Democrats Lay Impeachment Trap, But Will The President Step In It?

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on President Donald Trump’s most recent comments on impeachment.

Here is the column

Certain common aphorisms were never meant to be taken literally. What does not kill you only makes you stronger is a particularly risky principle by which to live. A watched pot will indeed boil. Time does not heal all wounds. Slow and steady does not always win the race. President Trumpadded a new and, for him, potentially dangerous aphorism this week, when asked about impeachment. He said he was not at all concerned because “you cannot impeach someone who is doing a great job.”

Trump was hopefully making an aspirational rather than a literal point because a president can be entirely successful in office yet be rightfully impeached for committing “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Indeed, Richard Nixon was viewed by many as a successful president up to the point of Watergate. No matter how successful a president may be in executing significant policies, the commission of any impeachable offense means, by definition, that he or she is not doing a great job.

His statement was unnerving not only because he has said it before but because Trump is entering the most dangerous period of his term so far. With Democrats now controlling the lower chamber of Congress, the White House is about to be hit with a torrent of document demands and subpoenas from a half dozen committees. Some Democrats have already stated their intentions, intemperately or even profanely, like Rashida Tlaib.

Democrats promised to demand answers on his personal taxes, foreign business dealings, family charity, and other areas beyond the Russia investigation. This reflects a strategy that not only targets Trump but counts on him to be successful. They are relying on his description of himself as a “counterpuncher” to supply the grounds of his removal. Yes, Trump could counterpunch himself into getting impeached.

Despite the filing of articles of impeachment on the very first day the Democrats took control of the House, there is not a strong basis for a single article at this time. Thus far, the strongest basis is the money paid to two women to silence them about alleged affairs with Trump before the election. While highly damaging, these allegations can be difficult to prosecute and occurred before Trump took office. An in kind campaign contribution simply is not a strong standalone issue for impeachment.

Likewise, there still is no compelling basis to allege a crime based on obstruction or theories of collusion. That leaves Democrats with a House majority secured, at least in part, on their promises of impeachment but without a clear act that would warrant impeachment. Special counsel Robert Mueller could very well supply the missing “high crimes and misdemeanors,” of course, but the only other possible source is Trump himself. As he demonstrated during the James Comey debacle, Trump has the ability to do himself great harm when he acts impulsively or angrily.

His firing of Comey as FBI director was not the problem. An array of Democrats and Republicans, as well as career prosecutors, felt Comey deserved to be dismissed. Instead, it was the timing. Rather than firing Comey upon taking office, Trump waited months and then fired him after inappropriately questioning him on the Russia investigation and asking for leniency for retired general Michael Flynn. There were reports that Trump also called for the firing of Mueller, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, only to be deterred by his staff.

Democrats now have the chance to see if they can trigger an impeachable offense by hitting Trump across a broad range of subjects, including his tightly held business and tax records. Hammered by subpoenas and demands, they are hoping that the unpredictable Trump could commit an impulsive and destructive act. Consider just a few possible “scores” that this strategy could produce if Trump walks into an impeachment trap.

The biggest score would be a very frustrated Trump ordering the firing of Mueller. Trump could be faced with multiple special counsel reports this year, along with the litigation against indicted individuals in the investigation. If the press is correct, he has repeatedly raised the idea of firing Mueller. That would cross a red line for some Republican senators and add “official acts” to an alleged pattern of obstruction of justice.

Unlike President Clinton, who knowingly lied under oath and was later found by a federal court to have committed perjury, Trump has not spoken under oath and only gave limited answers in writing to a few questions from the special counsel. Now, Congress will be demanding answers not just from Trump but from his son in law Jared Kushner and others in the White House. Lying to Congress is a crime, and if Trump tries to spin facts or gives false information, he would commit an impeachable offense.

Equally dangerous is the appearance of shaping or inducing testimony. Trump has shown a continuing refusal to observe lines of separation from the investigation. He allegedly called Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to complain about the New York prosecutors pursuing campaign finance violations. If he speaks with individuals about their knowledge or accounts, it could be construed as influencing witnesses or subornation of perjury. His former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has already confessed to false statements and suggested that Trump had knowledge of them.

Other potential criminal acts relate to the withholding of documents or acts that could constitute contempt of Congress. Of course, this strategy will fail if Trump maintains simple restraint and leaves the investigations to his own legal counsel. Demands from Congress often raise separation of powers issues that can lead to litigation and delay. While Congress may not like it, it is very difficult to convert such objections into obstruction.

That, however, depends on the proper assertion of privileges protected by the Constitution. If Trump interjects himself into the mix, the rationale along with the defense can be compromised or lost. The scope and subject matter of these inquiries make for an obvious trap for Trump. This is why an aphorism like “you cannot impeach somebody who is doing a great job” can be dangerous. Even if it is true to some degree on a political level, it also is true that a president can do a great job of getting himself impeached, if he walks into the most obvious trap in the world.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. He testified on the Bill Clinton impeachment standard, represented former attorneys general in that litigation, and served as lead defense counsel in the last Senate impeachment trial.

211 thoughts on “Democrats Lay Impeachment Trap, But Will The President Step In It?”

  1. NOTHING in the Constitution requires that president even be ACCUSED of a crime, per se, to qualify for impeachment. Impeachment is the remedy for an out-of-control executive. And the expectation was that there would be RESPONSIBLE elected officials in place to perform that public service when the time came to do so. We have a president who is due impeachment, but not responsible party leader in sight.

    1. Chris:

      “NOTHING in the Constitution requires that president even be ACCUSED of a crime, per se, to qualify for impeachment.”

      NOTHING except this little dittie:

      “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason (crime), bribery (crime), or other high crimes (crimes) and misdemeanors (crimes).” (annotation mine) ~Art. II, Sec. 4

      We’re not England — where anything is grounds for impeachment. The provision requires an accusation in the House and conviction in the Senate by 2/3 vote of those present.

      Don’t be embarrassed Chris, you’re getting warmer. You got the document name right!

      1. And, by the same token, Article 1, Section 8 provides Congress merely the power to tax for “…general Welfare…,” deliberately omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual welfare or cash payments, food stamps, Obamacare, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, utility subsidies, social services, etc., etc., etc.

        General welfare meaning “all manage properly” as in roads, water, sewer, trash collection, electricity, telephone, natural gas, post office (1789), Internet, cable TV, etc. – commodities or services that all people use in similar amounts – basic human requirements.

