even then it didn’t succeed in removing the president.

    Requiring a two thirds majority is pretty much (although not absolutely) a preventative against something being done for purely partisan reasons. Sometimes majorities in a legislature have reached that level.

    * It was a Cabinet member between 1886 and 1947. Harry S Truman actually signed a bill changing hs successor to a Republican, although wen he first proposed it, it would have been Sam Rayburn.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  187. Patterico, @ #180:

    I’d love to know what Billy Batson’s reply to that would be, but not enough to stop me from going and banning him now.

    When you banned him, I hope you said “SHAZAM!” A real missed opportunity otherwise.

    Demosthenes (7fae81)

  188. @170 So, the hypo a general question not Trump and your response is but Trump.

    Did any of those laws, treaties, or processes exist when Biden held the money to get the guy fired? I’ve never seen a plausible explanation for why he got so directly involved. Is process only important some of the time?

    frosty (93139c)

  189. Frosty, Here’s a link to an article that walks through the timeline.

    It answers many of the questions you keep asking so I hope you have time to read at least the beginning of it. It also links to articles and speeches from when events happened as as well as sworn testimony delivered to congress to support it’s claims.

    To make a short summary.

    -US policy was that Ukraine needed to do more to fight corruption.
    -Shokin was not doing that and in fact had actually sabotaged a British investigation.
    -The investigation of Burisma was dormant. Not pursuing that investigation was one of the things Shokin was faulted for.
    -Joe Biden was assigned as point person for Ukraine policy. (IMO there’s a clear appearance of a conflict of interest and he shouldn’t have been.)
    -Joe Biden was not the only person working on this.
    -Other countries (notably the British) wanted Shokin gone.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  190. Is anyone concerned about the precedent that the House has set with impeachments… or nah?

    I disagree about what that precedent is.

    Just about every Presidential Administration (except for Harrison as he’d only been in office for a month) has done things that we can point to, yep that’s definitely categorized as maladministration. Can we agree to this without accusations of spin, granting cover, or whatabouting?? The founder’s intent expressly rejected maladministration to justify impeachment and feared a partisan impeachment.

    Yes, but this isn’t bad policy. It’s abusing power for personal gain.

    To those who believe that the House met that standard, with regards to Abuse of Power, are you willing to live with the new-precedent whereby the opposing party would impeach a future President under such standard?

    Yes, if the next president uses their power to pressure a foreign government to announce (or launch) the investigation of a rival that is not based on facts, not based on reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed and not in support of an investigation we have launched under our rules protections and processes I’d like to see them impeached.

    I believe Impeachment/Removal need to be over something that is understandable to laymen

    Trump abused his power to try and make Ukraine announce an investigation of Joe Biden. Not hard to understand.

    While technically, the House doesn’t need a crime to impeach… it *DOES* make a more compelling case to include actual crimes.

    I agree, I’d have put in that he solicited a bribe. But no one ever said the dems were smart

    I know it’s purely a political process and as such, we shouldn’t ignore the political realities. The reality is this:
    -Democrats has been clamoring for impeachment since day one. This isn’t hyperbole.
    -The election is right around the corner, so the cynics amongst us can’t help to think that this is nothing more a ploy to “dirty up” Trump.
    -Trump’s maladministrations doesn’t seem any worse than previous Presidents.

    Can you give me a few examples of where you’ve seen similar behavior in the past? If possible from members of both parties? Because I don’t see that what Trump did is normal.

    So, it’s hard for me to ignore the Democrat’s bad faith during this process, such that I don’t give any credibility to their impeachment process.

    Process matters.

    I don’t trust the Dems at all.
    Process does matter, but I don’t see how the process used has yielded an improper result. There’s been a lot of whining and excuses. But that’s about it.

    So, given that I don’t believe that House made a good case for impeachment/removal and the fact that current Democrats are tilting dangerously left…I feel comfortable in taking a principled stance to vote for GOP and Trump in next election for if nothing else, to deny any power to the Democratic Party.

    Do you think Trump withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of Joe Biden?

    whembly (91455b) — 1/22/2020 @ 6:30 pm

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  191. Frosty (at #91)

    Assume for a minute that this wasn’t Trump but some other relatively non-polarizing president and the target wasn’t Biden, i.e. there is a reasonable claim that Ukraine had corruption issues. Would it be legal to hold the military aid to get some sort of concession, i.e. would it be legal otherwise?

    In answer to your first paragraph, doing what Trump did with the funds does violate the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. If, for example, Trump decided that the Ukraine didn’t deserve any funding, just because (the Finkelman argument), and withheld it, that would be a violation. I doubt it would be a matter of impeachment — it would just be another one of those fights between the Legislative and Executive branches over who has the power to set foreign policy.

    Is Biden made immune because he’s a political opponent? Does the illegality depend on the assumption that it’s impossible for Trump to have any valid motive? And this isn’t a question about spending the money within the time window, etc. This an attempt at a simpler question about executive discretion that probably doesn’t apply here but I’m trying to understand the envelope.

    When the transcript came out, what outraged me was that Trump was pressuring a foreign government to put an American citizen in legal jeopardy. This is true, even though nobody has alleged that H. Biden’s conduct violated US Law. You know, the US usually tries to protect the rights of its citizens overseas, not try to get them put in jail. That’s really part of the abuse of power here, not the impoundment of funds.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  192. You know, the US usually tries to protect the rights of its citizens overseas, not try to get them put in jail. That’s really part of the abuse of power here, not the impoundment of funds.

    OK, perhaps I’m missing something here. Was Trump in some way trying to get Biden imprisoned in Ukraine? I thought the inquiry was about Biden violating US law. Are you saying Trump was trying to get Biden imprisoned in Ukraine?

    PTw (894877)

  193. #192 —

    Any investigation in the Ukraine by Ukrainians would be under Ukrainian Law. The protections of our Constitution would not apply.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  194. @192, Trump asked, personally and through agents, the president of Ukraine to announce an investigation, in the Ukraine, of Joe Biden for corruption. There has been no evidence that there is an investigation by US officials.

    What he wanted is open to conjecture. But my assumption is that he wanted to harm Biden politically.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  195. 194. That is a reasonable assumption. Whether wanting to harm Biden politically is worth impeaching Trump over is certainly debatable. I can think of lots of other equally good or better reasons that Trump IS in fact unfit for being elected dog catcher.

    Gryph (08c844)

  196. Any investigation in the Ukraine by Ukrainians would be under Ukrainian Law. The protections of our Constitution would not apply.

