Patterico's Pontifications

1/27/2020

Trump Should Testify

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am



As I noted last night, the New York Times has summarized key passages of John Bolton’s book in this way:

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The partisan playbook is to yell “Fake News” and attack the reporter, but that move is already outdated, and the AP has already confirmed it (thanks to Paul Montagu for the link). So that’s Bolton’s story.

Trump denies it:

What we have here is a classic dispute of fact. A trial is a great way to resolve such disputes. Let’s get John Bolton and Donald Trump on the stand in the Senate, under oath and subject to cross-examination. It’s the only way to learn the truth.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

166 Responses to “Trump Should Testify”

  1. President Trump, under oath in the Senate, with a stack of papers which he can declassify by reading aloud. It’s like a beautiful dream.

    Ingot9455 (68bf96)

  2. Maybe Bolton could go all Blasey Ford on Trump.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  3. Why should Trump testify under oath? Why would he give people a chance to put him in a perjury trap?
    Let Schiff and nadler testify. Trump already said he wanted Ukraine to investigate Biden. And he approved delaying aid for other reasons. So what difference does it make? That’s why this impeachment is so boring to Americans and no one cares. So, aid to the Ukraine got DELAYED. So what? I’m not Ukrainian.

    In fact, lets say Trump delayed aid to pressure Ukraine. Well, then why did he give aid to Ukraine even after they refused to investigate? The whole thing is a nothing burger and that’s why no one is watching.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  4. “The AP has already confirmed it” is one of those expressions that inspires confidence.

    Particularly the “by a person familiar with the manuscript on the condition of anonymity“ part.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  5. Maybe Bolton could go all Blasey Ford on Trump.

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 1/27/2020 @ 8:03 am

    A strange silly attack, given Trump brags he sexually assaults women, and Bolton’s accusations are about very timely activity. Time to dig up that George HW Bush link and yell squirrel to double down on this?

    Trump picked this Bolton guy, like many others who say these things about him, in this administration and in his previous fraud settlements and bankruptcies. You knew he was a hard core con man when you voted for him. This is the savvy player you wanted to play hard ball against those evil democrats. We all know the truth of this matter.

    Dustin (11e9a5)

  6. If he did, and I was cross-examining him, I wouldn’t start right off asking him about Bolton’s allegations. I’d ask him:
    — What is today’s date?
    — Where are we?
    — Who is the President of the United States?
    — Who was President before him?
    — Who was President before him? (the one above)
    — What is 100 minus 7.
    — What is minus 7 from that?
    — What is minus 7 from that? (the one above)
    — Do you know what it means to tell the truth?
    — What does it mean when people say “The grass is greener on the other side”? (That’s a hard one for everybody)
    — If you saw a wallet on the sidewalk, what would you do?

    nk (1d9030)

  7. RC,

    1. People do care about this. I’m one. I’m sure there are others.

    2. you wrote:

    “And he approved delaying aid for other reasons.”

    Bolton’s public statements dispute this. No one has provided evidence under oath to support this. That’s why the testimony is needed.

    3. you wrote

    In fact, lets say Trump delayed aid to pressure Ukraine. Well, then why did he give aid to Ukraine even after they refused to investigate?

    Good question. It’s been asserted publicly that it’s because their scheme was about to come to light and they feared exposure. But it would be good to get testimony about it under oath as well as supporting documentation from the people that were involved.

    4.

    So, aid to the Ukraine got DELAYED. So what? I’m not Ukrainian.

    I don’t want the executive branch to be able to farm out politically motivated prosecution using US aid & Resources. Even if their scheme falls apart because they’re incompetent.

    Time123 (441f53)

  8. @6, that’s funny. IANAL, are these sorts of questions typically allowed in cross examination in a trial? If I were sitting on a Jury it would be clear to me that they were accusing the witness of lacking mental acuity.

    RCocean is right, Trump has such weak character that it’s very likely he will lie under oath.

    Time123 (441f53)

  9. ”I don’t want the executive branch to be able to farm out politically motivated prosecution using US aid & Resources.”
    Time123 (441f53) — 1/27/2020 @ 8:19 am

    … as of January 20, 2017. FTFY

    https://news.yahoo.com/grassley-expands-probe-dod-contracts-200527001.html

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  10. I wonder if he would even take the oath (to swear or affirm to tell the truth) or if he might claim that, as President, he is exempt from taking it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  11. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1221663763138588672

    I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book. With that being said, the…

    11:18 PM · Jan 26, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    ·
    11h
    Replying to
    @realDonaldTrump

    …transcripts of my calls with President Zelensky are all the proof that is needed, in addition to the fact that President Zelensky & the Foreign Minister of Ukraine said there was no pressure and no problems. Additionally, I met with President Zelensky at the United Nations…

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    ·
    11h

    . …(Democrats said I never met) and released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations – and far ahead of schedule. I also allowed Ukraine to purchase Javelin anti-tank missiles. My Administration has done far more than the previous Administration

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  12. @9 any results from the investigation you linked yet? Because the IG report found that the investigation was properly predicated and that Obama & the white house weren’t involved. Did you forget that already? Or is it part of your reading comprehension problem?

    Time123 (441f53)

  13. The witnesses’s competence to testify truthfully and accurately is always at issue, Time123. 😉

    nk (1d9030)

  14. Okay:

    DJT> I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens

    Probably true. But he should want testimony to that effect.

    DJT> [Bolton] never complained about this at the time of his very public termination

    Is that a hint that Ukraine had something to do with his resignation/termination?

    Bolton also apparently never told told that to Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on August 31.

    DJT> transcripts of my calls with President Zelensky are all the proof that is needed

    That they weren’t being linked on July 25.

    Of course the leak tries to imply they were tied all along but nothing can change the fact that Gordon Sondland got the idea of linking aid to investigations on his own, on August 28 or 29, and that Trump denied a link between the two to Senator Johnson on August 31 (after he had spoken to Bolton that day by the way) and that when Trump asked who told him that they were linked, Sen. Johnson said Sondland and not Bolton, who would have been a stronger source.

    And also Trump explicitly disavowed that idea to Sondland on September 7. Democrats say that’s because he got caught. Well if got caught by August 31, and Sondland came up with the idea only after the August 28, 2019 Politico article, when did Trump have a chance to agree to link them? August 30?

    DJT> I met with President Zelensky at the United Nations (Democrats said I never met)

    Sometimes Democrats have not been careful to say: A meeting “at the White House” Of course this was after the hold was lifted. Trump had also been scheduled to see Zelensky in Warsaw on September 1 but he cancelled because Hurricane Dorian was predicted to hit states that he had carried in 2016 and he wanted to make a timely visit to the disaster. He sent Vice President Mike Pence instead. When Zelensky asked Mike Pence on September 1 when would the hold be lifted, that was the first time everybody knew that the other side knew about the hold. Zelensky doesn’t even want to claim he knew about the hold before September 1. While Sondland testified that he told Andriy Yermak about alink to investigations on September 1, (most likely because of a rushed reconstruction of events) Yermak has denied that, placing the time the Ukrainians were told of a link even later.

    DJT> released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations

    Democrats claim that is because he got caught – and claim he got caught because of the whistleblower, which is not true.

    DJT> – and far ahead of schedule.

    That’s ridiculous. They didn’t in fact manage to get all the spending allocated by September 30. Where does Trump get these claims from?

    DJT> I also allowed Ukraine to purchase Javelin anti-tank missiles.

    He means, as opposed to the previous Administration. Democrats claim that was before it hit him that Joe Biden was running for president and that he could get Ukraine to damage his candidacy.

    DJT> My Administration has done far more than the previous Administration

    True. That makes it worse, according to the Democrats.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  15. Why should Trump testify under oath? Why would he give people a chance to put him in a perjury trap?

    It’s definitely a trap for a pathological liar. Not much of a problem for honest people, but Trump is so unrelated to an honest person, he literally can’t understand what the words mean.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  16. It’s a crime to lie to Congress even when you’re not under oath. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/press/rep/releases/swetnick-avenatti-referred-for-criminal-investigation

    nk (1d9030)

  17. Because Obama and the Democrats ignored accountability and Constitutional limits, who believes that Republican Presidents should, too? IMO the reason Trump won is because many voters felt he would be accountable and return to following the rules, not blow them up. Admittedly, though, there are many Republican voters who seem to be enjoying the explosion.

    DRJ (15874d)

  18. Arguably, Presidents have lied in their State of the Union addresses — which is lying to Congress — but nothing happened. I doubt a perjury charge would even be enforceable (under current DOJ guidelines) during the term of the Presidency. At most, we are back to the impeachment vs censure debate.

    DRJ (15874d)

  19. Plus, Trump would invoke the national security shield to avoid questions and/or defend misleading, incorrect or incomplete answers.

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. @17, seems like accountability and oversight are going down over time.

    Time123 (653992)

  21. As is character.

    DRJ (15874d)

  22. I don’t think American Presidents have been saints (far from it) but they used to believe they had to act like they had character, and that in itself constrained what they did.

    DRJ (15874d)

  23. I don’t want the executive branch to be able to farm out politically motivated prosecution using US aid & Resources. Even if their scheme falls apart because they’re incompetent.

    That’s why we have elections.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  24. I am all for trump’s cross-examination. I would add one more question to nk’s list; are you willing to take a polygraph?

    felipe (cfae78)

  25. It’s also why we have an impeachment clause in the Constitution. The people who put it in there also put in the rules for elections. Clearly they planned that both might be needed.

    Time123 (653992)

  26. That is also why Congress has the power to censure and impeach.

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. Bolton’s public statements dispute this. No one has provided evidence under oath to support this. That’s why the testimony is needed.

