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. Excerpted from Manafort’s lawyer’s response to Mueller’s declaration of breach of plea agreement:

    Issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue, and it is not surprising at all that Mr. Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed. The same is true with regard to the Government’s allegation that Mr. Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign.

    [end excerpt]

    Polling data? What polling data? “Polling data related to the 2016 campaign.” Whose polling data related to he 2016 campaign?

    This is maddening. The redaction unmasks itself when copied and pasted and . . . We still need to know what polling data? Whose polling data related to the 2016 campaign?

    I predict another garble in the making.

  2. Old news, new information:

    NYT Finds More Evidence Of ‘Social Media Trickery’ In Alabama Senate Race
    1:32 PM 01/07/2019 | Politics
    Reports show Democratic operatives engaged in a second misinformation campaign in Alabama ahead of the 2017 special election.
    Operatives behind a so-called false flag campaign in Alabama did it to combat conservative memes targeting Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Washington Post reported.
    The so-called false-flags targeting Republican Roy Moore in Alabama were much more widespread than previously reported.

  3. “Thus far, the strongest basis is the money paid to two women to silence them about alleged affairs with Trump before the election.” Rat Michael Cohen taped conversation with Trump on this matter in which Trump can be heard saying “I will write a check” to which wise guy attorney responded “no,no,no”. Trump prepared to write check with his name on it to get rid of nuisance bimbo – this type of criminal intent surely rises to the level of basis for impeachment by house and approval for removal by senate.

  4. There is an implication in the column that “The House” re-introduced articles of impeachment the day the Democrats took control of the House.
    Two representatives, Al “Wolfman” Green and Bald Brad Sherman were the 2 Congressman who, once again, put forward the articles of impeachment.
    There was an additional member of Congress involved in introducing articles of impeachment last year; this year, I just seen the names of Green and Sherman as the “sponsors”, if that’s the correct word, of the articles.
    The Trump Administration claims that it has already turned over 1,500,000 pages of documents related to the Special Counsel investigation.
    There is mention of a “subpeona cannon” the House plans to shoot at the White House, overwhelmingly the administration and the Trump legal team with voluminous and endless demands for documents.
    If that tactic is used, I think that an impasse and showdown between the House and the White House will happen sooner rather than later ( that could develop as a flat refusal to comply, or slooow-walking delivery of documents for a very long time).
    An impasse may well develop at some point, in any case. When Attorney General Eric Holder was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents, it was a “so what” non-event.
    The motivation to go after Trump is far stronger than was the incentive to destroy Holder, so the Holder example propably isn’t anything like an actual precedent.
    The Holder example just be a more of an illustration and a preview of a more significant battle coming up between the House and the Administration.

  5. MESPO’S CLAIM:

    ‘MILITARY CAREERS ARE NOT GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE’

    TRUMP’S ‘LACK’ OF EXPERIENCE PROVOKED DISCUSSION

    Mespo took exception when I noted that Donald Trump is the first president ever with no experience in government. Mespo cited Pierce, Grant and Eisenhower as presidents who had ‘no government experience’.

    One gathers Mespo never saw ‘Department of Defense’ on budgetary pie charts. Nor has Mespo heard about a pentagon shaped building.

    Military Admirals and Generals don’t campaign like politicians. And they don’t have to market themselves to a voting public. Those are distinctions to note.

    But military careers are highly political at every level. Every soldier has to politic with those ranking above and below them. What’s more, soldiers are often in service 24 hours per day. That’s constant politics.

    Admirals and General have to politic with congressmen, contractors, host governments, military of host governments, host communities, other branches of U.S. forces, other branches of U.S. government, journalists and activists.

    Sometimes Generals have to politic with enemy forces over prisoner swaps and truces.

    Therefore military careers are great experience for high positions in government. During WW II Eisenhower gained more experience than most presidents ever attain.

    To my knowledge almost every president was either a General, Vice President, Senator or Governor. There ‘were’ only 3 exceptions:: Lincoln, Taft and Hoover.

