Recon By Fire: House Democrats Seek To Prove Nothing Succeeds Like Excess

Below is my column on the curious approach of the House Democrats investigating Trump. Whatever this might be, it is not a particularly promising way to build a case for impeachment.

Here is the column:

The House Judiciary Committee has announced that it is prepared to fire off more than 80 subpoenas to individuals and organizations, the first salvo in its investigation of President Trump. The flurry of subpoenas seems to follow Oscar Wilde’s rule that “moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” Yet, if the purpose of these subpoenas is impeachment, as suggested by many members, this is not the way to go about.

Faced with the prospect that special counsel Robert Mueller might not find evidence of collusion, Democrats seem to be shifting toward a range of alleged transactional and collateral crimes by Trump, including many committed before he took office. It is what the military calls “recon by fire” — shooting at any possible enemy positions to see who jumps up. Trump unquestionably presents a target-rich environment, but if Democrats continue this approach they are likely to run out of time — and the public could run out of patience.

As the last lead defense counsel in the last impeachment trial, none of this looks to me like a promising way to build an impeachment case. Such cases take focus and time to develop. Take my trial involving Judge Thomas Porteous Jr., which the judiciary transmitted to the House in June 2008. Despite being impeached unanimously by the House, the Senate trial was not completed until December 2010. That was 16 months on a case that was already investigated by the courts. There are roughly 20 months until the next presidential election, and the Democratic strategy will likely enable Trump to slow things down.

Few members of Congress, and fewer citizens, would support an effort to remove a president in his final year in office and shortly before the 2020 election. Ideally, the House committees have about 12 months to make and prosecute a case for impeachment. The fastest model was Bill Clinton’s impeachment, in which the House broke from tradition and dispensed with its own investigation. It used independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report to take articles of impeachment quickly to the House floor. That was justified on grounds that Starr supplied a detailed, lengthy record of alleged violations.

Democrats are now pursuing the traditional approach of conducting their own investigation, and the better comparison is with the Watergate impeachment. However, any comparison raises more questions about the real purpose behind these subpoenas and whether Democrats are undermining the chances for an actual impeachment.

Schedule

From the outset, the Watergate committees had more time and limited their court fights to prevent Richard Nixon from running out the clock. Nixon was sworn into his second term on Jan. 20, 1973. The House Select Committee was formed the following month, and Nixon resigned in August 1974, roughly 17 months later. That was roughly the same period as the last impeachment process involving Judge Porteous.

Even if today’s House could follow the same pace, any trial would occur with an election just months away — and that’s without the delay of multiple subpoena fights. It takes little to drag out such fights for years, as demonstrated by the Obama administration, which routinely opposed congressional subpoenas.  

Staff

The Watergate committees selected counsel with no prior positions on the merits of the investigation. The lead counsel was Sam Dash, a career prosecutor widely accepted as unbiased and fair, who carefully avoided any appearance of prejudging the evidence. Indeed, years later, he resigned as Ken Starr’s ethics adviser because he felt Starr’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee left the appearance of being an “advocate” rather than an impartial investigator.

The selection of some of the investigating counsel by the current House leadership already is being attacked as having prejudged the evidence. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) hired former prosecutor and NBC News legal analyst Daniel Goldman, who previously called Trump a “shameful” person who “doesn’t care about the country” and who “ ‘looks bad’ because he committed a crime.”

Meanwhile, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) hired Norm Eisen, who handled ethics questions for President Obama and was a CNN commentator. Eisen declared months ago that the criminal case for collusion was “devastating” and that Trump is “colluding in plain sight.” He also was the counsel in a court action accusing Trump of accepting unconstitutional emoluments through his family hotels and property.

Subpoenas

Trump has dismissed the storm of affidavits as a “fishing expedition” and indicated he would fight back. The Obama administration, he said, “didn’t give one letter” to congressional investigators. That isn’t exactly true; President Obama produced considerable evidence but also resisted many congressional demands — with the support of current Democratic leaders.

The Obama administration tied up Congress in the courts, and the Trump administration could easily do the same. The best way to win such fights is to show a court that Congress has made focused, circumspect use of subpoena authority — but with subpoenas rapidly passing the 100 mark on an expanding array of subjects, courts may be less sympathetic with Congress in balancing executive privilege against congressional oversight.

Scope

The Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities was set up in the Senate to investigate the Watergate break-in, the subsequent cover-up and crimes related to the 1972 presidential election. The success of the House and Senate Watergate committees was their focus on crimes known by President Nixon during his presidency; they ultimately flipped public opinion – and many Republican lawmakers – into supporting impeachment.

Today’s polling shows the same challenge exists. A Quinnipiac University survey shows that 64 percent of voters believe President Trump broke the law before taking office but only 45 percent believe he has committed crimes in office. More importantly, 59 percent said Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings against him. In light of the timeline, one would expect Democrats to focus on clearly impeachable acts in an effort to turn public opinion. There are legitimate matters to investigate, including some alleged crimes extending into his term of office, like election fraud.

Yet, even before receiving the Mueller report, House investigators are ordering Trump family members, past business associates, former banks and others to turn over documents on matters far removed not only from Russian collusion but the actual Trump presidency. Rather than pursue alleged crimes before Trump took office, Congress should follow the Watergate model and focus on claims of obstruction and other abuses of presidential power.

Of course, that depends on whether Congress is seriously pursuing impeachable offenses or just trying to wound a president who is polling around 46 percent popularity. Democrats clearly want to see investigations aplenty but less obvious is whether their leadership actually wants to remove Trump. Indeed, that may be the last thing they want to do. The current strategy would allow Democrats to pump rounds into the White House and then, with the approaching election, declare that the ultimate decision will be left to voters. And that would follow another rule from Oscar Wilde — that “the only way to be rid of temptation is to yield to it.”

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

208 thoughts on “Recon By Fire: House Democrats Seek To Prove Nothing Succeeds Like Excess”

  1. KKK DAVID DUKE IS ANOTHER LEFTIST

    Former KKK Leader David Duke Praises Ilhan Omar

    Former KKK Grand Wizard and anti-Semite David Duke praised embattled Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar as the “most important Member of the US Congress” for her “defiance to Z.O.G” (Zionist Occupation Government).
    In a tweet yesterday, Duke wrote, “Dr Duke & Eric Striker: By Defiance to Z.O.G. Ilhan Omar is NOW the most important Member of the US Congress!”

    In a podcast posted to his website yesterday, Duke discussed his reasons for praising Omar. The podcast description reads, “In particular, they heaped praise on Ilhan Omar (D-New Somalia) for being the one person in Congress willing to notice AIPAC and the ‘dual’ loyalty of many (((members of Congresss))).”

    The Daily Caller writes, “According to USA Today, the three parentheses around “members of Congresss [sic]” in the description is an anti-Semitic symbol used subliminally to refer to Jewish people.”

    Omar has been at the center of controversy for weeks now due to her anti-Semitic rhetoric.

    In February, Pelosi and a number of Democrats released a joint statement rebuking Omar after she implied pro-Israel advocacy group, AIPAC, paid off members of Congress for their support.

    “Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments,” the statement said.

    Earlier this month, Rep. Engel slammed Omar for her comments claiming that lawmakers who support Israel “hold an allegiance to a foreign country.”

    In a statement, Engel called on Omar to retract her statement and apologize, calling her remarks “deeply offensive,” “unacceptable,” and “hurtful.”

    1. Excerpted from emptywheel’s dissection of Devin Nunes and Eli Lake’s complaint against the NSA surveillance of Israeli officials efforts to undermine the Obama administration nuclear deal with Iran:

      Stepped-up NSA eavesdropping revealed to the White House how Mr. Netanyahu and his advisers had leaked details of the U.S.-Iran negotiations—learned through Israeli spying operations—to undermine the talks; coordinated talking points with Jewish-American groups against the deal; and asked undecided lawmakers what it would take to win their votes, according to current and former officials familiar with the intercepts.

      As the WSJ (which Lake endorsed during our Twitter spat on this) laid out, unlike the Mike Flynn intercepts, the Obama Administration did not specifically ask for NSA to unmask any members of Congress; it let NSA decide what needed to be shared to make sense of the intercepts. But what NSA did share revealed how Israel was lobbying Congress to get votes to undercut the Administration. The intercepts also revealed which Israelis who had been privy to US classified briefings were leaking that information.

      [T]he White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”

      [snip]

      Netanyahu to deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress. A day later, Mr. Boehner called Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador, to get Mr. Netanyahu’s agreement.

      Despite NSA surveillance, Obama administration officials said they were caught off guard when Mr. Boehner announced the invitation on Jan. 21.

