“The First Time In History”: Gerhardt Claims McConnell Is The First Senate Leader To Coordinate With White House On An Impeachment Trial

University of North Carolina Law Prof. Michael Gerhardt made a remarkable claim this week when asked about stories that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Ky.) was coordinating on the details of the Senate impeachment trial with the White House. Gerhardt claimed that such a thing has never happened in history. Despite my long association and friendship with Gerhardt, I must disagree with that remarkable suggestion.

Gerhardt and I testified at both the Clinton and Trump impeachment hearings. I have always valued his views and commentary.

In the Trump impeachment hearing, Gerhardt is probably best known for his sweeping declaration that “if what we are talking about is not impeachable, nothing is impeachable.” I will note that we were talking about a host of crimes from bribery to extortion to campaign finance violations to abuse of power. I testified that the legal definitions of the bribery, extortion, campaign finance and obstruction of justice (including Mueller-related claims) do not fit these facts and cannot be used as a basis for impeachment. The only two impeachable offenses that I saw as conceptually and constitutionally viable were abuse of power and obstruction of Congress but testified that the record would not currently support such claims. Ultimately, the Committee dropped all of those crimes and went with the two that I discussed. However, it has unwisely kept to its pledge to impeach by Christmas despite the obvious gaps and conflicts in the record.

Now to Gerhardt’s surprising claim. He was asked about reports on Thursday afternoon that Senate Majority Leader McConnell met at his office with White House counsel Pat Cipollone and others to talk about impeachment. McConnell acknowledged later that he was working on the details of the trial with the White House.

Gerhardt cried foul when asked by CNN’s Poppy Harlow “how normal or abnormal is it for the Senate Majority Leader to work in, what he said, was lockstep, essentially, with the White House on a senate trial. Is that normal?”

Gerhardt responded:

“It is extremely unusual. We don’t have a lot of experience with presidential impeachments, but this is the first time in history when the president was coordinating with a big bloc of people from his own party in the Senate. With Andrew Johnson, he wasn’t coordinating with anyone. No one liked Andrew Johnson. Bill Clinton was not coordinating with the Democrats. In fact, they kept a fair distance between themselves. Richard Nixon, his party was beginning to fragment at this point and, in fact, it was Barry Goldwater who said […] he’s not going to get through this without being convicted and removed. So, this is the first time we’ve seen this kind of coordination.”

With all due respect to my friend, that is wildly offbase from the history. First, in fairness to Gerhardt, little is really known of the backroom negotiations in the Johnson case. However, given the fact that he was widely despised even among his own party, it could well be true that he was not working closely with the Senate. However, the plain fact is that the Senate was overwhelmingly Republican and opposed to Johnson who was affiliated with the Democrats and later the National Union party. The very idea of the majority coordinating with Johnson on the trial would have been absurd given the open hatred for Johnson.

As for Nixon, both the House and the Senate were under the control of the Democrats, not the Republicans. Moreover, Goldwater was not the minority leader or minority whip. They were Hugh Scott and Robert Griffin, respectively. However, there was no trial being actively planned and Nixon resigned soon after the decision of the Supreme Court ordering him to release the key tapes.

As for Clinton, the Republicans controlled the Senate and the House. However, the notion that Harry Reid and Tom Daschle did not coordinate with the Clinton White House is . . . well . . . baffling. There were news reports of senators meeting with the White House on the details. Coordination between a president under impeachment and congressional leaders of his own party is not unprecedented. In the book “The Breach,” the author recounts close coordination between the Clinton staff and the Senate staff. Clinton also spoke directly with senators. Howard Kurtz for example reported on the views of a “Democratic senator who is consulting regularly with President Clinton” on the trial in his coverage for the Washington Post. On January 1, 1999, the Associated Press reports on the developments from meetings where “Senators and the White House are finalizing strategy for conducting President Clinton’s impeachment trial.” Some like Tom Daschle were actually uncomfortable with the degree of coordination and he resisted some of direct coordination but the White House was very clear about its demands. In one interview. Daschle agreed that “Clinton was leaning very heavily on [Sen. Ted] Kennedy, concerning a strategy: These are the 35 names, things he wanted, and a strategy he wanted to pursue. It’s my impression that he wasn’t consulting with the Democratic leader very much on these things.” While Daschle tried to maintain some distance, he admitted that he and Kennedy pursued the same approach on the details for the trial.

