Are The Democrats Building A Collapsible Impeachment?

As the impeachment of Donald Trump unfolds, it is inevitable that comparisons are drawn to the Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton impeachments. This column in The Hill discusses the most notable distinction: the narrowness of case for impeachment. While Trump has long been portrayed as a type of perpetual criminal motion machine and many have claimed that an array of crimes are proven from the Russian investigation, none of the crimes discussed over the last three years will apparently be included in this impeachment. The question is why. Democratic members insisted after the Mueller hearings that the impeachable acts were now laid bear on the record. If such violations are so obvious and proven, it is unclear why the Democrats are insisting on proceeding on such a narrow basis — a decision that greatly reduces the chances of success in the Senate.

Here is the column:


As impeachment hearings begin, some have raised dubious objections to the process from a constitutional basis. Former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker suggested there can be no impeachment since “abuse of power” is not a crime. Northwestern University Law Professor Steven Calabresi argued that President Trump was denied the Sixth Amendment right to counsel in the closed hearings held by House Democrats.

Neither argument is compelling. The fact is that, if proven, a quid pro quo to force the investigation of a political rival in exchange for military aid can be impeachable, if proven. Yet the more immediate problem for House Democrats may not be constitutional but architectural in nature. If they want to move forward primarily or exclusively with the Ukraine controversy, it would be the narrowest impeachment in history. Such a slender foundation is a red flag for architects who operate on the accepted 1:10 ratio between the width and height of a structure.

The physics is simple. The higher the building, the wider the foundation. There is no higher constitutional structure than the impeachment of a sitting president and, for that reason, an impeachment must have a wide foundation in order to be successful. The Ukraine controversy is not such a foundation, and Democrats continue to build a structurally unsound case that will be lucky to make it to the Senate before collapsing.

For three years, Democrats in Congress have insisted that a variety of criminal and impeachable acts were established as part of the Russia investigation. Even today, critics of Trump insist that, at a minimum, special counsel Robert Mueller found as many as ten acts of criminal obstruction of justice. That is not true as he investigated those acts of obstruction but found evidence of noncriminal motivations that would have made any criminal case highly unlikely to succeed. For that reason, Attorney General William Barr and then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein agreed there was no case for criminal obstruction.

Putting aside that legal judgment, the glaring absence of any articles of impeachment related to Russia would raise a rather obvious problem. If these criminal or impeachable acts are so clear, why would Democrats not include them in the actual impeachment? There are only two possible reasons why these “clearly established” crimes would not be included. Either they are not established, as some of us have argued, or Democratic leaders do not actually want to remove Trump from office.

For three years, some of us have warned that Democratic leaders clearly were running out the clock on impeachment and doing little in terms of building a case against Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been openly hostile to impeachment. Now, after moving at a glacial pace, Democratic leaders are insisting on an impeachment vote on the basis of a presidential phone call made this summer. They are in such a hurry that they have said they will not even seek to compel the testimony of key witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton.

Ironically, the strongest impeachment was the one that never happened with President Nixon. It was so strong that he resigned shortly before a vote. The contrast with the Nixon impeachment is so concerning in the current context. In the Nixon impeachment, public opinion shifted after months of public hearings and testimony. The evidentiary record showed that Nixon knew of criminal acts and sought to conceal them.

The result was a deeply developed evidentiary record. A presidential impeachment requires this period of maturation of allegations to swing public opinion. In contrast, after years of discussing Russia allegations, Democrats want to move forward on a barely developed evidentiary record and cursory public hearings on this single Ukraine allegation. Democrats also are moving forward on a strictly partisan vote.

That brings us back to architecture. Bad buildings often are built in slapdash fashion. The infamous Fidenae Stadium in Rome was built in a rush to restart the gladiator games, an atmosphere not unlike the current bread and circus frenzy in Washington. It eventually collapsed, killing or injuring 20,000 spectators. The two prior impeachments show the perils of building slender and tall. Take, for instance, the foundation of the Clinton impeachment. I testified during those hearings, as one of the constitutional experts, that President Clinton could be impeached for lying under oath, regardless of the subject matter. Democratic witnesses and members insisted that such perjury is not an impeachable offense when it concerned an affair with a White House intern.

The Clinton impeachment was broader than the one being discussed against Trump but it still was quite narrow. It did involve an alleged knowingly criminal act committed by Clinton. A federal judge later found that Clinton committed perjury, a crime for which he was never charged, despite thousands of Americans who have faced such charges and jail. Yet Clinton was impeached on lying to the grand jury and obstruction of the Monica Lewinsky investigation. Notably, he was not indicted on other allegations, like abuse of power in giving pardons to his own brother or Democratic donor Marc Rich. The result was an acquittal in the Senate by a largely partisan vote. The articles discussed against Trump would be even narrower and rest primarily on an abuse of power theory.

