Patterico's Pontifications

1/29/2020

Impeachment: What Comes Next

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 am



As Republicans squirm and look desperately for a way around John Bolton testifying, some are grabbing hold of the notion that Trump would just be able to block his testimony.

That is a joke. If the Senate votes to hear from John Bolton, there is not a federal judge in the country who will act or vote to stop him from testifying.

I predict we’ll soon see something more realistic. As Bolton’s testimony looks more inevitable, look for GOP hacks to favor a closed-door deposition, citing the Clinton impeachment as precedent. Then there will be a nationwide debate about whether Bolton should testify in public or behind closed doors. The same people who decried the closed doors in the House depositions (never mind that the witnesses later testified publicly) will advocate permanent closed doors for Bolton.

So watch for that.

Meanwhile, there are also discussions about a Bolton-for-Hunter-Biden trade.

I’m not so sure that’s a bad trade for Dems.

The reported contents of John Bolton’s book actually torpedo several arguments raised by many of the President’s defenders, like: there is no firsthand knowledge of Trump’s ordering the quid pro quo; or Trump was really concerned about cost-sharing and/or corruption generally, and not focused on the Bidens personally. Bolton will blow up those arguments with the same relish that he formerly ordered other countries to be blown up.

Meanwhile, what does Hunter Biden bring to the table?

Possibly a real focus on the validity of the arguments citing him. The assumption is that such a focus would be good for Trump. I’m not so sure.

Let’s start with the actual facts. This is Biden’s rapid response guy, but when I watched the video I noted that it largely if not entirely comported with my understanding of the relevant facts:

In short, the Hunter Biden argument is bullshit. Now, how do the Republicans expect to use the Hunter Biden argument to show Trump’s demands to Zelensky were legit? Well, as a technical matter Hunter Biden can’t show that, because the relevant question is what Trump thought, not what Hunter Biden says now. And we all know that Trump thought whatever he was told on Fox News. But those are technical arguments. What would we really learn from Hunter Biden? I think the GOP dream is like the plan of the South Park Underpants Gnomes (UPDATE: Paul Montagu had this idea first):

Phase 1: Collect underpants
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Profit!

But the GOP version is:

Phase 1: Call Hunter Biden
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Not guilty!

So what does the question mark represent? In the GOP fantasy, it’s hours of these questions on repeat:

Q. DIDN’T YOU COLLECT THOUSANDS, PERHAPS MILLIONS, PERHAPS TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM BURISMA?

A: YES.

Q. IS IT NOT TRUE THAT THIS IS RANK CORRUPTION OF THE HIGHEST ORDER AND THAT DONALD TRUMP WAS TOTALLY RIGHT TO WANT TO INVESTIGATE IT?

A. NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT, YOU’RE RIGHT, OF COURSE.

But the reality is that, after the 12th invocation of the thousands, or millions, or quintillions of dollars Biden took, there will be further analysis of just what the hell this has to do with anything. And the more the facts are explored, the more the public will begin to realize certain facts:

  • Shokin, the Ukranian prosecutor whom Biden sought to have ousted, was actually dirty
  • Some Republican Senators supported Biden’s actions in ousting Shokin
  • Any Burisma investigation related to events that happened years before Hunter Biden joined the board
  • Biden’s actions were official U.S. policy and supported by most of the world
  • Biden’s actions likely would have made Burisma more likely to be investigated
  • The GOP argument is bullshit

The GOP Underpants Gnomes plan can still work, but the question mark in Phase 2 does not stand for “damning testimony emerges of the rightness of Donald Trump’s actions” but rather for “Republican Senators vote not guilty no matter what the evidence is.” Which means Trump will be fine — for now. But how will this end up looking come November?

Anyway, that’s what I say to expect. As usual, hound me in a few days when I turn out to have been wrong about everything.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

195 Responses to “Impeachment: What Comes Next”

  1. If Bolton were to testify “Hey guys, I don’t know what all the fuss is. Trump did nothing wrong.”, we know #NeverTrump will just pack up shop and move on.

    Because, that’s what #NeverTrump always does.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  2. It’s not going to take a few days for the hounding to commence. But I do recommend my fellow commenters buy up stock in popcorn manufacturers.

    Gryph (08c844)

  3. “But how will this end up looking come November?”

    This of course is the whole point of the exercise stretching back three years.

    And, after a bunch of Chesa Boudin clones get on the SC we can all derive satisfaction at how great November worked out.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  4. 3. You seem to be assuming that Trump hs 2020 wrapped up. I’m not saying he won’t win, but there’s still the groundwork to be done and the ballots to be submitted. Don’t put your cart before the horse, TH.

    Gryph (08c844)

  5. #1 — How likely is that? Bolton has had plenty of opportunity to deny this story.

    My guess — He is trying to tell hs tale while not putting himself in legal jeopardy under whatever nondisclosure agreements he may have signed. I could see him leaking this himself as a way of breaking the log jam.

    I don’t think the Democrats will offer up Hunter Biden, unless Biden looks to be losing the nomination beyond saving. The facts of all the Bidens getting rich isn’t a good look for him, and the GOP will air all that out.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  6. Now that the witness door has been opened, I hope the GOP Senators call the Bidens, Schiff, the whistleblower, and so forth, because that means the Senate Democrats will get their witnesses. However, I think McConnell will go for one witness on each side.
    I hope they do call Hunter Biden, but I don’t see him saying much more than he did in his ABC interview.
    A couple of months ago, I was arguing with Trump supporters and they kept saying that Hunter is corrupt, and I kept asking, on what evidence because they were employing the Underpants Gnome argument:

    (1) Hunter Biden got a cushy, high-paying, no-work job,
    (2) ???? and
    (3) Corruption!
    Adoring Trump loyalists keep alleging corruption, but there’s no evidence, which stops them at #2. They keep saying that VP Biden pushed for the firing of a prosecutor because he was prosecuting Burisma or Zlochevsky or Hunter Biden, when the reality is that Shokin was corrupt and was enriching himself from his corruption and was doing the opposite of investigating corruption.

    I don’t want to agree with Joe Biden, and I won’t vote for him, but his spokesperson is 100% correct.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  7. Where’s Marianne Williamson when you need her? I will predict this: The longer this drags on, the more the 23 Republicans (actual and nominal) up for reelection will be able to count on Trump’s endorsement in their primaries.

    nk (1d9030)

  8. Then (collusion): Employ Underpants Gnome.
    Now (impeachment): Mock Underpants Gnome.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  9. If the Senate votes to hear from John Bolton, there is not a federal judge in the country who will act or vote to stop him from testifying.

    And the speech and debate clause, although not exactly on point, is probably pertinent also.

    I don’t think executive privilege has ever been used to stop a person from voluntarily revealing things, but only to nullify a subpoena. By the way, the question as to whether Congress has the power to subpoena anybody is probably as unsettled as the question of executive privilege.

    There’s also the matter of classified information, but there, besides the speech and debate clause (which means the Senate can declassify anything it wants, although to do that brazenly would wreck comity with the executive branch) they could also hear testimony in secret session (which nobody wants)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  10. @6

    I am not terribly interested in Hunter Biden, but here is a basic fact of life. Companies the world over do not pay something for nothing. People expect something in return for what they pay.

    Hunter Biden got a job that paid $83k a month. That’s nearly a million a year. For a job that he had zero qualifications for and for which he apparently did no work.

    So what was the expected return on that from the company paying him? Did that return (or to use the Latin phrase, quid pro quo) involve anything to do with his father and the government influence his father had or will have?

    If there is no good answer for that, then there is a strong inference that indeed his father’s position and influence was the real reason he got the sinecure.

    Is that enough to convict in a criminal case? No. Is it enough to think that something dirty is going on, and therefore it is reasonable to want to investigate it? Yes.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  11. Oh collusion isn’t a “then”. It’s an example of why letting corruption slide leads to more corruption.

    Dustin (78cd15)

  12. Well, as a technical matter Hunter Biden can’t show that, because the relevant question is what Trump thought, not what Hunter Biden says now

    Exactly, exactly.

    That’s why Giuliani, or his sources (like Lutsenko) or co-investigators (Like Lev Parnas) are better witnesses.

    Joe Biden is more relevant because Trump cited something Biden was recorded saying on January 23, 2018 and Biden could be asked what he meant and what really happened. Although in any case he doesn’t quite say what Trump said he said.

    On the other hand if Hunter Biden would testify (under a grant of immunity?) that he was protecting corruption, that would tend to wash away, in practical terms, not have a good predicate to start to investigate.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  13. Joe Biden is more relevant because Trump cited something Biden was recorded saying on January 23, 2018 and Biden could be asked what he meant and what really happened. Although in any case he doesn’t quite say what Trump said he said.

    Yes, I think Joe Biden would be a better witness both on the substance and on the politics. What he said, on its face, was enough to make someone suspicious. And the cross-examination (do they allow that in a Senate trial?) would likely destroy him politically. (But then we would get Bernie Sanders.)

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  14. 10. Bored Lawyer (998177) — 1/29/2020 @ 9:04 am

    So what was the expected return on that from the company paying him?

    One possibility is that it was to convince people n Ukraine that the fix was in, and that Burisma had the backing of the U.S. government, so don’t try to file or win a court case against it. (and that Barack Obama personally was getting a piece of the action, but in a disguised way so that’s why the son of the vice president and another Democrat was on the board)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  15. So what was the expected return on that from the company paying him?

    I think the question is better addressed to Zlochevsky, as in, what did he expect to get in return for giving the VP’s son a cushy sinecure.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  16. Indeed, Bored Lawyer. But if the chief law enforcement officer of the United State has a suspicion that someone is violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, is this how he goes about having it investigated? Or is this how he goes about extorting a foreign government to provide him dirt to smear a political opponent with, using the power of his Office and American taxpayer money foreign aid?

    nk (1d9030)

  17. My 16 was to 10.

    nk (1d9030)

  18. “But if the chief law enforcement officer of the United State has a suspicion that someone is violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, is this how he goes about having it investigated?”
    nk (1d9030) — 1/29/2020 @ 9:31 am

    With or without a bogus dossier?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  19. Paul Montagu:

    They keep saying that VP Biden pushed for the firing of a prosecutor because he was prosecuting Burisma or Zlochevsky or Hunter Biden, when the reality is that Shokin was corrupt and was enriching himself from his corruption and was doing the opposite of investigating corruption.

    It is part of the Trump defense that Viktor Shokin was in fact investigating Burisma: (whether that’s true or not, I don’t know)

    https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/trump-impeachment-lawyer-defense-argument-transcripts-monday-january-27-ken-starr-purpura-raskin

    [Pam Bondi}

    ….December 8, 2015, the New York Times publishes an article that Prosecutor General Shokin was investigating Burisma and its owner, Zlochevsky. The Times report, here’s their quote.

    “The credibility of the vice president’s anti-corruption message may have been undermined by
    the association of his son, Hunter Biden,” with Barisma and its owner, Zlochevsky.

    Pam Bondi: (21:39)

    Now, we all know from the Obama administration and from the words of Vice President Biden himself, he advocated for the prosecutor general’s dismissal. There was ongoing investigation into the oligarch, Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma, at the time. We know this because on February 2nd, 2016, the Ukrainian …

    Pam Bondi: (22:03)

    … 2, 2016, the Ukrainian prosecutor general obtained a renewal of a court order to seize the Ukrainian oligarch’s assets. A Kiev Post article published on February 4th, 2016 says, the oligarch Zlochevsky is, quote, suspected of committing a criminal offense of illicit enrichment, end quote.
    [wrong spelling of illicit corrected by me]

    Over the next few weeks, the vice president had multiple calls with Ukraine’s President Poroshenko. Days after the last call on February 4th … 24th, 2016, a D.C. consultant reached out to
    the State Department to request a meeting to discuss Burisma. We know what she said because the email was released under the Freedom Of Information Act. The consultant explicitly invoked Hunter Biden’s name as a board member.