    Lincoln served 1 term in the U.S. House and 4 terms in the Illinois House. Lincoln had also been County Surveyor, Postmaster and Militia Captain.

    William Howard Taft had never held elected office. But Taft had been: Secretary of War, U.S. Solicitor General, U.S. District Judge and Governor General of The Philippines.

    Herbert Hoover had never held elected office. But Hoover served 7 years as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Hoover had also been Director of The U.S. Food Administration; tasked with feeding Europe after WW I.

    I contend that Donald Trump is the ‘only’ U.S. president with no previous experience in government (or military). And that lack of experience is at the root of every problem Trump has; including the Mueller Probe.

    1. PH, why do you even try to state or tell facts to people that have no interest in facts? They love their bubble and as hard it is to believe, they just don’t care to know.

    2. PH:

      Hoisted on your own petard you scramble to explain to us that the army is the government. They’re not. It can’t make laws, enforce laws, provide government services or carry out any of the other functions of government. That’s the fact you can’t get around. Carry on.

  6. TRUMP CLAIMS EX-PRESIDENTS ADMITTED TO HIM..

    THEY ‘SHOULD’VE BUILT A BORDER WALL’.

    BUT ALL LIVING EX-PRESIDENTS DENY CONVERSATION

    Trump made the remark during a lengthy appearance in the White House’s Rose Garden on Friday, in the midst of an extended soliloquy about the border wall that he has yet to find funding or widespread political support for.

    The government is shut down over the president’s demand that Congress allocate $5.7 billion for the wall.

    “This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me,” Trump said. “And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.”

    The president has made 7,600 false or misleading statements since he became president, and some have proved more difficult than others to fact-check. This one was not. There are only four living ex-presidents. The Washington Post reached out to them to see whether they ever told Trump that a border wall should have been built before he was in office: All said they hadn’t.

    Edited from: “Trump Claimed Ex-Presidents Told Him They Wanted To Build A Border Wall. Four Of Them Said It’s Not True”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

    1. “The president has made 7,600 false or misleading statements since he became president,”

      Misleading? That depends on the idiot interpreting the statement.

      However, when it comes to keeping campaign promises or trying to do so Trump seems to be the most honest President we have had in recent years. Trump is not always as precise as he should be but he has integrity when it comes to fulfilling campaign promises. The present shutdown has to do with Trump’s promise of a barrier or wall. He said when campaigning he would remove troops from Syria and listen to the complaints about him trying to keep his campaign promise. Some other promises kept or being worked on NAFTA, China trade, North Korea nukes, lowering taxes, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, cancelling the Iran deal, nominating Supreme Court Justices from a disclosed list, etc. etc. I would say that is a President that keeps his word something we haven’t seen in quite awhile and something unnoticed by those that lack the intelligence to move past hit piece news articles.

      Results count. What are Peter Shill’s results? Innacuracies, lack of honesty or integrity, etc. etc. Peter Shill represents the Shills from the left so we can’t count on such integrity.

      1. PH got his “facts” from the hard-hitting political reporting by CNN. They put jars and jars filled with gumballs on a table and each colorful gumball dropped in the jar represented yet another Trump “lie” complete with a running estimated “total” of lies told by Trump.

        Yep. Lots and lots of Gumballs in jars. This is where PH got his number. I kid you not.

        1. TBob, I don’t have cable. I don’t watch CNN, Fox or MSNBC.

          Your apology is just so stupid it defies comprehension.

    2. thank goodness that Bezos’ amazon doesnt tell the same lies that his rag the Wapo does. I never had Amazon screw me on a single thing. but you pick up wapo and it’s filled with garbage.. oh wait nobody really picks it up anymore it just circulates around the net like a virus

  7. (music)
    He’s a Trump… He’s a Trump…
    He’s a Trump all the way.
    From his first French hooker to his last dying day.

    etc

  8. TRUMP NEVER LEARNS..

    THEN WONDERS WHY THINGS GO BADLY

    Albert Einstein never said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. But wherever it came from, Trump proves the maxim daily. He keeps spouting off, keeps improvising impulsively, keeps spurning those who could help him and antagonizing those who can hurt him, huddles ever closer to the dying embers of his demoralized base — yet seems surprised that things keep going wrong.

