Politics By Other Means: Both Trump and Pelosi Suggest Using Investigations For Political Purposes

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the mutual threats from Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump to use investigations in a tit-for-tat struggle with the new Congress.  In his press conference after the election, Trump said that he is prepared to adopt the same “war-like” stance and “They can play that game, but we can play it better.”

This promises to be long and intense two years, but there does not appear to be much hope for actually addressing some of the important issues that divide this country.

Here is the column:

Voltaire once wryly observed that “the art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” In a divided Congress, with each party holding firm majorities in their respective chambers and only two years until the next election, the Democrats and Republicans are likely to do much to amuse the voters with subpoenas and investigations with little to address the underlying polarization across the country.

Both Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump have already suggested that they view investigations as a political tool for their own agendas. What is interesting is that Pelosi and Trump have not hesitated to reveal those agendas in statements that have made their supporters cringe. In the days before the election, Pelosi commented on how to get what she wanted: “Subpoena power is interesting, to use it or not to use it. It’s a great arrow to have in your quiver in terms of negotiating on other subjects.”

Congress has fought hard to protect its inherent powers against arguments that such investigations are little more than politics by other means. With the addition of new justice Brett Kavanaugh, who holds exceptionally favorable executive power views, such statements are both highly inappropriate and damaging for Congress. Just as Trump’s tweets are often used in court to undermine the case for the administration, Pelosi’s comments on subpoenas to coerce concessions on “other subjects” may lead to briefs seeking to quash such subpoenas.

Of course, Trump proceeded to respond in equally self defeating terms. He declared that “Pelosi says she’s going to mechanize the speakership and use it as a great negotiation with the president. That’s an illegal statement.” In fact, there is nothing unlawful in Pelosi’s statement. There is a difference between what is illegal and what is idiotic. Pelosi’s statement fell into the latter category. Trump, however, then followed Pelosi’s lead in revealing his own strategy in advance: “That alone takes two years to get it to the Supreme Court, that statement, before you do anything.” In other words, Trump has been assured that his counsel can tie up any subpoena fights for two years in the courts, running out the clock on investigations.

After the election, Trump went even further to make clear that he and Pelosi are following the same approach to the misuse of investigatory powers: “If the Democrats think they are going to waste taxpayer money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of classified information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!”

With his threat, Trump joined Pelosi in a race to the bottom, promising tit for tat use of investigations against his political opponents. That threat becomes more concerning given the role of his own Justice Department in the enforcing of subpoenas, particularly as Trump likely plans to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump’s irresistible impulse to counterpunch is the best hope for Democrats seeking impeachable acts.

Indeed, it is the response to the Democrats and not the “disease” they spread that is most likely to kill Trump. There is still no clear evidence of criminal obstruction or collusion against him. However, this is a disease that claims victims by the response of the patient. Democrats are hoping to prompt exactly the response that Trump promised, which is reacting to legislative investigations with abusive use of executive powers.

Time, however, remains of the essence. Even assuming special counsel Robert Mueller completes his investigation by the end of the year, any allegations of impeachable offenses are likely to still require investigation and the subpoenas that Pelosi so relishes as arrows in her quiver. Committees have to demand the information, and the White House is likely to offer some production, requiring review and further negotiations.

Once a committee subpoena is sought, the White House is likely to draw out compliance. If the committee still is not satisfied, any contempt sanction would require a vote of the entire House and then a referral to the Justice Department that routinely refuses to take legislative contempt charges to grand juries. Any direct fight over the subpoena authority would likely favor Congress, but it would have to work its way through three levels of judicial review in a process that could well take until 2020.

The impeachment calendar is little better. Even assuming Trump ends up wounding himself in 2019, that gives Democrats about a year to investigate, impeach, and remove. That would be a nascar pace. In the case of Bill Clinton, a lame duck Congress was able to start the process for impeachment because of the preexisting independent counsel investigation and extensive findings given to Congress. Clinton was impeached in December 1998, and then acquitted in February 1999. There will be no impeachment in this new lame duck Congress, and Democrats have indicated they will hold off on seeking impeachment at first, as opposed to investigating possible financial and corruption charges.

In the case of Richard Nixon, the Watergate investigation was well underway before the presidential election of 1972. In May 1973, Archibald Cox was appointed to investigate as special prosecutor. Thereafter, fights over tapes and other evidence in Congress took many months. In July 1974, the Supreme Court ruled against Nixon over the tapes and, soon thereafter, the House committee voted out articles of impeachment. Had Nixon not resigned from office and the House impeached had him, the process likely would have continued all the way to the end of 1974.