    In an email summarizing the call, the State Department official says that the consultant quote, noted that two high profile citizens are affiliated with the company, including Hunter Biden
    as a board member, end quote. She added that the consultant would, quote like to talk with Under Secretary Of State Novelli about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the country is corrupt, end quote.

    Pam Bondi: (23:28)

    To be clear, this email documents that the U.S. government had determined Burisma to be corrupt. And the consultant was seeking a meeting with an extremely senior State Department official to discuss
    the U.S. government’s position. Her pitch for the meeting specifically used Hunter Biden’s name, and according to the email, the meeting was set for a few days later. And later that month, on March 29th, 2016, the Ukrainian parliament finally votes to fire the prosecutor general. This is the prosecutor general investigating the oligarch, owner of Burisma, on whose board Hunter Biden sat.

    Two days after the prosecutor general is voted out, Vice President Biden announces that the U.S. will provide $335 million in security assistance to Ukraine. [this is news to me. I thought it was only in June]

    He soon announces that the U.S. will provide one billion dollars in loan guarantees to Ukraine.

    I think she’s trying to argue that the U.S. intervention to fire Shokin was to protect Burisma.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  20. I miss Obama, too, Munroe.

    nk (1d9030)

  21. Pam Bondi seems to be arguing that the consultant who wanted to talk to Under Secretary Of State Novelli on Feb 24, 2016, about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the country is corrupt, and noted that two high profile citizens are affiliated with the company, including Hunter Biden, succeeded in getting that meeting and succeeded in getting policy changed – changed so as to accelerate the firing of Viktor Shokin, where before thew U.S. had not been so interested.

    That’s probably not the case.

    Maybe she’ll get a question relevant to that today or tomorrow.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  22. Indeed, Bored Lawyer. But if the chief law enforcement officer of the United State has a suspicion that someone is violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, is this how he goes about having it investigated? Or is this how he goes about extorting a foreign government to provide him dirt to smear a political opponent with, using the power of his Office and American taxpayer money foreign aid?

    I have no doubt that (a) Trump’s interest in this matter was purely for his own political benefit. If the persons involved were named Joe and Hunter Smith, he would not care and (b) Trump went about this in his usual sleazy manner.

    But the fact that there was sleaze and possible corruption on the other side is significant both politically (which is what this whole impeachment is about anyway) and on the impeachment itself.

    Politically, most people will take the attitude, “it takes a thief to catch a thief.”

    On impeachment, this further supports my view (which I posted before) that this is low-level political sleaze and that what has been charged is insufficient to remove the president.

    In any event, there is an old saying in the law that “evidence only has to be a brick, not a wall.” Nothing Hunter Biden or Joe Biden will say will completely exonerate the president. But their testimony will help his case, so if he wants it, he is entitled to put it on. (Of course, thus far, it seems he wants no witnesses. So he is in no position to complain on that score.)

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  23. * getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the country is corrupt,

    The word “country” there probably should be “company” Rev com has a number of errors in its transcriptions.

    Q. Did she get the meeting?

    Q. Was pushing for Shokin’s firing a reversal of policy?

    Q. Wasn’t this maybe a failed attempt by Burisma to use Hunter Biden’s name?

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  24. 16. nk (1d9030) — 1/29/2020 @ 9:31 am

    But if the chief law enforcement officer of the United State has a suspicion that someone is violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, is this how he goes about having it investigated?

    That’s not a problem. A very entrenched cover-up was being alleged, so personal intervention by President Zelensky might have been required. O top of that, Trump mentioned the Attorney General of the United States in the same breath:

    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.

    Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it [According to Alexander Vindman, Trump mentions that he heard a recording of Biden speaking here] … It sounds horrible to me.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  25. I don’t think the Democrats will offer up Hunter Biden, unless Biden looks to be losing the nomination beyond saving. The facts of all the Bidens getting rich isn’t a good look for him, and the GOP will air all that out.

    Democrats don’t need to do diddly squat. Pure R votes get them whatever witnesses they want. That’s the majority’s power. The dems have zero control, so Mitch isn’t negotiating with them, he’s negotiating with his caucus.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  26. Breaking: White House (NSC) says Bolton book contains classified information some of it Top Secret, and can’t be published as is, but material needs to be deleted.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  27. 25. Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89) — 1/29/2020 @ 10:09 am

    Pure R votes get them whatever witnesses they want.

    But only if they don’t lose any votes.

    What if some Republicans don’t want to subpoena Hunter Biden? There can’t be more than two dissenters if no Democrats vote for subpoenaing Hunter Biden..

    It may be that’s the problem with subpoenaing Joe Biden.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  28. Heh! So if nothing else Bolton at least managed to get the dweebs at the NSC to stop binge-watching “Bikini Babes From Beyond The Urals” and look at his book. He had submitted it for review on December 30.

    nk (1d9030)

  29. Why call Hunter Biden? Various reasons based on target audience but it’s basically an attempt at Jury nullification. But there’s no way it hurts him.

    Trump loyalists, white nationalists, right wing grievance voters etc: Keep the focus on how the system is corrupt and Trump is being singled out for special persecution.
    People barely following along: Make this confusing and show the Hunter Biden is corrupt and therefore what Trump did is fine because morally it’s OK to fight fire with fire. Either way you see the words Biden and Corruption at the same time.

    People how are following along that like Trump: Hammer on Hunter Biden so that it’s not clear how what Trump did differs from what Joe Biden did, if they’re equal we should vote to acquit. Convince them that even if he did something technically wrong it wasn’t morally wrong.

    People how are following along that dis-like Trump: They’re never going to like Trump, but maybe this will make them dislike Joe Biden and thus help Trump in the general.

    We’re far into this and the white house has provided zero evidence to support any scenario other than Trump abused the power of his office for personal gain to force Ukraine to announce an investigation of a political rival that was not based on a evidence of wrong doing. Trump and his team gave up on facts a long time ago.

    Time123 (14b920)

  30. Time, that’s where I am too. Nothing presented seems incompatible with all the things we already know, but the senate isn’t going to convict, so just use the opp to dirty up Biden too. Of course, it might be bernie/warren instead, so it may waste the time anyway. Trump is Trump, of course he did it, they’re not even arguing that he didn’t at this point.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  31. Sammy, James Risen wrote the December 2015 NYT article and he discussed his reporting here. Ms. Bondi cherry-picked. While he did point out that VP Biden’s apparent conflict of interest sent a conflicting message, it still remained that the PGO was corrupt.

    Still, when Joe Biden went to Ukraine, he was not trying to protect his son — quite the reverse.
    The then-vice president issued his demands for greater anti-corruption measures by the Ukrainian government despite the possibility that those demands would actually increase – not lessen — the chances that Hunter Biden and Burisma would face legal trouble in Ukraine.

    Ms. Bondi distorted the February 2016 court order because it was reinstatement of a mid-2015 court order. The readouts of Biden’s calls to Poroshenko show no mention of Burisma.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  32. And here’s a Ukrainian perspective of the corruption in their prosecutor’s office.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  33. I think it will end by the weekend with no witnesses. The GOP knows its place.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  34. Is the GOP the bed in the Trump/Russian hooker peepee tape scenario?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  35. @33, You really think all of them are that whipped?

    Time123 (457a1d)

  36. Is the GOP the bed in the Trump/Russian hooker peepee tape scenario?

    No, America is the bed.

    The GOP are the hookers.

    Dave (1bb933)

  37. The problem is that if the GOP lets this slide, if they go further into this partnership, Trump will only exploit that further, and demand further loyalty. While it may seem to Senators they already passed the point of no return, I don’t think that’s the case yet.

    There must be so much fear of Biden testifying freely. He clearly wants to. He resigned with this in mind. There’s probably something beyond Ukraine he wants to talk about. Fascinating times we’re living in.

    Dustin (3ae049)

  38. @36

    Is the GOP the bed in the Trump/Russian hooker peepee tape scenario?

    No, America is the bed.

    The GOP are the hookers.

    Dave (1bb933) — 1/29/2020 @ 11:34 am

    Ackshually… all politicians are the hookers. And that’s an insult to hookers.

    😉

    whembly (fd57f6)

  39. Ah, dancing for the entertainment of Trump, at our expense. Makes sense.

    But we’re also paying the hookers, and for the room too, and the cleaning crew afterward.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  40. Sammy Finkelman (083d4c) — 1/29/2020 @ 10:04 am

    Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it

    Just to give this horse another once over, this statement by Trump is true. Joe bragged about getting Shokin, who claims he was working on the case and at least hadn’t closed it, removed and called his replacement, who closed the investigation, a solid guy.

    We can talk around the issue but taking Joe at his word the effect of removing Shokin was to close the investigation.

    frosty (f27e97)

  41. “Is the GOP the bed in the Trump/Russian hooker peepee tape scenario?”
    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89) — 1/29/2020 @ 11:23 am

    The common denominator in any scenario is that #NeverTrump made it up.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  42. The GOP has given up.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  43. @37

    The problem is that if the GOP lets this slide, if they go further into this partnership, Trump will only exploit that further, and demand further loyalty. While it may seem to Senators they already passed the point of no return, I don’t think that’s the case yet.

    Meh.

    Trump is the POTUS and is the defacto leader of the GOP party. This is true whomever is in the White House.

    It’s literally team-sporting, and I’ve witnessed this since I’ve payed attention to politics starting from 2nd Reagan tenure.

    There must be so much fear of Biden testifying freely. He clearly wants to. He resigned with this in mind. There’s probably something beyond Ukraine he wants to talk about. Fascinating times we’re living in.

    Dustin (3ae049) — 1/29/2020 @ 11:40 am

    I actually doubt that now as I expected we’d hear a more formal confirmation or denial by now regarding that leak. So to me, it seems that leak was spun in such a way purposely for other reasons.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  44. At the end of the Mueller investigation, Trump responded with the Ukraine call. I wonder what will happen this weekend?

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  45. 42

    The GOP has given up.

    DRJ (d18ca6) — 1/29/2020 @ 11:54 am

    No. They haven’t.

    There’s also considerations about precedents being set by this Impeachment process.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  46. Frosty, while your order of events is correct you’re ignoring a lot of pertinent information. If you wanted to say that Biden’s actions failed to improve the situation that might be fair, but the implication that he pressed for Shokin to be fired in order to get the investigation formally closed isn’t support by the facts. Didn’t you acknowledge on a previous thread that removing Shokin was in line with official US policy? It was also line with the British and the IMF.

    Vitaliy Kasko, a former deputy prosecutor general who had worked under Shokin and resigned in frustration at his stymying of corruption investigations, told Bloomberg News (in a May 2019 interview) that the office’s probe into Burisma Holdings had been long dormant by the time Joe Biden issued his ultimatum in 2016. “There was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against” Burisma owner Zlochevskiy, Bloomberg quoted Kasko as saying. “It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015,” Kasko said.

    “Shokin was not investigating. He didn’t want to investigate Burisma,” Daria Kaleniuk a leading Ukrainian anti-corruption advocate, told the Washington Post. “And Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation.”

    See also entries above: At time of British investigation in 2014-2015, Shokin’s Office sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  47. That makes sense, whembly. The GOP faces years of being led by Trump, his progeny and imitators. Better to fix the process now and protect them all.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  48. @45, what precedent prevents or discourages witness testimony?

