Democrats Seek To Redefine Crimes To Reframe The Trump Impeachment

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the three new crimes being alleged by the Democrats: bribery; extortion; and obstruction. There was a critical shift away from the abuse of power framework this week in favor of these criminal allegations. That may reflect the fact that the hearings have not resonated with voters, or at least have not caused a shift in public opinion. I have previously stated that a president can be impeached for abuse of power, including a quid pro quo. However, when alleging a crime, the elements of such a crime are relevant. Indeed, Schiff has referenced those elements in his comments in the hearings. The problem is that the case law falls far short of the rhetoric surrounding these crimes.

Here is the column:

After weeks of hearings, Democrats are discovering a simple truth about impeachment. You do not need a crime, but you need clarity, to remove a sitting president. Faced with a country still divided right down the middle on impeaching President Trump, Democrats have reframed an alleged abuse of power as actual crimes of bribery, extortion, and obstruction. These allegations are based on the same spurious interpretations used during the Russia investigation to claim clear proven crimes.

Those “clear established crimes” are absent in this impeachment. Instead, the same experts and House members now claim three new crimes with equal certainty, but even less support under case law. If Democrats continue on this course, it will combine the narrowest impeachment in history with the most dubious claims of criminal conduct.

Bribery

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that the first two witnesses in the impeachment hearing offered “devastating” evidence that “corroborated” bribery. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff repeatedly returned to the definition of bribery this week, saying that all it requires is a showing that the president withheld military aid, even briefly, for anything that would benefit him politically or personally.

It is a definition that would turn most discretionary decisions of a president into grounds for a bribery charge. All presidential acts are to some extent political, since they are taken by politicians. The same is true for members of Congress. Presidents often seek to convince other countries to take actions that would benefit them politically. The most cited provision is Title 18 Section 201 of the federal code, which defines bribery as an act by a public official who “directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for being influenced in the performance of any official act.”

That definition might seem endlessly flexible, so Pelosi told the press that “to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into elections” is bribery. But it is not. The courts have narrowly construed these terms and reversed high profile cases based on the type of creative interpretations now put forward by Democrats. The Supreme Court rejected such claims in Robert McDonnell versus United States. In that case, the governor of Virginia actually received “things of value” but the court rejected the “boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute.” Similar counts were rejected in other criminal cases, including counts against Senator Robert Menendez, who received gifts for allegedly using his office to benefit a donor.

Trump did not receive the requested investigations and, after a brief delay, the aid was given to Ukraine. Two different investigations were raised by Trump. First, he wanted Ukraine to investigate efforts to influence the 2016 election. While Pelosi calls that investigation fake, it is a subject being investigated by United States Attorney John Durham, who is looking at both Russian and Ukrainian sources used by Democrats and their supporters and the Obama administration to probe the Trump campaign. Moreover, recent House inquiry witnesses like Kurt Volker, the respected former United States envoy to Ukraine, said he did not think it was a problem to ask for such an investigation as part of the aid discussion since it did not demand a particular finding.

The second investigation was more problematic. The request to probe the business dealings of Hunter Biden was highly inappropriate. But it was not bribery. There is an arguable public purpose to such an investigation, since the contract was a classic example of influence peddling by a corrupt Ukrainian company seeking leverage with Vice President Joe Biden. While the request by Trump never should have been made, it is far from other acts of politicians where actual benefits were delivered. If used by Democrats, such a “boundless interpretation” rejected unanimously by the Supreme Court would be imported into an impeachment standard designed to be bounded and burdensome for Congress.

Extortion

The claim that Trump calling for a corruption investigation constitutes extortion is even further off the mark. The most obvious basis for such a charge is the Hobbs Act, which prohibits “extortion under color of official right.” Such violations occur when a politician demands a bribe for official conduct, like the claims against former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who demanded $50,000 in campaign contributions to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates to benefit a hospital. The problem is that military aid is subject to a large degree of executive branch discretion, which President Obama relied on to withhold aid to Egypt.

The case is even weaker when the aid was only withheld for a short period, and it is not clear the Ukrainians understood that the request for investigations might be an actual precondition. The only clear date is August 29, when an article in Politico discussed a possible quid pro quo. That, however, was just 10 days before the release of the aid without a Ukrainian commitment to investigate. If that constitutes extortion, then most presidents and members of Congress are recidivist felons. All such politicians actively negotiate for a variety of changes or actions in return for legislative or executive acts.

Obstruction

Finally, Democrats have been alluding to obstruction, based on the White House withholding documents and discouraging witnesses from testifying. Some of us have pointed out that prior claims of obstruction in the Russia investigation were fundamentally flawed, and are now debunked entirely, by the failure to include them in the current impeachment. The obstruction theory today is even weaker.

The fact is that Trump waived executive privilege to an unprecedented degree in the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller, making both witnesses and evidence available. President Obama presented a far more extreme position in withholding both testimony and documents from legislative committees. Moreover, waivers have been made in the Ukraine investigation, including ordinarily privileged communications with heads of state. Witnesses have testified, including current White House staff like Alexander Vindman, without being punished.

Most importantly, Trump has gone to court to seek judicial review of these conflicts between the legislative and executive branches. He is entitled to do so, just as President Nixon and President Clinton did. Obama also sought such judicial review. What Trump cannot do is disobey a final judicial order. To impeach a president for seeking judicial review would itself be an abuse of our constitutional system.

Crimes may be revealed in upcoming testimony, but they need to be grounded in the criminal code rather than in the imagination of members of Congress. I have long criticized the poorly considered statement by President Ford that “an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be.” That often cited quote wrongly suggests impeachment is based on a purely political, not a legal, standard. Even if the House has broad license in impeachment, it does not have license to redefine crimes to fit impeachments.

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.

255 thoughts on “Democrats Seek To Redefine Crimes To Reframe The Trump Impeachment”

  1. My worry is that Trump, the reality TV veteran, desires to create a hyper-partisan spectacle via a Senate Impeachment trial. Unable as he is to accept sound legal advice that runs counter to his impulses, Trump is likely convinced that a Senate trial will embarrass the Democrats and tilt the 2020 election in his favor.

    However, there is a major risk for Trump in a Senate trial — his own distemper. He could be goaded into a situation where he openly disrespects Chief Justice Roberts, while Roberts is doing his best to conduct a fair, impartial process. Nothing is impartial in Trump’s mind. The danger is that Trump would issue forth an impulsive tweet that is the “final straw” of un-Presidential temperament, alienating Republican Senators. These Senators would already have considered elevating Mike Pence to the Presidency as a choice they have before them. And, how would it undercut the Democrats’ authenticity if Mike Pence becomes President, and the Dems immediately go negative on the new President before he’s done anything (because there’s a general election to be fought)?

    Trump would best retract his call for a Senate trial. He doesn’t realize that he’ll be running against Mike Pence for President if impeachment moves to trial.

      1. I haven’t seen the word Onanism in decades when discussing Humanae Vitae with a Catholic friend frustrated with his unfaithful wife.

        Judah got a wife named Tamar for his firstborn, Er. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, greatly offended the LORD; so the LORD took his life. Then Judah said to Onan, “Have intercourse with your brother’s wife, in fulfillment of your duty as brother-in-law, and thus preserve your brother’s line. Onan, however, knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he had intercourse with his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground, to avoid giving offspring to his brother. What he did greatly offended the LORD, and the LORD took his life too.

        Genesis 38:6-10

        Interpretation, according to Wiki, the go to source by many on here

        ….as the King James translation somewhat coyly puts it, he “spilled his seed on the ground”. This being the Old Testament, and Old Testament God being a mean, cussed old bast@rd, Onan was promptly slain for this impertinence

        https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Onanism

        😉

        It doesn’t get more scholarly than that

        Perhaps Mespo can provide the Jerome Biblical Commentary on it.

