The No Confidence Impeachment: Trump Opponents Seek Removal Without A High Crime Or Misdemeanor



From Congress to newsrooms to social media, a type of impeachment fever has taken hold. Various proposals have been put forward for removing Donald Trump from office, with reasons ranging from alleged “collusion” with Russians to the president’s response to Charlottesville. One poll shows support for impeachment at as much as 40 percent. Newsweek ran a headline proclaiming, “Trump Is Just Six Senate Votes Away From Impeachment,” and Slate has a running feature called “Today’s Impeach-O-Meter.”While such talk may be therapeutic for those still suffering post-election stress disorder, it is a dangerous course that could fundamentally alter our constitutional and political systems. Even if one were to agree with the litany of complaints against Trump, the only thing worse than Trump continuing in office would be his removal from it.

LPParliamentaryParties_listingThere is a mechanism under which a head of government can be removed midterm. Parliamentary systems, like Great Britain’s, allow for “no confidence” motions to remove prime ministers. Parliament can pass a resolution stating “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.” But that’s not our system, and it’s doubtful that the members of Congress calling for Trump’s impeachment would relish a parliamentary approach: When such a vote succeeds, the prime minister isn’t necessarily the only politician to go. If the existing members of parliament can’t form a new government in 14 days, the entire legislative body is dissolved pending a general election. And that’s leaving aside the fact that Trump is still more popular than Congress as a whole: In the Real Clear Politics polling average, his job approval rating is under 40 percent while Congress’s wallows at around 15 percent.

The Constitution’s framers were certainly familiar with votes of no confidence, but despite their general aim to limit the authority of the presidency, they opted for a different course. They saw a danger in presidents being impeached due to shifts in political support and insulated presidents from removal by limiting the basis for impeachment and demanding a high vote threshold for removal. There would be no impulse-buy removals under the Constitution. Instead, the House of Representatives would have to impeach and the Senate convict (by two-thirds vote) based on “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes or Misdemeanors.”

440px-StevecohenThe Framers were wise in this regard. Consider Rep. Steve Cohen’s (D-Tenn.) statement, in the wake of Charlottesville, explaining why he supports impeachment: “If the president can’t recognize the difference between these domestic terrorists and the people who oppose their anti-American attitudes, then he cannot defend us.” Cohen doesn’t articulate a high crime or misdemeanor, let alone prove one.  He appears willing to impeach Trump because the president is viewed as insufficiently opposed to far-right or racist groups. If that were the standard, any member of an opposition party could cite unacceptable views as the basis for removal from office. Cohen’s reasoning is no better than that of former congressman Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), who was quoted in 2013 telling a constituent that if he “could write a bill” to impeach then-President Barack Obama, “it would be a dream come true.”

Though clearly farcical, the suggestion by USA Today’s Jill Lawrence that “Trump is doing an excellent impression of a president who desperately wishes to be impeached” — that his comportment in office is some sort of thinly veiled cry for help — obscures the gravity of what’s at stake with impeachment. Lowering the standard would fundamentally alter the presidency, potentially setting up future presidents to face impeachment inquiries or even removal whenever the political winds shifted against them.

President_Andrew_JohnsonEspecially alarming is the argument that, “Yes, Trump Could Be Impeached for Pro-Nazi Talk.” This week, the Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky evaluated the impeachment of Andrew Johnson to demonstrate why some experts believe presidents can be impeached over purely “political disagreements” — more or less reducing impeachment to the equivalent of being voted off the island on an episode of “Survival: Beltway.” Johnson was a thoroughly obnoxious president who took office after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He was opposed by the Radical Republicans in Congress who sought to extend voting rights to freed slaves and limit the political power of former Confederates. Johnson was impeached by the House, but he was spared conviction (by one vote) in the Senate, which recognized, properly, that however valid opposition to the president was, in the end it amounted to a political disagreement. Had he been removed from office, it would have been an abuse of Congress’s power; and while abuses can happen, they remain abuse.

As the last lead counsel in an impeachment case — I defended U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous in 2010 — even the theoretical revival of Johnson’s impeachment is chilling: There is no clear way to defend against having insufficient values. Tomasky quotes constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, who floats the possibility that a president might be impeached for views demonstrated to be “sabotaging, not defending the Constitution — including its separation of powers, due process, and equal protection — by applauding the ideas or actions of tyrants from his bully pulpit.” But imagine what could happen if that were true. Any presidential remark deemed objectionable could be characterized as “sabotaging” constitutional values. Rather than requiring unconstitutional acts, we would impeach for unconstitutional thoughts, even though our Constitution’s standard certainly isn’t high thought crimes and misdemeanors.

225px-Bill_ClintonThis can seem weirdly incongruous, given the other presidential impeachment in our history: Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about something relatively trivial; many view Trump as opposing fundamental American values. But Clinton deserved impeachment because he lied under oath. I was one of the experts who testified before Congress during Clinton’s impeachment hearings and, despite voting for Clinton, I maintained that perjury clearly fell within the standard regardless of the subject. Presidents don’t get to lie under oath any more than Congress gets to choose impeachment standards depending on the president. While this may be frustrating and inconvenient, there is no proof Trump has committed any crime or otherwise impeachable offense.

Impeaching a president on the grounds of high contempt or misbehaviors would leave the presidency weakened. Trump won’t be our last president and we shouldn’t count on making the presidency great again if we add a no confidence option to impeachment.

191 thoughts on “The No Confidence Impeachment: Trump Opponents Seek Removal Without A High Crime Or Misdemeanor”

  1. Prof. Turley,

    Is a deleterious, unconstitutional, “profiling” restriction on law enforcement, politically applied against Arpaio by a kangaroo court, more or less egregious than mayors and governors around the country obstructing enforcement of federal immigration laws and usurping the power of the federal government by setting immigration policy?