Since the opposing parties controlled the Senate in Clinton and Nixon, there would have been no shaping of the trial with the majority. However, it is very common for the party of an accused president to coordinate closely with the White House. That was done openly during Clinton and widely reported in the press as different options were raised with the White House by Democratic allies.

There is nothing unprecedented with conferring with the White House on the dimensions or demands of the trial. There should ideally be conferral with the House managers and party leaders are under a constitutional obligations to ensure a fair and legitimate process. However, conferral and coordination with inevitable and certainly not unprecedented.

233 thoughts on ““The First Time In History”: Gerhardt Claims McConnell Is The First Senate Leader To Coordinate With White House On An Impeachment Trial”

  1. If Trump didn’t break any laws then he is being prosecuted for behavior that the democrats feel was inappropriate. This is nothing more than a political hit.

      1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-nine citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after fifty-four weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – a high crime requires a legal definition.

          1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me forty citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after fifty-four weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – you have referenced nothing. Cite it, you ignorant twit. I want to see a link.

            1. I provided the link to the Wikipedia page at least twice in this blog. Go searching below if your search engine won’t find the Wikipedia page for you.

              *WAF*

                1. David – are you referring to your declaration that the House can declare literally anything a “high crime”? It doesn’t have to be a crime, or even serious?

                  Trump’s election could be considered a “high crime”, using that logic.

                  You are supporting tyranny.

                  Remember, the precedent you set today, will be the one you have to live with tomorrow. If a “high crime” is literally anything the House says it is, then one day, you might find a Democrat in the WH, a Republican House, and a Republican Senate. By this precedent, they could remove a President via impeachment simply because they wanted the election to go their way.

                  I wonder if then you would suddenly find your ethics, or if you would still say that a high crime is whatever the House says it is. That kind of rhetoric belongs to Stalin’s Secret Police, yet another Leftist who wasn’t too concerned with individual rights or due process…

              1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-nine citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after fifty-four weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – I went top to bottom and only saw you linking about music.

      2. “…other…” crimes of high office leave the definition and nature of the offenses to the voters in Congress. Clearly, a party vote defines a political event, not a legal decision. Democrats have egregiously abused the power of Congress and will, ultimately, be brought to justice.

  2. I don’t see the daylight between your position and Professor Gerhardt, other than a personal impression of the significance.

    – Johnson’s impeachment was a wash. Too little info, and probably too hated to coordinate if he had wanted to.
    – Nixon’s also a wash. He never even got impeached, so the trial didn’t arise as a public discussion.
    – Clinton is the only comparison, and the opposing party was in power. Some Senators did discuss with the White House, but not the majority leader.

    So you both agree that it’s unprecedented, you just differ with how important the majority leader’s interactions are, as opposed to one of the many Senators.

    The fruitful point of this discussion would be, is this where we want the country to be in terms of impeachment trials?

    Republicans will give no meaningful answer because they simply regard this one as a sham. They won’t put any more thought into it. Democrats are obviously up in arms about McConnell’s brazen statement, which was likely just a signal to other Republican Senators that mutiny will not be tolerated. It’s whipping with the gaze and vocal tones instead of the whip, much like Pelosi has done in the House.

    Do we want impeachment to be like a real trial, despite the hard fact that it is firmly ensconced in the most political body? That depends on if we elect more honest individuals (cue the laughter), or if we throw up our hands and simply believe that a Congress with integrity is impossible.

  3. The Democrats’ long game is to control the politics of the Supreme Court. At least one seat is in play during the next 5 years, possibly two. They need to control the White House until the Court is packed with Liberal or Leftist judges.

    The goal: supermajority in the House, Senate, SCOTUS, and a Democrat in the White House. Dissent is not tolerated and will be punished.

    We already see how Democrat supermajorities operate. In CA, Democrats don’t negotiate with Republicans. They just do whatever they want. The supermajority of hard Left Democrats in universities has lead to the wholesale persecution and harassment of conservative students, and threats of violence against invited speakers.