    1. pbinca – I think Trump could run alone after being convicted and Pence would still have the opportunity for two full terms later.

  2. This last point brings us back to the question raised earlier: Are the investigators and their media allies laying the groundwork to argue that, because Russia did interfere in the 2016 campaign, any “mistakes” in using FISA or other investigative tactics do not detract from the overall validity of the investigation?

    If evidence tampering by a low-ranking FBI lawyer ended up making no difference to the validity of the Carter Page FISA warrants, that is hardly the stuff of scandal. It would be small-scale misconduct of the kind that unavoidably happens from time to time, and that the government has handled appropriately — by forcing the culprit out of the FBI and referring him to U.S. attorney Durham for possible prosecution.

    On the other hand, if the Horowitz report is going to take the tack that, because Russia did in fact meddle in the 2016 campaign, any investigative overreach amounts merely to regrettable but understandable overzealousness, that would be a very big deal — and not in a good way.

    The question is not whether Russia meddled. On four separate occasions, the FBI and the Justice Department solemnly told the FISC there were grounds to believe that Carter Page and others in the Trump campaign, potentially including Donald Trump himself, were complicit in a criminal conspiracy with the Kremlin. The question is: What was their compelling basis for making that explosive representation, which breached the American norm against government intrusion in our political process?
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/11/the-first-glimpse-into-horowitzs-fisa-abuse-report/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Saturday%202019-11-23&utm_term=NRDaily-Smart

    1. 2 days a ago, 56 years ago, Nov 22,1963 the DOJ/FBI/IC/abc media outfits of the day all had their hands in on murdering President Kennedy, no one was held to account & they think we should be so stupid to believe the so called Brass are good guys today.

      And then Giuliani now days, gee I wonder as the mayor of NYC on 9/11/2001 what he knows about GW/Cheney/Clintons/etc blowing the hell out of the US that day? Insurance policy anyone?

  3. Democrats in Congress have misused their authority, and taxpayer money, to meddle in the 2020 election. Furthermore, they are telling prospective voters patent untruths, such as that Trump’s actions constituted bribery.

    It doesn’t matter that this is untrue. As a public figure, Trump cannot sue for defamation. If they repeat it often enough, naive voters will believe it. And when they go to the polls in a matter of months, the long list of lies will be in their psyche.

    No wonder Americans voted for a president who enjoys quarreling. This kind of slander has gone on against Republicans for many years. Taking the high road allowed Democrats to define for the American people what Republicans and conservatives in general stand for. The open bigotry against conservatives, Christians, and Israel was allowed to fester unchallenged.

    The mudslinging has escalated with Trump’s election, only he merrily boomerangs it right back. I fervently wish that neither side resorted to personal insults, but wishing the Left would stop is about as likely as wishing a conservative speaker could deliver his invited speech unmolested on a US college campus. If conservatives go back to supporting temperate candidates above it all, how will they handle being labeled Hitler?

    Conservatives have got to learn how to be effective in fighting total slander, and that goes for Trump, as well. Simply insulting them back infuriates the extreme Democrats, who have no practice taking what they dish out. They they say, see, it’s all his fault! Just ignore that we’ve been doing the same for years and on a national scale. However, a non personal, laser targeted approach that utterly deflates their plataform would be effective.

    I have many friends and family who were moderates. I have watched them slowly become openly bigoted against Republicans over the years. They say things now, right in front of my conservative family, that I never would have dreamed would exit their mouths 10 years ago. One of them even called my sweet mother a Neo Nazi for no other reason than she voted for Trump. It’s insane. They blame Trump for the pure poison that comes out of their mouths and keyboards, without realizing that these kinds of things have been said about all conservatives for so many years. I am witnessing the tilting hard Left of moderates that I know and admire. Not everyone, of course. But too many are getting swept up. When all you see on the news, social media, and in school all day are conservatives are evil, it soaks into your subconscious, and informs your opinions.

    The existential problem is how can moderates reclaim the Democratic Party, when the entire thing is leaning so hard left that they’ve put up Socialist candidates for President? I don’t see them step a toe in social media when their friends make bigoted remarks against men, Christians, white people, conservatives, or whatever the hate du jour is.

  4. Perhaps it would help those who are in complete denial to frame the issue as follows: Would it be OK for a President to demand that Ukraine deposit a billion dollars into his business or campaign account in exchange for the release of military assistance? Whether this meets the Federal Code definition of a crime or not, if this is not deemed impeachable conduct, then God help us

    1. “Perhaps it would help those who are in complete denial to frame the issue as follows: Would it be OK for a President to demand that Ukraine deposit a billion dollars into his business or campaign account in exchange for the release of military assistance? Whether this meets the Federal Code definition of a crime or not, if this is not deemed impeachable conduct, then God help us.”

      ******************

      Of course, that’s exactly what didn’t happen. What happened was that the POTUS asked the head of state to investigate a rather obvious attempt to indirectly bribe a former VPOUS with no strings attached. That’s what the evidence shows. Not your wishful thinking to overturn a democratic election. When rooting out corruption becomes the subject of an impeachment, God help us.

      1. There is That Name again!

        God help us.

        Who knew that the Democrats theatrics with impeachment and tanking popular approval, would convert so many to God-fearers?

        Forget the messy plague of locusts and the bloody slaying of the male first born, Pelosi clearly is working off her sins and botox by driving Americans to God’s Kingdom!

        1. Have you been paying any attention to infowars/naturalnews & usawatch websites!

          Of the many subjects are a few, geoengineering, weather maps before & after, & of course the livestock & crop reports here & abroad.

          Throw in the Deep States fear of a modern day movement….

          What was the name of the Jew who’s brothers through him into a well & went on to be of Egypt food supply?

          Our food supplies & structure are really not that secure & sound.

  5. IMSPECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT..

    UNLIKELY TO SUPPORT CONSPIRACY AT FBI

    A highly anticipated report by the Justice Department’s inspector general is expected to sharply criticize lower-level F.B.I. officials as well as bureau leaders involved in the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, but to absolve the top ranks of abusing their powers out of bias against President Trump, according to people briefed on a draft.

    Investigators for the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, uncovered errors and omissions in documents related to the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — including that a low-level lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap, the people said.

    Mr. Horowitz referred his findings about Mr. Clinesmith to prosecutors for a potential criminal charge. Mr. Clinesmith left the Russia investigation in February 2018 after the inspector general identified him as one of a handful of F.B.I. officials who expressed animus toward Mr. Trump in text messages and resigned about two months ago, after the inspector general’s team interviewed him.

    Though Mr. Trump’s allies have seized on the messages from Mr. Clinesmith and his colleagues as proof of anti-Trump bias, Mr. Clinesmith has not been a prominent figure in the partisan firefight over the investigation. His lawyer declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Mr. Horowitz.

    More broadly, Mr. Horowitz’s report, to be made public on Dec. 9, portrays the overall effort to seek the wiretap order and its renewals as sloppy and unprofessional, according to the people familiar with it. He will also sharply criticize as careless one of the F.B.I. case agents in New York handling the matter and say that the bureau and the Justice Department displayed poor coordination during the investigation, they said.

    At the same time, however, the report debunks a series of conspiracy theories and insinuations about the F.B.I. that Mr. Trump and his allies have put forward over the past two years, the people said, though they cautioned that the report is not complete. The New York Times has not reviewed the draft, which could contain other significant findings.

    Edited from: “Russia Inquiry Review Is Said To Criticize FBI But Rebuff Claims Of Biased Act”

    This evening’s New York Times”

    1. Again, the Washington Post is trying to get ahead of the story and their lies. It is not a low level attorney but the Washington Post will downplay what is happening until they start a new story so they can keep ignorant people in the dark.

        1. “Who said anything about the Washington Post?”