      Soon after, Israel’s lobbying campaign against the deal went into full swing on Capitol Hill, and it didn’t take long for administration and intelligence officials to realize the NSA was sweeping up the content of conversations with lawmakers.

      The message to the NSA from the White House amounted to: “You decide” what to deliver, a former intelligence official said.

      [snip]

      The NSA reports allowed administration officials to peer inside Israeli efforts to turn Congress against the deal. Mr. Dermer was described as coaching unnamed U.S. organizations—which officials could tell from the context were Jewish-American groups—on lines of argument to use with lawmakers, and Israeli officials were reported pressing lawmakers to oppose the deal.

      [snip]

      A U.S. intelligence official familiar with the intercepts said Israel’s pitch to undecided lawmakers often included such questions as: “How can we get your vote? What’s it going to take?”

      NSA intelligence reports helped the White House figure out which Israeli government officials had leaked information from confidential U.S. briefings.

    2. DAVID DUKE PRAISED DONALD TRUMP NOT LONG AGO

      Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke on Thursday praised President Trump for tweeting about the “large scale killing of farmers” in South Africa.

      Trump took to Twitter to announce that he ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study South Africa land and farm seizures after Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired a segment on the topic.

      Duke responded to Trump’s move by saying that Russia would be willing to take in “15,000 White South Africans.”

      “Russia has already agreed to take in 15,000 White South Africans—your move, Mr. President,” Duke tweeted .”Thank you!”

      Trump’s tweet was referring to a South African policy implemented at the end of apartheid in 1994 that allows the government to buy white-owned farms for redistribution to black citizens when the seller is willing to cooperate, Reuters reported.

      The president noted the killing of farmers in the nation.

      According to Reuters, while violence has been a serious issue in the nation and 47 farmers were killed in 2017 and 2018, it actually marks a 20-year record low for farm murders.

      The South African government on Thursday fired back at Trump, saying the country is handling land reforms in a “careful and inclusive manner.”

      “South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past,” the government tweeted.

      “South Africa will speed up the pace of land reform in a careful and inclusive manner that does not divide our nation,” the government added

      Edited from: “David Duke Praises Trump For Tweet About Large Scale Killing Of White Farmers”

      THE HILL, 8/23/18
      ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

      Alan, should we believe Congresswoman Omar is now in the same class as Trump? Both have been praised by David Duke. Or is there some way you can cherry-pick to take Trump off Duke’s ‘honorable mentions’.

      Regarding Trump’s tweet, he overlooked the fact that murders of White South African farmers were actually trending ‘down’. But then facts don’t matter with Trump. Right, Alan?

      1. Allan says: March 9, 2019 at 9:27 AM

        KKK DAVID DUKE IS ANOTHER LEFTIST

        Allan aspire to write headlines for The New York Post and The Daily Caller.

      2. KILLING OF WHITE FARMERS NOT A PROBLEM ACCORDING TO PETER SHILL

        “Regarding Trump’s tweet, he overlooked the fact that murders of White South African farmers were actually trending ‘down’.”

        Wonderful, nice to know that you find it acceptable to kill white farmers, Omar finds it acceptable to kill Jews and David Duke like much of the Democratic Pary is anti-Semitic.

        When it comes to those of the Jewish religion David Duke is in line with Omar, Farakhan and a whole host of the Democratic Party. Donald Trump may have been praised by David Duke but Donald Trump never praised David Duke and now that David Duke knows that Donald Trump’s daughter is Jewish as are her children I doubt David Duke wants to say anything nice about Trump but is quite happy with the Democrats.

        The Nazi’s were on the left. Don’t forget that Peter Shill and the Democratic Party is moving further in the direction of the Nazi’s in their persistant tribalism that targets individual groups including people that wear Maga hats or agree with Trump, religious people, Jews in particular, rich people and anyone that doesn’t agree to march in lockstep with them.

        1. I think the victimization rate of white farmers in South Africa has been stuck at over 90 per 100,000 for decades. (The homicide rate in Detroit is 48 per 100,000). It’s a reasonable inference that allowing white farmers to be killed off is government policy in South Africa.

          1. Proving, once again, that “morality” is subjective and deleterious.

            China, for example, was allowed into the WTO and has cheated wantonly and ferociously ever since.
            _______________________________________________________________________________

            Muslims have stated that they will takeover America – Ilhan Omar is the tip-of-the-spear.

            To wit,

            “The jailed architect of 9/11 [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] revealed that al Qaeda’s plan to kill the United States was not through military attacks but immigration and “outbreeding nonmuslims” who would use the legal system to install Sharia law, according to a blockbuster new book. …”

            “Eventually,” KSM said, “America will expose her neck to us for slaughter.”

            In Enhanced Interrogation, CIA contractor James Mitchell tells for the first time about his role interrogating al Qaeda principles, many like KSM still jailed at Guantanamo Bay. …
            _______________________________________________

            Morality is for idiots.

            No more Mr. Nice Guy – Nice guys finish last – F— that!
            ___________________________________________

            “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

            – Mao Zedong
            ___________

            We don’t want their love.

            We don’t want their respect.

            We want their fear.

          2. Thanks DSS, I felt better about Peter’s assurance that the number of white farmers being killed was reduced even though I couldn’t understand how Peter Shill found it acceptable to kill white farmers at all. Now that I know the number has been reasonably static I see that Peter has lied once again and believes along with killing babies killing white farmers is acceptable. He represents the Democratic Party so well.

            1. Not sure if the number is heading downward or not. It has been in the past astronomically high. You’d be hard put to locate an occupation as lethal as ‘white farmer’ in South Africa.

    3. Excerpted from emptywheel’s dissection of Nunes and Lake’s complaint against NSA surveillance of Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn’s conversations with the Russian Ambassador about the UN vote on Israeli settlements:

      The second time was when Trump’s pick to be National Security Advisor, at a time when he was under active counterintelligence investigation for his ties to Russia, and at a time when he had not registered for serving as an agent of the state of Turkey, called up Russia’s ambassador to ask him to undercut the stated foreign policy position of then President Obama.

      On or about December 21, 2016, Egypt submitted a resolution to the United Nations Security Council on the issue of Israeli settlements (“resolution”). The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to vote on the resolution the following day.

      On or about December 22, 2016, a very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team directed FLYNN to contact officials from foreign governments, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on the resolution and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution.

      On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN contacted the Russian Ambassador about the pending vote. FLYNN informed the Russian Ambassador about the incoming administration’s opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution.

      As Lake himself reported, this Jared Kushner-led effort was coordinated with Bibi Netanyahu, whose lackeys were sharing their own intelligence to try to defeat the stated policy of the Administration at the time.

      This was the context of Kushner’s instruction to Flynn last December. One transition official at the time said Kushner called Flynn to tell him he needed to get every foreign minister or ambassador from a country on the U.N. Security Council to delay or vote against the resolution. Much of this appeared to be coordinated also with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose envoys shared their own intelligence about the Obama administration’s lobbying efforts to get member states to support the resolution with the Trump transition team.

      1. Let’s review the bidding with the original inflection. Devin Nunes and Eli Lake complained most bitterly about the NSA intercepting conversations between Israeli government officials and Members of Congress directed toward the goal of undermining the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran as a way of bolstering their case for alleging that the Obama administration had abused the FISA warrant process for the sake of spying Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn who was actively engaged in undermining the Obama administration’s policy on the pending U.N. resolution about Israeli settlements.

        The Jewish State of Israel was intercepted by NSA signal intelligence directing the efforts of Members of Congress and the Trump transition team to undermine the foreign policy of the United States of America. And Devin Nunes and Eli Lake used that as an opportunity to accuse the Obama administration of having spied on the Trump campaign rather than the NSA simply doing their job by conducting routine surveillance on foreign government officials conversing with U. S. persons because the foreign officials who were intercepted by that signal intelligence were Israeli government officials.

        And, therefore, Representative Ilhan Omar’s comments about excessive Israeli influence on Members of Congress are to be censured as anti-Semitic??? Does that mean that routine NSA surveillance of Israeli government officials is also anti-Semitic?????

  2. Dumbocrats are too dumb to realize that pushing 100+ harassing subpoenas and presenting 20+ presidential candidates will either result in white noise to be ignored by moderate voters and/or moderates will be turned off by the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Either way, Dumbocrats are self-sabotaging and paving way for re-election of Trump in 19 months.

    1. The Democrats are following the same model that the Republicans used against Hillary Clinton. Did the Republicans sabotage themselves? Did the Republicans pave the way for Clinton’s election? Are Republicans bright enough to recognize a rhetorical question when they read one?