        And the only power Congress has to regulate is that of the flow, exchange or trade of commerce “…among the several states…” excluding any regulation of the design, engineering, production, marketing or any other aspect of the products of American free enterprise.

      2. We’re not England — where anything is grounds for impeachment.

        Mark, you might recall this quote from the movie A Man for all Seasons:
        Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

        Democrats will vote to impeach their devil for anything imaginable, because to them Donald Trump as President is a high crime or misdemeanor. They won’t have the votes in the Senate, but they will have their symbolic vote in the House. They will then reap the whirlwinds in 2020.

  2. As a Trump supporter I implore you, “please impeach!” Please shoot yourself in the foot. The trial in the Senate will be a hoot.

    1. Ivan:

      Nothing is worse than aiming for the king and missing. When the Republicans in the House impeached Clinton they lost the majority the following election.

  3. Did it occur to anyone ….He has not intention of finishing out a second term or less. His job was to expose the left and destroy as much of them as possible So far full marks. Now at one point would starting Pence early work?

    Ten years total is the actual limit or Jan 20th 2023 in the current situation. For a single term any day in the first four years. But one can serve four years or a bit less pass the job to the VP. and then be chosen as the new VP.

    That of course comes with a full pardon if needed

    Been a long long time since we had as VP fully prepared.

    Now Ginzburger is missing work at the court who seriously can be nominated? Answer… any species homo sapien. including a former President who has not served eight years or even four full years

    1. OK, Mikey, here’s the deal: Trump wanted to be President for the title, power and perceived prestige. He isn’t smart or altruistic enough to have any agenda whatsoever, other than self-aggrandizement, because he is a malignant narcissist and failure at business who was supported well into his 40’s by his Daddy. The instant example of his lack of leadership: the government shut down wasn’t well thought out, and was a knee-jerk to that homely, snarky bottle blonde in Faux News calling him a wimp for backing down on the wall. The wall was not well thought out, either: a knee-jerk to the xenophobes, who don’t realize that there’s more than one way for those hated brown people to get in and take over your job, rape your daughter and rob you.

      The presidency of the United States of America was a big, huge ego trip: the biggest prize of them all; the most-powerful position in the world. You Faux, Rush and Coulter disciples believe the daily slop served to you, one dish of which is that Trump wanted to “expose the left and destroy as much of them as possible.” What is “the left”, anyway? Most voters in 2016 voted for HRC, not Trump. The midterms, which Trump begged his disciples to use as a referendum on his performance, had an historic turnout of voters who overwhelmingly voted Democratic. When did Trump publicly state he was running for President to expose and destroy “the left”? Who are “the left”–those who don’t like or support Trump? Well, that’s most Americans.

      What about Pence? When he was nominated, he was about to get kicked out of the governor’s mansion in Indiana because he was losing in the polls. Trump needed someone to rope in the gullible Evangelicals, and Pence, one of the biggest hypocrites ever, took the job. He proudly stands next to an admitted puxxygrabber, a chronic, habitual liar who pays off porn stars and nude models, who is married to a former soft core lesbian porn model, and who publicly defends Russia after it helped him get elected. You live in a fantasy world, Mikey.

      1. you really have yourself convinced Natch. too bad it’s nonfactual
        you pack so many misconceptions into your wordy sentences it’s impossible to sort out. I would just give you an F and say please try again and we will substitute the second grade for the F if you can make a coherent essay to replace it.

      2. natacha:

        “He isn’t smart or altruistic enough to have any agenda whatsoever, other than self-aggrandizement, because he is a malignant narcissist and failure at business who was supported well into his 40’s by his Daddy.

        I bet he’s smarter than you. How’s your portfolio? You’ve obviously got that remote psychological diagnosis down pat.

        1. Will NUTCHACHA reject her fair share of “Affirmative Action Privilege,” generational welfare, Obamacare, etc, and endeavor on merit alone?

        2. Mespo said to Natacha, “I bet he’s smarter than you.”

          Natacha is smart enough not to play footsie under the table with Dmitri Peskov while running for President. Trump is not that smart. Natacha is smart enough to know that the only way Trump would get his Trump Tower Moscow is if Trump won the election and either rescinded the sanctions while he could or delisted the Russian banks and individuals he needed to finance the Trump Tower Moscow deal. Trump was not that smart. Or was he?

          Actually, Trump would’ve had to have been stupid enough to think that he would get away with. Ordinarily I would agree that there’s no way that Trump would have been so incomparably stupid as to think that he could get away with selling sanctions relief to Russia in exchange for a Trump Tower Moscow. And yet, Trump has already said that the Trump Tower Moscow deal could have gone through in the event that Trump had lost the election. Giuliani has said that the answer Trump gave to Mueller’s questions about the Trump Tower deal covered the time period up to election day on Tuesday November 8th, 2016. And Trump’s other lawyers have asserted executive privilege over every last single thing connected to Trump after Tuesday November 8th, 2016.

          It’s beginning to look as though Trump might have been dumb enough to solicit a bribe from The Russians. It may even turn out that Trump was desperate enough to have intended to deliver his end of that bribe to The Russians.

  4. I’d like to ask Professor Turley a policy question: Why can DOJ witness tamper, but the President, who controls DOJ, cannot? I understand why there are situations in which we want a prosecutor to carrot and stick on a witness, say in the prosecution of a mafia boss, but in most other situations this policy would seem to run counter to the constitution’s legitimate fear of governmental overreach in criminal matters, e.g.,the 4th & 5th Amendments.

    1. haha you see when a persecutor “shapes testimony” and bullies the hell out of a witness, it’s called “investigation.” When a private party even so much as talks to a witness, the persecutor is tempted to call it “witness tampering” and “suborning perjury,”

      I have head from many accused persons over the decades that the major work of a many a prosecutor’s office is exactly that– daily suborning of perjury. . Surely, they exaggerate?

  5. “Lying to Congress is a crime …”
    Unless you’re Clapper or Comey or Brennan or any of the myriad of swamp things who routinely avoid prosecution by the DOJ for … well … just being more equal than the rest of us including Trump.

    1. I might add Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Clapper, Farkas, Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Obama et al.

  6. Trap? Really? No matter what Trump says, it’s a trap? No matter what Trump does, it’s a trap? Poor Trump. Everything’s a trap. It’s so unfair.

