How Democrats Can Build A Stronger Case To Impeach President Trump

Below is my column in USA Today on what the Democrats would have to do to build an actual case for the removal of the American president. I have previously said that abuse of power is impeachable, but it is the most difficult of potential impeachment claims. Once again, impeachment does not require a criminal allegation but it does require clarity. It also requires a complete and compelling record. This record is neither complete nor compelling on proof of an impeachable offense.

Rather than continuing to criticize the record, below is an effort to lay out a possible case for impeachment.

Here is the column:

House Democrats have done a masterful job of holding hearings with testimony from distinguished diplomatic and national security witnesses on the alleged quid pro quo that President Trump sought from Ukraine. The problem is that the record is incomplete and conflicted on critical points. The question is whether Democrats want a real or a recreational impeachment. A real impeachment case can be made, but to make it, they will have to reschedule, reframe, and repeat their House investigation.

As compelling and upsetting as much of the testimony has been, the record still lacks direct evidence of a quid pro quo on American military aid to Ukraine. Out of all the House Intelligence Committee witnesses, European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland was the only person to speak directly to President Trump on the issue, testifying that Trump denied any quid pro quo and that his own presumption of a quid pro quo was connected to a White House meeting with the Ukrainian president and not the aid. The transcript of the phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president does not state a quid pro quo, and the only two other direct conversations on the record have Trump denying a quid pro quo.

While a September conversation between Trump and Sondland can be discounted as coming after the whistleblower complaint was sent to Congress, an August conversation with Senator Ron Johnson occurred before the submission. Johnson was upset with the delay in aid and, when he asked if there was a quid pro quo, he testified that the denial by Trump was “adamant, vehement, and angry” and contained “more than one expletive.” Those conflicts only highlight the still undeveloped record.

The hearings seemed to studiously avoid every witness with firsthand knowledge of the issue, including personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, former national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and others. It was like hearing the play “Hamlet” entirely from the view of his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. At some point, you really have to hear from the royal family.

If Democrats continue with their plan to impeach Trump by the end of December, they would be presenting the thinnest record and fastest impeachment investigation in history. Democrats assert that the record is more than 2,670 pages long. In comparison, the report by Kenneth Starr to Congress summarizing the evidence in the Clinton impeachment was 445 pages, with more than 8,000 pages of supporting documents just on the part dealing with the Monica Lewinsky allegations. The grand jury record and other documents from the investigation were even larger.

Basing an impeachment on such an undeveloped record would relieve senators of the need to seriously consider the underlying alleged acts. They could vote to acquit on the basis of an incomplete record. In other words, Democrats are not just making it easy on themselves but easy on their Republican counterparts by rushing a House vote. None of this means that a case cannot be made, but it has to be proven. You cannot blame partisan voting in the Senate if you submit a record that omits key witnesses while inviting conjecture over poorly defined criminal acts.

This of course assumes that Democrats seriously want to remove Trump from office. Instead, it all could be a failure by design in the hope of losing the case in the Senate in order to energize the Democratic base and win back control of the Senate next November, all while denying Republican voters a rallying point. Assuming that Democrats actually would like to remove Trump from office, how could the House prove such a case? The answer is those three simple steps of reschedule, reframe, and repeat.

First, the expedited vote by the end of December is simply absurd. It is not clear why Democrats have not even subpoenaed key witnesses or taken the time to force that testimony. After doing little on impeachment for more than two years, there is suddenly a blind rush to a vote while leaving a line of uncalled witnesses in the wake. While the House has spent some considerable time litigating over tax records, it has refused to go to court to enforce any witness subpoenas for the investigation. It easily could do so and ask for expedited review from the courts. If it had done this at the outset, we would have had the first round completed by now. It can still get through the trial court and the likely appellate court on an expedited path by next spring. However, Democrats have burned months without subpoenaing such testimony. They should do so without further delay.

Second, this investigation should have been left to the House Judiciary Committee from the outset. It should be transferred to that panel and the matter reframed to fit controlling legal interpretations and case law. The current bribery and obstruction claims are forced and unsupported. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected such broad interpretation of bribery in a prior case. Likewise, the obstruction allegation seems based on the exercise of the right of the administration to seek judicial review. After setting such a short period for its investigation, the House would impeach a president for seeking judicial review during that brief period. The missing witnesses may be able to establish the elements of these crimes, but they are missing from the abridged record. What remains is an abuse of power case requiring a broader evidentiary foundation to stick.

Finally, new testimonial hearings should be held, and uncalled witnesses should be subpoenaed. The House can then ask for expedited review from the courts. If Trump defies a final order, then that would be an undeniable impeachable offense. If witnesses such as Giuliani appear and invoke the Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify, they can be given “use and derivative use” immunity to compel testimony. This form of immunity would not bar the use of the extensive evidence already gathered if they were later prosecuted. If they then refuse to testify or commit perjury, then they can be prosecuted. This could all be finished by next spring.

It remains to be seen if an actual case can be proven with these witnesses, but this would be an opportunity for a real case for removal in the Senate. However, they have a year to make that case. The view that it is untoward to impeach a president close to an election is simply absurd. The election has nothing to do with an impeachment. The election is about the next term. A legitimate impeachment can happen the day before an election. That is certainly better than leaving alleged impeachable acts without a constitutional remedy. So the choice rests with the House. It has made the case that impeachable offenses may exist. Now it has to prove them.

Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) is the chair of public interest law at George Washington University and served as the last lead counsel in a Senate impeachment trial in defense of Judge Thomas Porteous. He has testified with other constitutional experts in the Clinton impeachment.

218 thoughts on “How Democrats Can Build A Stronger Case To Impeach President Trump”

  1. “House Democrats have done a masterful job of holding hearings with testimony from distinguished diplomatic and national security witnesses on the alleged quid pro quo …….”