    Time123 (457a1d)

  49. Now this is relevant.

    The NSC on Jan 23rd denied Bolton the authorization to publish. Then, it was Jan 26th the NYT wrote about a leak of the transcript. Doesn’t that appear to be a retaliatory motive on the leak?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  50. @49, It does. We should have Bolton testify under oath on if he was responsible for the leak. Should also have the NSC testify about their reasoning. That way he can’t get away with a claim that it was politically motivated.

    Time123 (14b920)

  51. We can talk around the issue but taking Joe at his word the effect of removing Shokin was to close the investigation.

    The problem is that there is no evidence of active investigations into Zlochevsky or Burisma or Hunter Biden. You can’t close something that wasn’t ongoing.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  52. 47

    That makes sense, whembly. The GOP faces years of being led by Trump, his progeny and imitators. Better to fix the process now and protect them all.

    DRJ (d18ca6) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:07 pm

    A weak impeachment shouldn’t be the proper tools to do that, as there’s danger to that new precedent being set on future administrations.

    Political engagement, particularly during the primaries are the proper venues to “protect” the parties in question.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  53. @50

    @49, It does. We should have Bolton testify under oath on if he was responsible for the leak. Should also have the NSC testify about their reasoning. That way he can’t get away with a claim that it was politically motivated.

    Time123 (14b920) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:11 pm

    There’s nothing stopping the House having those folks testifying there as well…

    Hell, there’s nothing stopping the DOJ from initiating an investigation as we’re dealing with privilege information.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  54. Hell, there’s nothing stopping the DOJ from initiating an investigation as we’re dealing with privilege information.

    I think Trump and Barr might discourage the DOJ from doing that.

    Time123 (14b920)

  55. @55

    Hell, there’s nothing stopping the DOJ from initiating an investigation as we’re dealing with privilege information.

    I think Trump and Barr might discourage the DOJ from doing that.

    Time123 (14b920) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:17 pm

    I don’t think Trump would care… but, I can see Barr convincing him that it’s too hot politically to pursue.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  56. @55, You really think Trump is dumb enough to do something that results in both an accusation of another politically motivated prosecution and a testimony from Bolton under oath?

    Time123 (14b920)

  57. Any Burisma investigation related to events that happened years before Hunter Biden joined the board

    If Hunter was brought in to deal with the consequences of earlier corruption and the plan was to resolve the problems by liberal use of influence with current decision makers then you’re dealing with a possible second round of more current corruption.

    Biden’s actions likely would have made Burisma more likely to be investigated

    After removing Shokin the new guy closed the investigation. It’s possible that at the time this might have been a possibility but we now know that it actually made the investigation less likely. This seems to be taken as an article of faith. Joe says he was acting out of pure motives and these pure motives would somehow make it more likely while ignoring what actually happened.

    Shokin, the Ukranian prosecutor whom Biden sought to have ousted, was actually dirty

    It’s possible Shokin was trying to shake down Burisma. If Joe got Hunter in the mix to help provide cover to Burisma the two would have been at odds. Either way, it’s possible for both Shokin and both Biden’s to be dirty.

    I don’t really see practical value in getting Hunter to testify beyond the politics. But most of the arguments for Hunter being on the up and up don’t wash. The video itself didn’t seem very serious to me. A bit on the nose with the “How do you do, fellow kids” meme. Honestly, sitting down to a virtual beer with a guy who’s unofficial title should be spin doctor? Why do I think “should I wear a beanie” was part of the pre-planning discussions?

    frosty (f27e97)

  58. The Clinton and Trump impeachments weren’t weak. Perjury and corrupt foreign practices are legitimate impeachment issues, but could not survive the politicized times.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  59. @55,

    You really think Trump is dumb enough to do something that results in both an accusation of another politically motivated prosecution and a testimony from Bolton under oath?

    Time123 (14b920) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:22 pm

    Yup. He’s the proverbial bull in a china shop. He may not order it, but he cannot control his yappers.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  60. @44. Given his diet, the heart attack?! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  61. Time123 (457a1d) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:06 pm

    If you wanted to say that Biden’s actions failed to improve the situation that might be fair, but the implication that he pressed for Shokin to be fired in order to get the investigation formally closed isn’t supported by the facts.

    I’m not saying the second part. I’m simply saying the first part in response to

    Biden’s actions likely would have made Burisma more likely to be investigated

    Biden is taking credit for getting rid of Shokin and we now know his replacement closed the investigation.

    frosty (f27e97)

  62. @61, Why do you keep saying that the new prosecutor general closed the investigation? That’s not what the information available says. It says that a court closed the investigation.

    The U.K. Central Criminal Court held a formal hearing during December 3-5, 2014, and considered voluminous evidence presented by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and by Mr. Zlochevskyi. The evidence included thousands of pages of material produced by Ukrainian authorities at the request of the SFO, relevant documents produced by financial institutions, and affidavits and a large volume of documents produced on behalf of Mr. Zlochevskyi. In January 2015, the U.K. Central Criminal Court, in a lengthy written decision, concluded that there was no reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Zlochevskyi’s assets were unlawfully acquired as a result of misconduct while he served in public office. In addition, the U.K. court found that the SFO materially and significantly failed to disclose relevant documents favorable to Mr. Zlochevskyi.

    In August 2014, the Office of the Prosecutor General (PGO) opened a criminal proceeding as to the same matters adjudicated by the U.K. Central Criminal Court. With regard to the PGO’s investigation, Mr. Zlochevskyi produced voluminous materials addressing the allegations, as he had before the U.K. Central Criminal Court. Over the two years the PGO matter was open, no evidence was presented supporting any claim that Mr. Zlochevskyi had abused his position while in public office. In September 2016, the Pechersk District Court of the City of Kyiv concluded that no criminal procedures should be taken against Mr. Zlochevskyi. In other words, the Pechersk District Court reached the same conclusion as the U.K. Central Criminal Court.

    Time123 (14b920)

  63. 58

    The Clinton and Trump impeachments weren’t weak. Perjury and corrupt foreign practices are legitimate impeachment issues, but could not survive the politicized times.

    DRJ (d18ca6) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:30 pm

    My term of “weak” is inartful.

    My argument that they’re weak stems from the fact at all of these articles got (will get) no where near 67 votes for removal. To me, a “strong” case would get at least 60 votes.

    That’s why there’s an argument that the House shouldn’t invoke Impeachment unless it is a strong case.

    Otherwise, multiple failed Impeachment proceedings would start to lose its meaning and morph into a standard “censure” process. Even then, it wouldn’t have the same effect of a normal censure as a Senate acquittal gives any Presidents cover to “spike the football”. I’d argue that Trump will be able to use this to his advantage politically.

    That’s why impeachment is literally a last resort process. The bar is twofold:
    High Crimes and Misdemeanor
    &
    That act is so heinous, such that it incurs bipartisan opposition.

    House Democrats can easily pass Impeachment by simply making an accusation. But any success in the Senate need to meet that high bar for removal.

    There are other ways to hold the POTUS accountable for acts that doesn’t rise to the level of being Impeachment worthy.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  64. Frosty, also, not everything about Shokin had to do with Burisma. There were a number of other corrupt acts

    Time123 (14b920)

  65. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:12 pm

    I don’t understand the Ukrainian legal system enough to know the difference between an active investigation, a suspended or dormant investigation, and a closed one. But I presume there is some difference between not closed and closed.

    You can’t close something that wasn’t ongoing.

    This is a poor choice of words. There is a difference between open and closed on the one hand and active and inactive on the other. Again, without knowing more about their legal system or the case I’d be reluctant to assume there’s no difference between dormant and closed.

    frosty (f27e97)

  66. I actually doubt that now as I expected we’d hear a more formal confirmation or denial by now regarding that leak. So to me, it seems that leak was spun in such a way purposely for other reasons.

    whembly (fd57f6) — 1/29/2020 @ 11:57 am

    He could probably deny, generally, if the claims about his manuscript were inaccurately represented by the NYT. He probably cannot confirm them. This the National Security Advisor working for a man who uses non disclosure agreements for his prostitutes. He signed an NDA I am quite sure. He can’t say anything… but he could submit his manuscript to the white house … and let the contents leak, to kinda force the issue. And he could talk to a congressional subpoena from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    think about it. He’s doing this on purpose to defeat the silence he’s living under, IMO.

    Dustin (3ae049)

  67. My argument that they’re weak stems from the fact at all of these articles got (will get) no where near 67 votes for removal. To me, a “strong” case would get at least 60 votes.

    Nixon would not have resigned if the GOP leaders had backed him. He only resigned to avoid a conviction that they told him would happen. Whether a case is strong is a function of partisanship and character. In the Clinton and Trump cases, partisanship trumped character.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  68. 66

    He could probably deny, generally, if the claims about his manuscript were inaccurately represented by the NYT. He probably cannot confirm them. This the National Security Advisor working for a man who uses non disclosure agreements for his prostitutes. He signed an NDA I am quite sure. He can’t say anything… but he could submit his manuscript to the white house … and let the contents leak, to kinda force the issue. And he could talk to a congressional subpoena from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    think about it. He’s doing this on purpose to defeat the silence he’s living under, IMO.

    Dustin (3ae049) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:53 pm

    After those post, I wrote that the NSC denied Bolton from publishing the manuscript (due to classification), then it was leaked 3 days later. So, it looks like a retaliatory act.

    Also, I cannot find confirmation that the NYT authors actually read the transcript…only that a source provided them the information. (ie, Someone told the authors what they’ve seen, which makes my BS antennas ping).

    whembly (fd57f6)

  69. Time123 (14b920) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:49 pm

    I’m not saying as much as some of the replies I’m seeing seem to think. I’m absolutely not saying he should have been left alone. Neither am I saying that he was going to investigate Burisma.

    I’m just saying that it’s possible for multiple things to be going on here and also things we don’t actually know. One side says Biden had pure motives because this guy was bad and I’m saying one doesn’t prove the other. It’s possible for the Biden’s to be corrupt and also want to remove this guy. Getting rid of this guy isn’t proof that Biden is anti-corruption.

    frosty (f27e97)

  70. Frosty,
    I’ve provided a lot of information that
    -Biden was acting in accordance with US policy.
    -That US policy was well founded.
    -Viktor Shorkin was corrupt, had interfered with a British investigation, and wasn’t investigating Burisma.
    -The investigation was closed by a Ukrainian court and not the new PG.

    Burisma hiring Hunter was absolutely corrupt. But no one has shown anything Joe Biden did that was corrupt or illegal.

    You keep saying “well maybe….we just don’t know….”

    What are you looking for in terms of evidence / information?

    Time123 (14b920)

  71. 67

    My argument that they’re weak stems from the fact at all of these articles got (will get) no where near 67 votes for removal. To me, a “strong” case would get at least 60 votes.

    Nixon would not have resigned if the GOP leaders had backed him. He only resigned to avoid a conviction that they told him would happen.

    Yes, he was literally told that it would happen. It was the smart thing for him to do.

    Whether a case is strong is a function of partisanship and character. In the Clinton and Trump cases, partisanship trumped character.

    DRJ (d18ca6) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:54 pm

    I would argue that a strong case depends on the details as well. The Senate has to answer whether or not the articles warrants removal. Of course partisanship and character do have a part in this calculus as this process *is* inherently political (as it should be), but the articles themselves would have to factor in to that equation as well.

    With Clinton: a federal perjury and suborning witnesses conviction was not deemed to be a “Treason, Bribery and Other High Crimes and Misdemeanor” that warranted removal.

