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. I was with a group of protesters standing outside the White House in 1974 when Nixon came out and announced his resignation. We were yelling: “Jail To The Chief!”
    Nixon later said we were yelling : “Hail” to the Chief. It was August 9th and there was no winter hail. I believe that Trump will listen to his wife and decide to not run again and to go to Mar A Lago and retire. Enjoy life! she says. He can still twitter when retired. Pence will be next. His theme will be to “Build Up That Fence!” Not a Wall but a Fence. That is what we need. I won’t vote for a wacko. Warren and Bernie fit into that mindset. The guy from South Bend can speak well and explain things. If he would get divorced and marry a woman looking like Jackie then he would win. Trump’s wife is the prettiest ever. And that is why he won. Hillary is the ugliest thing since the first week of the Civil War. Bill should be ashamed. I watched a movie on tv last night called Blazing Saddles. The Mayor said: “But Not The Irish!. He was letting minorities into his town at the time. Is Pence Irish?

  2. Not one person in a position of leadership in our government inspires confidence in me that he/she is truly fair, above board, honest and rooted in integrity. Truman was the last leader who met those kinds of human qualities in my book.

    1. Not one person in a position of leadership in our government inspires confidence

      Our leaders come from the pool of individuals of which you and I belong.

      As discussed by me and a few others on this forum, our culture has turned their collective back on the foundational principles on which this nation was built: belief in God. I have been hammering away on this blog for months on the universal principle of self-regulation: pride, wrath, gluttony, sloth, envy, greed, lust…the 7 Cardinal Sins. From a medical perspective, a community to which I belong, a life lived in any one of these cardinal sins are seen in chronic medical and psychiatric illnesses: obesity, depression, anxiety, loneliness, heart disease, Diabetes Type II, Hypertension, Cancer, Infectious Diseases, Addiction, etc. How are Americans responding to these? They are unconcerned for accepting responsibility and taking corrective actions. Instead they expect government to provide for them (e.g. Medicare for All).

      Some on this forum pound their chests proudly that they are “agnostics”, others deride organized religion particularly “the Magisterium of Pope Francis”, still others brag about shooting from the hip while spouting their personal gospel making it up along the way. They are popes in their own minds with keyboard and Wi-Fi as their evangelization.

      You complain about the dearth of government leaders who have integrity and honesty. Some exist (e.g. Condoleezza Rice, Ileana Ros-Lehtinenen, Lincolnd Diaz Balart, Jimmy Carter, Mitt Romney, Tulsi Gabbard, etc) but our pool is pretty grim.

      We can do better. It starts with the individual adopting a daily regimen of practicing self-regulation, self-examination ala St Ignatius of Loyola, and embracing, as Americans, the wisdom of the Founding Fathers.

      Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks to the Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame

      Edmund Burke summed up this point in his typically colorful language:

      “Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put chains upon their appetites…. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

      So the Founders decided to take a gamble. They called it a great experiment.

      They would leave “the People” broad liberty, limit the coercive power of the government, and place their trust in self-discipline and the virtue of the American people.

      In the words of Madison, “We have staked our future on the ability of each of us to govern ourselves…”

      This is really what was meant by “self-government.” It did not mean primarily the mechanics by which we select a representative legislative body. It referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves.

      But what was the source of this internal controlling power? In a free republic, those restraints could not be handed down from above by philosopher kings.

      Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves – freely obeying the dictates of inwardly-possessed and commonly-shared moral values. And to control willful human beings, with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will – they must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being.

      In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people – a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and man-made law and who had the discipline to control themselves according to those enduring principles.

      As John Adams put it, “We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

      As Father John Courtney Murray observed, the American tenet was not that:

      “Free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and that its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral order.”

      How does religion promote the moral discipline and virtue needed to support free government?

      First, it gives us the right rules to live by. The Founding generation were Christians. They believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man. Those moral precepts start with the two great commandments – to Love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind; and to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.

      But they also include the guidance of natural law – a real, transcendent moral order which flows from God’s eternal law – the divine wisdom by which the whole of creation is ordered. The eternal law is impressed upon, and reflected in, all created things.

      https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-remarks-law-school-and-de-nicola-center-ethics

        1. I believe Mespo has stated he is a follower of the writings of St Augustine so perhaps he could share with us his understanding of Augustine’s theory on free will. e.g.

          A Treatise on Grace and Free Will
          http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/augustine/A_Treatise_on_Grace_and_Free_Wi_-_Augustine.pdf

          CHAPTER 3. SINNERS ARE CONVICTED WHEN ATTEMPTING TO EXCUSE THEMSELVES BY
          BLAMING GOD, BECAUSE THEY HAVE FREE WILL

          As to the Founding Fathers having put into place a mechanism so as to prevent decay, they did: checks and balances. Yet man chose to circumvent those.

          The choice is ours.

          1. Estovir:
            “I believe Mespo has stated he is a follower of the writings of St Augustine so perhaps he could share with us his understanding of Augustine’s theory on free will. ”
            *********************
            Sure. Big fan of the Roman, Augustine of Hippo and the Italian, Aquinas of Lazio, too. No time to discuss now as I’m off to the Battle of Interstate 64 today. But I’ve got time tomorrow to discuss the great men’s ideas. Hey, we might even do some Aristotle.

            1. Lord you’ve made us for yourself and therefore our heart is restless until it rests in you.
              – Confessions, St Augustine

              1. Mespo never commented on St Augustine so I’ll close this topic by adding a few unprepared, random words

                In essence, St. Augustine fell in love with God after having a life of debauchery and irresponsibility. Much of the theological works and spiritual writings of the great masters, of which Saints Augustine, Benedict, Anselm, Bonaventure, Aquinas and many of the Catholic mystics, including Francis of Assisi, St Teresa de Avila, St John of the Cross, St Ignatius of Loyola, St Therese of Lisieux of the Little Flower ….St. Pope John Paul II and St Mother Teresa of Calcutta, were based on their having a personal and intimate relationship steeped in love, deference and recognition that “the Other” is greater. A basic teaching of Christianity is one of “He must increase while I must decrease”, words the St John the Baptist said of Jesus Christ when he learned of Him baptizing others like he once did. That was the meaning behind St. Augustine’s “our heart is restless until it rests in Thee”.

                We are restless. We each have a “God shaped hole”

                “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.”
                ― Blaise Pascal

                For all of the rock throwing by atheists and agnostics against people of Faith, two pillars allow us Christians to deflect their insults: there exist ancient texts written over thousands of years from which we take our belief, and there are thousands of years that have many great leaders, intellectuals, writers, teachers and scientists who have supported these beliefs, i.e. we are in good company

                In the final analysis it all revolves around Faith, which in the end is a Gift.