Putting aside the longer period of investigation in the Nixon case, it seems unlikely that an impeachment trial would be held, let alone be successful, before the end of Trump’s first term. Obviously, mistakes by Trump can speed this process along with abuses of power. Frankly, Trump needs only to control himself and watch the calendar to frustrate these efforts. For his staff, however, that is a strategy based on hope over experience.

In the meantime, Trump has the benefit of an unassailable majority in the Senate. The new members are largely in his debt and were elected to defend his legacy and policies. Senators like Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska just became more marginal influences on outcomes. Moreover, Trump now can deliver on a strong conservative nominee on abortion if another seat opens up. Finally, any impeachment will collide with a Senate solidly in control of the White House. It is highly unlikely that, even if an impeachment could be launched in time, a two thirds vote could be marshaled by Democrats in an actual Senate trial.

What is left is entirely visceral. The Democrats have a strategy with the markings of a campaign to wound but not to kill. Thus, little work is expected to get done as both sides engage in spasms of investigation and recrimination. Voltaire is in the House, as the art of politics will be to amuse each base while the disease cures itself in the 2020 election.

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

157 thoughts on “Politics By Other Means: Both Trump and Pelosi Suggest Using Investigations For Political Purposes”

  1. The economic recovery was primarily a result of a natural rebound from the recession of 2006-2008. The recession was in part going to happen anyway as a response to the access to ‘easy money’ in the housing industry and Wall Street. This would not have been the first time for these reasons. Bush enhanced this inevitable economic reaction to corruption and lack of government oversight by reducing government income through a major tax cut, funding two major military incursions, and bungling both of them causing a general lack of confidence in the markets; not to mention trillions going out with less coming in.

    Obama presided over the recovery and enhanced it by curtailing the damage and stabilizing government oversight of the banking and investment industries. Unemployment dropped by 5 to 6 percent and the markets rose. Wages began to rise. Illegal immigration was on the decline, over a million undesirables had been deported, those with equity were being investigated as they contributed to society, etc.

    Trump entered on the uptick and enhanced it by all the recent moves: tax decrease for the rich, tariffs to swing consumption to American products and increase government revenue, unending streams of lies and BS, etc. This dropped unemployment almost a percentage point and made the rich a lot richer. Wall Street did what it always does, make money when stocks go up and down and up and down. Wall Street does not like a steady economy.

    The question is what will Trump’s short term moves do for the US economy and its people in the long run. The answer is, historically, cause another recession. As Reagan said on TV, “We increased spending and reduced government income. We didn’t think that that does not work.” On top of that the world will adapt, how much is yet to be seen, to the US tariffs. In adapting the other economies will develop relationships that exclude the US. This is now happening with the Trans Pacific Partnership which was formally designed to enhance trade and the economies between the Pacific Rim countries and also counter Chinese dominance, now including China. Europe recently signed an economic agreement with Japan to the tune of almost a trillion dollars. China is taking the place of the US in emerging markets and countries rich in resources; Venezuela for one.

    One thing is for sure, a fact, verifiable, and ongoing: Trump will lie unendingly. Trump will blame the Democrats if his economic moves start to wain just as he took credit for everything up to the sun rising. Trump will threaten the Congress as well as throw a few wrenches into the works, at the expense of the American people. Trump’s ticket to a second term is not the steak but the sizzle. Trump will also fortify the political bias of the SCOTUS. The global rich, to who Trump makes his first allegiance, will profit. What this will mean to the average American outside of health care quality dropping further than 24th in the world, increasing in costs more than its present 3 times the per capita average of the 23 better systems, public education quality dropping, etc. in other words the real problems for the masses getting worse, is yet to manifest itself. For the Trump supporters, it will all be Obama’s and the Democrat’s fault.

    The conditions under which a dictator comes to power is divisiveness in the government, economic depression, and lies. America has two of the three under Trump.

    1. “The economic recovery was primarily a result of a natural rebound from the recession of 2006-2008.”

      This economy is definitely not Obama’s recovery

      Barack Obama is trying to take credit for the booming economy under President Trump. “When you hear how great the economy is doing right now,” Obama said on the campaign trail for Democratic candidates a few days ago, “let’s just remember when this recovery started.”

      By this logic, the Kingston Trio laid the groundwork for the Beatles.

      But the contrast in economic performance between the two presidents is undeniable. Obama’s multitrillion-dollar spend-and-borrow policies produced 2 percent growth. In his final year, Obama handed off to Trump an economy that was limping at 1.6 percent.

      After only 18 months in office, Trump has elevated growth to 3 percent on an annual rate and the latest projections are that the growth rate for the second and third quarter (which ends Sept. 30) will be over 4 percent. One might say all it took to get the economy really crackling was getting Obama out of office.