    With Trump: there’s no statutory crimes being listed in the two articles and the details/interpretations are contested, such that the cases isn’t even as strong as the Clinton two articles. House GOP were unanimous in opposition, and I’m willing to bet that there were be unanimity by GOP Senators. The only question, really, is if any Senate Democrats would oppose any articles. (looking at Manchin and Senima).

    There’s a wide gulf between a President doing wrong or even illegal things to acts that warrants impeachment/removal.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  72. Again, without knowing more about their legal system or the case I’d be reluctant to assume there’s no difference between dormant and closed.

    Right, but the assertion keeps being made that Biden wanted Shokin fired to stop him from investigating those parties, and there’s no credible evidence.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  73. 29. Time123 (14b920) — 1/29/2020 @ 10:24 am

    We’re far into this and the white house has provided zero evidence to support any scenario other than Trump abused the power of his office for personal gain to force Ukraine to announce an investigation of a political rival that was not based on a evidence of wrong doing.

    The White House has submitted very little evidence (except the transcripts of the calls) period. What evidence came out that this theory is wrong has come out mostly without its help.

    Trump and his team gave up on facts a long time ago.

    The facts don’t make him look good, or smart.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  74. The Hunter Biden dream goes more like:

    Q: What is your favorite color?
    A: On advice of counsel, I assert my 5th Amendment rights.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  75. 31. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/29/2020 @ 10:44 am

    Sammy, James Risen wrote the December 2015 NYT article and he discussed his reporting here.

    I saw this Intercept article before but didn’t realize he was referring to the same article Pam Bondi cites.

    This is the artiicle:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/world/europe/corruption-ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-biden-ties.html

    While it makes a certain case against Joe or Hunter Biden, it doesn’t say that the investigation is active. Kind of to the contrary:

    But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets. The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.

    “In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,” Mr. Pyatt said. Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.”

    Now Pam Bondi says:

    December 8, 2015, the New York Times publishes an article that Prosecutor General Shokin was investigating Burisma and its owner, Zlochevsky.

    It doesn’t say that

    At least not as recent news. Yes, the investigation (which started before he was there) is part of the background..

    The article also does not mention the name Viktor Shokin.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  76. Also, I cannot find confirmation that the NYT authors actually read the transcript…only that a source provided them the information. (ie, Someone told the authors what they’ve seen, which makes my BS antennas ping).

    whembly (fd57f6) — 1/29/2020 @ 12:59 pm

    It really seems like a well validated claim rather than BS, specifically for the same reason you doubt it. Bolton could indeed disclaim the leak if it weren’t true. But he hasn’t. In fact,

    Bolton is openly suggesting he has something to say.

    By all accounts, Bolton is a straight shooter, a stand up guy, an honest man. He isn’t known for making crap up or being an hysterical overreacter. He said this stuff the NYT claimed he did. He means it. It’s the truth, at minimum from his point of view.

    Of course the person saying Bolton is lying is the president, a serial fraud.

    If this stuff isn’t true, the GOP should be begging Trump’s critic puts his lies under oath. Instead, they are doing everything they can to avoid the evidence.

    Poll numbers look grim for Trump. The next president will in here in January, and perhaps whatever it was Bolton wanted to tell us will be revealed. There is no way the Senate lets him speak without some kind of absurd restriction. There is no way the Senate convicts. This only points to how serious the problem really is.

    Voting for the GOP is voting against law and order.

    Dustin (3ae049)

  77. Ms. Bondi cherry-picked.

    That was obvious. What’s more important, it seems she misstated what the article did say. Also what that Feb 24, 2016 email meant.

    How come no Senate Democrats asked a question about that?

    Still, when Joe Biden went to Ukraine, he was not trying to protect his son — quite the reverse.

    They seem to be trying to argue that he did. I wonder how the presdient’s lawyers got stuck in that ridiculous position. Pam Bondi did I think say that something she said might be wrong – I;ve got to look at it again.

    Ms. Bondi distorted the February 2016 court order because it was reinstatement of a mid-2015 court order.

    This whole claim that Viktor Shokin had re-started the investigation and Burisma sent a consultant to talk to the State Department and that’s why Biden was interested in firing Shokin kind of ignores that the Prosecutor General’s office was being attacked by the U.S. Ambassador before.

    I think anyway, it’s just flat out wrong. They ought to get off this line of defense – that Viktor Shokin was in fact a good prosecutor who was pursuing Burisma. Now, if Trump heard such claims before July 25, that’s a defense.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  78. Most of the questions asked by the Senators concerned legal (or quasi-legal) issues not facts and those that concerned facts concerned subpoena power.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  79. Time123 (14b920) — 1/29/2020 @ 1:07 pm

    What are you looking for in terms of evidence/information?

    This seems to be where we’re talking past each other. There are two different things I think I’ve challenged:

    1) The Biden’s are clean in Ukraine and saying otherwise is pro-Trump propaganda.

    2) The fact that everyone thought this guy had to go proves the Biden’s were clean in Ukraine.

    3) Biden wanted this guy gone because he didn’t investigate Burisma.

    I tend to focus on (2). One thing doesn’t prove the other. Everyone thinking Shorkin was corrupt doesn’t prove anything about the Biden’s. I’m not saying that proves the Biden’s were corrupt. I’m not saying Shorkin wasn’t corrupt. I’m not arguing US policy.

    I’ve also focused on (3). This is offered up as further proof of (1) but it doesn’t matter what Joe says he wanted. The end result was that Burisma isn’t being investigated. Even if that wasn’t Joe’s doing that’s still where we are. It doesn’t matter what Joe said he wanted.

    Really, I’m not even arguing those points. I’m arguing that those points, even if true, don’t support (1).

    frosty (f27e97)

  80. Adam Schiff said that even if a investigation was justified, a president should be impeached
    but he went right back to saying in passing it was unfounded.

    The House managers were also taking the leaked excerpt as absolutely factual (and it doesn’t even pretend to be an exact quotation from the book) and applied it to the entire period of time from when the money was first put on hold.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  81. 76. I read the parapharse of what the book says very carefully, and I note both paraphrases (iboth in the NYT story and the AP story say that Trump said he wanted to “continue” or to “maintain” the freeze until there were investigations and that this was in August.

    Almost certainly this is after Sondland ties the military aid to investigations, which he began doing (at first only telling other people in the U.S. government) after the AUg 28 Politico article appeared.

    90% this refers to the Aug 30 meeting with Trump by Bolton, Pompeo and Esper at which Taylor’s Aug 28 or 29 cable (which stated there was such aquid pro quo) was read out loud by Pompeo.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  82. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/29/2020 @ 1:26 pm

    Right, but the assertion keeps being made that Biden wanted Shokin fired to stop him from investigating those parties, and there’s no credible evidence.

    To the degree that I’ve made this assertion I’ve made it incorrectly. My intent wasn’t to argue that Joe wanted Shokin fired to stop him. My point has been that independent of what Joe claims he wanted the result was to stop the investigation. My intent isn’t that this proves he’s corrupt. My intent is much simpler, it doesn’t prove anything which means it doesn’t prove he’s not, i.e. it shouldn’t be offered as evidence to clear him.

    frosty (f27e97)

  83. Dustin (3ae049) — 1/29/2020 @ 1:47 pm

    If this stuff isn’t true, the GOP should be begging Trump’s critic puts his lies under oath.

    But they don;t know.

    They are asking to look at the manuscript in private to see what it actually does say, but I don;t think Schumer wants them to.

    Republicans should take a leap of faith: The story that’s being leaked is false, and spun in a way that is even falser.

    But nobody has confidence in Trump.

    They should however be very suspicious of this leak.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  84. 82. frosty (f27e97) — 1/29/2020 @ 2:02 pm

    My intent wasn’t to argue that Joe wanted Shokin fired to stop him.

    But that is what Trump said in the July 25 call, and his lawyers seem to be trying to say he was right!!

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  85. I wonder how that other claim that says a loan guarantee was announced right after Shokin was fired checks out.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  86. The leaks from the book are anti-Trump. They must be interpreted, therefore, in a way most favorable to Trump.

    Trump it is said wanted to “continue” or “maintain” the freeze until investigations but he has not imposed them for that reason.

    Trump said this in August, therefore it was not his intention in June or July.

    The leak is not a direct quote, and s being treated as though it was! ?therefore the exact language in the book is different. And Trumop might have said “I don’t care” Or that Ukraine should want to investigate these things if they were honest.

    We know Trump vehemently denied this very idea that he is supposed to have said (on Aug 30 – 90%) the very next day in a conversation with Senator Ron Johnson

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  87. Sammy, “should” is one of the most powerful words in the human language.

    The GOP should pursue the truth relentlessly, and honor their states and the law without shame, ignoring the mob.

    Gov Hogg (most of y’all have no clue who I’m talking about) wrote about mob lynching something along the lines of Law or anarchy prevail, and there can be no middle ground.

    Dustin (3ae049)

  88. In case it is unclear, that means they should hear any conceivable witness, display every document, Biden certainly included, without any regard towards the outcome.

    Dustin (3ae049)

  89. “By all accounts, Bolton is a straight shooter, a stand up guy, an honest man. He isn’t known for making crap up or being an hysterical overreacter.”
    Dustin (3ae049) — 1/29/2020 @ 1:47 pm

    By all accounts.
    http://patterico.com/2019/03/05/bolton-lies-without-shame-about-trump-accepting-kims-word/

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  90. In case it is unclear, that means they should hear any conceivable witness, display every document, Biden certainly included, without any regard towards the outcome.

    Even if that results in a socialist country?

    While I tend toward the “absolute truth is the best policy”, it only is valuable if the process if used universally. The GOP purists want absolute honesty on their side, and it is a noble goal, but if it is one sided, they will not get what they might hope. The country is primarily full of LIVs, and people are easily swayed. A pure white GOP would be destroyed by a less scrupulous political party. So wile you are purging the GOP of all hint of corruption, the Dems run the political tables and we get Chicago or Baltimore writ national.

    Above all else, this is a political play far more than it is a legal one.

    I said this about a week ago. We’ll give you The Donald if you give us Crossfire Hurricane to the cabinet level at least. Put Bolton the stand but put Rice on the stand first.

    WaBlogLog (c0df72)

  91. Remember that time Alan Dershowitz tried to argue with Indiana Jones? 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YyBtMxZgQs

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  92. Arguing again about what grounds Trump claimed for not honoring subpoeanas. His lawyers said they gave different reasons. The biggest was that all issued before Oct 31 were invalid. Dems say the committees had sanding authority.

    A Rep question states as fact that the prosecutor was investigating Burisma. (in aquestion about whistleblower political bias)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  93. Even if that results in a socialist country?

    I’m not familiar with you (If you’re one of these guys that changes their name let me know please). Don’t interpret disrespect.

    That idea, that we should predict the political long term outcome, and therefore hide evidence, is freaking evil and insidious. It is that idea, that notion among the GOP, that is leading us to the place you’re trying to avoid, where the pendulum swings wildly and reactively, instead of purposefully following the ideas of a society. It leads to more of the same.

    Furthermore, Bernie Sanders being president doesn’t mean a socialist country. It means a lot of dumb EOs that will be unmade in short order, and a lot fighting in the Senate and House. Trump didn’t get anything done in three years because getting things done takes compromise. Obama barely got a couple of things done. W got many amazing things accomplished, and I regard him well, but to the some, he made too many compromises. That’s how it works though. Bernie Sanders wouldn’t do that.

    Your concern is not invalid. A socialist president would be destructive. It would be bad. But it wouldn’t mean the USA is done as an idea. Just listen back before Obama was elected, what the predictions were.

    What really matters is that either law or anarchy prevails. If the Senate is scared of the mob, there are consequences for our society. Trump isn’t a phase. He is a symptom.

