Republicans Need To Consider The Consequences Of A Rosenstein Impeachment

Rod_Rosenstein_Official_DAG_PortraitBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on the calls for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  While the key sponsors have indicated that they may be willing to delay this effort, many continue to advocate for a vote on articles of impeachment.  As I have previously said, that would be a mistake.  Putting aside the historical and constitutional reasons discussed below, this is the worst possible time for the Republicans to lower the standard for impeachment. The Democrats could well retake the house in November and the effort against Rosenstein could make it all the more easy for Democrats to pursue Donald Trump after the midterm elections.

‪“Time is up.” That is how Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Republicans Freedom Caucus, explained the filing of articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday. Less than a day later, the congressman backed off that strategy, saying he would pursue a contempt vote instead in late August. That decision however is unlikely to quell continued demands for impeachment by some advocates in and outside of Congress.

‪His effort would have been the first impeachment of a senior executive officer other than a president since 1876. But it likely would have been unsuccessful because it is not a valid basis for impeachment. Indeed, the impeachment standard is designed to prevent this type of impulse-buying response to a fairly common conflict with the executive branch. No matter how one may feel about Rosenstein’s tenure, his impeachment would come at a far greater cost to our Constitution and political system.

‪I have long agreed with critics in Congress who have objected to the conduct of the Justice Department in response to legitimate demands from oversight committees looking into the handling of both the Clinton and Russia investigations. The FBI has abused classification authority in redacting clearly unclassified but embarrassing information, as well as slow-walking the disclosure of information. For more than a decade I have testified in Congress calling for it to more aggressively use its contempt authority in such cases, including reexamining the role played by the Justice Department in killing every contempt referral against its own officials. However, contempt proceedings are vastly different from impeachment proceedings in both purpose and standards.

‪Disagreements over the disclosure of information have existed between the legislative and executive branches from the very start of the Republic. George Washington invoked the precursors of what would become known as executive privilege in refusing to share some information with Congress. While he should have done more in relation to these investigations, Rosenstein has actually produced far more than prior administration. The Justice Department already has handed over about 880,000 documents to Congress. There is remaining information that should have been turned over months ago. However, this action by 11 congressional members takes a disagreement to DEFCON 1.

I previously have written academic pieces arguing for the use of impeachment for non-presidential figures when warranted. However, the gravity of the misconduct still remains very high under the constitutional standard of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” It is so high that only one such impeachment of a cabinet member has occurred.

‪Actually, two such cases occurred, historically. The first was that of William Blount, soon after the ratification of the Constitution, in times not unlike our own: The country was deeply, bitterly divided between Federalists and Republicans. The one difference is that, when people today attack like they want to kill each other, the Federalists and Republicans actually wanted to kill each other; the Federalists under President John Adams used the Alien and Sedition Acts to arrest their opponents, and violence was commonplace. There also were fears, in some cases well-founded, of secret conspiracies with England and other countries to retake lost territory or even overthrow the nascent American republic.

‪In that very first impeachment, Blount, a Republican from Tennessee, was accused of conspiring with the British to invade the Southwest; the evidence included an incriminating letter with British operatives. Blount was expelled from the Senate under its inherent authority to discipline its members. The reason: “a high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent with his public trust and duty as a Senator.” The House, however, instituted its own proceedings and debated an impeachment; Blount was impeached and all of the “House managers” taking the case to the Senate for trial were Federalists. Ultimately, the Senate, including seven Federalists, voted that legislative officials are not civil officers subject to impeachment.

‪‪The second analogous impeachment was that of William Belknap, who served as President Grant’s secretary of War and was accused of accepting bribes after the Civil War, a time of great corruption. An investigation of military contracts uncovered kickbacks to Belknap. Just two hours before his impeachment, Belknap resigned but he still was impeached. The Senate trial lasted five months, and Belknap was acquitted with the help of a Republican senator who broke ranks. Only two senators believed him to be innocent, but the jurisdictional questions over the fact of his resignation ultimately prevailed.

‪These cases were hugely important in laying the foundations for the rules and procedures governing impeachments. They were important in another way as well. In both cases, in the worst of political times, members of the governing parties crossed the aisle to reject impeachment or conviction of their political enemies. They understood that this process had to be reserved for only the most extreme possible cases of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The same courage would be shown in later impeachments such as the trial of President Andrew Johnson, when seven Republicans abandoned the party – and their careers – to vote to acquit.

‪The point is that the Constitution was not just written for times like this, it was written in times like this. Yet, members transcended their partisan impulse – even in legitimate cases of wrongdoing – to follow the standards set out by the Framers for the use of impeachment.

‪Articles of impeachment against the deputy attorney general are not meritless because the grievances are frivolous. Rather, they are meritless because the grievances are extraneous to the conditions for impeachment. That leaves Congress with an array of powers to respond to any continued failure by Rosenstein and the Justice Department, from its control of the budget to confirmations to contempt.

It simply requires the will and clarity of purpose to use those powers. It is a welcomed decision to withdraw these articles and let us not speak of this again until someone actually commits “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

233 thoughts on “Republicans Need To Consider The Consequences Of A Rosenstein Impeachment”

  1. Any impeachment moving forward should be delayed not just for the reasons stated by Turley, but also in light of the fact that the IG’s investigation has not yet concluded. The results of the IG investigation will dictate the necessary direction of actions Congress, and the DOJ, and President Trump should take.

  2. Prof Turley Might Need To Consider The Consequences Of having A Rosenstein Impeachment.

    I think most of the relevant info is in the 1st 31 minutes.

    1. wait, right off the bat, he seems to imply that Rod Rosenstein shouldn’t “act” like the attorney general bc he wasn’t appointed and confirmed as the attorney general…

      That is the worst argument, He was appointed, and then confirmed in the Senate as the Deputy Attorney General, with EVERYONE understanding, his responsibility is to take over (Or Act for) the Attorney General, in a situation such as this….