          Anonymous the Stupid, WaPo, NYTimes, no real difference even though I posted the wrong newspaper. Both newspapers lie continuously though in better form than you. Anyhow, thank you for the correction. When I think of the Shill, I think of the Washington Post.

          As far as content goes the article was spin. If you were an honest or intelligent being you would have let me know it was the NYTimes and then discussed the spin but I guess being stupid doesn’t permit you to do so.

      1. Allan,
        Shill is regurgitating the latest spin from the NYT, not the WaPo. Regardless, There will be plenty more of this between now and December 9th. What’s interesting about the spin is it isn’t a denial of what has been alleged to have taken place, but rather an effort to protect the bad actors that have been alleged to do it. These are not readers that are ignorant of the crime, these are people that are knowingly defending leaders of agencies attempting a coup. A quote attributed to Lincoln, that is paraphrased from an 1838 speech, describes this situation best:

        America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we lose our freedoms it will be because we have destroyed ourselves from within.

        1. Olly, any candidate for president who refuses to show his tax returns and has numerous potential conflicts of interest ‘should’ be investigated by the FBI. The FBI would be derelict in their duties if they didnt investigate a candidate like that.

          1. any candidate for president who refuses to show his tax returns and has numerous potential conflicts of interest ‘should’ be investigated by the FBI.

            The depth of your ignorance is revealed every time you post. You never take your bright ideas through to their most problematic conclusions. That makes you the Wiley Coyote of this blog.

            In this country, we should not be weaponizing agencies to violate the rights of citizens, merely because they have potential conflicts of interest. That is, if we don’t want to be relegated to third world status. In case you haven’t realized, EVERY politician has a potential conflict of interest.

            1. Olly, Trump was planning a Trump tower in Moscow that would have featured a top floor penthouse for none other than Vladimir Putin! In fact, we learned from Michael Cohen that Trump Tower Moscow was still a going project even after’ Trump’s nomination. There are also Trump towers in Turkey and The Philippines.

              1. How many people currently serving in government hold shares in international corporations? Should they be audited? Should they be under FBI investigation?

                1. You have fallen into the trap of the communists. You are following their playbook. You are playing defense. You are back—ward. What should happen is the anti-American, anti-Constitution communists should be eliminated from America for treason against the Constitution.

                  Did you know that, in 1789, the American Founders made the People the “Sovereign” and they made the government the “Subject” of the “Sovereign?” The People are the Master and the government is the Slave. The American Framers did not give the Slave any power. The Framers gave the power to the Master; the Sovereign; the People.

                  Did you know that taxes should be on purchases and transactions not on measures of personal income, capital gains and estate values. Audits, the IRS and scrutiny of property and financial assets, both foreign and domestic, should not even be considered by government in the United States for constitutional 4th Amendment privacy concerns and due to the severe limits and restrictions placed on government by the Constitution.

                  How about reading the Constitution for the answers you seek. Government may not control any aspect of private property, tax for individual welfare or regulate anything other than the “value” of money and inter-state-nation-tribe commerce to preclude favor or bias. The entire American welfare state is unconstitutional.

                  Congress cannot possess or dispose of or claim or exercise dominion over any private property or the products or services of private property. Congress cannot tax for welfare or redistribution in any form and may tax only for “…general Welfare.” Congress cannot tax punitively. Congress cannot regulate anything other than “…the value of money…” and “…Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;…” to preclude bias or favor by one state, nation or tribe over another.

                  If charity is a sound concept, it may be accomplished voluntarily in the free markets of the private sector.

                  If regulation is a sound concept, it may be accomplished voluntarily by the relevant industries.

                  If redress is a sound concept, it may be accomplished in courts of law prescribed by the Constitution.

                  The Constitution provides maximal freedom to individuals while severely limiting and restricting government to its sole and singular role of merely providing security and infrastructure to assist and promote the freedom of individuals.

                  Government exists only to facilitate the maximal freedom of individuals and free enterprise including foreign countries and markets.

                  1. You have fallen into the trap of the communists. You are following their playbook. You are playing defense. You are back—ward.

                    Channeling FPR has not been a good look for you. Take a xanax.

              2. Peter, you are presuming.

                Yet Hunter Biden was paid about $80,000 a month because of Joe Biden’s influence peddling. That is not considered a problem by you when it is most definitely something of concern and was even questioned by the NYTimes.

          2. “potential conflicts ”

            Peter, If that is who should be investigated then Joe Biden would certainly be on the watchlist along with Obama, Clinton, the Obama Administration and all those close to him in the Deep State.

            When you apply criteria to Trump you should first look around and see who your friends are. Most likely they are the best targets for investigation.

          3. Tax returns are not a requirement to run for president.

            Using the FBI to investigate someone for not providing his tax returns, which is not a requirement, is an abuse of government.

            If you want tax returns to be required, then there is a legal method to add such.

            He has obeyed the law as far as restructuring his businesses. His hotels rent out rooms at the going rate.

            How curiously eager you are to sic the FBI on people.

            How curiously disinterested you are in the clear conflict of interest and quid pro quo of Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton taking donations for her Foundation from foreign governments while she was SOS, Obama giving plum government contracts to big donors like Solyndra.

            1. Under what grounds would you send law enforcement, in the form of the FBI, after Trump? He won’t show his tax returns voluntarily. Where in the law is this required?

              May I send the police banging on your door if you have not broken the law?

    2. Peter Shill is misleading with his above referenced unlinked NYT piece

      stated in the byline next to the headline

      A watchdog report will portray….

      Watchdog? As in Rottweiler, German Shepherd, a Shepherd of animals?

      as well as the following diminished phrases throughout

      according to people briefed on a draft…..

      …the people said

      ….according to the people familiar with it

      … the people said.

      …. the people briefed on the draft report said.

      and others

      “watchdog”, “draft report”, “people familiar”

      And this from a left wing publication that mocks people of Faith for their belief in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. How rich.

      Advent / Christmas Season begins in 1 week, Sunday, December 1

      Americans should not be surprised if the NYT publishes articles in the next few weeks, describing a group of watchdogs (shepherds) reporting their viewing a birth of a baby in a stable with “reliable sources” (angels) informing them that the baby is the Messiah, and hearing conversations (people familiar) that supported the angels words

      Mary nodded
      Pa rum pum pum-pum
      The ox and lamb kept time
      Pa rum pum pum-pum

      😉

      1. Estovir, your thought process here would strike many as insane. An assumption is made that The Times is anti-Christian so they’re naturally hostile to Trump. Never mind that Trump was a playboy for decades and scarcely associated with Christians.

        1. Peter, unlike you Trump knows the difference between right and wrong. He has a right to his own personal life. Estovir has been questioning yours so maybe based on your terms your lifestyle was the one to really worry about.

          1. Ya know, Allan, reading Peter Shill is like playing a game of pinball and remembering the rock film, “Tommy” with Pinball Wizard played by Elton John.

            Peter loves to push those buttons to activate flippers to have the metal pinball run wildly across the board with no one knowing where in the hell it will land. Cue Elton

  6. https://youtu.be/zBjL5wAR5vU

    Most Ukrainian politicians under their previous administration were in Hillary Clinton’s camp. They openly made anti-Trump comments during the 2016 election. Yovanovitch never said anything to Ukraine about their writing anti-Trump op-eds, etc. Schiff’s bias against Republicans rears its head again.

  7. In which Schiff won’t let Stefanic talk. Won’t answer questions. He demands Taylor’s notes, but Taylor confirmed that Ukraine knew nothing about any quid pro quo.

    While clearly not allowing Republicans to speak, Schiff, the all powerful, made Democratic talking points. The way he’s treated Republicans at the hearing is outrageous. It clearly shows this is partisan, and not just.

    https://youtu.be/yZWwHO7JUEM

    1. https://babylonbee.com/news/impeachment-inquiry-canceled-after-5-episodes-due-to-low-ratings

      Impeachment Inquiry Canceled After 5 Episodes Due To Low Ratings

      After just five rocky episodes that failed to deliver any major plot twists, producers pulled the plug on the impeachment inquiry due to lack of viewers.