    So the GOP (and anyone) should relentlessly pursue the truth, listen to everyone who has knowledge, and do it in the open. Let the chips fall where they may, which is, in my opinion, to replace Trump with Pence so Trump can be criminally prosecuted.

    If you really think it through, this leads to a fundamental reduction in executive power, and likely many reforms to that office’s accountability. A good thing for conservatives.

    Dustin (3ae049)

  94. 85. Here is what am Bondi claimed about the loan guarantees following Shokin’s firing:

    And the consultant was seeking a meeting with an extremely senior State Department official to discuss the U.S. government’s position. Her pitch for the meeting specifically used Hunter Biden’s name, and according to the email, the meeting was set for a few days later. And later that month, on March 29th, 2016, the Ukrainian parliament finally votes to fire the prosecutor general. This is the prosecutor general investigating the oligarch, owner of Burisma on whose board Hunter Biden sat. Two days after the prosecutor general is voted out, Vice President Biden announces that the U.S. will provide $335 million in security assistance to Ukraine. He soon announces that the U.S. will provide one billion dollars in loan guarantees to Ukraine.

    The premise here seems to be: That Joe Biden told the truth to the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  95. As a non-lawyer, an observer w/a personal cloakroom full of popcorn, chips, dip, cold beer and chicken wings—a “juror” as it were- it appears one side is arguing facts while the other side is arguing process.

    The Trump Team reminds me of a gang being chased by the cops on foot at night, running down a blind alley, knocking over every box, trash can and dumpster along the way to slow their pursuers and avoid capture.

    _____

    The Dersh is just wrong; ‘abuse of power’ is whatever the people of a given era say it is for their times. Like secretly toppling foreign governments? Or lying to start a war? Or obstruction of justice? Or maybe mixing cottage cheese with ketchup one day…

    Or pornography: “you’ll know it when you see it…”

    ‘The phrase “I know it when I see it” is a colloquial expression by which a speaker attempts to categorize an observable fact or event, although the category is subjective or lacks clearly defined parameters. The phrase was used in 1964 by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio.’ -source,wikiSCOTUSporn

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  96. A bit ago, Alan Dershowitz again stated his belief that there can be no impeachment for “abuse of power”. Of course the White House also asserts that the President does not need to comply with subpoenas for witnesses and documents be they for abuse of power or criminal activity.

    How can anyone not be scared by that? Seriously.

    noelom (4d3313)

  97. I agree with Patterico that there is no executive privilege at THIS point (I disagree with him about during an “impeachment investigation” in the House since that is just a “magic words” barrier).

    If the Senate subpoena’s Bolton (or anyone other than the guy in the dock), there is no way they cannot testify. Except for attorney’s actively engaged in representing clients in THIS matter, I don’t see how attorney-client privilege holds either (it’s hardly a constitutional doctrine and all lesser doctrines should fall).

    But if the Senate calls Bolton, it will call other people, and not just those on the House manager wish list.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  98. Then there are the Ted Cruz questions. I miss the old Ted from three years ago when he stated what he really thought of Donald Trump.

    noel (4d3313)

  99. Ted matured and got over it, unlike others.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  100. Dershowitz says he’ll ‘forgive’ Pompeo’s ‘rudeness’ to reporter if he brings peace to Middle East

    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/01/28/politics/alan-dershowitz-mike-pompeo-back-pat-ac360-cnntv/index.html

    A window into how this ‘constitutional scholar’ feels about the ‘freedom of the press.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  101. Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz: “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”

    Allahpundit works through the insanity of Team Orange’s latest defense.

    Thought experiment: Imagine President Bernie is sworn in next January and decides to celebrate Inauguration Day with a conference call with Xi Jinping and Putin. “Here are the ground rules for my administration,” he tells them. “If you want to deal with me, you come to the table with whatever your intelligence bureaus have on the top 10 Republican presidential prospects in 2024. I don’t even care if it’s true. I want it all because it’s crucial that my socialist revolution survive my first term. We can’t make the kind of changes to the system we need to improve Americans’ lives in just four years.”

    Perfectly fine by the Dershowitz standard. Bernie’s belief that his reelection is essential to the public interest would doubtless be perfectly sincere.

    And this:

    But here’s a thornier example: A crazed fan decides to shoot the president’s opponent, believing that it’ll guarantee his reelection in the fall, and the grateful president decides to issue him with a full pardon for any federal crimes he might be charged with.

    Impeachable or not? POTUS has committed no crime in that example. The pardon would be valid too, as his pardon power is absolute. Under the Dershowitz standard, Congress couldn’t strip the president of his office for rewarding the murder of his own political opponent because it improved his own reelection odds.

    Dave (1bb933)

  102. @96

    A bit ago, Alan Dershowitz again stated his belief that there can be no impeachment for “abuse of power”. Of course the White House also asserts that the President does not need to comply with subpoenas for witnesses and documents be they for abuse of power or criminal activity.

    How can anyone not be scared by that? Seriously.

    noelom (4d3313) — 1/29/2020 @ 3:27 pm

    That’s not what the WH Defense were arguing.

    They’ve argued that all House subpoenaed issued prior to the adoption of House Resolution 660, which for the first time authorized the impeachment inquiry as a house. All subpoenas were invalid. They were void.

    The constitution entrusted the sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives. That’s all of the House, not just the Speaker or various committees. The implication is that the subpoenas would be valid when issued AFTER the passage of House Resolution 660. And even then, it’s not obstruction when the Executive Branch invokes privilege, which would either be resolved when both branch negotiates an agreement, or be adjudicated the the courts.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  103. @96. The Dersh is out TeeVeeing The Donald– with this audience, he’s generating controversy and publicity for himself up the wahzoo. It’s becoming “The Dersh Show.” He’s an ambulance chasers delight; he’ll dine out on this from TV appearance to TV appearance for months. Maybe even do a Simpsons v/o next season when they lampoon this.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  104. “Ted matured” says Munroe. Now that’s funny. Damn.

    And true too. If, by that, you mean he got three years older.

    noel (4d3313)

  105. And true too. If, by that, you mean he got three years older.

    The beard. Don’t forget the beard!

    Dave (1bb933)

  106. The beard comes in after puberty. Something for #NeverTrump to look forward to.

    Munroe (dd4ac5)

  107. If there is a 50-50 vote in the Senate (on witnesses or anything else related to the trial) it will be Chief Justice John Roberts, and not Vice President Mike Pence who will vote.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  108. Trump has refused to fully cooperate with investigations since the start of the Mueller probe. Remember those ten potential incidents of obstruction of justice.

    Of course he has his many lawyers come up with phony justifications for that resistance.

    noel (4d3313)

  109. 102.

    They’ve argued that all House subpoenaed issued prior to the adoption of House Resolution 660

    Donald Trump said “We’re fighting all the subpoenas” but his lawyers did not make a blanket claim. They used different arguments for different subpoenas.

    Their biggest was the one that subpoenas in this connection issued before Oct 31 were invalid. And the House committee never attempted to correct that problem by re-issuing the subpoenas.

    The House managers claimed they had other basis under the rules of the House (this year, maybe it wasn’t true in previous Congresses) to issue a subpoena: Government oversight and so on.

    That’s where the argument stands, I think.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  110. I’m not familiar with you (If you’re one of these guys that changes their name let me know please). Don’t interpret disrespect.

    After finishing this post I realized how much I wrote. My apologies for the wall of text. Maybe after it is read, we can give it to Border patrol and they can use it.

    None taken. I am relatively new to reading comments on Patterico. I have read posts for years, but I mostly don’t read comments except Althouse and in the past JOM (I think, it’s been a while.) Anyway, my point is I am new to reading, and thus new to posting. I try to be respectful, but sometimes I poke the opposition a little more pointedly than I should. I appreciate honest debate and tire of people who hold a standard for one side that they don’t for another – and Trolls. I try not to be a troll. So far you appear to be non Troll-like.

    I did use a bit of redcutio ad absurdum regarding socialism, but I do think there is a danger in unilateral disarmament. I don’t trust our system to be balanced enough to not let corruption get even worse if the GOP diminishes too much (see Chicago and Baltimore, etc.)

    In my opinion, politics is inherently corrupt. Power draws those attracted to power and compromise (not the good kind) is often necessary. I would really love a way for us to have a close to zero tolerance on corruption and misdeeds, but the voters seems to want to put party above principle (assuming they have principle.) Otherwise Sen. Kennedy, Pres Clinton, HRC, Alcee Hastings would have faded from view much earlier in their lives. I see time and again good Republican people brought down for lesser things than Dems seem to get away with. It is disheartening. I see false charges derailing careers and no one seems to pay the price but the candidate who got charged. Dems seem often to skate past those charges even when true.

    If justice does not seem to be served fairly in the political realm one might get a little jaded and stop looking for justice as an option to political issues. It would take some very stalwart, non-partisan people to step up and say: we will not tolerate this any more. But you and I are not the ones who can do this. It would require someone with significant leadership capital to spend, but it has to come from both parties, and right now I cannot expect any such courage from the left. A party that would support a sexual assaulter or a person who compromised national security for their financial gain does not worry about the integrity of the system.

    So, yeah. I ask the question: Is it worth it to surrender to a party that will not be held accountable by any of our major systems of power EXCEPT the opposition party?

    To be honest, I put Trump as my 2nd to last favorite candidate in 2016, yes, even behind Bernie, because of his character and how he would stain the GOP brand. But also because I thought he would be more Dem than Pub in governance. I got pleasantly surprised. But the damage has been done in having him be elected. I do not think his conviction or non-conviction will change most people’s mind about the GOP. It will make a lot of people angry and that could have significant impacts on peace and stability. Most GOP voters will not blame the GOP for voting to acquit, but many will blame them for voting to convict. They see this issue as an impeachment looking for a crime since it is clear the Dems were looking to impeach since the day after the election, which does tend to make the average (Non Yellow dog) person antagonistic toward the Dems. I know that I am more sympathetic toward Trump precisely because he has been attacked from day one. I root for the oppressed, even if he is a lout.

    In many ways I am rooting for the Dems to lose this fight because they have been so odious from day 1 and don’t deserve to win. If they do win, expect them to use similar tactics going froward. Impeach first, find a reason later. Don’t think they won’t accuse Pence of something as soon as they have dispensed with Trump. And they will do it the next time a Republican is in the white house. (Do not forget Kavanaugh.) They have been emboldened. And it’s not like they haven’t sued false accusations to bring down other prominent Republicans before.

    So my opinion is, standing on principle will result in a continuing erosion of government accountability and integrity (I know, it sounds ironic.)

    Final thought. The GOP did not nominate Trump, the people did. the GOP did not want Trump, the people did. I think the People need to be the ones to decide if he stays. Trump is a reaction to the political malfeasance of our parties, and if the political powers try to undo what the voters wanted, there could be an even greater backlash. You can only marginalize a large group of people for so long, and a Trump conviction would be seen as a direct affront to middle Americans.

    WaBlogLog (c0df72)

  111. @101 Okay, I’ll play…

    Allahpundit works through the insanity of Team Orange’s latest defense.

    Thought experiment: Imagine President Bernie is sworn in next January and decides to celebrate Inauguration Day with a conference call with Xi Jinping and Putin. “Here are the ground rules for my administration,” he tells them. “If you want to deal with me, you come to the table with whatever your intelligence bureaus have on the top 10 Republican presidential prospects in 2024. I don’t even care if it’s true. I want it all because it’s crucial that my socialist revolution survive my first term. We can’t make the kind of changes to the system we need to improve Americans’ lives in just four years.