    We have seen conservative small business owners targeted for destruction and ruination by Democrats.

    This is the canary in the coal mine. Imagine the result if Democrats control Congress, the Court, and the White House. The party has moved far Left…Left like Mao, Stalin, and all the other far Leftist dictators. We already see how they attack dissent. We see how ad hominem is nearly universal when trying to reason or discuss anything with a far Left Democrat. There is no reasoned discussion, no meeting of the minds, and no intellectual curiosity. It’s Saul Alinsky tactics: demonize your enemy, render them inhuman, and destroy them. Respond to any of their concerns about high taxes, poor quality education of Common Core, illegal immigration, Welfare, the destruction of the nuclear family and its results for kids, or the homeless with savage slurs: racist, xenophobe, Islamophobe, homophobe, kid hater…

    We must do something, or else those wide eyed, true believer Leftists will be suffering right along with the other 324 million of us. We have to save them from themselves.

    It all comes down to 2020.

    Vote responsibly.

    1. Karen, elsewhere I asked you to offer a plausible explanation of the administrations actions regarding the Ukraine during the summer that don’t include an impeachable offense. You offered the same silly gotcha video that Menlo offered up to the same question which did no such thing. I responded why that was the case to both of and neither has responded, unless you count mespo “wasting his time” insulting me. From you, crickets.

      Want to try again? Are you interested and capable of discussing the evidence? Is it just a coincidence that both Trump defending posters here and national politicians pointedly avoid the evidence? Now we here talk of a no witness Senate “TRIAL”, no American interested in the facts would welcome or should respect.

      1. Hey Notbooksmart,

        “I asked you to offer a plausible explanation of the administrations actions regarding the Ukraine during the summer that don’t include an impeachable offense.”

        ******************************
        Officials don’t have to prove their actions weren’t impeachable offenses, accusers have to prove they were. Maybe if you ever had a civics class or a law class or a Western civilization class or a philosophy class or even a political history class you might understand that you position is pure sophistry that we’ve tried to disabuse you of for weeks. You can’t prove a negative because you can’t rule out every possibility. (i.e. bythebookie is not gay (unprovable because who could stand being with you every moment of every day. Cf, Bookie is gay. Here’s his gay lover with the tapes). Negative unproven; positive proven.

        I guess it’s true; you can’t teach stupid.

        1. Mespo, thanks for confirming your inability to provide any plausible explanation for the administration’s actions regarding the Ukraine. I understand the difficulty of your position which is mirrored by the GOP leadership’s similar inability and avoidance of evidence based discussions. Of course, not only is there a plausible, but also a compelling explanation for this behavior which does include impeachable behavior and it is based on the evidence. Evidence or it’s absence is how one proves a case, or alternatively casts enough doubt to leave reasonable doubt. If the suspect is caught standing over the body with a smoking gun – or using the power and budget of the federal government to try and frame the one person in the world most likely to remove him from office – , he better have a plausible alternative explanation which does not include him as the murderer – or extortionist. We both know there isn’t one.

          By the way, I thought you wouldn’t waste time insulting me?

          1. Bookhead:
            I just explained you can’t prove a negative. That you can’t figure out this basic logic proposition disqualifies you from further discussion. You simply aren’t smart enough to bother with.

            1. Yes Mespo, however the principle of not proving a negative doesn’t apply in the presence of evidence for a specific, not general, accusation.

              Hard to say if you’re just continuing your dodge of the facts or are really that dim.

              Who cares?

              1. BTB, I care.

                I could use your bright cognitive process.

                You have demonstrated a keen grasp of the nature and definition of “GENERAL” as opposed to its antonym, “INDIVIDUAL” or, in your case, “SPECIFIC.” I argue continually that, per Article 1, Section 8, Congress has power to tax for only “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual or specific Welfare, aka redistribution of wealth. You get that general welfare omits and excludes individual or specific welfare. I love it.

                Oh, and please note that Article 1, Section 8, also limits, restricts and constrains Congress from any power to regulate anything other than that related to the “value of money” and “Commerce with foreign Nations, among the several states and with the Indian Tribes…” for the sole purpose of preventing bias or favor by one nation, state or tribe over another; Congress can’t regulate anything except money and commerce between jurisdictions.