    So by “any investigation” is this specific to Ukraine? I would presume that most any significant investigation of a US citizen by a foreign country would be done under that country’s laws. But the US citizen’s rights, in regard to American laws, would be protected by the court restricting evidence that involved violating the citizen’s rights, correct? Otherwise, any evidence of a US crime committed by an American citizen whilst overseas would have no standing in an American court. I suppose it could work that way and I’m sure it’s quite complicated to get such evidence deemed admissible based on the way the evidence was gathered by the foreign country. But evidence from a foreign source that is not gathered by improper (by US standards) means surely is admissible in some manner. And again, wouldn’t that be in the court’s…uh, court to decide?

    Similar question, if an FBI agent is investigating a crime and he gets information from the law enforcement agency of another country, it may or may not be admissible on how that information was gathered, but is the FBI agent accountable for the means by which the foreign country gathered that info? Of course there are limits when dealing with nefarious regimes that might have gathered the information via torture or such. That would, of course, be wrong. But if the citizen is not present in the country where the investigation is ongoing, not sure what rights of his could be violated. Though attorney-client privilege comes to mind. Let’s say a US citizen hires a lawyer in another country and that lawyer is not a US citizen. In regards to anything discussed between the two, can knowledge that the foreign lawyer holds be used if the lawyer decides voluntarily and without coercion to give it up?

    There has been no evidence that there is an investigation by US officials.
    Trump is a US official. AIUI he was in the process, as part of his job as the chief law enforcement official, of seeking information. Investigations don’t just spring up out of the ether. Someone first asks questions. If there appears to be evidence of a crime, and investigation would be opened. This is a rather silly point.

    PTw (894877)

  197. Republicans and Democrats paying off the media with a free (to the media) production, in payment for favors received and expected, more than anything else. A lot more than anything else.

    Still, it would be nice to remove the mother-figure. That would be the best ending for the show.

    nk (1d9030)

  198. PTw,
    My point was that there’s a difference between asking Ukraine to support a properly predicated DOJ investigation and asking them to publicly announce an investigation of their own.

    You can say ‘if the president does it it’s not a crime.” But investigations are supposed to be based on evidence that supports a reasonable suspicion. If that was the case here no one has testified to it or supported it in any verifiable way.

    Again, if Trump wanted to know what the official policy was around Ukraine 5 years ago people that work for him have that information and supporting documents.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  199. asking them to publicly announce an investigation of their own.

    Didn’t see that in the transcript. Source? But whether or not Ukraine would “publicly announce” would be according to their laws and such. The meat of the matter is Trump is looking for information on a crime. Yes, he obviously believes one was committed, but would it not also be ‘wrong’ of him to open (announce) an investigation if there wasn’t sufficient reason to do so? Seems he was working on the side of some, albeit minor, caution. Seems like splitting hairs and trying to mind read at what point someone decides something is worth formally opening an investigation for. It’s an investigation, not a conviction. It’s not like this scenario was made up out of whole cloth. Biden openly talked about these matters, seemingly bragging about it. Now perhaps Biden being Biden was blovating and/or misremembering and that there’s nothing there. But that’s what Trump seemed (to me) to be poking around about.

    PTw (894877)

  200. 188. frosty (93139c) — 1/23/2020 @ 4:29 am

    I’ve never seen a plausible explanation for why he got so directly involved.

    189. Time123 (52fb0e) — 1/23/2020 @ 4:56 am

    Joe Biden was assigned as point person for Ukraine policy.

    Well, that’s what Joe Biden says, at any rate.

    According to a 2018 book, First in Line; Presidents, Vice Presidents, and the Pursuit of Power by Kate Andersen Brower (Harper Collins) page 55, when he agreed to become Barack Obama;s vice president, part of the agreement was that he would not have specific assignments! (and I think read this elsewhere too)

    Biden and Obama agreed to five ground rules in a private written document: “JRB and BO have weekly unstaffed meeting; JRB can sit in on any BO meeting;JRB must have contemporaneous receipt of all paper–all printed words that go to BO go to JRB;JRB staff must be included in any meeting with their arallel BO staffl JRB will not have a portfolio, because he will be involved in everything”

    Biden also got Obama to agree that he would be the last person in the room.

    But later on he was claiming he got assignments:

    https://www.cfr.org/event/foreign-affairs-issue-launch-former-vice-president-joe-biden

    I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, [He can always lead abad memory, I guess] convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. [!] [I think he means before he went to Kyiv] And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. [Actually, he traveled there a total of six times, according to George Kent’s testimony] And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

    So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

    This was somehow spun to Donald Trump as Biden bragging that he’d stopped a prosecution, which he doesn’t say at all, of course. But on Sept 25, at his press conference with Zelensky in New York, Donald Trump was still puzzled about how Biden could be so stupid.

    Here’s the Beta version: (circa July, 2016) (where the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, is flabbergasted. In that interview Biden says here and there about some maters that he got authority from Obama, but not specifically about Ukraine)

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/08/joe-biden-interview/497633

    …I don’t go in and make demands. For example, [Ukraine President] Poroshenko, I pushed him on getting rid of a corrupt [prosecutor] general. We had committed a billion dollars, I said, “Petro, you’re not getting your billion dollars. It’s OK, you can keep the [prosecutor] general. Just understand—we’re not paying if you do.” I suspended it on the spot, to the point where our ambassador looked at me like, “Whoa, what’d you just do? Do you have the authority?” “Yeah, I got the authority. It’s not going to happen, Petro.” But I really mean it. It wasn’t a threat. I said, “Look, Petro, I understand. We’re not gonna play. It’ll hurt us the following way, so make your own call here.”

    (the brackets in this last quotation came from the interviewer)

    In the magazine article this is connected to, we learn that he sometimes doesn’t need Obama for m to get involved. Foreign leaders deal with him directly, or at least that’s what you would think:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/08/biden-doctrine/496841

    Netanyahu had enough trust in the vice president to ask him to help normalize his country’s relations with Turkey, which had ruptured in 2010. Biden took the mission, mediating between Netanyahu and Erdogan—himself not an uncomplicated leader. And it worked.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  201. Trump is a US official. AIUI he was in the process, as part of his job as the chief law enforcement official, of seeking information. Investigations don’t just spring up out of the ether. Someone first asks questions.

    And Trump’s hands-on involvement in law enforcement just happened be directed at his chief past and future political rivals.

    What a coincidence!