      1. Her Majesty Madam Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton was not up for re-election and her nomination was fixed by Dummie Wasserman-Schultz, so no parallel. Dumbocrats looking more and more petty, vindictive and just plain dumb. To quote Dean Wormer in Animal House: “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.” Nadler, Schiff et al apparently have not taken that advice to heart.

        1. Deflection failure. What the Republicans did with their relentless and merciless investigations of Clinton took its toll on Clinton’s chances for election in 2016. What the Democrats are going to do with their relentless and merciless investigations of Trump will take its toll on Trump’s chances for re-election in 2020. There are no magical powers in the possession of the prefix “re-” before the noun “election.” Your evident belief to the contrary is just more evidence of the primitive mind running amok in the world. Booga! Booga!

          P. S. It is inevitable that Trump will cry out loud in public just like a little school girl complaining about how unfairly she’s being treated.

  3. Turley wrote, “Democrats are now pursuing the traditional approach of conducting their own investigation, and the better comparison is with the Watergate impeachment.”

    Turley also wrote, “Congress should follow the Watergate model and focus on claims of obstruction and other abuses of presidential power.”

    Turley also wrote, “[A]ny trial would occur with an election just months away — [i]t takes little to drag out such fights for years.”

    Perhaps Turley IS assuming that Trump will lose the 2020 election. OTOH, the Watergate break-in did NOT happen in 1968. It took place in 1972. Therefore, the Watergate model does not really apply to Trump. One could think of the 80 subpoenas from the House Democrats as . . . (no I won’t say that) . . . as a place marker (as in the game of golf) just in case Trump sinks his put and doesn’t lose the 2020 election.

    1. Not even Trump could sink a put. But he might be able to sink a putt.

  4. Turley wrote, “Even if today’s House could follow the same pace [as in Watergate], any trial [for impeachment] would occur with an election just months away — and that’s without the delay of multiple subpoena fights.”

    Given Trump’s stated intention to fight every last single subpoena from Congress, one wonders whether Turley is truly worried about Trump being impeached “with an election just months away.” Besides, McConnell could send the articles of impeachment against Trump to a Senate Committee to brood over until the election was over and done with. The Republican Senate stonewalling the impeachment of Trump in Committee would make a great campaign theme for Democratic Senatorial candidates to run on. And, if the Democrats gained control of The Senate in 2020, then McConnell and the lame duck session of the outgoing Republican Senate majority could quickly schedule a vote to acquit Trump on all of the articles of impeachment that had been bottled up in Committee, anyway. The scenarios are numerous.

    Even so, there’s still nothing in the U.S. Constitution that says you can’t impeach a president in a presidential election year. Just ask The Professor about Andrew Johnson. He’ll tell you. Or not. What do you think?

  5. What? No announcement that Mueller has submitted his confidential report to AG Barr? Has it been postponed, again, till the end of this coming week? The end of this month? The end of this year? Maybe we should just drop the subject altogether–more or less the same way that Trump has dropped Giuliani as a public spokesperson for Trump’s legal team.

  6. I read in news, that Li Yang- founder of Asian day spa chain- friend of Robert Kraft- Gave big money to Trump campaign.

    I told you Republicans could make it happen. Lol. Funny coincidence however. Seems already on the move !

    1. This just in over the transom from Roger Stone’s lawyers:

      The defense’s ediscovery vendor identified approximately 2.23 million pages of “Load Ready” data provided by the government, including the “Hot Documents” identified, without warranty, by the government. There is approximately another 4.5 Terabytes of “Non-Load” ready data provided by the government that is in the process of being filtered and prepared for review.

      [end excerpt]

      Oily Crepe! That’s substantially more than the 1.4 million pages of documents that John Dowd bragged that the Trump team had turned over to the special counsel’s office. And there’s 4.5 terabytes more where those 2.23 million pages came from. One wonders how much of the additional evidence was seized from Stone’s house when Stone was arrested. But it looks like were not going to find out any time soon. And that may be why no one has yet announced that Mueller has submitted his confidential report to AG Barr. I’m guessing that Mueller’s report might not be submitted until the conclusion of Roger Stone’s trial. And the best guess for Stone’s trial date is October of 2019. There could be a few prosecution or declination decisions left for Mueller to make depending upon exactly how committed Stone is to falling on his sword for Trump the Manafort did.

  7. Have the Dems signed a death wish.
    Allowing AOC to be their spokesperson.
    Or is the real truth being masked.

    1. No, AOC is telling the truth about what Democrats really want and what Democrats really intend to do to The United States and It’s Citizens. The only thing they are keeping close to the vest is their “solution” for those who do not wish to comply, do not follow orders and the People Democrats have deemed unworthy of life.
      No worries though, everybody already knows. The fact is, Communism can not be implemented without bloodshed.

      1. Trump’s policies are more popular than he is personally. Obama was always more popular than his policies. Obama left office with a high popularity number – in the 60s or something, but his policies had an low approval rating somewhere in the 20s. It’s the opposite with President Trump. But the political media pundits like to tell us that Trump is the president with a cult of personality following?

          1. Can’t take credit…I didn’t recall who initially made the point when I repeated it here, but went back and confirmed who did…
            Credit due: David Harsanyi of The Federalist, made the initial observation that Obama was more popular than his policies and Trump was the opposite, in a tweet earlier today. I recalled some poll numbers and expanded on his observation here b/c of Dawn’s point that the socialist policy platform being embraced by the Democrats is not a popular one…so which message — dislike of the person or dislike of the policies, will resonate more with voters? This is also why some Democrats are looking at Beto O’Rourke..and tossing out the idea of a Biden/Beto ticket….they want to create an Obama-like cult of personality candidate…and Beto shows some promise in that regard…

        1. No, Trump’s positions are unpopular too, which is why the GOP lost the House in big numbers.

          Added gun controls, immigration reform which includes not arresting the approximately 12 million undocumented already here, universal health care with coverage for pre-existing conditions, and not building Trump Wall are all popular with a majority of Americans. If you spend all your time on this board, Fox News, or talk radio, it’s not surprising that you don’t know this.

      2. Dawn, what year are you channeling from? Sounds like you’re stuck in a 1950’s time warp where communists are still a world menace.

        1. Not channeling, just repeating, AOC and her Socialist Democrats stated goals.
          The goal of socialism is communism.
          – Vladimir Lenin
          How many times does the death cult of Socialist/Communism have to be played out and purge the human race before the evil idiot gene in people like this pack of killers is erased from the gene pool?
          Apparently the killing of nearly 200 million during the quest for the impossible Socialist/Communist Utopia hasn’t done it so far.  Maybe this time instead of killing the lawyers, intellectuals and journalists first, they can start with the stupidest of the stupid. 
          In that case AOC should be really worried.

          1. Democrats, liberals, progressives, socialists, etc. are all COMMUNISTS who search in vain for appellative disguises because the Constitution does not allow any form of communism and they are terrified of admitting their hatred for American freedom and self-reliance. .

            These socially engineered, collectivist, redistributing, central planning, controllers of the means of production (i.e. unconstitutional regulation) are afraid to admit the truth of their ideology and belief in the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

            Fun Fact: Government exists in the American republic only to facilitate the American thesis of freedom and self-reliance – nothing more. The American Founders provided maximal freedom to individuals while severely restricting and limiting government.

            The entire communistic American welfare state is unconstitutional. Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

            1. Sorry dude, that’s wrong. I’m a democrat, business owner, and not a communist.

              1. So you’re say communism good – freedom and self-reliance bad, right?

                Central Planning, Control of the Means of Production (i.e. regulation), Redistribution of Wealth and Social Engineering are all unconstitutional.

                Affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, social services, forced busing, utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, HHS, HUD, HAMP, HARP, Education Dept., Labor Dept., Obamacare, Obamaphones, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, rent control, Fair Housing, Non-Discrimination, etc. are ALL unconstitutional while they may be pursued to the heart’s content of Americans in the free markets of the private sector.

                Your business and industry function at the pleasure of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” much the same as Hong Kong, the Chinese “Golden Egg,” is given temporary free rein by the Chinese communists. I presume you read of the brutal suppression of “freedom” and “democracy” movements in Tienanmen Square (10K dead) and Hong Kong even though the Chinese communist dictatorship brutally suppressed the promulgation and publication of news of those events.

              2. “Sorry dude, that’s wrong. I’m a democrat, business owner, and not a communist.”

                Anon, on this blog you define yourself as a socialist / fascist.