    Actually they don’t. Bolton’s public statements show Trump wanted Ukraine aid delayed for many reasons, and that he wanted Biden investigated by Ukraine. Bolton has never said that Trump’s only reason for delaying the aid was the Biden investigation.

    Unless Bolton has some secret recording, some “Smoking gun” showing Trump to be a complete liar, he can add nothing. This is all about selling his book.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  28. Or ditto what Time123 said.

    DRJ (15874d)

  29. Cue the Republican Senators claiming Bolton shouldn’t testify because they don’t want to help him sell his book.

    DRJ (15874d)

  30. Delaying aid to the Ukraine is NOT a high crime and misdemeanor. Unless you’re a Ukrainian, why should you care? And why should Hunter Biden have cared whether he got investigated? Isn’t he completely innocent? The investigation would’ve cleared his name.

    But somehow, we get the claim that its CRAZY to think Hunter did anything wrong coupled with how OUTRAGEOUS and UNDERHANDED it was for Trump to have him investigated. Not convicted. Investigated. Why would innocent Hunter Biden be damaged by an investigation finding him innocent?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  31. We should care because Congress voted for and appropriated the aid for Ukraine, and a President can’t withhold or frustrate that action. Imagine if Congress appropriated aid for Taiwan or Israel, and Obama had withheld it until he was caught?

    DRJ (15874d)

  32. The executive doesn’t make laws or appropriate funds in our system. He signs or vetoes Congressional laws and then implements what Congress authorizes. He can’t veto after-the-fact.

    DRJ (15874d)

  33. BTW, you have to read smarmy Bill Kristol’s appeal to Bolton to testify for THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY. What a shameless fake Kristol is, with his hypocritical calls for morality and patriotism!

    Yes, patriotism, God help us, from Mr. Warmongering Globalist, who doesn’t care if 50 million Zulus move here as long as it doesn’t hurt him. Who doesn’t care about the working class or poor as long as he gets his lawn mowed and a cheap maid. Or how many American workers get outsourced, because NAFTA and our trade deals with China were absolutely perfect. When bill Kristol talks about Patriotism, you’re reminded of the Cliche “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  34. @31 that’s whataboutism.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  35. I would add one more question to nk’s list; are you willing to take a polygraph?“

    Put him on a huge scale to see if he weighs the same as a duck too.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  36. Senators get elected to make the rules. Isn’t that what we heard when the House was in charge?

    But #NeverTrump doesn’t care about accountability or oversight, at least where the electorate or their representatives are concerned.

    They want a president accountable to the unelected and entrenched among certain likeminded elements in the executive branch. And, they want lawfare to bring it about. You’d have to have been blind the past three years to contend otherwise.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  37. The executive doesn’t make laws or appropriate funds in our system. He signs or vetoes Congressional laws and then implements what Congress authorizes. He can’t veto after-the-fact.

    The President controls foreign policy. He can interpret the laws made by Congress. And when there’s a conflict between the laws he can use his own judgement. The Presidency has its own rights and responsibilities. Its one of 3 equal branches. The President is not a glorified Congressional flunky.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  38. It’s all kind of redundant, anyhow. There is only one question: Did Trump say it? If the answer is “Yes”, there is only one conclusion: It’s a lie.

    nk (1d9030)

  39. Actually they don’t. Bolton’s public statements show Trump wanted Ukraine aid delayed for many reasons, and that he wanted Biden investigated by Ukraine. Bolton has never said that Trump’s only reason for delaying the aid was the Biden investigation.

    Unless Bolton has some secret recording, some “Smoking gun” showing Trump to be a complete liar, he can add nothing. This is all about selling his book.

    This is a great point.
    In addition to a subpoena to testify they should subpoena all recordings, memos, emails, contemporaneous notes, and the manuscript of his book.

    Time123 (653992)

  40. Delaying aid to the Ukraine is NOT a high crime and misdemeanor. Unless you’re a Ukrainian, why should you care?

    I care if Trump withheld aid in order to pressure Ukraine into interfering in our election by announcing a politically damaging investigation of a political rival.

    But somehow, we get the claim that its CRAZY to think Hunter did anything wrong coupled with how OUTRAGEOUS and UNDERHANDED it was for Trump to have him investigated. Not convicted. Investigated. Why would innocent Hunter Biden be damaged by an investigation finding him innocent?

    Maybe there is legitimate reason for Trump to ask that they announce the investigation. He, and those who worked for him, should testify as to what that was.

    Time123 (653992)

  41. Imagine if Congress appropriated aid for Taiwan or Israel, and Obama had withheld it until he was caught?

    Does this count?

    Pentagon withholds $300MM in aid to Pakistan.

    WaBlogLog (c0df72)

  42. Delaying aid to the Ukraine is NOT a high crime and misdemeanor.

    Just repeating that lie doesn’t make it not a lie.

    Please, tell us what you think a High Crime and Misdemeanor is.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  43. #17 — “Blow the whole thing up!” is what some were saying. A lot of Trump fans really do see Trump’s readiness to break rules as a strength.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  44. BTW, you have to read smarmy Bill Kristol’s appeal to Bolton to testify for THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY. What a shameless fake Kristol is, with his hypocritical calls for morality and patriotism!

    Bad people can say true things. When Hillary called half of Trump supporters a basket of deplorables, she wasn’t wrong, she just was also the owner of a basket as well.

    Kristol is right in this case, and is the worst of the neocons. Two things can be true.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  45. @ Rcocena

    Yes, patriotism, God help us, from Mr. Warmongering Globalist, who doesn’t care if 50 million Zulus move here as long as it doesn’t hurt him.

    OH NO!!! Scary Brown ppl are coming in huge numbers to get us!!! Protect the lady folk from their evil jungle music!!
    Stop the white genocide!!!!!!!
    /snark

    Time123 (441f53)

  46. Lindsay Graham says he wants to hear from Bolton and wants to see that manuscript. Trump is now also saying that he has never seen the manuscript (who said he did?)

    Mick Mulvaney says though his lawyer that John Bolton never told him that Trump had tied the aid to investigations.

    (I’m virtually 100% sure that, if the manuscript says anything along those lines, it refers to noe conversation between Bolton, Pompeo, Esper and Trump on August 30, and anybody who is hiding that is misleading the public.

    And Trump probably never said investigations would be sufficient to lift the hold. And he probably said he wasn’t bothered by Ambassador Taylor’s accusations.

    This leak will backfire.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  47. Since you mentioned the State of the Union, DRJ, nothing brings home what a low-class mutt Trump is like him addressing Pence as “Mr. Vice-President” at the State of the Union. Every other President I have heard recognized that their Vice-President was there not as the Vice-President but as President of the Senate and addressed him as “Mr. President”. But not this orange baboon.

    nk (1d9030)

  48. Seems to me that the congress cannot control the foreign policy but it can influence it. For example, The executive might want to give money to an ally, but Congress can withhold funds. The president might look to other ways to help an ally, but Congress cannot force it. On the other hand, Congress might allocate funds for someone, but the President is not obligated to use it. I think it is foolish to suggest that the congress can hamstring the executive in its efforts beyond the one power they do have and that is to control the funding.

    It is a waste of time to argue whether Trump can withhold funds. It is only useful to evaluate if he used funds to gain political advantage. That might be why he is not charged with the crime of withholding funds. It is not a crime in and of itself. Instead they went with abuse of power on the implication that he only did it to win an election.

    WaBlogLog (c0df72)

  49. .. they used to believe they had to act like they had character, and that in itself constrained what they did.

    A point routinely missed by Trump defenders when they resort to “no one’s perfect,” or pretend that a pattern of public behavior has nothing to do with character (as long as it’s Trump).

    Previous presidents at least had an awareness that right & wrong are not defined strictly by what serves themselves, and that acting in their own self-interest might possibly be, in some cases, ethically or legally wrong. Donald Trump, being a sociopathic narcissist, has no such awareness.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  50. ”Please, tell us what you think a High Crime and Misdemeanor is.”
    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89) — 1/27/2020 @ 10:05 am

    I would’ve thought gang rape. But then, Kavanaugh got confirmed and #NeverTrump was quite pleased. So, I guess not.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  51. @41
    That actually doesn’t count because the aid was withheld per process. I could be mistaken but my understanding is that as part of the appropriate before aid is to be released certain requirements must be met and certified to congress. In the case of the linked article the defense secretary declined to make these certifications because Pakistan had not met their requirements.

    In the case of Trump and Ukraine these certifications (specifically around corrupt use of the funds) had already been completed and made.

    Time123 (653992)

  52. “ OH NO!!! Scary Brown ppl are coming in huge numbers to get us!!! ”

    The Dems think they’re so scary they not only convinced them to abort 20 million children, they provided the financing to do so.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  53. Ross Douthat wrote yesterday in the New York Times something to the effect that the problem isn’t that Trump wants to be Mussolini; it’s that he wants to be LBJ.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/25/opinion/sunday/trump-impeachment-defense.html

    Also there’s this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/01/15/james-madison-donald-trump-did-same-thing-trump-got-impeached

    It’s not that similar.

    As Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the House of Representatives to draw up articles of impeachment against President Trump, she implied that James Madison — the “Father of the Constitution” — would have demanded Trump’s impeachment for betraying the national trust to a foreign power. It’s no small irony, then, that congressional Democrats voted for an article of impeachment that would have imperiled Madison’s own presidency. Although the specifics differ, Trump’s dealings with Ukraine in 2019 closely parallel Madison’s engagement of France in 1812.