    Out of curiosity, who trapped Trump into building a wall on the US/Mexico border? For that matter, who trapped Trump into running for President? It’s so unfair.

      1. Don’t cry for me Argentina
        The truth is I never left you
        All through my wild days
        My mad existence
        I kept my promise
        Don’t keep your distance.

    1. Late

      Objective people know that you are correcta. However; the Democrats won’t impeach unless Mueller’s report is more damning than Republicans say they believe it will be.

      1. Thanks, Bill. It doesn’t have to be about impeachment. Getting the evidence in the public record will suffice. Unmask the redactions!

          1. So long as no sources, methods, nor ongoing investigations are compromised nor worse. I’m presuming that a fair bit of the evidence behind the redactions is Mueller’s grand jury information. I suppose that some of it might be classified information. And I still suspect that at least one of Mueller’s many tasks has been to conduct parallel construction on at least some classified information the disclosure of which would compromise sources, methods, ongoing investigations and worse.

              1. For the same reason that you refuse to heed the unsolicited advice that you give too freely to other people. Assuming, of course, that you have a reason for being so heedless of yourself.

  7. “Lying to Congress is a crime, and if Trump tries to spin facts or gives false information, he would commit an impeachable offense.”

    That is assuming that the consensus is that he knows whether or not he is telling the truth. He said, “I try to tell the truth.” I believe that statement. He says whatever pops into his head having no clue whether or not it is the truth. He hopes it is the truth and assumes it is since he suffers from the delusion of believing he is the smartest person on Earth.

    1. Amazing! The last person to use that phrase or have it bestowed on them by the media was Hillary Rodham Clinton. The next up to bat before a real investigation .

  8. I have yet to hear of anything, any act, any yakkity yak, which requires or justifies a call by the House for Impeachment.
    Rolly polly dick in my holey up my slimmy slew.
    I dragged my balls across the halls I’m one of the sporting crew.
    Oh. The first old maid, raised up and said:
    I’m as big as the sea.
    The ships rolll in, the ships rolll out… it doesnt bother me.

    The second nun said: Lets stop, my fingers getting tired.

    All of the above is about what they have on Trump.

      1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

        Pulmonary nodules are indeed extremely common, and most are benign. To find two malignant nodules in a person who smokes would not be especially surprising. However, if you have two separate malignant nodules in your lung and you do not smoke, doctors worry that this means they represent metastatic disease from a cancer somewhere else.

        [end excerpt]

        I mention this for the sake of I-Bob who dreams of hitting nerves in an eighty-five year-old woman, who–like Generalissimo Francisco Franco, before her–is still not dead.

  9. Pete Spiliakos offered the best description of this: Democrats play Calvinball. The thing is, you try that and eventually the opposition throws away the rule book and lets you have it with both barrels.

    We get a sense from this forum what sort of people make up the most committed elements of the Democratic Party today: chronic liars who have emotional problems. Pity for this Republic.

      1. “Other kids’ games are all such a bore!
        They’ve gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
        Calvinball is better by far!
        It’s never the same! It’s always bizarre!
        You don’t need a team or a referee!
        You know that it’s great, ’cause it’s named after me!”

  10. The establishment just can’t except the simple fact that Donald Trump won the election. And they don’t want him to name the replacement for RBG.

    1. Or maybe “The establishment” which includes law enforcement organizations as well as the 62% of the American people who aren’t gullible rubes, dupes, klan wannabees, pocket-traitors or grifters on the make don’t take kindly to a traitorous, criminogenic, fraudster-charlatan not facing the justice he is due.

      this is to “but hannity talks directly to ME through the tube” bobbie

      1. lol, you sit on your phone book and dare to compare this comment. as Hannity brainwash, while spewing fact-less MSM dribble, didn’t your mother tell you it’s not ok to lie? And Leftist wonder why they are the most hated people. I’d wange money you are a #MeToo supporter! lol, from sick and angry minds, come sick and angry diatribe.

          1. If I knew your address, Sam, I’d send you a nickel for your diagnosis.
            I’m guessing that you don’t charge more than Lucy.

            1. PC Schulte,..
              – That’s true, but she does charge 5 Cents.
              That’s why I offered to pay the same amount for the similar, “Lucy-level-quality”diagnosis, even if it was unsolicited.😉

                1. I salute your courage, L4D, coming back here in spite of all of the “thugs” who you think are mean to you.

                  1. It’s good to see that you’re still hopelessly confused, Gnash. The complaint against “thugs” was lodged by BeckaG. And she’s not afraid of you, either. Just appalled. There’s a difference. Someday you’ll figure it out.

                    1. Understandable mistake, if in fact you were not posting as “Becka G”.
                      The style, and the whining, seemed too similar to be a coincidence.

                    2. BeckaG is younger and prettier than L4D.

                      Oh! I forgot. You still can’t view avatars. Can you? You poor schnook, you.

                    3. “Someday you’ll figure it out.”

                      Only with a little help… Don’t give him too much credit. L4D. He certainly won’t figure these things out by himself. As you rightly note, he’s “hopelessly confused.”

                    4. LT Anonymous had one hell of a time in your absence, L4B.
                      As one of your more devout groupies, LTA was at a loss gere trying to figure out whose *** to kiss.
                      There were reasons why the L4B and BeckaG writing appeared to originate, as a bare minimum, from the same coven.
                      For one thing, they both have that same Simpson’s Crazy Cat Lady-style of disjointed, rambling, nonsensical tone to them.
                      I see the different avatars as they are displayed on my screen. Yours is different from that of BeckGag.
                      I have no way of verying your claim that she is younger and better looking than you, but you seem to have a more intimate knowledge of her than most of us here.
                      Finally, I doubt if anyone is afraid of anyone else on this thread.
                      But your bravado and grandiosity in saying “we are not afraid” is duly noted.
                      Finally, if I were confused about something here, I would not pay much attention to two-bit troll and flake like you for clarification.
                      Your Dianese language, combined with your Double-Speak and Weasel-Words, demostrate a clear pattern of, and talent for, obfuscation and evasiveness.
                      If your flunky/ groupie LT Anonymous needs help understanding what I wrote, put LTA in contact with someone else from your coven who does not speak Dianese to give LTA a clue of what’s going.
                      I doubt that anyone can clear up your own confusion, given the language barriers you labor under.