    Is “sanctuary” status a case of “municipal/state overreach?”

    CBS News –

    “Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation on Monday that would limit cooperation with federal immigration officials, angering members of his own party who say the law creates a “sanctuary state.”

    1. Of course you are able to hold that the federal district court’s ruling against angry joe was “unconstitutional” because you went to law school, passed the bar, became a successful and respected member of the bar, and capped off that sterling career by being appointed to the federal circuit court of appeals. Amiright?

      This is to laughable georgie

  2. Trump has been pinched over a hundred times for money laundering. Facts show that the Russian mafia and/or government has significant financial ties to not only Trump but also to numerous Cabinet and bureaucratic Trump officials. Let this play out.

    Who cares about calls for impeachment from widespread no confidence? The rules are few and malleable enough to permit exactly such a thing. Maybe it might damage the presidency. Maybe not. But we do know something, we know that Trump has and is actively damaging a good portion of the federal government and the nation as a whole. Trump has appointed political contrarians to federal agencies, presumably so in order to cripple governmental operations. You know who else wants a damaged federal government? Vlad Putin. That’s a the wide ranging effect and damage caused by the corrupt Trump Cabal to the instant harmed entities such as defenders of clean air, water, soil, food or of public education, etc.

    Putin and Russia enjoy a USA weakened by Cossack Donusz Trumpsky. I want him gone. I don’t care if removal’s done via a finding of ‘no confidence’ or some crime of or attendant to the Mueller investigations.

    1. Trump has been pinched over a hundred times for money laundering.

      Just who is it that starts these nonsense memes?

        1. I don’t know how much control Trump had over Trump Taj Mahal, do you?.It was part of a larger publicly traded company that was started by another company and ended being owned by still another company. Do you know why the charge of money laundering is so common in casinos?

          1. allan:

            He opened the casino in 1996. And for the 13 years, he was the chairman of the board between 1995 and 2009. His company, Trump Resorts, and Casinos and subsequently Trump Entertainment Resorts, made three trips to bankruptcy court and was about to file its fourth when he left.

            According to the FinCen announcement and legal documents:

            ” Since 2003, IRS SB/SE has conducted four examinations of
            Trump Taj Mahal that identified repeated significant violations of the BSA. In addition, in 1998,
            FinCEN assessed a $477,000 penalty against Trump Taj Mahal for BSA violations.”

            “Trump Taj Mahal willfully violated the BSA’s program, reporting, and recordkeeping
            requirements from 2010 through 2012.3
            Importantly, many of these violations were previously cited
            by IRS SB/SE in previous examinations of Trump Taj Mahal since 2003. As described below,
            Trump Taj Mahal (a) failed to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program;
            (b) failed to report suspicious activity related to several financial transactions at the casino; (c) failed
            to properly file Currency Transaction Reports; and (d) failed to keep appropriate records as required
            by the BSA and its implementing regulations.”

            One of his other casinos (Trump Castle) violated BSA in 1990 when a representative of his father, Fred Trump entered Trump Castle with a certified check for $3.35 million. He deposited the check, collected $3.35 million in casino chips, and walked out of the casino. This was considered a loan by the federal authorities, designed to pay the interest on an $18 million loan. Trump Castle received a $30,000 fine for its indiscretion.


            Fred Trump was keeping his son’s cash-flow problems afloat, but didn’t apply for a license that would allow him to lend money to the casino – that is until after the $3.5M mea culpa that resulted in a fine of $30K. Nice work if you have a rich father.

            As an investor, owner, or whatever you think Trump’s involvement was in his companies, you would at least think he would have known more about the operations, or at least made sure his casinos were diligent about being compliant with the Banking Secrecy Act – and not have allowed willful violations. Don’t you think?

            And, I don’t have to know why money laundering charges are so common in casinos. We have dedicated civil servants at the IRS who pay attention when there are egregious violations to the BSA. It’s their job to know why money laundering is so prevalent in casino gambling and charge violators like Trump and his now defunct casino companies.

            Here’s a link to FinCen’s court document. That is if you are really interested in what deplorable dirt is on the public record about Trump’s shady business dealings.


            1. Anon, Since you know so much, how much of the casino did Trump own (incrementally) over that timespan? A lot of it was sold pretty quick I think relatively early on he sold about 50%. We have a lot of rules and regulations that we all end up violating at one time or another. Did you ever write a post-dated check? They are legal, but it is legal for the bank to cash it before the date and if you don’t have adequate funds in the account and it is cashed it can be considered a violation of the law. Many or most of us have written post-dated checks and therefore if it were cashed would have violated a criminal statute (based upon the state). Have you ever jay-walked, used excessive speed in your car, did your dog ever poop on the side of the road where you didn’t have a doggie bag to pick it up, etc.?

              You apparently have never been involved with significant ownership of a business. Businesses pay fines all the time rather than go to court even if they would win. Too much in legal fees, too much time and sometimes a government agency that will harass you. This is even done when the business is sure of victory in the courts.

              What you are looking for is not criminal actions taken by Trump rather any possible link to a questionable “no no”. That generally demonstrates the naivete of one who hasn’t engaged in significant business activities. Was Trump’s father or Trump convicted of a crime involving that “loan” of money? No. Was he even found guilty? No. He paid a fine rather than fight in court. My mom needed some money to pay her taxes while other money was coming in. I gave her a lot of money to cover that tax bill. Was that a crime? I can’t figure out the crime Trump’s father committed if this indeed was what happened. He paid taxes on the money and bought chips. This must have to do with arcane gambling laws rather than SEC types of laws.

              Do you see how foolish we can be in trying to attach non-crimes of businesses to individuals? Perhaps not, but then one has to look at the individuals you like that actually broke the law knowngly doing so.

              1. Since you know so much, how much of the casino did Trump own

                I would know more if 45 made public his tax records.