    …Early in the year, John Henry, a former British spy embittered by his poor compensation, decided to exact revenge on Britain by selling secret British documents to Madison’s Democratic-Republican [sic *] administration. The documents purportedly contained incriminating information about Federalists who conspired with the British government against the United States.

    Henry worked through a French national named Paul-Émile Soubiron, a sleazy con artist who helped Henry recruit the favor of the French ambassador in Washington. Hoping that the documents would compel the United States to join France in war against Britain, the ambassador used Soubiron as a sort of shadow representative. Like Russian agents who peddle conspiracy theories of Ukraine’s collusion with Democrats, the ambassador hoped to convince the president that they shared a British enemy who cooperated with a supposedly debased opposition party in America.

    Madison took the bait, jumping at the opportunity to confirm his suspicions about his political adversaries. He spent $50,000 of State Department money to obtain the documents. The administration asked Henry to write a misleading cover letter that implied that he donated the documents to the government, withholding the fact that Madison had paid the entire balance of the contingent foreign intercourse budget to receive them.

    Initially, the papers did embarrass the president’s political adversaries after he argued that they proved Federalist collusion with Britain. Madison’s ally Thomas Jefferson privately gloated that the information prostrated Federalists. In reality, however, while the documents showed that some Federalists harbored antipathy for the union and sympathy for Britain, they yielded no legally damaging information.

    Federalists’ embarrassment turned to outrage after they learned how Madison obtained the documents. They charged that he had paid a vast sum of public money to foreign nationals for his personal political benefit. Madison admitted in a private letter that the documents did not legally implicate Federalists even though they proved that Britain had tried to enlist Federalists’ help.

    In June, Madison referenced the papers as a reason to declare war on Britain, claiming that they at least revealed British malfeasance for attempting to interfere in U.S. politics and recruit disaffected Americans.

    I guess the similiarity is supposed to be “foreeign interference.”
    ——————–
    * It was called Republican at the time. The Republican party chose its name in 1854 to hearjken back to the name of Jefferson’s party. Much later, Congress in writing the history of CVongress labeled the party at the time Democratic-Republican.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  54. Trump lawyer: We are living in the age of impeachment.

    He says this goes back to the independent counsels.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  55. On the other hand, Congress might allocate funds for someone, but the President is not obligated to use it.

    Actually Congress is the one who allocates and the President has very little control of that if it’s specified by Congress. He had the opportunity to veto it, and didn’t, so the law passed by congress is…the law.

    It is a waste of time to argue whether Trump can withhold funds. It is only useful to evaluate if he used funds to gain political advantage. That might be why he is not charged with the crime of withholding funds. It is not a crime in and of itself. Instead they went with abuse of power on the implication that he only did it to win an election

    Right, it’s the corrupt attempt that’s the problem/issue. Now the senate will vote on whether this rises to conviction of impeachment. It’s impeachable, because he’s impeached.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  56. I would’ve thought gang rape. But then, Kavanaugh got confirmed and #NeverTrump was quite pleased. So, I guess not.

    Kavanaugh is already a nunc pro tunc sonuvab!tch? At least Bolton lasted from April 9, 2018 to January 26, 2020. That President Trump! He appoints the best people! And JUDGES, man, JUDGES!

    nk (1d9030)

  57. Trump lawyer: Impeachment is rare even in partisan times. It took the Civil War and its aftermath to do it. It was only a century later that the nation returned to presidential impeachment.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  58. https://www.newser.com/story/286147/romney-increasingly-likely-well-call-witnesses.html

    By John Johnson, Newser Staff
    Posted Jan 27, 2020 11:33 AM CST

    “It’s increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton,” he said, per Politico. “I have spoken with others who have opined upon this.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  59. The rapper Nicki Minaj’s brother was just convicted of raping a 12 year old. You know, I hear he’s a terrific guy who likes his women on the younger side. Maybe he can join Trump’s legal team.

    JRH (52aed3)

  60. Time123 (653992) — 1/27/2020 @ 10:17 am

    I am not trying to justify what Trump has done. I am still undecided but I still contend that the executive has put un-pre-approved restrictions on aid in the past and I am not sure I want future presidents to be so restricted. On of the things I fear about the political process in that in the effort to “get” the other guy, you institute a process that you would not want the other side to use against you. I think the argument that a President is hamstrung by the congress in this matter is not a good one. I don’t want future presidents to be unable to have wiggle room.

    I full understand the difference between what Trump is accused of doing what what Obama did with Nigeria. We should focus on that difference rather than throwing out babies with bath water.

    Obama threatens to cut off Aid to Nigeria

    WaBlogLog (c0df72)

  61. Trump’s lawyer: Judges are appointed for life. Not so presidents.

    The presidency is unique. Impeachment and removal not only overturns an election and perhaps effects an upcoming elections – and entails grave disruption of the government (quoting a law professor from 1999)

    Presidents should serve out their terms absent a national consensus, as indicated by a 2/3 majority requirement, that the president must go away. Quotes Peter Rodino: Impeachment must be bi-partisan in nature.

    The alternative to impeachment is not the president being king, but oversight. In 1987, House Speaker Jim Wright said no to impeachment even though a learned professor endorsed impeaching Reagan over Iran-contra.

    The Bivens case? (which was actually judicial activism)

    The second article of impeachment: Frequently the Justice Department advises the president that the protection of the presidency requires not releasing documents. He’s heard it. Churchill’s maxim: Study history. Sometimes courts act fast, like in the Pentagon papers cases. The House of Rep could have sought expedition. And OLC says all subpoenas issued before Res 660 are void. It wasn’t the House acting till then. The sole power of impeachment belongs to the House as a whole. Every member of the House gets a vote.

    For the president to follow the advice of OLC cannot be viewed as an obstruction and certainly not an impeachable offense. In the Clinton impeachment an article that would have said Clinton fraudulently and corruptly asserted executive privilege. Many times Clinton claimed it and was rebuffed in court. But the committee wisely concluded that Clinton doing it was not grounds for impeachment. Asserting legal rights in not grounds for impeachment.

    The House chose to turn its back on its own established legal procedures. House members were oathless and could toss out their own rule book. Article II is a runaway House. It’s a runaway from due process of law. This inadvertently points this court toward an exit ramp. Calls Andrew Johnson racist seeking to undo Lincoln’s legacy. Even he got due process. Says these articles come before this High Court of Impeachment dripping with due process violations.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  62. Kenneth Starr finishes. Now Mr Sekolow: let me recap what was laid out on Saturday.

    The Juy 25 call shws no considrions and pause not mentioned on call. Same list menrtioned.

    Now the truth is they did know the aid was paused before

    https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/preparing-for-the-us-ukraine-summit/

    High on Kyiv’s to-do list while in Washington is getting the US to unlock the $115 million appropriated by Congress for Foreign Military Sales to Ukraine (FMF). The Office of Management and Budget is currently blocking those sales but has not advanced any public rationale to justify its actions. Zelenskyy and his ministers must persuade Trump to break the logjam as a matter of some urgency.

    But they didn’t reveal that they knew, although it did get made public.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  63. We should care because Congress voted for and appropriated the aid for Ukraine, and a President can’t withhold or frustrate that action. Imagine if Congress appropriated aid for Taiwan or Israel, and Obama had withheld it until he was caught?

    DRJ (15874d) — 1/27/2020 @ 9:47 am

    Didn’t Biden and Obama do exactly that when they said they weren’t getting aid unless they fired the prosecutor?

    And of course there was Obama unilaterally cancelling aid to Poland which helped Russia shortly before Obama’s reelection.

    NJRob (75fe79)

  64. Didn’t Biden and Obama do exactly that when they said they weren’t getting aid unless they fired the prosecutor?

    No

    And of course there was Obama unilaterally cancelling aid to Poland which helped Russia shortly before Obama’s reelection.

    No

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  65. Not putting SM-3’s in Poland is not the same as Congress directing funds in a law signed by the president.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  66. I am not trying to justify what Trump has done. I am still undecided but I still contend that the executive has put un-pre-approved restrictions on aid in the past and I am not sure I want future presidents to be so restricted. On of the things I fear about the political process in that in the effort to “get” the other guy, you institute a process that you would not want the other side to use against you. I think the argument that a President is hamstrung by the congress in this matter is not a good one. I don’t want future presidents to be unable to have wiggle room.

    I think you’re right, the corrupt intent, using the aid primarily for his personal benefit, is what makes it different.

    Time123 (653992)

  67. lol, harkin.

    felipe (cfae78)

  68. @63, to expand on CK, The pressure to fire Sorkin was done as part of an anti-corruption initiative and was part of US policy. There’s contemporaneous reporting on this as well as direct testimony under oath to Congress.

    No idea about the Poland aid you mention.

    Had Obama withheld aid from Ukraine unless they agreed to announce an investigation of Romney’s Taxes that would be comparable. Or if he’d agreed to hold back the State department Human rights report if China announced an investigation of Mitch’s son and wife for corruption that would also be similar. Or if he’d gone on the white house lawn at the start of the IRS audit scandal and said that “Of course the IRS should audit these new groups we know most of them are crooked.” that would be very similar.

    So far as i know he did none of these. And if he was personally involved in the IRS cluster the house was not able to show it.

    Time123 (653992)

  69. OH NO!!! Scary Brown ppl are coming in huge numbers to get us!!! Protect the lady folk from their evil jungle music!!
    Stop the white genocide!!!!!!!
    /snark

    Snark. Yeah. So, you think unlimited immigration of whatever group from wherever is a good thing for the USA. Because what? ALL immigration is good. Always.