                May I enlist you in my effort to promote the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution and eliminate the entire unconstitutional American welfare state?

                We smart people need to stick together. Am I right? I’m right, huh?

                “United we stand, divided we fall.”

                – Aesop

                Your superior intellect has been on display for the last few comments and I could really use your assistance.

                Thanks in advance.
                ________________

                Article 1, Section 8

                The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

                To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

                To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes;

                To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

                To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

                  1. Thank you. That’s two!

                    I may not get to the promised land of true American freedom with you. I’m going to start looking for a cheap, “previously owned,” AI cyborg tomorrow so I might transfer my cranial contents to it and live until the day the principles of communism are banned-for-life from America and the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution is correctly implemented.

      2. By the book – sorry. If you requested something from me, I missed it. I hang with bated breath upon the possibility of your addressing me in a thread I’ve left.

        There was no quid pro quo in the transcript.

        Trump is not a subtle person. The entire Planet Earth knows exactly what Trump thinks on a matter within 5 minutes of his forming the thought. Picture speech writers sobbing in the bathroom because Trump has blown up Twitter. Again. For Fun.

        And yet, there is a certain faction that would have us believe that Trump is so subtle and cunning that he would never offer a quid pro quo. In fact, no one would offer a quid pro quo, as the ambassador confirmed they knew nothing about it until the media broke the allegations story months later. Apparently, Trump’s mastermind plan is for no one to offer a quid pro quo, but for Ukraine to somehow figure it out all on their own. And as the weeks ticked by, Trump was sitting at the Resolue Desk, smiling cannily, murmuring, “Any day…they will realize any day what I demand.”

        This makes no sense, and yet it is the crux of the Democrat position. Since it has been confirmed the transcript proved there was no quid pro quo ever mentioned. The ambassador proved Ukraine knew nothing about it. The “whistleblower”, I mean activist, materially misrepresented the phone call he heard about but never actually listened to.

        So, what do I think Trump was actually doing? This is not a creative writing class. Barring evidence to the contrary, which has not come to light as of yet, he was doing exactly what the phone call recorded.

        You can look up the transcript.

        Ukraine has a long history of corruption. In fact, one of Burisma’s alleged crimes was paying bribes to avoid prosecution. Another is hiring Hunter Biden at $83,000 a month, 5 times that of an Exxon executive (according to the latest information), and with a CV that equaled trolling homeless encampments for crack, getting held up at gunpoint over crack cocaine deals, and completely coincidentally, having a father who bragged on national television that it was he, not Obama, in charge of Ukraine policy. It probably had nothing to do with his hiring, as a dishonorable discharge from the military, no experience in oil and gas, and haunting homeless garbage strewn streets seeking drugs would have absolutely qualified him, out of a world of candidates, to be an oil and executive earning 5 times the going rate for experienced professionals.

        It doesn’t matter what imaginary scenario I can make up for what Trump really has planned. The transcript recorded what he said. The ambassador confirmed it. It’s undisputed that Ukraine was struggling with corruption. The transcript indicated that Trump asked for assistance in two US/Ukraine corruption investigations – the allegations of Ukraine also interfering in our 2016 election, and the allegations that Joe Biden engaged in criminal activity.

        Now, in order for the Demcorats to be just in impeaching Trump for trying to investigate Joe Biden, a reasonable person would have to believe that Biden was an innocent, wrongfully accused man. (For example, the Left slandering Trump, who has a beloved Jewish family, as an Anti-Semite. Reasonable people knew this was not true.) The Democrats’ own impeachment witnesss confirmed that Joe Biden acted in a very concerning way. Hence an investigation was warranted. Hence the Democrats are abusing their authority to impeach a lawfully elected President for investigating alleged criminal misconduct on the part of their presidential candidate.

        Reason affirms that running as a Democrat for president does not shield you from investigations of valid complaints of criminal activity.

        Therefore, this is an abuse of power by Democrats in Congress.

        There’s really nothing you can say, which is why no one ever answers this question.