      “The showrunners promised all these big bombshells, shocking twists, and startling revelations, but they weren’t able to deliver,” said one reviewer writing in Hollywood Reporter. “When there are so many better options out there—rewatching The Office, checking out The Good Place, staring at paint as it slowly dries—why would people tune into this tepid, uninspired mess?”

      22% of Americans said they were disappointed with the show so far, while 78% said, “Impeachment hearings are going on?”

      At publishing time, sources had confirmed that J.J. Abrams had been in charge of writing the plot and simply forgot to tie up all the loose ends.

  8. Turley’s defense of Trump’s obstruction of justice is that in this other case he was very transparent. That also wasn’t true.
    My favorite moment from the hearings was when Fiona Hill stated that the narrative about Ukraine being responsible for disrupting the 2016 election was started by Russians and anyone who repeated them was doing their bidding. Republicans didn’t even hesitate before launching right back into them. I guess when you have no defense to the allegations, the only thing you have left is to distract. Even if it’s tearing your country apart.

      1. So Trump didn’t prevent; Mulvaney, Bolton, McGahn, and several others from testifying, and refuse to turn over any documents from the State Department, Pentagon, and elsewhere? How did I get that wrong?

          1. So If I get subpoenaed for documents by a lawful entity. I can refuse to comply until and unless the Supreme Court says so? Not only me, but I can tell other people and departments that you don’t need to comply either. At least regarding his personal finances he fought it out in the courts (losing every step of the way, mind you). Regarding documents and testimony of others, he just said no. Don’t think he won’t defy SCOTUS too. When (as Sonderland testified to) there’s a trail of E-mails implicating your whole administration. You have nothing to lose.

              1. If someone (Michael Cohen) testified before Congress about his practice of inflating and/or devaluing property values to both cheat his insurance company and the government. They don’t have the authority to follow up and find out? Courts keep saying they do have that right (along with the State of New York). Grand Jury information is often provided with cause. Pay attention to the hearings. There’s plenty of cause. Please tell me you’re not a lawyer. I know more than you do,

                1. Enigma,

                  I don’t want Trump re-elected.

                  You are doing exactly what angers Democrats like me. Trump would never win reelection if the DNC put forward a viable candidate. Work within the Florida Democrat Party to make that happen otherwise Americans will vote for Trump again.

                  I was disgusted to learn last night while driving home from Washington DC that Kamala Harris ripped into Tulsi Gabbard.
                  Gabbard is exactly the kind of person who could beat Trump if the party supported her, or someone like her.

                  Otherwise your defense of the “impeachment” circus is as pathetic as Trump himself. Use your energies and intelligence more judiciously.

                  A new Emerson poll finds President Trump’s approval has increased in the last month with 48% approval and 47% disapproval, a bounce from 43% approval in the last Emerson National poll in October. Support for impeachment has flipped since October from 48% support with 44% opposing to now 45% opposed and 43% in support. The biggest swing is among Independents, who oppose impeachment now 49% to 34%, which is a reversal from October where they supported impeachment 48% to 39%.

                  https://emersonpolling.reportablenews.com/pr/november-national-poll-support-for-impeachment-declines-biden-and-sanders-lead-democratic-primary

                    1. Kurtz, Tulsi looks like a good package superficially especially when one looks at the other candidates but do you think socialism is a successful ideology?

                    2. I think that legislation can serve the common good of the entire society
                      I reject socialism which only serves one class interest, whether that’s the working and underclass like sanders socialism, or the billionaire class as in soros socialism
                      Tulsi is not that different on the socialism spectrum than the other Dem candidates, he strengths are in other matters.

                      Donald Trump’s leadership has been good for Americans as a whole, is my belief, and he well deserves reelection

                      you can see billionaires like Bloomberg don’t like Trump, either

                  1. Estovir – the DNC is never going to allow Tulsi Gabbard to win the nomination, even if she might be the best in a weak field.

                    1. Paul C. Schulte for President.

                      In exchange for our votes ala QPQ, Paul promises free WiFi and Blue-Prints for Mancaves just like his….Tequila not include

                    2. Estovir – I do think that would be cheaper than any of the giveaways of the current Democratic candidates. Blueprint isn’t going to do them much good unless they want to get huge IKEA desk, etc, I wrote that all off when I was teaching (home office).

                2. Enigma – let’s do a thought experiment. If this is fair to do to Donald Trump, then it’s fair to do to you, or anyone else.

                  You’ve been accused of a crime that will ruin your life. Incur the wrath of the world. As that crime is disproven, you are accused of a new crime, over and over.

                  You are not allowed to know your accuser, or question him.

                  When your people try to question the prosecution’s witnesses, they are prevented. They are only allowed 5 minutes to speak, and most of that time is interrupted. When they ask a question, the judge constantly tells the witness not to answer.

                  You are prevented from calling your own witnesses in your defense.

                  Since the crime you are accused of keeps shifting, day to day, and you are prevented from defending yourself, you become convinced this is unjust, and a political witch hunt out to ruin you. If they can’t prove this crime, they will keep on digging until and unless they find something to charge you with. You will not be told what that possible crime until they think of it.

                  The judge and jury have bragged on TV that they plan to find you guilty regardless of the evidence. They are just looking for the evidence they need.

                  The judge and jury keep lying about what goes on in the courtroom on TV. They encourage the world to judge you guilty.

                  Is this fair and just due process? Should you voluntarily cooperate, knowing you will not be allowed to defend yourself? Should you encourage your friends and coworkers to go along with it, if they are not compelled to do so?

                  1. I neglected to add the the judge and jury are the very same people who said, on camera, upon your getting your job, that they were willing to do whatever it took to get you fired and ruined.

                    1. enigma – since the Democrats have been trying to impeach Trump since Jan 17, 2017 I would call it a continuing coup.

                    2. There is no evidence to remove him.

                      Democrats are trying to do so anyway.

                      That meets the definition of an attempted coup in progress, as well as injustice.

                      Tax returns are not a requirement to be President. John would have the FBI pounding on his door, when there is no law that requires it. Using the authority of government against citizens, is abuse under color of law.

                      Note the observable trend here, common to Leftist dictatorships throughout history.

                1. false.

                  most of all for the recent questions he was exercising his constitutional prerogative to lead in foreign policy

                  that’s the main reason why the impeachment farce is a fraud

                2. Enigma – why did you never answer my question above? Would you want what is being done to Trump, to happen to you? Would you feel it was just and lawful if it was you that was the target? What if your jury was on the news, back when you got your job, that it was their mission to see you fired and ruined? This was before the current allegation was even made.

                  If it is lawful to do to Trump, then it’s lawful to do to anyone. You. Your neighbor. The next Democratic President.

                  Still think you’re standing on the side of justice? Because if this is just how things are going to be, then both sides should engage. Why shouldn’t Republicans do the same?

                  1. If I were Trump, I would have been in jail long ago. If you wonder what it’s like to be innocent and targeted. Try being any of the witnesses against him (except Sonderland who is almost as guilty as Trump).

                    1. If I were Trump, I would have been in jail long ago.

                      What do you fancy you’d be charged with?

                    2. Fraud, Violation of Election Finance Laws, Bribery, Extortion, Money Laundering, and bad grammar to name a few. Throw in failure to register as a foreign agent, tax evasion, rape, child molestation, sexual assault. Those would be the initial charges against me if I had done what Trump has.

                    3. You sound like a one-man crime wave, Enigma.

                      The only problem with your thesis is that there’s scant indication outside your imagination that Trump did any of these things.

                    4. Probably not in your news circles. Pick just one of those things, what you presume to be the least likely, and I show you what evidence exists. Except bad grammar; try to make it challenging.