    Evidently, that’s your point.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  70. Whenever I talk to globalists and liberals I ask them: When would there be too much immigration? Are you comfortable with 400 million Americans. 500 million? Are you OK with 2 million immigrants a year? 3 million a year? Is there a line?

    And of course they dodge the answer – because what the liberal/left/globalist’s truly believe is “no limits” and they don’t care what happens unless it negatively affects THEM personally. Like Bill Kristol.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  71. I’d love to talk to globalists and prominent liberals about immigration, but I can’t get past security at their gated communities.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  72. @42

    Delaying aid to the Ukraine is NOT a high crime and misdemeanor.

    Just repeating that lie doesn’t make it not a lie.

    Please, tell us what you think a High Crime and Misdemeanor is.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89) — 1/27/2020 @ 10:05 am

    In itself, it’s definitely not a High Crime and Misdemeanor, as the founders intended.

    At worst, it’s a civil crime whereby an IG can take this administration to court to either force the disbursement of the funds or not.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  73. The Senate is missing an opportunity to stop his tweeting: “Quit To Acquit!”

    “A DEAL, deal! Maybe the guy’s a Republican. “Business is business,” right?” – Crapgame [Don Rickles] ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ 1970

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  74. Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89) — 1/27/2020 @ 10:05 am

    We’ve already established that a High Crime and Misdemeanor is whatever we can get enough votes for in the house.

    frosty (f27e97)

  75. We’ve already established that a High Crime and Misdemeanor is whatever we can get enough votes for in the house.

    So you have no answer.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  76. We’ve already established that a High Crime and Misdemeanor is whatever we can get enough votes for in the house.

    And we’ve already established the Senate can run its trial anyway it wants and vote anyway it pleases. So why are argue about “Fairness” or witnesses?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  77. @72

    Holding the aid would not in itself be the crime.
    Holding the aid to force Ukraine to announce and carry out an investigation of a political rival is a crime.

    I understand that you and I disagree that the later is what happened. But assuming that it happened it’s a big deal.

    Time123 (441f53)

  78. @69, no i was making fun of you for calling immigrants ‘Zulus’ and implying that it’s a racist way to describe them.

    Time123 (441f53)

  79. Hit submit too soon, I wasn’t trying to have a substantive discussion around immigration numbers.

    Time123 (441f53)

  80. rcocean (1a839e) — 1/27/2020 @ 11:49 am

    Are you OK with 2 million immigrants a year? 3 million a year?

    3 million a year is less than 1%. That’s nothing. If you think that;s aproblem, youd=don’t believe in the free market.

    The population of the United States is now 327.2 million (2018) There were 1.18 million legal immigrants in 2016. Between 1900 and 1915, more than 15 million immigrants arrived in the United States, so about the same number to a much smaller base..

    Immigration (and increasing population) is what made America great in the first place.

    The population of the United States was projected in 2008 to reach 400 million in 2039, then laater in 2043 and in 2015, 2051. This is not good economic news.

    If you think potential immigration is too high there are all kinds of measures that can be taken to slow it down without getting into the position of giving a flat no to anyone. hat creates all sorts of authoritarian effects. Plus it’s a form of central planning and since when have economic plans been any good?

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  81. Snark. Yeah. So, you think unlimited immigration of whatever group from wherever is a good thing for the USA. Because what? ALL immigration is good. Always.

    Evidently, that’s your point.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 1/27/2020 @ 11:45 am

    This doesn’t even remotely resemble what he said. Why do Trump critics have to constantly prove to Trump fans that their accusations are obviously false, yet no matter how much evidence piles up on Trump himself, they are zealously seeking the most cartoonish defense?

    Dustin (11e9a5)

  82. In itself, it’s definitely not a High Crime and Misdemeanor, as the founders intended.

    At worst, it’s a civil crime whereby an IG can take this administration to court to either force the disbursement of the funds or not.

    Wrong. You should have taken the opportunity to have read the many linked posts from people here about the definition. The words have meaning, they have from English common law in the 12th century to today. Including by the founders, in contemporaneous writing. None of what you say is valid, willful ignorance is still ignorance, or are you just lying for effect. In either case, you’re wrong. I shall not provide links again as it’s obviously a wasted as you’d rather replace the actual meaning, with your convenience instead.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  83. In the cases cited, the withholding of aid to, e.g. Pakistan and Nigeria, Congress had granted the executive authority to withhold aid if certain conditions weren’t met (in the case of Pakistan) or given the administration discretion over how to distribute certain aid (Nigeria). Neither is relevant to the military aid package to Ukraine.

    But Trump wouldn’t be on trial in the senate if he had simply withheld aid. He’s on trial because he withheld aid with no authority, for a corrupt personal reason: to get a foreign government to tamper with his own election by ratf*cking his likely opponent.

    Dave (1bb933)

  84. In itself, it’s definitely not a High Crime and Misdemeanor, as the founders intended.

    At worst, it’s a civil crime whereby an IG can take this administration to court to either force the disbursement of the funds or not.

    whembly (fd57f6) — 1/27/2020 @ 12:11 pm

    When partisans throw in a “clearly” or a “definitely” you can tell that’s where the BS is.

    ‘civil crime’

    LOL

    Dustin (11e9a5)

  85. Then: Impeachment is a political process.
    Now: Impeachment is objectively defined.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  86. Wa=hat I learned frm the last presentation:

    Trump not on;y invted zelsnky to the White House in the April 21 and July 25 calls, but sent a letter on May 29.

    My opinion is, although Sondland was trying to condition a meeting on investigations (and the whistleblower complaint says also a telephone call) this was not Trump’s policy. The whistleblower seems to think Zelensky met the conditions for a call by mid July.

    Trump’s lawyer claimed that vice president Pence was not told not to attend Zelensky’s inauguration. There is testimony actually that his office was told that on May 13. I think what happened was, when the Ukrainians found out that Pence was not coming (and he could only come May 29-31 and June 1) they advanced the date of the inauguration. The only reason for waiting had been to get Trump or Pence.

    Trump’s lawyer said the U.S. was the highest level delegation which may be the case. A decision was made on May 16 to hold it on May 20 giving very little time for advance work.

    Also the general rule was not that the vice president and the president could not be out of the country at the same time but not for more than a few hours.

    Trump’s lawyer said that Volker did not back up Sondland’s claim that he got meetings and investigations linked because he heard that from Giuliani through Volker. Again, this is probably a problem of Sondland being careless with facts or assuotions being drawn from his answers. I think Sondand was also hiding how much of what he was doing was his own ideas. He wanted things to work.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  87. If he did, and I was cross-examining him, I wouldn’t start right off asking him about Bolton’s allegations. I’d ask him: […]

    While I think there’s a decent chance that he could identify himself, and where he was, without lying, there’s no way he could answer even the most basic questions about the constitution he swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend.

    May it please the court, I’d ask him to elaborate (in as much detail as he’d like) on:

    “I have an Article II where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  88. Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89) — 1/27/2020 @ 12:25 pm

    No, there’s no answer. If it’s whatever gets through the house then it’s an undefined open set. I’m not happy with that since it doesn’t seem consistent with the rule of law but there we are. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks it should be.

    At the end of the day, how someone sees this just comes down to whether they think he should be removed.

    frosty (f27e97)

  89. Senate Republicans are reaching a consensus that they’ll wait to decide on witnesses until after the question period, that is Thursday or Friday, and that till then, nobody should say very much..

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  90. No, there’s no answer. If it’s whatever gets through the house then it’s an undefined open set. I’m not happy with that since it doesn’t seem consistent with the rule of law but there we are. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks it should be.

    At the end of the day, how someone sees this just comes down to whether they think he should be removed.

    frosty (f27e97) — 1/27/2020 @ 12:45 pm

    The court and jury are comprised of partisan zealots who have been warned their heads will be bepiked if they oppose Dear Leader. I agree this doesn’t seem consistent with the rule of law.

    The notion Trump’s conduct is such a minor deal that it’s not really a crime is an amazing claim. Just remember what you’re endorsing Bernie doing in a few months.

    Dustin (11e9a5)

  91. Getting Trump testify could well lead him to commit perjury.

    But another, perhaps equally likely outcome (if, say, Adam Schiff were to question him) would be a red-faced, bulging-veins confession on the stand, straight out of A Few Good Men

    Dave (1bb933)

  92. “who have been warned their heads will be bepiked if they oppose Dear Leader.”
    Dustin (11e9a5) — 1/27/2020 @ 12:55 pm

    An established lie which, naturally, you are repeating.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  93. Dave, the odds of Trump admitting to horrible behavior approach 100% the closer to five minutes he speaks off teleprompter. Would that matter though? If Trump swore in and whipped out a golden desert eagle and murdered a kitten his defenders wouldn’t budge.

    Dustin (11e9a5)

  94. Sammy Finkelman (083d4c) — 1/27/2020 @ 12:46 pm

    If we drag this out too long someone will float the idea that the coronavirus is a wag-the-dog to delay and shift the attention away from impeachment.

    frosty (f27e97)

  95. An established lie which, naturally, you are repeating.

    Munroe (dd4ac5) — 1/27/2020 @ 12:58 pm

    Oh OK, Munroe said it’s cool. Let’s just take it on the word of a pack of extreme liars like the GOP.

    It’s not Trump’s only desperate threat lately. What a freaking loser.

    Dustin (11e9a5)

  96. If we drag this out too long someone will float the idea that the coronavirus is a wag-the-dog to delay and shift the attention away from impeachment.

    frosty (f27e97) — 1/27/2020 @ 1:00 pm

    He would just blow up a terrorist in an incredibly incompetent manner.