    Turley’s Drunk Again, he really should seek help. Maybe it’s just all that deep state money he gets for writing this crap, and appearing on MSM. Sad, just sad.

    1. As you can see from the previous comments the left is doing anything and everything except admit to the truth of what they are. Falsifying their true party name of Socialists in one of the three forms and their positions which is still hard core anti-Constitutionalist . But today we saw a group claiming that ‘since Conservatives and Progressives are on the same pathi to the same goal they should join together. In other words ‘cave to the left.

      The source

      “Is new conservatism really progressivism?
      By Kent Lassman

      in todays Fox News right hand column in opinion section.

      To date the left wing socialists have tried everything but claim they are Constitutionalists… except of course for Comrade Pelosi who has run an in house program of oath breaking since she took office.

      To date the left has used the word Conservative as a catch all for any one that doesn’t agree with them. Just as they use The Collective for everyone who does agree with them.

      I’m wondering if the final step to claiming the ultimate lie of being Constitutionalists is to the left the same as swallowing cyanide. Or are they willing to take that step, those in the Collective especially in a last ditch effort to keep the Comrades in power and themselves enslaved.

      The battle is Constitutionalism vs Socialism
      Freedom vs. Slavery.

      But to cap all of that one article stated “If Warren is elected the military needs to be prepared to be spit on by a President Warren.

      Wrong.

      If something like a Warren is elected she or they should be prepared to don handcuffs under martial law and before a martial tribunal as the military upholds it’s oath of office and the best way to do that is to use The Patriot Act and the provisions for dealing with terrorists.

      Or the easy way is their main slogan from 2016. Ballots not bullets. Meaning run the socialists out with ballots then ‘ban them’ as anti Constitutionalists. Nothing wrong with dealing with the truth through Constitutional means.

      And much easier when the government obeys the will of the citizens and more importantly the Constitution ‘as is’ and not ‘as not’ amended.

  2. THE SHILL ON CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS

    Further down the thread, Estovir, Mespo and I touch on Confederate monuments. Estovir is quite happy the Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling highly favorable to preserving Confederate monuments.

    I wondered why Estovir, a Cuban American, would be so keen to preserve Confederate monuments. Mespo answered instead. Condemning me for putting Estovir on the spot.
    Like Estovir cannot be expected to answer such a question.

    Mespo presumes I want yo demolish old landmarks. Which I don’t! I realize in small towns an old monument provides not just public art but a geographic compass point drivers navigate from.

    Small towns have small budgets. So maintaining a monument is cheaper than replacing. And certain monuments shape a town’s identity. Yet that becomes a problem with Confederate monuments: they shape the town’s identity.

    The Confederacy was trying to maintain a business model and way of life that went back to the earliest Colonial Days. But by 1860 that old business model was more than 200 years old.

    The Confederacy, under Jefferson Davis, was fighting to preserve a life that had no place in a world rapidly industralizing. By 1860 the Great Lakes region was growing at a fast clip. They were booming ‘without’ slavery; a major distinction.

    So the Confederacy was fighting to preserve a bygone period. A time that was ‘gone with the wind’. That’s where the title comes from. The old plantation economy was doomed when Pittsburgh took off as an industrial powerhouse.

    Therefore the Confederacy represents the stupidest of causes. An effort to turn back time so elites could keep their stately life. How dumb!
    For that reason the Confederacy was a losing cause from Day 1.

    To further complicate matters, the Ku Klux Klan was founded by veterans of the Confederacy. For 100 years the Klan linked itself to the Confederacy. And they kind of ‘ran down the brand’, one could say. Nothing like church bombings to run down a brand.

    The Klan was hostile not just to Blacks but to Jews, Catholics, Hispanics and Asians. Therefore I felt my question to Estovir was fair. Why would a Hispanic applaud a court ruling to preserve monuments that in many cases were funded by Whites friendly to the Klan?

    But again the subject gets complicated because old monuments are crucial compass points.

    1. Peter – your attitude is why the Democrats lose the flyover states. You want to get fed, you come to us. With 500 people we can starve LA into submission in 5 days, industrial cities even faster.
      What you had was two different lifestyles, with the North trying to impose its lifestyle on the South. It was able to do so at the cost of 600,000 dead and countless injured and missing.
      Still, if Civil War veterans could march side-by-side, why are we taking down one sides monuments? Shouldn’t we be taking down all the statues of the Northern warriors.

        1. mespo – I was listening to a live stream the other night and an attorney who war games regularly said that with 500 men he could seal off Austin TX and starve it into submission in 3-5 days. Having wargamed myself, I think his plan is solid. If I were Austin, I would surrender now. 😉

          1. Paul:

            “he could seal off Austin TX and starve it into submission in 3-5 days.”
            ************************

            I’d say more like 2 weeks and cutting off transportation lines wouldn’t be that tough if there was no opposition. That said, the wispy bearded, pencil thin warriors of the Left would likely crumble in two days if we just shut down every Stabucks and vape shop.

            1. mespo – the average grocery store keeps 3-5 days of food on hand. Choking off the roads and rails would stop resupply,

              Now, the problem is that although Austin is very liberal, there are some conservatives living there and they may be armed. The question would be which side do they join?

          2. Paul C …….as a former 40 yr resident of Austin Tejas, I can tell you right now that threatening Austinites with starvation is futile. Most of them don’t eat anyway because of their obsession with their delicate, yet buffed-up, bodies and body weight.
            To get their attention, threaten to blow up their favorite gyms……Then if you really want to see the fur fly, declare that all citizens in north Austin must move to south austin. The response will not be attractive. Our motto in south Austin, and the words we lived by, back in the day:
            “We’re all here, ’cause we’re not all there” 😉

            1. Sounds like someone is a fattie and a wee bit jealous of people with a life. Maybe a day at the shooting range is in order.