                    5. If you were a slave in 1863 upon the issuance of the unconstitutional and so-called emancipation proclamation, you would have been summarily deported, as your status as “property” would have changed to “illegal alien” per the Naturalization Act of 1802 which was then in full force and effect requiring citizens to be “…free white person(s)…,” had that constitutional act of the legislative branch been supported by the Supreme Court. You don’t suppose that could be considered an actionable, shall we say, class-action cold case, do you?

            1. Enigma:

              So If I get subpoenaed for documents by a lawful entity. I can refuse to comply until and unless the Supreme Court says so?
              ***************
              Yeah, exactly. It’s called due process and for someone spouting all manner of complaints about its failure of application to you and yours one would think you’d know more about it. You really need to talk to a lawyer before you pontificate on the law. A subpoena is lawful process issued by various entities like courts, prosecutors, agencies, Congress and even private lawyers. it compels attendance or production of persons or things, respectively. It is not a judicial fiat. It is like any other process and subject to judicial review if the served party has legal grounds. Here, Trump has asserted a recognized legal ground to oppose production under the subpoena. Specifically, Trump raises the issue of “whether the Committee’s subpoenas are a valid exercise of the legislative power.” There are various tests for this question and Trump convinced one of the three judges on the DC Court of Appeals that it was not a valid exercise but a fishing expedition used for political reasons. Now it moves on to the next court for another and final round of scrutiny.

              Only the fool is certain about matters he knows little about.

              1. But Trump didn’t appeal the subpoenas I’m talking about to the Supreme Court. He just said he refused to comply, along with the entir administration. Of course the State Dept just released a bunch of records after a Federal judge ordered them to comply by midnight Friday night. The documents happened to show Guiliani’s phone calls to Pompeo. I get that people can appeal as high as they like until SCOTUS either rules or chooses not to hear the case; thus letter the lower court’s ruling stand. What I don’t get is that a Federal Court can rule and Trump (without appealing) just says no. That’s wrong.

                1. big deal let the article III judges send the marshalls to collect the documents if they dare

                  the POTUS is a coequal branch not the subordinate of the SCOTUS

        1. 5th Amendment

          …nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,…

          4th Amendment

          The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,…
          ________________________________________________________________

          Like a citizen, lawyer or doctor, the administration enjoys privacy and executive privilege which means the administration does not have to testify against itself. Your desire for “free stuff,” money, jobs, food stamps, affirmative action, quotas, fair-housing, forced busing, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, Obamacare, etc., etc., ad infinitum, from other people’s money, blinds you to actual American fundamental law. Your ends justify your means. You communists (i.e. liberals, socialists, progressives, democrats) will be in a real bind when the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution is implemented, your artificial superior status is corrected and eliminated and you are compelled to be self-reliant and persist solely on your merits like Smith-Barney: “They make money the old-fashioned way: They earn it.” Generational Welfare and Affirmative Action Privilege will be history. Whatever will you do?
          _____________________________________________________________

          “Democracy” is the reason the Greeks, Romans and American Founders established republics and restricted the vote. In 1789, States generally restricted the vote to: Male, European, Age 21, 50 lbs. Sterling or 50 acres. Democracy is a self-destructive aberration which you are empirical evidence and proof of.

          “democracy…can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.”

          “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

          ― Alexander Fraser Tytler
          _____________________

          “Crazy Abe” Lincoln was an anti-American, psychotic despot but he surely possessed vast reserves of insight.

          To wit,

          “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” After acknowledging that this plan’s “sudden execution is impossible,” he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”

          1. I would respond to you, George and all your racism but if I did, the hordes would come for me, pointing and shouting “RACIST” like it was the night of the living tead. I’m happy for you that you’ve found a home where you and your views are welcome and protected. Never a discouraging word to be heard.

              1. It’s difficult to argue with Peter.

                Peter knows mad.

                I do notice, however, that you completely ignored the constitutional arguments. The fact is that the entire American welfare state is denied by the Constitution and Bill of Rights with emphasis on the right to private property and Article 1, Section 8. Try reading the clear English language therein. You might learn that the entirety of your communist principles are unconstitutional.

                The American thesis is Freedom and Self-Reliance. Oh my, what surprise! You communists just hate that, huh?

            1. Generational Welfare and Affirmative Action Privilege – Don’t Leave Home Without It!

              Try to focus on the legal aspects rather than your repeated default position of the ad hominem I’m-a-victim variety. It’s not about racism. It’s about the constitution.

              The absolute right to private property denies any power of government to possess or dispose of or claim or exercise dominion over private property in all forms including but not limited to rent control, affirmative action, quotas, fair-housing laws, non-discrimination laws, forced busing, etc.

              Article 1, Section 8 denies any power by Congress to tax for public assistance, welfare payments, individual welfare, “food stamps,” TANF, WIC, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, aka redistribution of wealth, and provides Congress only the power to tax for “…general Welfare…” as roads, water, sewer, post office, utilities, currency, etc., aka infrastructure. General Welfare = ALL PROCEED WELL.

              You’re not denying me. You’re denying the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

              “Crazy Abe’s” thesis was not racism, it was problem-solving.

            2. Oh, I forgot.

              Not only did you fail to challenge, even in your usual anemic fashion, the legal arguments presented, but you omitted the girls from yet another of your tedious, diaphanous ad hominem attacks.

              I’m not only racist but sexist as females are also the illegitimate and unconstitutional beneficiaries of illegitimate and unconstitutional affirmative legislation.

              Wait. Deliberately omitting females makes you SEXIST? Oh, my!!!

            3. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of illegal affirmative action, perhaps you would explain why 13% of the population that is African is “product placed” in 100% of the scenes on American TV and in movies (apparently, it may be illegal to make an American-only movie or TV program).

              Of course, it’s pure, globalist, communist, Deep Deep State propaganda and indoctrination ordered by the General Secretary, Central Committee and Politburo to disparage and annihilate American freedom and free enterprise and, otherwise, capitalism in general. The communist concept being to eliminate the winners and share the misery.

              1. George,

                There’s some interesting stuff leaking through on human’s DNA.

                Of course we’ll be the last to hear of it.

            4. Oh and while we’re on the subject, the communists have compelled the “cultural appropriation” of European folklore and fairy tales by requiring the “product placement” of Africans in every scene of the genre depicted on TV and in movies as yet another totally incoherent and bizarre act of affirmative action propaganda and indoctrination designed to impose their communist principle of social engineering.

        2. There is literally no quid pro quo. The Ukrainians never heard of it, until Politico made the allegation, therefore it is impossible for there to be a quid pro quo. You need two parties to even suggest it. What do you think? The Ukrainians were expected to read Trump’s mind?

          This is taxpayer funded opposition research to try to harm Trump for the 2020 election. Abuse of power.

          Everyone that the witnesses claim was connected to the quid pro quo rumor have been questions. They all claimed that one of the others told them. They have all been in the room. Sondland admitted he just assumed that there was a stipulation.

          Trump’s counsel has complained about the obvious lack of due process, which has been a topic of conversation on the blog. However, as the below points out, this has not prevented people from speaking. Democrats know the identity of the “whistleblower” anti-Trump activist who coordinated with Democrat Presidential candidates and Schiff, but they won’t share it with Republicans. Schiff has been gaveling down Republicans in the investigations and will barely let Stefanic complete a sentence. He is showing wildly inappropriate bias in a matter that is supposed to be just. Trump has NOT been granted due process. This would make Democrats howl if it affected them, but it’s “the other side”, so no problem.

          https://www.justsecurity.org/66742/why-officials-keep-testifying-despite-white-house-counsels-letter-on-impeachment-inquiry/

          “On October 8, 2019, the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, sent a highly controversial letter to the Speaker of the House and several committee chairs, contending that the House’s impeachment inquiry is “constitutionally invalid and a violation of due process.” Accordingly, the letter informs the House that “President Trump and his Administration cannot participate” in the inquiry. It suggests, without quite saying so, that current and possibly former administration officials would be instructed not to cooperate with the House’s investigation, and it asserts that such officials cannot be punished for obeying instructions “not to appear or not to provide particular testimony before Congress based on privileges and immunities of the Executive Branch.”