    Perfectly fine by the Dershowitz standard. Bernie’s belief that his reelection is essential to the public interest would doubtless be perfectly sincere.”

    Is that either:
    a) Treason?
    b) Bribery?
    c) or Other High Crimes and Misdemeanor??

    My answer:
    a) I don’t see that as Treason as it’s not giving aid/comfort (or the like) to an enemy.
    b) It’s really hard to asset “something of value” from information like this that would *fit* under the definition of traditional meaning of Bribery (as understood by our founders) or any statutory definition of bribery under federal law. I would consider this as a critera that would be very difficult to push through a removal from Senate.
    c) Other crimes like Bribery or Treason – I’m not sure if there’s any that fits. I’m open to other definitions that are as serious as bribery/treason.

    Its most definitely describes MALADMINISTRATION in the strongest way. Which this standard was thoroughly rejected by our founders.

    So, what’s the recourse?

    a) Oversight. Gum up the Executive Branch to a crawl.
    b) Congressional Censure. Would be very embarrassing for any POTUS.
    c) Don’t rubber stamp POTUS’ political positions, make him compromise with the eye of leaning against “yes men”.
    d) Exert the power of the purse. Don’t fund and/or add riders to handcuff POTUS’ desired policies.
    e) What’s current happening now – employ lawfare tactic against the administration.

    Point being, Congress is not totally powerless here.

    Both the House and Senate can be held to account by their voters if such impeachment process is abused or properly predicated.

    And this:

    But here’s a thornier example: A crazed fan decides to shoot the president’s opponent, believing that it’ll guarantee his reelection in the fall, and the grateful president decides to issue him with a full pardon for any federal crimes he might be charged with.

    Impeachable or not? POTUS has committed no crime in that example. The pardon would be valid too, as his pardon power is absolute. Under the Dershowitz standard, Congress couldn’t strip the president of his office for rewarding the murder of his own political opponent because it improved his own reelection odds.

    Not impeachable, but definitely worthy of all the scorn and gives Congress’ casus belli to make POTUS’ life miserable politically.

    Furthermore, history is replete with presidential pardon abuses of this nature:
    Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich, critics alleged that Rich’s pardon had been bought, as Denise Rich had given more than $1 million to Clinton’s political party (the DNC), including more than $100,000 to the Senate campaign of Hillary Clinton, and $450,000 to the Clinton Library foundation during Clinton’s time in office.

    Jimmy Carter pardoned Vietnam’s draft dodgers (it was a campaign promise if I remember right). Do you think they would be likely to vote for him again?

    Obama pardoned Bradely Manning. Although this was done after his re-election, this was some major virtue signaling gimmick, with an eye towards Obama’s legacy building efforts.

    Trump pardon’s of Arapio I would say would fall into this category, as Arapio is REALLY popular in Az politically.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  112. 110.

    Trump is a reaction to the political malfeasance of our parties, and if the political powers try to undo what the voters wanted, there could be an even greater backlash. You can only marginalize a large group of people for so long, and a Trump conviction would be seen as a direct affront to middle Americans.

    It strikes me as odd and a big cognitively dissonant that convicting Trump would be seen as an affront to middle Americans, given Trump’s history as an heir and Manhattan real estate mogul. When it comes to middle American values, you have to look at organized crime figures to find individuals that get any farther from them than Trump does.

    Gryph (08c844)

  113. In the House, they wanted the whistleblower to testify and complained of not hearing from direct witnesses. Remember…. “hearsay, hearsay”.

    Now…. “no witnesses”. I am guessing that history will not be kind to this joke of a Senate trial.

    noel (4d3313)

  114. I see time and again good Republican people brought down for lesser things than Dems seem to get away with.

    Rubbish; you see better with both eyes open.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  115. Bolton’s lawyer got that letter from the NSC back on January 23 (last Thursday) And he says he replied to it on January 24 (Friday) saying nothing was classified, and certainly not in the Ukraine chapter.

    The leak about what was in the book came on Sunday, January 26, and appeared on the front page of the printed edition of the New York Times on Monday, January 27.

    Whoever leaked it maybe knew nobody would be able to look at the actual text for some time. I think it’s a distortion but tracks what the book says closely enough so that the reporter will still use his source.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  116. @108

    Trump has refused to fully cooperate with investigations since the start of the Mueller probe. Remember those ten potential incidents of obstruction of justice.

    Of course he has his many lawyers come up with phony justifications for that resistance.

    noel (4d3313) — 1/29/2020 @ 4:02 pm

    That’s not accurate.

    The Trump administration gave oodles of documents and allow many depositions for the Mueller investigations.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  117. It strikes me as odd and a big cognitively dissonant that convicting Trump would be seen as an affront to middle Americans, given Trump’s history as an heir and Manhattan real estate mogul.

    Well, I never tried to claim people are logical, but it doesn’t matter what Trump’s background is. It only matters that people perceive him to be on their side and is their champion. He speaks to them and they love it. So in this case, perception is what matters.

    WaBlogLog (c0df72)

  118. @112

    110.

    Trump is a reaction to the political malfeasance of our parties, and if the political powers try to undo what the voters wanted, there could be an even greater backlash. You can only marginalize a large group of people for so long, and a Trump conviction would be seen as a direct affront to middle Americans.

    It strikes me as odd and a big cognitively dissonant that convicting Trump would be seen as an affront to middle Americans, given Trump’s history as an heir and Manhattan real estate mogul. When it comes to middle American values, you have to look at organized crime figures to find individuals that get any farther from them than Trump does.

    Gryph (08c844) — 1/29/2020 @ 4:12 pm

    Trump is actually pretty good at retail politics. His successes in this regard is a lucky circumstance in that he was practically the only candidate who understood the acrimony GOP voters have with the elites. (which ironically, one could argue Trump was part of the elites.)

    whembly (fd57f6)

  119. 117. Is it possible, then, that Trump is in fact at the head of a cult of personality, the likes of which America hasn’t seen in my lifetime? It matters to me what his background is, as I feel that speaks to his character. It obviously didn’t matter to a large enough percentage of the electorate for them to vote Trump into office, but you can’t say it didn’t matter to anyone — I’m someone.

    I am showing you the superhero syndrome and your own participation in it.
    –Frank Herbert

    Gryph (08c844)

  120. WaBlogLog (c0df72) — 1/29/2020 @ 4:10 pm

    Don’t think they won’t accuse Pence of something as soon as they have dispensed with Trump.

    Adam Schiff already has.

    He says that there is, in the classified portion of Jennifer Willams’ testimony (which all the Senators can look at and the House is arguing there is no reason it should have been classified) which will show Mike Pence’s awareness/participation in the withholding of aid from Ukraine to force investigations. It’s in the transcript today.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  121. 118. There goes that cognitive dissonance again, Whembly. I think that Donald J. Trump is the worst kind of bottom-feeding scum sucker precisely because he is a master politician, not because he’s different than the rest of them (which he’s really not). What sets him apart from the crowd is that he didn’t spend most of his adult life in government; I still firmly believe he has a politician’s skill set — and that’s not a compliment, let alone high praise.

    Gryph (08c844)

  122. @Gryph… I don’t think I’ve disagreed with you on that premise.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  123. My point has been that independent of what Joe claims he wanted the result was to stop the investigation.

    And yet, according to this timeline, Lutsenko “initially took a hard line against Burisma.”

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  124. a) Treason?
    b) Bribery?
    c) or Other High Crimes and Misdemeanor??

    All in the eye of the beholder for any given era. They once hanged people for horse thievery, held homosexuality, interracial marriage and drinking booze as criminal acts as well. Even laws against MaryJane are going up in smoke these days. You can go on and on with this– it a matter of interpretations for the tenor of the times; for example:

    ‘It’s easy to forget that one of America’s greatest heroes was a traitor to the British Crown. George Washington was branded a traitor for his actions during the Revolutionary War as were his contemporaries for signing the Declaration of Independence.

    For the British, Washington had fought valiantly against the French in the Seven Years’ War. But he cast aside his allegiance to the king to form a more perfect union. Like other revolutionaries on this list, Washington was a hero to some but a traitor to others.’ – source:
    https://listverse.com/2016/10/16/10-infamous-acts-of-treason-committed-throughout-history/

    Then there’s Robert E. Lee: a traitor. But let’s erect a few hundred statues to him.

    Much of this is less a matter of legalities and more matter of applying basic common sense. It’s like Potter’s observation on pornography: “you’ll know it when you see it…”

    ‘The phrase “I know it when I see it” is a colloquial expression by which a speaker attempts to categorize an observable fact or event, although the category is subjective or lacks clearly defined parameters. The phrase was used in 1964 by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio.’ -source,wikiSCOTUSporn

    Like ‘bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors…’ abuse of power… even porno… ‘you’ll know it when you see it’– the debate seems to be whether it ries to a level to prosecute or not.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  125. 123. According to this timeline:

    Vitaliy Kasko, a former deputy prosecutor general who had worked under Shokin and resigned in frustration at his stymying of corruption investigations, told Bloomberg News (in a May 2019 interview) that the office’s probe into Burisma Holdings had been long dormant by the time Joe Biden issued his ultimatum in 2016. “There was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against” Burisma owner Zlochevskiy, Bloomberg quoted Kasko as saying. “It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015,” Kasko said.

    “Shokin was not investigating. He didn’t want to investigate Burisma,” Daria Kaleniuk a leading Ukrainian anti-corruption advocate, told the Washington Post. “And Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation.”

    Also Biden informs Ukraine on May 13 that the loan guarantees would be signed. He does not announce it “soon” after March 31, as Pam Bondi had it.

    May 13, 2016— Biden speaks with Poroshenko to commend the appointment of Lutsenko and the creation of an inspector general for the PGO, and informed the Ukrainian President that the U.S. would finally sign the $1 billion loan guarantee program. The guarantee was signed on June 3, with Ambassador Pyatt representing the United States.

    But where is the aborted announcement at a press conference?

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  126. Not Rudy! I haven’t listened to the whole trial but if I were on that House panel I would be shouting… Not Rudy! He is not the Attorney General. He is not in the Justice Department. Why the hell is he conducting their investigation? Why?

    We know why. They have no case against the Bidens. It was all done for the “announcement” of an investigation to destroy the Biden Campaign…. and we all know it.

    noel (4d3313)

  127. “ They once hanged people for horse thievery, held homosexuality, interracial marriage and drinking booze as criminal acts as well.”
    __ _

    CNBC
    @CNBC
    Elizabeth Warren proposes criminal penalties for spreading disinformation online
    _

    Claudia
    @iOTWclaudia
    Liz Warren Endorses Prosecutor Who Dropped Charges Against Jussie Smollett For Fabricating Hate Crime –

    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  128. Belief perseverance and contradiction denial are the basis of every con or fraud. Once people begin or are led to believe in something or someone, they will look for any evidence, no matter how flimsy, to confirm their belief, and they will ignore all evidence, no matter how strong, that contradicts their belief. Facts and reason are irrelevant. The belief is all; it must persevere, and any contradiction must be denied. That’s the Republican party under Trump.

    It’s a pre-determined conclusion that the Senate will not vote to convict, regardless of what any witness testifies to or all documents indicate. So, why subpoena Bolton, Biden, Mulvaney, Pompeo, Giuliani, Parnas, or anyone? Why subpoena any documents? Nothing matters, other than confirming the pre-determined conclusion. Lies and misrepresentations suffice to acquit. No evidence is necessary, since it will all be ignored.

    The reason why the Republicans will not convict and remove Trump from office is because doing so would be an admission that nominating and electing him was a mistake to begin with. Plus, he signed their flawed tax bill to benefit their rich donors and nominated a couple of judges. Oh, and he’s not Hillary!