Then there is the impeachment of President Johnson, which also failed in the Senate. While encompassing nearly a dozen articles, it was narrowly grounded in an alleged violation of the Tenure of Office Act. Johnson removed War Secretary Edwin Stanton in defiance of Congress and that law. The impeachment was indeed weak and narrow, and it failed, with the help of senators from the opposing party who would not stand for such a flawed removal, even of Johnson, who was widely despised.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a reminder of those who strive for great heights without worrying about their foundations. If Democrats seek to remove a sitting president, they are laying a foundation that would barely support a bungalow, let alone a constitutional tower. Such a slender impeachment would collapse in a two mile headwind in the Senate. Much like the Burning Man structure raised each year in the Nevada desert, this impeachment may well be intended to last only as long as it takes to burn it to the ground.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. He served as the last lead counsel in a Senate impeachment trial and testified as a constitutional expert in the Clinton impeachment hearings. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

276 thoughts on “Are The Democrats Building A Collapsible Impeachment?”

  1. And the Academy Award for Best Actress goes to Marie Louise “Masha” Yovanovitch and Christine Ballsey Ford. The Award for Best

    Acting Coach goes to their Communist Party Handlers in the Obama Holdover Deep Deep State Department.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    We gave you “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

    – Ben Franklin, 1787
    _________________

    We gave you “…a republic, if you can take it back.”

    – Ben Franklin, 2019

  2. Nunes gave the remainder of his allotted time to Stefanik, but wild-eyed Schiff refused to let her speak. Schiff also claimed that Trump Tweeting criticism of Yovanovitch’s job performance constituted witness intimidation. That’s not that kind of intimidation, and everyone knows it.

    This is Democrat election campaigning. This isn’t about any impeachable offense, obviously. They’re critiquing Trump’s Tweets, for God’s sake. This is them running election ads while taxpayers pay for it.

    Egregious misuse of power.

    1. Schiff required the GOP to stick to the format he stipulated and which Democrats followed, i.e., 45 minutes each to the Chairman or ranking member and their counsel. Other members get their 5 minutes later.

      Even Republicans are criticizing Trump for his bullying.

      Karen should familraize herself with the evidence. It is compelling and proves her cult leader is a sleaze bag practicing things which would make her blood boil if done by a Democratic president.

      1. Schiff required the GOP to stick to the format he stipulated and which Democrats followed, i.e., 45 minutes each to the Chairman or ranking member and their counsel. Other members get their 5 minutes later.

        He yielded his time, you twit. It’s a common parliamentary practice.

        1. And Schiff didn’t allow him to yield his time and out of the format, which he controls. Everyone is getting their fair time.

          1. No, Anon. Everyone is literally not getting their fair time if Schiff unilaterally prevented Nunes from yielding his time to Stefanik.

            If a Republican did this to a Democrat woman, it would be a war on women, misogyny, and there would be marches. But it’s a conservative woman, so super.

            There is a certain type of man who particularly enjoys the freedom provided by self labeling as feminist. He gets to scold women, denounce them for not having the opinions the feminist movement tells them to have, and at times, call them misogynistic names with impunity. It’s a kind of bullying and power over women, hidden under the guise of “feminism.” It amounts to a man telling a woman to shut up.

            One example of this was that guy who round house kicked a pro life woman, sending her to the ground. His excuse? He meant to target her phone, destroy her expensive device, and perhaps only damage her hand and arm instead of her face. He felt fully entitled to engage in violence against women because he was a feminist, and this is OK because the female victim was expressing unapproved views and not shutting up as she was told.

            We also see this in female modern feminists telling conservative women to shut up because they are not doing as they were told.

            Men who believe that all it takes to be a woman is simply a decision, which can change at any time, compete against women in their own sports division, blowing them out of the water, and tell them to shut up if they complain.

            The refrain among the Left, as Schiff exemplifies, is “Shut up.”

            1. Here’s a good example of Democrat hypocrisy:

              @HillaryClinton tweeted this with all seriousness—–>

              When people feel they can’t run for office because of the intimidation and hatred they’ll face as candidates, democracy is in danger. https://theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/13/hillary-clinton-warns-of-path-to-fascism-after-mps-stand-down

              Got that?! Recall that just weeks ago Hillary Clinton, a woman, a Democrat, accused a current female Democratic candidate (Tulsi Gabbard) of being enlisted by a foreign power (Russia!) to undermine America!!!!

              The Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, actually HATE and attack women who do get in line with THEIR beliefs and THEIR agenda. The are not FOR women. What a lie. They are FOR women who agree with their political views. How Disgusting. Hillary Clinton is a joke and a disgrace.

  3. The selective prosecutions – the partiality, the favoritism towards the powerful and connected and “approved” (Clapper, McCabe, et al) – is an evil that is exponentially greater than any lie told by Roger Stone.

    The self-dealing and self-interest is apparent in the declination decisions: prosecutions of former IC/DOJ/etc. officials will undermine faith in the “institutions.”

    How can the apparatus ask the people for more power if the public is informed of the corruption within?

    What a world we live in.

    Insiders get rich off the corrupt system and escape the costs.

    The outsiders – the public, the contrarians, etc. – get no benefits and receive swift justice.

    Reminders of the 2008 financial crisis, albeit on a smaller scale.