                A very close friend of mine, former personal attorney, and an atheist, once told me that he envied me because I had faith. Being Latino himself he said that he did not have the “cojones”….he was too scared to believe. Today he is a Judge in a major city and we correspond often. He wants to believe but he can not

                “He must increase, I must decrease”

                I have stated previously that Christianity is based on a discipline of practicing our walk daily. Jonathan Turley recently took umbrage that a Catholic priest in South Carolina refused to give Communion to Joseph Biden, and that Turley claimed he knew better because he attended Catholic schools as a child. I pointed out at the time that being a “good” Catholic or believer in God, is not a one shot deal, and certainly not something one adopted as a child and then discarded. It requires a daily dying to self, a “working out one’s Faith”, a battle of learning, growing, evolving, failing and getting up and trying again and again and again. As one grows in the Faith, as Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote in her journals, it is common to feel God is “not there” and we are tortured with doubts.
                For anyone who has ever loved, one knows that doubt is fairly common in any love relationship. So too with loving God. It is having a disposition adopted by Jesus Christ on the Cross, of humility and the slaughtering of innocent lamb for the sake of others. This is an incredibly difficult posture to adopt and St Augustine knew as such. He wrote about it in his classic, “City of God”. As I stated earlier, we believers are in good company

                If anyone wishes to explore this “love relationship” further, I highly recommend the book about Mother Teresa of Calcutta entitled, “Come Be My Light”. It is a collection of her personal letters to her Jesuit priest confessors and confidants, that reveal how lonely, full of doubt, and conflicted Mother Terersa was. Yet those who knew her felt she was far closer to God than anyone else. Humility was something she had reflected just like Jesus Christ.

                Oremus

                Estovir
                – a pitiful sinner

  3. The Founding Fathers are now opposed by the Demolishing Children.
    _______________________________________________________

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

    – Ben Franklin, 1787

  4. Trump’s Tweet Today Undermines His Case

    Former Special Counsel Ken Starr was interviewed today on Fox News regarding Trumps tweet during the impeachment hearings.
    Starr called the tweet “extraordinarily bad judgment”.

    To beat this impeachment rap, Trump must convince Congress that he would never smear State Department professionals. Yet his tweet today is actually proof that Trump would, indeed, engage in such behavior. And once again we see Trump bashing a woman; an all too familiar pattern.

    Trump’s tweet could affect Republicans in competitive races. Such candidates might see no point in defending a president who keeps self-destructing. This fear could ultimately sway just enough senators to make removal from office a real possibility.

    1. Criticizing an ambassador is not an impeachable offense. The President has the power to appoint or remove an ambassador. This was a total side show. She had zero information about any criminal activity.

      Trump’s Tweet was like him sticking his thumbs in his ears, waggling his fingers at Yaganovitch, and blowing her a raspberry. Democrats seem absolutely shocked that any Republican would throw mud. They are used to throwing mud at Republicans who just stand there and take the high road.

      I wish that Trump would not Tweet comments like that, but I live in Real Ville. I expect him to Tweet, as he has always done, and therefore don’t get excited when he Tweets harsh criticism.

      1. Karen S needs to take a few steps back and reevaluate… She doesn’t understand what what happened with Yovanovitch. And she certainly doesn’t live in “Real Ville.”

          1. Have VPN will travel far and wide especially when paid to troll obnoxious, insulting, threatening comments, true warrior for George Soros / RESIST nut jobs

            Karen, of course its Anon1. Stop taking the bait.

    2. Was the Tweet bad Judgement ? Maybe. It was also true.
      No Trump must not convince government he would not smear state department “professionals” – he does that all the time. they deserve it.

      Hillary did not have a problem killing ambassadors, smearing a few is a far less evil.

      Yes, Trump bashes women, and men and jews and gentiles and ….
      Guess what incompetence and misrepresentation came in all flavors.

      There is no law of nature that women always lie, or that the always tell the truth.
      The presumption that Trump or anyone is “sexist” because they have criticised someone that in this case happens to be a women is itself stupidly sexist.

      For someone who “keeps self destructing” Trump’s approval numbers are 2pts above obama at the same time.

      Trump is constantly offending and pissing off the left.
      The left hates that – so what, they were never voting for him anyway.
      Others don’t care
      and some actually like that Trump is constantly offending and pissing off the left.

  5. Stewart: “I would now feel compelled to ask you, Madam Ambassador, as you sit here before us, very simply and directly, do you have any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes?”

    Yovanovitch: “No.”

    Stewart: “Do you have any information regarding any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all?”

    Yovanovitch: “No.”

    “The American people know this is nonsense,” Stewart said. “The American people know this is unfair.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/marie-yovanovitch-president-trump-impeachment-hearing

    Then why was she there?

    I saw Taylor confirm that Ukraine was not aware of any linkage between a Biden investigation and US aid.

    I saw Yavannovitch say she had no information on any criminal activity. Does it matter to anyone that the taxpayer money spent on giving Democrats sound bites for 2020 have been misused? That money could have been spent to do some good.

    This is eerily similar to one of the times my own father testified before Congress. He ran into the Democrat who had called for the hearing, and he asked him why he was spending millions of taxpayer dollars to investigate something he already knew wasn’t true. He responded that elections were coming up, and he needed a platform to run on. Said it right to his face.

    Some things never change.

      1. Thanks, Cindy. I wonder if I could get copies of his testimony from news archives somehow. It was many years ago, now. But they were televised, so maybe it could be retrieved. Dad said he drew the short straw, because no one wanted to get involved in the debacle.

        He does have some pretty cool stories, but I wish he’d share some of the classified stuff. He’s never budged. I have to present him with proof something’s been declassified before he’d tell me. Has Area 51 been declassified yet as part of that ongoing lawsuit? I know he’s been there. That’s not what it’s called, though. They called it Paradise Ranch.

        1. “He does have some pretty cool stories, but I wish he’d share some of the classified stuff.”

          Karen S wishes he’d share classified information? Jesus.

        2. Karen……wow that would be incredible. The prospects are exciting! The Congressional Record archives might have his testimony……and the Committee before whom he appeared, if they have archival records of testimony.
          What a great heritage for you and your children!
          Didn’t know it was called Paradise Ranch! and not sure about lawsuit.
          BTW I look up voice votes on certain bills on Congressional records online. Have found them back to 1995, when congress voted to move US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

      1. You post under the name “Anonymous” so we can’t even differentiate you from all the other “Anonymous” posters, and you question my authenticity? Ironic.

  6. Treason by no other name.

    The Brennan Dossier: All About a Prime Mover of Russiagate

    … as the public awaits answers from two Justice Department inquiries into the Trump-Russia probe’s origins, and as impeachment hearings catalyzed by a Brennan-hired anti-Trump CIA analyst unfold in Congress, it is clear that Brennan’s role in propagating the collusion narrative went far beyond his work on the ICA. A close review of facts that have slowly come to light reveals that he was a central architect and promoter of the conspiracy theory from its inception.

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2019/11/15/the_brennan_dossier_all_about_a_prime_mover_of_russiagate_121098.html

    1. She was spying on Americans?
      Creepy

      https://www.judicialwatch.org/corruption-chronicles/jw-investigates-if-ousted-ukraine-ambassador-ordered-state-dept-to-monitor-journalists-trump-allies-2/

      Yovanovitch testified “in secret” to the House impeachment inquiry against Trump on Friday, October 11, 2019. Her “secret” testimony was leaked to the New York Times during the hearing.

      Judicial Watch has obtained information indicating Yovanovitch may have violated laws and government regulations by ordering subordinates to target certain U.S. persons using State Department resources. Yovanovitch reportedly ordered monitoring keyed to the following search terms: Biden, Giuliani, Soros and Yovanovitch. Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the State Department and will continue gathering facts from government sources.

      Prior to being recalled as ambassador to Ukraine in the spring Yovanovitch reportedly created a list of individuals who were to be monitored via social media and other means. Ukraine embassy staff made the request to the Washington D.C. headquarters office of the department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. After several days, Yovanovitch’s staff was informed that the request was illegal and the monitoring either ceased or was concealed via the State Department Global Engagement Center, which has looser restrictions on collecting information.