    But the only thing stopping Trump from biological warfare is competence. He would happily hurt you and your family for the slightest perceived benefit. He’s a sociopath.

    Good vs evil.

    Dustin (11e9a5)

  97. It must be inspiring to have Schiff lead this search for Truth.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  98. They’re saying that Trumpp is engaged in a lot of counter-programming (a word used to describe putting things on television to get the audience that is not watching, say a major sports event) this week, like inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House to get Trump’s Middle East peace plan, whose announcement has been postponed because of Israel’s interminable election(s)

    But not the corona virus. That is China’s doing. {paying so much attention is irrational. It’s new, and so very few people start with any immunity, but it’s not worse than a lot of other things.)

    https://nypost.com/2020/01/23/dont-buy-the-media-hype-over-the-new-china-virus

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  99. Anyone paying attention to the Defense Team’s presentation.

    They’re addressing every crticism…ie, why Rudy?, no linkage, subpoena refusal…

    They’re giving GOP Senators that strong peg to hang their hats on.

    I’m actually curious if there are transcripts so that I can read and absorb.

    whembly (51f28e)

  100. Trump’s lawyer )patrick Silver here) is arguing (in reference to impeachment Article II) that there is an “accommodation” (=negotiation) process in the case of conflicts over subpoena mandated by the constitution.

    Actually all that is extra-legal and extra-constitutional.

    They’re right about what the House is claiming.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  101. Whembly —

    The Congressional Record is online. The transcript will be available the next day.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  102. @101… :smacks face: Duh, I should’ve know that. Thanks!

    whembly (51f28e)

  103. @whembly There’s also rev.com with video

    https://www.rev.com/blog/transcript-tag/trump-impeachment-hearing-transcripts

    Our public transcript archive is always growing, always free, and always here as a research tool for the public to explore. If you don’t see an existing transcript of the event you’re looking for, please upload or link to the audio you want to see in our library. We’ll email you when it’s done!

    Here is Saturdays’s transcript:

    https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/white-house-lawyer-pat-cipollone-argument-transcript-jan-25-impeachment-trial-statement

    I don’t know where to get the Congressional Record, or if it is easy to save and read amd search through. Google doesn’t show it as a top result, probabl becase their algortihm favors cmmercial entities. Rev.com is doing this as a promotion.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  104. Dave, the odds of Trump admitting to bragging about horrible behavior approach 100% the closer to five minutes he speaks off teleprompter.

    Fixed.

    So basically, if Trump testifies, only two things can go wrong:

    1) He could lie.

    2) He could tell the truth.

    Given that Trump has chosen to personalize this by tweeting schoolyard insults and epithets at the Congressional leadership, maybe they should respond in kind.

    When it comes to pushing buttons, Trump’s are lit-up in neon, and his response to having them pushed is as predictable as any machine.

    What if Adam Schiff repeatedly and publicly taunted him pro-wrestling style along the lines of “Are you afraid to face me, tough guy?”

    On one hand, I hate to see others lower themselves to Trump’s level of banality and immaturity. On the other hand, Schiff has a job to do, and the benefits to the country if he succeeds would be immeasurable.

    Dave (1bb933)

  105. Trump’s lawyer: President Truman, in 1948, issued a blanket refusal to all subpoenas from the House Un-American Activities Committee.

    President Tyler was investigated for impeachment in 1843 and resisted subpoenas. Hey, Kenneth Starr said nothing about that.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  106. Trump tweeting in desperation this morning:

    The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify. It is up to them, not up to the Senate!

    Oh really?

    On October 30, House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff, House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney and House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Eliot Engel sent a letter to Bolton’s lawyers requesting Bolton’s voluntary testimony at a deposition on November 7.

    “Your client’s failure or refusal to appear at the deposition, including at the direction or behest of the President or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against the President,” they wrote.

    Bolton did not appear.

    Dana (aaddb1)

  107. Thanks Sammy!

    whembly (51f28e)

  108. Trump thought Joe Biden bragged about horrible activity:

    July 25:

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

    The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. [Trump has more hopes of Barr meeting Zelensky than Giuliani] Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it [Alexander Vindman testified that here Trump mentioned a recording … ] It sounds horrible to me.

    Trump on September 25:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-president-zelensky-ukraine-bilateral-meeting-new-york-ny

    And the whole thing with the prosecutor in Ukraine.

    And he’s on tape. This isn’t like “maybe he did it, maybe he didn’t.” He’s on tape doing this. I saw this a while ago. I looked at it and I said, “That’s incredible. I’ve never seen anything like that.” Now, either he’s dumb, or he thought he was in a room full of really good friends, or maybe it’s a combination of both, in his case.

    What Biden actually said on videotape:

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

    … 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, convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. 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.

    Nobody has been able to fit that into a chronology, by the way.

    Biden made a total of six trips according to George Kent, and the last one before Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin left office was in December, 2015 and he was gone – really really really gone – in March and replaced in April and the loan guarantees were only announced at the start of June 2016 after a U.S. approved package of anti-corruption legislation was passed where the U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt was present but apparently not Joe Biden.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  109. They’re saying that Trumpp is engaged in a lot of counter-programming (a word used to describe putting things on television to get the audience that is not watching, say a major sports event) this week, like inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House to get Trump’s Middle East peace plan, whose announcement has been postponed because of Israel’s interminable election(s)

    I came across some Tweet from a mindless conspiracy-theorist Trump hater yesterday suggesting that Trump had ordered the Kobe Bryant helicopter be shot down in order to distract people from the Senate trial. Seriously.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  110. Dave (1bb933) — 1/27/2020 @ 1:31 pm

    On one hand, I hate to see others lower themselves to Trump’s level of banality and immaturity. On the other hand, Schiff has a job to do, and the benefits to the country if he succeeds would be immeasurable.

    Even if everything claimed against Trump was true the current approach to dealing with that has already done significant long term harm. We can debate which is the most harmful but then we’re just back in the Churchill quote.

    frosty (f27e97)

  111. I came across some Tweet from a mindless conspiracy-theorist Trump hater yesterday suggesting that Trump had ordered the Kobe Bryant helicopter be shot down in order to distract people from the Senate trial. Seriously.

    Seems unlikely.

    But remember, he has an Article II where he has the right to do whatever he wants as president, so according Trump, nothing would have stood in the way, had it pleased him to do so.

    (see also: shooting someone on Fifth Avenue)

    Dave (1bb933)

  112. JVW (54fd0b) — 1/27/2020 @ 1:53 pm

    Trump outdid himself with that coronavirus distraction.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  113. Trump’s last two lawyers, Pam Bodi (I think) and Eric Hirschman (sp?) made very good presentations.

    There will now be a45 minute (possibly a little longer) break.

    Pam Bondi said Burisma was under investigation.

    It’s also Chief Justice John Roberts’ 65th birthday.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  114. 111. Why would Trump want to distract people from Pam Bondi and others?

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  115. “Pam Bondi said Burisma was under investigation.”

    They should have donated to her re-election campaign.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  116. I came across some Tweet from a mindless conspiracy-theorist Trump hater yesterday suggesting that Trump had ordered the Kobe Bryant helicopter be shot down in order to distract people from the Senate trial. Seriously.

    Why would anyone be surprised? When it comes to politics, there seem to be a significant number of vociferous people who start all logical processes with the very first two premises: X is completely without credibility. Nothing X says can be accepted as truthful.

    Then they follow with the latest factoid: Kobe’s death distracts from the impeachment trial.
    Than they draw the conclusion: Therefore Trump must have arranged it.

    While this is one of the more “out there claims” the impeachment process, as well as the Russian collusion, etc. all follow the same formula. And it is funny that the very fact thaqt this happens also becomes the lead premise.

    Trump is bad, therefore he would have done bribery, and the reason we can’t prove it is because of X.

    Because everyone starts with “orangemanbad” they misuse evidence to destroy Trump and thwart the voters.

    And the other side says, Trump could nuke NY city and his faithful would find an excuse.

    And then both sides spend hours saying how the other side is all a bunch of Trumpkins or Trump haters, which of course reinforces both sides. OF course, it makes it impossible to make your case if you you start out with a clear fallacy.

    And so we try the biggest cases from emotion rather than fact and we wonder why the country is polarized.

    WaBlogLog (c0df72)

  117. Trump is ‘under audit;’ once that’s done, he’d be happy to testify. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  118. Betcha even Schumer would vote to acquit if Trump agreed to cease all tweeting.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  119. CBS News: Corona virus being spread by people who don’t even know they’re sick. A very dangerous virus I suppose, with many people never coming down with symptoms.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  120. 48.Seems to me that the congress cannot control the foreign policy but it can influence it.

    Declaring or not declaring war is quite the ultimate life-and-death ‘controlling element’ of foreign policy:

    ‘The Constitution grants Congress the sole power to declare war. Congress has declared war on 11 occasions, including its first declaration of war with Great Britain in 1812. Congress approved its last formal declaration of war during World War II.’ -source, wikiwarwearyanswers

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  121. @Time123… you’ve asked in the past about what evidence that Trump mentioned that he was concerned about corruption.

    This is very effective argument pulled from today’s transcript:

    Michael Purpura: (01:38)
    And the House manager’s own record, their record that they developed and brought before this chamber, reflects that anyone who spoke with the President said that the President made clear that there was no linkage between security assistance and investigations. There’s another category of evidence demonstrating that the pause on security assistance was distinct and unrelated to investigations. The President released the aid without the Ukrainians ever announcing any investigations or undertaking any investigations. Here is Ambassador Sondland.