    @Techno_Fog

  4. Both sides have their version of the truth. Democrats and their constituents rely heavily on what they feel is evidence that proves guilt. Republicans and their constituents rely heavily on what the physical evidence proves. That difference in how people perceive evidence is no small thing. It’s not so much a factor in these political proceedings, primarily because the House has a very low bar and will vote based on whatever method they use to arrive at the truth; feelings or physical evidence. The Senate rules of evidence have a much higher bar that won’t be overcome by emotional “evidence.”

    Elections on the other hand are not based on rules of evidence. They are about what voters perceive as truth and how they go about arriving at that truth. The House proceedings are nothing more than a taxpayer-funded, political campaign infomercial, weighted heavily in favor of the Democrats, as they control the rules on what each side is able to show.

    It’s obvious to this point the entire impeachment effort will be a fail, but then that was never the point. Once the Mueller investigation failed to provide anything for impeachment, and especially with the impending IG and Durham reports ready to drop, the Democrats have to provide an emotional narrative to the country that they hope will outweigh the physical evidence provided by those reports. Nothing will persuade the extremes of either party. They arrive at their truth differently. It’s the middle 40-50% of voters that will decide the election and how they arrive at the truth.

      1. You don’t even realize you’ve just proved my point. You feel I’m not interested, therefore that is your truth. Of course I could do what I’ve consistently done, which is to ask you to prove, with physical evidence, your truth, but your truth doesn’t require my understanding of physical evidence. Your feelings are your physical evidence, because you physically feel a particular way.

        As long as we remain divided over what constitutes physical evidence, then we’ll remain divided on what constitutes truth.

  5. Here you have Pelosi running around talking about how she is always “prayerful” when it comes to impeaching Trump (whatever that means), and then she assures the American people this is not a political or partisan exercise. Meanwhile, back in the real world…

    Like the Stalinist she truly is, instead of respecting this thing we call The Rule of Law, Pelosi is using secret focus groups to decide what crime to charge Trump with.

    Think about this… Democrats are looking to remove a duly elected president, looking to overturn a national election through the process of impeachment, but rather than follow the facts, rather than respect the rule of law, like the coup-plotters they truly are, Democrats are focus grouping.

    This proves impeachment has zero to do with tracking a known crime to a man. Instead, we now know the coup plotters are focus grouping the most effective crime to hang on the man.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/15/nolte-democrats-caught-using-secret-focus-groups-to-choose-trumps-impeachment-crime/

    1. Ignore what the Dems are doing as to focus groups even if it confirms how dim and desperate they are.

      In 2016 Trump beat the MSM and Hillary and all of the polls despite she outspending him 3:1.

      Since then the MSM, Dims and polls have shown they learned nothing of their humiliation by Orange Man, and they have dug their heels into the excrement while pretending they smell pretty!

      By now the Flyover States and other areas of America carried by Trump have come to deepen their belief, without any doubt, how arrogant, America hating, power hungry, partisan and elitist the liberals are. As a recent NYT article stated, Trump has picked up votes in the Electoral College. Nothing they have done has weakened typical American voter support, and Washington DC / MSM dare not get to know typical Americans. They are scared of ua.

      So just sit back, smoke a cigar and have a red glass of wine, and enjoy the show. Pelosi has never looked more frightful despite her layers of plastic surgery, and Trump is playing to his base with his tweets

      Turley continues to live in a Puritan bubble regarding improprieties even if the Dims since JFK and LBJ have built their careers on …improprieties

      😉

  6. Democrats have been caught using secret focus groups to decide which impeachment crime to accuse President Trump of.

    The far-left Washington Post reported on Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) latest shifting of the impeachment goal post has, at least for now, settled on the word “bribery.”

    Why?

    Well, as I’ll explain below, it certainly has nothing to do with the law.

    No, hidden under 30 paragraphs, the Post tried to drop this bombshell hoping no one would notice [emphasis added]:

    The shift came after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee conducted focus groups in key House battlegrounds in recent weeks, testing messages related to impeachment. Among the questions put to participants was whether “quid pro quo,” “extortion” or “bribery” was a more compelling description of Trump’s conduct. According to two people familiar with the results, which circulated among Democrats this week, the focus groups found “bribery” to be most damning. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the results have not been made public.

    cont’d————->>>>

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/15/nolte-democrats-caught-using-secret-focus-groups-to-choose-trumps-impeachment-crime/

    1. Oh no!

      Are their politics going on in Washington DC?

      That is very disappointing, given how innocently and without guile, strategy, or coordination the GOP behaves. Poor babies.

      Here’s a clue for you:

      Strategy by either party is not what the public does or should care about. Of course they will try to play it to benefit their party. The public does and should care about whether the allegations are true (they are).

      1. the Democrat leadership is utterly cynical. Instead of consulting a lawyer about legal things they consult a focus group. Of course they are all lawyers themselves for the most party anyways, and since even a dimwitted lawyer such as makes a fine Congressman knows this is a charade, the intelligent thing to do is see what words will best fool the public into believing it’s a serious legal proceding, which it is obviously not.

        Perhaps they should have asked some of their Hollywood friends to loan out a few script writers, to fabricate a more appealing narrative, then at least it might not be so boring.