      “This is not an obscure rule, everyone in public diplomacy or public affairs knows they can’t make lists and monitor U.S. citizens unless there is a major national security reason,” according to a senior State Department official. If the illicit operation occurred, it seems to indicate a clear political bias against the president and his supporters. Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who has also led American embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by Obama in 2016. She was recalled by the State Department in May and remains a State Department employee in Washington D.C.

  7. For the Dems to have a credible impeachment inquiry, they need to have at least the following key elements:

    1) A clearly defined impeachable offense
    2) A clear evidentiary pathway to the impeachable offense
    3) A fair and balanced process
    4) Bipartisan support

    Unfortunately, they have precisely none of these which leads to their most significant problem–best encapsulated by Lewis Carroll: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

    In this case, the ongoing quest for an impeachable offense has certainly led Dems down some interesting roads–roads built on hearsay, opinion, policy and process differences, speculation and the like. Hardly the stuff of impeachment lore let alone evidence of an impeachable offense (if only we knew what that was to begin with).

    First, it was a quid pro quo which was quickly refuted when the call transcript was released. Then it shifted to an “inferred” quid pro quo based on the supposed “obviousness” of the word and phrase sequencing. However, the reality is every call with a foreign nation has either a definitive, prospective and/or potential quid built in and for the US to ask for a quid is hardly unusual as per Mr. Kent’s testimony. To then link a quid pro quo to something that has political implications for a President will most likely be the case because almost anything can be construed to have potential political benefit (or avoidance of detriment) implications for a sitting President. Interestingly, the quid pro quo road runs parallel to the strange, curious case of Joe Biden which is obviously a conspiracy theory because….well, just because, so yeah.

    Next up, it was reasoned that a quid pro quo is not necessary because it’s an “abuse of power” which is as broad and amorphous as it gets. For Col. Vindman, it was the President subverting US foreign policy which is slightly difficult to do since the President sets foreign policy. For Ms. Yuvanovitch, it was apparently the dangers of not following established US protocols and processes. Contrast the above scenarios with the abuse of power allegations surrounding Nixon and Clinton where each one had clear criminal underpinnings.

    Finally, we get to the latest real-time iteration: bribery–which is a clearly and constitutionally defined impeachable offense but much more importantly is supported by focus group surveys showing that this is the most politically damaging (naturally, this comes the day after Pelosi assures the public that Dems are undertaking impeachment with a sad, heavy heart and that this impeachment is not in any way political–if you buy this, then I have more than one Brooklyn Bridge for sale). The problem here is that there is exactly zero evidence to support a bribery charge–if you don’t believe me, just ask yourself how much testimony to date is supportive of let alone remotely related to bribery. For example, today we had a substantial amount of time spent inquiring as to whether Ms. Yuvanovitch preferred to be recalled and whether that was emotionally difficult or humiliating in any way. Enough said.

    In the end, I think I’ll stand by my original prediction: this will come back to haunt the Dems…bigly.

    1. Wrong, M. This morning Trump tweeted a ‘Witness Intimidation Post’ as said witness was testifying. That one count alone is worthy of impeachment.

      1. I wasn’t able to watch the testimony this morning. Just for clarity purposes, please tell me if the witness was monitoring her twitter feed during her live, house testimony? If not, then how did the witness learn of the President’s alleged intimidating tweets? Because the way I see it, whoever directed the witnesses attention to the alleged intimidating tweets would be the only person responsible for making the witness feel intimidated.

        1. Adam Schif informed the Ambassador on live television about the tweet in question. “Witness Intimidation” was then the headline on every mainstream news site.

          1. So the witness had no knowledge of the alleged intimidating tweets before Schiff read them to her in the middle of her testimony? Why would he do that? Without Schiff, the witness would be testifying without any knowledge of the alleged intimidating tweets. Kind of like the Ukrainian President had no knowledge of a QPQ until he was informed it allegedly happened. It would seem as though if it weren’t for the feelings of the Democrats, alleged victims would be oblivious to alleged crimes.

            1. Olly, the whole country saw witness Intimidation in real time. That’s in numerous headlines. But you respond with a half baked What About. Which is par for the course with most Trumpers.

              1. the whole country saw witness Intimidation in real time.

                I just told you I wasn’t able to watch; so no, the whole country didn’t see what you think you saw.

                Half baked? Given your inability to use the left half of your brain, it stands to reason you wouldn’t recognize a full baked thought.

              2. John – witness intimidation is threatening behavior to make an informant too afraid to testify. For example, death threats.

                What about Trump complaining she did a bad job would be designed to make Yovanovitch too afraid to testify, so that she would give up? In fact, since it was sent during her testimony, it could not have been designed to prevent her from speaking. We could all see her on camera. She was not looking at her phone, so she would not have known about it, at all, were it not for Schiff reading it to her, and telling her it constituted witness intimidation.

                Witness intimidation, like QPQ, requires a mutual understanding. If you do this, I’ll do that. The goal is to prevent testimony.

                Clearly, that was not the case.

                Can you understand how we have the firm impression that this is manufactured for political purposes? There have been so very many disproven false allegations. It appears to be political warfare. I don’t want Republicans to just give up, and respond in kind. Can you imagine if we devolve to the point where both parties do what Democrats are doing now?

                What if a Democrat wins in 2020, but Republicans won’t accept it? What if they spy on that person, make false allegations routinely, and impeach them over fabricated charges like this? What if they start threatening Democrat speakers across the country, and assaulting people wearing Democrat clothing? Can you imagine 4 more years of this, except the shoe’s on the other foot?

                Where are the moderates? This is so extreme.

                1. I am referring to the moderates in the Democratic Party.

                  I am worried that the reason why the field of their presidential candidates is so far extreme Left is because their voters have shifted farther left. Are Democrat moderates getting more rare?

                  A bunch of socialists who want to destroy the economy and punish the successful would not have been so successful without appealing to enough people in the polls. They never would have made 10 years ago, and they would not have openly supported socialism. It is remarkable how Biden has leaned further Left. He must feel like it’s a viable strategy, like moderation will lose.

                  The tension between moderate Democrats and Republicans used to yield some good policies. People used to work across the aisle. But this is so extreme it would destroy the country.

                  Ironic, isn’t it? People vociferously oppose Trump because they think he will ruin the country. Meanwhile, minorities experience record unemployment and the economy booms. Meanwhile, we conservatives vehemently oppose the Democrats pushing socialism, higher taxes, and their lack of support for law and order, because we, too, believe it will ruin the country. Mathematically, Warren and Biden would destroy the economy with ease.

                2. Can you imagine 4 more years of this, except the shoe’s on the other foot?

                  Karen,
                  Consider Hill as the face of the Democrat party, the deep state and their media arm. They could not imagine Trump getting elected. They could not imagine the insurance policy failing. They could not imagine the Mueller investigation failing. They could not imagine the success of his presidency. They could not imagine the whistleblower being undercut by the release of the transcript. They could not imagine their feelings wouldn’t be enough to impeach. Do you think for one moment Hill has considered tomorrow or next week or next month? Hell, he can’t pay attention and have a critical thought, within one thread.

              3. Criticism is NOT intimidation.

                What the whole country saw was the same thing we have seen for 3 years. Trump doing something that offends the left, and the left going batshit crazy.

                And to be clear not everyone who thinks this is a ludicrously stupid farce, is a “Trumper”.

                I did not vote for him.
                I did not vote for Obama.