      You elect the president with the understanding that if hes unable to be president, the VICE PRESIDENT then takes over the position….

      So to say, he “Acting as if he was confirmed as the Attorney General even though he wasn’t” is beyond stupid, bc that is literally the definition of his Job Title….

      Just BC he says it in a cool voice doesn’t make it less stupid…..

    2. There is actually discussions about impeaching the Deputy Attorney General? For what? I know the conspiracy theories, or well I cant follow them all, i know theres a bunch out there…. And even if they were all spot on correct… What crime has Rosenstein committed? (I get it, hes part of the deep state, Q, liberal media, fake news, etc…) But my question is still the same, Can you Impeach someone for heading the “deep state”. (And trust me I agree hes the head of the liberal fake deep state), but thats not actually a crime? (or even a reality,)

      But, instead of explaining to me how deep the state goes, my question is really easy, what crime did he commit? The answer should really be less than 4 words…. But I have a feeling its gonna be a long explanation….. Like this “He is charged with ________” Thats all…..

      1. John Piermatti – they are impeaching Rosenstein for failing to turn over documents that have been requested by Congress under its authority. Also, for redacting most of the ones they do produce. Basically, Rod Rosenstein is obstructing justice.

  3. Rosenstein panicked when he appointed special counsel and is unfit to hold his position. Impeachment might come across as being too political and dangerous precedent. Perhaps better option is for Trump to fire Rosenstein after Muler exonerates Trump. That would be clean hit and justifiable in most peoples’ eyes, and clearly within Trump’s constitutional authority.

    1. Bill Martin – I am the only one that finds it odd that Rosenstein’s wife is one of Hillary’s attorneys? Or that Strzok’s wife got a promotion at the SEC when the laptop was found?

      1. I hadn’t heard any of that. Usually, tidbits like that are along the line of X Obama administration official is married to Y editor at Time.

    1. David Benson owes me nine citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after ten weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – there is a rather colorful name for African Latinos, it is a combination of spigot and the n-word. I heard for the first time in my classroom when a girl described her little brother.

  4. Turley just isn’t up to this matter. Lawyers like Turley don’t like to admit that large swaths of the judicial system are dysfunctional and act as judicial proceedings when pure politics is at play.

    A.G. Sessions cited the wrong law in recusing himself from this. Rosenstein, as Turley already admits, should have recused himself from this matter (as he recommended that Comey be fired) but has not done so.

    Turley is a genius, but not here. I don’t understand why he can’t see his own blind spot.

  5. Jordan, et al want those documents in order to help Trump obstruct justice. Has nothing to do with oversight at all.

  6. What did Christopher Wray know and when did Christopher Wray know it?

    If Christopher Wray did not know of the illegal activities on the 7th Floor, he is grossly incompetent.

    If Christopher Wray did know of the the illegal activities on the 7th Floor, he is grossly corrupt.

    1. Dr. Turley, if Rosenstein is guilty of inapproiate handling of information. And if that information mishandling was detrimental to the American people (I am an American person) then time to clean out the animal cages is now. The stench at this point is bad enough, so if Rosenstein is impeachable, then impeach him. If he survives, the DOJ ought to clean up their act. If he doesn’t survive, it’s a lesson for all future members of DOJ that the people don’t want what has gone on at the DOJ to continue. Note to Mr. Sessions: If you can’t clean up the mess it’s time to step aside and let someone else get the job done!

        1. wildbill99 – Sandi says “if he did x or y” and you say take your meds. I think you either projecting or thinking of Benson.

          1. Paul,

            “time to clean out the animal cages is now. The stench at this point is bad enough, so if Rosenstein is impeachable, then impeach him.”

            Yup, time to take your meds…

            1. Can you say crimes of high office?

              Rosenstein has generated a false and “malicious prosecution” against a sitting President, failed to recuse himself as prescribed by law, failed to respond to orders for documents from Congress which is superior and has oversight, submitted false documents and fabricated political documents as evidence to the FISA, court, participated in the “fixing” of the Hillary/Obama investigation, etc.

              Article 2, Section 4

              “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

          2. PCS, it is a distinct victory when your opponent resorts to ad hominem. He is entirely out of ammunition.

            We enjoy a vigorous debate from time to time but it is beneath our code of honor to engage and “straight up slay” an unarmed opponent.

            Am I right? I’m right, huh?

            1. George – I am not above slaying the unarmed. 🙂 You never know when they are going to find a weapon. 🙂

              1. I stand corrected.

                Thank you.

                On their march to Canaan, the Israelites killed every living thing in Jericho to preclude being attacked from the rear.

  7. Did Professor Turley just admonish America to authorize crimes of high office? Rosenstein acted politically in initiating a false investigation of a sitting President, failed to recuse himself, did not report the factual illicit activities of the leadership of the FBI, submitted false evidence to a court, withheld documents from a superior Congress with oversight, etc. Not only should Congress impeach Rosenstein it should impeach/prosecute the rest of the Obama Gang as a matter of crime and punishment.

    Deploying Rosenstein et al. as the “tip of the spear,” Obama is conducting a pervasive coup d’etat in America involving the DOJ, FBI
    and Intel as the most prodigious political scandal in American history. The investigation (factually a routine counter-intelligence investigation) of Special Counsel Mueller is a “witch hunt” and “malicious prosecution” of “unfettered power” based on a false “dossier” fabricated for political purposes and the “dossier’s” fraudulent and criminal presentation to the FISA court by Rosenstein et al.

    Professor Turley, a prominent legal scholar, urges America to ignore the Constitution and law, and to focus on politics. Professor Turley indicates that America should ignore the clear, present and flagrant crimes of Rosenstein, Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Steele, Simpson, Hillary, Huma, Lynch, Brennan, Clapper, Kerry, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Joseph Mifsud, Power, Farkas, Rice, Obama et al.