                    5. Confused said, “I have no way of verying your claim that she is younger and better looking than you, but you seem to have a more intimate knowledge of her than most of us here.”

                      Hover you mouse over Becka G’s avatar until an enlarged image appears. Click on the button under the enlarged image. You should see an even larger image of the ceiling under the dome on The Sistine Chapel. Next use your imagination to do the necessary head scratching on my claim to verify the putative facts that L4D is older and uglier than The Sistine Chapel. Now hold that decrepit image in your mind every last single time you read the comments of L4D. Never forget to enjoy. Always remain confused.

        1. Excellent! The first one to squeal! I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt; you can be classified as “gullible rube” unless and until you show truer colors. Thanks for playing, so sorry for your loss.

          this is to “but all bff’s got ‘hannity was here’ tattoos across our lower backs” ronnie

      2. ha! the criminal defense lawyer aligns himself with “law enforcement organizations”

        never expected a cdl to laud them

      3. Our founders grasped the dangers of lobbing ambiguous allegations of “treason” and defined only one crime – Treason, in the constitution.

        As to the rest of your claims – what is criminogenic and fraudster-charlatan ?

        The actual rule of law requires substance – it requires actual crimes – the unjustifiable use of force against another.

        Slather on enough adjectives and you can spin anything any way you want.

        What matters is substance. What actual crimes do you have evidence constituting probable cause

        Or is the 4th amendment an archaic relic to you ?

        Are we free to deploy the awesome investigative power of government at any target we can sling enough adjectives at ?

        1. I don’t normally do the homework for you and your ilk, but I fully understand that you hannity ball-baggers have no exposure to facts that we here in the real world utilize in our day-to-day affairs. However, since I posted this outstanding expose here over the weekend, it required only de minimis effort to repost. Read it, or not. Caution, the writer here deals with actual, verifiable facts.

          Here’s the blueprint for rescuing our country. It’s lengthy, but it’s nevertheless a timely and thoughtful outline from Leonhardt which ran in today’s Times.


          He is demonstrably unfit for office. What are we waiting for?

          By David Leonhardt
          Opinion Columnist
          Jan. 5, 2019

          The presidential oath of office contains 35 words and one core promise: to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Since virtually the moment Donald J. Trump took that oath two years ago, he has been violating it. He has repeatedly put his own interests above those of the country. He has used the presidency to promote his businesses. He has accepted financial gifts from foreign countries. He has lied to the American people about his relationship with a hostile foreign government. He has tolerated cabinet officials who use their position to enrich themselves.

          To shield himself from accountability for all of this — and for his unscrupulous presidential campaign — he has set out to undermine the American system of checks and balances. He has called for the prosecution of his political enemies and the protection of his allies. He has attempted to obstruct justice. He has tried to shake the public’s confidence in one democratic institution after another, including the press, federal law enforcement and the federal judiciary.

          The unrelenting chaos that Trump creates can sometimes obscure the big picture. But the big picture is simple: The United States has never had a president as demonstrably unfit for the office as Trump. And it’s becoming clear that 2019 is likely to be dominated by a single question: What are we going to do about it?

          The easy answer is to wait — to allow the various investigations of Trump to run their course and ask voters to deliver a verdict in 2020. That answer has one great advantage. It would avoid the national trauma of overturning an election result. Ultimately, however, waiting is too dangerous.
          The cost of removing a president from office is smaller than the cost of allowing this president to remain.

          He has already shown, repeatedly, that he will hurt the country in order to help himself. He will damage American interests around the world and damage vital parts of our constitutional system at home. The risks that he will cause much more harm are growing. Some of the biggest moderating influences have recently left the administration. The defense secretary who defended our alliances with NATO and South Korea is gone. So is the attorney general who refused to let Trump subvert a federal investigation into himself.

          The administration is increasingly filled with lackeys and enablers. Trump has become freer to turn his whims into policy — like, say, shutting down the government on the advice of Fox News hosts or pulling troops from Syria on the advice of a Turkish autocrat. The biggest risk may be that an external emergency — a war, a terrorist attack, a financial crisis, an immense natural disaster — will arise. By then, it will be too late to pretend that he is anything other than manifestly unfit to lead.

          For the country’s sake, there is only one acceptable outcome, just as there was after Americans realized in 1974 that a criminal was occupying the Oval Office. The president must go.

          Achieving this outcome won’t be easy. It will require honorable people who have served in the Trump administration to share, publicly, what they have seen and what they believe. (At this point, anonymous leaks are not sufficient.) It will require congressional Republicans to acknowledge that they let a con man take over their party and then defended that con man. It will require Democrats and progressive activists to understand that a rushed impeachment may actually help Trump remain in office.

          But if removing him will not be easy, it’s not as unlikely as it may sometimes seem. From the beginning, Trump has been an unusually weak president, as political scientists have pointed out. Although members of Congress have not done nearly enough to constrain him, no other recent president has faced nearly so much public criticism or private disdain from his own party.

          Since the midterm election showed the political costs that Trump inflicts on Republicans, this criticism seems to be growing. They have broken with him on foreign policy (in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria) and are anxious about the government shutdown. Trump is vulnerable to any erosion in his already weak approval rating, be it from an economic downturn, more Russia revelations or simply the defection of a few key allies. When support for an unpopular leader starts to crack, it can crumble.

          Before we get to the how of Trump’s removal, though, I want to spend a little more time on the why — because even talking about the ouster of an elected president should happen only under extreme circumstances. Unfortunately, the country is now so polarized that such talk instead occurs with every president. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama were subjected to reckless calls for their impeachment, from members of Congress no less.

          So let’s be clear. Trump’s ideology is not an impeachable offense. However much you may disagree with Trump’s tax policy — and I disagree vehemently — it is not a reason to remove him from office. Nor are his efforts to cut government health insurance or to deport undocumented immigrants. Such issues, among others, are legitimate matters of democratic struggle, to be decided by elections, legislative debates, protests and the other normal tools of democracy. These issues are not the “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors” that the founders intended impeachment to address.

          Yet the founders also did not intend for the removal of a president to be impossible. They insisted on including an impeachment clause in the Constitution because they understood that an incompetent or corrupt person was nonetheless likely to attain high office every so often. And they understood how much harm such a person could do. The country needed a way to address what Alexander Hamilton called “the abuse or violation of some public trust” and James Madison called the “incapacity, negligence or perfidy” of a president.