    And as for putting his personal lawyer in charge of what was ostensibly a federal investigation, well, I guess all the real US attorneys and FBI agents are busy prosecuting real corruption cases against Trump or Giuliani, and their henchmen, so there was nobody else available!

    Dave (1bb933)

  202. Nixon should have claimed the Watergate break-in was a personally-directed investigation of corruption within the DNC, I guess.

    Dave (1bb933)

  203. “Nixon should have claimed the Watergate break-in was a personally-directed investigation of corruption within the DNC, I guess.”

    I guess Obama is off the hook now for personally tapping Trump’s phone.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  204. “I guess all the real US attorneys and FBI agents are busy prosecuting real corruption cases against Trump or Giuliani, and their henchmen, so there was nobody else available!”
    Dave (1bb933) — 1/23/2020 @ 8:27 am

    A shame McCabe and Stzrok were fired, and Clinesmith was put out of commission, else they could’ve handled that for him. Trump is way too stoopid to think ahead.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  205. And Trump’s hands-on involvement in law enforcement just happened be directed at his chief past and future political rivals.

    But this argument can go either way. As has been raised repeatedly, even here, being a political opponent of the president should not grant someone carte blanche to commit crimes. Not saying that one was committed, but there seemed to be sufficient information coming from he suspected party himself that there’s something there to be concerned about.

    well, I guess all the real US attorneys and FBI agents are busy prosecuting real corruption cases against Trump or Giuliani, and their henchmen, so there was nobody else available!

    Again, something that has been raised repeatedly…Given what has come out regarding RussiaRussiaRussia, the FBI, the CIA, and even many of his close advisors, I don’t see how anyone in his position could reasonably rely on the very swampy people he is in contention with for control o the executive branch of the government to which he was duly elected. Any president working in a normal environment, I’d be questioning that. Of course given what we’ve learned about our government in the last 2-3 years, it certainly seems like all the real US attorneys and FBI agents SHOULD be busy prosecuting real corruption cases against the swamp critters. But whatever.

    PTw (894877)

  206. Time123 (52fb0e) — 1/23/2020 @ 7:12 am

    Trump asked, personally and through agents, the president of Ukraine to announce an investigation, in the Ukraine, of Joe Biden for corruption.

    No, Trump personally asked the president of Ukraine to get to the bottom of what happened in 2016 and to “look into” the allegation:

    that Biden stopped the prosecution. ..[of something to do with Burisma presumably] … and so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it

    It was Trump’s agents, and Trump’s agents alone, who asked for an announcement of investigations because they thought this could get Trump to restore friendly relations with Ukraine instead of virtually freezing them out.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  207. Time123 (52fb0e) — 1/23/2020 @ 4:56 am

    According to the timeline in 2014 Burisma and Zlochevskiy were being investigated. At that point, it looks like there was reasonable suspicion of corruption. Hunter then joins the board. Biden eventually gets Shokin booted. Lutsenko comes in who Biden approves of and who “initially took a hard line against Burisma”. Lutsenko gets evidence against Manafort. The case against Burisma is closed, not goes dormant but is closed.

    So, it looks a little like Biden replaced one corrupt guy with a different one who also didn’t investigate Burisma but was able to get evidence against someone associated with Trump.

    Joe Biden was assigned as point person for Ukraine policy

    If Trump had assigned Pence as the point person on Ukraine policy would the two situations be comparable, other than Pence not having an obvious conflict of interest?

    frosty (f27e97)

  208. There has been no evidence that there is an investigation by US officials.

    Trump’s premise was that this was something Ukraine would be able to find out about, because the only evidence he had was that video of Joe Biden speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations on January 23. 2018. and Ukrainian informants of Giuliani)

    What he wanted is open to conjecture. But my assumption is that he wanted to harm Biden politically.

    The Democrats claim he wanted to smear Biden although they avoid saying outright that Trump knew the accusation was bogus. But everything we have indicates Trump did not think it was bogus, and the Democrats must be afraid to accuse him of thinking so for fear that then he’ll have his people testify to that effect.

    That doesn’t mean he was certain it was true.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  209. frosty (f27e97) — 1/23/2020 @ 8:52 am

    Biden eventually gets Shokin booted.

    Well he claims, or comes close to claiming that. I wouldn’t take that as a given. I’d like to see if his stories in that connection can be corroborated, or not.

    Lutsenko comes in who Biden approves of

    Somewhere there’s aclaim that Biden approved him.

    In his 2018 Q & A session he says that “they put in place someone who was solid at the time” Because, by Jan 2018, Lutsenko did not have such a solid reputation.

    The whisteblower accused Trump of wanting Zelensky to retain Lutsenko, which is untrue. Yesterday Hakeem Jeffries claimed that the July 25 transcript showed that Trump didn’t like the fact tat Lutsenko was fired (but he hadn’t been yet)

    I think that could be because Lutsenko had said in March, 2019 that was re-opening the Burisma case.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  210. #179

    I had a job like that once.
    First job at 15, lasted maybe two weeks.
    Baskin Robbins Ice Cream (I hate Ice Cream now, the stink of sour Ice Cream is burned in my memory)
    I wore a nifty Neopolitan pink, brown and white outfit. $1.65HR
    Not a good fit for me. The owner came in to give me the “very last lecture” before firing me (the manager later told me he did this to all new hires, he was bluffing, just trying to assert control.)
    When he threw down the “the is your last chance” card I said something along the lines of “OK, I ‘ll go now then. No hard feelings, it’s not me, it’s you”
    I left. Got a job the next day planting Avocado trees in the hills, fresh air lots of space, for $2.25HR
    $.40HR more than my former manager at the ice cream shop.

    So, good luck to you. I hope your chosen course will match your needs and principles. I’d suggest a completely Independent course where maybe you don’t vote at all if there are no candidates that fit you. I think in the USA we encourage voting as a type of obligation. As a general rule, I agree that we should educate ourselves, participate in every election, choosing wisely between the candidates the primaries get us to. But one size doesn’t fit all…. or should I say two sizes… but in your particular case at this time in your life, I don’t think you have an obligation to vote for either dog vomit or dog poop. I either cover my eyes and vote, or hold my nose and vote realizing that our system has produced some real stinkers.

    I’d like to find a way to work together to find and promote good people onto the ballot, but at my age, I have to admit I have become very cynical about that. I’ve had local politicians suck up to me at volunteer events I run for a commie non-profit (An old friend is CEO, he knows I think he is a nut, but people need to learn how to work together to restore the community after disasters and I can help… so I do) these politicians are some of the most useless people. The only thing they are good at is being manipulated into cutting red tape. Not getting rid of red tape, they won’t do that, but will carve out an exception because– hey volunteers… vote for me!