    Professor Turley has excused James Comey, Strzok, McCabe, Rosenstein et al. for “fixing” the Hillary investigation with the full knowledge that an indictment of Hillary would convict Obama (Obama was complicit using a pseudonym in e-mail exchanges).

    Why do I sense a “red herring?” I am beginning to think that Professor Turley is in the wrong discipline. Perhaps he should be reassigned to the Political Science Dept. This article thoroughly dismisses the corrosive subversion by Obama et al. of fundamental and statue law while it promotes dubious and unpredictable political strategies. Maybe Professor Turley has ambitions for political office – of the “democrat” (D) nature. He has definitely given up on law.

    1. “Did Professor Turley just admonish America to authorize crimes of high office?”

      No George he didn’t.

      But you get a pass because you’re nutz.

  8. Republicans, Democrats, left, right, left media, right media, agencies, Congress blah, blah, blah. The only ones none of those involved in this little power play are considering are the actual people, whose lives they are viciously vying for control over. The players are ignoring the optics they are producing that the prize in the game, the People, have no input or opinion as far as the gamers are concerned. The interpretation by the ones for sale, those American Citizens whose lives are being bought and sold, manipulated and bartered for in the game, is not on their radar. For the players, what the people think is completely irrelevant to their strategies. The dismantling of lifelong values and rights of People that they have built their lives on, the trust in a society built on a set of laws geared toward protecting people and seeking truth and justice and consequences for destructive actions against the innocent have been removed. The oath taking players entrusted with Citizens lives, safety and welfare, now sit on the upper floors of their heavily guarded well hidden secret offices high in the urban alps and use their office and the money of the Citizens they abuse to commit crimes without consequence. They go free with the rewards of lifetime pensions, book deals and a big arrogant “FU law, order and the little people” smirk on their face. Innocent until proven guilty are charged tried and convicted of crimes that don’t exist except in the opinion of one or two out of control sociopaths and their well paid with the aforementioned money lunatic gestapo wannabe minnions, cnn, msncb, nyt and the washington post. The consequences for this is a growing contempt by the People for practical mechanisms that keep civilization functioning. The anarchy modeled by those in government who are deliberately creating this state of affairs is already starting to have the desired results. The anarchy they will upon the society they hate is beginning to thrive and the chaos they seek is not far off. The mistake they have made is, once again not considering the mind of their prize. They are empowering the People with their own ruthless, arrogant win at all costs mindset. Problem is, this mindset has no real goal. There is only act out nebulous hate and destroy at all costs. The win has now become destruction of what they hate i.e. those that challenge their hate and lust for absolute control. That is the win. They soldier on in a blind rage with no understanding of the nature of the logistics of preserving that win. What do they do with the American Citizens, the prize, if they win? Especially the part of the prize who do not want to be owned by them?
    No problem. They only need google another rather famous strategy for preserving their win used in the not so distant past by another group of government players with an absolute power, win at all costs Socialist Democrat bent for a “solution.”
    Oh wait…..Looks like that prize didn’t have a third of a billion guns on hand.
    That may be a problem.

  9. ANY TALK OF IMPEACHING ROSENSTEIN..

    SHOULD WAIT UNTIL WE’VE DISCUSSED MARIA BUTINA

    Veteran journalist Michael Isikoff released a book this spring entitled, “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story Of Putin’s War With America”. Interestingly said book raised many questions about Maria Butina months before her recent indictment.

    Button, for the record, is a 29 year old Russian national who was studying at American University while making every effort to network with American conservative activists. The Mueller team has indicted Butina for ‘Failing To Register As A Foreign Agent’. It strongly appears that Butina is an associate of Russian oligarch Aleksander Torshin; a crony of Vladimir Putin’s.

    This morning I saw author Isikioff on NBC’s “Meet The Press” where he discussed Butina with host Chuck Todd. According to Isikoff, journalists were aware of Butina two years ago when she suddenly became a familiar face at events sponsored by American conservatives. Just out of nowhere this young Russian woman was showing up at NRA rallies, The National Prayer Breakfast and The Conservative Political Action Committee Conference. Journalists couldn’t figure out ‘who’ she was or ‘why’ she was suddenly at these events.

    Strangely Butina latched onto Paul Erickson, a South Dakota-based conservative activist. Butina even travelled to South Dakota to stay at Ericson’s home; despite the fact that Ericson is more than 20 years older than her. The Mueller team has revealed that it has emails Butina sent to her handler, Aleksandr Torshin. In those exchanges Butina complained about having to prostitute herself with regards to Ericson.

    Butina eventually showed up at a Trump campaign rally where she got to address Trump in a question & answer session. Butina asked Trump if he was inclined to seek warmer relations with Russia. Trump actually spent five minutes responding; ‘Yes’, he could see warmer relations with Russia!

    Everything about Maria Butina is insanely suspicious. In a normal America she would be a major headline now. But in Trump’s America, Butina is only a minor name in the news cycle while congressional conservatives are focused on ‘impeaching Rod Rosenstein’!

    Below is link to a recent interview author Micael Isikoff gave to NPR regarding his recent book, “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story Of Putin’s War On America”.

    http://www.wunc.org/post/michael-isikoff-maria-butina-and-russia#stream/0

    1. I think it’s extremely unlikely that Rosenstein will be impeached.
      Trump probably won’t fire Rosenstein …..odds are if he hasn’t fired him by now, he probably won’t fire him.
      But in terms of probabilities, the odds of Trump firing Rosenstein are much stronger than impeaching Rosenstein.
      I can’t see a majority of the 435 House members arriving at a consensus to impeach Rod R.
      I can see one pissed-off president firing him. I don’t think the odds favor Rosenstein’s dismissal, but I don’t think it’s farfetched, either.
      The fallout from an event like Trump firing Rod. R. is not neatly predictable.
      This isn’t 1973, and this isn’t Richard Nixon or Elliot Richardson, either.
      There is no certainty that the consequences of Trump firing R.R. will be exactly the same ( or essentially the same) and the 1973 Saturday Night Massacre.
      So it’s not realistic to claim with confidence that Trump would experience a Nixon-like loss of support 45 years later, with a far different political landscape and far different “players” involved.