          3. Take the unions into custody and force them to call a strike on trucking or other forms of transportation. Then blame them for acts of terrorism.

            1. Michael Aarethun – you could play the long game and do a union takeover. Then a nationwide strike. Then arrest them all for domestic terrorism.

        2. Mespo, how did this discussion become about food??? I missed that transition. California, by the way, is biggest agricultural state in the country. We dont import our food from Virginia.

          1. but LA along with SF and Sacramento are not part of California. just as Portland to Eugene on the I-5 corridor are not part of Oregon.

      1. As a child you were the beneficiary of participation trophies but in the real world losers are not rewarded. The rebs as are you are losers.

        1. Tony – I do not every remember winning a participation trophy, ribbon, or certificate except for business events I was required to attend. Everything i won, I worked my butt off for.the things I won or earned.

          I grew up in the days before participation trophies, etc. You either won or lost. You learned that lesson in the sandbox.

    2. “Mespo presumes I want yo demolish old landmarks. Which I don’t! I realize in small towns an old monument provides not just public art but a geographic compass point drivers navigate from.”
      ***********
      More drivel from Peter. Monuments as guideposts? Monuments are honors to people. In the case of confederate monuments to the fallen. They were placed there by communities to express their respect for the sacrifices made on their behalf. They aren’t an endorsement of the history of slavery or rebellion: they are an acknowledgment of the human quality of loyalty. Reducing them to road signs is like reducing the Declaration Of Independence to a complaint letter. By the way, Peter, and just so you know, we Southerners do have Waze.

      1. we Southerners do have Waze.

        Pfffft. Confederate statues depict men pointing the way out of any mess. But what to do with Arthur Ashe beating kids with a tennis racket?

        America’s history is very infant. Compared to other nations and continents, we should be zealous for what little past this great country has. I am American. I was born in another country and take great pride in my cultural identity. Yet I find myself worrying that America has diluted itself in its history that it now stands for nothing. See today’s WSJ article “Does America Still Have a Common Creed?”
        https://www.wsj.com/articles/does-america-still-have-a-common-creed-11574902417

        I am fiercely Catholic, as if anyone had any doubt. However, Americans should be fighting mad about any inside entity diluting or ridiculing its Protestant roots. While America was hostile towards Catholics, in some parts making Catholicism illegal, America has a rich and vibrant Protestant past that should be cherished. Likewise with the Deep South, the Civil War, Manifest Destiny, Lewis & Clark, the Trail of Tears, of course the American Revolution, and so forth. Those who wish to purge America of these magnificent moments in time, regardless of the blemishes therein, are fakes. People in France celebrate the French Revolution even if it was one of those bloody, insane, maniacal moments in their history. Italians preserve the Roman Coliseum. When I visited the Coliseum I wept because I knew what actually happened inside the Coliseum. To tear down the Coliseum is idiotic.

        I mentioned recently the history of Nancy Pelosi winning her seat in the US Congress. She ran against a homosexual activist, Harry Britt, who was the successor of Harvey Milk as a San Francisco Supervisor. Mr. Britt was ostensibly popular in the SF district and Pelosi, a heterosexual woman, was encroaching on Britt’s turf. Pelosi solicited the help of billionaire homosexual James Hormel, who’s family made their wealth on the slaughtering of animals and fought Big Labor. Hormel and Pelosi pushed the narrative that Britt would never be successful in the US Congress because he was, wait for it, a homosexual. When the election was held, Pelosi beat Britt by the slimiest of margins, no doubt in large part by her campaign propagating homosexual stereotypes with the financial support of the king of Quid Pro Quo James Hormel. Britt never recovered. Hormel was golden in future political appointments with zilch for experience as Ambassador or Envoys.

        To listen to the liberals talk about Pelosi, you’d think they would denounce her, repudiate her anti-homosexual rhetoric from her historic and appalling election campaign against Britt. Thus when paid trolls like Peter Shill decry “insert bogus argument here”, they never come from a point of authenticity. Whenever a liberal makes a claim of moral superiority, it is usually on the remains of a pile of dead bodies. They stand for nothing but rancor, division and utterly unhappy lives. does anyone ever conceive of the trolls as being happy?

        Today is Thanksgiving. Americans have much for which to be thankful. I’m in this country because my original country was (is) a colossal mess politically even if it has a rich cultural and religious history. Americans would do well to fight for their roots, their cultural past and every inch of history it has because it has lost, in large part, what it represents. Witness religious and patriotic holidays in America. Today they are devoid of any real meaning thanks to the PC Nazis.

        So fight for your American past including every Confederate monument. If liberals can overlook the contempt that Pelosi showed towards Harvey Milk’s successor, Harry Britt, in using his homosexuality against him in running for Congress, then you stand on solid ground in tearing down those ridiculous planks of plywood to cover a monument of historical significance.

        Besides, there is no telling how many people might get lost when their Waze is not working

        1. “But what to do with Arthur Ashe beating kids with a tennis racket?”
          ***************

          That one does suck and provides further proof that sequels are always an inferior product to the original. (Godfather II excepted). Richmond did the right thing by naming The Boulevard after Arthur though for we old timers it’s hard to get used to calling it anything but “The Boulevard.” His monument should come down, not for political reasons, but aesthetic ones.

        2. America’s history is very infant. Compared to other nations and continents, we should be zealous for what little past this great country has.

          Not ‘very infant’, just shorter. We’ve been knocking about for 400-years. France has had a continuous history as a distinct territory since 843, or not quite 1,200 years. A consolidated English kingdom was emerged in 887, and it lacked crucial components of Britain today.

    3. To further complicate matters, the Ku Klux Klan was founded by veterans of the Confederacy. For 100 years the Klan linked itself to the Confederacy. And they kind of ‘ran down the brand’, one could say. Nothing like church bombings to run down a brand.