                I prayed the same prayer when each was elected.
                That they would bring prosperity to the country.
                Obama failed.
                Trump gets barely passing grades.
                He only looks good compared to his prior 2 predecessors.
                But average can look magnificent after 16 years of pathetic.

      2. Peter – I am watching the Ambassador’s testimony and she makes a point about social media being sometimes mean when it is directed at Trump. She cannot complain it is directed at her.

      3. John:

        I was watching when this happened. Trump said Yovanovitch did a bad job. This is how he quarrels with everyone. Schiff widened his eyes until the whites showed, read her the Tweet, and asked her if she felt intimidated.

        Witness intimidation goes along the lines of, I have a pair of cement shoes that would fit you real nice if you testify.

        Trump’s Tweets were not “witness intimidation.” Schiff put those words in her mouth. It is intimidating to speak into a microphone on international TV, in general, let alone under fierce criticism. That is not the same as witness intimidation. If that were the case, then neither party could say a disparaging word, ever, about any witness for either side.

        Which makes no sense.

        What impeachment attempt will it be if they forget about he disproven quid pro quo, made up bribery false accusation, and then move on to impeaching him over a critical Tweet? I think it would be 15. That would infringe upon the President’s First Amendment rights. He is entitled to his opinion if he felt she did a bad job.

      4. WITNESS INTIMIDATION
        Witness intimidation means the threatening of a crucial court witness by pressure or extortion to compel him/her to not to testify.
        Since Trump tweeted his opinion of her after her testimony began and she was completely unaware of the tweet, he was not trying to prevent or alter anything.
        Schiff is the one who was tampering with and intimidating the witness by intimating Trump was threatening her with the goal of getting her to commit perjury and give him, schiff, testimony that would impeach Trump to save herself from the non threatening alleged threat.

      5. Actually it was Schiff who “intimidated” the witness.

        Yavonovich was testifying, she was unaware of the tweet.
        Schiff’s staff called it to his attention, and Schiff excerpt part of it out of context and tried to elicit tears from Yavonovich.

        Regardless, there was no threat of any kind in Trump’s tweet.

        Only snowflakes feel threatened when they are criticized.

    2. “this comes the day after Pelosi assures the public that Dems are undertaking impeachment with a sad, heavy heart and that this impeachment is not in any way political”

      Democrats are so sad to impeach Trump that they’ve introduced resolutions to impeach him every year he’s been president.

      2017 – 58 Democrats voted to advance a bill to impeach him because he tweeted about a football player kneeling during he national anthem.

      2018 – 66 Democrats voted to advance a bill to impeach him for calling some countries “shitholes”

      2019 – 95 Democrats wanted to impeach him for insulting “The Squad”.

      2017, H.RES. 646 – with 58 Dems
      2018, H.RES. 705 – with 66 Dems
      2019, H.RES. 498 – with 95 Dems

      Impeachment was included in the Constitution at the Constitutional Convention as a way to remove what Ben Franklin called “rogue magistrates” for conduct engaged in while in office. Yet Maxine Waters was getting herself booked on Democrat propaganda outlets, CNN and MSNBC, so she could call for Trump’s impeachment BEFORE he was even inaugurated.

      A Democrat Congressional candidate formed “Impeach Trump PAC” in February 2017, less than a month after he had been sworn in.

      The only thing that Democrats are sad about is that they have been unable to nullify the 2016 election to disenfranchise Trump voters sooner.

  8. Anon1

    Because of your continuing violations of the civility policy and specifically due to threats made against another user, your posting privilege on this website is permanently revoked. Do not post further comments.

    1. Darren, it’s worth noting us liberals are greatly outnumbered on these threads. And I can’t see why you, or professor Turley, would want this blog to become an echo chamber for only conservatives.

      Personally I wouldn’t bother with a forum that consisted of only liberal commenters. I ‘know’ how liberals feel about most issues. So I don’t care to read 20 comments from people sharing my own view.

      Sports teams would have no purpose if they never played other teams. And the same applies to forums like this. If all the commenters here were Trump supporters, they’d be like a sports team that never plays other teams.

      Anon knew when he came here that his team would be consistently outnumbered. But he was willing to play with that handicap. And Anon showed a trooper spirit. Yet being consistently outnumbered means the other team is emboldened to be ruthless. Anon was only responding in kind.

        1. John/FW:

          That’s a misrepresentation of the facts. Plenty of people disagree here, and they aren’t banned. If you have the facts to change someone’s mind, then present them. No one has ever been deleted for disagreeing, and it’s not an echo chamber, as your own posts prove.

          Darren said that Anon threatened someone. That’s terrible, and it breaks the rules one must follow to participate on this blog. It’s not right to blame Darren. The latitude we get on the blog is broad, and we all get into tremendous arguments. You have to do a lot to get ejected, and you get a warning first.

          We just had a school shooting yesterday in CA, and now copycats are posting threats to other schools on social media. You can’t threaten people on the blog and expect to remain.

          1. Karen, I dont know specifically what Anon posted so it’s hard for me to judge. But I have personally been the target of recent, malicious abuse that had no place whatsoever on a legal blog. And the perpetrators of that abuse were never expelled.

        2. Fishy:

          “John, facts and truth are not welcomed here. It disrupts the mind set of the echo chamber.”
          ***************
          It might help if you would distinguish between truth, falsity and opinion. I learned this the hard way in Cambridge, UK discussing topics of the day with the dons. If you think the banter around here is rough, you need a roasted lamb dinner at the faculty table. Once you have that experience, you’ll think more of your companions around here.

      1. JB:
        “Yet being consistently outnumbered means the other team is emboldened to be ruthless. Anon was only responding in kind.”
        *******************
        Please identify every antagonist of Anon1 who directed such enlightening in kind phrases such as “F You” or “you dunce” to him.

      2. Yet being consistently outnumbered means the other team is emboldened to be ruthless. Anon was only responding in kind.

        I can’t recall what Anon1 did that would hit certain tripwires, but, then again, I can’t recall what I did and I’ve been banned for months long periods.

        What has been notable about Anon1, Peter, is what’s notable about partisan Democrats generally. They don’t seem to have any interest in policy unless they’re actually employed in certain fields. Except for the tiresome atheist asides, all of his commentary has been devoted to trying to justify a series of obnoxious political pantomimes and nearly all of it was a stew of unsupported assertions, manipulative language and motivated reasoning. We all get a good look at how street-level Democrats think (if that’s what it can be called). As far as anyone can tell, the point of it all is to injure the opposition, and any tool in the box will do.

        And your problem isn’t how few in number you are, but the quality of your contributions. You have several contributors whose comments consist of early-adolescent snottiness, including one who claims to be a lawyer. You have another one who is a manifest head case, posting long repetitive rants weirdly laden with sexual jealousy, recycled crud from talking-point mills, and now and again fake claims to membership in one of two licensed professions. You have a devotee of astrology-in-political-language, whose go-to source is some dame in St. Cloud, Minnesota with a blog and whose objects would appear to be to buttress a damaged sense-of-self by inventing malicious fantasies about soldiers and public officials (see Paul Hollandar’s Political Pilgrims for a treatment of these types). I look at what comes over our Facebook wall from quondam co-workers and from collateral relations and I have to ask if there are any normal people who think normal thoughts who vote Democratic.

        1. “I have to ask if there are any normal people who think normal thoughts who vote Democratic.”
          ****************

          The only one I can think of is Kinky Friedman who penned and performed the immortal “‘They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore.”