    Good luck to you. You obviously care deeply… Marianas Trench deeply. If you ever get a chance to be part of a team that promotes great people for the jobs, take it.

    steveg (354706)

  211. Time123 (52fb0e) — 1/23/2020 @ 4:56 am

    It’s also interesting that Lutsenko reopened the case against Burisma, ostensibly to appease Trump, but now it’s closed again because Ukraine doesn’t want to lose its bipartisan support in congress. This is one of the rare cases where bipartisan support means D’s, i.e. the D’s will be upset if Ukraine investigates Burisma and that might impact vital funding from the US.

    In other words, Burisma is not being investigated because of the implied threat that funds will be withheld.

    frosty (f27e97)

  212. Frosty, Ukraine is is a catch 22 at the moment. No matter what they do it’s going to look like they’re playing politics in the US.

    Regardless of that I think the information provided at the link show pretty clearly that removing Shokin was an official policy goal of the US and not something Biden did for his own, corrupt reasons. Do you see it otherwise?

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  213. Americans have heard enough; the evidence compelling: Lindsey Graham is gay.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  214. R.I.P. Jim Lehrer.

    Take the last train to Clarksville…

    =30=

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  215. Patterico is right on in what he says here. Congress is showing itself to consist of nothing but partisan hacks, on BOTH sides of the isle. To hell with the lot of them.
    I grew up in a family of staunch democrats, and identified myself with that party until the Clinton impeachment two decades ago. I was so disgusted by that reptile–and by the Democrats’ refusal in the impeachment process even to admit that there was any wrongdoing–that I disabused myself of the notion that I was a democrat, and became an independent (though my voting practices began to lean heavily in the republican direction). Now it’s just the opposite: I see republican senators, many of whom I have greatly respected, unable or unwilling to admit that there was any wrongdoing.
    I guess I’ll have to get used to political homelessness. I see nothing but crude tribalism and partisan hackery. A pox on both sides.

    Roger (7efba0)

  216. Time123 (ea2b98) — 1/23/2020 @ 9:26 am

    No, I can see that removing Shokin was an official policy goal of the US but I can also see that Biden could have also had reasons of his own. I can also see that reducing corruption in a country we’re sending a lot of money to is also an official policy goal of the US. In the first case, the argument seems to be there’s no reason to assert bad intent on the part of Biden because there’s a plausible alternative and in the second there’s no plausible alternative so we can only assert bad intent.

    Ukraine is a catch 22 at the moment because they are playing politics in the US and there’s reason to believe that multiple parties linked to both the R’s and D’s would be in trouble if we dug too deeply.

    I get that it looks like I’m defending Trump and blah blah no one cares. But my issue here is that the difference between these cases is more of form than function, i.e. Biden looks like he managed to be corrupt in a way that is willing to be tolerated because the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed. We still don’t have an investigation of Burisma and now the whole issue of corruption in Ukraine it toxic.

    I’m also having trouble getting past how Biden’s actions, that on the surface, are being described as anti-corruption actually led to the closing of an investigation into corruption are unquestionable but Trump’s actions to open an investigation are impeachable.

    frosty (f27e97)

  217. Sammy Finkelman (083d4c) — 1/23/2020 @ 9:09 am

    Well he claims, or comes close to claiming that. I wouldn’t take that as a given. I’d like to see if his stories in that connection can be corroborated, or not.

    So far I haven’t seen people who claim what Biden did was above board touch this issue so it hasn’t seemed relevant. If this was getting Biden dirty I wouldn’t be surprised by Biden supporters asserting that this was just a bald-faced lie to make himself look more important. Until then I’m ok with the idea that Biden did what he said he did.

    frosty (f27e97)

  218. 210, was one bicep much more developed than the other when you quit B-R and started at the avocado farm?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  219. 202. Dave (1bb933) — 1/23/2020 @ 8:30 am

    Nixon should have claimed the Watergate break-in was a personally-directed investigation of corruption within the DNC, I guess.

    No he couldn’t. But John Erlichman claimed that when the Plumbers broke into Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office that was legitimate national security investigation. And indeed, there were no political benefits to that. Senator Sam Ervin reminded him about the 4th amendment.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  220. 217. frosty (f27e97) — 1/23/2020 @ 10:26 am

    If this was getting Biden dirty I wouldn’t be surprised by Biden supporters asserting that this was just a bald-faced lie to make himself look more important. Until then I’m ok with the idea that Biden did what he said he did.

    Saying this is a bald faced lie is not a defense of Joe Biden. In he House Judiciaey Committee I think Ranking Republican Doug Collins gave House Intelligence Committee counsel, or somebody on the Democratic side that (the idea that Joe Biden lied) as an alternative, and he didn’t bite. I think Doug Collins intended that as reducto ad absurdem maybe not realizing it could be the truth!

    What Biden said he did isn’t so bad. Carrying out Obama’s policy of trying to force the firing of a bad prosecutor who wasn’t pursuing corruption or trying to recover lost money for the Ukrainian government, and to the extent that he was, was doing so only in order for his subordinates to collect bribes isn’t wrong, although what he said he did amounts to American imperialism with a vengeance.

    What Biden hasn’t done is describe recently what he did in any kind of detail. He as avoided detail entirely

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  221. Roger> A pox on both sides.

    A big failing in our current climate is the belief that one side is more noble than the other. People who crave power tend to do it for less than noble reasons, so politics attracts more less savory people than other professions, and even when someone comes in with noble aspirations, the amount of compromise and necessary to succeed and the temptations from the big money people will corrupt many.

    So, I don’t vote for a party because they are better, I vote for the party that will move the country in the right direction regardless of their character. There are limits, however. I wouldn’t vote for Alcee Hastings no matter what, nor BJ Clinton. I know that I don’t have a saint running for office, so I vote for policy and direction. Right now, Republicans are closer to libertarianism than Dems. Dem controlled areas are disasters and getting worse. It is a simple choice. But if you give a quality Dem vs a sleazy Rep, I might switch my vote. Unfortunately the Dems have drummed out most of their quality people.

    WaBlogLog (32b868)

  222. 170: Every president has used informal back channels. That is not an impeachable offense, it’s how things have always been done. It’s admittedly unusual as standard procedure, but it is done. Once again, you throw around”laws” without citing a specific statute.