        1. Your problem kurtz is not what kind of fantasy a script writer can come up with, but the facts of the case. I suggest you stop avoiding them.

          1. i think i get the facts just fine. I see it as within the range of his lawful authority to request a corruption investigation of Joe Biden. I also see it as well within the range of his lawful authority to delay military aid.

            This troubled Joe Biden’s allies who fashion it as a QPQ or bribery or whatever the focus groups want to call it. This is an old sort of song and dance in politics. It’s a perennial source of contrived persecution against a head of state to take a discretionary action, which may have operated in the authority’s own benefit, and attribute to that bribery, corruption, etc.

            And then there is also the question of context, and harm, and gravity. Here, even if there was some sort of QPQ, it was a trifle. Particular if you consider the context that apparently there was some pretty clear cronyism happening with Biden -Burisma, if not a form of corruption itself.

            Sometimes such scenarios may be a genuine violation of law, and to be sure, it’s a legitimate question to ask. It’s also legit to ask when anti-corruption investigations themselves are a form of abuse of power, such as we may suspect of Xi Jinpeng who has locked up nearly 230,000 some corrupt Communist officials. We wonder if those were just the foot draggers who did not support his tenure with sufficient enthusiasm!

            But in any direction, corruption and anti corruption covering abuse of power, is usually a hard case to prove. Here you have a third layer. That is: apparent corruption by bidens, layer one. This, investigated by trump which is called abuse of power, and that’s layer two. Layer three, an investigation of the investigation via the impeachment process, that we in turn can see as an abuse of power by Congress. Heck maybe that’s four layers! So it’s quite complicated, and you pretend that it is not, but keep on trying.

            See, you believe that it is. And you believe that if you maintain steadfastly your strident insistence that it is, and your mockery of your adversaries, that they will just crumble. They won’t. You can wait and see.

            1. Kurtz, if the president was truly concerned about Joe Biden and corruption, he would not be asking the Ukranians to announce on CNN that they were opening an investigation, but would have referred his concerns to the DOJ. Obviously that behavior indicates a desire not for truth, but for political advantage.

              Yes, the WH could review an awarding of funds authorized by Congress, but there is no record that they were reviewing it, and in fact the Pentagon had already done their review. Obviously, based on this information, Trump was withholding it not out of concern that it be proper, but as a bribe to gain personal goals.

              There is no evidence that Joe Biden had any dealings with Burisma.

              Your explanation relies on muddying some pretty clear facts and ignoring others, including the fact that the prosecutor who’s firing Biden did advocate for, as was US, EU, and IMF policy, was doing nothing against Burisma and was part of the corruption which we felt needed to be cleaned up at that time before aid and loans were delivered.

              1. It’s ok for the chief law enforcement officer, who is actually the head of state, not those who are subordinate to him, to ask another head of state for some help in investigation where the activities relate to things happening in that other sovereign nation. It’s totally ok. This is the key flaw in your argument.

                1. Trump asked for a public announcement of an investigation. The goal was political. not corruption. He also did not ask about any other corruption in the Ukraine, a country well known for it. The public US policy had been to help the country rid itself of it and that is what Joe Biden was working on in public. According to the ambassador’s testimony today, Trump hindered that effort while showing exactly no concern about it except as it related to the Bidens.

                  1. Anon1 wrote: “The public US policy had been to help the country rid itself of it and that is what Joe Biden was working on in public.”

                    So, Anon1, while Joe Biden was working on ridding Ukraine of corruption, his son, Hunter Biden, was cashing in bigtime by sitting on the board of a corrupt Oligarch-owned Ukrainian energy company collecting millions for doing nothing but being a “Biden.” THAT is corruption “in private” going on under the radar while VP Joe Biden was allegedly fighting corruption “in public.”

                    What a joke.

                    Then let’s hear more about John Kerry’s son, Nancy Pelosi’s son, and who else? It’s disgusting how Washington works. Trump is exposing it for all to see.

                  2. And why did he wait more than 3 years after he took office, and only after Biden was shown as beating him in the polls to suddenly be interested in Ukrainian corruption?

                    1. I would guess that has to do with a fear generated by the witch-hunt Russia persecution which prevented him from implementing just policy in Ukraine.

                      in other words, the Deep State coup hindered him from deconflicting with Russia, in part, by removing the Deep State collaborators who want to maintain certain networks of crony connections in Ukraine.

                      Like the BOD of Burisma.

                      Probably Cofer Black being on the BOD shows that it was a controlled entity by CIA, or at least CIA had a strong hand in it. Maybe Hunter Biden was considered a CIA asset too. Maybe that’s why Trump was running policy with his own trusted people instead of the CIA collaborators inside Foggy Bottom, Maybe that’s why the CIA pulled the trigger on the whistleblower.

                      In short CIA has been running a many years long campaign of subversion against the Commander in Chief, instead of allowing him to implement the policy that voters like me approved of, which was deconflicting with Russia.

                      CIA doesnt liek that policy.