  10. Hey Professor! Nice set up we might get a real discussion going here if we can get the uneducated portion to read up on debate.

  11. Regarding the “Federalists and Republicans,” the latter refers to Jeffersonian Republicans often referred to today as the “Democratic-Republican Party” in order to distinguish it from the modern Republican Party which was founded in 1854 as the Whig Party was dissolving.

    1. “Democratic-Republicans” were one successor to the old Jeffersonian party. The other were the ‘National-Republicans’. The name ‘Democratic-Republican’ wasn’t adopted by Andrew Jackson’s organization until 1828 and his was not the only heir to the Jeffersonians, so the use of the term ‘Democratic-Republican’ just adds more confusion.

      1. It adds no confusion but lays out part of the evolving of the party system. Did you know for example that so called Republican Teddy Roosevelt preceded Woodrow Wilson as the first Progressive and one of many Imperialist Presidents? Roosevelt, T himself expressed that in many speeches.

    1. The part you skipped is found in the basic law of the land. The Constitution. Congress is charged with oversight. DOJ is not excused from oversight, DOJ refuses to provide or open it’s files to the required oversight function.

      Therefore the individual directly in charge is culpable. ForCongress there are not other steps provided.

      Nothing hard to figure out it isn’t rocket science it’s how our Republic was set up. to have the direct representatives of the citizens most protected

      Normally it would fall on Sessions who in this case was/is under recusal. Al

      The only other step left is an Executive Order and discharge from employment.

      There are no other steps allowed.

      You really should try reading the Constitution sometime. It’s every citizens basic handbook of citizenship. Along with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights Amendments barely 2,000 words.

      About half the country is a ‘meaningless phrase’ witihout foundation to begin with. no value

      The other half which includes all the independents is of value but not for this purpose.

      If your unsupported by facts ‘half’ was serious they only have to look in the Constitution to find an answer. In this case the President is not involved. So the answer is change the component parts of the representative constitutional Republic for which your ‘half mas o menos’ are given direct oversight. It’s called elections. It should have a recall component but no one has bothered to see the need so it’s down to elections OR impeaching members of Congress another allowed step.

      No guesswork just straight up one vote per citizen. No subjectivism just straight up objective facts.

      Having the SCOTUS make a ruling possibly and they may file impeachment on the Congress as well.

      But so far it has nothing to do with the President. Arguments including are not germane.

      If you don’t wish to do that. You have no complaint.

      What you really need to do is get your head out of this foreign ideology and use what you have and what has been provided since 1789.

      What if the congress refuses to do their oversight function? Then they will be culpable. So far it’s only the DOJ that has violated the law.

    2. Refusing to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas. Also, that FBI lawyer whispering into Peter Sztrok’s ear has a supervisor.

    3. Well then there’s that little thing of presenting false and fabricated evidence to the FISA court in the form of the fabricated and political Russian “dossier.” How about being complicit in the conspiracy on the 7th Floor with the fired Comey and indicted McCabe, the notorious Page and Strzok, etc. In your mind, is gross and egregious abuse of power legal? Is Rosenstein’s participation in Obama’s weaponization of the government and coup d’etat in America a good thing?

      Page testified to Congress last week that the Page/Strzok “texts” meant exactly what they said.

      POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.

      Page’s testimony means there was a pervasive conspiracy on the 7th Floor.

      In a Sept. 2, 2016, text exchange, Page writes that she was preparing the talking points because

      “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.”

      What did Christopher Wray know and when did Christopher Wray know it?

      If Christopher Wray did not know of the illegal activities on the 7th Floor, he is grossly incompetent.

      If Christopher Wray did know of the the illegal activities on the 7th Floor, he is grossly corrupt.

  12. The dear leader said this morning that he has higher polling numbers than Abe Lincoln. This is what the American people are subjected too. The fact that the Freedom caucuses do not have the votes to Impeach Rosenstein are just a attempt to throw total BS out there just like the dear leader. They know that there are Americans that will buy it hook line and sinker. What should really get American people upset is the consent discounting of discomfiting evidence that they rejoice in their ignorance. They are literally changing perception of reality so a person would be unable to discern reality despite an abundance of information or authentic proof.

    1. FishWings – without checking, I know that Lincoln had historically low support especially as the war was not going well for the North. So, yes, generally, I would say that Trump is correct. 😉

        1. FishWings – he was re-elected because Grant won a couple of major battles just before the election. If it had not been for that McClellan would have finished the war.

          1. Paul, I think if you look it up you’ll find that Sherman’s victory in the Battle of Atlanta
            was the major military factor in Lincoln’s victory.

            McClellan would have finished the war by sacrificing the Union.
            Thank God he lost.

            1. Not to mention that Lincoln fired McClellan, and lost to Lincoln in 64. But of course it was a nice deflection on Paul’s part to change the subject of them changing perception of reality.

    2. Source of your claim on the the amount of voted available? None? Of course not they haven’t voted. So… just the usual unsupported BS just like always. REJECTED.

    3. Dear FishWings, beautifully written. I assume Dear Leader is Trump? Beyond that, I have no idea what your message was.

  13. What is the logic to support making it nearly impossible to remove an unelected bureaucrat from office? Why do we have to tread lightly when considering impeachment? Are we a better run country with bureaucrats having effectively the same job security as SCOTUS?