    Edited from: “Let’s Ask The Psychiatrists, Mr President. But Let’s Start With Yours”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

      1. Peter Shill can’t even accurately quote a comment from the same page on this blog so don’t expect very much from him.

    1. “TRUMP NEVER LEARNS..

      THEN WONDERS WHY THINGS GO BADLY”

      We know stupidity when we see it. The claim about Trump most recently, because the number of employed rose so high, is that he is causing volatility in the marketplace. Stupid people prefer a GDP below 2 and an economy that is sluggish.

  9. ADAM SCHIFF TO PROBE DEUTSCHE BANK CONNECTION

    California Congressman Adam Schiff, a frequent Trump foe, is now empowered by Democratic control of the new House. Schiff is the subject of a GUARDIAN article that is trending today. Here is a key excerpt:

    One of the first matters he plans to investigate, Schiff told NBC last month, is the Trump Organization’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, for a time reportedly Trump’s exclusive lender, which was fined $700m in 2017 for allowing money laundering.

    “The concern about Deutsche Bank is that they have a history of laundering Russian money,” Schiff said. “And this, apparently, was the one bank that was willing to do business with the Trump Organization. If this is a form of compromise, it needs to be exposed.”

    Edited from: “Will Adam Schiff Pose A Bigger Threat To Trump Than Robert Mueller?”

    Today’s THE GUARDIAN

    1. h Deutsche Bank, for a time reportedly Trump’s exclusive lender, which was fined $700m in 2017 for allowing money laundering.

      It’s the largest bank in Germany, Peter, and nearly the largest in the EU at one time. No clue why you fancy the Trump Organization as one of their clients is somehow tainted because they didn’t comply with some reporting requirement in re the transactions of some other client.

      1. Okay, then it’s no big deal and nothing will come from Adam Schiff’s probe.

        But ‘why’ was Deutsche Trump’s ‘exclusive’ lender? How come major American wouldn’t lend to Donald Trump? Those are the questions you might focus on.

        1. But ‘why’ was Deutsche Trump’s ‘exclusive’ lender?

          Did it ever occur to you to ask the source of the contention that Deutschebank was his exclusive lender?

            1. It’s widely understood that ‘widely reported’ memes find their origins in reporters’ rectums.

              1. Absurd,..
                So you think that Deutschebank is the sole lender to Trump?
                If you talk about asking “the source of contention that D Bank was his exclusive lender”, what “sources” do you use if you discount and discardevery news report to the contrary?

                1. you guys are hilarious. I bet “Trump” meaning all his controlled enterprises has no less than 30 lenders. But just guessing, it could easily be over 100.

                  Do any of you have any experience in business operations whatsoever?

                  1. It is doubtful that anyone bank would be an exclusive lender to so many corporate ventures with high loans involved. Banks like insurers spread the risk.

                    1. of course. syndication for large loans to major enterprises is what you refer to.

                      of course I was also just thinking quotidian lines of credit. ever look at your own credit report? the average middle class american with a wallet full of credit cards and store cards is in a lending relationship with like 10-20 banks I bet

                      even in a regular business the suppliers are often quasi-creditors and have a security interest in their supplies. it’s complicated even for a regular small business; but fools expect us to believe a billionaire has “ONE BANK” ? Lol wtf

                    2. “but fools expect us to believe a billionaire has “ONE BANK” ? Lol”

                      The fools don’t learn, do they?

                    3. Allan,…
                      Perhaps boatloads of Putin rubles were spirited into New York Harbor😏😀, and are the true source of Trump’s financing.
                      I’ll drop the emojis, and see if I can get this circulated around the internet as a serious allegation.

                    4. Tom, if Putin has some of his investments mixed with mine that is a good thing. I invest in various things and it is almost impossible to tell where all the money comes from. However, the government can attach my money and if they can do that to mine they can likely do that to Putin’s and that is a special type of political power the US has an abundance of.