                1. fascism
                  [fash-iz-uh m]
                  |
                  noun
                  ( sometimes initial capital letter )

                  1. a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
                  __________________________________________________________________________________

                  Vs.

                  freedom (American)

                  noun

                  1. freedom, free enterprise and self-reliance administered by a severely restricted, limited and neutral government which exists merely to facilitate, through the implementation of security and infrastructure, the freedom, free enterprise and self-reliance of individuals.

      3. That’s about the only thing AOC is telling the truth about. Check out her twitter feed. She’s a first rate liar intentionally spreading lies and disinformation, daily, to her millions of followers.

      4. AOC was elected from the Bronx and represents her district and maybe speaks for many districts to the left of the Bronx, but there are not many of those. She doesn’t speak for me or most democrats, who, by the way, voted for Hillary in large numbers in her stomping of Bernie at the polls. I voted for Bernie for personal reasons butt wanted Hillary to win.

  8. The Professor wrote, “Few members of Congress, and fewer citizens, would support an effort to remove a president in his final year in office and shortly before the 2020 election.”

    Trump’s “final year in office”??? Shortly before Trump’s bid for re-election in 2020 to a second term of office. You know what? For the sake of charity (and I do mean ‘charity’), let’s all pretend that Herr Professor really meant to emphasize the second noun phrase rather than to draw attention to his poor choice of words in the first noun phrase.

    [Moving on] The Professor also wrote, “Ideally, the House committees have about 12 months to make and prosecute a case . . . for impeachment.”

    “Ideally”??? Is that anything like McConnell’s refusal to hold hearings on Merrick Garland??? Time limits on impeachment? Or time limits on the subpoena power? Which is it, Herr Professor? (The Tartuffery is really getting thick with this one.)

    And so it comes to pass that Herr Professor just does not get it. Trump cannot be “shoe-horned” into past precedents for “impeachment.” Trump is literally “unprecedented,” Herr Professor. The simple fact that Turley’s Professorial “punch card” has been hopelessly bent, folded and mutilated by the unprecedented nature and extent of Trump’s executive decisions to conduct himself as though The Trump Organization, itself, is somehow one and the same damned “identical” thing as the executive branch of the United States government, itself, does not mean that . . . (what the bejesus did Turley say?) . . . The Democrats have 12 months to make a case for impeachment, or else . . . Or Else What? Tartuffe??? (Huh? Whaaaaa???) Is it in The U. S. Constitution, Herr Professor? Well, is it?

    And who the blazes says that the 80 subpoenas are about making a case for impeachment, anyhow????? Does Herr Professor desperately want it all to be over and done with before The Iowa Caucuses and The New Hampshire Primary? Is that in The U. S. Constitution, Herr Professor? Well, is it?

    Here’s an idea: Herr Professor Turley could write an article proposing a Constitutional Amendment limiting and constraining the use of the subpoena power of The United States Congress to period of time in between the closing of the polls on election day in a given presidential election year and The Iowa Caucuses and The New Hampshire Primary in the succeeding presidential election year. The only trouble would be that, once such a limit on the power of The Legislative Branch was put into The U. S. Constitution, the Republican Party would have one hell of a time repealing that Constitutional Amendment for the sake using the Congressional subpoena power against anyone not name Donald John Trump. Unless, of course, the Republicans simply had Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh and some few other Justices declare that Constitutional Amendment unconstitutional.

    1. Andrew Johnson was impeached in March of 1868. 1868 was a presidential election year. They didn’t have primaries back then. They had smoke-filled rooms. They didn’t have direct election of Senators back then, either. They had smoke-filled rooms.

      I’m not suggesting that impeaching Trump in, say, March of 2020 will get 20 Republican Senators to convict, remove and disqualify Trump from office. What I’m saying is that nothing is going to convince 20 Republicans to convict, remove and disqualify Trump from office–ever. Therefore, impeaching Trump while Trump is running for re-election might actually be the winning strategy for beating Trump at the polls on election day in 2020.

      And there’s nothing in The U.S. Constitution to prevent that from happening. And Turley knows it. And that’s why Turley is telling Democrats that they only have 12 months left to make a case for impeaching Trump. He’s so innocent, he’s downright adorably naïve. Turley surely is.

        1. You raise an excellent point: Democrats don’t have to impeach Trump. They can investigate Trump relentlessly and mercilessly all the way up to election day in 2020. Do unto Trump as Trump has done unto you.

  9. A shame their excess excludes insufficient votes, except that needed to make fools of themselves.

  10. Jon: your bias is showing. You cite the 45% number consisting of Americans who thought impeaching should not be pursued as of this time, as if this is strong evidence that somehow Trump should never be impeached. This poll number was obtained before Michael Cohen testified, and yet you emphasize Trump’s 46% approval rating, also obtained prior to Cohen’s testimony. These numbers are one percentage point different. You also attempt to criticize Democrats for investigating Trump for matters other than involvement of the Russians. Why should Democrats not be permitted to investigate other high crimes and misdemeanors Trump has engaged in? Trump may well be compromised by his business dealings, especially in view of his past business failures and inability to borrow money from U.S. banks. His company is not publicly traded, so there is no independent board of directors doing oversight. Democrats would be engaging in political malpractice by not investigating the potential for such compromise.

    You also criticize those heading the investigators on the grounds that they, unlike Nixon’s investigators, are biased against Trump even before all of the documents and facts have been assembled. Nixon did not have a reputation for constantly lying, cheating people, or being a narcissistic racist misogynist, unlike Trump. Nixon was a U.S. Naval officer in WWII. While there were those who disagreed with his politics, most Americans did not initially have strongly negative feelings against Nixon, unlike Trump. In fact, most Americans did not vote for Trump and a consistent majority do not approve of him, so you would actually have to look for a pro-Trumpster who has non-mainstream views to find someone who does not have negative opinions about him. Your problem, Jon, is that you keep trying to normalize Trump, to put him in the ranks of other POTUSs who were altruistic, not malignantly narcissistic, misogynistic and racist. BUT, he is all of these things. He is not an honorable or emotionally-stable man. He is petty, vindictive, deceitful and brags about cheating: cheating women out of the right to say “no” to having their genitals fondled, cheating people he does business with, bragging about having a special talent for leveraging bankruptcy to his advantage and bragging about his allegedly superior intelligence and abilities. He was not at the top of his class like he claims. He is not a master deal-maker. His close cronies have been found guilty or have pleaded to multiple felonies. He has dangled pardons for the obvious reason of encouraging those being investigated and/or charged with crimes to either lie or hang tough, which may well constitute obstruction of justice. Americans have the right to the truth.

    His plans have failed: there is an historic budget deficit, the trade deficit grew much larger in the past 2 years and more illegals are crossing the border because Trump has tried to shut down legal immigration. You would have to be pro-Trump biased not to let these facts influence your feelings about him. The fact that those investigating Trump have a negative opinion about him does not mean they cannot be objective in seeking the truth or serving the American people.

    You also discuss and apparently approve of the big law playbook tactics of lie, deny, delay, as if this is OK when it comes to investigating the potential for a President being compromised. If Trump were honest, patriotic, has done nothing wrong and has nothing to hide, he’d quickly and freely produce the documents being sought and try to get the investigation wrapped up expeditiously so the country can move forward. As with many big law clients who have the ability to finance delay and obstructionistic tactics, most Americans believe he does have something to hide.

  11. The Democrats are not going to impeach. But support from the GOP in Congress – even if not the voters – is hemorrhaging. The Dems relentless attacks on Trump’s entire life will take a toll. The party may find that the only way to avoid 2020 disaster is to impeach now, in the hope he’ll resign. They’re just flapping in the wind now. Not a single GOP in Congress is showing leadership!

    1. They’re weak. If they go limp on supporting Trump, they can kiss any support from people like me ever again. They better form a phalanx with unwavering discipline and resolve. And totally dogmatic adherence to the actual leader and no opportunistic departures from group unity.
      Any failure of nerve now will never be forgiven nor forgotten.

        1. Yes, and that was Speaker Pelosi’s exact marching order to her caucus. Get in line! Then AOC said she’s taking names and making a list to primary any of the Democrat defectors who join with Republicans….on anything…at all.

          1. AOC is not the speaker and couldn’t get elected dog catcher outside of the Bronx and places left.

            She is pretty and knows how to work the twitter – that’s about it.

            1. She is pretty. No denying that. So is Omar, don’t you think?

            2. No, what AOC said is that she is going to make a list of defectors who cross the line to vote with Republicans on anything…and she’s promising to work hard to try to get them primaried IF they do not get lockstep in party line.

              But what AOC, Ilhan Omar, et al, may find out, is that Pelosi has her limits….and Pelosi just may be working behind the scenes to round up a few candidates of her own in order to try to ‘primary’ some of her biggest troublemakers. 😉

              1. It’s a good thing you put that winky face at the end of your fantasy about Pelosi doing Trump’s bidding for him, T-Bob.