                Firstly, he did regain and lose ownership of all of his casino properties on more than one occasion through bankruptcy court.

                Secondly, his brand was attached to all of his holdings. So, whether or not he knew about day to day operation violations is irrelevant – his brand was attached to an organization that has been cited for egregious willful violations of the BSA’s program, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.

                Furthermore, he cared enough about the business and succeeded in regaining significant ownership for himself and his daughter Ivanka.

                Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February — the third time the company or its previous incarnations had done so.

                Its petition listed $2.06 billion in assets and more than $1.74 billion in liabilities. Ivanka Trump said the new company, which she expects to keep the same name, would carry about $486 million in debt.

                “This is a great day,” she said. “We are very excited about being back in Atlantic City.”


                It doesn’t matter that he may have been a minority owner. His name was on the properties. He should have given a care as to whether his co-owners were violating the BSA, but he didn’t care because he was found to be just as guilty of the same when he owned more than fifty percent of the business. He was no stranger to the Department of Treasury FiNCEN investigators.

                In 2015, the Taj Mahal admitted to “willfully” violating the law by letting many suspicious transactions go unreported to the authorities, and agreed to pay a ten-million-dollar fine—one of the largest ever for a casino. While the fine came at a time when Trump was no longer a majority owner, FinCEN made clear in its public statement that the casino had violations dating back to 2003, when Trump was a majority owner, and had faced another fine in 1998.


                The article goes on to describe how money laundering takes place in gambling casinos. So, as far as I’m concerned…either 45 is a “mark” and could care less whether his brand was tarnished by corrupted individuals who ran the casinos and allowed such egregious activities to take place, or he knows how to shuffle illegal cash very well. I think he knows very well that the casinos that bore his name (brand) were engaged in money-laundering (and most likely his real-estate transactions as well).

                Have a peaceful evening.

              2. Just one more thing before I end this discussion:

                Businesses pay fines all the time rather than go to court even if they would win.

                I imagine investigators at the Treasury don’t take very kindly to financial institutions when they see will violations of the Banking Secrecy Act.

                Since 45 has cheated so many of his lenders and bondholders through numerous bankruptcy suits, I imagine it is reason why he cannot get a loan from any financial institution that exudes good corporate character and integrity.

                1. AS I said you You apparently have never been involved with significant ownership of a business. Businesses pay fines all the time rather than go to court even if they would win. Too much in legal fees, too much time and sometimes a government agency that will harass you. This is even done when the business is sure of victory in the courts.

                  You provide a lot of reading, but you don’t point out how Trump had control and did things that were so terrible. We have had football players do all sorts of things. Do we blame that on the owners because the football player is using the owners team name? Do you own stock. If so are you responsible for those things you are complaining about. When a personality advertises a product on TV, they are not responsible for what the company does that uses their image. Many of these companies used Trump’s image even though most of the money and the control was in someone elses hands. Have you ever stayed in a Marriot Hotel? Was it corporate or non corporate. Do you even understand what I am talking about.

                  You want his tax returns. One of them was illegally released. Tell us what you have learned from that tax form. You want more information? Go to the gaming commission that has more information than the tax forms or go to the NYC Housing Authority that also has more information. There is more known about Donald Trump than most Presidential candidates. Take your details and apply them to Donald Trump. You use inference not proof and that is a problem something that more experienced people avoid.

                  So far you have said a lot that means very little.

    2. discodonniethetrumpettes,

      Have you ever seen what Hillary and Obama did:


      Joseph Rago –

      “Wall Street Journal Reporter Asks Russia For “Clinton Information” —-Turns Up DEAD 2 Days Later”

      “A Wall Street Journal Editor who was investigating how a Russian
      Pharmaceutical firm could have been purchased in 2014 by an American
      Pharmaceutical firm while Sanctions against Russia existed against such
      business transactions, has been found dead in his New York City
      apartment. The crux of the dead journalists investigation was how
      then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton influenced the transaction to be
      finalized, but only AFTER her husband Bill was paid $500,000 for giving
      a speech in Moscow.

      The Russia Consulate General’s office in New York City was contacted
      by Wall Street Journal reporter/editor Joseph Rago who requested a
      Thursday (20 July) in person interview with consular officials regarding
      an upcoming article he was preparing on Hillary Clinton and her links
      to Russia. Rago failed to attend the meeting and was later discovered
      dead in his apartment of as yet “unknown causes” just hours prior to
      this meeting occurring.”


  3. As I write, news that North Korea has escalated a confrontation by launching an ICBM into Japanese airspace. However inexperienced our President may be in government, and obnoxious his personality, he has assembled a first-rate National Security team, and deserves our undivided support during what is developing into a major world crisis. I wonder if people consider how calls for impeachment embolden our adversaries around the world?

  4. As much as I dislike Trump, I haven’t seen yet anything impeachable with the possible exception of obstruction of justice which is already being investigated. Now I think the continued investigation of his finances and interaction with Russians will provide plenty of evidence worthy of impeachment, I haven’t seen it yet.

      1. While technically true. I don’t want him out on a ticky tack violation that others weren’t prosecuted for. I want him to get all the glory he deserves including being charged with multiple felonies and treason. No pardon either.

      2. Not outside your imagination. No one who has read the clause takes this notion the least bit seriously.

  5. It’s impossible to believe that Trump is as stupid as he acts. Even less inspired Presidents can seem vaguely intelligent some of the time. Therefore Trump’s behavior raises a question of motivations. “Why does Trump act irrational and immature more often than not?” And the only logical answer is: “He wants to diminish the presidency and the prestige of this country”. Because Trump ‘is’, as everyone suspects, a stooge for Vladimir Putin.

    1. The notion that Trump acts ‘stupidly’ is in the same category as the aspersions cast on George W. Bush: a function of the vanity of the speaker. They haven’t any examples of it that would make much sense outside a particular bubble.