        2. Trent Lott and Charles Schumer cadged law degrees but never practiced. Edward Kennedy was a prosecutor…for all of five months. Andrew Cuomo was a prosecutor, for all of 18 months. Christopher Dodd and Tom Harkin worked for firms for < 2 years. Joseph Biden worked for a firm for about four years. Robert Dole's time as a working lawyer consisted of six years as corporation counsel for a county with 12,000 residents. Walter Mondale worked for a small firm for about four years – and then was appointed state attorney-general.

  7. I think Whitney Webb has the best take on the impeachment proceedings. She feels they are a distraction for something AG Barr is putting into motion in 2020-the pre-crime bill that hearkens back to the good old days of the Soviet Union. In 2020 the govt. will be able to name anyone they want as a “threat” and put them in detention. If they say you have a “mental illness” you will be given drugs to “cure” it. There will be no trial. you are only declared to be a threat. You will not need to have committed any crime or even be in the planning stages of committing a crime, they govt. simply declares you a threat and you are put in jail and helpfully given drugs.

    She rightly points out this is extremely dangerous and completely unconstitutional. However, even though these procedures will be initiating in December and going in effect in 2020, hardly anyone in the US knows this is happening. If you would like to here about it please go to her twitter feed. It is a video w/Nixon/Stranahan and her talk about this starts at the 24th minute.

    I think she does have a point. A lot of really bad stuff gets passed in Congress (bi-partisan all the way) or gets put into “law” while there is essentially a show happening in public.

      1. MK, this is a Constitutional matter which effects every person in our society. It is imprisonment without trial and the forced medication of other people w/o oversite. While you evidently hate people who are homeless, many of whom are veterans or working families who cannot make ends meet, I do not have this same hatred. I won’t tell you whom you should hate or not hate. However, your attempt to distract from a very lawless act which goes into effect starting next year, and effects the Constitutional rights of all citizens, is an attempt to sell out your fellow citizens. That is a act of extreme dishonor.

        1. Jill you don’t know anything about me or whom I hate or dont. Or who’s in my family, etc.
          Very presumptuous!

          Identify the supposed precrime bill.

          1. As I wrote above (I can’t put links in but this is easy to find) the information about pre-crime that AG Barr is planning for US citizens may be found at Whitney Webb’s twitter in her interview at minute 24 w/Stranahan and Nixon. You can also go to Fault Lines Radio and find her interview there. This will answer all your questions.

            1. i dont need to do homework. you need to identify the proposed legislation

              what you said makes no sense in the first place. standards for civil committment are based on state law not federal, except in federal only jurisdictions like DC

              identify the bill or just face it, you’ve been whipped into a frenzy by another fake news reporter, and you insulted me without cause. i don’t mind, but I won’t pretend that you know what you’re talking about when you don’t even identify the bill. ID the bill and we can talk. otherwise you go have been called and you can fold now.

            2. here’s the thing about mint press. the alternative media can circulate fake, bogus stories just like the mainstream media can. so don’t be naive. verify or take it with a grain of salt

                1. some people reflexively believe whatever the anti-American press says,
                  just as slavishly as others reflexively believe the pro-American press.

                  i just know most reporters are lazy and not very well educated, whomever their paymasters may be, or else they would not be reporters. call me a cynic

    1. Jill, you really need to give credit for that theory where it’s due – Philip K. Dick’s “The Minority Report” (1956) They made a Tom Cruise movie based on the story. Because nowhere but that screenplay and copies of that that issue of Fantastic Universe magazine does it exist.

      But if you’re seriously concerned about the accused being denied due process or the protections of the Bill of Rights, you ought to seriously re-evaluate who you’re supporting in the current political wrangle.

      Hillary Clinton, the past 3 weeks, has been waywardly accusing other Presidential candidates and contenders of being “Russian assets”. The fact that she’s making these accusations with no sense of irony at all, with an utter lack of condemnation by the other major players in the Democratic Party, shows that if Democrats regain control of the White House, we can look forward to an executive branch run by McCarthyists who don’t need no steenkin proof before they accuse people of treason.

  8. Some attorney! Note he avoids the evidence.

    The defendant says a lot of things, most of which are promiscuous lies.

    The “victim” is under duress as the supplicant to the all-powerful defendant.

    The “prosecutor” ….. – irrelevant.

    The “star witnesses” are 1st person witnesses to actions by the defendants henchmen as well as witnesses to statements by them, and pointedly prefaced their comments as being limited to what they know and their area of expertise. Their opinion of the what the crime is and the defendants guilt are as irrelevant as that of the coroner’s in a murder.

    The crime is the misuse of federal property and the power of the office for the purpose of advancing the defendants personal interests. From the ambassador’s testimony today, we can add to that the undermining of long standing US policy to minimize corruption in the Ukraine and the advancement of Russia’s interest by promoting their disinformation campaign and weakening of the Ukraine as a countervailing force in the region.

    I am happy to discuss the evidence with anyone interested, regardless of your position. Mespo isn’t smart enough.

  9. The phenomenal lack of a sense of proportion today is sickening. Leaving 800,000 unarmed, innocent, men, women and children exposed to the clubs and machetes of the Hutus was never headline news in our racist nation and is long forgotten.