                You just can’t stop telling women what to do. Can you?

                1. There’s no chance a Republican could win a seat in Omar’s district so R’s won’t waste time there. But if Pelosi continues to lose control of her caucus, she is the one who can make a move to change the players in the game.

                  1. Pelosi’s doing fine, but in modern America politicians are independent contractor, not party employees.
                    The GOP has their”Freedom Caucus” and we have AOC, Omar, and a few others.

                  2. TBob said, “There’s no chance a Republican could win a seat in Omar’s district so R’s won’t waste time there.”

                    Whence TBob fantasizes about Pelosi doing for Trump what Republicans cannot do for Trump.

                    Now here this: Gramma Nancy is not a Jello wrestler, TBob. Trump is the Jello wrestler. No. Wait. If you’d like you could make that, “Trump is The Jello-Wrestler-in-Chief.” Ha-Ha!

        2. The principle with regard to irrational behaving rabid dogs, is act accordingly

          1. Oddly, it’s not at all odd that a Trumper would imagine rabid irrationality to be principled behavior. IIRC, the technical name for that SNAFU is a conditioned reflex. SEE: “Clockwork Orange” for comparison to “Horror Show”.

      1. This is true. I forget who said it, but it was something like ‘when are these woosy little Republicans going to stand up and fight back like Trump does, instead of letting themselves get b*tch slapped around by these Democrats and their media allies?’

      2. Mr Kurtz – They only have support from people like you. they realize what Trump apparently doesn’t is that you have to reach more than a base to win an election. His Independent support has already withered greatly, Republicans relying solely on Trump’s base, and worse yet Trump’s personal support will be in sad straits.

        1. And there it is: our doom and gloom fix for the day.
          Right on cue, enigma. You’re painfully predictable.

            1. Speaking of doom and gloom, what if Trump signed an executive order striking the impeachment clause from the U. S. Constitution in its entirety? Would that be an impeachable offense? And would 20 Republican Senators vote to convict, remove and disqualify Trump from office for that offense?

      3. Uh, Kurtz: have you checked to see what oath members of Congress take when they assume office? Have you? Their oath is to uphold the Constitution. Members of Congress are not there to put party ahead of the country. Congress exists to serve Americans, not Trump. You speak of “failure of nerve”. What are you talking about? Are you suggesting that Republican members of Congress should disregard patriotism, the rule of law, the Constitution and the wishes of the majority of Americans so that a racist, misogynist narcissist who stole the Presidency with the help of a hostile foreign government with which he demonstrably has been attempting to do business can continue in office? That’s not nerve. That’s not patriotism. In fact, it violates their oath of office. If Republicans put Trump ahead of America by trying to obstruct investigations into his conduct and dealings, that will never be forgiven nor forgotten.

        1. Please. Do you remember how many American flags were on the stage at the DNC convention?

          It was: Zero. Please don’t try to wrap yourselves up in the flag and patriotism and the Constitution — which we all know you would gladly put through a shredder if you could get away with it.

          1. In fact I believe it was Fishmonger who left a comment on another thread asking if anyone else puked when they saw Trump hug the American flag when he walked on stage to give his speech at CPAC.

            1. The Pledge of Allegiance is to The Republic for which the flag stands. Trump is NOT The Republic for which the flag stands.

              Why can’t you tell the difference, T-Bob?

    2. Hillary Clinton took her first bribe from Tyson Chicken as the Arkansas governor’s wife in 1979 – $1K transformed into $100K by Tyson’s broker, “Red Bone.” Concluding with the lucrative Clinton Foundation pay-for-play, the illegal server and destruction of evidence, that being 30,000 e-mails, Hillary’s has been a proven life of crime. Obongo is a fraud who will never be eligible for the U.S. presidency and never be a “natural born citizen.” The whole democrat party is an anti-American, unconstitutional criminal fraud. America is so far from the “original intent” of its Founders, it will never recover without extreme measures – oh yeah, that’s what the Founders engaged in, isn’t it?

      The ubiquitous images of Rashid Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, O’crazio Corkheads, Maxine Waters, Elijah Cummings et al. campaigning to seize power and “fundamentally transform” America will either cause Americans to vote for “compassionate repatriation” (i.e. mass deportation a la Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower) or to conduct a funeral and memorial service for America.

      Either American-Americans will roll over and submit themselves to the covetousness of foreign invader parasites or they will roll out the guillotines and re-implement the maximal freedom of individuals under a severely limited government as prescribed by the Constitution.

  12. Whether or not one likes President Trump notwithstanding, he at least serves as a target for Congress to attack–someone other than the American Public or civilians in foreign countries.

    1. Again there are things they could spend their time on which would help the American people, on which Democrats may have some solid ideas and support, but it’s all propaganda with them, day in and day out.

      Trump is barely conservative by conservative yardsticks. They could probably send a lot of legislation to him that he would consider. They’re the ones squandering an opportunity for “bipartisanship” since their obsessive focus is “Get Trump”

      1. I agree with your assertions. There could be much benefit to be found through effective and just legislation. However, Congress has shown itself to in the recent several years to cause more damage than good. If their propensity is to damage, for them to accomplish nothing substantive is preferable.

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

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

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

    “If Comey had indicted Hillary, Comey would have convicted Obama.”

    – Andrew McCarthy, National Review
    _____________________________

    The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious scandal in American political history.

    The co-conspirators in the Obama Coup D’etat in America are:

    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, Sessions, Lerner, Farkas,

    Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Obama et al.

  14. Democrats are making a grave error not paying attention to the optics of all their machinations. Their abuse of power to target American Citizens is translating to Stalins “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.”
    The universal concern is what the Democrats are doing to Trump, his family, associates friends etc. will be done to every American Citizen who does not comply and follow their orders if they ever get the Presidency or Congress again.
    “Show me the country and I’ll show you the dictatorship.” -Pelosi, Schiff, Schumer, Omar

    1. Your “concern” is not “universal”. Most Americans hold Mueller in higher esteem than the president, who they think broke the law.

      If a party should be concerned with “optics” that would the GOP which is losing voters when they have won only one popular vote for president since 1992.and have as their cult leader a distasteful and obvious liar and braggart.

      1. False. A minority of Americans has ever heard of Meuller compared to Trump who has been a household name for decades. Meuller only now because of badgering Trump.

        And among those who say they favor Meuller, what do they know or remember of his many failures,. that I often recite and you often ignore:

        _botched Hells Angel RICO trial with fake witness testimony resulting in surprise aquittals

        _failed oversight of Boston FBI office that was complicit with mob informant Whitey bulger on several homicides and lots of other crimes

        _botched anthrax investigation which hounded and innocent man

        _lies to Congress about WMDs in Iraq

        that’s your boy Meuller! You guys just love an abusive authority it seems– so long as he’s doing your bidding.

          1. Excerpted from the article to which Anon linked above:

            Respondents were nearly unified, however, on wanting to see the results of the Mueller investigation, with 81 percent saying they believed Mueller’s entire report should be made public. Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, did not say he would release the full report during his Senate confirmation hearing. He said he would provide his own summary of the report to Congress. Still, Barr said he would try to make the summary as exhaustive as is “consistent with the regulations and the law.”

        1. oh i forgot., he got his hands dirty on ruby ridge too. lots of incompetence, which is why Meuller keeps advancing!

          1. I think Ruby Ridge was the work of his two predecessors. Sessions was FBI director at the time and Freeh saw to it no one was held accountable.

        2. Hounded one innocent man and hounded another quite possibly innocent man to his death. Mueller is too vain ever to experience contrition.

      2. “Most Americans hold Mueller in higher esteem than the president, who they think broke the law.”
        Only inside the Democrat propaganda/delusion bubble of polls among themselves.
        In the real world people People are at critical mass and ready to do something about being slandered and accused of every vile crime immaginable, physically attacked and targeted by governing officials and financial institutions for their political views and who they associate with and for simply exercising their Constitutional Rights. There is a high piss off factor when you send your child to school and he gets attacked and slapped around by strangers or strangled by teachers for wearing a hat.

        1. Excerpted from the article to which Anon linked:

          The poll, conducted Feb. 6-10, showed 56 percent of respondents were more inclined to accept a version of the facts from Mueller, while 33 percent put more trust in Trump’s accounts. Respondents were selected randomly; 32 percent identified as Democratic, 39 percent as independent and 26 percent as Republican.

          [repeated for emphasis] Respondents were selected randomly; 32 percent identified as Democratic, 39 percent as independent and 26 percent as Republican.