                  2. Mr. Kurtz,…
                    There are multiple creditors. I’ll try to find Market Watch report that lists some other lenders, in addition to the ones mentioned on the New York Times.
                    There are frequent claims that Trump is primarily indebted to a Kremlin-linked Russian bank, in a criminal conspiracy with another “sole lender”, DeustcheBank, that no U.S. institution will lend to him, etc.
                    However, a claim or an allegation or a “belief” is not evidence, no matter how fervent that belief may be, or how well it might fit into a favored conspiracy theory.

                    1. good tom thanks. barclays, JPM, and assorted many others. this “Deutsche Bank” meme is lame

            2. Tom, great article. I think I read it two years ago.

              But Tom this article is ‘not that reassuring with regards to Trump’s business and conflicts. To the contrary this piece seems to ’emphasize’ the conflicts! Take this excerpt, for instance:

              “Tracing the ownership of many of Mr. Trump’s buildings can be a complicated task. Sometimes he owns a building and the land underneath it; sometimes, he holds a partial interest or just the commercial portion of a property.

              And in some cases, the identities of his business partners are obscured behind limited liability companies — raising the prospect of a president with unknown business ties”.

              1. a host of ignoramuses with little or no real world business experience in lending or real estate transactions or asset management talking like a bunch of sixth graders attempting to analyze pro football management. you can have an opinion and it’s as equally valid as your waste export orifice that everyone also has

    2. DEUTSCHE BANK RAIDED BY GERMAN POLICE IN NOVEMBER

      The raid stemmed from the so-called ‘Panama Papers’, an investigative expose by international journalists which exposed Panama City as a giant money laundering center. Bloomberg noted the raid and the bank’s relationship with Donald Trump. Here is an excerpt from that piece:

      “When Trump nearly went personally bankrupt in the early 1990s, he left a handful of major U.S. banks on the hook for about $3.4 billion in loans he couldn’t repay (and about $900 million of which he had personally guaranteed). Hotels, casinos, real estate, an airline and other parts of his debt-ridden portfolio went into bankruptcy protection. In the wake of that collapse, Trump became a pariah among major U.S. banks, and he had to find unique ways of lining up money for the infrequent and small-bore
      deals he pursued thereafter. That left him borrowing money from labor unions and small, local lenders. Deutsche, keen at the time to make a name for itself in U.S. investment banking and commercial lending, was less hesitant to do business with Trump.

      Deutsche’s first transaction with Trump involved a modest renovation loan for 40 Wall Street, a Manhattan skyscraper Trump controls, in 1998. Trump did little to merit Deutsche’s involvement after that until the early 2000s, when it agreed to loan him as much as $640 million for a Chicago project — the Trump International Hotel and Tower”.

      The article goes on to say how Trump had a habit of inflating his wealth for many years. It appears he was never the mega billionaire he claimed to be.

      Edited from: “Deutsche Bank’s Troubles Are Donald Trump’s Troubles

      BLOOMBERG, 11/29/18

      1. Peter, my good fellow. that is about DB, not about Trump. The remarks about Trump are parenthetical insults.

        DB is a big bank and it has all the problems that big banks have .I have a list of reproachable things DB has been involved with, that I could bore you about, Trump being a borrower is not one of them.

  10. TRUMP WAS FIRST PRESIDENT..

    WITH NO EXPERIENCE IN GOVERNMENT

    AND HE DREW A SPECIAL COUNSEL PROBE IN RECORD TIME

    Professor Turley’s column above describes Trump as an obnoxious buffoon who brought endless conflicts to the White House. This was bound to happen. It was clear to everyone, in the earliest days of Trump’s campaign, that he lacked the temperament to be Commander In Chief.

    The Trump Organization was not a mainstream corporation. There were no quarterly reports for analysts to examine. It was instead a private, secretive company serving as an umbrella for any venture Trump pursued. Their main business was franchising Trump’s name. Trump functioned as all-powerful CEO unencumbered by outside directors. And said company is still run by the Trump family.

    Trump clearly intended to manage the White House as he managed his business; surrounded by family and sycophants. Trump even appointed his daughter and son-in-law as Senior White House Advisers. A fact that will stun students of government 20 years from now. People will shake their heads and ask, “How did he get away with that??”