      Obama is right that this has been a long recovery — beginning in June 2009. But the real economic boom started almost the day after the election in 2016 with the surge in small business, investor and consumer confidence.

      No one on the left, least of all Obama, thought this was remotely possible.

      Two years ago, Obama famously ridiculed Trump’s campaign promise of faster growth and a comeback in manufacturing jobs by saying this could only happen if Trump was waving “a magic wand.” Obama’s first chief economist, Larry Summers, proclaimed to the world that 2 percent was the best we could hope for. Other liberal economists were so disdainful of Trump’s tax cuts, deregulation and energy development that they predicted Trump would crash the world economy and the stock market.

      It’s a little early to be declaring Trump’s policies a “miracle,” as Trump has boasted. All we can say is whatever he’s doing, it’s working.

      And that Obama’s economic experiment of Keynesian economics on steroids was a profound disappointment. It began with the $830 billion stimulus plan, and then cash-for-clunkers, bailouts, ObamaCare, tax hikes on the rich, minimum-wage hikes and a wave of financial and economic regulations. All told, the national debt nearly doubled in eight years.

      Meanwhile, the Obama recovery was remarkably flimsy. In 2015, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress found that compared to the eight previous post-recession events, “the Obama recovery was the weakest on record.”

      The recovery was so shallow that had Obama merely achieved a normal pace of recovery, personal income in 2014 would have been $3,200 higher. If the economy had matched the Reagan trajectory, GDP in 2016 would have been almost $3 trillion larger (equivalent to the combined GDP of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania).

      Even as measured by the left’s favorite metric, “economic fairness,” the policies failed. The index of income inequality rose nearly every year under Obama.

      While Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Washington, DC, Wall Street and the energy states did spectacularly well (thanks to shale oil and gas), in the Rust Belt regions of the country — from upstate New York to Ohio and Wisconsin, West Virginia and Kentucky — family incomes remained flat at best. On the campaign trail, I often asked folks in small towns across the Midwest about the Obama recovery, and their response was: What recovery?

      Trump didn’t just run against Hillary Clinton and her closet overflowing with scandals, but the meager Obama economy as well. He ran against the runaway costs of ObamaCare. He ran against the regulatory assault, the tax hikes, unpopular trade deals and climate-change fanaticism. He ran against hopelessness, against opioid addiction, the $10 trillion rise in the national debt and income stagnation.

      One time during the campaign, Larry Kudlow, Steve Miller and I held an impromptu discussion with Trump about economic strategy. Miller summarized the game plan to Trump succinctly: “Donald, just look at all the things that Obama has done on the economy over the past eight years, and then do just the opposite.”

      Trump has done pretty much just that — which explains why the Trump boom is an everyday reminder of the Obamanomics failure.

      Stephen Moore

  2. Negative campaigning works. That’s why the investigations continue. No reason to vote for any of them except hating the other side. It gets ratcheted up with every election until we are in our now sorry state of affairs.

  3. Sure they can prove it.  Just send Koskinen a check to call Rettig and have him send wapo a copy of the audit order.

    I mean it’s not like there are any rules or laws about these things any more.

    The Rule of Law is now 

    By Any Means Necessary.

  4. Congress’ new slogan should be “GRIDLOCK 2020”.

    When Congress passes legislation it usually:
    a) costs taxpayers money;
    b) restricts citizens’ rights in some way; or
    c) both a and b.

    So I’m up for a couple of years of gridlock. How ’bout you?

    1. Doubtmeister – Gridlock means they cannot do us any harm. Two big thumbs up for gridlock here. 😉

    2. “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.” ― Calvin Coolidge

    1. Excerpted from the article linked above at #3 [not #4] on the list of 5 Facts about Whitaker:

      He also served as Executive Director of a conservative “ethics watchdog” group called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT). For example, he released a statement for the group that quoted him as saying, “The revelation today that the Obama State Department has deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails ‘too damaging’ to release in any kind of form now removes any doubt about whether Hillary Clinton put our national security at risk for the sake of her personal privacy and pursuit of the White House. This week I called for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate this most serious breach of national security. Because the Obama administration has a clear conflict of interest, it is imperative this investigation is done by an individual independent from the administration and is required to maintain the citizen’s trust in and the integrity of the government. This call is even more urgent given today’s disturbing news.”

      1. Well, well, well . . . The man who wants to “defund” the Mueller investigation [Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker] just so happened to have been extremely keen on calling for a special counsel’s investigation of Hillary’s private email server. It looks like whataboutism to me. Or worse.