          In little more than two weeks, however, some “nine key figures have testified” before Congress, apparently unconcerned by the October 8 letter. These include mostly career State Department and Pentagon officials, a former White House staffer (Dr. Fiona Hill) and a current political appointee (Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland). Several other administration officials either have agreed to testify or are considering testifying in upcoming days. And one former White House staffer (Charles Kupperman) has taken the extraordinary step of interpleading Congress and the administration in federal court to determine whether he should comply with a congressional subpoena or the president’s instructions not to appear in response to the subpoena.

          “These are presumably not the results Cipollone expected when he sent his letter, but in retrospect they seem fairly predictable. To begin with, the administration has little leverage over many of the witnesses in question. This is most obvious with respect to former employees. As a practical matter, it is not clear what the administration could do to these individuals even if there were a plausible basis for believing they had a legal duty not to cooperate with Congress. Moreover, it does not appear that the administration is even claiming that such a general duty exists.”

          Similarly, when the White House counsel’s office wrote on October 14 to the lawyer for Fiona Hill, a former staffer for the National Security Council, it emphasized Hill’s “continuing obligation not to reveal classified information or information subject to executive privilege,” but it did not direct Hill to refuse to appear or testify regarding nonprivileged matters. The letter does mention the White House’s position that the impeachment inquiry is invalid, but only in the context of responding to Hill’s counsel’s suggestion that otherwise valid executive privilege claims may fail in the context of impeachment. What’s more, the letter from Hill’s counsel on October 13 to the White House counsel refers to a phone call between the two sides, but the issues raised on the call that the letter discusses concern, once again, only the scope of privileged information.”

      1. “There’s no one missing.” These names kept coming up but they have been forbidden by Trump from testifying; Pompeo, Mulvaney, Bolton, Guiliani… Do you think their testimony might matter (although helpful to the President is doubtful). It was the type of Republican rant when he didn’t want to ask a question because the answers were all troubling. I laughed at this live and have lost a portion of my life listening to it again.

        1. Bolton is a former employee. How can he be ‘forbidden’? Mulvaney is a confidential employee, and Giuliani has been retained as his legal counsel.

    1. #1 – no one is missing that were referenced by witnesses as source of the quid pro quo rumor. Every single source was summoned, and they all said they were not the origin, they heard it from someone else. The entire herd of them is corralled, and it appears to have been a rumor game. Sondland said that he just assumed there was an attachment of aid to an investigation. This entire thing was based on assumptions.

      #2 – Democrats have been shamelessly tearing the country apart with one false accusation after another, dragging all of us through so many crisis I now suffer from crisis fatigue. Trump’s an anti-semite. No, he has a Jewish family, doesn’t want them to die, and in fact has been a huge supporter of Israel. Trump praised white supremacists. No. The video said he condemns them totally. Trump’s called all Mexicans animals. No, he was specifically referring to MS-13 by name, whose motto is rape, kill, control. So, yes, MS-13 are animals. Trump said all Mexicans are rapists and murderers. No. The video said some are fine people, but others are rapists are murderers. When you are prevented from controlling who crosses the border, you get bad people mixed in with good. Trump colluded with the Russians in 2016. No, that was Hillary Clinton. Trump is a liar for claiming he was surveilled. No, he was actually surveilled, and there was wrongdoing on the part of the FBI. Trump put kids in cages. No. That photo was from the Obama administration. If minors are detained outside of any facilities, then chain link will separate them from the cartel that was smuggling them and guilty of mass murder, as well as possible traffickers. If a simple chain link fence at a school yard isn’t “caging children like dogs”, then a chain link fence to keep everyone separate until they can figure out who goes with whom and who’s a pedophile isn’t caging them like dogs, either. Trump obstructed justice in the Mueller report. No. The Mueller report was going to show that Trump was working for the Russians. No. Trump actually waved privilege, as Professor Turley noted, which was a departure from Obama. Trump was being bribed by foreign officials. No. His hotels are not under his control, and rent rooms at the going rate to anyone who applies for them. They do not discriminate based on nationality. Trump did a quid pro quo with Ukraine in exchange for dirt on the Bidens. No. The transcript shows there was no quid pro quo. The Ukrainians knew nothing about it for months on end until Politico broke the story, and they were assured there was no attachment to the aid. It takes 2 to have a quid pro quo. Everyone who was supposed to prove the allegation actually heard it from someone else. Put them all together in front of Congress, and no one was directed to attach aid to the investigation. So now, Democrats are abandoning quid pro quo and going for the more amorphous obstruction. Obstruction of an investigation into a quid pro quo that was proven to have never taken place? See Professor Turley’s comments on how this isn’t going anywhere, either.

      You’re right, Enigma. This is tearing the country apart, and I wish the Democrats would stop doing it. We’ve had Democrats hold Trump’s bloody severed head, fantasize about assassinating him, blowing up the White House, begging the military to take him out. Democrats have called him every name possible, even fantasized about throwing his son into a cage with pedophiles, but when Trump throws mud it is beyond the pale. There seems to be no standards whatsoever for Democrats – none for accuracy, certainly.

      If someone kept telling you a bombshell story, and was proven wrong as many times as the false allegations against Trump, would you naively keep getting worked up the next time they came rushing up? Or would you have the judgement at that point to know they were just making it up?

      And how absolutely wonderful to say, do not investigate allegation X or you’re working for the Russians! Does that actually work? Let’s find out.

      See how far the Democrats have gone to prevent an investigation into their Democratic candidate? All at taxpayer expense.

      I am sick of this, Enigma. Your political party has grown abusive. Its members should demand better standards.

  9. From CNN’s Wolf Blitzer regarding the announcement that an FBI lawyer is under criminal investigation for altering documents used to obtain a FISA surveillance warrant in 2016 on a Trump adviser. It’s a mike drop moment, but unfortunately for Wolf, it’s one that dropped on his head.

    BLITZER: “This is going to reverberate and provide ammunition to the President and his allies that this whole Russia investigation was criminally wrong.”

    Apparently the WaPo had this to say about it: “did not affect the overall validity of the surveillance application.”

    And these are theoretically, trusted news sources.

  10. Should Donald Trump make it through this impeachment fiasco and get re elected, he will be the biggest nightmare the liberal left wing democrats have ever faced. What’s in store for Trumps second term, a second impeachment ?

    1. What’s in store for Trumps second term, a second impeachment?

      I wouldn’t expect Democrats to quit trying. However, they’ll likely be the minority party in both houses of congress.

      1. OLLY – sadly Pelosi and Schiff are in “safe seats” and are protected for 2020, but CA my loss Reps in 2022 and they may have to run against incumbents from other districts.

  11. “Democrats Seek To Redefine Crimes To Reframe The Trump Impeachment”

    – Professor Turley
    _______________

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

    – William Casey, CIA Director 1981-1987
    ________________________________

    The American Founders, who are now opposed by the Demolishing Children, provided the default position for conditions of hysteria, incoherence, chaos, anarchy and rebellion, that being the literal rules of order in the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights. The founding documents have been nullified and America is subject to liberal whimsy and tyranny. The dictatorship of “interpretation” must be annihilated; the judicial branch must be admonished and rectified with extreme prejudice. The “manifest tenor” of American fundamental law must be restored.
    _________________

    “…courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

    1. The haughty John Forbes Kerry, Mr. Teresa Heinz, has been eerily silent of late.

      Is his concern the menace of aliens in the Antarctic or the looming long arm of the law?