      Come again? The original Klan dissolved in 1877, Peter. (And being a ‘veteran of the Confederacy’ was common as dirt in the Reconstruction South). The 2d incarnation was founded in 1915 as a franchising operation. It had a five digit membership in 1919, a seven digit membership in 1922, and a five digit membership in 1935. It formally dissolved in 1944. There were two parallel efforts to refound the Klan in 1946. The most salient figure was a man named Doc Green. When he died in 1949, the network of klaverns then organized sorted themselves among a number of klanlets. The Anti-Defamation League estimated in 1983 that klavern membership was around 8,500, with the two largest federations each having about 1/3 of the sum of memberships. Then one of those factions filed for bankruptcy and revealed it had 1,800 dues paying members, not 3,000 as the Anti-Defamation League had thought. The third largest klanlet lost a civil suit in 1987 and had to hand over its assets, which consisted of a quonset hut appraised at $51,000.

      The Southern Poverty Law Center grifter crew identifies 10 murders attributable to klavern members qua klavern members between 1953 and 1968. There were six others in the succeeding 14 years. The most gruesome event was the slaughter of a claque of Maoists holding a street demonstration in Greensboro, NC in 1979. The perpetrators were members of a local klavern not affiliated with any superordinate organization.

      The Jackson-Lee monument in Baltimore that Mayor Pugh had removed in the dead of night was erected in 1948, when the Klan hardly existed anywhere and the Mayor of Baltimore was…Nancy Pelosi’s father. Baltimore’s political class has over more than 50 years turning that once-handsome city into a crime-ridden dystopia, but they’re on the case in re the dangers to the commonweal of tributes to Gen. Lee. (This is a distribution of attention and effort that Enigma fancies is reasonable, btw).

      1. Tabby, the original Klan was founded by Confederate veterans then faded out before the end of the 19th Century. But the movie “Birth Of A Nation” ( 1914) brought the Klan back bigger than ever. That revived Klan may not have had a direct relationship with the original Klan, but in the South it certainly appropriated the Confederate brand and myth. For that reason the Klan is linked to the Confederacy in the minds of many people.

        1. Peter, the bulk of the adult white male population of the South in 1870 were ‘Confederate veterans’, just as the majority of men born between 1913 and 1925 were World War II veterans. It was not a distinguishing feature of people likely to be involved in public life.

          But the movie “Birth Of A Nation” ( 1914) brought the Klan back bigger than ever.

          It was a fad organization which was consequential for less than a decade. There were 396 lynchings in the U.S. during the years running from 1909 through 1914, per the purveyors of the old Tuskeegee database. They record 79 during the years running from 1927 through 1932. That might suggest something to you about the degree to which klaverns were actually engaged in violent activity.

          1. Tabby, if you’re trying to say that the KKK was no longer a terrorist organization in the Civil Rights era then you’re in complete and total denial.

            If one was to believe the crap you wrote above, the KKK was ‘only a minor threat for a limited period’.
            Nonsense! For Blacks and White liberals the Klan was still a lethal threat well into the 1960’s.

            1. In introduction to reading comprehension, you will learn techniques which will allow you to successfully interpret English-language paragraphs. Now, here’s a precis:

              1. There was no ‘the Klan’ after 1949. There were a mess of klanlets.

              2. Klavern membership ebbed and flowed after 1949, never exceeding five digits and usually not exceeding four.

              3. Lethal political violence in the South was almost entirely concentrated in six states.

              4. The death toll from lethal political violence in the five states in question was around three dozen over a period of 27 years. These half dozen states had a population of around 18 million in 1970. The Quebec Liberation Front killed 8 people in a territory with a population of six million over seven years. The intensity of violence with roughly similar in the two territories. The quietest year in Ulster during the Troubles saw 9 deaths over a population of 1.65 million. That would translate into 100 deaths in an area in population similar to the six states in question. Which is 75x the intensity of violence in typical year in those six states.

              5. Most of these political killings were not carried-out by klavern members qua klavern members. One comment on the Greensboro massacre offered that volatile and loosely-wired people we’re so before, during, and after any association with any klavern.

              ==

              6. Your daisy-chain of associations is a red-herring, btw.

      2. Doesn’t matter KKK or whatever they were all Southern Democrats who joined with Northerrn Democrats. thus the slave owners and the slave traders became one. Then transistion through the Jim Crow stage to be taken over by Wilson’s progressive liberals and become the anti civil rights party and finally emerged under their true colors as a collective of the the three forms of socialism. National, International, and regressive progressives. One party, one leader and in the running for world leader

        but in no way are they democratic and the name Democrat is just another lie.

        Not to mention anti equal rights voting down ERA and victimizers of women among other unacceptable social behaviors

    4. John B….Yes you are right. The world and the Great Lakes Region were industrializing……on the cusp of Industrial Revolution. So why did Lincoln allow a war that killed thousands when slavery would have died out within a few years because of industrialization?
      And are you going to tell me that before 1860, yankees did not benefit from slavery? Really? There were no cotton products in U.S, save for Dixie? Really? I’m curious about that. I’m serious.

  3. FUSION GPS OBTAINED TROVE OF INFORMATION UNRELATED TO STEELE DOSSIER

    Early on, Fusion’s probe of Trump was given a huge boost by Wayne Barrett, an investigative reporter for the Village Voice. Barrett, who was suffering from a terminal illness, bequeathed his voluminous files on Trump to the firm. His findings opened up Trump’s past dealings, including tax and bankruptcy problems, potential ties to organized crime, and numerous legal entanglements. They also revealed that Trump had an unusually high number of connections to Russians with questionable backgrounds. As his son Don, Jr., boasted in 2008, Russians “make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” (Trump denied having any business ties to Russia during his campaign, but, later, his former lawyer Michael Cohen admitted that Trump’s associates were trying to negotiate a deal for him in Moscow at the time. The business angle was one of the subjects on which Steele’s dossier was prescient.)