        Why shouldn’t Joe Biden be investigated? There is enough evidence to warrant looking into this further. Therefore, persecuting the people calling for that investigation is obstruction. Continuing with the impeachment when the evidence proved their hearsay witnesses were mistaken, or in some cases, admitted to making it all up, is an abuse of power. Claiming that going to the courts because they refused to allow Trump due process is a form of obstruction is abuse of power. Claiming that investigating their candidate for president of criminal activity is an impeachable offense is abuse of power.

        When you excuse this abuse of power and lawlessness, it shows poor judgment.

        1. Karen, if the 7/25 phone call was the only event in the attempted shakedown, you might have a point – assuming it is ok for a president to “ask” a counterpart of a country desperately in need of our support to dig dirt on a political rival (surely you get that it is not ok) – but it isn’t. Truman’s entire Ukrainian ambassadors team acted to extort a public announcement of this investigation before a WH visit (which would signal to the Russians our support) and military aid would be released. The evidence strongly supports this conclusion (Sondland spoke to the President 20+ times on the matter and others overheard or received real time repeating of the calls from Sondland, and everyone was in the loop including Pompeii and Mulvaney who admitted the QPQ.

          Can you explain these events?

          As to the appropriateness of investigating Biden, sure if there us a credible allegation. There isn’t so far, but if there was there are procedures which do not include the President weaponizing his power. Surely you see the danger in normalizing that behavior, right?

          1. “to dig dirt on a political rival ”

            Anon, That is a lie. He asked for corruption to be looked into. There is nothing wrong with that and he didn’t ask anyone to dig dirt. That Hunter Biden appears dirty is Hunter Biden’s fault. That it implicates Joe Biden is Joe Biden’s fault as he took Hunter on the plane with him and gave Hunter at the very least the appearance of one backed up with power. This was also done in China.

            Quid Pro Quo is the essence of negotiations with foreign powers so what are you talking about?

            You keep repeating the same statements over and over again as if repeating what you say makes them true. It doesn’t. The one thing that counts is Sondland saying the President said NO Quid Pro Quo but that you chose to forget.

            1. Allen, the word corruption was used as often as dirt in that phone call, which is to say zero times. I called it what it obviously was to anyone over 5 years old and not a complete Pollyanna. Call it what you want, we know what it was.

              QPQs in the national interest are indeed sound and ethical behavior, but not for personal gain using national assets like fedral aid and the WH.

              The “No QPQ” statement was thrown out after he was caught, but on the same call he still doubled down on the specifics.

              1. “what it obviously was to anyone over 5 years old ”

                5 year olds don’t understand proof vs opinion. We expect more from you, a father and a grandfather, yet we get a lot less. Tump did nothing illegal. Sondland said Trump said NO Quid Pro Quo and that is what counts in court. We don’t care what you think as that is very unimportant especially since your bias prevents reasonable thought processes from occurring. Your critical thinking skills on this blog have been near or at zero.

                “QPQs in the national interest are indeed sound and ethical behavior, but not for personal gain using national assets like fedral aid and the WH.”

                Every Presidential discussion with foreign nations that leads to a significant agreement involves Quid Pro Quos and most of them benefit the President. Trump’s discussion with Zelensky fulfilled some of Trump’s pleges he made to the American people when he ran for the office. In fact his actions in Ukraine are consistent with his actions all over the world. It’s amazing how your candidates promised the American public so many things but never delivered. Trump is delivering but you may not like his policies. Too bad. Trump was legally elected in 2016 and will be legally elected again in 2020.

                1. Trump’s enemies inside the WH had this Ben Garrison labelled a racist or something & had Ben excluded from a major meeting with Trump.

                  Ben seems nothing of the sort to me, just look at his funny cartoon below. That’s why some group didn’t want him around DJT.

                2. Allan, you’re repeating yourself, engaging in wilful gullibility, and ignoring the fact that the entire administration acted to further the QPQ. Was that just a mmistakeand the guy who talked with Trump 20+ times about the effort made it all up? He didn’t have the power to block the aid.

                    1. I know this woman in San Francisco who told me her radical professor in the 1970s said “When fascism comes to America it will be a black man in a Brooks Brothers suit.” She said she cried when Obama was elected.