  6. “Without A High Crime Or Misdemeanor ” ?? more possibly, without being able to choose among them.

    His conflicts of interest, conniving with a foreign power, seditious rants etc etc as well as directly impugning of the rule of law – in just seven months. Consider 7 more such periods until the next inaugural and the country has little chance of survival.

    1. His conflicts of interest,


      conniving with a foreign power,

      No one can say how.

      seditious rants etc etc

      Not outside your imagination.

      as well as directly impugning of the rule of law partisan Democrats in robes–


      in just seven months. Consider 7 more such periods until the next inaugural and the country has little chance of survival.

      Memo to David Benson. This woman exemplifies the cultural problem in the Democratic Party.

      1. How do you know that she is a Democrat? I think you just made that up.

    2. Is usurpation a crime of high office? Prof. Turley sued Obongo for usurpation as “executive overreach.” That is factual. Obongo stated on his high school application that he was a citizen of Indonesia then ran for the presidency with the full knowledge that he did not meet the requirements for the office because he was not a “natural born citizen,” which is defined by the Law of Nations which the Founders employed as reference material in the Constitutional Congress, which requires that “natural born citizens” be “…born in the country of parents who are citizens…” and “…born of a father who is a citizen.” Is falsifying and not disclosing information on a federal job application a crime of high office? Obongo then went on to issue a declaration of war, threatening to “fundamentally transform the United States of America,” “wiretap,” surveil and “unmask political opponents during an election and lead the “resistance” as sedition to an actually eligible and duly elected President. Is treason a crime of high office? Obongo should have been thrown in prison long ago.

  7. Judging by the election of President Trump,

    America knows it has been taken over by the corrupt and unconstitutional denizens of the swamp.

    The mettle of the conviction of the voters will be tested in 2018.

    President Trump must be concerned with the inclination of the Congress.

    Congress must fear the inclination of the voters.

    The People and Congress are eyeball to eyeball.

    Who will blink first?

  8. There’s a bigger point to all of this: Arpaio arrested people if they ‘looked like” they were Mexican. He hog-tied prisoners. To demean male prisoners, he made them wear pink jail uniforms. He forced prisoners to sleep in tents in the hot Arizona climate. At least one person died of thirst in his custody, but many others died of unknown causes while in his custody, perhaps because he tasered prisoners after they were handcuffed or shackled to restraint chairs. He had laboring pregnant women prisoners shackled to labor beds, so they couldn’t change position or get up even to go to the bathroom. His conduct cost Arizona taxpayers millions in settlements for his unconstitutional behavior. Other law enforcement officials in Arizona had no use for him, and eventually, he was voted out. The criminal aspect of his story is that he INTENTIONALLY defied a federal court order to cease and desist. The judge was a Republican, BTW.

    The upshot is that your President pardoned this reprobate knowing of this conduct, without following the protocols prior Presidents followed, which sends a clear message that this behavior is acceptable. Your President is on record as telling law enforcement to knock heads when arresting someone–suggesting that they allow handcuffed suspects to strike their heads when being placed in squad cars. At one of his “please love me” festivals, he told security people to intentionally injure protestors and that he’d pay for their legal defense. This man is patently unfit to occupy the office of President of the U.S.. He doesn’t understand, much less uphold, the Constitutional rights of persons merely under arrest, or the rights of incarcerated people, but the biggest point is, he doesn’t care, because pardoning Arpaio was an act of throwing red meat to his pathetic base in exchange for enthusiastic cheering at his rallies. He desperately needs affirmation because of his underlying crippling emotional problems, so he will resort to pardoning a lawbreaker like Arpaio, an indefensible act. This is a far bigger issue than mere disagreement with someone’s politics. Arpaio’s conduct is un-American, and he remains unapologetic for his illegal and unconstitutional conduct. That a President could support such conduct is unthinkable, and that’s why there are calls for his impeachment.

    1. If Arpaio had done the things you claim, he would have gotten a lot more than a cease and desist order.

      1. He did even more than that. He cost Arizona taxpayers more than $140 million in lawsuit settlements. He cut down meals for prisoners to 2 per day, and frequently served green bologna sandwiches. Temperatures in his “tent city” were as high as 130 in the daytime and as low as 40 at night. BTW: since this was a county jail, most of these people hadn’t been convicted of anything. He is the poster boy for police brutality. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

        1. One other point: there were a large number of suicides under his watch, too.

          1. I also forgot to list the fact that his department refused to investigate cases of child sexual abuse or molestation if the victim was Hispanic.

              1. Desperate, Good eye. That allegation has the stench of Dem propaganda.

            1. There are limited areas that are still county and that the sheriff has control over. Other areas city police monitor. There was one are that chose to remain county under the sheriff, but the response time was slow. Arpaio had nothing to do with stopping any investigations on his own. Some officers took it on themselves to not investigate any sex crimes.

        2. I know you don’t need any help, Natacha. And I doubt that I would be of much help to you, anyway. But I feel so guilty whenever I read you in single combat against the whole lot of Trumpa-lumpas up in Bedlam.

          1. But I feel so guilty whenever I read you in single combat against the whole lot of Trumpa-lumpas up in Bedlam.

            I bet her word count exceeds the sum of ours.

      2. Cease and desist based on which law; can you cite that? Which constitutional law prohibits enforcing federal laws against particular minorities. Which law prohibits local law enforcement from enforcing federal law? How is it possible for federal law enforcement agencies to not be criminally derelict for blatantly not enforcing federal law? Psycho-liberals and this judge would have America believe it’s illegal to enforce the law? Arpaio was doing his duty as elected; he absolutely had authority to enforce federal law and there is no law restricting investigation of criminal because of their race. The concept of “racial profiling” is not only irrational but unprovable and unconstitutional in that it requires law enforcement agencies to not enforce laws against certain minorities.