    Elise Stefanik: (02:21)
    And the fact is the aid was given to Ukraine without any announcement of new investigations.

    Gordon Sondland: (02:29)
    That’s correct.

    Elise Stefanik: (02:30)
    And President Trump did in fact meet with President Zelensky in September at the United Nations, correct?

    Gordon Sondland: (02:35)
    He did.

    Elise Stefanik: (02:36)
    And there was no announcement of investigations before this meeting?

    Gordon Sondland: (02:40)
    Correct.

    Elise Stefanik: (02:40)
    And there was no announcement of investigations after this meeting?

    Gordon Sondland: (02:44)
    That’s right.

    Michael Purpura: (02:48)
    So while the security assistance was paused, the administration did precisely what you would expect, it addressed President Trump’s concerns about the two issues that I mentioned on Saturday, burden sharing and corruption. A number of law and policy makers also contacted the President and the White House to provide input on the security assistance issue during this period, including Senator Lindsey Graham. The process culminated on September 11, 2019. On that day, the President spoke with Vice President Pence and Senator Rob Portman, the vice president, in NSC senior director Tim Morrison’s words, was armed with his conversation with President Zelensky from their meeting just days earlier in Warsaw, Poland, and both the vice president and Senator Portman related their view of the importance of the assistance to Ukraine and convinced the President that the aid should be dispersed immediately. After the meeting, President Trump terminated the pause and the support flowed to Ukraine.

    Michael Purpura: (04:13)
    I want to take a step back now and talk for a moment about why the security assistance was briefly paused. Again, in the words of the house managers own witnesses, witness after witness testified that confronting Ukrainian corruption should be at the forefront of United States foreign policy toward Ukraine. They also testified that the President had long standing and sincere concerns about corruption in Ukraine. The House managers, however, told you that it was laughable to think that the President cared about corruption in Ukraine. But that’s not what the witnesses said. According to Ambassador Volker, “President Trump demonstrated that he had a very deeply rooted negative view of Ukraine based on past corruption and that’s a reasonable position,” according to Ambassador Volker, “Most people who know anything about Ukraine would think that.” And Dr. Hill testified, “I think the President has actually quite publicly said that he was very skeptical about corruption in Ukraine. And in fact, he’s not alone because everyone has expressed great concerns about corruption in Ukraine.”

    Michael Purpura: (05:37)
    The House managers have said that the President’s concern with corruption is disingenuous. They said that President Trump didn’t care about corruption in 2017 or 2018 and he certainly didn’t care about it in 2019, that was their words. Not according to Ambassador Yovanovitch, however, who testified that President Trump shared his concern about corruption directly with President Poroshenko, President Zelensky’s predecessor, in their first meeting in the Oval Office. When was that meeting? In June of 2017, 2017. The President also has well known concerns about foreign aid generally. Scrutinizing and in some cases curtailing foreign aid was a central plank of his campaign platform. President Trump is especially wary of sending American tax payer dollars abroad when other countries refuse to pitch in. Mr. Morrison and Mr. Hale both testified at length about President Trump’s longstanding concern with burden sharing in foreign aid programs. Here’s what they said.

    Tim Morrison: (06:58)
    The President was concerned that the United States seem to bear the exclusive brunt of security assistance to Ukraine. He wanted to see the Europeans step up and contribute more security assistance.

    David Hale: (07:11)
    We’ve often heard at the State Department that the President of the United States wants to make sure that foreign assistance is reviewed scrupulously, to make sure that it’s in truly in U.S. national interests and that we evaluate it continuously to meet certain criteria that the President’s established.

    John Ratcliffe: (07:27)
    And has the President express that he expects our allies to give their fair share of foreign aid as evidenced by a point that he raised during the July 25th phone call with President Zelensky to that effect?

    David Hale: (07:38)
    The principle of greater burden sharing by allies and other like-minded states is an important element of the foreign assistance review.

    Michael Purpura: (07:47)
    The President expressed these precise concerns to Senator Ron Johnson, who wrote, “He reminded me how thoroughly corrupt Ukraine was and again conveyed his frustration that Europe doesn’t do its fair share of providing military aid.” The House managers didn’t tell you about this. Why not? And President Trump was right to be concerned that other countries weren’t paying their fair share. As Laura Cooper testified, U.S. contributions to Ukraine are far more significant than any individual country and she also said E.U. funds tend to be on the economic side rather than for defense and security. Senator Johnson also confirmed that other countries refused to provide the lethal defensive weapons that Ukraine needs in its war with Russia.

    Michael Purpura: (08:48)
    Please keep in mind also that the pause of the Ukraine security assistance program was far from unusual or out of character for President Trump. The American people know that the President is skeptical of foreign aid and that one of his top campaign promises and priorities in office has been to avoid wasteful spending of American taxpayer dollars abroad. Meanwhile, the same people who today claim that President Trump was not genuinely concerned about burden sharing were upset when as a candidate, President Trump criticized free-riding by NATO members. This past summer, the administration paused, reviewed, and in some cases canceled, hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid to Afghanistan, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Lebanon. And these are just some of the reviews of foreign aid undertaken at the very same time that the Ukraine aid was paused.

    The phrase they’ve repeated, especially last Friday is:
    The House managers didn’t tell you about this. Why not?

    Indeed…why not?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  122. Pop the corn, kids: tonight, on all broadcast networks and cable news channels:

    It’s Prime-Time-Dershowitz!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  123. So far, just speaking as an observer, if I was a “juror,” I’d conclude one side argued facts and the other side argued process.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  124. Reporter: Hunter Biden got a job because his dad was VP. If that’s a crime, shouldn’t half your children be in jail?

    Sen. Ted Cruz: My children are 9 and 11.
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  125. Overheard in the White House tonight:

    “What’s that thing Alan is holding?”

    “It’s called a book, Mr. President.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  126. This doesn’t even remotely resemble what he said

    Thanks for the mind reading of someone else’s writing. I’m not sure why I should care.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  127. The Dersh reads federalist 65, then says people misconstrue the words as meaning “misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust”, it actually doesn’t mean that, it means other “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” which doesn’t mean what we think it means. It means things deemed crimes. Then he lists several crimes, including 2 that actually weren’t illegal until 80 years later.

    Of course, this is exactly the opposite of his arguments as recently as last year. But whatever.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  128. @127. He’s his own worst enemy; no credibility; nailed by his own videotaped words. A fast talking sh!t-shoveller but at least he wore pants tonight. Makes a great case against clinging to originalist musings quilled 250 years ago; especially loved death penalty blather for pig stealing as a ‘capital misdemeanor.’ Once upon a time they hanged you for horse theft, too.

    But great prime-time entertainment for “the audience-of-one” in the White House. He’ll love it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  129. Now he’s into dissing the vagaries of ‘abusive conduct.’

    When did you stop beating your wife, Alan? 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  130. I came across some Tweet from a mindless conspiracy-theorist Trump hater yesterday suggesting that Trump had ordered the Kobe Bryant helicopter be shot down in order to distract people from the Senate trial. Seriously.

    I’d bet money that was a Trump supporter trying to caricature Trump critics. First, this is a stupid idea. Second, Trump support is stupid.

    Dustin (16b5ca)

  131. But the only thing stopping Trump from biological warfare is competence. He would happily hurt you and your family for the slightest perceived benefit. He’s a sociopath.
    Dustin (11e9a5) — 1/27/2020 @ 1:05 pm

    I’d bet money that was a Trump supporter trying to caricature Trump critics.
    Dustin (16b5ca) — 1/27/2020 @ 5:46 pm

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  132. 128. Re: ‘capital misdemeanor’

    Alan Dershowitz seemed to find that an interesting choice of words. His point there was that misdemeanor was just another word for crime, although it came to mean lesser crimes.

    He argued that you could take such issues as abuse of power into consideration at the penalty stage, but you needed a crime or crime like act to get you into it. Crime like he defined as not a crime owing to some minor technicality like lack of jurisdiction.

    He mentioned the John Bolton book – said even if what was said to be in the book were true that would not be proper grounds for impeachment. And I’m not sure only because it is missing the element of Donald Trump believing the accusations to be unfounded. He didn’t delve into that.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  133. 129. ‘abusive conduct.’

    It did occur to me that is the kind of charge that could be used in divorce cases. Not that he wouldn’t be right that that’s a terrible kind of charge to make with no definition but things like that really do happen, especially in child custody cases..

    He said at the constitutional convention they had two debates: One, whether the president should be removable at all, and two, on what grounds. He said lots of terms were thrown around in the first debate but once they got around to drafting grounds they were more careful. He said it was like today say a claim was made that social media needed to be regulated and various reasons were given. He named three, I remember the third was hate speech and I think the first was falsity. You wouldn’t put falseness or hate speech into the legislative language itself (it should go without saying this would be in some other country) but you’d draft something much narrower. So, here, too, “treason bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors” was a limitation on abuse of power.

    I think this argument loses because of the idea of natural law or common law crimes. And subverting the constitution y going outside it has to be grounds. At least if it’s persistent and significant.

    He said that in 1999, he accepted the beyond-a-crime criteria because he hadn’t studied it, but it was not an issue then; everybody agreed Clinton had committed a crime, and the Clinton people wanted to narrow the grounds for impeachment by saying it had to be a political sort of crime and not personal.

    I was surprised he quoted a definition of maladministration that on;y included unethical acts. ab it meant that in 1787 but maybe no.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  134. Why Trump’s tweet may have waived his executive privilege

    President Trump denied claims he told Bolton aid to Ukraine was tied to an investigation of the Bidens in a tweet, which CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero says could affect President Trump’s executive privilege defense.