    Bugg (47841b)

  223. 216. frosty (f27e97) — 1/23/2020 @ 10:21 am

    Biden looks like he managed to be corrupt in a way that is willing to be tolerated because the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed.

    Top grade honest graft.

    What I think maybe was going on here is that Hunter Biden was hired, in part because he would be a pliable board member, and possibly a contact to Delaware lawyers expert in corporate governance law, past and present, who would help enable Mykola Zlochevsky maintain behind the scenes control of Burisma, but also for the precise purpose of creating an appearance of corruption in the eyes of people in Ukraine.

    So that everybody in Ukraine, or everybody except for those who really understood American politics, would think that they were being protected by the highest levels of the American government.

    And this could even be flatly (and falsely) asserted by some lawyers the company hired.

    No member of the Biden family would have to do anything. And Hunter Biden, unlike Paul Manafort, was careful to pay all American taxes.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  224. Biden’s greatest scandal was, as the Senator from MBNA, greasing the legislative machinery to make cheap easy high interest rate consumer credit legal and available for the masses. Before him, the current level of personal and credit card debt would have been unthinkable. And further the credit card banks were allowed to market like crazy to young people, working poor and college students. It is never discussed. You could say it was all perfectly legal thanks to him, but it’s no less despicable.

    Bugg (47841b)

  225. Note: the justsecurity timeline, which is pro impeachment, completely omits Biden’s descriptions of what he did i its straight chronology, only saying that’s what Biden later says he did.

    That means is is not verified and they don’t want to stand behind it. Partly that could be because they can’t place a date on it. Which is maybe telling.

    https://www.justsecurity.org/66271/timeline-trump-giuliani-bidens-and-ukrainegate

    Feb. 11, 2016 – Vice President Biden speaks with Poroshenko by phone. A U.S. Embassy statement said the two agreed “that it is essential for Ukraine to continue to take action to root out corruption and implement reforms.”

    Biden later boasts about the pressure he exerted on Ukraine during that time to address corruption. In a Jan. 23, 2018, Q&A following a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, Biden touts his tough stance with Ukraine in 2016. He says he told Ukrainian leaders that the U.S. would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless they fired Prosecutor General Shokin. President Trump and Rudy Giuliani have cited that boast repeatedly as proof that Biden admitted pushing for Shokin’s firing, even though Biden was calling for the prosecutor to be fired because he wasn’t pursuing corruption cases vigorously enough. In the CFR appearance, Biden makes the comments in the context of expressing his concern that Ukraine still was not getting tough enough on corruption. “I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.” Biden continued, “So they made some genuine substantial changes institutionally and with people. But … there’s now some backsliding.” (Biden had boasted about this episode in an interview in Aug. 2016.) …

    Jst secrity links to the 218 event but not the 2o16 interview,

    Biden later boasts about the pressure he exerted on Ukraine during that time to address corruptio

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  226. 224. Bugg (47841b) — 1/23/2020 @ 11:08 am

    And further the credit card banks were allowed to market like crazy to young people, working poor and college students. It is never discussed. You could say it was all perfectly legal thanks to him, but it’s no less despicable.

    Schumer was later responsible for changing things so that people under age 21 couldn’t get credit cards unless they had an independent source of income.

    But they could still take out student loans, which are worse because they are no longer dischargeable in bankruptcies (Student loans can be used for ordinary living expenses. Not just tuition.)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  227. A lot of the same excerpts from documents and video are repeated in the impeachment arguments, bt I don’t find this bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  228. Sylvia Garcia is saying “what Biden did” was in line with U.S. policy etc without saying what Biden did! And none of the Democrats involved in the impeachment ever have.

    She even played now an excerpt from the testimony of Marie Yovanovich where the question she was asked started off with the words: “If Biden…”

    Don’t think that Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff don’t understand exactly what the problem is here. But it’s the big lie.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  229. Sylvia Garcia: No basis for investigating Hunter Biden either.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  230. Sylvia Garcia: Biden’s actions were well known and Biden spoke about it in 2018 but Trump didn’t care until Biden announced for president. Like as if he wasn’t a potential candidate all along? And Biden didn’t announce to April.

    Trump and Giuliani didn’t know anything about Biden’s pressure or claims of pressure to fire the prosecutor until Giuliani’s attention was called to it by Ukrainians. Giuliani didn’t even have contacts in Ukraine until about October, 2018.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  231. They are really trying to link this to the idea of Trump discovering that Biden was besting Trump in polls. And also that everybody knew the allegations were unfounded.

    But how can she claim some immediate political benefit from 2016 elections? It’s been said he somehow thought Russian hacking undermined his legitimacy.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  232. “Every president has used informal back channels. That is not an impeachable offense, it’s how things have always been done. ”

    It is when it’s done for personal gain.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  233. Frosty,
    Biden’s actions clearly have the appearance of impropriety. He shouldn’t have been the lead on Ukraine. Based on what I’ve seen it wouldn’t have affected the outcome, we would have still wanted Shokin removed.

    I’m also having trouble getting past how Biden’s actions, that on the surface, are being described as anti-corruption actually led to the closing of an investigation into corruption are unquestionable but Trump’s actions to open an investigation are impeachable.

    I think the part I made bold it incorrect in that it states that Bidens actions lead to closing the investigation. The was no active investigation of Burisma under Shokin. It looks like there wasn’t one under his successor. Eventually their courts made them close the investigation because they hand’t presented any evidence. But part of what Shokin was criticized for was that he wasn’t pursuing that investigation.

    I haven’t seen any evidence that Trump was actually trying to have corruption investigated here. Or that Trump cares about corruption in general. Look, he’s a doofus but he’s not an complete imbecile. If he wanted work on corruption in eastern Europe I doubt that it would look this.

    Time123 (14b920)

  234. So the theory is that the Republican Senate will not confirm a Republican VP, in favor of holding it open for Pelosi? That is non-reality based.

    Twenty-fifth Amendment, Section 2:

    Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  235. 6) Pelosi resigns, Newsome appoints her to fill her own vacant seat, she re-assumes the gavel.

    All members of the House of Representatives are elected. None are ever appointed. It’s a point of pride with them.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  236. It was another peculiarity of the situation, besides that of a president differently inclined than most of the Senate, that his successor would come from Congress.

    In 1887, the Congressional members were removed from the line of succession. Next after the VP were cabinet members, beginning with Secretary of State.

    Al Haig may have been thinking of this in 1981, because it was not until 1947 (and a GOP House) that the Speaker and President Pro Tem were restored to the line of succession (in the reverse order of that had prevailed before 1887).