    2. Natacha – Tent City was approved by the 9th Circuit. Locking pregnant women down during childbirth was done in a lot of jails, not just Maricopa Co. The inmates only wore pink underwear. Tasers are only used when necessary, but there were a couple of occasions when jail officers went too far. That was not Arpaio, that was them. I am sure jail officers go too far where you are. It happens. I don’t remember anyone dying of thirst, you will have to send a cite from a reputable paper. Sheriff Joe won more cases than he lost.

      1. People like you who defend such conduct never cease to shock me. We all know, don’t we, that laboring women are known for their athletic skills, and given the chance will just bolt for the door, even though the baby’s coming out and they are having contractions–right? Of course, the doctors and nurses caring for them, and who sometimes want them to walk around to stimulate slowed labor, or to change position because of fetal distress, know less than ignoramus Sheriff Joe about what’s best for them–right? Of course, posting a guard at the door to the labor room and letting the doctors and nurses carry out their duties and the mother to deliver her baby with dignity sends the wrong message to these Jezebels who are under arrest–right?

        The inmates wore pink shirts and trousers, too, but the point is, what right does this ignoramus have to demean the dignity of men in the first place, just because they were arrested? Even if they had been convicted, what right does this dumbazz have to try to undercut their personal dignity? Arpaio was a bully.

        Please send me the citation to Court order whereby the 9th Circuit “approved” holding prisoners in outdoor tents with weather conditions ranging from 40 to 130 degrees.

        Jail officials should never “go too far”, and when they do, and the county gets sued, guess who gets to pay the tab? Arpaio created and maintained a system of police brutality and stayed in office way too long. The buck stops with him, and he approved the tasering of shackled prisoners, because underneath it all, he is a racist coward and bully and he set the tone for his entire department based on these principles. Of course, we all know that “winning” a legal case means you didn’t do anything wrong, and judges are never political–correct? Arpaio did all of these things, and probably more, because he had no respect for the Constitution or the rule of law. He openly and defiantly violated a court order. He did worse things than many of the people he arrested, based on nothing more than racist arrogance. People certainly suffered and many died because of him.

        Did you know that the fine citizens of Maricopa CO, AZ paid for investigators to go to Hawaii in an effort by Arpaio to prove that Barak Obama wasn’t born there? Didn’t find any proof, BTW, and we all know that this sort of investigation is certainly within the job description for a county sheriff. The only motivation for this was racism and his arrogant belief that he could do as he pleased. He was also an early supporter of your fat, orange President, and an ardent birther, which is why he got pardoned. It used to be unthinkable that any President would support a public official who flaunts the rule of law and Constitution without showing any remorse for his conduct. A lot of things used to be unthinkable before fatso took office.

        1. Natacha – I do not have to send you the cite. The very fact that it still exists under the new sheriff is enough to let you know the 9th Circus approved it. Arpaio used the following claim: if it is good enough for our soldiers, it is good enough for my prisoners. BTW, they get fans and heaters. When i first moved to Arizona in the early 1960, the girl’s dorms at ASU all had sleeping porches. They were all sleeping out there when it got 40 degrees. And they didn’t get fans or heaters.

        2. Natacha, this is all so shockingly true, and anyone with any sense of decency is astonished that the clown pardoned this human refuse. However, your truisms are truly wasted on the ilk who spew here. They congregate here to revel in their small-minded ignorance and hatred with the few people who have the same character. Poking at them through their cages is what this site is actually useful for; as they don’t understand logic, reason, compassion, empathy or hubris.

    3. “The upshot is that your President pardoned this reprobate knowing of this conduct, without following the protocols prior Presidents followed”

      Natacha, you are right. Trump didn’t follow the protocol of the Clintons pay-to-play scheme

      1. You have to stop the Kellyanne pivot every time your fat President gets caught doing something wrong. This has nothing to do with the Clintons, Loretta Lynch, Sally Rice or anyone else.

        1. Natacha, you never stop deluding yourself.Trump had a right to do what he did and there was a rational basis for what he did. Remember there was a pending Supreme Court Appeal because the Judge didn’t permit trial by jury. Arpaio was dealing with criminals that entered the country illegally.

          Amendment VI

          In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

          Rather than playing a Kelly Anne as you call it I responded directly to what you said about “following the protocols prior Presidents”

          The Clinton precedent was Pay-to-Play. Trump followed the policy that got him elected President, stop illegal immigration. He wasn’t paid and received no favors. It appears you believe people should act illegally and take bribes. That is OK by me Natacha, but if you took bribes like it seems you favor and I was in law enforcement I would arrest you and throw you in the slammer. However, I would be much nicer. I would give you the choice of wearing pink panties or nothing at all.

          1. I should add, Natacha that if you acted out of line and attacked someone else I would taser you until you fall to the ground or become manageable. This has nothing to do with your rights rather the rights of those that you might injure. If tasering made you go in your pants I would provide you with a clean pink pantie free of charge.

        2. Sally Ride and Sally Rand are both dead. Not sure why you have fan dancers and astronauts taking up space in your head.

  9. The Constitution is toast. I would like to share something I think should have gotten Obama Jesus impeached and should get Trump impeached now. This extremely gutsy reporter was fired for her story which traces illegal arms shipments from US war contractors to militants across the world. These illegal shipments were and are being blessed by USGinc. and many of our fine allies. That this is ignored, and false reasons are given to get rid of Trump tells you a lot about how things really work in this nation.

    1. This extremely gutsy reporter was fired for her story which traces illegal arms shipments from US war contractors to militants across the world.

      It’s a reasonable wager you have neither the intellectual equipment to critically evaluate what she writes nor any knowledge of the law (even the coarse distinction between constitutional and statutory law).