    This is an interesting point. Executive privilege isn’t a blanket license to refuse to talk about things that may prove embarrassing or incriminating. It exists to keep internal discussions confidential, to preserve the president’s ability to receive honest advice.

    By publicly discussing the substance of his conversation with Bolton, Trump has arguably waived that justification.

    Dave (1bb933)

  135. By publicly discussing the substance of his conversation with Bolton, Trump has arguably waived that justification.

    There are reasons why executive privilege in this instance can be overridden, but this is not one of them. Trust me on this: If a cop ever tells you, “I asked you if you robbed that bank, and you told me ‘no’, so you waived your Miranda rights and you now have to answer all my questions”, don’t believe him. It’s never too late to shut up.

    nk (1d9030)

  136. Bolton should testify. And it actually might be enough to sink Trump if it’s as bad as they say. It could lead to others talking, too. OTOH, Bolton must viscerally hate Trump by now, but in a game of he-said, he-said, I’ll take they Republican who isn’t Donald Trump.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  137. Trust me on this: If a cop ever tells you, “I asked you if you robbed that bank, and you told me ‘no’, so you waived your Miranda rights and you now have to answer all my questions”, don’t believe him. It’s never too late to shut up.

    That much is certainly true, but I’m not sure how relevant it is to executive privilege.

    Dave (1bb933)

  138. @73 Hey, DCSCA, you have a unique knack for finding quotes. Kelly’s Heroes was one of my favorite movies, when I was growing up. I especially liked the theme song, “Burning Bridges.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgeIINs1TrQ

    Another was Billy Jack. I was really into Native American mythology at the time, and the character of Billy Jack struck me. I especially liked the theme song, “One Tin Soldier.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH0eHzTKEMY

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  139. I think wat Bolton wrote is being distorted. Bolton in general, and it is interesting that the claim is not that a tie between anything and investigations was made by Trump in July but only in August, in connection with a willingness to “continue” or “maintain” a freeze on security assistance. The word “until” (in the sense of that’s all that”s needed) may be problematical and not said that way in the book.

    I think, Bolton has a completely different version of the whole story.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  140. ere are three issues in impeachment:

    1. A judgement of the facts

    2. Quasi-legal considerations (this possibly should come first)

    3. A value judgment.

    and if, in regards to #3, a general evaluation of a president is the basis for removal, it becomes pretextual but maybe sometimes it should be, but it shold really be regarded as necessary.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  141. Thanks Whembly, I agree that Micheal Purpura did a good job articulating the presidents case, But none of that is evidence of why Trump withheld the aid.

    It breaks down into a two catagories.

    -Actions Trump took after congress started to inquire as to the delay and the investigation of the WB complaint was opened. I would argue that the fact they released the aid after people started asking questions could be evidence that they knew what they were doing was wrong and wanted to clean it up when they suspected they were getting caught.

    Interesting dates

    Sept 9, The IG notifies congress about the The WB report.
    Sept 10, Bolton was fired / resigned.
    Sept 11, The aid was released

    The line up of dates doesn’t /prove/ anything by itself. But it’s reasonable to ask for some proof, under oath, to explain it. It also doesn’t feel exculpatory. It’s kind of like telling the Police officer that you slowed down as soon as you saw them pull out after your on the expressway, and you were going the speed limit when they turned their lights on.

    -General statements about corruptions and burden sharing. These are valid. These could be the reason for with holding the aid. What’s missing is someone involved in the process testifying that these were the primary reasons for withholding the aid. I’m not saying it’s impossible for these to be True. But no one has testified that these were the reasons. Especially since the testimony for Taylor, Sondland etc. was that the aid was being withheld until the preseident of Ukraine made a public statement to the presidents satisfaction.

    Time123 (6e0727)

  142. Time123 (6e0727) — 1/28/2020 @ 4:36 am

    I would argue that the fact they released the aid after people started asking questions could be evidence that they knew what they were doing was wrong and wanted to clean it up when they suspected they were getting caught.

    It was principally the basic fact that aid had been withheld that was being complained about, not conditions, although that made it worse.

    He got asked to free the money too many times and Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) according to Trump, was the straw that broke the camel’s back (I learned about the Portman meeting only from Trump’s lawyers yesterday. Schiff wants the whistleblower complaint to take all the credit, even though the details weren’t public then.)

    https://www.cleveland.com/open/2019/10/trump-says-he-released-ukraine-money-at-request-of-ohio-sen-rob-portman.html

    – President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he decided last month to release aid money he had delayed giving Ukraine at the request of Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman and others who had called and asked him to do it….

    ….Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he had hesitated before releasing the money to Ukraine because “they’re rated one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” and because he felt Europe was not providing its fair share of aid to Ukraine given the fact that Ukraine is like a “big, wide beautiful wall” that separates Russia from Europe.

    “In fact, Rob Portman backed me up and there’s nobody more honorable than Rob Portman of Ohio,” said Trump. “Because he called up ‘Please, let the money go.’ I said ‘Rob, I hate being the country that’s always giving money when Ukraine helps Europe and the European countries far more than they help us.’

    “And he said, ‘You know what, but it’s important,” Trump continued. “This was my only reason. Because I don’t like being the sucker country. We were the sucker country for years and years, but we’re not the sucker country any more. But I gave the money because Rob Portman and others called me and asked. But I don’t like to be the sucker. And European countries are helped far more than we are and those countries should pay more to help Ukraine.”

    This explanation, true or false, doesn’t seem to have been reported in any media I read.

    The money was released September 12. Portman last week told reporters that he spoke to Trump about the matter on September 11. A statement from Portman said “there was no quid pro quo regarding the military aid to Ukraine” and that “Trump was focused on the need for the Europeans to do more to help Ukraine, something I agree with.””

    All the other sources besides cleveland.com say that the money was released on September 11, and I think I heard that in testimony.

    In the July 25 conversation, Ukrainian president Volodyrmr Zelensky indicated that what he was concerned about from European countries was sanctions. He agreed with Trump that, by rights, European countries should be their most important partner (obviously because they had the most interest in keeping the frontier between Russian domination and freedom and democracy as far east as possible) but that wasn’t his concern.

    The problem with the issue of European countries not wanting to give money for military aid (it wasn’t really a question of money) is that it was too late to raise it for Fiscal 2019, and there were no active diplomatic efforts being made, as far as I know, to get European countries to commit. That would have been right up Gordon Sondland’s alley. Everybody knew that Germany just wasn’t going to do that.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  143. Time123 (6e0727) — 1/28/2020 @ 4:36 am

    -General statements about corruptions and burden sharing. These are valid. These could be the reason for with holding the aid. What’s missing is someone involved in the process testifying that these were the primary reasons for withholding the aid.

    The only testimony we have so far is that Trump didn’t give any reason, or that nobody two levels down got a reason and they were left guessing. We also hav from Mulvaney that Trump gave both burden sharing and Ukraianan corruption as an issue, and in the context of corruption mentioned the 2016 election (but not Biden)

    What Bolton could testify to is what was the reason. And Bolton didn’t first talk to him about in August.

    . Especially since the testimony for Taylor, Sondland etc. was that the aid was being withheld until the president of Ukraine made a public statement to the presidents satisfaction.

    That was the way things stood in the first week of September. It is not historically minded to say that this was the way it was all the time.

    he testimony from Sondland, confirmed by text messages Volker provided, was that he was guessing, on the basis that Trump had told him and others back in May to talk to Rudy. Trump did not connect any actions to it when he did.

    At the time the 3 amigos were in contact with Giuliani, what Giuliani wanted from the Ukrainian government was that they should listen to him and follow up on the information he provided , i. e. investigate the allegations he had been given.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

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

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

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

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

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

    I never said I was “right”.

    Lets hope it works.

    Does tis sound like somebody following presidential instructions?

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  145. Does tis sound like somebody following presidential instructions?

    Trump is president, he’s a clueless monkey, so absolutely.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  146. The instructions of a mama’s boy, who when he wanted a glass of water would say “I’m thirsty” and mommy would rush to the kitchen to get it.

    Or like when he tweeted: “The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!” When the Secretary of the Navy did not take the tweet as an order, he was fired.

    nk (1d9030)

  147. Sammy, most of what you wrote makes sense. Sure would be nice to have testimony to prove it one way or another.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  148. But the only thing stopping Trump from biological warfare is competence. He would happily hurt you and your family for the slightest perceived benefit. He’s a sociopath.
    Dustin (11e9a5) — 1/27/2020 @ 1:05 pm

    I’d bet money that was a Trump supporter trying to caricature Trump critics.
    Dustin (16b5ca) — 1/27/2020 @ 5:46 pm

    Munroe (dd4ac5) — 1/27/2020 @ 5:59 pm

    I am pleased with these comments. I am also pleased they upset you so much. Trump’s threats and misconduct are approaching legendary status, and that only means his critics have no reason to invent conspiracies relating to shooting down Kobe Bryant. To you, there’s no difference. A critic of trump sexually assaulting women or bribing nations for dirt is no different than an hysterical nutcase. But that’s because you’re defensive.

    The real problem is that the Trump trolls of the world are how we wind up with a socialist president. Bernie won’t happen without giving the nation a scary movement of zealot fascists to oppose.

    Dustin (11e9a5)

  149. 147. Time123 (f5cf77) — 1/28/2020 @ 7:12 am

    Sammy, most of what you wrote makes sense. Sure would be nice to have testimony to prove it one way or another.