        1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – a lot more money has been spent on this Russian collusion than Hillary’s emails, and I think we are going to circle back to them.

          1. PC Schulte,..
            – Is there any truth to the rumor that the Office of Special Counsel started a gofundme account?

            1. Is there any truth to the rumor that Hillary Clinton no longer hold an office of public trust under The U.S. Constitution?

              When did any Acting Attorney General appoint a special counsel to investigate a private citizen with no current ties to The Executive Branch?

              Well, it hasn’t happened yet. Stay tuned.

      1. YNOT – and you are still in the running with Marky Mark Mark for Village Idiot.

            1. That particular Anonymous is Diane. Natacha would never be so concise.

  5. Trump now has access to Mueller’s grand jury information. Jay Bybee (of torture memo fame) also wrote an interpretation of The Patriot Act that allows any government employee to share grand jury information with any other government employee if it facilitates a counter-terrorism or counter-intelligence purpose. Of course, the first government employee has to have original access to grand jury information in order to share it with the second government employee.

    Former AG sessions recusal left him without access to Mueller’s grand jury information. And Rosenstein was not about to share Mueller’s grand jury information with Trump. So firing Sessions allows his replacement, Whitaker, to share Mueller’s grand jury information with Trump. That means that Trump and his lawyers will soon know what evidence Mueller has against Trump and Trump Jr. et al. Exactly what Trump will do with Mueller’s grand jury information remains to be seen. The possibilities range from retroactive assertions of Executive Privilege to preemptive pardons and who knows what all else.

    Did anyone else notice that Trump did not give Mueller and crew Trump’s lawyers’ answers to Mueller’s interrogatories yesterday? He can’t even successfully cheat on an open-book take-home test with private tutors feeding him crib notes. Because his lawyers don’t know the answers to Mueller’s questions until Whitakers gives Trump’s lawyers access to Mueller’s grand jury information. Trump’s knowledge of Trump’s guilt can no longer be denied by anyone with a brain.

    1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – Whitaker cannot share the grand jury information without a court order. Now Mueller, who you have implicate trust in, answers directly to Whitaker. Rod is out of the loop.

      1. There’s an exception–actually several exceptions–all written by Jay Bybee back in 2002. Trump doesn’t need a court order for any of those exceptions. What Trump needs is a lackey and a toady like Whitaker to put Trump’s interests ahead of the national security interests of The United States of America. Do you have any idea how many dumpsters Trump had to dive into to find Matt Whitaker? None, actually. Whitaker auditioned for the job on . . . wait for it . . . CNN. Okay. So if you count CNN as a dumpster, then Trump only had to dive into one dumpster to find Whitaker.

        P. S. One of Bybee’s exceptions is if the president needs grand jury information to review a case before granting a pardon. Sound familiar?

        1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

          A July 22, 2002, memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, written by Jay Bybee, the author of the infamous torture memos, held that, under the statute, the president could get grand jury information without the usual notice to the district court. It also found that the president could delegate such sharing without requiring a written order that would memorialize the delegation.

          Bybee’s memo relies on and reaffirms several earlier memos. It specifically approves two rationales for sharing grand jury information with the president that would be applicable to the Russian investigation. A 1997 memo imagined that the president might get grand jury information “in a case where the integrity or loyalty of a presidential appointee holding an important and sensitive post was implicated by the grand jury investigation.” And a 2000 memo imagined that the president might need to “obtain grand jury information relevant to the exercise of his pardon authority.”

          1. No takers? Fine then. Jared Kushner fits the bill on the first of Bybee’s exceptions to grand jury secrecy–“a case where the integrity or loyalty of a presidential appointee holding an important and sensitive post was implicated by the grand jury investigation.” That means that Trump can order Whitaker to report Mueller’s grand jury information about Kushner to Trump. Meanwhile, both Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. fit the second of Bybee’s exceptions–“grand jury information relevant to the exercise of his pardon authority.” And that means that Trump can order Whitaker to report Mueller’s grand jury information about both Kushner and Trump Jr. to Trump. Keep in mind that whatever gets reported to Trump, Trump reports to Putin. Trump and Putin are having another meeting this Sunday November Eleventh. Yes! That’s right. The Eleventh Day of The Eleventh Month. But not at the Eleventh Hour.

            1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – we have been through this before. Whitaker cannot reveal grand jury testimony or proceedings with a release from a federal court. You are just blowing smoke.