  12. For those suffering from serial amnesia, Trump was pilloried for claiming he was under surveillance. It turned out to be true. It has also been revealed that the FBI altered the FISA court documents.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/horowitz-finds-evidence-fbi-employee-altered-russia-probe-document

    “Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has found evidence that an FBI lawyer manipulated a key investigative document related to the FBI’s secretive surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser — enough to change the substantive meaning of the document, according to multiple reports.

    The show-stopping development comes as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News that Horowitz’s comprehensive report on allegations of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant abuse against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page will be released on Dec. 9. “That’s locked,” Graham said.”

    1. Karen: A recent study found that not less than 60% of what is put out by Fox News is a total lie. When you cite Fox News, no one pays attention. Lindsey Graham is a clown. Nothing he says has any credibility, either. But, you are a faithful disciple, so you really, really, really believe.

          1. Dude….cmon….. you of all people

            Consider less trigger words like: blastopore, protostome or opening of archenteron

            💩

          1. Thankfully the Brits cover American hypocrite news mafia darlings like Stephanopoulos…Moral Guardians of our Republic…..

            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7716275/Prince-Andrew-Jeffrey-Epstein-crucial-new-witnesses.html

            The Prince spent at least five days at Epstein’s 21,000 sq ft mansion on this occasion.

            It began with him being guest of honour at a dinner party organised by New York party planner Peggy Siegal. It was to celebrate Epstein’s release from an 18-month prison sentence for having sex with underage girls. No doubt it was an attempt to cleanse Epstein’s image and re-integrate him into Manhattan society.

            The guest list included film director Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi, Katie Couric, then the highest-paid female TV anchor in America, George Stephanopoulos, a former White House communications director under President Bill Clinton, comedian Chelsea Handler and TV news host Charlie Rose.

          2. Natacha – it is run by Politico. They hand-pick what they are going to check and they have a deal with ABC. Also, they think CNN only lies 11% of the time. Am I really supposed to take them seriously?

            BTW, thanks for the cite.

            1. Paul C……Good ol’ conservative Joe Allbritton started Politico. Joe was a Baylor boy, and when he became a millionaire/billionaire, employed many Baylor grads, law grads and otherwise. He was a real SOB in my opinion, who never let his Christianity interfere with a good business deal.
              He would have been in his 90’s by now, but died in his 80’s, I believe.
              His son runs Politico now.

          3. Natacha – you linked to a blog comments section. This is just like someone using you as a source.

            Please link to the study so that we may examine the methodology.

            1. Karen S – there really is not a study, but you will find it hidden in the comments. It is Politico and the Miami Herald and ABC. You know there is a problem when CNN only lies 11% of the time.

      1. Natacha – this was also covered by CNN & WaPo. Which you would know if you had any interest in researching facts.

        Aren’t you embarrassed yet, pushing this impeachment fiasco when it’s been so thoroughly debunked?

        1. He emotional investments don’t allow her to process information which contradicts her prejudices. She isn’t embarrassed.

            1. Karen,
              You may think twice about that once the IG and Durham reports drop. She won’t be alone. There will be millions of people here and across the globe that will be forced into a reality they’ve to this point avoided. There will not be enough grief counselors, comfort animals or safe spaces available to handle such a significant emotional event.

              1. Our departed friend JanF / Anon1 kept insisting that the Mueller report proved ‘collusion’ and Natacha keeps insisting that it proves ‘obstruction of justice’. When they don’t get what they want, they keep insisting they’ve been given it.

      2. Ah. I see why you did not post a link. It was not an academic study. Politifact and Punditfact were both created by the Tampa Bay Times editors. They are sister companies.

        Politifact and Punditfact, are both left leaning, and therefore competitors of Fox.

        Here, they analyze mainly the opinions of op-ed shows on Fox. This is not a “study.” It picked apart on-air conversations among op-ed hosts, with pure bias.

        https://www.politifact.com/punditfact/tv/fox/

        Here is an example of something this article rated as untrue:

        JUAN WILLIAMS
        “North Korea’s history of international negotiations shows “they’ll take the concessions, they’ll keep them in their pocket and then they won’t deliver.”
        — PunditFact on Thursday, June 7th, 2018

        GREG GUTFELD
        Says Ted Kennedy met “with the KGB in order to beat Ronald Reagan in 1984.”
        — PunditFact on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

        OK, so now they’re going back over 2 years. They deemed this a “dodgy story.”

        Actually, this was based upon a memo uncovered in Soviet archives:

        “Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.

        “On 9-10 May of this year,” the May 14 memorandum explained, “Sen. Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow.” (Tunney was Kennedy’s law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) “The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov.”

        Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

        Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.

        First he offered to visit Moscow. “The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA.” Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how to brush up their propaganda.

        Then he offered to make it possible for Andropov to sit down for a few interviews on American television. “A direct appeal … to the American people will, without a doubt, attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country. … If the proposal is recognized as worthy, then Kennedy and his friends will bring about suitable steps to have representatives of the largest television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interviews. … The senator underlined the importance that this initiative should be seen as coming from the American side.”

        Kennedy would make certain the networks gave Andropov air time–and that they rigged the arrangement to look like honest journalism.

        Kennedy’s motives? “Like other rational people,” the memorandum explained, “[Kennedy] is very troubled by the current state of Soviet-American relations.” But that high-minded concern represented only one of Kennedy’s motives.

        “Tunney remarked that the senator wants to run for president in 1988,” the memorandum continued. “Kennedy does not discount that during the 1984 campaign, the Democratic Party may officially turn to him to lead the fight against the Republicans and elect their candidate president.”

        Kennedy proved eager to deal with Andropov–the leader of the Soviet Union, a former director of the KGB and a principal mover in both the crushing of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the suppression of the 1968 Prague Spring–at least in part to advance his own political prospects.”

        “The document,” Kengor continues, “has stood the test of time. I scrutinized it more carefully than anything I’ve ever dealt with as a scholar. I showed the document to numerous authorities who deal with Soviet archival material. No one has debunked the memorandum or shown it to be a forgery. Kennedy’s office did not deny it.”

        https://www.forbes.com/2009/08/27/ted-kennedy-soviet-union-ronald-reagan-opinions-columnists-peter-robinson.html#1edef6c8359a

  13. And furthermore, in other news, George Morris, the Godfather of jumping, has been permanently banned from competition due to sexual misconduct allegations.

    Olympic rider, olympic coach, and the most sought after clinician. He used to tape tacks onto the seat of your saddle if you could not grasp how to follow lightly. He is the most prolific meme-generator of equestrian sports. Just google “George Morris memes”.

    The US Center for SafeSport has not released the details of the allegations. Everyone’s freaking out. If it’s true, it’s very sad. Students give a level of trust to their trainers that is very difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t ride. You could be scared of a jump, but if he or she says to go jump it without stirrups, then you do it without hesitation. It becomes engrained. If any trainer abuses that trust, it is an especially heinous betrayal.

    This comes months after the posthumous fall from grace of Jimmie Williams from Flintridge. USEF is fractured. There is a faction that does not trust SafeSport’s lack of transparency, or their investigative methods, while everyone is agreed that abuse must be prevented, and punished if it occurs.

    https://www.foxnews.com/sports/george-morris-equestrian-legend-banned

  14. JT: “If Democrats continue on this course, it will combine the narrowest impeachment in history with the most dubious claims of criminal conduct.”

    Turley, a Trump-hating lefty, is just stating the obvious: this impeachment fight is now over. Sure, the Dem House may still impeach, but the country is not on their side. The chance of conviction in the Senate is zero as well.

    What’s far more interesting is that the tables are about to be turned. Get ready for the real bombshells: the IG report from Horowitz is finally inbound and so are major indictments from Durham. The criminal spying by our government(and other governments) on Donald Trump and his associates is going to be revealed. The effects of revealing the biggest scandal in American history will rock our country and make the coming election a foregone conclusion.