    It would, of course. There’s even a good chance of that actually happening because the hints coming out on the press coverage is that Mitch McConnell doesn’t have his needed votes against witnesses. And if they get them, they won’t be there for several months, as one of President’s Trump’s lawyers said yesterday. It’s not a choice between being over this week and being there until maybe June.

    It doesn’t even make too much sense for Mitch McConnell to oppose witnesses. They gave more time for a Kavanaugh investigation, and the whole thing is now dead, with some of the people involved disgraced, although maybe not because of that. What would happen, is that it would become clear to many of Trump’s supporters that Trump was not a perfect president. That is all to the good, but McConnell may be afraid of that.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  150. Lets hope it works.

    SF: Does this sound like somebody following presidential instructions?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89) — 1/28/2020 @ 6:56 am

    Trump is president, he’s a clueless monkey, so absolutely.

    You can’t get away from these words of Gordon Sondland, and the idea is repeated that he was guessing in various ways. (The question is, what;s wrong with Trump’s lawyers that they either don’t know or don’t want to use it? They did say Sondland was guessing, but not enough times.)

    I didn’t say Trump was clueless, but I also don’t believe he’s on top of things. They said the same thing about Nixon, and it wasn’t true.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  151. On July 10, Bolton spoke of a “whatever drug deal” Mulvaney and Sondland were cooking up. (that was when Sondland “reminded” some Ukrainians who were visiting the White House that a visit by Ukrainian president Volodyrmyr Zelensky was dependent on investigations.

    Bolton didn’t say Trump was cooking that up.

    The New York Times calls what was described “a rogue effort” (whether that;s what happened or not that’s what was the way to understand what was being testified to)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/14/us/politics/bolton-giuliani-fiona-hill-testimony.html

    The aide, Fiona Hill, testified that Mr. Bolton told her to notify the chief lawyer for the National Security Council about a rogue effort by Mr. Sondland, Mr. Giuliani and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, according to the people familiar with the testimony.

    “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Mr. Bolton, a Yale-trained lawyer, told Ms. Hill to tell White House lawyers, according to two people at the deposition. (Another person in the room initially said Mr. Bolton referred to Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Mulvaney, but two others said he cited Mr. Sondland.)

    In fact there’s every sign that, while Trump put the military assistance on hold, he did not seem to be interested in avoiding a meeting. Here Sondland was trying to trade something for investigations that Trump wasn’t even stopping!

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  152. If it lasts through the primary season, all bets are off. Trump’s dung beetles are out only for themselves and worried only about keeping their cinchy jobs. The ones who lose their primaries, the ones in purely red states, and the ones with weak opponents — all three groups — will be free to “express themselves”.

    20 votes. Sigh. Just 20 little votes.

    nk (1d9030)

  153. This presidential cycle is Trump or bust, without primaries, there aren’t really any options. Although, it might be fine to just have a condensed primary, Pence isn’t getting any enthusiasm as beige man, the length of the last republican primary or current democratic one isn’t really a benefit in my mind, so a 3 month primary is attractive.

    Still not getting 20 senators though.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  154. Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89) — 1/28/2020 @ 8:33 am

    This presidential cycle is Trump or bust, without primaries, there aren’t really any options.

    That’s the thing. It’s a binnary choice. But in an election, it’s a binary choice between Trump and a Democrat, who, at aminimu,, would appoint different judges, and likely be different in foreign policy too, but with an impeachment it’s a binary choice between Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Not the same thing, although nobody’s saying that.

    nk says this is only to harm Trump’s chances in the general election; the last thing the Democratic leaders want is to remove Trump as the Republican candidate.

    Although, it might be fine to just have a condensed primary, Pence isn’t getting any enthusiasm as beige man, the length of the last republican primary or current democratic one isn’t really a benefit in my mind, so a 3 month primary is attractive.

    The primary season really doesn’t last more than about three months. It’s closed off too soon.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  155. I can’t believe Trump would be stupid enough to testify but he might if Bolton testifies and makes a good impression. Bolton has experience speaking extemporaneously so he might be a very credible witness, which has to terrify the Senate Republican leadership. But reading testimony is never as effective as seeing witnesses and watching them be cross-examined. Bolton should testify and so should Trump (and Hunter Biden, if they want him).

    DRJ (15874d)

  156. Bolton testifying would be fascinating because he kept copious notes and might not share *in advance* what he knows with anyone. His testimony could help and hurt both sides, but it would hurt Trump the most since Trump is the one on trial.

    DRJ (15874d)

  157. I’m fine ratf*cking Hunter Biden for Bolton. Whatever bloodying Biden gets, and he should, all he can get is fired. Bolton would actually have some substantive things to say about the actual thing going on.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  158. Trump and the Republicans probably feel emboldened by how the public is tuning outthe impeachment trial (except Fox News’ coverage of Trump’s defense), but I bet the ratings would go way up for everyone if Bolton testified. That is not something the Senate majority leadership wants.

    DRJ (15874d)

  159. I doubt the Senate will effectively cross-examine Biden or Bolton, butI would like to hear from Biden. It is time We the People learn how our leaders and their families, on both sides of the aisle, grow rich in public service.

    DRJ (15874d)

  160. Paging the Chief Justice … Executive privilege/national security as a basis to block Bolton from testifying:

    Bolton has offered to testify under subpoena, but Trump last week strongly suggested he’d fight that move, arguing that Bolton’s testimony would create “a national security problem.” With that in mind, the White House is reportedly weighing plans to invoke executive privilege to block Bolton’s appearance if the Senate votes to call him in.

    Democrats are already fighting to preempt that strategy, arguing that, legally, Trump sabotaged any effort to deny Bolton a voice when he attacked his former national security adviser on Twitter early Monday morning.

    House Democrats say the White House has no power to block the testimony of John Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, who rattled the impeachment debate this week by validating the central charge against the president.

    “There’s no real claim to executive privilege,” a Democratic aide involved in the impeachment trial said Tuesday morning. “These are phony claims; they should be called out.”

    Bolton, in his upcoming book, maintains that Trump told him last August that he intended to withhold military aid to Ukraine until leaders in Kyiv opened investigations into Trump’s political rivals — the very allegation that sparked the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry a month later.

    The bombshell revelation, first reported by The New York Times, has shaken Capitol Hill, while throwing Trump’s Republican allies on the defensive and lending considerable new ammunition to Democrats demanding to hear from first-hand witnesses during the Senate impeachment trial.

    Bolton has offered to testify under subpoena, but Trump last week strongly suggested he’d fight that move, arguing that Bolton’s testimony would create “a national security problem.” With that in mind, the White House is reportedly weighing plans to invoke executive privilege to block Bolton’s appearance if the Senate votes to call him in.

    Democrats are already fighting to preempt that strategy, arguing that, legally, Trump sabotaged any effort to deny Bolton a voice when he attacked his former national security adviser on Twitter early Monday morning.

    In that tweet, Trump accusing Bolton of lying about their August conversation “only to sell a book.”
    Democrats now maintain that, in airing those attacks publicly, Trump has waived any power he might have had to block Bolton’s testimony.

    “There’s a saying that you can’t use privileges as both a sword and a shield,” the aide told reporters Tuesday on a phone call.. “In other words, when you talk about those issues, it’s fair game.”

    “It’s a false argument, and to the extent that anyone’s trying to raise it, you have the the chief justice of the United States sitting right there to reject it,” the aide said.

    “He’s attacked Bolton; [Bolton] has the right to defend himself,” the aide said.”

    The Senate GOP is reportedly meeting this afternoon to decide about witnesses.

    DRJ (15874d)

  161. rump’s lawyers finished their presentation at about 2:45 pm.

    Proceedings will resume with written questions read aloud by Chief Justice Roberts on Wednesday at 1pm and the same for Thursday. They wo; alternae parties and Chef J hopes they will answer each question in 5 mins. Like they were supposed to do in 1999 and came close.

    Friday they debate witnesses.

    Much activity among Senators.

    Susan Collins and John Kennedy took lots of notes. That may be for questions.

    McConnell is trying to get Republicans not to comment about Bolton so they didn’t come out during the last break.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  162. The Senate Republican meeting ended just before 6:30 pm. It is reported that Mitch McConnell said that he does not currently have the vootes to block witnesses (not that witnesses win a vote – some Senators want to wait.)

    It’s been proposed that Senators take a look at the book and see what it says first (in the secure room) before deciding. Democrats might vote against that. Senator Schumer opposes that, giving as his excuse there’s nothing better than alive witness. (It could also be has information that the leak is misleading, or the spin about the book is misleading.)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  163. Breaking– CNN reports as of tonight,McConnell tells closed door meeting GOP doesn’t have votes to block witnesses.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  164. And ABC and CBS reported that too. That doesn’t mean he would lose that vote – it means he can’t say he would win it, because a number of Senators said they would wait to decide. He is probably heading for a loss on that question because they were probably talked out of saying they were for witnesses as of now. Schumer may stop the ploy of letting Senators look at the manuscript first. (well, probably a bound paperback version of the book)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  165. Donald Trump claims the impeachment (charges) are a big hoax. Doesn’t he want to prove it?

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  166. >Trump is bad, therefore he would have done bribery, and the reason we can’t prove it is because of X.

    Using *any advantage he can* in negotiation is clearly in line with the way Trump ran his businesses, and he has never throughout his career shown any ability to differentiate in his mind between himself and the organizations he is running. He has engaged in behavior which is most naturally read as an attempt to coerce someone into helping him by withholding something in his possession that they needed — a tactic which *would be perfectly normal* in many business negotiations and which he employed regularly as a businessman.

    Why would we *not* suspect that he was doing it here?

    aphrael (971fba)


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