    The more the Fusion team learned, the more alarmed it grew. By the spring of 2016, Simpson and Fritsch write, they were no longer just in it for the money. They were convinced they needed “to do what they could to keep Trump out of the White House.”

    Edited From: “The Inside Story Of Christopher Steele’s Trump Dossier”

    The New Yorker, 11/25/19

      1. Emma Peele,
        The New Yorker piece hypes another (new) book, “Crime in Progress”, written by Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS.
        I would trust him about as much as I’d trust the Steele Russian Dossier.

      2. and even if it did so what? Collusion has never been a crime but is was and is useful in criminal activities such as claiming it is a crime.

    1. I had a good idea who wrote the New Yorker piece John Burgoyne referenced even before I confirmed that it was Jane Mayer.
      She has previously written what has been described as “fawning” or “gushing” accounts of Christopher Steele, and has been described as having “the scruples of a National Enquirer headline editor”.

      1. ‘…has been described as having “the scruples of a National Enquirer headline editor”.’

        Maybe you should back up your smears.

        “And link to those fawning or gushing accounts of Christopher Steele.”

        1. https://spectator.org/jane-mayers-publicity-work-for-christopher-steele/
          ***********************************
          To anonymous Nov. 28 @8:42 AM,
          You can easily find the March 2018 “publicity work” in the New Yorker that Jane Mayer wrote for Christopher Steele.
          I doubt that you read her 15,000 word tribute to Steele in that article, but you would probably eagerly accept and enjoy the lack of objectivity and extreme bias of that Mayer Masterpiece.
          It would be best for you to skip the negative, accurate reviews of the Mayer Publicity Work; they would be too upsetting for you.

          1. https://capitalresearch.org/article/fake-philanthropy-news-jane-mayers-latest-book-paints-dishonest-portraits-of-donors/
            ****************************
            There was a reason why I put the “scruples of a National Enquirer headline editor” in quotation marks.
            For anyone who wants a link.
            Those who have the time can go to the Jane Mayer Massive Publicity Masterpiece about her hero Christopher Steele.
            That March 2008 New Yorker piece is easily accessed on the internet.
            Those interested in the Steele saga might also want to review Fiona Hill’s testimony last week about Steele and his Russian Dossier.

    2. Unacceptaqble source writing about something akin to Cold Fusion without one single solitary fact. Same as always. REJECTED.

  4. I.G. REPORT EXPECTED TO NIX DEEP STATE NARRATIVE

    The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia’s election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general’s report said.

    The determination by the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is expected to be a key finding in his highly anticipated report due out on Dec. 9 examining aspects of the Russia investigation. The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I. officials spied on the Trump campaign but also at one point that former President Barack Obama had ordered Mr. Trump’s phones tapped. The startling accusation generated headlines but Mr. Trump never backed it up.

    The finding is one of several by Mr. Horowitz that undercuts conservatives’ claims that the F.B.I. acted improperly in investigating several Trump associates starting in 2016. He also found that F.B.I. leaders did not take politically motivated actions in pursuing a secret wiretap on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — eavesdropping that Mr. Trump’s allies have long decried as politically motivated.

    But Mr. Horowitz will sharply criticize F.B.I. leaders for their handling of the investigation in some ways, and he unearthed errors and omissions when F.B.I. officials applied for the wiretap, according to people familiar with a draft of the report. The draft contained a chart listing numerous mistakes in the process, one of the people said.

    Edited from: “Russia Inquiry Review Is Expected To Undercut Trump Claims Of F.B.I. Spying”

    Today’s New York Times

    1. The fbi used the bogus Russian Steele dossier to lie to the FISA court.

      They also used Michael Issakoffs article soured from Steele

      Isikoff Stunned That His Carter Page Article Was Used To Justify Spy Warrant

      “One “essential” part of the application was the uncorroborated Steele dossier, according to the memo. And an article that Isikoff wrote for Yahoo! News on Sept. 23, 2016 that was based directly on the dossier was “cited extensively” in the application.

      Isikoff was shocked, he said, because his very article was based on information that came from Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier. He said it was “a bit beyond me” that the FBI would use his article in the FISA application. “

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.dailycaller.com/2018/02/02/isikoff-stunned-carter-page

    2. You screwed up when you gave the source as the NY Times. No acceptable source means we wasted the whole read only to conclude… REJECTED.

  5. Professor Turley was starting to feel a little chilly in the faculty lounge. This column is the academic equivalent of putting a log in the fireplace.

  6. Perhaps other municipalities and local courts can learn something from Alabama Supreme Court.

    Plywood screen around a 100+ yrs stone and marble monument?

    🤡

    Alabama Supreme Court upholds Confederate monument law

    https://www.al.com/news/2019/11/alabama-supreme-court-says-birmingham-violated-historic-monuments-law.html

    The Alabama Supreme Court today ruled that the city of Birmingham violated Alabama’s monument protection law when it placed a plywood screen around a Confederate monument in Linn Park in August 2017.

    In a 9-0 decision, the justices reversed a lower court ruling in favor of the city. The Supreme Court sent the case back to circuit court with instructions to enter an order that the city broke the law and must pay a $25,000 fine.

    The Legislature passed the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act in 2017 in response to removals and calls for removal of Confederate monuments on public property.

    The law prohibits local governments from moving, altering, renaming, or otherwise disturbing monuments that have been in place 40 years or more.

    The stone base of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument has been in Linn Park since 1894

    1. Estovir, I have mixed feelings about removing old monuments. And I agree that a plywood screen is ridiculous. But tell us why ‘you’, a Hispanic American, would feel any connection with the old confederacy, or what it represented.