      3. By “most Americans” do you mean to say that you’ve imported a sufficient number of foreign invader hyphenates in search of “free stuff” to outvote American-Americans now – that you’ve successfully diluted Americans out of America and into extinction? What a patriot!

        That just means that President Trump will have to begin a massive program of “compassionate repatriation” by executive order for the preservation of the republic, a la “Crazy Abe” Lincoln.
        _____________________________________________

        “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

        – Barry Soetoro
        ____________

        Is there any act, legislation or amendment, sufficiently “injurious” as to “fundamentally transform” and, thereby, destroy the Constitution and America, that is not absolutely unconstitutional, subversive and treasonous?

        ” And if there are amendments desired, of such a nature as will not injure the constitution, and they can be ingrafted so as to give satisfaction to the doubting part of our fellow citizens; the friends of the federal government will evince that spirit of deference and concession for which they have hitherto been distinguished.”

        – James Madison, Proposed Amendments to the Constitution, June 8, 1789
        ___________________________________________________________

        At some point, enough is enough and Americans regain their senses.

      4. Most Americans hold Mueller in higher esteem than the president, who they think broke the law.

        Maybe 1 in 4 could pick him out of a police line-up. You ask people idle questions about matters they’re only vaguely aware of and about which they really do not care, you get random answers.

          1. Just two of the questions from the poll linked above:

            Q: Do you think Mueller is mainly interested in (finding out the truth), or that he’s mainly interested in (hurting Trump politically)?

            Finding out the truth: 57%

            Hurting Trump politically: 36%

            Q: Whose version of the facts are you most inclined to accept – (Donald Trump’s) or (Robert Mueller’s)?

            Donald Trump’s: 33%

            Robert Mueller’s: 56%

    2. The Feminazi White Shirts and Obergruppenfuhrer Mueller’s Gestapo under the Schutzstaffel have seized power when they should have been sent to the guillotines for treason against the Constitution.

        1. BTW, people don’t quote Rush, Rush quotes people.

          The General didn’t form the Army, the Army formed the General.

          The Rush Limbaugh show didn’t exist. Then one day people heard his voice on the radio and discovered that, finally, there was someone saying what they believed and wanted said. The rest is history.

          Rush Limbaugh gives voice to the beliefs of American-Americans.

          It’s like the church on every corner. Those churches didn’t demand the congregations, the congregations demanded the churches.
          ________

          “If you build it, they will come.”

          – Shoeless Joe Jackson

        2. its one that you can feel free not to grace with your vaunted high falutin presence anymore

          but don’t make any promises you wont keep,.,. like the last time

          1. What? You own the place, now? We’re under no obligation to pay rent to every last flea-bag who leaves a scent-mark on Turley’s carpet. No dog bisquits for you. Take your scent-marking behavior out in the backyard, Country Manners, Dawg.

  15. WHY ARE DEMS PURSUING THESE INVESTIGATIONS?

    GOP CONGRESSMAN KEVIN MCCARTHY EXPLAINS TO SEAN HANNITY

    4 years ago McCarthy confided to Sean Hannity the strategy behind the Benghazi investigations. It was to “bring down Hillary’s poll numbers”, McCarthy casually intimated. One can guess that Democrats are now following that same strategy. What goes around comes around.

    Here’s a youtube video of that McCarthy-Hannity moment in 2015.

    1. Having 17-20+ candidates running for the opposition Presidential slot has the same effect — lots of TV time for oppositionists to advance accusations and condemnations.

        1. Please remind me how many Republicans ran for president in 2016?

          Did they all defeat one another first?

          1. In 2016, the Republican field began with 17 candidates, 16 of whom dropped out.

            1. No, 5 of them withdrew before any contest, 3 after one contest, 3 after two, 1 after three contests, and 1 after the bloc of contests on 1 March (at which time 15 states had voted). Four candidates had a large bloc of votes at the convention. Since 1952, you’ve had 16 Republican conventions, but only four with a substantially contested ballot. That in 2016 was one of the four.

              1. Five plus twelve equals seventeen. The 2020 primaries have not yet started for the Democrats, either. This particular comment nest started with Sam. Try to keep up. Stay fluid.

                Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra has been wearing big boy pants for at least 10 years by now. Stop hovering, you helicopter parent, you.

  16. In many ways, the Watergate investigation and impeachment of President Nixon showed our country at its best while the Democrats’ investigations of President Trump show our country at its worst.

    During Watergate, in spite of the fact that Democrats and the press generally did not like President Nixon, there was no rush to judgment. By and large, reporters reported facts (those were the days when that’s what reporters did) and members of Congress on both sides of the isle actually cared about our democracy and its institutions. For a long time, the Washington Post’s investigative reporting about Watergate was ignored by other media because no one wanted to believe it. As Professor Turley notes, the Watergate Committee was staffed by objective investigators. If I remember correctly, the dam broke only when a man named Alexander Butterfield was asked a seemingly off-hand question and revealed that there was a taping system in the White House that recorded all of the Oval Office conversations.

    By contrast, the Democrats’ multiple investigations of President Trump are being pushed by members of Congress like Representative Schiff, whom I have seen lie repeatedly about things involving President Trump apparently for the sole purpose of trying to hurt the President. Then there is Maxine Waters, reputed for years to have been the most corrupt member of Congress. She absolutely seethes with hatred toward President Trump and those who support him. Unlike the press in Watergate times, nearly all of the national press is committed to President Trump’s destruction as shown by the incredible number of negative and false stories run about him. Although Watergate was a time of the “silent majority,” there was not the extreme polarization that we have today.

    The commitment to truth and fairness allowed our country to emerge from Watergate a unified, stronger democracy, in which American values were affirmed. The commitment of the Democrats leading today’s investigations to the politics of personal destruction, regardless of the truth, threatens American values and will leave us weaker and even more divided.

    1. HLM
      I mostly agree that attacks on Trump are excessive. However, his mental dysfunction should have disqualified him from running for public office. Candidates for public office should be required to pass a test on basic elementary school level knowledge of the world and how the US government functions.

    2. Honestlawyer, your recollections of Watergate are way off base. Which makes me wonder if you are old enough to remember those events in real time.

      The country did ‘not’ emerge from Watergate as a “unified, stronger democracy”. To the contrary, Watergate instilled a sense of cynicism that probably never healed. When Gerald Ford eventually pardoned Nixon at least half the country was totally outraged. That wasn’t a moment of unity!

      Donald Trump, by comparison, is instilling this country with a sense of cynicism that goes beyond Richard Nixon. Trump’s constant attacks on the press alone have instilled waves of cynicism. Then too we have Trump’s attacks on the Justice Department, FBI and all our Intelligence Agencies.

      And now we have a bogus ’emergency’ at the border that even Republicans are reluctant to recognize.

      The cynicism instilled by Trump is likely to last years after Trump leaves office.

      1. Actually, I was living in Washington D.C. at the time of the Watergate break-in. It was a stormy night in D.C. with the Potomac threatening to come out of its banks. I read every Washington Post story in real time. Watergate gave birth to investigative reporting which for years had the positive effect of shining light on many things previously hidden. And, Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon was political suicide. He knew it but did it anyway because he knew the country needed to move on. As for the cynicism, I think that was the result of many things that challenged the 1950s status quo with which far too many people were comfortable. And then there was Vietnam which made even Walter Cronkite cynical.

        1. Honestlawyer, that’s an honest answer. But it doesn’t jibe with your first comment. Whatever. Sounds like you were there.

        2. Watergate gave birth to investigative reporting

          It didn’t.

          which for years had the positive effect of shining light on many things previously hidden.

          Yeah, whatever. There are several vectors influencing the conduct of ‘investigative reporters’ in the United States. One was the Sullivan decision, a sweet little bon bon the Warren Court gave the media which had given them such good coverage (and made it nearly impossible for a libeled public official to prevail in court). Another would be the professional courtesies our guild press grant each other. Fred Barnes of all people said he believed Bob Woodward when Woodward claimed to have conducted 12 hours worth of interviews with Wm. J. Casey while the man was in the throes of his final illness in the hospital. The media continued to pretend even when Mrs. Casey said in stark terms it was a lie (as the inherently implausible nature of the contention would lead a normal person to suspect). The third vector is that investigative reporters take advances. If you’ve got no scandal, you’ve got no book (at least no book that sells copies).

          1. Church committee hearings and reforms were an excellent indirect outcome.

            Obviously, that’s all gone now, and the Democrats gained and retain a hold on all the black bag tools that were supposedly phased out in the reforms.

            Like illegal wiretaps on the rival campaign, of which Trump was the victim, not the perp!