                  1. “Allan, you’re repeating yourself,”

                    Anon, Of course I am repeating what I and countless of other people have repeated. Sondland said Trump said No Quid Pro Quo. You don’t seem to remember that but you remember statements that are admitted presumptions and wrong according to the statement that wasn’t hearsay. It is up to you to prove your point something you profess you have done but you haven’t. You base almost all your argument on hearsay and mindreading.

                    You also neglect the fact that Quid Pro Quo is the normal way presidents interact with other nations when making deals.

                    One can’t deal with this type of discussion with a 5 year old because a 5 year old doesn’t have the intellect to separate out presumption from fact and doesn’t have the rudimentary knowledge of the law. Are you a 5 year old or a grandfather with grandchildren?

                    1. Allan, the “no QPQ” statement was made after the effort was discovered and in the same call with Sondland -who you seem to think was wrong on all his other calls with Trump – he asked for an update on his efforts.

                      QPQs are normal and legal interactions between humans. If done using federal assets for personal gain by a president, and in this case seeking an illicit advantage in a federal election, he should be removed from office. You agree with that, right?

                    2. “Allan, the “no QPQ” statement was made after ”

                      Anon, even the request in the worst light was appropriate though like much of the President’s in your face attitude (I don’t object to it and it is needed at times) it causes hurt feelings that is not a cause for impeachment. The money was provided so even if held injudiciously there was no harm no foul (this is being very generous to your side of the argument).

                      “If done using federal assets for personal gain by a president, and in this case seeking an illicit advantage in a federal election, he should be removed from office. You agree with that, right?”

                      Taking your side in the most favorable light one cannot say this interraction was for personal gain for there were other reasons for the President to do what he did and one reason was fulfilling a promise to the American people. Fulfilling promises to Americans helps all politicians and since Democrats didn’t fulfill their promises of running the government they will pay for it in 2020,

                    3. Allan, lets cut to the chase. Your position is that the only time we know of Trump taking action regarding alleged corruption in foreign countries – a word he does not speak in the infamous phone call – is when it is alleged against his biggest challenge for re-election, and you take that straight up as benign , not in his personal interest, and if he tried to weaponize federal assets in that effort, hey, that’s a practice you will have no problem with President AOC repeating in 2032.

                    4. “Your position is that the only time we know of Trump taking action regarding alleged corruption in foreign countries”

                      Anon, that is the only time you know of because you are focused on trash. Listen to what Trump advocated 30 years ago as a private citizen. You don’t listen. You just talk and bury yourself with useless news that satisfies your wants and when the truth is brought to the front you run away. You are factless and base arguments on lies and distortion. Think of the entire foreign aid program.

                      Trump cannot help the fact that a lot of Democrats are thieves and have no morals or principals. He can’t help the fact that Biden didn’t consider that his actions should be arm’s length. Biden dug his own hole and that started with the way he parented Hunter Biden and continued as Biden travelled as Vice President in China and Ukraine and likely elsewhere as well. Biden should have known better and made sure that his actions and the actions of his son could not be reasonably construed as bribery and extortion. Blame Biden who wants to be President but doesn’t recognize what real corruption is so that he can avoid the appearance of it in his own life and the life of his son who accompanied him. Biden is responsible for his own actions and the trouble he is now in.

              2. By the book – when you “presume” that the President intended anything that was not explicitly stated in the transcript then, like Sondland, you are making it up.

                It’s not just that the phrase “quid pro quo” was not used in the phone call. There was no offer for any exchange made. A quid pro quo requires both parties to be aware of the offer. Otherwise, how could it possibly be a quid pro quo?

                And yet Taylor confirmed that Ukraine knew nothing about it until Politico broke the allegations story.

                At some level, you must realize that there was no offer of any exchange. Otherwise, Ukraine would have known about it. They didn’t. No exchange was offered.

                I ask again: why do you support Democrats in the House obstructing an investigation into alleged criminal and corrupt acts by Joe Biden?

                1. Karen, can you please respond to my points and I’ll do the same for you? That way we don’t have to repeat ourselves and won’t be talking past each other.