    One must pause to note that for decades right-wing media pushed the notion that business experience could be ‘more’ relevant to government than experience ‘in’ government. Said notion rested on the assumption that businessmen are all honest, church-going family guys concerned with job creation. And their experience in balancing books would make them perfect candidates for managing government. What a fallacy!

    The truth is that many businessmen are neurotic, obnoxious, co-dependent, sexist, racist, homophobic and, or, disconnected from the public. We’ve all known businessmen who fit these categories. But they were good at their business and that was all that mattered as long as the business was profitable. Government doesn’t work that way.

    Presidents need a history of public service that can be scrutinized by journalists. Presidents need experience in negotiating with opposing interests. Presidents need a background in dealing with political allies. But more than anything presidents need an authentic interest in government; an interest Trump completely lacks.

    The truth is that right-wing media pushed Trump on America for all the wrong reasons. Trump was going to be the tough guy who evicted illegals and put liberals in their place. I just hope I live to see how historians describe this period. It should make great reading.

    1. AND HE DREW A SPECIAL COUNSEL PROBE IN RECORD TIME

      Actually, the ‘investigation’ was opened on 31 July 2016 and if you weren’t kinda of a blockhead it would occur to you that ‘record time’ is one of the features which tainted the investigation to begin with.

      1. Tabby this would make sense if…. Trump were an experienced politician, thoughtful, mature and astutely careful with regards to public statements.

        But Trump is none of those.

        1. Tabby this would make sense if…. Trump were an experienced politician, thoughtful, mature and astutely careful with regards to public statements.

          Kind of pathetic, Peter Shill, that you’re under the illusion that Barack Obama fit that bill.

          1. Tabby, Obama never drew a Special Counsel probe. Which is remarkable because Obama was dealing with an extremely hostile congress. In fact, the Benghazi investigation was probably intended as the forerunner of a Special Counsel probe. It never happened, though.

            1. Tabby, Obama never drew a Special Counsel probe

              Of course not. Holder and Lynch ran the Justice Department as an extension of the Democratic Party.

            2. Obama was relatively inexperienced in life and career. I am not saying this as an insult to him. I realize he was a constl law prof and community organizer and state senator. So he had modest experience in government.

              One might say he had legislator and judicial type experience however not much executive. Now Donald may not have had any legislative experience but he’s had tons of lawsuits lol and he has had a lot of executive experience for sure. So he actually knows how to run a big enterprise even if it’s different to go from business to government, for sure. So really lets be fair about that.

              Now back to Obama–He sort of emerged very quickly from obscurity., So he did not have a lot of baggage. a lot of the rumours were not credible.

              By contrast a heavyweight like Bill Clinton (governor) or Donald Trump (billionaire) is going to have a lot of irons ion the fire and draw the kind of scandal that can trigger a special counsel. They have had power in the real world for long enough to make enemies and step on a lot of toes.

              Obama, I think did better than I expected him to. I don’t have much praise for him but a lot of fears did not materialize. In many ways things just went sideways.

              And that is happening with Trump. We can see the socalled “Imperial Presidency” is a lot less imperial than we thought it was. And presidents do have many unilateral powers but they also may be very constrained by unexpected factors.

              1. Obama was a ticket-puncher in the Illinois legislature and in Congress and a recognized maven in no area of policy.

                See Wm. Dyer’s remarks on his academic career. Per Dyer, you teach tax law or commercial law and you have to know your onions. Constitutional law, per Dyer, may be taught well, but it’s the easiest of the subdisciplines for an instructor to fake it. N.B. Obama taught boutique courses (“___& and the Law”) and published no scholarly papers.

                His time in law practice was < 4 years.

                He was Spam in a can, marketed by David Plouffe.

              2. “I realize he was a constl law prof”

                Obama was not actually a Professor of Consittutional Law even though he may have been referred to as “professor”. He lectured on some topics involving constitutional law. Jonathan Turley is a professor of law and calling Obama the same is merely debasing something Jonathan Turley worked very hard for.