          1. mespo…….anyone who posts a video of the Kinkster is royalty in my book.
            And if you’ve never sat down at a bar with him, and listened to the gospel according to Kinky, you are missing one of life’s treats. His dialogue usually ends with “”you’re a great American”.
            About choosing Trump over Hillary he said “Who’s to say? Maybe he makes the right call…….Jesus rode into town on a jackass.”

              1. Paul C…………..Kinky has been all over the map, politically. Usually landing on Democrats. That’s no secret.
                But from time to time he will p-off Dems, and go “conservative”. That’s why he’s interesting. He is a product of Austin, and Kerrville, politically. What I love is the self-deprecating Jewish humor, even though it offends one close friend of ours who is Jewish.

                1. Cindy Bragg – Gosar is trying to become the sh*tposter for the House. He is not my Rep. My Rep is Biggs.

      3. Anon knew when he came here that his team would be consistently outnumbered. But he was willing to play with that handicap.

        Hill,
        His handicap as you put it is being a citizen of country that at its core still believes in our founding first principles, and then arguing in opposition to those principles. If you persist in characterizing this as one team against another, you are assured of misunderstanding the gravity of winning and losing. This is no game, this is a war with many battles. Games are played typically with uncertain outcomes. The consequences of this battle are known. History informs us what will happen if we lose this battle to secure our natural right to life, liberty and property. So far the battles have been peacefully fought. And like our founding generation, we are accumulating losses to those rights that are our own list of grievances. Eventually, this will escalate from peaceful to hostile. And it will remain hostile until we get the security of those rights back.

        So when Anon1 says he’s going to kick my A.S, I’m not threatened in the least. He’s a guy working with a handicap for a cause that will ultimately fail. It’s a sad reality we have to have these battles when we already know who eventually prevails. Damn our human nature!

        1. Olly:
          “Eventually, this will escalate from peaceful to hostile. And it will remain hostile until we get the security of those rights back.”
          ******************
          The Declaration says “WHEN in the course of human events …” and not “IF in the course of human events ….” That “racist, white guy” from Monticello was one smart feller!

          1. Exactly Mark. I cannot imagine our generation’s political class amassing such an esteemed group of principled people willing to create a constitution designed to lock themselves up if they violated it.

    2. Darren,

      I wasn’t keeping up with what was doing on with Anon1, but I see from the last 4 years the overwhelming amount of violence has been coming from the over stressed anti-Trump crowds, not that there may be some violence from others sides.

      The point of this reply is that in all the decades I’ve followed politics it seems very hot with some now getting hotter….. The attacks on congress, Sclise, Sen Paul twice, etc, etc….

      Anyway, thank you for your time trying to herd cats here & work out arguments with words not violent threats.

      These links below may be a bit long, but one can get the major point with just a brief scan. I seen these latest pieces that caused me to post:

      https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/11/this-is-evil-antifa-terrorists-now-targeting-compassionate-citizens-who-donated-to-andy-ngos-gofundme-campaign/

      https://banned.video/watch?id=5dca27e7718a0d002b27a378

  9. I don’t understand how a Quid Pro Quo would be grounds for impeachment. The Federal law is on foreign contributions to political campaigns, not investigations of possible criminal acts by a political candidate even if the investigation benefits the sitting president. This seems to me more like an opinion rather than an actual fact.

  10. Jim Jordan just said Adam Schiff is hiding transcripts and refusing to release them to prevent Republicans from using information within them to question impeachment witnesses in public.

    This is why Schiff won’t release Tim Morrison’s testimony. Morrison is the only witness thus far who was on the July 25 call and has spoken to the president, and he disputes Adam Schiff’s entire bogus narrative.

    Sean Davis
    @seanmdav

  11. TRUMP KICKS LEGS OUT..

    FROM REPUBLICAN TALKING POINTS

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 5h5 hours ago

    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.
    50,103 replies 21,003 retweets 71,216 likes
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Ambassador Yovanovitch was testifying today before the House Impeachment Panel. Republicans were trying to make the case that the president has the right to recall ambassadors when he desires to make changes. Ambassador Yovanovitch openly acknowledged that presidents have this right. Still she wondered why the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, felt the need to undercut her position with a campaign of smears.

    If anyone still doubts Giuliani was indeed smearing the ambassador, Donald Trump felt compelled to confirm it by smearing the ambassador as she sat before the panel. And ‘did’ Zelensky really speak ‘unfavorably’ about Yavannovitch, as Trump claims? This particular smear could become an article of impeachment in itself. It may prove to be a clear-cut case of witness tampering in real time by the ‘Real Donald Trump’.

    1. There were so many quotes from Ukrainian officials they could’ve simply read aloud and asked for her response.

      They didn’t have faith in her anymore, let alone the President. They viewed her as a corrupt activist, not a corruption fighter, and that opportunity was lost.

      (Richard Baris)

        1. mainstream media story

          Mad Magazine went out of business
          Pravda closed their operations when the Soviets collapsed
          “Socialist Worker“ is available on archive.org

          do these help ?

          If you’re referring to the discredited WahPutz, Newd Jerk Thames or Corporate Nazi Network, you should get help and be reprogrammed pronto

          😉

            1. Friends have called me a Luddite. At home we have no cable, internet/streaming or satellite connected TV, no social media, don’t identify as liberal or conservative, we never vote the party ticket as registered Democrats, we are an inter-racial, ethnic family, we attend Church, pray together, we eat meals together in the dining room plus we wash dishes together and dry them with a towel

              After 20+ years married the sex is better than ever

              Sick huh.

              😉

              1. Estovir, you frequently post from The Wall Street Journal. That’s a mainstream source with s moderately conservative slant. Check the Journal now. On the front page you’ll see a story reporting that Rudy Guiliani was trying to muscle in on a Ukrainian energy company.

    2. Was Trump smearing Yavonovich – sure.
      Not a crime
      not an impeachable offense.
      Is there anything in Trump’s tweet that is false ?
      No.
      So it is not even a lie.

      No it is not witness tampering.
      not it is not a crime.
      Just because something offends you does not make it a crime or worthy of impeachment.
      Obama offended people all the time – just in different ways.
      Hillary was incredibly offensive.

      If Trump offends you – do not vote for him.
      I didn’t.
      The fact that I think that someone else would make a better president
      is not a basis to reverse an election.

      I hope Trump loses in 2020, as well as every current democrat, and 2/3 fo the house and senate.

      But that is not happening.

      I likely will not vote for Trump in 2020.
      But if you put a gun to my head and say you MUST vote ONLY for Trump – or whichever of the seven dwarf democrats wins the primary,
      then I would be forced to vote for Trump.

      1. “Is there anything in Trump’s tweet that is false ?
        No.”

        https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2019/nov/15/donald-trump/trump-inaccurately-disparages-yovanovitch-somalia-/

        Yovanovitch’s tenure in Somalia

        We couldn’t pinpoint exactly when Yovanovitch was stationed in Somalia, but it appears she was there in the late 1980s. We know that she joined the foreign service in 1986 and said that Somalia was her first job.

        “For my first job, I moved to Mogadishu, Somalia,” she told the New York Times in 2016. “This was before the internet, and it took three months from the time I wrote a letter to the time I got one back.”

        Ken Menkhaus, a political scientist at Davidson College in North Carolina, was in Somalia during the same time as Yovanovitch on a Fulbright. He said he didn’t personally know her although he knew others in the embassy at the time.