          The negligence and perfidy of President Trump — his high crimes and misdemeanors — can be separated into four categories. This list is conservative. It does not include the possibility that his campaign coordinated strategy with Russia, which remains uncertain. It also does not include his
          lazy approach to the job, like his refusal to read briefing books or the many empty hours on his schedule. It instead focuses on demonstrable ways that he has broken the law or violated his constitutional oath.

          Trump has used the presidency for personal enrichment.
          Regardless of party, Trump’s predecessors took elaborate steps to separate their personal financial interests from their governing responsibilities. They released their tax returns, so that any potential conflicts would be public. They placed their assets in a blind trust, to avoid knowing how their policies might affect their own investments. Trump has instead treated the presidency as a branding opportunity. He has continued to own and promote the Trump Organization. He has spent more than 200 days at one of his properties and billed taxpayers for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

          If this pattern were merely petty corruption, without damage to the national interest, it might not warrant removal from office. But Trump’s focus on personal profit certainly appears to be affecting policy. Most worrisome, foreign officials and others have realized they can curry favor with the president by spending money at one of his properties. Saudi Arabia has showered the Trump Organization with business, and Trump has stood by the Saudis despite their brutal war in Yemen and their assassination of a prominent critic. A Chinese government-owned company reportedly gave a $500 million loan to a Trump-backed project in Indonesia; two days later, Trump announced that he was lifting sanctions on another well connected Chinese company.

          These examples, and many more, flout Article 1 of the Constitution, which bans federal officeholders from accepting “emoluments” from any foreign country unless Congress approves the arrangement. Madison, when making the case for an impeachment clause, spoke of a president who “might betray his trust to foreign powers.”

          Then, of course, there is Russia. Even before Robert Mueller, the special counsel, completes his investigation, the known facts are damning enough in at least one way. Trump lied to the American people during the 2016 campaign about business negotiations between his company and Vladimir Putin’s government. As president, Trump has taken steps — in Europe and Syria — that benefit Putin. To put it succinctly: The president of the United States lied to the country about his commercial relationship with a hostile foreign government toward which he has a strangely accommodating policy.

          Combine Trump’s actions with his tolerance for unethical cabinet officials — including ones who have made shady stock trades, accepted lavish perks or used government to promote their own companies or those of their friends — and the Trump administration is almost certainly the most corrupt in American history. It makes Warren G. Harding’s Teapot Dome scandal look like, well, a tempest in a teapot.

          It’s worth acknowledging that most campaign finance violations do not warrant removal from office. But these payments were not most campaign finance violations. They involved large, secret payoffs in the final weeks of a presidential campaign that, prosecutors said, “deceived the voting public.” The seriousness of the deception is presumably the reason that the prosecutors filed criminal charges against Cohen, rather than the more common penalty of civil fines for campaign finance violations.

          Trump has obstructed justice.
          What should happen to a president who won office with help from criminal behavior? The founders specifically considered this possibility during their debates at the Constitutional Convention. The most direct answer came from George Mason: A president who “practiced corruption and by that means procured his appointment in the first instance” should be subject to impeachment.

          Again and again, Trump has interfered with the investigation in ways that may violate the law and clearly do violate decades-old standards of presidential conduct. He pressured James Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to let up on the Russia investigation, as a political favor. When Comey refused,
          Trump fired him. Trump also repeatedly pressured Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, to halt the investigation and ultimately forced Sessions to resign for not doing so. Trump has also publicly hounded several of the government’s top experts on Russian organized crime, including Andrew McCabe and Bruce Orr.

          And Trump has repeatedly lied to the American people. He has claimed, outrageously, that the Justice Department tells witnesses to lie in exchange for leniency. He has rejected, with no factual basis, the findings of multiple intelligence agencies about Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign. He reportedly helped his son Donald Trump Jr. draft a false statement about a 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer.

          Obstruction of justice is certainly grounds for the removal of a president. It was the subject of the first Nixon article of impeachment passed by the House Judiciary Committee. Among other things, that article accused him of making “false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States.”

          Trump has subverted democracy.
          The Constitution that Trump swore to uphold revolves around checks and balances. It depends on the idea that the president is not a monarch. He is a citizen to whom, like all other citizens, the country’s laws apply. Trump rejects this principle. He has instead tried to undermine the credibility of any independent source of power or information that does not serve his interests.
          It’s much more than just the Russia investigation. He has tried to delegitimize federal judges based on their ethnicity or on the president who appointed them, drawing a rare rebuke from Chief Justice John Roberts. Trump has criticized the Justice Department for indicting Republican politicians during an election year. He has called for Comey, Hillary Clinton and other political
          opponents of his to be jailed.

          Trump has described journalists as “the enemy of the people” — an insult usually leveled by autocrats. He has rejected basic factual findings from the C.I.A., the Congressional Budget Office, research scientists and others. He has told bald lies about election fraud.

          Individually, these sins may not seem to deserve removal from office. Collectively, though, they exact a terrible toll on American society. They cause people to lose the faith on which a democracy depends — faith in elections, in the justice system, in the basic notion of truth.

          No other president since Nixon has engaged in behavior remotely like Trump’s. To accept it without sanction is ultimately to endorse it. Unpleasant though it is to remove a president, the costs and the risks of a continued Trump presidency are worse.

          What now?
          The most relevant precedent for the removal of Trump is Nixon, the only American president to be forced from office because of his conduct. And two aspects of Nixon’s departure tend to get overlooked today. One, he was never impeached. Two, most Republicans — both voters and elites — stuck by him until almost the very end. His approval rating among Republicans was still about 50 percent when, realizing in the summer of 1974 that he was doomed, he resigned.

          The current political dynamics have some similarities. Whether the House of Representatives, under Democratic control, impeaches Trump is not the big question. The question is whether he loses the support of a meaningful slice of Republicans.

          I know that many of Trump’s critics have given up hoping that he ever will. They assume that Republican senators will go on occasionally criticizing him without confronting him. But it is a mistake to give up. The stakes are too large — and the chances of success are too real. Consider the following descriptions of Trump: “terribly unfit;” “erratic;” “reckless;” “impetuous;” “unstable;” “a pathological liar;” “dangerous to a democracy;” a concern to “anyone who cares about our nation.” Every one of these descriptions comes from a Republican member of Congress or of Trump’s own administration.