    Kevin M (19357e)

  237. Ooops. I should have known Sammy would have the info first.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  238. Nixon should have claimed the Watergate break-in was a personally-directed investigation of corruption within the DNC, I guess.

    They had told the Cuban-American burglars that McGovern was in cahoots with Castro and they wanted to get the evidence. Not just corruption, then, but treason.

    It turned out not to be the case.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  239. I would be OK with Hunter Biden testifying under a grant of immunity.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  240. Nixon should have claimed the Watergate break-in was a personally-directed investigation of corruption within the DNC, I guess.

    They had told the Cuban-American burglars that McGovern was in cahoots with Castro and they wanted to get the evidence. Not just corruption, then, but treason.

    It turned out not to be the case.

    Kevin M (19357e) — 1/23/2020 @ 1:18 pm

    Why limit it to the president. I’m sure letting other LEO do the same thing wouldn’t have any downsides. Lois Lerner should have just said she read a tweet from Raw Story that T party groups are a scam so she started doing audits. Case closed.

    Time123 (14b920)

  241. R.I.P. Jim Lehrer. He was 85! (1934-2020) It wasn;t so long ago he moderated aresidential debate, I think. Announced on NBC earlier today.

    He and Robert MacNeil covering the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy and then worked together at the time of the Watergate hearings.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  242. They had a long break earlier this afternoon. ABC cut off first, CBS later and NBC (local WNBC) at 4 pm.

    We learned some of the strategy (or the compromise) of the lawyers for Trump. They’ll go through several possible theories of what is required for impeachment, not just the need to be a crime one, and argue that this charge doesn’t fit the criteria for any of them.

    The New York Times said the reason McConell originally wanted 2 12-hour days was so there could be Trump;s lawyers bon TV before the Sunday interview shows But you have that anyway. Maybe they wanted equal time by them.

    The House managers may very well use all of their time, bt Trump’s lawyers maybe no. They;ll do an abbreviated presentation on Saturday. They’re actually still working it out.

    The House managers are doing some pre-rebuttals almost they say.

    Adam Schiff started out this afternoon by saying some things Sylvia Garcia said said or alluded to stood out at him but first he wanted to say while she showed all these charts of polls Biden versus Trump the House managers are taking no position on the Democratic primary, explaining further that he didn’t want to lose any more votes than he had to (or some ting like that)

    Schiff makes some good points, if he’d only stick to them.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  243. @224. Those in the know– know. He is utter, total rancid toilet scum; the very kind of politician that led the great unwashed to desperately turn to Trump. And the SOB is a plagiarist as well. Next time you send off a CC payment to a PO box in Delaware– thank Biden.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  244. The way the paint is dryin’ today, a listener could almost believe they’re prosecuting a case against Giuliani. If you’re playin’ a drinking game at home and had to take a swig every time Rudy’s name was mentioned, you’d have been totally blotto in a hour.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  245. The House Managers can’t seem to agree with themselves, or stick to one version of reality. Sme say that Trump wanted investigations (Val Demings and also Hakeem Jeffries) and some, or one, says Trump wanted merely an announcement of investigations (Adam Schiff, maybe because that’s what in Impeachment Article I, so he considers that’s what he has to argue)

    In reality Trump wanted answers to questions * and Giuliani (and Sondland because of him) wanted actual investigations.

    Anyway they are not in line with each oter, and not quote in line with reality either.

    Also: Val Demings also said that Zelensky’s election took Giuliani by surprise. Possibly, but Zelensky’s win in the runoff had been widely expected after the first round in March.

    —————–
    * David Holmes’ testimony about overhearing what he asked on that July 26 call to Sondland is false, and he would have had no reason to ask that – if he’d asked anything at all, he’d have asked when Zelensky was going to meet with Giuliani.

    And the kind of investigations Sonald Trump wanted were any kind – including something like a commission.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  246. DCSCA (797bc0) — 1/23/2020 @ 1:56 pm

    Next time you send off a CC payment to a PO box in Delaware– thank Biden.

    That’s Delaware law. I’m not sure what if any federal law in involved. Banks in other states are exempt from your state’s usury laws. There are also state laws that may favor credit card companies.

    There are some other states used for credit card payments.

    I haven’t mailed payments in years. The last one was ASSOCIATES, WHICH DID NOT ALLOW YOU TO PAY ANY OTHER WAY than by mail. You can pay in the bank (not widely advertised) over the telepone, by computer on the credit card site (you get credit on the day you order it, sometimes the next business day) or by computer on a different bank’s site.

    The only time you wold need to know the address is when you want to enter the information on a bank’s site, or perhaps you have a balance transfer check which needs to be presented – they don’t always have to be – but you often can deposit it as cash.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  247. The way Republicans have handled this so far, lining up one and all behind the corrupt actions of a corrupt man, solidifies my utter disenchantment with the Republican party. There is not a single one of them left I respect. Not Mike Lee or Mitt Romney, not Ted Cruz or Rand Paul

    My pre-2016 impression of you was that deliberately or otherwise, and notwithstanding notable exceptions, you tended to treat partisan affiliation as a predictor of virtue. I hope the small silver lining of the last 3 yrs is that at least your eyes have been opened to the folly of that worldview.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  248. @241. leher seemed to be an OK guy. Liberal like the rest of them, but tried to keep a balance. Looking back, all these “news readers” in the 70’s and 80’s had an over-sized impact on the US Public due to lack of Cable news outlets and no internet. You had ABC=NBC-CBS-PBS and maybe CNN. And that’s it. So everyone knew who Sam Donaldson, George Will, Dan Rather, and yes Jim Leher were. I doubt they really deserved the fame.