    The possibility that our president sought a favor by a president of a foreign power who was about to receive one third of a billion dollars, compared to smashing in the skull of a four year old child, who was then cut to shreds and burned in a heap of body parts, including the child’s mother, is disgusting. It signifies why America is hated and despised throughout much of the world.

    We are an evil giant and cannot escape the bloody chains of our past

    1. WW:
      A person with integrity in this passionate but misguided narrative would leave the country for good. Can I contribute to your ticket?

    2. I still don’t get why you blame the crimes of Interahamwe on Bill Clinton. I have a lot of criticisms of Bill Clinton, but staying out of a fast moving tribal-civil war in a small landlocked central African republic that was formerly part of the German East Africa colony, is not one of them.

      you were challenged before to support this assertion and you didn’t. you can try again please?

  10. Donald Trump:

    “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.

    7:01 AM – 15 Nov 2019”

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1195356198347956224?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    #NotPresidential

      1. Anonymous – she and the Dems are trashing him on national tv. Do you think she is going to get away without a scratch? Not with Trump.

            1. Sure Paul – everyone knows how easy it is to be a career diplomatic officer a 3 time ambassador in dangerous locations around the world. You obviously – judging from your pledge to buy Don Jr’s book – have much higher standards human achievement.

              1. Ambassador Christopher Stevens came home in a coffin –thanks to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Amb. Marie Yovanovitch flew home first class and on to a cushy teaching job at Georgetown.

                Many ambassadors are in payback positions given to campaign donors.

                1. Career diplomatic officers like Marie are not ambassadors in payback positions, unless you think Somalia is a cushy gig.

                  1. Yovanovich’s family fled the Russians and the Germans before coming to the USA…. I would suspect that she has a personal grudge against Russia. But some people like that! Tolerance and diversity except for those the mass media designates.

                    Her first post was in Ottawa which is definitely a cushy gig. Then off to Mosco, another favored post, to make some use of her Russian language skills, then to London, yes another cushy gig, then to Mogadishu. I doubt she was eating MREs there, either.

                    She was ambassador to Armenia, at a time when the US was contriving a lot of anti-Russian activity, in Armenia.

                    And you can see then why they put her in Ukraine.

                    There is a long arc of geopolitical conflict with Russia in the US. It’s partly inherited from the English conception of anti-Russian strategy in Europe. Is it wise?

                    As a voter I said no. That’s at the top of the list on why I voted for Trump, de-escalation of conflict with Russia. I have a good reason for this: I confess my fear of nuclear annihilation. I am against NATO expansion and ok with detente. I learned these thoughts from careful Democrats who cautioned me against the Red Baiting of Republicans in earlier generations, before the Democrats took up the chief mantle of warmongering under the Clintons.

                    in my mind, if Trump fired one of the pawns of an overly aggressive foreign policy towards Russia, then he did exactly what he should have done, to reduce tensions with Russia and back away from global thermonuclear war, which would bring about the likely starvation of 90% of the world population. Is THAT good enough reason folks? I ask you.

                    1. She indicated in her testimony that her first posting was in Mogadishu. The capsule biographies the Foreign Service produced aren’t very clear, but it appears her first four postings were in Mogadishu, Ottawa, Moscow, and London (over the period running from 1986 to 1998). Mogadishu is dirt poor and was suffering from advanced political decay (but not yet anarchy) and Moscow was suffering an economic depression and an explosion of street crime while she was there.

              2. ambassador in dangerous locations around the world

                Pffft. She showed Shillary how to dodge sniper fire. Give the shrew her due!!!

              3. Over a 33 year period, she had four postings to places which have been episodically dangerous (Mogadishu, Moscow, Bishkek, and Yerevan). She wasn’t in Yerevan or Bishkek during any sort of general breakdown of order and neither country had peculiarly elevated homicide rates when she was posted there. She says in her testimony that her first overseas posting was in Mogadishu. That would have been ca. 1987, prior to the country’s slide into an anarchic state. Her posting in Moscow was ca. 1993. She doesn’t appear to have been any place peculiarly disagreeable in 25 years.

                1. Given TIA’s stupid comments about other items, like the 2 major Universities in Florida, we should both doubt what he posts and ridicule his worship of a fat pussy Daddy’s boy while disparaging those who actually serve with honor and at risk.

                  1. You’re pretty agitated today. Your wife ream you out about something or did your bank cancel your line of credit?

                    FTR, I confine worship to Mass and meditations, don’t see anything troublesome about being in business with your father, and am pretty sure a real estate developer knows something about risk.

                    And, if you want random strangers to think you served with honor, it’s good to remember that you actually work for someone, something these aspirant pensioners forgot (and forgot so thoroughly that their tactlessness was quite defoliating).

  11. When president Johnson is referenced then use his first name. Readers will think lyndon not Andrew Johnson. LBJ was not impeached.

  12. Well, at this point, if I were a Rep from a state that Trump won, I would not be voting for impeachment if I wanted to keep my job. AOC’s statement laid it all out.