        2. Also excerpted from the article linked above:

          Along with expanding surveillance authorities, the PATRIOT Act permitted any government lawyer to share national security-related grand jury or wiretap information with any government official as long as it would help them perform their job better. The measure was passed in response to the September 11 attacks, with an eye to sharing counterterrorism information more broadly. But the authorization of such sharing explicitly extended to “clandestine intelligence activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power or by an agent of foreign power”—precisely the kind of nation-state spying at the heart of the Russian investigation.

          1. a very wide interpretation of the Patriot act that pretty much nobody would take seriously or you could just toss internal security and privacy out the window

            1. Pay attention, Mr. Drossophile! I’m talking about Trump, here. I’m not really talking about Jay Bybee and the damned The Patriot Act. Trump can and will and almost certainly already has gained access to Mueller’s grand jury information about Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. and probably anything else that Putin told Trump to have Whitaker report to Trump so that Trump could report it to Putin this Sunday November Eleventh, 2018.

              You had damned well better pray that Trump does not get caught red-handed feeding sensitive grand jury information to Vladimir Putin of The Russian Federation.

        1. Who cares about spelling? Don’t you realize that whatever grand jury information Whitaker shares with Trump, Trump shares with Putin? If Trump gets caught red-handed sharing grand jury information with Putin, then Trump is absolute toast.

          1. ” Trump’s knowledge of Trump’s guilt can no longer be denied by anyone with a brain.”… “Don’t you realize that whatever grand jury information Whitaker shares with Trump, Trump shares with Putin?”

            These are a few words from an individual that has definitely gone over the edge.

          2. ridiculous. he’s hardly feeding his rival all his information. that’s your twisted fantasy.

            he could not do that without the NSA seeing it and almost certainly then there really WOULD be a palace coup. don’t be silly and make stuff up

    1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me twenty-three citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament) and the source of a quotation, after twenty-two weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – of course, you do not have the last word. Don’t be silly.

      1. Dr. Benson was lamenting the absence of interlocutors at 5:38 AM this morning. Your comment at 7:59 AM is late–strike that–tardy by more than two hours.

        1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark it is only 6:30 here.

  6. Again, if the Dems impeach President Trump and are unsuccessful, can you imagine what his behavior will be like after he beats the rap! Impeaching President Trump is not a good idea.

      1. Consider the creep of a veep…

        He’s perfectly normal. You fancy otherwise because you’re senile.

      2. he’s not a creep at all. he was a good governor and has always been a responsible citizen. he’s a straight arrow in the various ways that Trump may not be

        people don’t like him fine but don’t fabricate creepiness where there is none

      3. Creep rhymes with veep.
        Poetic license.

        Sanctimonious has too many syllables.

        1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me twenty-three citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament) and the source of a quotation, after twenty-two weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – twat and twit almost rhyme and both describe you to a T. This is the “new poetry” that replaced dead white guys.

        2. well he may be sanctimonious, but not creepy. that’s just my opinion.

          Did you know that he went to Hanover College. Ya know Woody Harrelson went there about the same time. He said so on tv.

          I don’t know if people know that Woody’s dad was a notorious convict.
          This is not to cast any shadow on Woody. Just offered for curiosity’s sake.
          Woody is a great actor, even if he is a Democrat.

  7. Problem for Nancy Pelosi….Infighting is fun

    There are some newly elected domineering female house reps with big egos who already want Pelosi to step aside.

      1. Tell that to NJ (D) Mikie Sherrill, former Navy helicopter pilot


        Kansas (D) Sharice Davids, former professional kick boxer

        There’s a few more, but you get the ideal

        1. They have no experience herding 222 cats. Provide them with auxiliary whip positions or some such for warmups.


    It’s no secret that Democrats want to see Trump’s tax returns. And the fact the Trump is willing to go nuclear on the issue is highly significant. There is something in those returns Trump is desperate to withhold. I theorize a combination of factors. They are as follows:

    1) Trump is using loopholes to pay shockingly little in taxes. And the public would be shocked indeed to learn how little he pays.

    2) Trump is not as wealthy as he brags. His income might seem paltry for a billionaire’s. Therefore Trump fears his empire could be jeopardized if the limits of his wealth are known.

    3) Trump has business partnerships with Russian billionaires connected to Putin. And these partnerships will come to light if Democrats examine the returns.

    I suspect at least ‘one’, and possibly all ‘three,’ of these factors keeps Trump in battle mode. He knows his tax returns are toxic. So Trump has nothing to lose by declaring war on the issue.

    Trump is like the fraud using a stolen charge card. He has no intention of showing his drivers license. And there’s going to be a fight if someone questions him.

    1. PH:

      We can’t see Trump”s tax returns for the same reason we can’t see yours — they’re protected from disclosure by law.