    Today I couldn’t tell you who is the anchor for the TV nightly news on any channel. I know who the Sunday talk show hosts are, because they are constantly being mentioned.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  249. I think if this makes politicians of all stripes be afraid to act “for [their] personal political benefit rather than for a legitimate policy purpose”, it will be a very good thing for America and find favor in the eyes of Heaven.

    nk (1d9030)

  250. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTPSfQRgxjo

    Hack CNN live feed. At about 3pm EST Jay Sekulow the President’s Attorney was holding a press briefing and answering questions from reporters. It cuts early to George Stephanoplous viciously and repeatedly slitting his throat to cut the feed. Can’t have people hearing a defense of the President now, at least not on CNN.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  251. @249. Perhaps you should watch the PBS News Hour tonight and their reportage and tribute to Jim Lehrer. He was a United States Marine, a family man, a writer, a bus and train hobbyist– by far the best presidential debate moderator of our time and above all, a journalist. He stated a superb list of guidelines for what he called, ‘MacNeil/Lehrer’ journalism, ending with:

    “I am not in the entertainment business.” – Jim Lehrer, 1934-2020

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  252. @253. “Rudy Giuliani!” Down another shot, Mr. Feet! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  253. My comment 250 was for whembly’s 248. I just had a vision of James Bennett, the NYT opinion editor: “A Trump supporter wants us to print a column he wrote that ‘What’s in it for me?’ is a desirable quality in a politician and, specifically, Donald Trump? Print it! Print it!”

    nk (1d9030)

  254. Trump brags about stalling impeachment by withholding evidence, live and in color. Because why not, who cares.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  255. LOL Klink. It’s like he’s been a democrat screwing with the GOP this whole time.

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  256. @190

    Is anyone concerned about the precedent that the House has set with impeachments… or nah?

    I disagree about what that precedent is.

    I view it akin to Harry Reid Nuking the filibuster for political appointees sans SCOTUS…Cocaine Mitch applied that same scenario to nuke the SCOTUS cloture limit to simple majority.

    Just about every Presidential Administration (except for Harrison as he’d only been in office for a month) has done things that we can point to, yep that’s definitely categorized as maladministration. Can we agree to this without accusations of spin, granting cover, or whatabouting?? The founder’s intent expressly rejected maladministration to justify impeachment and feared a partisan impeachment.

    Yes, but this isn’t bad policy. It’s abusing power for personal gain.

    I’m also talking about personal gains too. A legit policy can ALSO give political personal gains as well. Josh Blackman eloquently states this here:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/opinion/trump-impeachment-defense.html

    To those who believe that the House met that standard, with regards to Abuse of Power, are you willing to live with the new-precedent whereby the opposing party would impeach a future President under such standard?

    Yes, if the next president uses their power to pressure a foreign government to announce (or launch) the investigation of a rival that is not based on facts, not based on reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed and not in support of an investigation we have launched under our rules protections and processes I’d like to see them impeached.

    Given that premise…OK. However, I dispute this characterization as applied to Trump. There’s nothing unreasonable to asking Ukraine to investigate into the Bidens. It *could’ve* been handled differently, ie ask DOJ to handle it and get out of the way, but there were enough predicate to justify it, as it wasn’t “out of the blue”.

    I believe Impeachment/Removal need to be over something that is understandable to laymen

    Trump abused his power to try and make Ukraine announce an investigation of Joe Biden. Not hard to understand.

    Is that you Adam Schiff? Just kidding! 😉 There’s no proof that Trump pushed that. This is literally conjecture.

    Every House Democrat witness testified that they did NOT hear from Trump to do that.

    While technically, the House doesn’t need a crime to impeach… it *DOES* make a more compelling case to include actual crimes.

    I agree, I’d have put in that he solicited a bribe. But no one ever said the dems were smart

    Bribery has very technical requirement for it to be construed as Bribery as the founders meant or statutory bribery. In what you’re alleging, bribery in either case is tenuous at best. Which is why Democrats dropped it, which was SMART because it wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    I know it’s purely a political process and as such, we shouldn’t ignore the political realities. The reality is this:
    -Democrats has been clamoring for impeachment since day one. This isn’t hyperbole.
    -The election is right around the corner, so the cynics amongst us can’t help to think that this is nothing more a ploy to “dirty up” Trump.
    -Trump’s maladministrations doesn’t seem any worse than previous Presidents.

    Can you give me a few examples of where you’ve seen similar behavior in the past? If possible from members of both parties? Because I don’t see that what Trump did is normal.

    -Obama’s Book Deal. The same publisher got the Common Core contract, then towards the end of Obama’s tenure, signed him a lucrative book deal.
    -Obama’s IRS Scandal.
    -Obama’s hot mic to Russian official to tell Putin that he’ll have more flexibility after the election.
    -arguably Bush’s war with Iraq based on flimsy faulty intelligence in order to increase his relection chances as a “wartime POTUS”.
    -History is replete with POTUS’ abusing their power, from Eisenhower Japanese Internment to other presidents actually jailing his opponent/reporters (Wilson and Truman (?) I believe).

    So, it’s hard for me to ignore the Democrat’s bad faith during this process, such that I don’t give any credibility to their impeachment process.

    Process matters.

    I don’t trust the Dems at all.
    Process does matter, but I don’t see how the process used has yielded an improper result. There’s been a lot of whining and excuses. But that’s about it.

    The defense and GOP couldn’t call their own witness during the House. The whole house preceding was a total farce exhibiting none of the characteristics of the ‘Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures’, especially since that was how Democrats tried to analogize the process. It’s mindboggling to me why any neutral observer, as in someone who just calls balls and strikes, would look at the procedure as anything but a fair process.

    So, given that I don’t believe that House made a good case for impeachment/removal and the fact that current Democrats are tilting dangerously left…I feel comfortable in taking a principled stance to vote for GOP and Trump in next election for if nothing else, to deny any power to the Democratic Party.

    Do you think Trump withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of Joe Biden?

    Time123 (f5cf77) — 1/23/2020 @ 5:10 am

    No. I think he withheld it out of genuine concern (or at least listening to concerned advisors) about corruption in general (he tweeted about it months before) and about the new President. Via the transcript, his comment regarding “look into” Biden wasn’t something that he thought he’d “dirty up” biden, but the fact that the Bidens looked shady as all hell…and more importantly, he wants to get the bottom of what/how Ukraine interfered with the 2016 elections. Because there’s one thing I think you and I would agree: Anything that cast a shadow over the 2016 election that his election was illegitimate because of interference, he reflectively rejects that premise. He wants to re-enforce that he won *fair and square* w/o any “outside” help, despite alleged Ukraine’s pro-Hillary interference. That’s why he rejects that Russian interference made any impact.

    It’s his own incompetent administration and his own people (namely Sondland and Guiliani) where mucking up the process.

    At worst, this ordeal was misfeasance. Which, has been far too common in Presidential administrations lately.

    whembly (91455b)

  257. **should be**
    …as in someone who just calls balls and strikes, would look at the procedure as a fair process.

    ****
    gah… my proofreading needs work. :/

    whembly (91455b)

  258. @250

    I think if this makes politicians of all stripes be afraid to act “for [their] personal political benefit rather than for a legitimate policy purpose”, it will be a very good thing for America and find favor in the eyes of Heaven.

    nk (1d9030) — 1/23/2020 @ 5:07 pm

    Heh… that’s a Utopian ideal.