  13. As I said before, a bribery charge might work. Narrowing the focus will speed up the House “trial”, and impeachment articles will likely come to a vote before Christmas. The GOP is counting on the undisguised bias of the Dems causing public outrage. But it’s not working. Frankly, I’m surprised at the weakness of protest at the whistleblower’s failure to testify. If the articles are approved without Ciaramella’s open testimony, it looks bad. It would mean that a lot of the base won’t think it’s worth struggling with the nuances of his defense, and just let it happen. Two thirds of the Senate? As of today, it’s tipping that way. We’ll see.

    1. Michael Gary Scott:
      Stare you credentials for this opinion on the law of bribery so I can hold the offending law school accountable if there is one.

    1. Earth to Wanta.

      Nutjob, quit spamming this blog with your fraudulent, decades long trolling effort to fleece right wingers.

  14. “While Trump has long been portrayed as a type of perpetual criminal motion machine and many have claimed that an array of crimes are proven from the Russian investigation, none of the crimes discussed over the last three years will apparently be included in this impeachment. The question is why.”
    ********************
    The defendant says he’s not a perp. The victim says he’s not a victim. The prosecutor is a sworn mortal enemy of the defendant whose been caught lying before (“Just wait until Mueller report proves the collusion”). The star witnesses know what little they know through triple hearsay and can’t come up with a crime when asked. There is no “high crime or misdemeanor” specified in the indictment and the case will be heard by a jury of the defendant’s kinsmen.

    Knowing all this, your question answers itself. If not, there’s this:

    1. Some attorney! Note he avoids the evidence.

      The defendant says a lot of things, most of which are promiscuous lies.

      The “victim” is under duress as the supplicant to the all-powerful defendant.

      The “prosecutor” ….. – irrelevant.

      The “star witnesses” are 1st person witnesses to actions by the defendants henchmen as well as witnesses to statements by them, and pointedly prefaced their comments as being limited to what they know and their area of expertise. Their opinion of the what the crime is and the defendants guilt are as irrelevant as that of the coroner’s in a murder.

      The crime is the misuse of federal property and the power of the office for the purpose of advancing the defendants personal interests. From the ambassador’s testimony today, we can add to that the undermining of long standing US policy to minimize corruption in the Ukraine and the advancement of Russia’s interest by promoting their disinformation campaign and weakening of the Ukraine as a countervailing force in the region.

      I am happy to discuss the evidence with anyone interested, regardless of your position. Mespo isn’t smart enough.

      1. Anon you have not framed the legal issues properly.

        The legal issues framed by pleadings in a case– the papers that start an action and how the adverse parties respond– and how they’re narrowed down by a judge– the legal issues are what identifies what evidence is to be presented and how. the issues are a constant delimitation on what evidence is introduced because the issues are always a borderline of relevance.

        so when you cock up a phony issue that not even your own Democratic leadership is advancing such as “abuse of federal property” you are inviting a conversation about a legal issue nobody is really discussing.

        I don’t want to discuss alleged crimes that only you allege. I have the same problem with the later statements in your paragraph. See for example, you apparenlty think the President can’t change foreign policy. And yet he can. I posted a treatise many days ago from CFR that discussed the many sources of authority for the President to lead, control, and change foreign policy. So you’re alleging crimes that just aren’t. POTUS can call for investigation into people he suspects of corruption, and POTUS can take a more cautious line towards propping up Ukraine, and POTUS can even act diplomatically towards your bogeyman Russia. These are all lawful, legitimate exercises of his powers of office.

        Here people like Vindman or CIA flunky Eric Ciaramella or whatever his name is, see, they are BELOW the president. They do not get to boss the boss. They are subordinates. They have acted in a spying, sabotaging, insubordinate manner, and they’ve been encouraged to do so, evidently, by the Democratic leadership of the Congress that pretends they are enacting some sort of Cato-esque resistance against a would be Caesar. Oh the drama. Except Trump is no Caesar and Schiff is no Cato.

        So if you could zero in on some debatable issues maybe we could have a chat. For now the response to your screed, in a nutshell, is “demur.”

        1. Kurtz,
          Those are all great points that will have absolutely no impact on Anon’s perception of the truth. If we go back a couple of months to Schiff’s parody of the call transcript, everything the Democrats and their witnesses are providing now is intended to establish the perception of an impeachable crime because they have no direct evidence of an impeachable crime. The fact this is 100% guaranteed to fail in the Senate then begs the question: what is this really all about?

          As I stated in a previous post: this is a taxpayer funded, nationally televised, Democrat Party controlled debate on why the Democrats feel the American people should not reelect Donald Trump. This is not about actual impeachable offenses. This is about a President that has wrested control of the levers of executive power away from the bureaucrats that believe they are the actual controllers of foreign and domestic policy. At this point it doesn’t matter what the constitutional (legal) truth is, what matters is what the voters perceive to be the truth.

          1. Olly, you might convince yourself if you keep trying, but the president attempted to use his powers and federal funds to benefit his reelection. I told you how and you can’t counter the facts, or at least are not trying to. Why don;t you have at it and embarrass me in front of the entire board? Think of the glory. Be a man.