          They know. They know he is unfit for office. They do not need to be persuaded of the truth. They need to be persuaded to act on it.

          Democrats won’t persuade them by impeaching Trump. Doing so would probably rally the president’s supporters. It would shift the focus from Trump’s behavior toward a group of Democratic leaders whom Republicans are never going to like. A smarter approach is a series of sober-minded hearings to highlight Trump’s misconduct. Democrats should focus on easily
          understandable issues most likely to bother Trump’s supporters, like corruption.

          If this approach works at all — or if Mueller’s findings shift opinion, or if a separate problem arises, like the economy — Trump’s Republican allies will find themselves in a very difficult spot.
          At his current approval rating of about 40 percent, Republicans were thumped in the midterms. Were his rating to fall further, a significant number of congressional Republicans would be facing long re-election odds in 2020.

          Two examples are Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of Maine, senators who, not coincidentally, have shown tentative signs of breaking with Trump on the government shutdown. The recent criticism from Mitt Romney — who alternates between critical and sycophantic, depending on his own political interests — is another sign of Trump’s weakness.

          For now, most Republicans worry that a full break with Trump will cause them to lose a primary, and it might. But sticking by him is no free lunch. Just ask the 27 Republican incumbents who were defeated last year and are now former members of Congress. By wide margins, suburban voters and younger voters find Trump abhorrent. The Republican Party needs to hold its own among these voters, starting in 2020.

          It’s not only that Trump is unfit to be president and that Republicans know it. It also may be the case that they will soon have a political self-interest in abandoning him. If they did, the end could come swiftly. The House could then impeach Trump, knowing the Senate might act to convict. Or negotiations could begin over whether Trump deserves to trade resignation for some version of immunity.

          Finally, there is the hope — naïve though it may seem — that some Republicans will choose to act on principle. There now exists a small club of former Trump administration officials who were widely respected before joining the administration and whom Trump has sullied, to greater or lesser degrees. It includes Rex Tillerson, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster and Jim Mattis. Imagine if one of them gave a television interview and told the truth about Trump. Doing so would be a service to their country at a time of national need. It would be an illustration of duty.

          Throughout his career, Trump has worked hard to invent his own reality, and largely succeeded. It has made him very rich and, against all odds, elected him president. But whatever happens in 2019, his false version of reality will not survive history, just as Nixon’s did not. Which side of that history do today’s Republicans want to be on?

          1. Posted it again Marky? Seriously?

            Rinse, blather, repeat.

            Let’s just take one juicy sentence from the article, since that’s all I have time for…

            The author writes about Trump:

            “If this pattern were merely petty corruption, without damage to the national interest, it might not warrant removal from office. But Trump’s focus on personal profit certainly appears to be affecting policy. Most worrisome, foreign officials and others have realized they can curry favor with the president by spending money at one of his properties.”

            Now, just for fun, let’s substitute the name Hillary Clinton in the same sentence:

            “If this pattern were merely petty corruption, without damage to the national interest, it might not warrant removal from office. But Clinton’s focus on personal profit [during her tenure as Secy of State] certainly appears to be affecting policy. Most worrisome, foreign officials and others have realized they can curry favor with the [Secretary of State, and likely future] president, by spending money at one of [her family charities or by paying Bill Clinton absurd amounts of money for a 30-minute speech.]

            And so the voters, being far smarter than you think, did not want to see the shady pay-for-play operation Hillary had going on over the State Dept. moved into yet *another* certain-to-be-corrupt and scandal-filled Clinton White House.

            Fact: The voters rejected “Madam President” and elected Donald Trump. And no matter what happens to Trump in the next year or two, the country made the correct choice to reject “Madam President.” Absolutely no doubt about it.

            PS How’s that Hannity man-crush of yours?

            1. Haha. Excellent. “BUT WHAT ABOUT HILLARY!!!!!!!!!” Please elucidate some more on “BENGHAZI!!!!” and the dead guy in the park, the uranium unicorn fantasy, and the chick with some computer thingy, and your true favorite, “WHITEWATERRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrr………….!”

              this is to “I really, really, believe that hannity like me as a person” t-hott bobbie

          2. So, Marky, since I can’t sleep, let’s take another sentence out of what you call the “blueprint for saving the country”…

            Leonhardt writes: “Trump has also publicly hounded several of the government’s top experts on Russian organized crime, including Andrew McCabe and Bruce Ohr.”

            Notice how the author fails to mention that Andrew McCabe was fired for cause and referred for possible indictment and criminal prosecution. And then there’s Peter Strzok, who was also fired for cause, and Bruce Ohr, who was demoted, twice. Or that there are questions still surrounding the role of Bruce’s wife, Nellie Ohr, who worked for Fusion GPS. And the fact that Bruce Ohr failed to report his wife’s income from Fusion GPS, which is considered a mandatory disclosure on his DOJ ethics forms.

            The author fails to mention any of these curious “facts” and so many more in his article.

  11. This is all political tomfoolery. The election process of 2016 decided who serves as President and the result was Donald Trump’s election. It is not the role of Congress to arbitrarily dictate retroactive elections.

    The public did not want President Clinton convicted and I highly doubt the majority of voters will of President Trump. It’s time that Congress grow up and recognize that they do not control everything.

      1. While I have railed at the stupidity of this – it is far better for Trump to have House Democrats engaged in all this “investigation” than a SC.

        There remains to this day no underlying actual crime for Mueller to investigate. If the 4th amendment does not say that they government may not use force to conduct an investigation without first demonstrating probable cause that an actual crime was committed then what does the 4th amendment mean – or should we just discard constructs like the rule of law as archaic ?

        Regardless as house democrats sit in judgement of Trump – we sit in judgement of them. It is unfortunately true that the majority of the public can not grasp that the ends do not justify the means. If House Democrats manage to find truly compelling misconduct – they will prevail and Trump will be impeached regardless of the immorality of the methods they employ. At the same time ordinary people ARE able to discern what truly compelling misconduct is. Whether the left likes it or not you have not sold most people that these process crimes are truly compelling.

        House republicans absolutely nailed Bill Clinton on perjury and suborning perjury. There is zero doubt that he perjured himself twice, and that he persuaded Lewinsky to make false statements. Clinton prevailed and the house republicans were the ultimate victims of their own investigations because there was no truly compelling underlying crime.

        If the House Democrats wish to go down the same road – that is fine by me. Investigate away.