    Pragmatically, politicians benefit from their positions in various ways.

    whembly (91455b)

  259. DoJ admits to the FISA court, the last two warrants issued against Carter Page were unlawfully predicated.
    The corrupt process exposed by Congressman Nunes, was in fact corrupt…as evidence clearly showed.
    Schiff wrote a rebuttal report reaching a diametrically different conclusion, and claimed he fully investigated the FISA warrant issue and all was fine, and Nunes was lying.
    Schiff actively covered up the corruption. Corruption of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Something that actually is directly under his oversight, as Chairman of the Intelligence committee. Unlike his running of impeachment inquiries that never touch on anything his intelligence committee has any oversight over.

    Schiff is lucky congress critters can’t be impeached and removed from office. As the left was over the top effusive in the praise of Schiff’s oratory skills and legal acumen, from his performance yesterday, he’s not inept.

    That means he’s corrupt.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  260. Do you think Trump withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of Joe Biden?

    Time123 (f5cf77) — 1/23/2020 @ 5:10 am

    whembly (91455b) — 1/23/2020 @ 5:57 pm

    No. I think he withheld it out of genuine concern (or at least listening to concerned advisors) about corruption in general

    I think some of his advisers were not truly concerned, except maybe for Giuliani.

    Giuliani sent him (with the intent of reaching Pompeo, who was avoiding him) a report (littered with inaccuracies they say) about the supposed involvement of Ambassador Marie Yovanovich with corrupt anti-Trump Ukrainians.

    His goal was to get her fired because Lev Parnass wanted her fired, and he was telling Giuliani she was interfering in his investigation or something. Actually, she was probably interfering with corrupt Ukrainians or helping people who were.

    So Trump had this report in March or April, 2019, which he interpreted more as a report about corrupt Ukrainians than about the ambassador..

    He was going to fire Yovanovich by April 23 and possibly bring her up on charges when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arranged to evacuate her from Ukraine quickly (telling her, through his aides that she should leave on the next plane for her security) in order to prevent that. Without telling her what was really going on.

    Trump may also have gotten a bad report on Ukrainian corruption from Vladimir Putin personally in a telephone call on May 3 and what may really have turned the corner on that for him was Hungarian Prime Minster Viktor Orban, whom Trump did not realize was allied (politically) with Putin, even though Hungary is in NATO, echoing some of that stuff that Putin said about Ukrainian corruption in a meeting in the White House on May 13 (this is guesswork based a little bit on George Kent’s impression as reported in the New York Times. Which didn’t really look at its own reporting)

    So after about May 13 Trump was hostile toward Ukraine.

    Yesterday House manager Zoe Lofgren said that the Washington Examiner ran a report on June 18 about
    the Pentagon being about to release military aid to Ukraine and this (or I would say more likely some television report derivative of that) apparently came to Trump’s attention.

    Trump, in spite of the fact that he’d signed a bill in November or was it September, that, along with a lot of other thigs, authorized this military aid, did not know about that. (half of the aid was held back pending a report by the Pentagon or State Department that Ukraine was taking sufficient action against corruption, and this June 18 article was reporting that it had now been okayed.

    Trump wanted this military aid to Ukraine stopped. His aides were wondering about the legality, but they kept on trying to find ways to do that, while at the same time trying to get Trump to reverse his decision.

    They didn’t want to tell him: It’s just not possible to withhold this aid now legally. It’s too late, especially for the military aid that runs through the Pentagon (the State Department aid was easier since the State Department didn’t yet issue its all clear on corruption) They didn’t ant to tell him: You have to go to Congress if you want to do that.

    I think his aides wanted to keep it secret because they knew this hold was against what 90% of Congress wanted and what the position of his administration had been, and they hoped this would get reversed so quickly nobody would ever find out Trump had ordered it.

    House Manager Zoe Lofgren yesterday called Trump’s decision to withhold the aid “impulsive” Although the House impeachment case seems to be based on the idea it was calculated, and later she was saying things, I think, mmore in line with the idea it was calculated.

    . Via the transcript, his comment regarding “look into” Biden wasn’t something that he thought he’d “dirty up” biden,

    Absolutely. That’s a misrepresentation of what he was asking for.

    but the fact that the Bidens looked shady as all hell…

    Well, to Trump, who wasn’t paying careful attention to what Joe Biden actually said on the recording.

    and more importantly, he wants to get the bottom of what/how Ukraine interfered with the 2016 elections.

    That was another thing that was probably about 90% false. Because he was talking about the server, and Crowdstrike, and even if Crowdstrike was a Ukrainian company, and even if U.S. agencies needed the servers to determine if the DNC had been hacked, (as opposed to maybe what? Itt being an inside job?) and even if the servers had been taken to Ukraine, examining the servers now would probably tell you nothing because they would undoubtedly have even wiped and not with a cloth.

    But this was what the Russian secret services were pushing – Ukraine did something wrong and they covered it up, but there’s a way to prove it.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  261. Whembly, Thank you for taking the time to reply in detail I do have a response more profound than “We disagree with some particulars.” I’ll try to get that written up properly but may not be today.
    Hope you have a good weekend.

    Time123 (c9382b)

  262. -Obama’s Book Deal. The same publisher got the Common Core contract, then towards the end of Obama’s tenure, signed him a lucrative book deal.
    -Obama’s IRS Scandal.
    -Obama’s hot mic to Russian official to tell Putin that he’ll have more flexibility after the election.
    -arguably Bush’s war with Iraq based on flimsy faulty intelligence in order to increase his relection chances as a “wartime POTUS”.
    -History is replete with POTUS’ abusing their power, from Eisenhower Japanese Internment to other presidents actually jailing his opponent/reporters (Wilson and Truman (?) I believe).

    I know this is dying thread, so I’ll be brief.
    The accusations about targeting political opponents with IRS audits are very similar to this. The difference is in the lack if similar evidence that Obama was involved in directing those audits. the House rightly investigated that, but didn’t find what they (or I) considered evidence to support impeaching President Obama. Had he gone on TV and said that “of course the IRS should audit Tea party groups” I would have said he should be impeached.

    Basically, it seems like you’re saying that everyone does this, but Trump was the only one who got caught so we should ignore it. I just have to disagree. Again, thank you for taking the time to write your response, i wish I’d had more time to reply.

    Time123 (14b920)


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