      1. and you can bet plenty of Democrats have seen his tax returns, the ones that are authorized to see them at IRS, and it’s a tangled complicated mess like any billionaire’s, and not much fire for all the supposed smoke.

        people who don’t know a lot about the tax prep and filing and payment process usually fail to grasp how mundane 99% of it really is for damn near everyone especially people with a lot of business interests. just a big complicated pain in the neck that CPAs mostly do and a guy just signs where they tell him to.

    2. All of the above, your net worth is probably greater than Trumps.

      Remember on the campaign trail he said he was worth something line 8 Billion? Then he had to fill out federal disclosure forms, sign the forms under penalty of perjury, and he did not want to sign that the forms wee honest. Suddenly he was worth something like 1.4 billion and if you look at the disclosure form you will see that he inflated the value of at least some of the properties.

      But if Trump is innocent then he should WELCOME a full investigation to show that he did no wrong, so what is he afraid of and why is he acting guilty and obstructing justice?

      1. captmike – did you every see the Clinton’s disclosure forms? They are so broad there is no way you could make sense out of them. And Trump is willing to take them to the Supreme Court on every subpoena. Remember the days of basketball before the shot clock?

      2. It’s not Trump’s money. He’s holding that money for “other people” who expect Trump to do a good job of holding “their” money for “them”. “They” (whoever “they” are) can destroy The Trump Organization anytime “they” want. But so far there’s no good reason for “them” to want to destroy Trump’s business. And there’s still a chance that Trump might someday remove “their” assets from this or that sanctions list–maybe.

        1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – you really have no idea how Trump’s business works, do you? Do you own or rent your domicile? If you own, then you are “holding” money for other people who are hoping you do not burn down their asset, You are just a tool of the mortgage company constantly at their bidding.

        2. Trump’s business organization is privately held.
          I don’t know the capital structure of his operation, but as a privately held corp. he is not answerable to shareholders.
          At one time, I think that part of the Trump org. was publicly held.
          It (the stock offering)may have been on one major part of the Trump org.
          E.G., one mega-casino ,but not the other real estate holdings.

        3. you mean he’s a fiduciary like other business execs? yawn for anybody who knows a thing or two about business

          if you’re a college prof or a journalist maybe you don’t know d#$%k about taxes or business however so you talk like late does

      3. Captnmike believes that all Americans should be subject to search. Apparently Captnmike disagrees with the 4th Amendment.

        None of Catnmike’s complaints pertain to the fabulous job the President has done.

    3. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.

      Taxes, Taxes, Taxes. 

      Those “loopholes” as you call them are legal.  Given the IRS’ hatred of the American People and the Rule of Law there is zero chance that if there is anything out of order in Trumps taxes a copy of his returns would have already been splashed across the screen on Broadway between 45th and 46th in Times Square and he would be working on is backhand at Club Fed. 
      This little Trump tax mantra ommmmed day and night by dems just another attempt to gin up the envy and jealous rage of the emotionally hysterical tools who fall for these fake little outrages because they don’t posess the self awareness, thinking abilities or skills to understand they are just democrat tools.  If people have a problem with the US Tax Code they can write a letter to Congress…(snicker, snicker, snicker)

      How many of those whining about Trump’s taxes are foregoing their own tax loopholes like:

      Out-of-pocket charitable contributions

      Moving expense to take first job

      Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

      Earned Income Tax Credit 

      Mortgage Interest, Points, and Insurance

      Medical and Dental Expenses

      Home Equity Loans

      Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes

      State/Local Taxes

      Not many I’m sure.  

      The “tax question” is just another recycled fake “outrage” used by the democrats in their ongoing effort to subvert the will of the People, nullify the 2016 election and hold their feudal position of power over the People.

      The democrats seem to think they have some kind of divine mission to abolish the Constitution, remove Peoples Rights, vanquish the Rule of Law “by any means necessary” and replace them with absolute rule by a handful of stupid spoiled brats and addled old fools stuck in the 1960’s jonesing for a failed political philosophy from the 1800’s written by a lunatic who wouldn’t even support his kids and let them starve.  

      Since dems see their lucky election break as a mandate to continue undermining the United States, tearing down the basic foundation that makes it the only free country on the planet and move it to a political system of slavery that is responsible for the deaths of 100 to 200 million human beings, the least they could do is hire better propaganda writers and smarter trolls to make their efforts a little fresher and more exciting.

      1. Dawn – POTUS says he is being audited, can they prove that he is not? 😉 Also, he says the wouldn’t understand his tax returns anyway. Given that he has 525 business entities he is paying taxes on, I am not sure the IRS understands his taxes.