    Does it matter that he’s incompetent, corrupt, and a total fraud? No. Does it matter that he alienates allies, coddles dictators, and is a national embarrassment on the global stage? No. Does it matter that his tariffs and trade wars will eventually wreck the economy? No. All that matters is he signs deficit spending bills that add $1 trillion a year to a national debt of $23 trillion.

    What about principles and values? What about limited government, fiscal responsibility, and the rule of law? You know, the things the Republicans all claimed they stood for. Well, not anymore. Does it matter that he ordered the assassination by bombing of a major general and leader in a foreign country? No. That was done under the advice of Bolton, and he’s a Republican, so go figure.

    When Washington left office after two terms, the nascent American people wanted to anoint him a king. He refused and warned the American people about three things in his Farewell Address: hyper-partisanship, excessive debt, and interference in foreign wars. He was a man of his times, but his words ring true. His Farewell Address was the most widely published and read article in America for over a century. It was taught in every school.

    Yet look at us today, a century after Washington’s warnings were no longer taught. We are hyper-partisan, in excessive debt and interfering in foreign wars. And how is that working out?

    The economy is resilient; it always is. But it is dangerously close to a collapse, due to Republicans and their belief in a conman and a fraud.

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

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  129. 122. I don’t think you have, either. That simply encapsulates my frustration with Trump humpers, that somehow I am failing America with my refusal to support Trump.

    128. The coming collapse is going to make the 30’s look like a walk in the park.

    Gryph (08c844)

  130. “Does it matter that he ordered the assassination by bombing of a major general and leader in a foreign country?”
    Gawain’s Ghost (b25cd1) — 1/29/2020 @ 4:47 pm

    How long have you been writing headlines for WaPo?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  131. 130. This is what an ad hominem looks like, Trump humpers.

    Gryph (08c844)

  132. Trump is a reaction to the political malfeasance of our parties…

    That’s likely true and it has been simmering to a boil since Vietnam/Watergate days. Did a thesis years ago that touched on this– the graphed data indicted one of the major parties would eventually nominate a business background candidate for the top spot as their initial elected office around 2000 or so. Changes in campaign finance laws and other external forces not withstanding, the trend was close– off by 15 years or so [can’t count Perot; not a major party candidate but indicative of the trend.] The follow-up debate then as now, assuming a victory, remains whether job performance, character and personality of said candidate will open the door for similar candidates or shut it down for generations to come. Trump has pluses and minuses in all columns so the verdict on the trend is still indeterminate.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  133. Witnesses will stretch out the trial? Oh.

    I will remember that one if I am ever charged with a crime.

    noel (4d3313)

  134. This just popped up on my feed…

    Undercover Huber
    @JohnWHuber
    Ex. Special Counsel prosecutor in Flynn case in major climbdown and now agrees that Flynn should NOT go to jail and get probation instead. Sounds like they want this case to be over and are giving the Judge and Flynn an off ramp on the same day Flynn says he’s innocent

    That’s… something else.

    o.O

    whembly (c30c83)

  135. The questions and answers are getting more interesting.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  136. If kowtowing to a bully is “maturing” then I fear for the children raised by that standard.

    DRJ (15874d)

  137. Trump corrupts everything he touches. His first wife, Ivana, was a good Communist, and a loyal Party member and StB agent, too, and he turned her into a bourgeois floozie, going around looking for her fifth husband.

    nk (1d9030)

  138. @88 In case it is unclear, that means they should hear any conceivable witness, display every document, Biden certainly included, without any regard towards the outcome.

    Dustin (3ae049) — 1/29/2020 @ 2:20 pm

    Why should Republicans care? Schiff and the Democrats had no desire to hear witnesses or gather documents. ZERO effort was put into an actual investigation. Pelosi couldn’t even muster up the gumption to conduct one simple vote to launch a constitutionally predicated impeachment investigation to delegate the power afforded the House, to the proper committee, with the proper enforcement power of subpoenas
    Democrats don’t care, stop trying to force the Senate to do work Schiff and his crew refused to approach.

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  139. Wow, every assertion you just made is wrong.

    Time123 (d54166)

  140. Alan Dershowitz just gave two hypotheticals about Obama – that probably actually happened!

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  141. Nu uh!

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  142. The House mangaers seem to have imposed a rule on the president’s counsel. They cannot mention anything that is not either in the record, p=r publicly known. Or else they would object.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  143. What f Obama was prepared to give lethal aid to Ukraine but his pollster told him he’d get it frm the left wng of his party if he did. (this one might be a little different from the facts) Or if he said he was going to d something to Syria for using chemical weapons but then apollster…

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  144. Dershowitz said it clearly would not be impeachable if Trump was in his second term if he got more interested in the possibility that someone might become president whose son was corrupt. Schiff declares investigating anyone because he is running fr president wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  145. What I don’t understand is why the senate would be tied up if the trial went on long – it wasn’t tied up during trials of judges.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  146. In the judges’ trials, a 16-member committee was appointed to examine the evidence. It then presented its report — findings of fact without any conclusions as to guilt or innocence — to the full Senate which in one case only sat for three hours to vote (having received the committee’s report and briefs beforehand). https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-740.ZO.html

    nk (1d9030)

  147. Schiff and the Democrats had no desire to hear witnesses or gather documents.

    How do you explain the subpoenas?

    Pelosi couldn’t even muster up the gumption to conduct one simple vote to launch a constitutionally predicated impeachment investigation…

    Then what vote happened last October 31st?
    Does not the House have the sole authority to set its own rules?
    Does not the House have the sole power to impeach?

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  148. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/29/2020 @ 4:30 pm

    And yet no investigation

    frosty (f27e97)

  149. Nu uh!

    iowan2 (1c4a14) — 1/29/2020 @ 6:32 pm

    This whole ‘why do we need to care about the truth because [insert endless partisan BS] is evil.

    The GOP should pursue the truth and listen to everyone who has information about this matter, certainly including John Bolton, without restriction. Period. No [but Pelosi!!!!] changes that this is the trial.

    Furthermore, we all know that Trump obstructed the House. We all know that it would have taken years to resolve the endless lawfare. And we all know the House had enough to indict. It’s trial time now. They have the chief justice. No delay. No BS Trump games.

    Just call the witnesses and pursue the truth, regardless of politics. Law or anarchy.

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  150. How do you explain the subpoenas? Kupperman’s? I can’t. Schiff ran away when Kupperman asked for judicial review and guidance as to who had the superior power over his actions.

    I have no idea about 10/31. Make your point.

    Yes the house sets their rules and yes the house can impeach.

    What the House cannot do is issue subpoenas that carry enforcement power, without the House taking a vote to Delegate the Art I sec 2 power to investigate and issue subpoenas.

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  151. And yet no investigation

    Is not an inquiry an investigation?
    Did not the House obtain what documentary evidence they could?
    Did not the House have witnesses appear for testimony?

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  152. Just call the witnesses and pursue the truth, regardless of politics. Law or anarchy.

    Schiff wanted no part of calling the witnesses. Why should the Senate do what Schiff refused to do?

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  153. Kupperman’s?

    Not just Kupperman. There’s a list of those subpoenaed, indicating an interest by “Schiff and the Democrats” to hear witnesses.

    I have no idea about 10/31. Make your point.

    You said “Pelosi couldn’t even muster up the gumption to conduct one simple vote to launch a constitutionally predicated impeachment investigation…”
    October 31st is when Pelosi mustered that gumption to conduct one simple vote, not that it was necessary under the Constitution and House rules.

    What the House cannot do is issue subpoenas that carry enforcement power, without the House taking a vote to Delegate the Art I sec 2 power to investigate and issue subpoenas.

    You’re making that up. A House vote isn’t required for that.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  154. Furthermore, we all know that Trump obstructed the House.

    Like every single President of the United States has done. Co-equal branches. The House is not superior to the executive.

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  155. iowan, every time you post, literally every time, every single thing you say is wrong. Is your day job being Eric Trump by any chance?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (5cde89)

  156. mr. president trump, who could like be totally The Donald if he did not like hunky sailors to call him “Donna” when they’re alone together, has an article 2

    congress only has an article 1

    everybody knows that 2 is twice as much as 1

    nk (1d9030)

  157. October 31st is when Pelosi mustered that gumption to conduct one simple vote, not that it was necessary under the Constitution and House rules.What vote are you blathering on about?

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  158. The House is not superior to the executive.

    iowan2 (1c4a14) — 1/29/2020 @ 7:49 pm

    This is a serious remark? The house was having impeachment proceedings. They are superior to the executive branch for that specific function. The constitution placed impeachment as a check congress has over the presidency. Checks and balances don’t mean when my party defies something in the constitution it’s because the branches are co-equal.

    Good grief brother

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  159. “Is not an inquiry an investigation?”

    No, you see, if they don’t say the magic words, it’s all just a bad dream.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  160. CBS News
    @CBSNews
    ·
    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said President Trump could have been charged with bribery, but “abuse of power is the highest crime”: “The important point is that we charged a Constitutional crime — the most serious crime”
    __ _

    Orange Muppet Energy (Sunny)
    @sunnyright
    .
    Bribery is specifically enumerated under the impeachment clause though

    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  161. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/29/2020 @ 7:38 pm

    You’re confusing the back and forth we’re having on the Biden/Burisma thing with the conversation you’re having with someone else about the house impeachment. Or I picked the wrong comment tag.

    frosty (f27e97)

  162. Thank you, Munroe! I asked for Obama, and you delivered.

    It’s true, everybody! Trump has brought out an old video of Obama, when he was still a Senator, grilling Bolton over something or other in the Senate.

    nk (1d9030)

  163. Upgrade your Zune, nk.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  164. You didn’t click your own link, Munroe? The Obama video is the first one, and on autoplay as well.

    nk (1d9030)

  165. ‘GAME OVER’

    Gosh, we should get Bolton to testify under oath so we can get to the bottom of this seeming contradiction.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  166. 158. That co-equal branches of govt is just an illusion. Yes the house has the power to impeach. Now explain how you differentiate between article I sect 1, oversight, and article I sec 2. impeachment power?

    161. yes come to the rescue, except you’re not doing any better. It was a resolution about rules of inquiry. Not a vote to declare an impeachment investigation, AND delegate the power the house possesses to the appropriate committee(s)

    The reason Schiff ran and hid when an Article III judge got hold of one of his subpoenas? Without that delegation of constitutional power, the subpoenas carried no enforcement mechanism. You don’t have to believe me. Schiff tells you all you need to know.

    Delegation of constitutional power.

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  167. What vote are you blathering on about?

    The vote that fact-checked your false comment. The House sets the rules about how and when an impeachment inquiry begins and is conducted, not Trump, and the House has sole power on impeachment. It doesn’t require a formal vote, but they had one for moving forward. Pelosi’s declaration of a formal impeachment inquiry was Constitutionally sufficient.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  168. Paul you have never explained how an Article I judge determines if they are looking at a subpoena from art. I sect.1, and art I sec 2?

    The logical conclusion to the position you are defending, the House is under zero rules, and can always be in impeachment mode. That would elevate Congress as a superior branch of govt, not co-equal.

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  169. 169. It is possible to argue that an inquiry isn’t an impeachment inquiry (for purposes of relations with the executive branch and things like giving extra weight to subpoenas) until the House of Representatives formally makes it one.

    Now the rules could say that the Speaker, acting alone, can initiate an impeachment inquiry, but I don’t think they do.