      2. Last I heard, OIG had the Get rid of Trump investigation starting at least as early as 12/2015, but Larry Klaymen’s client Dennis Montgomery has them investigating Trump & others as far back as 2004.

    2. At least there’s some humor😊😀😂 there in that HHHNN flash news flash, given that a sanctimonious liar and propagandist like Peter Hill whines about the “right-wing media”.

    3. TRUMP WAS FIRST PRESIDENT..

      WITH NO EXPERIENCE IN GOVERNMENT
      ***********************************
      That would surprise Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower. And that’s off the top of my head.

      1. Peter’s idea of ‘experience in government’ is Barack Obama twiddling his thumbs in the Illinois legislature.

      2. Mespo, since when is the U.S. Army a private corporation???????

        Grant and Eisenhower commanded huge armies. Those positions required extraordinary leadership! Eisenhower spent his life in government. Eisenhower helped administer the Philippines and functioned as top diplomat during WW II and his NATO years. To pretend these generals were never in government is shockingly ignorant!

        The closest we ever came to a president with ‘no experience’ in government was Herbert Hoover. Yet Hoover had been Secretary of Commerce under Harding and Coolidge. So even Hoover qualified! William Howard Taft had never held high office. But Taft had been a judge and U.S. Solicitor General. So Taft had experience too.

        Mespo see if you can find a president in history with no experience in government. I don’t think you will.

        1. “… since when is the US Army a private corporation …”
          ********************
          The army is a private corporation like the government is the army. We are not ruled by junta. You said “ no experience in government,” rather than “no large organization experience” presumably to distinguish Trump who does have that like the Presidents I cited. That demolished your blatantly facile assertion. Tuck your tail. Lick your wounds and come back to quibble later.

          1. Wrong, Mesblow, as usual. Only a fool thinks a general in the U.S. Armed Forces is not part of the government. Spin it anyway you want just like your support tRump there is no integrity to your thoughts.

          2. Seriously, Mespo..???

            You’re denying the army isn’t a department of the government? That’s pretty desperate.

  11. Trump has a history of having affairs and paying off mistresses. It’s kind of like an industry for women. People voted for him knowing he had this history, so he did not prevent the dissemination of new character information. Indeed, should someone lose his job for paying off a mistress, then that would be one way to drain the swamp in DC. That would affect a great many male and female politicians.

    Should such a move be considered an unlawful campaign contribution, then Hillary Clinton could be prosecuted, too. I would assert that the coordination between the media and prominent FBI officials to prevent the public from learning of her breaking the law on numerous occasions, but also protect her from the consequences, would constitute one of the largest campaign contributions in history.

    1. OK, Karen Honey: when, during the 2016 election cycle was Trump’s history of paying off women disclosed? I don’t recall this, and I watch most of the political shows regularly. And, there’s the Kellyanne Pivoting. Other people’s sins do not excuse Trump’s. Oh, and don’t blame the women who were bribed, either. If you recall Stormy Daniels’s statements, she only met with Trump because he promised to put her on “The Apprentice”. She wasn’t looking for any payoff, and, most importantly, she never found him attractive, either. I wouldn’t doubt that the motivation of the other women was similar.

      You don’t understand why the payoffs to the porn stars and Playboy models is a problem: the REASON and TIMING. It was done to hush up this information right before the election so gullible Evangelicals wouldn’t know about it. Because the motivation was to help Trump win an election, not to protect his sham marriage, it constitutes an in-kind campaign donation that was required by law to be reported. If we really wanted to hear Hannity’s and Rush’s absurd argument that the FBI and media are protecting Hillary Clinton, we’d watch and listen to them. Where is the proof of “coordination between the media and prominent FBI officials”, other than on Hannity’s script?