        1. Sure they can prove it.  Just send Koskinen a check to call Rettig and have him send wapo a copy of the audit order.

          I mean it’s not like there are any rules or laws about these things any more.

          The Rule of Law is now 

          By Any Means Necessary.

        2. Can he claim Stormy Daniels and the Playmate gal as dependents for the year that he “helped support them”?😏

          1. Tom Nash – he said he has the best tax attorneys working on his taxes. I am sure if there is a deduction to take, they are finding it. 🙂

        3. Paul, that’s a good point right there. If Trump’s taxes are so incredibly complicated that even the IRS has trouble understanding them, that alone is a really good reason HE SHOULD HAVE NEVER RUN FOR PRESIDENT!

          Mitt Romney showed his tax returns. And they didn’t look patriotic. Romney had money in Swiss bank accounts and offshore entities. Nevertheless Romney, a multi-multi millionaire, complied with the tradition of showing his tax returns. If Romney could do it, there’s no reason Trump can’t.

          1. There is no ‘tradition’. It wasn’t done at all until about 1974. It’s as traditional as Presidential candidates foregoing fundraising and accepting a check from the federal election commission, a ‘tradition’ BO disposed of in 2008. Did you complain then?

          2. Peter a lot of real estate taxation issues are incredibly arcane.
            A lot of hotel operations accounting is incredibly arcane.
            A lot of gambling operations is incredibly arcane.

            It’s not fair to American executives who are suitable candidates for the job that you would simply disqualify them as a group because their tax matters are virtually impenetrable to laymen.

            I really get sick of the press which is always making a mountain out of molehill when it grasps some famous person’s finances. They always make the accusations but they never retract them nor apologize years later when none of the muckraking pans out.

            1. That brings up Howard Root again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M3P8sT4IFg

              One has to recognize that our government can and does do things that they should not do and that some things are so complex innocent business people can be charged and convicted for things they never did. Peter can’t recognize this because with everything, it Depends on what Peter wants, not what is true or euqitable.

              Thus one cannot listen to Peter or even quotes from him because they show only one side of the coin and frequently that side is the wrong side.

        4. people are so clueless. especially about our tax regime.

          businessmen are less clueless. and why should they pay a penny more than they owe? they’re fools if they do. like trump said

          just a whole lot of jealousy going on here

          ask yourselves why these whiners arent assembling a mound of speculation about tax dodging in america and multiple overseas jurisdictions by geo soros — by “giving to charities” that are in fact political organizations not charities and which are all controlled by his stooges anyways


    4. “WHY CAN’T WE SEE TRUMP’S TAXES..?????”

      Who cares other than Peter about Trump’s taxes. So what if he made less than he states? So what if his accountant did a good job? The only ones to care about these things are those that would vote for Trump.

      When petty pundits have nothing to offer they deflect to something of little importance. At least Peter is only complaining and not committing violent acts. By the way, that makes me think. The Republicans lost the House. Has anyone seen rioting and destruction or is that just a feature provided by the left?

    5. look it’s no secret trump has likely sold real estate like at least condo units to russians with money. so what. he’s a real estate guy. it’s legal for russians to buy condos and legal for trump to sell them. grow up

        1. it seems like a lot of Democrats can’t grasp these things about business.

          Maybe because they often come from the ranks of government service and the lower stratum of academic and mass media flunkies who have no significant fiduciary responsibilities for organizations and are mostly just paid to run their mouths on some shallow topic.

          Clever Wall Street financiers and Silicon Valley tycoons, however understand the power of all those yapping dogs which is why they vacuum up money losing newspapers and throw lots of money at universities and the Dem party. Very clever!

          Donald himself explained that dynamic too, noting his extensive donations to Democrats. You do what you have to do in business and only Democrats call success failure by habit.

  9. With 100% of the vote counted McSally is ahead by 1%. Vox refuses to declare a victory for McSally.

    1. Paul,…
      The most recent news I’ve seen from a variety of sources still mentions a lot of outstanding ballots.
      I don’t think that the AZ. Republic and many other publications have declared McSally the winner; her lead is razor-thin, and there are still too many uncounted ballots.

      1. Paul,… Update…
        I just saw a NY Times article that is about 2 hours old….they said McSally led 49.2% to Simena’s 48.2%, with 99% of the ballots counted.
        Doesn’t look like the AZ Republic website (among others) is very accurate in its estimate of the number of outstanding ballots.
        If the NY Times numbers are accurate, that should settle that race.
        I think Nelson in Florida is demanding a recount….he lost by about 30,000? votes out of c.8 Million votes cast.
        If the results hold on both AZ. and Florida, I think that’s a net gain of 4 seats for the GOP in the Senate.