    The position of the House is that:

    1) Whether something is or is not an impeachment inquiry depends on substance not formality

    2) The House of Representatives, and committees, have subpoena power on other grounds, like oversight. And oversight is a legislative purpose (a legislative purpose is held to be the grounds on which Congress; subpoena power rests – as long as any change in legislation can result, it’s legitimate) And, under current rules, although this was not true twenty years ago, no vote by the House is required to give committees the right to go to court to enforce a subpoena.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  170. Rather than considering a resolution that expressly authorizes an impeachment inquiry of the President, the House might take the position that such an inquiry is already underway, and opt to allow its committees to continue their ongoing investigations or begin new inquiries using their existing investigative tools and authorities. It is because those existing investigative tools and authorities have grown over time — and now include allowing committee chairs to issue subpoenas and committee staff to take depositions — that the practical need for obtaining additional powers from the House may have diminished.

    This is what you rest your opinion on. Speculation lacking any supporting law or constitutional principles.

    Again, the House can pass all the rules they want, but they are still a co-equal branch of govt.

    Schiff knew he had no way to answer an Article III judges questions as to when exactly the House was conducting their Constitutionally enumerated power of impeachment.

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  171. What is being advocated is the power of the house, to do little or nothing. Draft articles of impeachment, force them on the Senate, and demand the Senate call witnesses and have the Senate Demand documents.

    The House had no restrictions in conducting its impeachment inquiry. The completed that task and told the Senate the facts were indisputable, and overwhelming. Except for some fact witnesses we demand you force to testify, because…reasons, shutup.

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  172. Frosty, thank you for clarifying. I was reading to much into the context and assuming that your implication was that Trump’s actions were appropriate.

    Time123 (14b920)

  173. The logical conclusion is that Pelosi legally and Constitutionally declared the commencement of a formal impeachment inquiry on September 24th, and it’s not on you or Trump or even the judicial branch to challenge it. There are only two places in the Constitution where “sole power” exists, with the House on impeachment and with the Senate on an impeachment trial, and phrases like “sole power” mean things. By defying all requests and subpoenas, Trump is basically taking power from the House, thus taking “co-equal” out of the equation and according it to him.
    No one is seriously talking about your hypothetical of “always be in impeachment mode”.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  174. 170. iowan2 (1c4a14) — 1/30/2020 @ 5:59 am

    how an Article I [sic – III) judge determines if they are looking at a subpoena from art. I sect.1, and art I sec 2?

    By what the lawyers for the House argue in court. If the judge accepts it, that’d it (unless appealed and upheld)

    Now iif the House takes some formal steps, it’s easier. Nancy Pelosi didn’t want to declare an impeachment inquiry for along time, and maybe part of that was that she didn’t ant the House Judiciary Committee to do the fact-finding, as had been the case in every precedent, but they did it because courts have said that the power of the House to subpoena is strongest where it comes to impeachment – except that they never tested anything in court, quite possibly because they didn’t want any new facts to disrupt their narrative. They didn’t even want to call Kurt Volker as a lve broadcast witness, but they let the Republicans at least have him.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  175. The logical conclusion is that Pelosi legally and Constitutionally declared the commencement of a formal impeachment inquiry on September 24th,

    OK I missed that, I admit I’m wrong. So could you show me where the Constitution gives the soul power to impeach to the Speaker of the House? (thanks in advance).

    Now the basement depositions held in secret and contents leaked out the media by schiff, Would have been well within congress’ power of oversight. President overstepping his foreign affairs powers?
    Except.

    They were conducted by Schiff leading the Intelligence committee.

    The oversight was the jurisdiction of the Foreign Affairs committee. How does the INTEL committee usurp jurisdictional constraints? Yep. All rules and consistency of purpose start contradicting themselves. Rules are important until they aren’t.

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  176. OK I missed that, I admit I’m wrong. So could you show me where the Constitution gives the soul power to impeach to the Speaker of the House?

    I agree, you missed that. There is no House rule requiring a vote to start an impeachment inquiry, and Cippilone & Co. don’t have the right to dictate what the House rules should be. Pelosi’s title is Speaker of the House, not Speaker of the Democrats.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  177. The logical conclusion is that Pelosi legally and Constitutionally declared the commencement of a formal impeachment inquiry on September 24th, and it’s not on you or Trump or even the judicial branch to challenge it. There are only two places in the Constitution where “sole power” exists, with the House on impeachment and with the Senate on an impeachment trial, and phrases like “sole power” mean things. By defying all requests and subpoenas, Trump is basically taking power from the House, thus taking “co-equal” out of the equation and according it to him.
    No one is seriously talking about your hypothetical of “always be in impeachment mode”.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/30/2020 @ 6:15 am

    Simple question Paul: Is the Speaker “the House”?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  178. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said President Trump could have been charged with bribery, but “abuse of power is the highest crime”: “The important point is that we charged a Constitutional crime — the most serious crime”

    Schiff is giving untruthful explanations of why they did what they did.

    It is arguable that abuse of power is more serious than, say, taking a bribe to make someone an ambassador. But that’s not the reason they avoided charging bribery, but kept the idea in the report.

    The reason was it didn’t really fit the definition, as Jonathan Turley said, neither the common law definition in the 18th century or the definition in the current federal statute, and they wouldn’t have gotten the votes on an article of impeachment that cited it – but still some people wanted to accuse Donald Trump of bribery, because they like taking a broad definition of what is illegal and think (more or less correctly right now) that that is a cudgel that can only be used against Republicans, and putting that in a report wouldn’t lose any votes for impeachment..

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  179. A couple of months ago, I was arguing with Trump supporters and they kept saying that Hunter is corrupt, and I kept asking, on what evidence because they were employing the Underpants Gnome argument:

    (1) Hunter Biden got a cushy, high-paying, no-work job,
    (2) ???? and
    (3) Corruption!
    Adoring Trump loyalists keep alleging corruption, but there’s no evidence, which stops them at #2. They keep saying that VP Biden pushed for the firing of a prosecutor because he was prosecuting Burisma or Zlochevsky or Hunter Biden, when the reality is that Shokin was corrupt and was enriching himself from his corruption and was doing the opposite of investigating corruption.

    I don’t want to agree with Joe Biden, and I won’t vote for him, but his spokesperson is 100% correct.

    I didn’t specifically recall that comment when I wrote the post, but I may have seen it at the time and it may have stuck with me. I’m going to edit the post to give you the credit on this one.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  180. (UPDATE: Paul Montagu had this idea first)

    Patterico (115b1f)

  181. Shokin was corrupt and was enriching himself from his corruption and was doing the opposite of investigating corruption.

    Believe it or not, Trump’s defense team (Pam Bondi handled this) are arguing the opposite, and some Republican Senators don’t seem to realize that the idea that Viktor Shokin was a threat to Burisma when Joe Biden was active in the Ukraine issue is far from certain (they treat it as a fact)

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  182. There is no House rule requiring a vote to start an impeachment inquiry,

    House rule? There is nothing about House rules in the constitution. So exactly how to House Rules spring forth? Oh wait a minute. House rules are created by a vote of the full House.

    Or, can Nancy just email out a press briefing? Where does the House power to issue impeachment subpoena originate? From the Constitution? Then how does that power get delegated to a committee. A declaration?

    iowan2 (1c4a14)

  183. Simple question Paul: Is the Speaker “the House”?

    Technically, the Speaker speaks for the entire House. There was even a discussion about appointing a non-member as Speaker, which the Constitution does not forbid. I don’t like that the Speaker holds the power she has, but the House has organized its rules as they are and they’re an amalgam of what GOP and Democrat majorities have devised over the years.
    I also don’t like that there aren’t more rules governing impeachment, but you have to deal with the rules they have, not the ones you or Cippilone wish they had.
    Patterico! Thanks for the shout-out!

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  184. There is nothing about House rules in the constitution.

    Article I, Section 5, Paragraph 2: “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.”
    I get it, iowan, you don’t like the fact that the House has rules that you and Trump object to or that y’all would prefer to change, and you don’t like the fact that the House has “sole power” on impeachment, but I suggest you accept that reality.
    It wasn’t that long ago when Obama tried to take power from the Senate when he decided that he knew better when the Senate was in recess or not in recess, and the Supreme Court slapped him down hard.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  185. And because the Senate has the sole power to try the case as they fit, Pelosi has no basis to claim that, “You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial.” They’re having a trial, just not the kind Pelosi wanted.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  186. The first question today was by senator Patty Murray of Washington State about why the House did not re-issue subpoenas. Zoe Lofgren said a number of things, and what would seem to be her answer is that it would weaken the power of Congress. The subpoenas were good under the rules Congress adopted in January 2019 and an impeachment inquiry could only strengthen them. (in 194 the House Judiciary Committee did need special authorization) And anyway the truth the reason it was gnored is because Trump said they are going to fight all the subpoenas. and they didn’t honor six subpeonas, including to Mulvaney and Blair that were issued later.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  187. Chief Justice Roberts refused to read the second question as written. This was by Rand Paul and probably mentioned the name of the whistleblower. Rush Limbaugh said earlier that this happened yesterday, with Roberts saying at that time, you’re not going to trick me, and Rush says that shows that Roberts is on the side of the Democrats – or rather, a Never Trumper.

    I think you can’t say that. We don’t know from this that if a vote to hear witnesses split 50-50 Roberts would break the tie in favor of hearing witnesses.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  188. Pam Bondi continuing on Biden’s guilt.

    No says that Biden made a call to Poroshenko before he left offce that caused Hunter Biden to stay on the board three more years.

    Val Demings: Doesn’t believe either Biden has any knformtion about shakedown. Or Mulvaney.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  189. 189. Chief Justice Roberts refused to read the second question as written. This was by Rand Paul and probably mentioned the name of the whistleblower.

    I heard on ABC what happened yesterday and today. Yesterday, Chief Justice John Roberts reworded the question. This time he refused to read it Rand Paul was probably all alone in wanting to get the name of the whistleblower into the record, because nobody appealed the decision. This probably means that this is not perceivable as a step away from impartiality by Chief Justice Roberts. Rand Paul walked out of the Senate chamber and read the question to reporters and also tweeted it.

    https://twitter.com/girlsreallyrule/status/1222961251741065223/photo/1

    My exact question was:

    Are you aware that House intelligence committee staffer <strike —– ——- had a cloe relationship with —- ———- while at the National Security Council together 1/2

    and are you aware and how do you respond to reports that Ciaramella and Misko may have worked together to plot impeaching the President before there were formal house impeachment proceedings.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  190. They say that Chief Justice John Roberts is not likely to vote to break a tie. If there is a tie, and no tie-breaking vote, the motion loses. Most silent and keeping his own counsel is Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander, a somewhat close friend of Mitch McConnell and protegee of Howard Baker, who s leaving the Senate at the end of this year (plus two and a half days.) He says he will wait to hear the last things said. He s taking copious notes, but has not asked a question. I think he is the one who proposed that a copy of John Bolton;s manuscript be placed in the SCIF and Senators get a chance to look at it.

    When they vote they will vote in alphabetical order and he will be first.

    Two days ago, says ABC the White House was, figuratively, at Def Con 2 – preparing frantically to examine witnesses, or John Bolton ain an case, now they are much calmer.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  191. There was laughter in the chambr when Adam Schiff said that White House counsel are arguing that they can go to the courts if the president defies a subpoena but in a court today twhen ajudge asked what the remedy would be if subpoenas could not be enforced, the president;s lawyers said impeachment. Well they maybe said that as one remedy.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  192. Rpberts: He thinks it wold be better if senators directed questions at each side, rather than any specific lawyer.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  193. What comes next is Lamar. His question pointed one way, his meeting with Murkowski another.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)


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