    1. All Trump has to do is have Sessions fire Rosenstein. If Sessions refuses all he has to do is fire Sessions and bring in a more subservient lackey to preform the deed.

      What’s stopping him?

      1. What’s stopping him is the useless Senate Republican caucus. Any replacement for Rosenstein and Wray has to be confirmed.

      2. He doesn’t need to ‘have Sessions’ do anything. But the sequence now in play is a congressional oversight violation. Period.

        1. You’re right, thanks for the correction I was thinking of Mueller.
          The question remais though, why doesn’t he?

    2. Good point and in my ‘opinion’ no we are not better run but since 1909 run far worse. since the Progressives took over not to mention the non stop wars 95% of which have been started by having one of them in the White House. HOWEVER in this case it has nothing to do with The President. It’s Congress and the Constitution versus a portion of the DOJ.

  14. Commentators keep framing everything in the context of an election. What will be the effect on Republicans if Rosenstein is impeached? That isn’t the relevant context. His actions are the context.

    From the evidence which is coming out, it does appear Rosenstein used his political position to illegally spy on American citizens in order to create a false prosecution. If we actually had a functioning FBI (which clearly we do not) he would be investigated. If he did this, a trial would be in order.

    Like others here, I think this “impeachment” threat is just a show to drum up voters for each legacy party. The larger and scarier situation is that we have no real legal mechanism for holding powerful wrongdoers to account. They know it. We don’t have a functioning govt., including a system of justice. We will only get that through mass, peaceful protests. We have come that far.

    1. Jill says: “The larger and scarier situation is that we have no real legal mechanism for holding powerful wrongdoers to account. They know it. We don’t have a functioning govt., including a system of justice”.

      Jill, you must realize that about half the country feels this way about Donald Trump right now. It’s like no outrage is ever enough for his supporters to recognize.

      1. Fortunately those supporters require more than feelings to remove someone from office. And they are suspect of investigators that ignore actual evidence to shield their tribe from prosecution while using lawfare tactics to target the other tribe. But you knew that already.

          1. The Republican plot to supplant Republican President Trumpski proceeds!

            Sessions, Rosenstein and Mueller, it’s a conspiracy I tells ya!

        1. Bill, you’re hitting on something important here. Commenters like Jill, Olly and Spastic have compromised themselves so many times in defense of Trump that they can’t possibly be honest now. They have essentially written themselves into corners where there is no wiggle room. In the words of Dick Cheney, they are “dead-enders”.

            1. Well Olly, did Trump not admit before the world that he’s a stooge for Putin? We all saw that news conference in Helsinki. The one that followed a two and half hour one-on-one meeting with no witnesses. When was the last time a U.S. president had a one-to-one meeting with a widely recognized adversary?

              And before you answer Olly, one should note that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was called before a Senate Committee this week to explain what Trump discussed with Putin. Pompeo, of course, doesn’t know what Trump discussed. And that was clear from Pompeo’s testimony; a bizarre situation. Our Secretary of State has no idea what the president discussed for two and half hours with an adversarial dictator.

              But Olly, you think impeaching Rosenstein is more important than knowing what Trump discussed with Putin?

              1. Peter Hill – first of all, Trump had a translator. Second, Obama met privately with Medevev in 2009 after which he was famously caught on the hot mic.

                1. Paul, I can’t find any articles to verify that Obama had a private one on one with Medevev. Regarding that hot microphone, Obama is heard saying he’d have ‘more flexibility after the election’. So what..?? Is that a scandal?

                  One should note that at that point Russia had yet to invade the Crimea. Nor had they invaded Ukraine’s frontier. But most importantly, Obama wasn’t under suspicion for collusion with Russia, nor has ever been.

                  So Paul, I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make here. It reads like another false equivalency.

                  1. “Obama is heard saying he’d have ‘more flexibility after the election’. So what..?? …”One should note that at that point Russia had yet to invade the Crimea. Nor had they invaded Ukraine’s frontier. But most importantly, Obama wasn’t under suspicion for collusion with Russia, nor has ever been.”

                    But we can all see what happened after Obama had more flexibility. The Russians took over the Crimea and a portion of Ukraine.

              2. Well Olly, did Trump not admit before the world that he’s a stooge for Putin?

                No he didn’t. If fictions help you feel better, go ahead. Just stay at the kid’s table and don’t bother anyone else.

                1. Spastic, Trump sided with Putin against American intelligence after two and half hour one on one meeting with ‘no’ witnesses. In that same press conference, Trump expressed support for Putin’s request that Russian intelligence agents be allowed to question the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia.

                  Spastic, if all that is not suspicious to you, then you are, without a doubt, the Sergeant Schultz of this thread. You empathetically ‘know nothing!’

              3. Peter,
                What part of Cite didn’t you understand? You have accused me of being compromised in defense of Trump and that I cannot possibly be honest. You even went so far to say it was numerous times. Surely with such an accusation you would be able to actually provide a citation to support it. Instead you completely whiff on supporting your accusation and instead regurgitate more Lefty talking points. I can get that tripe from any Lefty warrior in my Facebook feed.

                Either provide supporting citations for your accusations or crawl back under whatever rock you keep popping out from.

                1. Olly, name a past president who casually started a trade war without consulting Congress. Because you can Google and see that Congressional leaders have not endorsed a trade war. In fact, the Koch Bros are holding a conference this weekend to denounce Trump’s tariff tiff. And for ‘once’ I’m in agreement with the Koch Bros.

                  Again, none of this is normal. Only people in denial think a trade war is smart.

                  1. Peter Hill – the Koch Bros are upset because a trade war hits them in the pocketbook. However, Trump did NOT get into it casually as you claim, it was very calculated. It was part of his platform. If you listened to his stump speeches, you could see it coming a mile away.