            1. but the president attempted to use his powers and federal funds to benefit his reelection.

              So you admit that President Trump used his constitutional powers to carry out his foreign policy. Got it. If you boil your argument down to what the Democrats perceive as the impeachable offense, it is that this will benefit his reelection. Period.

              Guess what Anon, in our system, that’s what elections are for. The American people get to decide if they approve of this foreign policy, or if they want a different one.

              Here is Zelensky’s response in the transcript. It doesn’t describe a President that was surprised by the request. It doesn’t describe a President concerned by the request. It doesn’t describe a President that felt threatened by the request. It describes a President that welcomed the support of our President in Zelensky’s already planned efforts to investigate allegations of corruption in his own country. It also describes a President concerned that the former US Ambassador was actively working to undermine (meddle) in Ukrainian politics.

              Zelensky: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament; the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start. as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

        2. I’m guessing Anon1 slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night since he’s developed a Queen of Hearts version of the law. Always fun when non-lawyers expound on elements of a non-existent crime.

          It could be that he also developed a captaincy none of us knew about since his angry rants now include me, Darren, the blog and I’m certain — “with geometric logic” – mess boys and a certain fruit:

          1. Diane kept running on about ‘USC [fill in] conspiracy to defraud the United States’ to the combat of which “Robert Swan Miller will not be deterred”. I’m wondering if Anon1 is Diane’s non-disabled cousin.

        3. Kurtz, I am not a lawyer and the impeachment is not a legal procedure. My imprecise labeling of the crimes is intended to communicate the behavior which is an abuse of the president’s power for personal gain, and that is all.

          I did note Trump and Guiliani’s trashing of previous US foreign policy regarding corruption in the Ukraine and his adoption of Putin’s line, but did not mean to imply that was not within his legitimate powers (though the latter could be if we find him acting against US interest and for Russian, otherwise known as treason), but that his selfish behavior was both illegitimate and destructive to US interests.

          Ultimately the impeachment will be judged by the people and without instruction from a judge. If public opinion turns enough. he’s gone. if not, he stays. Focusing on the legalities is amusing but that is all. If you wish to discuss the evidence with that reality in mind, let’s go.

          1. Anon1 – Trump sells Javelin missiles to the Ukraine, Obama sells them thermal blankets. Trump has been tougher on Putin than Obama.

            1. Policy on the Ukraine is a different issue and as Kurtz points out, each president sets his own. Using that policy to get dirt on a political opponent however is impeachable.

              Trump is carrying out Putin’s policy on NATO, Ukraine, Syria, and the EU. Obama worked with Russia in the first couple of years of his administration, including a new missile treaty, when there was an attempted thaw and Putin was not president. After that he ste numerous sanctions on them, including the over the Ukraine.

              1. Obama did attempt a degree of rapprochement with Russia TO HIS CREDIT, and various war mongers were tossing epithets at him for the duration. and they never tired of calling Medveyedev a “Putin flunky” at the time. I remember.

                Obama probably tired of fighting the war establishment and their operators on that and backed off of it. That’s just a guess on my part. he was weak in many ways, and the way he let hillary run wild as Secretary of State may end up being one of his worst and most enduring negative legacies.

                Like every organization, factions exist within the agencies. they are in continuous conflict with each other and most of the time we on the outside can’t tell. but it’s clear that there are major factions in play for decades one of which seems to always advocate belligerence with Russians and other factions which do not.

                Hillary was clearly aligned with the anti-Russian faction and so was her husband who bombed the tar out of the Serbs to make that little corner of Europe safe for the Islamic radicals of the UCK. I’m old enough to remember that one too.

                Republicans have more latitude it seems to pursue socalled “isolationist” policies over the decades perhaps in part because they don’t get as much money from what I will call the global financial oligarchy such as Soros who hangs his plans on global governance institutions quite openly.

                https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/2016/10/25/clintons-2016-bid-draws-more-wall-street-fundraisers-than-obama-2012/92725464/

              2. in retrospect history will say that Obama was better than we thought he was at the time.

                in retrospect history will say Bill Clinton was worse than we thought he was at the time.

                1. You’re too nice to Obama whose “We’re Sorry Tour” did more damage to American interests than any President did since Lyndon Johnson. Obama paid the Iranians to start their nuclear program, alienated Israel and kowtowed to our allies. That’s not a launching pad into history; it’s a cliff.

                  1. You are wrong about all of that but you know it. Integrity is not a requirement for a lawyer and you prove it daily.

                    1. I dont agree very much with Mespo but your constant ad hominems, coupled with visceral hatred, against most commenters, no doubt make your Saul Alinsky bosses happy but are testament to the cancer in our culture.

                      Darren, would you do us the honors, por favor?

            2. Paul:

              And sold new missiles to Poland pointed at Russia; and sanctioned the Russians three times for interfering in elections and kept those in place for invading Crimea; and fired on Russian missile batteries in Syria killing Russian soldiers; and confronted the Russians in the skies around the world; and ….

              Quite the Putin Pal.

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