        While Turley and others are correct that the peril for Trump increases – is also does for the left.

        Everyone reads the 2018 election results in their own way. If democrats and the left wish to bet that the american people wanted two years of anally probing Trump without leading to any substance – go for it!

    1. Trump has moved the Overton window and sent the bulk of he political class into a nervous breakdown in so doing. And, of course, you have the usual imperious self assertion by our repulsive appellate judiciary and their accomplices in the ‘public interest bar’.

      One thing that hits you about liberals and the Democratic Party is that they have absolutely no constructive agenda anymore. They’ve got some wonks like Harold Pollack, but that aside, all they do is feed their clientele and wage war on their social enemies. It’s most unedifying. Their disregard for the norms and courtesies of political life really calls into question the sustainability of democratic institution.

      And it’s all reflective of how the culture of the professional-managerial class has decayed in recent decades. We’re suffering as a country because our fancy people are, for the most part, jerks.

      1. From the Wikipedia entry on The Overton Window:

        In his “West India Emancipation” speech at Canandaigua, New York, in 1857,[8] abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass described how public opinion limits the ability of those in power to act with impunity:

        Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

        1. Leftist word salad.

          What tyranny are you subject to ? How is your freedom being infringed upon ?

          I can identify many many ways in which power is being used to limit your freedom, but not one of those has anything to do with Trump.

          The entire claim by the left that Trump is a tyrant is based on the fact that he is releasing americans from the Tyranny of the left.

          1. I recommend following a thread before posting replies to a comment that you have obviously taken out of the context in which it was presented. Below are a few helpful hints reposted from nearby:

            This is absurd x 2 says: January 7, 2019 at 5:32 AM

            Trump has moved the Overton window and sent the bulk of he political class into a nervous breakdown in so doing.

            Late4Dinner says: January 7, 2019 at 8:26 AM

            From the Wikipedia entry on The Overton Window:

            In his “West India Emancipation” speech at Canandaigua, New York, in 1857, abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass described how public opinion limits the ability of those in power to act with impunity:

            Now I could post a link to the Wikipedia article at issue. Or you could type the words “The Overton Window” into whatever search engine you prefer and read up on the context in which the cited comments were presented. The choice is yours. You are free to do as you please.

            BTW, how do you feel about a president who declares a national emergency using evidence taken out of the context to which it might be relevant for the express purpose of thwarting the will of The Congress with respect to a notorious boondoggle to which the cited evidence cannot possibly be relevant???

    2. Impeachment is a political process, not a criminal one. It has political consequences – both for the target, AND for those investigating.

      While I personally think congressional democrats would be unwise to proceed as they seem intent on doing, they are free to do so.

      I am far more troubled by the Special Counsel.
      Both the SC law and the 4th amendment require probable cause that a crime has been committed to utilize any investigatory tools that involve compulsion – force, such as warrants.
      We are 3 years from the start of this Trump/Russia Collusion investigation – and we still do not have an allegation of a specific crime with probable cause that said crime has been committed.

      THAT is an egregious crime.

      1. Solicitation of a bribe. (Possibly the bribery itself.)
        Conspiracy to defraud the United States by the Trump Organization.
        Conspiracy to defraud the United States by the Trump campaign.

      2. dhlii, you are correct. These types of investigations are supposed to START with probable cause and not be unleashed in a desperate search to FIND probable cause.

        1. Trump was pursuing a Trump Tower Moscow deal with a sanctioned Russian individual and a sanctioned Russian bank while campaigning for President. And the communications records of those business negotiations came into the possession of the special counsel’s office not too long after the special counsel’s investigation began. And that just so happens to be corroboration for one of the earliest allegations in the Trump-Russia Dossier compiled by Christopher Steele. Ergo, the special counsel’s investigation started with probable cause.

          1. Ma’am, You are trying to retro-fit/back-date a probable cause to satisfy your blood-thirst for scalp of Donald Trump who outworked your stay at home candidate. No clear probable cause was ever conveyed at start Muler investigation other than lefty loon hysteria. You lost Lady, get over it and get some real game instead of cheer-leading for a back door coop.

              1. Trump is NOT The United States of America. No one person is The United States of America. That you don’t know that; that you can’t tell the difference; that you never could tell the difference IS the destruction of this great nation.

              2. Diane, I said nothing about Donald Trump but that is where you tried to escape to, left wing symbolism and perversion of the truth, which in your terms is a way to destroy this great nation and rebirth it in your own sick image.

                  Colbert may dispute the notion that “no one person is the United States of America”.
                  He was actually hilarious years ago when he mockingly pretended to “be America”; however, with his transition as Letterman’s successor on the Late Show, I think he actually has himself believing it.
                  He left the actual comedy he did so well back at Comedy Central, and has become what he once parodied.

                  1. Tom, Colbert destroyed his craft. Maybe, however, he can ressurect himself as a comedian once again. Diane was born who she is today. No resurection for her. She will never be normal or be able to provide anything but a diminutive Stalinist view of the world.

            1. The Abject Denier said, “No clear probable cause was ever conveyed at start Muler investigation.”

              Manafort’s lawyers challenged that proposition twice. Both judges were shown the un-redacted memos showing the probable cause for the special counsel’s investigation. Both judges allowed the indictments to stand and the cases to proceed to trial. Ordinarily the fact that the judges know the probable cause shown behind the redactions and allow the cases to proceed to trial would be fatal to the notion that there supposedly was no probable cause to investigate in the first place. But in the wackadoodle world of Trumpanzees the appeal to ignorance, like hope before it, springs eternal. If fact, Trumpanzees regard their own ignorance as absolute proof positive for everything they believe from the beginning to end and ever after. The rest of us regard that as abject denial.

              1. Nice try Lady (hope that made you feel better). Manafort persecution related to 2005 tax cold case which Muler should have referred back to DOJ but instead saw to fruition. Perhaps Muler’s Clinton crony attorneys needed the billable hours at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.

    3. It’s about ruthless political will and the Dems having it and using the tools that they can. they are not concerned about social or political norms outside of their own circles. they are concerned with gaining more power and disrupting the power of the other side. they know no limitations based on consistency or hypocrisy, they know no limitations based on timidity.

      in these tendencies, if not their policies, they show the focus and determination that made communists a threat to all preceding social orders in the 20th century.

      one wonders, however, what sort of order the Democrats would establish in the wake of their own destructive tactics?

      because they do not really espouse communism, actually they seem like big advocates of free trade and international finance, in that they’re going to war on the POTUS who is trying to negotiate better deals for American industry and labor.