                    1. Paul, from ‘mile away’ one could see that Trump is irrational and unmoored from the truth. So starting a trade war is not out of character for him. Is that what you meant?

                      Because however ‘obvious’ it was that Trump would start a trade war, Congress didn’t know. And again, you can google that. The GOP leadership is not on board with this. It isn’t just the Koch Bros having a hissy fit.

                      If you’re a responsible president, with positive goals, and you honestly believe the U.S. is getting screwed in global trade, then assemble a blue ribbon panel of top economists to study the issue and offer recommendations. Their report should include Plan’s A,B,C for responding to various scenarios.

                      Then once you have that report, appoint a top diplomat to diplomatically broach the issue with top trading partners. That would be the responsible way to rectify inequities regarding global trade.

                      But Trump likes to improvise as he did on “The Apprentice”. So Trump just improvised this trade with not more than tweets. An initiative taken with that little thought can’t possibly go well.

                      And Paul, if the economy is going so great, why do we ‘need’ a trade war. Conventional wisdom would say, “Don’t rock the boat”. If unemployment is reaching historic lows, WE DON’T NEED A TRADE WAR!

                    2. Peter Hill – Trump does not wait to empower panels to study anything. He acts. You are the kind of guy if there was a fire you would want a committee to study the fire exits, file a report, study it, get commentary and then decide if you were going to clear the building.

                    3. “And Paul, if the economy is going so great, why do we ‘need’ a trade war. Conventional wisdom would say, “Don’t rock the boat””

                      That is the mindset of a failure. Would you prefer the boat being rocked when it is near sinking? I provided you with one rationale of Trump’s policy. All you answer with are generalities and demonstrate that you can only follow and never lead.

                      Let us hear your proposals.

                    4. Allan – it is not within Congress’s purview to start a trade war. Hell, they can’t pass a budget. Trump’s companies have a global reach so he is familiar with trade policy. As President, he said he was going to get out of NAFTA, renegotiate trade deals. That is why we elected him. We did not elect him to be a wus. We elected him to be a wrecking ball.

                  2. Shill, you’re a working example of why the Left is losing what remains of its credibility. You begin your outrage with unsupported accusations and then when challenged to back them up, you change the subject. Normal, reasonable people begin with provable claims and then move to accusations.

                    So until you back up your accusations, GFY.

                    1. ‘Unsupported’, Olly..?? We saw Trump in Helsinki. Everyone saw it! And in the week that followed, Trump admitted that Russians meddled, then he called it ‘fake news’. Then Trump admitted it again, only to call it ‘fake news’ again. How is that normal in your world??

                    2. Peter Hill – spending 50k supporting all four sides is interfering. My God, just think of the votes that were swayed?

                    3. “‘Unsupported’, Olly..??”

                      A lot of talk Peter. I gave you one way of looking at Trump’s trade deal and haven’t heard a peep from you but have heard you continue to make generalities.

                      I wasn’t happy with everything Trump said at Helsinki but overall it was a positive for everyone concerned. You can continue with your generalities that never say anything.

                    4. Paul, your comment is very honest. You’re saying, “Trump doesn’t think, he just acts”.

                      I know enough about politics and government to tell you this: “Even among the experts trade policy is complicated”. Seriously. There’s no one size fits all; variables are constantly changing. And most economists understand that.

                      For that reason economists want trade pacts negotiated by seasoned diplomats with strong knowledge of international law. That’s the commission I mentioned (which you so derided). Trade diplomacy and international law are speciality skills.

                      Do we know that anyone like that is advising Trump? I’m not seeing any names mentioned. It seems like Trump as ‘winging it’ as he does with everything.

                    5. “Paul, your comment is very honest. You’re saying, “Trump doesn’t think, he just acts”.”

                      Peter, It is funny how you are quoting Paul but I can’t find Paul saying that. That makes you into a liar. Paul did say:

                      “However, Trump did NOT get into it casually as you claim, it was very calculated. It was part of his platform. If you listened to his stump speeches, you could see it coming a mile away.”

                      Apparently, not only can’t you provide alternative policy but you can’t even debate without lying about what another person said.

                      This debating technique (lying) you use is atrocious.

                    6. Peter Hill – I was on stage at a high school graduation when the lights in the auditorium went out. Only two of us acted, myself and the principal. Everyone else stayed seated. We were the ones who opened the emergency exits so there was some light in the room. He went one way, I went the other. We never got the lights back on or the electricity but we did have a graduation and we handed out all of the diplomas. All because two people acted.

                    7. I don’t know how many “trade wars” there have been over the past, say, 100 years. I’m more interested in the answer to that than the answer to Peter’s question. Hypothetically, if this 2018 “trade war” were the only one in Anerican history, then the answer to Peter’s question would be 100%.
                      Another area that I need to learn more about is the historical role of each branch in formulating trade packages, trade policies in “normal, non-trade war” times.
                      If this trade brinksmanship we currently see playing out ultimately results in a more level playing field for the U.S., I’m confident that those who dislike Trump will give him credit for the improvement.😒😊😆

                  3. I don’t know how many “trade wars” there have been over the past, say, 100 years. I’m more interested in the answer to that than the answer to Peter’s question. Hypothetically, if this 2018 “trade war” were the only one in Anerican history, then the answer to Peter’s question would be 100%.
                    Another area that I need to learn more about is the historical role of each branch in formulating trade packages, trade policies in “normal, non-trade war” times.
                    If this trade brinksmanship we currently see playing out ultimately results in a more level playing field for the U.S., I’m confident that those who dislike Trump will give him credit for the improvement.😒😊😆

                    1. Tom,
                      Trade is a “war” that has always existed and will continue to exist. How do we measure winning? I believe we’re currently running a deficit. What should be done about it?

            2. One can start at the feet of the Lion of the Senate Ted Kennedy who probably committed treason by this action. I’ll let the attornies argue if Kennedy’s quid pro quo with the Russians was treason or not.