        In 1988, the U.S. government froze aid to Somalia in response to reports about human rights abuses and the government attacking its own people, Menkhaus said. Other countries also withdrew aid. The Somali government lost the ability to pay its soldiers, the soldiers defected and a civil war swept the country.

        The U.S. government cut off aid to Somalia, a country whose strategic importance was dwindling as the Cold War ended.

        “None of that had anything to do with the U.S. foreign service in Mogadishu or Washington,” Menkaus said. “The idea that any single U.S. government official could be blamed for the early period of civil war which was when she there is ludicrous.”

        The U.S. embassy wasn’t to blame for what the Somali government did to its own people or Congress cutting off the aid,.

        “All of that was well beyond the capacity of an embassy to control,” he said. “No mistake was made by our embassy by that point to handle any of this.”

        Ahmed I. Samatar, a Macalester College professor of international studies who grew up in Somalia, said that the country at the time was a place of “chaotic violence” where the “institutions of the state had melted.” (Samatar ran for president of Somalia in 2012.)

        He said that there was no one from the embassy could have stopped the violence.

        “Nobody could save Somalia from themselves at that time,” he said.

        While Samatar said he didn’t know her personally, he had heard she had a good reputation.

        “She was stellar — people said that,” he said. “She was very intelligent, very proper, very strict and sympathetic.”

        David Shinn, a former ambassador to Ethiopia from 1996 to 1999, called the allegation about Yovanovitch “absurd.” When she was in Somalia, he was ambassador to Burkina Faso.

        “As a junior officer she had no control over the situation in Somalia,” he told PolitiFact.

        The United States never formally severed diplomatic relations but closed the embassy in 1991.

        Yovanovitch’s career
        Yovanovitch worked for the government for over 30 years. She testified during the impeachment hearing that in her job she has “moved 13 times and served in seven different countries, five of them hardship posts.”

        On May 20, Yovanovitch was removed as ambassador to Ukraine after being told Trump lost confidence in her. She had initially been appointed to that role by President Barack Obama in 2016.

        Yovanovitch focused on the sphere of the former Soviet Union. Before Ukraine, she was the ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, both times appointed by President George W. Bush. She worked under six administrations, two of them Democratic and four Republican. Earlier in the Bush years, she was deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

        The Senate confirmed Yovanovitch eight times between 1986 and 2016 (we saw this reported in a tweet by National Journal reporter Zach Cohen) All of the confirmations were by voice vote or unanimous consent.

        When Yovanovitch was nominated as ambassador to Armenia in 2008, former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, a Republican, testified that she was “highly qualified” and would do an outstanding job.

        He testified that he had seen her work as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, and that the president of Kyrgyzstan told him “what a great job she had been doing and how she’d worked out some of the problems that they had with America.”

        “She’s made a very serious contribution to our national interest in securing our Air Force base and establishing a constructive relationship with the government after what they called the Tulip Revolution in 2005,” he said.

        During the 2008 hearing, Yovanovitch faced some criticism when she didn’t use the word “genocide” when talking about the mass killings in Armenia. The previous ambassador was withdrawn after he used the “genocide” term, which was against U.S. policy.

        During her 2016 confirmation, she was confirmed easily by the Senate.

        Our ruling

        Trump tweeted, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad” and then referenced Somalia and Ukraine.

        The White House failed to provide evidence that Yovanovitch was to blame for what happened in Somalia during her tenure. She was stationed in Somalia early in her career in the 1980s. There is no evidence that as an embassy official she played any role in Somalia’s downfall.

        People also spoke highly of her time in Ukraine, and we were able to find no hard evidence to suggest her Ukraine tenure was “bad.” In fact, we found many positive words about her job performance.

        We rate this statement Pants on Fire.

  12. DEEP STATE CONVICTS PRESIDENT’S OLD BUDDY

    OR SO PRESIDENT IMPLIES..

    IN VAGUE TWEET OF WHAT ABOUTS

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 2h2 hours ago

    So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?….
    36,394 replies 19,276 retweets 55,981 likes
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    See that, “they now convict”. No explanation of who “they” is from an alleged ‘business genius’. But viewers of Fox New understand “they” is Deep State. No one in particular, mind you; but a vast conspiracy encompassing half of America.

    1. I doubt he will get more than 5 years and predict he will serve nor more than 1-2.

      For a stand up guy like Stone, in a federal minsec, it will be easy time full of exercise, reading, writing, corresponding with supporters, and other positive opportunities for personal growth and enjoyment of life.

      Prison is not feared by men. Stone is a man’s man.

      1. Kurtz, if you think Roger Stone is a “stand up guy” and “man’s man”, it validates all the reservations I have had about you.

          1. Foxtrot, I’m not here to take part in any tit-for-tat insult games. My comment to Kurtz reflects my true feelings. He and Stone are both very ‘quirky’ characters.

        1. the expression refers to a loyal friend, one who would stand and be counted; a fellow fighter, a comrade

          he’s certainly quirky, but quirky people are more interesting folks to observe

          feel free to have reservations about me. it’s inconsequential, i’m just an anonymous scribbler on the net

    2. As the Barr-Durham review turns into a criminal inquiry, I look at ex-CIA Director/current MSNBC analyst John Brennan’s role as a prime mover of Russiagate: @aaronjmate ——->>

      https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2019/11/15/the_brennan_dossier_all_about_a_prime_mover_of_russiagate_121098.html

      “Meanwhile, a CIA “whistleblower” hired and placed in the White House by Brennan has provided the impetus for the current Democrat-led impeachment effort against President Trump.

      The Barr-Durham probe is set to determine, among other things, whether Brennan’s actions and faulty information amounted to incompetence or something considerably worse.”

      1. “This is exactly why having former CIA chiefs as paid TV commentators can be a really bad idea: it makes it hard for media companies to cover stories in which their contributors have involvement.” @mtaibbi

        1. Anonymous, one might argue that Sarah Sanders new position at Fox News is every bit as disturbing, if not more, than Brennan’s TV work.

    3. The President’s ‘old buddy’ has been a Republican campaign hack / lobbyist for over 40 years. It’s a business with him. His career was at its peak around 1985 and he’s had a reputation as a skeevy character the whole time. The politician with whom he might have been most closely associated was Thomas Kean. He’s like Paul Manafort, an operator of long-standing who attached himself to Trump. You have characters like this on the Democratic side (Robert Strauss and Tommy Boggs to name two); they get much better press, though. Funny thing about that.

    1. He will be just fine in general population until his appeal is done or he gets pardoned. And if not, it will be an easy stretch for a rock solid, stand up guy, and plenty of time to work on fitness and another book!

      Commissary will be full and care packages on the way!

      https://stonedefensefund.com/

    2. Roger Stone was found guilty on charges stemming from his false claim of a Wikileaks backchannel. In reality, he had none. Let that sink in: the top proponents of Trump-Russia-Wikileaks “collusion” are now pretending that this verdict doesn’t undermine their conspiracy theory.

      @aaronjmate

    3. Says the Obama would be fed judge, Obama staff member setting the jury, said some jury member that’s husband came into the doj through Obama, said the other jurors from the DC pool that around 95% hate Trump’s azz.

      Oh ya they’d say Stone is guilty as hell of denying their queen Hillary her rightful thrown & putting Trump in as Prez.

      1. No..No..No… The jury all went to Hillary’s for dinner and Soro’s gave everyone a check. Sorry, I should have not said that, there are people that will believe it.