      Real constitutional problems have been manifest since the period running from 1933 to 1942 (when effective limits on the jurisdiction of Congress were eliminated) and 1954-73 (when the courts seized power and asserted they could annul any piece of legislation disliked in their social circles). Exercises in the conduct of foreign policy do not present any constitutional problems.

      1. Did you just reference the “imperial judiciary” which should have been impeached, convicted and thrown in prison long ago for the most egregious violations in history of the American thesis and its Constitution?

        Hear, hear!

        Alexander Hamilton –

        “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    1. Ken’s posts consist of adolescent taunts about 80% of the time, something which does not bother the purveyors of civility bull****.

        1. Elaine, behind every double-standard is an unconfessed single standard. Strike attitudes all you want. Everyone sees through you.

          1. Why thank you, DSS. Transparency is a wonderful thing. It’s quite liberating.

            1. …and that I’m not Elaine continues to elude those, here, who fancy themselves so bright and clever.

              1. It’s that linky thing that you do, which gives rise to the Elaine comparisons. Of course, there was another commenter here once, who used to link so many articles that there were some she hadn’t even bothered to read first, and they rebutted her rebuttments. And, she never bothered to answer direct questions put to her. But I hear she was either executed by a British firing squad in France, or was done in by a young girl from Kansas with a bucket of water. Maybe both??? They aren’t mutually exclusive or anything.

                Squeeky Fromm
                Girl Reporter

      1. And the other 20% of the time, he is just regurgitating DNC talking points nonsense. I wonder sometimes if Ken is really just a conservative’s sockpuppet, made intentionally stupid and childish just to tar the other Liberals here with an idiot brush???

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

    2. I would be more concerned if Archie Bunker Spinelo had something good to say about me.

      1. Archie Bunker was a long-married wage-earning war veteran who paid his debts and paid his bills. Out of love for his daughter, he put up with her husband in his house for six years, in spite of the fact that the man earned nothing, argued with him on a daily basis, treated him with disrespect, and offered not an ounce of affection to either member of the older generation who put a roof over his head. Rob Reiner was superficial enough to think the plots and dialogue made Archie look bad.

        1. In other words, if the sheet set fits, wear it.

          this is to “so what’s wrong with hating people for the color of their skin” susie

    1. Why would you consult a ‘legal scholar’. The president’s discretion is plenary. It would only be troubling from a legal standpoint were it incorporated into some corrupt scheme (see, again Hugh Rodham’s role in the pardon scandal at the end of the Clinton Administration).

      It might be troublesome from a moral / ethical standpoint, but lawyers are not trained to argue normative questions in good faith.

      1. Is a deleterious, unconstitutional, “profiling” restriction on law enforcement, politically applied against Arpaio by a kangaroo court, more or less egregious than mayors and governors around the country usurping the power of the federal government by setting immigration policy and obstructing enforcement of federal laws?

        CBS News –

        “Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation on Monday that would limit cooperation with federal immigration officials, angering members of his own party who say the law creates a “sanctuary state.”

  10. Congress can get away with redefining “crimes and misdemeanors” and push impeachment. But in our see-saw culture, public opinion can be measured in many ways, and is volatile. Trump has no “clean” enemies. Trump’s gang has a talent for mobilizing and directing public outrage, and any member of congress who criticizes him – much less supports impeachment – can be made to look like a dangerous liar overnight. They’re much better at this than Bill Clinton’s gang, which won anyway.

    I think we need a limited “no confidence” amendment for the future. As far as Trump goes, we’re stuck unless Mueller finds the smoking gun.

  11. As far as I can tell, our host, Prof. Turley is the one who offered the analogy to a vote of no confidence under a parliamentary system. If any Democrat in Congress pushed that argument it would not get very far. If it did lead to articles of impeachment, then Prof. Turley’s arguments against it would be obviously correct.

    The President is under no constitutional obligation to earn nor to retain the confidence of Congress in him or her. The President is under no constitutional obligation to find fault with anyone who may be said to have anti-American attitudes. The very notion of proper American attitudes has no definable, legal standard under the law. Failure to espouse an American attitude is not dereliction of duty. There’s no particular reason that a President whose American attitudes are doubted could not lead the defense our country anyway.

    Therefore, Representative Steve Cohen’s remarks to the contrary are a lame-brained farrago of political pandering to his party’s peanut gallery.

    No. I’m not switching parties. I’m policing my own.

  12. “The latest poll shows 43 percent favoring impeachment.”
    I’m firmly convinced that 2 of every 5 people I meet on the street don’t have the sense God gave a billy goat and not a too smart one at that. This polls proves it. Might be higher. I’m guessing an extra 20% or so couldn’t understand the question.

    1. It’s important to remember that 50% of the population possesses below average intelligence.

  13. The lefties are too dumb to consider the constitutional values at stake. It’s easier for a Congressman to call for impeachment than to actually do his job.

    1. It isn’t ‘constitutional values’ at stake. The Congress has plenary discretion over these matters and the phrase ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ is hortatory. The thing is, systems constructed around electoral and deliberative institutions require procedural norms and a general respect for procedural norms. For a long time, that respect improved on the fringes and decayed in the center. Now it’s decaying on the fringes and at the center.

      This is an asymmetric process. The Democrats are such frauds, intellectually and morally, that they’ll complain at point A that the Republicans won’t embrace some policy tar-baby the Democratic Administration is flogging (as if it was the business of the political opposition to roll over and play dead) and then play lawfare games and traffick in the most venomous political propaganda when a Republican Administration is inaugurated (having exploited the IRS to harass the opposition when they were in office).

        1. The constitution is a piece of positive law. Congress can impeach the president and not contravene that. There is however, a culture in which positive law nestles, and the influence of that culture on the behavior of people in the political sphere can enhance or diminish the conduct of the business of government. If everything has to be fought out in court (and the courts themselves are untrustworthy), that’s a lot in the way of transactions costs.