                  1. The transcript is not the only event in the administration effort, and while it dovetails with those other reformists not the only evidence.
                  2. Sondland “presumed” Trumps wishes based on 20+ phone calls with him, discussions with Guliani who Trump described as the go to guy on this, was backed up on his “presumptions” by others who overheard his conversations with the President, while others testified that he related details of those phone conversations at the time consistent with those “presumptions”. Remember that Sondland could not put a hold on the aid, so if he was off the reservation, other parts of the plan miraculously fell into place, We certainly have no evidence of the President resisting this effort, other than the “no QPQ” declarations after the fact, and followed on the same phone call with his questions on how the effort was going.

                  Is it your argument that this was all rogue behavior – including by others in the State Dept involved in the Ukraine and Guliani – unknown or resisted by Trump?

                  3. The Ukraine government knew of the aid hold up by the time of the 7/25 phone call.

                  1. bythebook –

                    I have already addressed your points. You just keep repeating them.

                    It was proven in the hearing that Sondland’s presumptions were based on his own imagination.

                    He was forced to admit that “no one on Planet Earth” tied aid to any investigator.

                    No. One. On. Planet. Earth.

                    The witnesses all were shown to be gossiping amongst themselves.

                    This is not rogue behavior by Trump. It’s Mean Girls.

                    Here is Rep Turner’s questioning of Sondland, in which he addresses the disparity between the news headlines, and the actual testimony of Sondland.

                    https://youtu.be/EnEWYilDgcg

                    And here is where Rep Turner summarizes all of their testimony. Dr Hill is caught having inserted gossip about Republicans that was completely untrue.

                    More to follow. Link limits.

                  2. Now, I can see why you don’t have the facts straight.

                    I watched as much of the testimony that I could. I heard Taylor admit that Ukraine knew nothing about any quid pro quo throughout their meetings. It wasn’t until after the Politico story broke that they questioned it.

                    However, headlines gave a 180 degree view of the facts.

                    You are supposed to research from all angles of a position, not only your own. That is why I know what the headlines read. I looked them up. Perused the articles. This was after I witnessed his testimony.

                    You are being manipulated.

                    https://youtu.be/JCSBd580P2A

                    Taylor’s first meeting with Ukraine after the call. 7/26. The day after the call. There was no linkage of security assistance dollars to any investigation.”

                    Second meeting: 8/27. Over one month after the call. There was no linkage of security assistance dollars to any investigation.”

                    Third meeting: 9/5. There was no linkage of security assistance dollars to any investigation.”

                    Ambassador Williams said that Ukraine was not aware of any hold on the money until 8/29, when the Politico article ran. On that third meeting, Ukraine asked about the security funding, but there was no discussion of any linkage. Zip. Zero. Nada.

                    Jim Jordan: “Yet, in your deposition you said…my clear understanding was security assistance money would not come until President Zelinsky committed to pursue the investigation.”

                    Now, with all due respect, Ambassador, your ‘clear understanding’ was obviously wrong. Because it didn’t happen. President Zelinsky didn’t announce he was going to investigate Burisma or the Bidens. He didn’t do a press conference, and say, I’m going to investigate the Bidens, we’re going to investigate Burisma…He didn’t Tweet about it…And you just told the ranking member, he didn’t do the CNN interview and say he was a going to investigate Burisma and the Bidens. So three face to face meeting sit doesn’t com eup. no linkage whatsoever. presents z does’t announce it before the aid is released on the 11. and yet you said the you had a clear understanding ht those 2 things were going to happen.

                    where’d you get this clear understanding

                    this came from Ambassador Sondland.

                    (This is where Jordan hands him a piece of paper from Sondland, the guy who said no one on planet earth tied aid to an investigation) You have 6 people having 4 conversations in one sentence, and you say this is where you got your clear understanding.”

                    Ambassador Sondland was told by Giuliani that a meeting with Trump and Zelensky was predicated on the latter announcing a public anti-corruption statement. Not any statement about the Bidens. Not anything to do with aid. A meeting.

                    You are to recall that Ukraine has long had a history of corruption. Obama and Biden spoke about this during the Obama administration. These problems did not magically evaporate 1/1/17. In fact, Zelensky ran on getting rid of that corruption.