      1. Peter:

        “But tell us why ‘you’, a Hispanic American, would feel any connection with the old confederacy, or what it represented.”

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

        Likely because Estovir isn’t a hyphenated America. Just an American with the right to all of its history not just the part that pertains to his ethnicity. Your question reveals your warped, reductionist understanding of what made the country great: Out of many, one. It’s sad you never got or accepted that truth about your country.

        1. Good article, Anonymous.

          We never know, however, which Anonymous we’re addressing. Anonymous is like a generic brand of uncertain quality.

          1. That’s OK. We don’t know who or why someone chooses the name of the failed British general, “Gentleman Johnny”.
            Maybe there’s “a certain quality” that appeals to one who would choose that name.

            1. The things one learns on this blog. Fitting that Peter chose the name John Burgoyne, though history records him as being a married heterosexual with a daughter.

              What will Peter’s next fake name be, Lady MacBeth, Nancy Drew, Scarlett O’Hara?

              Had it not been for his role in the American War of Independence, Burgoyne would most likely be foremost remembered today as a dramatist.

              Burgoyne has often been portrayed by historians and commentators as a classic example of the marginally-competent aristocratic British general who acquired his rank through political connections rather than ability. Accounts of the lavish lifestyle he maintained on the Saratoga campaign, combined with a gentlemanly bearing and his career as a playwright led less-than-friendly contemporaries to caricature him, as historian George Billias writes, “a buffoon in uniform who bungled his assignments badly”

              Wiki

    1. the left is going down hill fast as they continue to prove they are not Constitutionalists. Thus the garbage is summed up ready for the dumpster.

  7. CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER..

    SHREDS TRUMP DEFENDER JIM JORDAN

    Of all the regions in all the states in all the country, Jim Jordan got dragged into ours. There was no good reason to punish Greater Cleveland by making the person who’s now the second most contemptible human being in the entire U.S. government part of the region’s delegation to Congress. Worse yet, the betrayal was bipartisan.

    When Ohio’s political and legislative leaders were drawing new congressional boundaries prior to the 2012 election, Democrats wanted a district that would protect U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge. Republicans wanted districts that would elect the maximum number of GOP congressmen. And some people from both parties wanted a district that would likely lead to the defeat of longtime Cleveland Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

    They all got what they wanted.

    But to make it work required drawing a hideously gerrymandered district for the southwest Ohio congressman, one that meanders some 200 miles from near Dayton north into Lorain County near Cleveland.

    And now it’s fitting that Republicans have given this seven-term sycophant a starring role in the televised House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump. The assignment comes as Jordan is being credibly accused by some of knowingly turning a blind eye to sexual abuse by a team doctor when Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University from 1987 to 1994.

    At least five people – four of them former wrestlers and one of them a longtime friend – have said Jordan had to have known former OSU team doctor Richard Strauss was on a sexual rampage that would include — according to OSU — 1,429 sexual assaults and 47 rapes of student patients during Strauss’ time at the school (1978 to 1998) prior to his suicide in 2005.

    That makes Jordan an ideal candidate to lead the defense of a malignant president who has bragged about physically abusing women and who has been accused by two dozen women of sexual assault or misconduct.

    Jordan was appointed to the Intelligence Committee the same day, Nov. 8, that NBC reported on a lawsuit filed early this month in which a former wrestling referee alleges Strauss masturbated in front of him in the shower following an OSU wrestling match in 1994.

    When the referee told Jordan what happened, he alleges that Jordan blew him off with, “Yeah, that’s Strauss.”

    As the allegations pile up, Jordan’s denials remain unchanged. He dismissed the latest one as “ridiculous.”

    Edited From: “Jim Jordan Was Imposed On Us For Egregious Partisan Reasons. Now He’s Afflicting The Nation”

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/24/19

      1. Tabby, Jordan’s congressional district resembles a sickle. Gerrymandering is the only way fringe characters like him make it to Congress.

        1. Jordan’s congressional district resembles a sickle

          Which resembles the USSR symbol. Got it. But is there hammer in there somewhere?

          You’ve had a hard-0n for Jordan for a while on these forums only because he was a wrestling coach and he would not have picked you for his team. Surely the cheerleading squad could have used your skills.

    1. Most folks avoid cutting and pasting their nefarious thoughts to others after their kindergarten graduation or their first kidnapping conviction. Peter’s story is intriguing me: child, human trafficker or something else? You decide!

          1. Mespo hangs around E R rooms passing out cards. He also solicits at auto body shops offering rewards for referrals.

            1. …. solicits at auto body shops offering rewards for referrals.

              That would be a wise way to grow his business actually. OTOH you’re not too far behind blowing on the muffler pipes of those body shops since no one from Grindr wants your lips blowing their 🍆

              Fun Fact: Zithromax, Cipro and Cefriaxone are no long effective against bacterial STDs. Perhaps Peter knows from experience?

              1. Regarding Above:

                Yeah, that’s the same ESTOVIR who provides endless Catholic commentary on these threads. Estovir suffers from bipolar syndrome that causes to alternative between pious Catholic and homophobic buffoon.

                1. Peter, you forget that Jesus expelled demons into a herd of swine and you are our resident swine. I will continue to practice on you till you jump into the swine of the DNC over a HILLtlery or you become straight. Keep working with me and with my fervent prayers and practicing on you, one is surely to happen, ya know? Besides your only two followers arent with us anymore so there is that too

            2. John/Peter/Loser——— You know that you don’t believe that, especially not if you’ve read mespo’s writings.
              My guess is you’re jealous of his intellect, and rightfully so.
              Get over it.