      1. natacha:

        “Where is the proof of “coordination between the media and prominent FBI officials”
        ************************
        Nope, no proof at all:

        Here’s Comey leaking his memo: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/james-comey-admits-leaking-his-trump-memo-to-the-press

        And the unknown FBI agent who admitted to leaking in a closed door congressional hearing to secure FISA warrants:
        https://abcstlouis.com/news/nation-world/reports-agent-admits-fbi-regularly-leaks-stories-then-uses-them-for-fisa-warrants

        Do you have news channels in your world/

  12. The real skill of a lawyer isn’t in knowing the law, but spinning the facts, a good example of which is this piece.
    Jon writes: “Democrats promised to demand answers on his personal taxes, foreign business dealings, family charity, and other areas beyond the Russia investigation.” And? What’s your point? Every other candidate in modern history has voluntarily released their tax returns. Trump refused. Why? We know that Trump was trying to do a deal with Russian oligarchs. We know that New York State dissolved the Trump Foundation because it was just a front. Why should Democrats elected to Congress on a platform that included investigating Trump be limited in scope as to what they’re allowed to investigate, in view of the fact that Trump and his business dealings have always been shady? Trump actually said that the midterms were to be a referendum about him, so a record number of voters voted Democratic. But for Republican gerrymandering, Democrats would also control the Senate, and still managed to win the House. The House of Representatives is doing the job they were elected to do. Respect that.

    No strong or compelling basis for impeachment? So says Turley, who also claims to know that Democrats are counting on Trump self-imploding like he usually does. The porn star and nude model payoffs are enough, but there’s also Comey’s firing. Jon complains that timing was the issue. No, timing wasn’t the issue. The issue was the REASON: because Comey wouldn’t take orders from Trump to stop the Mueller investigation or to give Flynn a break. That alone should be enough for obstruction of justice, but then Trump fired Sessions for being ethical and recusing himself. So, he replaces him with someone he thinks he can control. Jon also had to throw in the red meat about Bill Clinton lying about his sexual involvement with Monica Lewinski. That lying did not affect his ability to be a good President. It was a private sexual matter that was investigated for purely political reasons, and which carried no national security implications, unlike Trump’s dealings with Russia. At Helsinki, Trump actually publicly discounted the conclusions of the CIA and FBI about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. He tried to re-write history in supporting Russia’s spin on hostile actions in Afghanistan. Erdogan telephoned him and told him that the U.S. should get out of Syria, so he announces it will be done without consulting with U.S. military leaders. No comparison whatsoever between Clinton and Trump.

    Jon points out that Trump keeps trying to interfere with the investigation, instead of just letting his counsel do their job: “If Trump interjects himself into the mix, the rationale (of an alleged privilege) along with the defense can be compromised or lost. The scope and subject matter of these inquiries make for an obvious trap for Trump.” That is not laying a “trap”. No one forced Trump to be the crooked, egotistical, deceitful sack of garbage that he is, or to ignore the advice of his counsel, or, most importantly, disrespect the rule of law and role of Congress in investigating matters they were elected to investigate.

    1. There is a good case building that Brennan, McCabe, Strzok, Page and others acting under cover of their official powers took it upon themselves to try to impede Donald Trump’s election. And having failed, then to have plotted to lay an impeachment trap, in violation of 4th Amendment protections against use of law enforcement witch hunts to achieve a political aim.

      President Trump would have been in a very unique position, as the only person with 100% knowledge of whether he had collaborated with Russian intelligence people to sway the election. He knew that this was a false narrative being used to impede his Presidency, by Democrats devastated at losing the election they all expected to win, and their allies in the media. Covered up for his first year in office, in the 2nd year thanks to Mr. Horowitz, and brave independent journalists, it became clear who in the FBI was involved in an anti-Trump conspiracy. The depths of their misdeeds, and that of CIA Director Brennan, are still being covered up to some degree.

      In any event, it would have been the responsibility of the President to quash investigatory and prosecutorial misconduct, which is what happened in the firing of Comey, McCabe and Strzok, with ascent from Rosenstein.

      As a country, we are facing a serious test of whether the 4th Amendment constraints on FBI/DOJ investigatory power– that it not to be used as an instrument of political competition — are going to prevail. The appointment of US Atty. Huber, instead of another Special Counsel, to investigate Crossfire Hurricane, is a first positive sign that sanity might be restored.