              Ted Kennedy’s Soviet Gambit

              Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.

              “On 9-10 May of this year,” the May 14 memorandum explained, “Sen. Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow.” (Tunney was Kennedy’s law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) “The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov.”

              Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

              Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.

              First he offered to visit Moscow. “The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA.” Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how to brush up their propaganda.

              Then he offered to make it possible for Andropov to sit down for a few interviews on American television. “A direct appeal … to the American people will, without a doubt, attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country. … If the proposal is recognized as worthy, then Kennedy and his friends will bring about suitable steps to have representatives of the largest television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interviews. … The senator underlined the importance that this initiative should be seen as coming from the American side.”

              Kennedy would make certain the networks gave Andropov air time–and that they rigged the arrangement to look like honest journalism.

              Kennedy’s motives? “Like other rational people,” the memorandum explained, “[Kennedy] is very troubled by the current state of Soviet-American relations.” But that high-minded concern represented only one of Kennedy’s motives.

              “Tunney remarked that the senator wants to run for president in 1988,” the memorandum continued. “Kennedy does not discount that during the 1984 campaign, the Democratic Party may officially turn to him to lead the fight against the Republicans and elect their candidate president.”

              Kennedy proved eager to deal with Andropov–the leader of the Soviet Union, a former director of the KGB and a principal mover in both the crushing of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the suppression of the 1968 Prague Spring–at least in part to advance his own political prospects.

              In 1992, Tim Sebastian published a story about the memorandum in the London Times. Here in the U.S., Sebastian’s story received no attention. In his 2006 book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, historian Paul Kengor reprinted the memorandum in full. “The media,” Kengor says, “ignored the revelation.”

              “The document,” Kengor continues, “has stood the test of time. I scrutinized it more carefully than anything I’ve ever dealt with as a scholar. I showed the document to numerous authorities who deal with Soviet archival material. No one has debunked the memorandum or shown it to be a forgery. Kennedy’s office did not deny it.”

              Why bring all this up now? No evidence exists that Andropov ever acted on the memorandum–within eight months, the Soviet leader would be dead–and now that Kennedy himself has died even many of the former senator’s opponents find themselves grieving. Yet precisely because Kennedy represented such a commanding figure–perhaps the most compelling liberal of our day–we need to consider his record in full.

              Doing so, it turns out, requires pondering a document in the archives of the politburo.

              When President Reagan chose to confront the Soviet Union, calling it the evil empire that it was, Sen. Edward Kennedy chose to offer aid and comfort to General Secretary Andropov. On the Cold War, the greatest issue of his lifetime, Kennedy got it wrong.

                1. Olly, one cannot be absolutely sure yet, but it fits the broader historical picture. It certainly has more validity than the claims about Trump we are hearing today. I have never viewed Ted Kennedy in a positive way. I found him to be a hypocrite and a philanderer of the first order. His zipper seems to have always been down and he was known constantly to be on the hunt. He spoke one way publicly but acted in a completely different fashion.

          1. No clue with whom Peter Shill has confused Jill. Autumn, perhaps?

            Pretty amusing that the resident Democratic Party press agent is questioning anyone’s integrity.

          2. Peter,..
            , – I think,it was actually Sec. Rumsfeld who said “dead enders”, but I’m not replying about that.
            I’ve seen all kinds of “knowledge” and predictions on display here about what Trump et al did or did not do, “who he did” or did not screw, OR: he did/ did not get involved in money laundering, he did/ did not obstruct justice, he did / did not do what the Russian Dossier alleges, he did/ did not violate campaign finance laws….
            You get the idea…..the list goes on and on if one is SERIOUSLY reviewing all ( or even a fraction) of the claims, beliefs, speculation, predictions, etc. that have been posted here, it will be evident that there has been a lot of “certainty” re what Trump may/ may not have done, and “confidence” in predictions that he will/ will no be driven from office, will/ will not serve two full terms….and so on.
            You did not get into any specifics about just how the people you named have “compromised themselves”, but you are not alone in making accusations like that without specifics, or substantiation.
            The larger point that I’m making is that unless you have blinders on, it’s pretty damn hard to miss the number of posts and people who “know” what Mueller “knows”, or what Mueller doesn’t know, and who “know” the ultimate outcomes.
            Nobody is keeping a tally here of who has claimed to know this or that in the thousands of posts here related to Trump’s “guilt or innocence”.
            Or how many have “know” all of the potential outcomes and have “predicted” which of the outcomes will materialize.
            So if you’re going to state that those who believe Trump will be cleared are “dead-enders”, take a look at the other side of this.
            You’ll find people here salivating at prospect of Trump being driven from office and/ or behind bars.
            But of couse, they are not “dead-enders”.. ..we’ll just call them “True Believers’.

            1. Well Tom, I agree with you to this extent: ‘The Trump defenders here know nothing about his wrongdoings. And they ‘don’t want to know’!

              Whether the issue is Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen, Karen McDougal, Maria Butina, Vladimir Putin, Trump’s tweets, false statements, lack of transparency, irrational behavior or bullying nature.. it doesn’t matter. Trump supporters have even less curiosity than Trump himself. They don’t know or address anything negative about him.

              Take Spastic, for instance. When it comes to contradicting Natasha, Spastic is tenacious with facts and wonky details. So obviously Spastic is capable of building a case when she wants to. (Is it ‘she’, I’m never sure).

              But when it comes to Trump’s weekly outrages, Spastic ‘knows nothing’! Nothing whatsoever!! And that is basically par for the course with Trumpers on this thread.

              Take you and Paul, for instance. You two read like establishment Republicans who might have been reasonably moderate at one time. Yet neither of you is really that keen to disassociate with Trump. And that conforms with recent polls revealing that most Trump supporters ‘are’ basic Republicans.