    4. “OT: Roger Stone guilt on all counts. Lock him up!

      In Mueller I trust.”
      *******************
      Yeah, Mueller, the quick-witted gendarme, that Mueller, right. Does his dog bite?:

  13. Why don’t you get specific Olly and I’ll kick your a.s

    Tell me what you perceive to be the physical evidence of Trump’s impeachable offense.

    1. Sure, the transcript, the State Dept texts, the missing military aid, the missing WH visit, missing Pence at the Ukrainian inauguration, Rudy hopping around with the Maralago twins.

      1. What in the transcript is an impeachable offense?
        What in the State Dept texts is an impeachable offense?
        What military aid is missing? If appropriated aid is provided within the fiscal year it was to be released, is that an impeachable offense?
        Assuming you’re talking about Zelensky; how is a missing WH visit an impeachable offense?
        How is Pence missing the Ukranian inauguration an impeachable offense?
        How is Rudy “hopping around with the Maralago twins” an impeachable offense?

        1. I left out the sworn to statements and interrogation of witnesses.

          The impeachable offense is the use of federal funds – military aid – and power of the office – granting meetings and/or state visits – to gain personal advantage, in this case in a federal election.

          The transcript shows the President asking for a “favor” of an investigation into a right wing construct of a conspiracy against him, which even his own administration has described as debunked. Later in the transcript Trump brings up investigating the Bidens.

          The SD texts show discussion between henchmen and with Ukrainian counterparts of setting up the desired public announcement by the Ukraine of an investigation of the Bidens.

          The military aid was held back until the WB complaint was passed onto Congress, ending the extortion. Aides freely discuss the witholding of the aid as a bribe to cause the Ukrainian public announcement.

          The missing WH visit was specifically requested by the Ukraine and promised by WH aides when the investigation was announced.

          Pence was supposed to visit during Zelensky’s inauguration but was held up probably as a chip in the deal, though I don;t know if there is clear evidence of that.

          1. Thank you. You’ve provided me your perception of the truth. Now take out everything that does not have direct, physical evidence to prove it true.

            1. Transcripts are physical evidence, what do you want DNA. You will never accept any evidence that doesn’t fit your RWNJ victimology.

          2. Granting a meeting is an impeachable offense? Are you typing this with a straight face?

            I watched part of the impeachment testimony, in which Taylor admitted that Ukraine was not aware of any aid being held back. In order to have a quid pro quo, both parties have to be average of the agreement. Otherwise, Trump would be waiting a long time for the quo.

            Two transcripts verify no quid pro quo. The Demcorats’ own witness verified there was no quid pro quo, and that the Ukrainians only heard about it when Politico came out with the story. There were also assured there was no such condition.

            Why the heck would Zelensky care if Pence was able to attend his inauguration? Is that an impeachable offense, now? Sending a VP to an event?

            You have already been proven wrong about your allegation about the “favor” being the Biden investigation. The entire transcript was released, which showed the favor was not the Biden investigation. You admit such in your own comment, that it was for an investigation for another matter that you don’t support. You have been shown the text, and yet you keep repeating what you know not to be true. You keep claiming that aid was withheld contingent upon the Biden investigation. You claimed you have a reputation for honesty, but that is not how you behave here.

            You don’t have to read between the lines with Trump. He makes his opinions clear, and then Tweets it to the planet.

            Running as a Democrat is not a shield for lawlessness, as the revelation of your wrongdoing would benefit your opponent. That is anathema to justice. A trend of yours.

            1. Re: meetings, Abstract ideas are difficult for you, sorry. But can’t understand the use of taxpayer funds to further your candidacy, is beneath an idiot of your stature.

              1. Abstract ideas are difficult for you, sorry. But can’t understand the use of taxpayer funds to further your candidacy,

                Abstract ideas? This impeachment inquiry is political theater (the use of taxpayer funds) to undermine President Trump’s reelection.

            2. Not sending Pence was contributory but not by itself impeachable. he WH meeting was a big deal to Zelensky and was pointedly held out as a bargaining chip.

              The Ukraine new of it by late August and the texts show Trump aides working them on the announcement.

              The “no QPQ” text followed a realization by Sondland – in exchanges with Taylor – that they were making an incriminating record. He even said we can’t do this and “Call me.”

              See above

              The “transcript” – actually a summary memo – is not the only event in a months long effort and Sondland has even admitted it. What is wrong with you?

              Trump’s aids were making the deal, the record on which ios clear. Unless you think they were rogue, they were working with Trump, a fact probably about to be confirmed by Holmes, the guy Taylor spoke to about Sondland taking the Trump call in the Kiev restaurant.

              Your last sentence makes zero sense.

      2. What exactly in the transcript, verbatim, was an impeachable offense. Show us the exact phrases that would revoke a presidency.

        Why shouldn’t the Biden’s be investigated? Why should the allegations be ignored?

        What does it matter if Pence attended an inauguration?

        Hillary Clinton counted a rapist pedophile who so savagely raped a girl that he rendered her barren. You didn’t seem to have a problem with her, based on her clients. I do hold a bias against defense attorneys when the clients are known to be guilty, but that’s bias, not fair. In your case, it’s selective bias.

        1. 1. The president asks a favor – an offer Zelensky couldn’t refuse – of an investigation into a bogus 2016 election theory and then later during the call, the Bidens.

          2. Why should the Bidens be investigated? Numerous investigations by reputable news organizations like the WSJ and statements by first person witnesses like Kent and the sitting GOP congressman who served with the FBI there in 2015 say Biden was doing US work and the Prosecutor general was crooked and doing nothing.

          3. Pence, no big deal by itself but another instance of a promise withheld until the Ukrainians delivered.

          4. WTF? Hillary was a legal aid lawyer in an Arkansas group she helped set up. Lawyers represent complete scum sometimes. It’s their job.

          1. Why, exactly, was asking for Ukraine to cooperate in an investigation to various allegations of misconduct unfair? Because, according to you, it’s unfair because Biden is a Democrat Presidential candidate. Therefore, it’s unfair to investigate him, as the results might damage his campaign.

            Zelensky couldn’t refuse? He could say sure, we’ll investigate it, not do it, and claim they found nothing. He could say no. He could say they’ve already investigated Burisma and it’s all fine. He could say you big bad man, I’ll go to the media and get you impeached. As you have been told, repeatedly, the star witness for the Democrats, Taylor, informed Congress that Ukraine had no idea of any quid pro quo, or any stipulations on any aid, in two of his meetings. In the third meeting, Ukraine expressed concern about a Politico article about a quid pro quo, and were assured no, there was no such thing. Taylor only heard rumors of a stipulaion 4th hand (literally fourth hand, if you follow the conversation), it he clearly stated that Ukraine was totally unaware of it. Which means there was no quid pro quo. It can’t exist without the knowledge of both parties. For example, Biden told Ukraine to fire the ambassador (quo) within the next 6 hours, or they would not get over $1 billion in aid (quid). All laid out. All crystal to both parties.

            Instead, it was a reasonable conversation between two world leaders, Trump and Zelensky. Countries coordinate investigations every day. This is a fabricated crisis, like the mountain of other fabricated crisis Democrats have dutifully forgot about.

            Why shouldn’t Criminal allegations against the Biden’s be investigated? According to you, as long as someone else says it was all okeydokey, then it would be an impeachable offense to look into it…again…because Biden is a Democrat candidate. Only spying on Republican candidates is laudable. Investigate a Democrat and get impeached.