      I agree with JT — the only way Pres. Trump faces real risk from strident, militant Democrats out for his scalp would be to ignore advice from WH counsel, and act impulsively outside of their protective cocoon of advice.

      As far as the legal fireworks lit in 2016, I believe the President holds the upper hand in his ability to control the timing of release of declassified documents that will expose the depth, venality and official treachery of Crossfire Hurricane. These disclosures could lay the public opinion groundwork to expect indictments from Mr. Huber.

      In this sense, the last act of the play may go to the President’s advantage, giving him (in retrospect) the moral rectitude to have sought to disrupt or quash a corrupt, rogue op within his own FBI / DOJ and its deliberate, connived extension into Mr. Mueller’s appointment to investigate Russian collusion with the Trump campaign / transition team.

      1. He appointed goofy Jeff Sessions to AG when he needed to appoint a Felix Dzerzhinsky, to root out the treasonous cabal

      2. “There is a good case building that Brennan, McCabe, Strzok, Page and others acting under cover of their official powers took it upon themselves to try to impede Donald Trump’s election.”
        *****************
        We call that a coup, interference with elections and fraud.

        1. What does one call it when the country is in a state of war, operating under the Patriot Act & the NDAA, etc…, & those aholes you named & others were actively working with foreign nations to interfere the USA’s internal affairs with the intention of over throwing the nations leadership?

          BTW: Trump should be pulling people like Adam Schiff’s passport before they can Flee Justice.

          Also, what proof is there RBG is still alive? Is she in a Coma?

        2. Most sane people call it batsh!t crazy alas tRumpsters only react to crazy. We are being Pavlovd as a nation by grifters.

      3. I regret to inform you, sir, that the addle-brained prattle of talking heads on Pravda Faux News does not equate to “a good case.” Here in the real world, where “facts” have meaning, most just shake their head in faux sympathy for the gullible rubes, dupes, klan wannabees, pocket-traitors and grifters on the make who still haven’t figured out the big con. So sorry for your loss and unfortunate condition.

        this is to “I jus’ swear that hannity feller is talkin’ to me on the tube” pbinca

        1. “I jus’ swear that hannity feller is talkin’ to me on the tube”

          Can anyone tell me how many times Mark M. has mentioned Hannity? I think Marky has a fetish for Hannity and is a secret admirer who acts publically in a contrary manner to disguise his deep carnal desires.

          1. he often talks about people orally stimulating Hannity’s scrotum. perhaps this is a repressed homosexual latency showing itself up in Mark’s hate speech?

            1. Anon, that seems like a reasonable analysis and I think a lot of people would agree that there is something very screwy going on in Marky’s head and his fetish over Hannity. It would be interesting to have a wider discussion on Marky’s fetish.

              1. Excellent work, group! Only when you acknowledge your issues, can you begin the healing process. Limiting your outside world exposure to the addle-brained prattle swilled out on Pravda Faux News has got you into the position you’re in now. However, rather than have me educate you on your next move, I’ll leave it up to the group for each of you to work through your own issues and determine what you should do next in regards to your particular fascination with the screed issued by Pravda Faux News.

                to “grant me the courage to change the things that I can” anon and allen / allan

                1. ” Only when you acknowledge your issues, can you begin the healing process.”

                  That has been done and when you, Marky, entered the process, on the rare occasion you decided to actually add something sensible, you left with your tail between your legs and then started once again with your fetish of Hannity. Why don’t you go to the Salvation Army or one of the other charity organizations and see if you can’t pick up a pair of his old discarded shoes?

    2. The real skill of a lawyer isn’t in knowing the law, but spinning the facts,

      We’re beginning to understand why you flunked the bar exam after finishing those correspondence courses.

  13. Trump’s a bull in a china shop that needs demolishing and some new management. Stomp away. If they stop Trump tomorrow, he’s still done us all a service. The rise of populism here and abroad is apparent and that wave hasn’t crested yet. It’s just a natural balancing of power that occurs from time to time in the human herd. If it’s done without bloodshed so much the better. Now let’s root out these cultural Marxists and move the country forward.

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