            3. “Mespo hangs around E R rooms passing out cards. He also solicits at auto body shops offering rewards for referrals.”
              *******************
              The truth is we do a little print advertising, no TV or radio and generally get by on referrals from other attorneys and judges as well as word of mouth from past clients. I am now proud to say I represent three generations of some families and am happy to say my client base is economically, socially and racially diverse. I handle about 175-200 cases a year. I was in court about a year ago representing a minor in a structured settlement. Her mother was with her and mentioned to the judge that I had represented her as a young teenager, too, and that’s why her daughter was here with me now. I politely demurred the compliment until I heard a frail voice in the rear of the courtroom blurt out, “He represented me too, judge!” The speaker was the 78-year-old grandmother of my client. I didn’t recall the case, but after I thanked her I did feel it necessary to explain to the judge that grandma in the back was not an infant when I represented her! “A teenager, at most,” I said. The judge chuckled.

        1. Mespo represents former Trans clients who wish to sue the snot out of the LGBTQ-eieio Russian lobby for lying to them Hillary’s legs. She has far more hair on her extremities than they do and those b!tches are pissed!

          One presumes you can’t read English and look for glitter and rainbows to lead you to the yellow brick road

    2. @John Burgoyne- Here’s another way to put it:

      We disagree with Representative Jordan so we will do everything we can to delegitimize his election. Marcia Fudge claimed that Jim Ryan was breaking ethics rules by sleeping in his office so she could finagle a housing allowance for her DC apartment. That’s the kind of creative thinking we need in Congress. You go, girl!

        1. Sorry Anonymous, wrong Ryan. Imagine the possibilities if creative thinkers like Rep. Fudge and the writers at the Plain Dealer were in charge of the China trade negotiations. This is from a Plain Dealer article:

          BRILLIANT SETUP:
          “Fudge says 50 to 100 members of Congress sleep in their offices. She and her like-minded colleagues want the House Ethics Committee to issue a public opinion on whether the practice violates federal laws or House of Representatives rules.”

          “Members who sleep overnight in their offices receive free lodging, free cable, free security, free cleaning services and utilize other utilities free of charge in direct violation of the ethics rules,” says a complaint letter sent to the Ethics Committee by 30 members of Congress, including Fudge and Beatty, a Columbus-area Democrat.”

          BURIED DEEP IN THE ARTICLE IS WHAT SHE REALLY WANTS:
          “People who live in their offices complain about the cost of living in two places, but it is a burden for me as well,” said Fudge. “All of us knew the salary before we came here. They either need to do something about our salaries, or do something about a housing allowance if they think they can’t live on this salary.”

          AND OF COURSE:
          “She said the Congressional Black Caucus decided to file the complaint because it feels that the Ethics Committee always comes down hard on caucus members, but ignores violations by others.”

  8. “In comparison, the report by Kenneth Starr to Congress summarizing the evidence in the Clinton impeachment was 445 pages, with more than 8,000 pages of supporting documents just on the part dealing with the Monica Lewinsky allegations.”

    And the 8,000 pages + 445 page discussion from Starr can be summarized as follows: Clinton had consensual sexual relations with an intern and lied about it, then later admitted it. It really does not take 8,000 pages to say that; I just told you the essential facts in a sentence. And the Senate did not really care, acquitting him on all charges, and in retrospect such charges pale in comparison to things Trump does every day.

    No, Starr is not a model for how these things should be done.

    1. I don’t mind criticism of Trump, but what I find ostensibly stupid are statements like ” …such charges pale in comparison to things Trump does every day.” You have to be a real moron to make such statements w/o ANY backing. Just because you don’t like the jerk, you can’t continue to say stupid things like that. That’s the reason why conservatives don’t take people like you seriously, ’cause all you have is hate for the guy instead of concrete things that actually are worth mentioning. Dumb ass.

    2. “It really does not take 8,000 pages to say that; I just told you the essential facts in a sentence.” MS

      If Clinton had not fought tooth and nail the investigation, and had he confessed up front to what he later was compelled to admit–thanks to that filthy semen stained gown- he would have saved us millions and spared the country the degradation and agony of exposure to his adventures into the details of cigar and oral and phone sex. That vile disgusting animal single handedly drastically lowered our moral standing before the entire world.

      He was and is directly, personally responsible for the massacre of 800,000 innocent black men, women and children and he raped Juanita Broaddrick and molested dozens and dozens of other females. He is a traitor for selling highly classified military technology to the Chinese.

    3. @Michael- Here’s another way to say it:

      Clinton abused the power of his position to convince a young employee to give him blow jobs in his office after work. He thought he could lie his way out of it, but he didn’t know that she kept a blue dress with his semen on it. Then he was forced to take an DNA test administered by the FBI. So he got caught red-handed and had to fess up.

      Obfuscate and deflect as one might, but Bill Clinton is no model for honorable behavior.

      Rumor around the Senate is that Grandpa Joe is passing out some of Bill’s old cigars to celebrate the new grandchild!

      1. It is considered poor etiquette to repeat gossip one hears in the men’s room stall while waiting on your next customer. You are in danger of losing your clientele.

        1. Tony – you, of all of us, would know the proper etiquette for waiting on customers. Personally, I just go in, do my business and leave. It is not my place of business.

    4. you forgot this part. Clinton as a licensed attorney ‘lied about it’ to a federal judge after being sworn in. The complaint has nothing to do with Lewinsky and everything to do with why, convicted or not, ihis license to practice law was pulled. It had everiything to do with the complete lack of morals, values, standards and ethics as understood by ‘decent’ citizens.

  9. The Dem mess in the House that Schiff built showed me the evil aspect of my candidate named Joe Biden. I will not vote for him.

  10. I wonder what the author would say if this were a murder case, and we had 5 witnesses who testified under oath that the defendant did it, no one who testified that he did not, and 5 more witnesses the defendant was preventing from testifying?

  11. “It is not clear why Democrats have not even subpoenaed key witnesses or taken the time to force that testimony.”