      So would it be some kind of Soros funded liberal-globalist international capitalism seeking to eliminate national boundaries and “prejudices” of all kinds, ie, all identity based on race tribe nation religion and gender; thus turning all people worldwide to the same size and form of economic ball bearings in a slick well functioning world machine? They imagine the end of national borders and limitation on “the free movement of labor,” that might seem like the long ago predicted “withering away of the state” predicted by Engles

      apparently I am not the only person to speculate that there is some alignment between global capitalism and the marxist prophecy of the “withering away of the state”

      unfortunately i cant pull up that whole essay but i would like to read it

  12. Quick look! The bad guys are getting away!

    Apparently Professor Turley has never heard of the most prodigious political scandal in American history – the Obama coup d’etat in America – the crime and corruption at the FBI, the inordinate number of “unmaskings” by Power and Rice for the eminently ineligible Obama, the Obergruppenfuhrer Mueller “witch hunt” that is as interminable as the Spanish Inquisition, etc., etc., etc.

    The first layer of the “deep state” “swamp” should already be in prison:

    Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan,
    Campbell, Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Clapper, Farkas, Power,
    Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Obama et al.

    Peter Strzok to Lisa Page, “We’ll stop it.”

    Lisa Page to Peter Strzok, “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.”

    Lisa Page to Congress, “The texts mean what the texts say.”

    1. QUICKLY QUICKLY!! RUN AND HIDE, RUN AND HIDE!! You know you’ll lose your internet privileges again for being out of your room after lights out. so sorry for your loss of dessert for a day; hopefully you’ll only miss out on the green jello.

      this to “crazy” paulie – georgie

      1. Marky Mark Mark – I always play when the lights are out and I never eat desserts. Althougth, red Jello is tempting. 😉

  13. There’s no “trap”. If he commits or has committed an impeachable offense that is on him. Just a no one can trap him into perjury no one can trap him into impeachment.

    1. Absolutely, any so-called “trap” would be one of Trump’s own making. This “trap” nostrum is simply a means by which guilty individuals attempt to exculpate themselves by shifting the blame. No US federal court has ever accepted a motion to dismiss because of a claimed perjury trap. Case closed.

      1. Thus far we have a bevy of investigations – none of which has an underlying crime that has proven true – most of which do not have an allegation of sufficient strength to even justify and investigation.

        The rule of law is not supposed to be a club to pummel those we disagree with until they capitulate.

        This is not Berria’s USSR, this is the US – we investigate actual crimes – we allow law enforcement to use compulsin If and only If there is probable cause that an actual crime has been committed and that those we are compelling will be able to provide further evidence of that crime.

        We do not use force against people because we do not like them.

        The unjustified use of force against another is itself criminal – even when it is done by government, by law enforcement, by congress.

        To engage government – to “target” a person, to use force – and all government action is force, you must justify that use of force.

        I do not like someone, is not sufficient. An unsupported allegation is not sufficient.

        If you use force without sufficient justification – whether you “trap” someone or not is irrelevant.
        What is relevant is that YOU are acting criminally, you are acting immorally.

        If you wish to investigate various affairs of Trump – make an allegation of a crime. A real crime based on actual law that has been previously enforced as a crime, and applying that law narrowly. Then provide the evidence – that there is probable cause to beleive that this crime was committed, and that the information you seek to compell will provide further evidence of that crime.

        Put simply follow the 4th amendment. It is there for a reason. It is their because our founders wisely rejected precisely the tactics employed by the english that you seek to use now to target Trump.

        If you can not meet those criteria – you are not justified in using force. Which means you can not investigate.

        1. This nonaggression principle stuff is totally irrelevant to any cop anywhere. They investigate whatever they want to investigate and never let your moral scruples get in the way.

        2. The special counsel’s investigation has been subjected to judicial review at every step along the way and no federal judge has yet to find fault with anything the special counsel’s office has done thus far.

          Your suit is frivolous.

            1. Ask Huber and Horowitz. If they don’t know, then ask Jeff Sessions. If he doesn’t know, then go ask Peter Smith.

              1. Diane, what you are saying is that somehow people that have been or are today involved in sorting out criminal actions are very good at retaining evidence that is created and untrue about one side while unable to retain their own documents that demonstrate criminality or bias by them and the other side which unfortunately includes members of the investigating staff.

                You truly don’t understand how justice works.

    2. Apparently you have never been in a high pressure conflict – particularly one where law or law enforcment is involved.

      If you apply enough pressure even to innocent people for long enough eventually they break.

      There are 1100 people on the exhonerated list today – these are people who were convicted of extremely serious crimes who absolutely possitively did not commit them.
      They did not get off through legal technicalities, they were released because it was PROVEN they were innocent.

      Every single one of them confessed.

      The use of the legal system to manufacture crimes is MORE IMMORAL than the crimes committed.

      While there is some actual debate whether Flynn mistated anything to the FBI, much less anything of consequence, the behavior of McCabe, Comey and Yates in “setting Flynn up” are far more immoral.

      Regardless the bigger point is that if those with the power to use force are not investigating an actual crime but seeking to provoke their target into committing a crime – THEY are the criminals, they are the ones who are immoral.

      Do you really wish to live in a society where those in power pick and choose who they like and dislike and when they dislike you they put pressure on you until you eventually make a mistake ?

      1. Do you really wish to live in a society where those in power pick and choose who they like and dislike and when they dislike you they put pressure on you until you eventually make a mistake?

        Yes they do. Because all of their Facebook friends and Twitter followers have told them how much they love their online opinions. If you dare disagree with them, and God forbid you have evidence to prove them wrong, then you’ve committed the most egregious of crimes…proving a narcissist wrong. They will lay every law flat to get revenge.

        But, as the meme states, <Americans, willing to cross a frozen river to kill you, in your sleep, on Christmas. Totally not kidding. We've done it.

        So let them give it a go.

      1. There you go again. You argue that every crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before that crime can even be investigated to find out whether it is, in fact, a crime. You know that that’s not what probable cause is. And yet you pretend the contrary to your own knowledge for the sake of hoodwinking, snookering and bamboozling whosoever might read your comment without possessing the knowledge of what probable cause is.

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