            Who cares if Pence attended an event? It’s ludicrous.

            Boy, you were born in the wrong era. Stalin would have highly valued your moral flexibility.

              1. Paul C……..Yes, indeed. Is anyone talking about that treaty?
                i have found the full treaty online but am having trouble finding voice vote, if there was one..I’m assuming??? in Oct 2000, (for ratification) Was there one? Thank you if you can tell me. The Senate had a Republican majority, as you recall.

            1. Karen,
              This is Zelensky’s response after Trump asked for the favor. Does he say anything that would lead you to believe he was not already planning an investigation or that he felt threatened by Trump’s request? This sounds like a President who is comforted by having the full support of the American President in his efforts to investigate and eliminate corruption in his country. And as far as the allegation that there was a condition put on our foreign aid that Zelensky publicly announce he was going to conduct corruption investigations; this call transcript is an announcement. The allegation makes no sense, as Trump could have released this announcement back in July.

              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 µs, 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.

              1. Good point.

                I would add that the constant undermining of Trump makes it very difficult to conduct international negotiations, as well as weakens us in the geopolitical playing field.

                Activists should stop monkey wrenching the president. We all get a turn every 4 years to vote.

          2. She was a legal aid lawyer because she couldn’t find regular legal work until her husband was elected state attorney-general. The chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee later said that in 14 years in that position, he’d employed three attorneys for whom he’d never give a reference. One of the three was the young Hillary Rodham, whom he fired for cause.

    1. It is agitating when that AH Darren removes your posts to protect the snowflake right wingers here. Make me your free speech issue.

      That’ll be the day.

      1. it’s a private venue not a government controlled entity. First Amendment does not apply.

        also it’s hardly a public utility like the Silicon Valley titans either

        Probably the one where you said to Olly you would kick has azz got you in trouble again

        Anyhow, relax and have a great day!

        1. You are correct that I have no 1st amendment right to post here, but given the supposed dedication of JT and others here when it suits them, they should know that the site is being policed and by a right winger of dubious intelligence. While i abbreviate cursing often, I don’t pretend to know the sex life of other posters and mock them for it, nor do I threaten real violence as other do, yet stay here. Hey if Darren figures out how to keep me off – if that’s possible – he’ll be doing me a favor. I have a lot of work to do that I often put off to respond to the regular idiocy posted here by some of the regulars.

          1. Anon1

            I deleted a comment you wrote where you made a threatening statement against another user of this website. If this type of behavior occurs again your commenting privilege will risk revocation. I’m not going to argue with you on this matter. Either you accept this warning or you will have your comments deleted and posting denied.

            1. Darren, Anon1 contributes nothing but hatred, vitriol, and lies to this forum. He has already stated that he has a lot of work to do, so do him and us a favor and let him go stew in his own hate-juice.

              1. What he contributes is

                1. An overweening sense of his own superiority, intellectual and moral.

                2. The issue of whatever talking-point mill to which he subscribes.

          2. i agree that there is a strange attraction to coming here to argue. I need to focus more on work too.

            One can almost envy getting locked up in a club fed like Roger Stone some days and enjoy a couple years of seclusion, time to enjoy exercise and books, both reading and writing, and stay off the internet, the biggest time waster in history.

            Roger’s place in history is secured and his book sales are going to soar.

  14. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is hardly the architectural model we should look to in analyzing the House impeachment inquiry. Buckminster Fuller, the famed architect and design scientist who pioneered the geodesic dome, disproved the traditional notion that “[t]he higher the building the wider the foundation”. Fuller showed that a structure of great height and width can be built on the narrowest of foundations. You stated in your column that “a quid pro quo to force the investigation of a political rival in exchange for military aid can be impeachable, if proven”. Trump could be impeached on a variety of other crimes and abuses of power. But the House Intelligence Committee has chosen to focus on Trump’s clear abuse of power by trying to get the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on a political rival. Any impeachment of Trump based on this narrow ground may “last only as long as it takes to burn it to the ground” only because Senate Republicans will not carry out their responsibility to ensure the President does not undermine the Constitution and the rule of law.

    1. More blather from the I-Say-It’s-Spinach caucus. It’s more entertaining when you tap your ruby slippers before uttering an incantation.

  15. An impeachment trial should be for very serious accusations that require immediate remedy, and cannot wait for an election. Crimes. Gross injustice.

    Instead, the day after the 2016 election was called, Democrats proclaimed they would just impeach Trump. They’ve been trying ever since. If the election does not tip to Democrats, try other means.

    I hate that this might just be the reality of politics. At some point, Republicans may become hopeless at justice prevailing. Then, to play the game, they all have to follow the same rules. Which means it will be trench warfare from now on.

    Imagine, for a moment, if Republicans behaved the way Democrats have whenever a Democrat wins a Presidential election. Non stop, never ending, false accusations, impeachment efforts, abuse of the government agencies…

    1. Using the power of his office and federal tax dollars to benefit the president in the coming election is both serious and can’t wait for that election. He cheats.

      1. Anything the President does or does not do may benefit or injure him in coming elections. They’re not sending you good talking points.

      2. Running as a Democratic Presidential candidate does not protect you from a criminal investigation. You cannot claim that any wrongdoing uncovered would benefit your opponent in the White House.

        As has been pointed out, Obama had no trouble investigating Trump, which would have been helpful to the Demcorats.

        What you are saying is that if you run for President as a Democrat, the Trump administration may not investigate you for any reason, because there would be collateral political gain.

        Stop trying to install the next Stalin dictatorship.

        1. Karen you dunce, Trump sought a public announcement of an investigation, not the investigation, and the Ukrainians were told to provide that public announcement if they wanted the aid. He wasn’t trying to get to the bottom of anything, he was trying to discredit the opponent who was his biggest threat.

          Obama did not investigate Trump, the FBI did, and it was kept under cover, even when the one of Hillary was announced to the public.

          If Trump serious;y want’s Biden investigated, come up with a possible crime and refer it to the FBI, not the Ukrainians with a demand to make it public.

          Are you this dumb? I’m putting my money on dishonest.

            1. See how “feminist” males love to call women names when they don’t do as they’re told? It appeals to a certain segment of the Leftist population. It’s like Antifa feels entitled to go assault people they can’t control. It is hypocritical for Anon to be so rude and yet complain the fractures in the country are Trump’s fault. Trump isn’t moving Anon’s fingers on the keyboard.

              Anon has been asked to provide evidence, but he hasn’t because he can’t. If he disagrees with Professor Turley on the strength of this impeachment inquiry, or that it is politicized, then he should prove it. Otherwise, he keeps claiming his opinions to be facts.

    2. Trump had the idea that he determined what American foreign policy toward the Ukraine was and he determined who would be his envoys. For Vindman, Kent, Taylor, and Yovanovitch, this would appear to be a Very Serious Offense.

        1. So, Anon would slay us all with his rapier wit, but he’s just not deigning to do so. We’ll just have to take his word that he has evidence that he just won’t share.

          1. I’ve shared it multiple times, just I’ve shared the facts on Joe in Ukraine and Shokin, but you still pretend you haven’t seen it. Like I said, dunce or dishonest.

            1. Actually, no. You shared a characterization of Shokin you got from a talking-point mill. The same place that told you to repeat the incantations ‘read the Mueller report’ and ‘collusion has been proved’.

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