    1. DJT today: “They were spying on my campaign and it went right to the top and everybody knows it and now we’re going to find out.”

        1. We’ll just have to wait and see what’s in that IG report and who Durham indicts, but we won’t have to wait for long 🙂

  15. Turley speaks of “clarity”. We have clarity: Trump withheld desperately-needed aid to Ukraine, appropriated by a bipartisan vote of Congress, when Ukraine was under attack by Russia, to coerce Ukraine to announce that it was investigating the Bidens. There can be no doubt that these are the true facts. Not only did he do it, he has done everything possible to obstruct justice, both with this Congressional investigation and the Mueller investigation.

    Context is everything here, so let’s add context: Joe Biden was shown in most polls to be beating Trump. Despite all of the Fox News rhetoric about all of the severe crimes allegedly committed by the Bidens, Trump did nothing about it until after polls showed him losing to Biden. Now, all of a sudden, more than 3 1/2 years later, it’s a critical thing. Russia helped Trump “win the victory” by colluding with his campaign that provided insider polling information used to target a false social media campaign against Hillary Clinton. Trump has done everything within his power to pay back Russia, a place where he wants to do business and borrow money: he publicly sided against American Intelligence and in favor of Putin at Helsinki on the issue of whether Russians hacked computers in 2016. He has tried to get Russia back into the G-7, even after the rest of these countries said it wasn’t going to happen, and now, he hamstrung the Ukrainians by delaying desperately-needed aid, forcing to enter into an agreement with Russia to let it keep part of its territory, in addition to annexing the Crimea, all because they can’t trust the U.S. to keep its promises and commitments. Does no one recall how WWII got started with Hitler taking over the Sudentenland, and then moving on to Poland when no one stopped him? If he had been stopped sooner, WWII wouldn’t have happened.

    Turley and Fox News try to make some point about the aid being delayed only briefly and that Ukraine didn’t actually go ahead and announce the investigation, as if this somehow exonerates Trump, ignoring the simple truth that Trump only allowed the aid to be released after the whistleblower’s complaint was publicly announced. Again, context and clarity are important. Now, Lindsey Graham is demanding to depose the whistleblower, whose facts have proven true, so what would be the point other than for purposes of intimidation? Mark Levin publicly names the man repeatedly and mocks him, and he and other Republican pundits mock Lt. Col. Vindman for wearing his uniform and his service medals, a uniform their fat hero refused by cheating to get out of military service. What purpose for this conduct other than to intimidate anyone else thinking about coming forward? They’ve tried everything possible to make a mockery of Congress carrying out its Constitutional duty to investigate Trump’s crimes.

    Therefore, Turley’s soft-pedaling Trump’s conduct as the sort of things most politicians do all of the time, and therefore, not criminal or all presidents would be criminals, we’ve never before had someone in the White House beholden to a hostile foreign power because that country helped them cheat to win an election. We’ve never before had a President trying to help a hostile foreign power get away with invading an ally. In criminal law, intent is everything. Trump’s intent was to leverage military aid appropriated by Congress to help fight Russian aggression, and refusing a White House visit, which would show US solidarity with Ukraine, solely for personal political gain. He IS guilty of bribery and extortion. Is Congress supposed to just ignore conduct like this? If he gets away with this, what’s next?

    1. We never had a President say and push Russian propaganda either. And have his supporters believe it. JT has jumped the shark, by saying it’s only OK if their side does it. The law means this for us and the law means something else for others. He didn’t pick flea sh*it out of pepper for Clinton.

    2. What Natacha says:

      We have clarity: Trump withheld desperately-needed aid to Ukraine, appropriated by a bipartisan vote of Congress, when Ukraine was under attack by Russia, to coerce Ukraine to announce that it was investigating the Bidens.

      The truth:

      https://youtu.be/J3pxtj9P3T4

      It is excruciation to watch the impeachment allegations get so thoroughly debunked, while those who clearly did not watch these key moments persist in mischaracterizing them. It is the total humiliation of the Democrats in Congress.

      1. And here is when Ambassador Sondland had to admit that no one on Earth told him the aid was tied to any investigation.

        https://youtu.be/EnEWYilDgcg

        The only reason why Democrats don’t have their tails between their legs in total humiliation is that die hard activists keep perpetuating quid-pro-quo myths, utterly ignoring evidence. When that fails, they move on to bribery and obstruction, which obviously fails because of those same facts.

        Is there enough time before 2020 for Democrat voters to get impeachment amnesia?

        1. Quid pro quo is not required for there to be a violation of the law. Solicitation is enough, and that was proven beyond any doubt. In fact, Turley doesn’t question this. That has been explained to you, but you watch Fox News, a propaganda outlet for the Republican strategy of muddying the waters, pivoting and attacking anyone who tries to tell the truth. Aid was delayed. A favor was asked: announce an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma. The money was desperately needed, and wasn’t released until the whistleblower complaint was announced. These are facts. And, no, Adam Schiff did not write the whistleblower complaint. Witness after witness has testified about Trump attempting to leverage this aid for political benefit. The Ukrainians did know, and due to their desperation, would agree to literally anything Trump wanted. The Ukrainians were forced to agree to let Russia keep the Crimea and the territory it invaded because they couldn’t count on the U.S. any more because of Trump.

          One other thing: Trump used an unsecured cell phone line to discuss matters with Sondland in Ukraine, whose cell systems are monitored by Russia, and he has the gall to bitch about Hillary Clinton using an unsecured server for -mails?

          1. Natacha – try watching the testimony videos again. Witnesses say that they heard there might be a quid pro quo. However, when pressed, no one was told there was a quid pro quo. They were all promoting this gossip amongst themselves in the adult version of the rumor game.

            You should be embarrassed. Seriously. Watch the videos posted above and see every witness get humiliated. I honestly didn’t expect to hear from you for a while as you dealt with this shock.

            Solicitation of a quid pro quo means there was an offer of a quid pro quo. The evidence shows there was no such thing. In addition, evidence proves that Ukraine knew nothing about it until Politico wrote the allegation.

            It takes two parties to solicit a quid pro quo – the one offering, and the one in the position to accept or decline. If the quid pro quo was never actually offered, then it literally means there was no solicitation.

            This was a desperate ploy by Demcorats trying to cheat because they don’t think they can win 2020. They don’t believe in their socialist candidates, so they have abused their authority and the impeachment process to try to damage Trump for the next election in blatant election meddling.

            Otherwise why else would they start an impeachment process months before an election? This is taxpayer funded opposition research. Look at the lengths Demcorats we’re willing to go to prevent an investigation into Joe Biden. Yet witness after witness confirmed that, yep, the Bidens behaved in a conflict of interest. An investigation is completely warranted.

            1. She’s not embarrassed. And, of course, the cardinal thing she’s making up is her law degree and bar admission.

      2. Why won’t Trump allow various WH aids and members of his Administration testify? Why does he hide documents? Why does he attack witnesses personally? Why won’t he testify? Why won’t he release the actual transcript instead of the memo? Nothing has been debunked. You see through the prism of Fox News.

        1. He’s provided reams of documentation to investigators over the last two years in change. They still wanted to accuse him of obstructing their obstruction investigation.

          His staff are confidential employees and the ‘investigation’ is an obvious travesty, so any co-operation he grants it is strictly optional.

          And you’ve had the transcript of the call for weeks.

    3. your comments are sooooooo boring, now long too
      you should have got a job at Camp X Ray conducting “enhanced interrogations” with this stuff

        1. exactly! very cruel notion. worse than waterboarding if you had to listen to that for a long time…

          NO! NO! Not Natcaca again! I confess! I’ll say anything you want ! Justmake it stop!

  16. Everybody’s money was on Lindsey Graham this year for the Twisted Pretzel award for changing positions. But you have by far got to be in this years top five by redefining law as you see it for your clients. Remember, impeachment isn’t just for BLOW***S anymore.

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