    You appear not to be familiar with Democratic efforts to subpoena key witnesses and Trump and his staff’s illegal refusal to comply. For example, here is an article about a subpoena issued to Mick Mulvaney and the fact that he is defying that subpoena on the orders of Trump: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/us/politics/mulvaney-impeachment-subpoena.html So they have subpoenaed key witnesses. It is not Democrats who are being incomplete here.

    It is clear Democrats see some value in moving forward with the very strong and uncontradicted record that they already have, in a timeframe when it will still matter and before the public loses interest. There is no point in impeaching Trump if the impeachment happens 6 years from now.

    1. “Victoria Brownworth

      Replying to @realDonaldTrump

      You’ve never looked like this in your life. Tweeting this out for world leaders to see is bad for the U.S. VP Pence should be in discussion with Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader McConnell about the 25th Amendment. You need serious intervention.”

      https://twitter.com/VABVOX/status/1199729871678783488

      #NotPresidential

  12. The communist (i.e. liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat) rationale for impeachment is defeat of the republican presidential candidate in 2020. That is actionable, absolute abuse of power.
    ___________________________________________

    “I’m Concerned If We Don’t Impeach This President, He Will Get Re-Elected”

    – Rep. Al Green

  13. The facts are undisputed at this point. Every witness said the same thing. You are concerned that we did not hear from witnesses Trump is telling not to testify, but even out of court Mulvaney and Trump have confirmed it before backtracking. If they had something to say that would help Trump, Trump needs to bring them forward.

    Trump has a pattern of denying every subpoena, losing in court, appealing, losing the appeal, then appealing to SCOTUS. That takes many months. The McGann subpoena from April is just heading to SCOTUS now. We will likely be beyond the next election before that is resolved. Trump and Foxnews will scream “witch hunt” “fake news” for many months. The public will get sick of it, like they did when Mueller took a long time and then came out with a detailed report that no one read and Trump, Barr and FoxNews could falsely summarize. That is clearly what Trump and Turley want to happen.

    Justice delayed is justice denied. Schiff and company have been doing a masterful job so far – we know the essential facts which are really undisputed. The facts are not going to change no matter how many more witnesses are called. Let’s get on with it.

    1. Seig Us No Heils Kamarad but sorry without any facts REJECTED. The difference between serving as programmer as a machinie part and we who support The Constitution. Ad Machina.

  14. If uncalled witness refuse to appear after final court order, how is it an “undeniable” impeachable offense? If a witness doesn’t show, you can’t hold his employer in contempt. I doubt trump would publicly encourage defiance of a court order, it doesn’t appear that he’s done so before. As far as the democrats doing a “masterful” job, I don’t what hearings you were watching. The Democrats did a “masturbatory job” because all they have done is engage in self gratification.

  15. WHILE INVESTIGATING BIDEN..

    GIULIANI SOUGHT TO PROFIT IN UKRAINE

    As Rudolph W. Giuliani waged a public campaign this year to unearth damaging information in Ukraine about President Trump’s political rivals, he privately pursued hundreds of thousands of dollars in business from Ukrainian government officials, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.

    Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, has repeatedly said he has no business in Ukraine, and none of the deals was finalized. But the documents indicate that while he was pushing Mr. Trump’s agenda with Ukrainian officials eager for support from the United States, Mr. Giuliani also explored financial agreements with members of the same government.

    His discussions with Ukrainian officials proceeded far enough along that he prepared at least one retainer agreement, on his company letterhead, that he signed.

    In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Giuliani played down the discussions. He said that a Ukrainian official approached him this year, seeking to hire him personally. Mr. Giuliani said he dismissed that suggestion, but spent about a month considering a separate deal with the Ukrainian government. He then held off.

    “I thought that would be too complicated,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I never received a penny.”

    Mr. Giuliani’s shadow diplomacy campaign in Ukraine on behalf of the president is a central focus of the current House impeachment inquiry. At the same time, a federal criminal investigation into Mr. Giuliani is examining his role in the campaign to oust Marie L. Yovanovitch, the American ambassador to Ukraine, and whether he sought to make money in Ukraine at the same time he was working against her, according to people briefed on the matter.

    Prosecutors and F.B.I. agents in Manhattan are examining whether Mr. Giuliani was not just working for the president, but also doing the bidding of Ukrainians who wanted the ambassador removed for their own reasons, the people said. It is a federal crime to try to influence the United States government at the request or direction of a foreign government, politician or party without registering as a foreign agent. Mr. Giuliani did not register as one, he has said, because he was acting on behalf of his client, Mr. Trump, not Ukrainians.

    Edited from: “Giuliani Pursued Business Deals In Ukraine While Pushing Inquiries For Trump”

    Today’s New York Times

    1. Regarding Above:

      Trump Defenders who argue that Giuliani was a legitimate ‘Special Envoy’ are seriously mistaken. Rudy was a man on the make not all that different from Paul Manafort. And that’s the problem with shadow diplomacy. When influence peddlers like Giuliani go behind the State Department’s back, there’s no legitimate oversight.

    2. Precisely, specifically, what did the NYTs discover about Rudy that was criminal?

      Instead of merely 12 angry men, we have a whole host of rabid leftists crucifying a man who has been convicted of nothing illegal. Their intent is malicious and their statements are slanderous.

  16. Democrats have gone to great lengths to obstruct an investigation into alleged criminal activity by Joe Biden.

    That is what all of this is about.

    Trump dared look into both the meddling against his Presidency, and corruption allegations against Joe Biden. Democrats must stop him at all cost, or their own corruption will come to light.

  17. Exactly what “compelling and upsetting” testimony did you have in mind? Was it the hearsay or the whining about irregular channels? do your continuing appearances on CNN and MSNBC really mean that much to you?

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