          One problem we have in our political culture is that people no longer lose gracefully. Much of the political discourse of the last 9 months is evidence of that. Much of what went on in Wisconsin six years ago is evidence of that. Nearly everything under the heading of 14th amendment jurisprudence is evidence of that (as well as evidence of the arrogance of the judiciary and the bar generally). Of course, this lack of grace is asymmetric.

          1. DSS, All of what you say represents a reasonable point of view, but are you saying the Constitution doesn’t set the values of the nation? That was the question at hand.

            1. allan – the Constitution sets the parameters of the nation, not its values.

            2. No, it is positive law. It it is well-written, it draws on and is animated by abiding principles of justice. It does not generate principles of justice.

            3. If the Constitution said all speech had to be approved by the government, would that also not set values? We laid out our values in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. It is true that these values preceded the Constitution, but in the fashion we wrote the Constitution we instilled such values into our law.

              I said nothing about “It does not generate principles of justice.” You are rewording what is being said to prove your case. Try proving your case by using my words in context.

              1. If the Constitution said all speech had to be approved by the government, would that also not set values?

                It does not. It might set popular expectations and it certainly influences the administration of the law. Whether you are being prescriptive or sociological, the constitution does not ‘set values’.

                1. I guess we have to disagree because I believe the law helps to set values as does the Bible, etc. I am not saying any of these things created the values, rather those values are put together and then sets values for those adherent to those laws.

  14. Wow…you mean there is a poll in the Washington Post that is not supportive of the President ? Color me shocked…next you will tell me that DC political bureaucrats don’t seem to like him either. They were always so supportive of Pres Obama for years. I wonder what happened?

    Post is a joke, and has been a joke for years. I walk my dogs each morning through our small town neighborhood over a mile of small town and suburban streets. Still plenty of newspapers IMO-but only Two NY Times subscribers. Zero Wash Post subscribers. Local news dominates. We are geographically central between them, maybe slightly closer to D.C. than Manhattan.
    Fake news is propaganda. And you have to pay to push that crapola out…the customer won’t pay for it. Grade F.

    I love Turley’s site, and sometimes I learn a little about the Supreme Court. But this idea is a joke that only seems intelligent in the DC bubble zone.

    The DNC should have bumped out HRC in the primary in a vote of “no confidence”…and you would have had an excellent shot in the election( trump was clearly a flawed candidate). But they chose not to…and now are whining. Look into the mirror. Assess your mistakes. Improve and advance. Or choose to continue this path and reap the consequences.
    We will see…

    1. Why thank you for your meandering tale of bucolic reading habits. I shall now subscribe to the BFE caller-tattler so I can stay up on sow belly and feed prices. Who really cares about news (that we disagree with)?

      this is to godfather rube

      1. Economic $ignals can be excellent indicators…especially when people are spending their OWN dollars. I wonder if Warren Buffet owns more NYT stock or local newspapers…? I will look it up later this week….but this thread has petered out. We will see…

  15. Extraordinary. Trump pardons a man who defied the courts and followed polices in violation of the 14th amendment and that seems OK, while you support impeachment of a President who lied to cover up a personal relationship. Apart from the technical requirements of impeachment law, the value preferences here seem quite askew.

    1. and followed polices in violation of the 14th amendment

      The 14th Amendment conjoins archaic provisions to provisions which are points of departure for judicial whims. If you’re following polices ‘in violation’ of the 14th amendment as case law treats it, you’re likely doing something just.

    2. Tyll van Geel – the sheriff was railroaded for defending the country against foreign invaders, by a racist judge. He was making Obama look bad and the Democrats were pandering to the Latino vote. A kangaroo court is a kangaroo court. He was an elected sheriff, not appointed and was accountable to the citizens of Maricopa Co., not the Obama administration.

      1. But a sheriff can only “defend the country” by legal means, not by any means he happens to like. And the legality of the means is what is determined by courts. Arpaio was indicted for using inappropriate and illegal means.

        This pardon sends the message that if Trump likes what you have done, legally or not, he may well pardon you.

        1. To amplify, suppose a sheriff decides to eliminate the “bad dudes” by just shooting them, without legal process, just like Duterte has been doing in the Philippines. And then suppose Trump, who doesn’t like “bad dudes” just gives out pardons. Is this what we could be heading towards?

          1. Federal executive clemency incorporates plenary discretion. That’s true in many states as well. Some states have a board of pardons extending to the executive only very circumscribed discretion. There are problems with both modes of doing business.

            The whole point of executive clemency is to correct the courts, who may do an injustice even in circumstances where law and equity are conjoined. It is supposed to be an act of discretion (by someone who has an eye on public sentiment).

        2. Jay S – Obama pardoned a slug of real criminals at the end of his term. Trump had the b*lls to this one at the beginning. The sheriff was charged under the wrong statue and due a jury trial. At worst it would have been a hung jury. The judge belongs to La Raza, not a friend of the sheriff.

          1. The Manning business (conjoined to the Bergdahl business) was appalling. Obama’s a manifestation of a certain bourgeois type, the sort that thinks nothing of socializing with the likes of Ayers / Dohrn. Modal within academic institutions.

          2. So Obama’s deeds or misdeeds should excuse this Trump pardon? And what was wrong with how Arpaio was charged?

            Judges should not be viewed by who they are friends with, but rather how the proceedings and allegations comport with the law.

  16. America is broken and balkanized and no one is going to be able to put it together again.

    Are you lefties still looking for the multicultural utopia?

    Diversity + proximity = conflict

    1. Are you looking for hell created by global warming? Look no farther than Houston.

      1. I find it amusing that defenders of Michael Mann et al talk like this out of one side of their mouth and then admonish us that ‘weather is not climate’ every time we have some wintertime disaster.