        1. Tom Nash – there are 500,000 uncounted late ballots that have to verified and counted. They are estimating up to eight days still until the count is completed.

          1. PC Schulte,
            That’s (500,000) a lot more than 1% of the total vote.
            Unless 50 million people cast ballots in AZ.😉, the NY Times “99% of the ballots counted” report is way off the mark.

        2. “I think Nelson in Florida is demanding a recount”

          Tom, that is the first thing I have heard from Nelson in a long time. The only other thing Nelson seems to have done to differentiate himself from others was to have Congress pay for his trip as a “visiting” astronaut.

  10. Pelosi is pulling back on impeachment and Trump is going to fight every subpoena for his taxes, so let the games begin.

  11. Well–if they aren’t out wasting all their time conducting endless pointless investigations, they might actually be expected to pass legislation that would help economically stressed American citizens. And the wealthy donors for both parties wouldn’t like that at all.

    1. Is that what the Constitution establishes? Which article and section mandates that the government “…help economically stressed American citizens…?” You are clueless about the American thesis which is Freedom and Self-Reliance. The Communist Manifesto does not hold dominion in the U.S. Try reading the limitation on Congress regarding the power to tax which is merely “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding the power to tax for individual welfare. The freedom the Founders provided is freedom from dictatorship such as yours. Go get a job or start a charity, you’re free to do so in America. Oh, and buy your own healthcare insurance too.

  12. Recall Delbert cartoons everyone. I liked them & now Scott Adams is out where I can follower him. Interesting, I find.

  13. America loves the underdog.

    The democrat bullies will cut off their noses to spite their faces.

    President Donald J. Trump will win in 2020 with the House and the Senate.

  14. Does any one of these “impeach President Trump” politicians consider the fact that he is the president as a result of an election, not their appointment? It is not for them to decide who serves as president.

    We would be closer to a banana republic if legislative politicians could routinely decide they wanted to dispose of a president and could bypass an election through a political trial.

    On another note, as I’ve said before, as long as politicians are fighting each other they are more distracted and less likely to attack ordinary citizens. Surely as our host suggested much needs to be done and politicians are wasting time and fortune on these charades, but given the fact they are not exactly poised to work toward the betterment of our nation, it is certainly preferable they are constrained in causing it damage.

    1. Darren,

      I like your Subaru story.

      Best I’ve had was a Chevy 1/2 ton for 275 k miles hardcore construction work.

      I think it could drive it’s self home after 24 hours working.

      Meanwhile, if one is not a political junkie & not entertained they’re not trying!

      Of the many tabs I’ve open I think these are very relevant


    2. “he is the president as a result of an election, not their appointment? It is not for them to decide who serves as president.”

      At least the politicians who would be deciding, were elected by popular vote, not by the unfair weighted influence of rural Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and North Dakota, .

      1. Samantha, the United States has a rational system to rationally elect a President. Why is it whenever one on the left loses they complain about the system and in their minds try to invalidate the election?

        Republicans lost the House. Do you see them screaming and rioting?

      2. At least the politicians who would be deciding, were elected by popular vote, not by the unfair weighted influence of rural Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and North Dakota, .

        Do you oppose equal rights as well? Do you oppose minority rights? Do you know anything about the Great Compromise of 1787? Each state is provided equal representation in our federal government.

          1. Certainly not just the system. It’s not as though this information isn’t publicly available. The responsibility begins and ends with the citizen. Unless Sam suffers from some learning disability, then there must be an internal desire to be factually accurate. Sam should look to the original source documents to understand specifically why our constitution eventually was ratified. But to go all Joy Behart and argue the Senate didn’t change hands because the states were gerrymandered is plain ignorance. And there is no reasonable excuse other than blatant, intellectual laziness.

            1. It seems a lot of people think that people like Joy Behart know what they are talking about. On a rare occasion I have watched that show finding the discussions to be superficial at best and absolutely wrong and stupid at worst. It makes one wonder how this nation survives.

              1. It makes one wonder how this nation survives.

                Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a portion of mankind, after nature has long since discharged them from external direction (naturaliter maiorennes), nevertheless remains under lifelong tutelage, and why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so easy not to be of age. If I have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has a conscience for me, a physician who decides my diet, and so forth, I need not trouble myself. I need not think, if I can only pay – others will easily undertake the irksome work for me. Immanuel Kant

    3. Trump is a chronic and habitual liar, and if you cannot see that, I can only pity you…

      1. Gee Jeff, you mean Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, Schumer and all the rest have been telling us the truth. Boy was I wrong about them, I guess I’m one of those who have to be pitied.

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