    3. Nixon was the victorious candidate having misused office to abuse his competition.

      Trump was the victorious candidate who was actually abused by the losers.

      So every comparison is inapt. What should be happening, if Watergate was a good thing, to protect the integrity of elections, is that the schemers against Trump with their FISA warrants based on weak hearsay supplied by the Hillary Camp, all get some sanctions instead of a free pass.

    4. For a long time, the Washington Post’s investigative reporting about Watergate was ignored by other media because no one wanted to believe it.

      It wasn’t ignored at all. Why do you pretend to have been a resident of DC at the time?

      1. Not that it matters but I resided in D.C. twice. The first time I was with the Capitol Police, worked midnights and drove “Scout 23”. For the most part, I worked drunks and prostitutes– is it possible we could have met then? Three years later I returned to D.C. as an investigator in the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. One of my roommates was a Navy Social Aide at the White House. It was during that time that the Watergate break-in occurred. Although we did not know it at the time, when news of the break-in broke, we realized it was the night when we were stuck in our basement apartment on 1st and E SE due to the heavy rains and the threat of flooding from the Potomac. Every work day I walked up E St. past CREEP headquarters and across Capitol grounds to downtown. Watergate cast a shadow over all of it.

        1. HLM said to Doubly Absurd, “For the most part, I worked drunks and prostitutes– is it possible we could have met then?”

          Oh! Snap! A hit. A palpable hit. I do admit. (Maybe he’ll think twice about it the next time.) FTR, Doubly Absurd is also not to be trifled with. (This could turn out to be a real prize fight. (And they’re playing for the same team.)) Ha-Ha! It’s a Win-Win situation.

  17. SBG meant to type: ” I will not consider any evidence of obstruction or abuse”, because it’s been done in plain sight, sometime admitted to by the President, and is unarguable.

    Partisanship is one thing, but willful blindness another.

  18. If the Dems want to lose the 2020 they are right on track. And Oh that Omar! I’ve never seen a Congressperson so full of hate.

    1. Acromion-
      I agree assuming you mean that those who attack the highly respected Ilhan Omar, are filled with hate. If Dems support white supremacy, apartheid, Islamaphobia, ethnic cleansing, and the Holocaust against Palestinians, they will lose in 2020.

      1. Calling out and criticizing blatantly anti-semitic comments made by a Congresswoman who happens to be a Muslim, is not ‘hate speech’ nor is it Islamaphobia.

        1. For my part, I feel free to assume that Islam informs her convictions, and the convictions of Jewish people do too. Personally, that doesn’t bother me, and i can assume they are still people of goodwill, until proven otherwise. Certainly, they have an ongoing feud among themselves as it regards certain territory outside the bounds of the US. I would like to try and maintain friendships with as many foreign nations as possible and let them manage some of their own ancient feuds without too much involvement!

          Identity affliation is ok for them, but I ask, is it likewise ok for a white Christian to have his own tribal affiliation and religion inform convictions and positions?

          I will let the question hang, since nobody can answer that without being a supposed white supremist or whatever you call ’em.

      2. btw, did you see the Politico article where the ‘highly respected Ilhan Omar’ had a few things to say about the drone warfare (remember O said “I’m pretty good at killing people”?) and “the caging of kids” that began during Barack Obama’s term?

        1. “By the time she ran for office in 2016, knocking off a 22-term incumbent to win a seat in the Minnesota statehouse, Omar was fed up—not so much with Trumpism, or with politics in general, as with the Democratic Party.

          As she saw it, the party ostensibly committed to progressive values had become complicit in perpetuating the status quo. Omar says the “hope and change” offered by Barack Obama was a mirage. Recalling the “caging of kids” at the U.S.-Mexico border and the “droning of countries around the world” on Obama’s watch, she argues that the Democratic president operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor.

          “We can’t be only upset with Trump. … His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was,” Omar says. “And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”

          https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/08/ilhan-omar-dean-phillips-minnesota-democratic-party-225696

          1. Soooo….

            Ilhan Omar is basically saying she hates Israel…and that Barack Obama’s ‘hope and change’ schtick was a bunch of hooey.

            Let’s just say Nancy Pelosi has lost control of her caucus….

            1. Soooo . . . Here’s what Ilhan Omar actually said:

              “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” she said. “I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policies?”

              1. Okay. Disavow Sharia, al-Taqiyya (approved lying to nonbelievers), FGM, Muslim terrorists including Hamas and then pledge allegiance to the flag and you might have a ghost of credibility. Otherwise you’re Ilhan Taqiyya to me.

                1. Why is it not anti-Semitic for Kevin McCarthy to accuse George Soros of trying to buy U. S. elections?

                  But it is anti-Semitic for Ilhan Omar to accuse AIPAC of having too much influence over the U. S. Congress?

                  DNGMW, it is not “all about the Benjamins.” There are plenty of excellent reasons for supporting Israel. But support for Israel ought not to entail silencing criticism of Israel.

                  1. Soros is about as Jewish as Colcannon unless, of course, he’s seeking cover for his Nazi-directed inventorying of goods of Jews sent to the death camps.

                    1. Here’s a verse from our own sacred text, lest we forget:

                      … ; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

                    2. L4D:

                      ” ; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
                      *****************

                      Okay, great. I’ll sign you up as a campaign worker for the candidate from the Hale-Bopp lovin’ Heaven’s Gate sect. Who knew the Constitution is a suicide pact?

                    3. You want to revive the old argument? Judaism is a religion that George Soros does not practice. The Jews are an ethnic group most of whom practice Judaism, the religion, but some of whom do not practice Judaism. The Jews who do not practice Judaism do not cease being members of the ethnic group known as The Jews. We know that because The Nazis sent Jews to the death camps on the basis of their ethnicity as Jews–not on the basis of The Jewish Faith that they may or may not have practiced.

                    4. Soros lied about his Jewish ethnicity because The Nazis would have sent him to the death camps if he hadn’t lied about his Jewish ethnicity.

                      When you claim that Soros is not an ethnic Jew because Soros lied to the Nazis about being an ethnic Jew you torture your own argument, Counselor.

              2. Sooooo….(that made me laugh)….L4D….

                Does Omar really want to debate the issues? Does she believe Israel has a right to exist? Has she been asked this question? Does she have hatred for Jews? Or just the existence of Israel? Does she condemn groups that call for the destruction of Israel? Or does she show her support for them? Does she condemn the use of violence against Israel by Palestinian terrorists or does she support it? Has Omar been asked what her understanding is of the goal of the Palestinians? Is it a two state solution? Or the destruction of Israel? Do you find it condescending and racist for Speaker Pelosi to explain away Omar’s inflammatory comments by suggesting she doesn’t understand the impact of her words?

                  1. You mean here on this blog? Or in the larger discussion currently going on in the news?

                    1. No, Allan, I understood where Anon was coming from with his comment. He’s been listening to the spin on the issue coming from the left. It goes something like this: most Jews don’t really care about Omar’s comments…in fact it’s really only Israel-supporting Evangelical Christians who care….and all of this is really about one thing….it’s about Donald Trump and the Republicans trying to divide the Democrat party and create controversy where none really exists.

                      Hence, Anon’s comment, “Who really cares.”

                      Did I get that right Anon?

                    2. “No, Allan, I understood where Anon was coming from ”

                      I never doubted that TBob. I do look at Jan F./Anon as one that doesn’t know what he is talking about and most of the times is quite innaccurate. I don’t think Anon is capable of defending his positions against you at all. Your patience and affability towards him should make him recognize that you are trying to help him, but I think like everything else he misses that point.

                    3. Omar is one 435 representative who will probably be gone 2021. Do we care what the other 434 who are not the Speaker or leaders think if they don’t represent our district? I think it’s a safe bet that not many other representatives will be looking to take her lead.

                    4. “Omar is one 435 representative who will probably be gone 2021. ”

                      Anon, Why do you think she will be gone? Who do you think provided her support? She intensifies hatred, do you think that is good or bad? Do you know whose seat she took?

                    5. She replaced Keith Ellison, who is now the Attorney-General of Minnesota (and has hanging over his head a credible charge of domestic violence). The district has been represented by minorities for 12 years, even though it’s majority white. The Somali candidates won an absolute majority of the vote in the Democratic primary, in a district where they might be roughly 2% of the total population. It’s puzzling.

                    6. “She replaced Keith Ellison”

                      DSS, I asked the question of Anon because he seemed so sure she would be gone. As you say she replaced Keith Ellison who is Muslim as is she. That should tell one something about how long she might remain in that seat. Additionally she was supported by CAIR whose support is very helpful in that area.

                    7. Given Minnesota’s demographics, the Republican Party there is underperforming. They’ve managed to compete passably for the state legislature, but they lose the marquee races. Not sure why this is.