        1. DSS – but, but, but … the hurricane Harvey is part of Climate Change. Didn’t you hear? We haven’t had a hurricane make landfall in 142 months and now this one is part of Climate Change? Who does the coding on their software? Some 5th grader?

          1. The connection is too complicated for you flat earth society boys to comprehend.

              1. @DSS:

                And your mom says, “If you can’t say anything nice (or civil, in this case), don’t say anything at all.”

                1. Alice Longworth once said, “If you can’t think of anything nice to say about anyone, come sit right here by me”. My mother thought that amusing.

                  1. And Alice Longworth also said this:

                    And I don’t mind what I do unless I’m injuring someone in some way.

                    “I had a pious cousin who used to say she lived in the palace of truth and she would go up to some horrible-looking creature with an ugly red nose and say, ‘You have an ugly red nose.’” -AL

                    (Alice Longworth — and apparently your mother — were both blessed with a sense of humor. You?)

                2. Why go after DSS if you are not also going to admonish Ken for his uncivil comment about ‘flat earthers’?

                  It is only fair.

            1. Ken – I doubt it is too complicated for me to comprehend. The problem for you is, I see through the b.s.

              1. Paul, the science is settled. Ken heard that and believed it. He has no knowledge of science, scientific proof, intellectual honesty or anything that should be encouraged in an academic environment. Intermittantly ken awakens from his stuppor, makes a short inane remark and then returns to his former state. His comments are like a fart. They are sudden unpredictable errumptions, come out of nowhere, and everyone around wants to distance themselves.

                1. Allan, Here are a few prior, “science is settled.”

                  The earth is the center of the universe.




                  I could go on. Science is NEVER settled. Those who utter that falsehood are political lemmings, not scientific.

                  1. My bad, the first one should be “the earth is flat.” Geocentricity is belief the earth is the center of the universe.

          2. Paul Trump

            You have probably surpassed Fishmouth for false and misleading statements. You are, as is the disgrace that is our President, part of a shrinking minority that has surfaced. Hurricanes have been more prevalent and stronger, lately. 90% of the world’s scientists point to global warming. But out there in the desert, of course, there are no hurricanes, so it all must be a lot of hooey.

            1. “ 90% of the world’s scientists point to global warming”

              I can teach a parrot to say that, but can I teach a parrot where that number came from? No. The question is whether Issac is like a parrot or one that thinks. Obama repeated a similar phrase so you must believe it to be true just like Obama’s many repetitions of “if you like your doctor you can keep him”

              Firstly, do you understand the scientific concept of selection? What happens to the results if the abstracts selected for this conclusion came from those supporting carbon credits? Do you even know enough to understand the implications behind what I am saying? Were the reviewers of the literature accurate and did they understand what they were looking at? Were they thinking of a human role that isn’t a problem or a human cause that is? If I light a match one might say I have caused global warming. Are all those papers the same or do some have more merit than others? Who actually wrote the papers that were reviewed and what were their qualifications? What were they actually analyzing? Did they deal with the cyclical changes of the earth’s temperatures?

              Perhaps the entire method of reaching this conclusion was scientifically faulty. The problem is that it is easy to parrot something that is near meaningless for consensus is not science. …And that is exactly what you are doing. You have taken an unscientific conclusion and extended that opinion to a cause for the recent Hurricane in Houston. That is not just foolish. It demonstrates a mind that can only parrot and cannot think.

            2. issac – 90% of the world’s scientists don’t know diddle about either weather or climate. They are in other fields. Even those in climate cannot predict the weather correctly.


        1. I’m pretty liberal, but I think it is very difficult to pin any one hurricane on global warming. A single case does not constitute a trend. Perhaps if we have a string of very severe ones, beyond prior trends, then the case could be made to blame global warming.

          1. Jay, Being intellectually honest will get you thrown out of the cool liberal clubs.

            1. We had hurricanes before the industrial revolution and yes warm waters are involved. But, significant global warming compared to the other factors that cause global warming has not been proven nor have we proven we have a solution to the questioned problem that would work. The science is not proven and nothing being done today will avert the catastrophe some have errantly predicted. So far the property where I live is not underwater and according to Al Gore that should have happened awhile back.

              1. allan – Shakespeare’s The Tempest is based on a hurricane that probably occurred in 1607. Both he and Ben Jonson were friends with a survivor of the hurricane who made it back to England.

            2. A Texas Climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon, has ranked the flooding events of the past. The following are the top 10 rainfall events with Hurricane Harvey taking the top rank. Even if you used the Atlantic’s assertion that global warming contributed 30% to the rainfall received, Harvey will still be in the top five rainfall events and it would still be a tragedy. The number before each storm is a metric John Nielsen-Gammon uses where the estimated rainfall in a 120 period over an area of roughly 20,000 square miles is expressed in terms of the average discharge of the Mississippi River.

              3.6 Hurricane Harvey 2017 (estimate)
              3.4 Hurricane Beulah, 1967
              3.1 Brazos River flooding, 1899
              2.8 Hurricane Georges, 1998
              2.6 Southeast Texas flooding, 1994
              2.5 Louisiana floods, June 1940
              2.4 Tropical Storm Alberto, 1994
              2.3 November Texas floods, 1940
              2.3 Louisiana floods, 1953
              2.3 Tropical Storm Allison, 2001

              Again, for climatologists who have ‘adjusted’ data to influence their desired outcomes to immediately blame climate warming only demonstrates how science is now bowing to the alter of PC (and grants).

              see – post for 8/28 for the full discussion of the ranking of these storms.

    2. When will Americans grasp that Obama’s “dog whistle” edict ordering his minions to begin “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” was a declaration of war?

      And that “multiculturalism” is not an American concept but one of “social engineering” by command from the Communist Manifesto.

      “…harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

      Alexander Hamilton –

      “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

      1. I’ve read the Communist Manifesto. It states nothing of the kind. You are Making Stuff Up.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
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