              We are long past the point, however, where anyone can say, “Trump is a normal president”. This has been a freak show of a presidency after a freak of a campaign. And every week Trump crosses another line of what is normal for a president.

              This past week Trump proposed a $12 billion dollar fund to bail out farmers effected by his trade war. How normal is that..??? ‘When’, in our lifetime, has a president casually launched a trade war while proposing a multi-billion dollar fund to support it? In a normal America a proposal like that would be considered lunacy!

              1. Peter,..
                I’ll need to re-read your post before responding in full….no time right now.
                But we may have one area of agreement hear; when someone like TS to Dance contradicts/ disputes what an intellectually honest, bipartisan, fair- minded person like Natacha, that IS REALLY going beyond the pale.
                Not many here, beside Natchoocha, have displayed the same gracious acceptance of defeat and stoic resignation that Trump won.

                1. PETER HILL USES THE WORST POSSIBLE EXAMPLE IN NAMING NATCHAHAH, COMPLAINING ABOUT “NATACHA” BEING CONTRADICTED.
                  DOESN’T NATACOOKCOOH ASK FOR IT?
                  THESE STORIES AND MORE AT 11.

              2. “I agree with you to this extent: ‘The Trump defenders here know nothing about his wrongdoings. And they ‘don’t want to know’!”

                Let us hear the significant wrongdoings as President, not differences in policy or things that involve his personal life. I expect silence as usual.

                1. Look, Allan, the Trump opponents know about “Trump’s wrongdoings”, Mueller knows but chooses not to tell us the nature of the “wrongdoings”, and those ( like you) who would like see an accounting of “the wrongdoings” are in denial.
                  Does that clarify the nature of the game?😉😒

        2. When I think of Trump and compare him to past Presidents I can’t see anything to drive one away and you don’t have significant reasons for people to stop supporting him. All you do Wildbill is make empty statements.

          1. Allan, name a past president who casually started a trade war without consulting Congress. Because you can Google and see that Congressional leaders have not endorsed a trade war. In fact, the Koch Bros are holding a conference this weekend to denounce Trump’s tariff tiff. And for ‘once’ I’m in agreement with the Koch Bros.

            Again, none of this is normal. Only people in denial think a trade war is smart.

            1. The question is whether or not the US foreign nations are taking advantage of the US in the area of trade. Should China be permitted to steal our technology?

              I think Trump has a very valid point though I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says on the subject especially on economic theory. However, his approach to realities appears to be smarter than his academic theorizing.

              A second question is one that is asked all the time by businesses when they are faced with a problem sapping their strength. Should we fight now or wait until we no longer have the strength to fight?

              You can choose your own options and explain how you would handle the situation. Former Presidents have been afraid to face the challenges and Congress (both parties) is a waste.

              Is the EU starting to yield and is the EU willing to trade fairly with no tariffs and no favorable state aid to industries? China certainly won’t and steals our technology right and left while not permitting our industry to freely open in China like they open their industry in the US. Then when our industry is opened they steal our technology.

              What is your proposal that counters Trump’s?

              In Trump’s favor, our economy at the present is quite strong. I don’t think those other economies are as strong and I don’t think they can hold out as well. I believe there is a slow down in Europe and at least earlier there was a bear market in China stocks.

              I think these are proper numbers for exports over the recent past. America 12%, China 20%, Canada 33%, Germany 50%. Who do you think is the least hurt by a trade war based on export dependence?

              Does Trump want a trade war?

              I don’t think so, but his way is one way of quickly placing everyone’s cards on the table so that a problem can be quickly resolved when the time is favorable to us. The prior method was to yield to a specific portion of our economy and take the losses.

              What is the damage to our GDP? That is open to argument but many believe only a few tenths of a percent. What does that mean if one is growing at 3-4%? The problem is that some areas of the economy can be significantly hit but some of those areas are already suffering under the “unfair trade” practices of other nations.

              I think the problems with the EU and Canada will quickly be resolved and I think there has already been progress. I don’t think China can afford a trade war but what China does is anyone’s guess. Most likely many things will be done quietly.

              Take note Russia sold most of their treasury bonds and it was hardly noticed.

              What is your plan?

      2. Actually we do and it is currently operating. The current hold up is Ryan. can’t be helped except at the ballot box. The rest is not germane including anything to do with the President.

    2. “From the evidence which is coming out, it does appear Rosenstein used his political position to illegally spy on American citizens in order to create a false prosecution.”

      Evidence from where, Infowars or whacky Youtube videos?

      1. Those paragons of rational, evidence-based commentary: Alex Jones, Rush, Hannity, and whichever other wingnut wackjobs these people get conned by on daily basis.

      2. Rosenstein approved the renewal of the sh!t sandwich FISA application multiple times. He appointed Mueller. He’s expanded Mueller’s mandate when asked while classifying the contents of Mueller’s commission. He arranged for Michael Cohen’s offices to be ransacked through an end-run around the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan. This whole operation is his.

        1. But most of this conversation is skipping the main point which is congress and it’s constitutional powers versus DOJ, some of DOJ who have none in this case.

          The rest is immaterial at this point.

          The law provides no other recourse

          Congress would be derelict in it’s duty in not taking the next step

          It hasn’t got as far as the President nor the entire Congress yet.

          The voters are nicely inline with the calendar to perform a legal Recall.

          Or did you want to invite King George III back to take over under the divine right of kings?

          Enough of this side tracking immaterial BS Stick to the subject. If your claimed 50% is 51% in the home districts it will come out in November. If it is not sufficient it’s insufficient and in the meantime it goes to the Grand Jury phase and the trial phase etc.

          Can your version of King George do better. Either one of you two parties? I’m sure we independent self governing constitutional centrists will have no problem since we know who has the divine right. apparently most of you do not or prefer some other ideology which does not apply.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.