                    8. Tabby, the answer to your question is: ‘Minnesota was appalled by Scot Walker’s ‘experiment’ in Wisconsin next door’. They don’t want to go that route.

                      Minneapolis-Saint Paul is bigger than Milwaukee and certainly more progressive. A large ratio of Minnesota lives in the Twin Cities region.

                      They saw how polarizing Walker was to Wisconsin. They know Walker was a puppet for the Koch Bros. Minnesota is determined to ‘not’ let Republicans get that much power.

                1. This is America. The issue is that Muslims are required by the Quran to convert or kill infidels. Americans are Judeo-Christians, agnostics or atheists which are infidels. Ergo, Muslims are required by the Quran to convert or kill Americans. That is a treasonous and criminal position which nullifies and subverts the Constitution and the American republic. Muslims are direct and mortal enemies of America and Americans. America and its Constitution have been in the process of destruction since the “Reign of Terror” of “Crazy Abe” Lincoln which was contemporaneous with Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. In fact, “Crazy Abe” (steeped in Marxism by his disciples who fled to Illinois to avoid prosecution in Europe) declared that America would not be destroyed from without but from within – and Lincoln did precisely that; initiating the process by suspending the Constitution, seizing power and dictatorially wielding power. It’s been downhill for American constitutional rights and freedoms ever since.

                  To wit,

                  “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

                  – “Crazy Abe” Lincoln

                  What kind of country facilitates its invasion and destruction by enemy forces, both foreign and domestic?

                2. ” Do you find it condescending and racist for Speaker Pelosi to explain away Omar’s inflammatory comments by suggesting she doesn’t understand the impact of her words?”

                  You are correct TBob. Omar has been here for years and knows exactly what she is saying and so does Nancy Pelosi who is having trouble dealing with the racists in her party.

                3. TBob says: March 9, 2019 at 1:53 PM

                  “Does Omar really want to debate the issues? Does she believe Israel has a right to exist? Has she been asked this question?”

                  Firstly, I commend you on your use of rhetorical questions, T-Bob. That’s always a great way to kick-off a debate.

                  As for Israel’s right to exist: I have no idea if anyone has posed that question to Omar. Maybe someone should. If you’re asking me, then the answer is, “Yes, of course, Israel has a right to exist.” I’m not so sure that Israel should allow Jewish settlements on the West Bank, however. Those settlements have to be defended. But the defense of those settlements ought not to be the reason for putting those settlements on the West Bank in the first place.

                  So far, the worst that I’ve heard from Ilhan Omar was a Tweet from 2012 in which she claimed that [paraphrased] “Israel has hypnotized the world.” Omar subsequently apologized for that Tweet as well as her more recent Tweets except for the last one that I previously quoted. Ilhan Omar is definitely a loose cannon who needs to learn the rules of the road for political discourse in America.

                  And that brings us to the main point: Criticism remains immanently preferable to censorship here in America. When the U. S. Congress passes a resolution that construes criticism of its own members’ support for Israel as anti-Semitic, the U. S. Congress effectively demonstrates the excessive influence of AIPAC and Israel over the U. S. Congress.

                  Even so, Ilhan Omar was also wrong to construe Congressional support for Israel as [paraphrased] “allegiance to a foreign power.” Consequently, T-Bob and Mespo are also wrong to accuse Ilhan Omar of divided loyalties for having dared to criticize the excessive influence of AIPAC and Israel over the U. S. Congress.

                  1. Diane, the question one has to ask themselves is whether or not Ilhan Omar is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood whose intention is to destroy our nation from within. There have been bills in front of Congress to label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization as a number of Middle East Muslim nations have. There are questions regarding Omar who may be violating federal statutes by fundraising for the Muslim Brotherhood. She was a keynote speaker for affiliated groups IRUSA and CAIR.

                    I think the Muslim Brotherhood memorandum speaks for itself: “The Ikhwan [brothers] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

                    They are not talking about religious freedom when they push for Sharia Law and try to bend our laws and culture. They are talking about supremacy, their supremacy over all religions and over the Constitution.

                    1. You are an exposed nerve ending. You just floated the notion that a woman might be a member of The Muslim Brotherhood. You are an exposed nerve ending.

                    2. “You are an exposed nerve ending. You just floated the notion that a woman might be a member of The Muslim Brotherhood. ”

                      Diane aside from the insult you say nothing. Ignorance predominates in your world where responses seldom have content. I’ll repeat part of my previous response just in case you might want to think though that doesn’t seem to be something you do very often.

                      “Diane, the question one has to ask themselves is whether or not Ilhan Omar is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood whose intention is to destroy our nation from within.”

                  1. By what means do you presume intimate knowledge of the contents of the cranial vault of this demonstrable and axiomatic intellectual colossus? You make a fool of yourself.

                    “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

                    – Mark Twain

                    1. Mespo said, “Soros admits his role in lying about his ethnicity to save his arse . . .”

                      Mespo had previously said, “Soros is about as Jewish as Colcannon . . . ”

                      Mespo denies that Soros is Jewish because Soros lied to The Nazis about being Jewish so that the Nazis would not send Soros to the death camps along with the other Jews who didn’t, or couldn’t, lie to The Nazis about being Jewish.

                      If Esposito was an Italian-Jewish name, then I might cut Mespo some slack for complaining that Soros managed to avoid extermination at the hands of The Nazis. Given that Esposito is a straightforward unhyphenated Italian name, it follows that Mespo has no standing to kick Soros out of the ethnic group known as The Jews.

                      And that is also the means by which I described Mespo’s brain as a hagfish on a sardine can.

          2. Ha – Ilhan Omar makes another good point. Well, she may be anti-zionist, but, she sure has a lot of interesting things to say.

            She has a lot of jewish supporters. I am not sure it’s entirely fair to call her antisemitic. But since people have called me that once or twice, too, I’m probably not a good judge of whatever that means.

            but objectively speaking, the Jewish state of Israel, is not an identity with the Jewish people in the Diaspora. There can be a big divergence and really we may see that more and more

            https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/03/ilhan-omar-jewish-left.html

            So there are two things to watch with her.
            a) divergence between Israeli interests and the interests of the Diaspora
            b) divergence between the Democrat capos and their soldiers on the left.

            There is another question here, perhaps unspoken but feared by some, and that is, will Omar act against financial interests, as her leftist supporters and Muslim faith should want? Keep in mind that charging interest is “haram” in Islam, however much they ignore the taboo, it is still an article of faith.

            And a cornerstone of the US financial system

        2. she was flat out right about those two things that’s for sure

          Democrat capos like Pelosi have got a real live one in their hands. have fun!

          It’s these Hillary sycophants who come on here all the time praising Miller who are going to be most vexed by Omar. I think Republicans should hang back and not badger Omar too much. Let her do her thing.

        3. You’ll be pleased to know that:

          “The Trump administration has revoked part of an Obama-era executive order mandating an annual accounting of how many civilians have died in military and CIA strikes, reducing the potential for public scrutiny of counterterrorism activities overseas….”

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-weakens-obama-era-rule-on-civilian-casualties/2019/03/06/b2940dfe-4031-11e9-9361-301ffb5bd5e6_story.html?utm_term=.4e1591225b7b

          1. that’s too bad. but maybe Trump has taken so much hell from CIA he’s going to let them run looser on the leash. again, that’s too bad. creeping Praetorianism!

              1. it’s because of MIC schemers like Hillary and her sycophants sabotaging the POTUS from day one, weakening his hand against the Deep State, that he’s obviously letting them run loose. It’s unfortunate, but I can understand why he’s made this choice.

                What with Clapper and all you people and some of the mass media whining every day about how the Russians supposedly maybe “handling” him with “kompromat” and your other nutty paranoid fantasies. Do you think the Russians like this one? Wrap your head around this if you can.

                1. Wait, did you just talk about the Deep State, blame Hillary and Clapper for forcing Trump to hide civilian deaths caused by our air strikes and then accuse others of paranoia?

                  That’s some funny stuff!

                  Stop it, you’re look killing me!

  19. You suggest that Dems “focus on claims of obstruction and other abuses of presidential power.” The facts are clear — there has been no obstruction or abuse! That’s why Dems are using their tried and true “lie, smear and destroy” tactic with pass protection provided by the media. Adam Shiff is the quarterback. Prof Turley – Please stop playing this as an intellectual game of “what if”, “it’s possible”, etc. that the media and Dems use — because in the end you are just using the same smear tactics. They hurt ACTUAL people (the Covington Boys, the Kavanaugh family, etc) and are morally corrupt.

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