                    Giving a billion dollars in aid to a corrupt country is problematic for Trump. Obviously, there has to be some assurances that our hard earned tax dollars aren’t going into some slush fund for oligarchs to wine and dine ballet dancers.

                    Predicating a meeting on some kind of assurance that they are working against corruption is responsible. It’s a non issue. It doesn’t make anyone bat an eyelash coming from a President. Not like laundering pallets of cash of unmarked bills to a terrorist nation of Iran would.

                    OK. After this, Sondland understands Ukrainian aid is held up. He is not told why. He guesses, incorrectly that the aid is held up contingent on getting dirt on Joe Biden. Nothing on the validity of any investigation into Biden’s alleged criminal activity. Nothing on whether there was any linkage. He just guessed, presumed, and made it up.

                    Then, he starts talking. He starts spreading this fabrication around.

                    Sondland is the source for the rumors of the quid pro quo, the rumors that reached the ears of the Democrat operative in a position of access. That operative first goes to Schiff, and two as yet unnamed Democrats presidential candidates’ offices. The FBI amends its whistleblower requirements to include second hand information, and backdates it, again altering records. The, the operative files a whistleblower complaint. His identity is shared with Democrats, but prevented from being made public, or openly shared with Republicans.

                    Meanwhile, this rumor has gained steam. The Democrats gleefully bring their hearsay witnesses. The Republicans get them one after another in the same room, make a flow chart of the rumors, and trace it to Sondland himself, who admits he made the whole thing up as a plausible explanation. But no one on Planet Earth ever told him aid was linked to any investigation.

                    One by one, the hearsay witnesses fall. But that’s not what the news is reporting. They excise this crucial linchpin. When pulled, the wheels are off the cart.

                    DECLARATION OF AMBASSADOR GORDON D. SONDLAND
                    I, Gordon Sondland, do hereby swear and affirm as follows:
                    1. I have reviewed the October 22, 2019, opening statement of Ambassador William Taylor. I have also reviewed the October 31, 2019, opening statement of Tim Morrison. These two opening statements have refreshed my recollection about certain conversations in early September 2019.
                    2. Ambassador Taylor recalls that I told Mr. Morrison in early September 2019 that the resumption of U.S. aid to Ukraine had become tied to a public statement to be issued by Ukraine agreeing to investigate Burisma. Ambassador Taylor recalls that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor that I told Mr. Morrison that I had conveyed this message to Mr. Yermak on September 1, 2019, in connection with Vice President Pence’s visit to Warsaw and a meeting with President Zelensky. Mr. Morrison recalls that I said to him in early September that resumption of U.S. aid to Ukraine might be conditioned on a public statement reopening the Burisma investigation.
                    3. In my October 17, 2019 prepared testimony and in my deposition, I made clear that I had understood sometime after our May 23, 2019, White House debriefing that scheduling a White House visit for President Zelensky was conditioned upon President Zelensky’s agreement to make a public anti-corruption statement. This condition had been communicated by Rudy Giuliani, with whom President Trump directed Ambassador Volker, Secretary Perry, and me, on May 23, 2019, to discuss issues related to the President’s concerns about Ukraine. Ambassador Volker, Secretary Perry, and I understood that satisfying Mr. Giuliani was a condition for scheduling the White House visit, which we all strongly believed to be in the mutual interest of the United States and Ukraine.
                    4. With respect to the September 1, 2019, Warsaw meeting, the conversations described in Ambassador Taylor’s and Mr. Morrison’s opening statements have refreshed my recollection about conversations involving the suspension of U.S. aid, which had become public only days earlier. I always believed that suspending aid to Ukraine was ill-advised, although I did not know (and still do not know) when, why, or by whom the aid was suspended. However; by the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement. As I said in my prepared testimony, security aid to Ukraine was in our vital national interest and should not have been delayed for any reason. And it would have been natural for me to have voiced what I had presumed to Ambassador Taylor, Senator Johnson, the Ukrainians, and Mr. Morrison.
                    5. Also, I now do recall a conversation on September 1, 2019M/b>, in Warsaw with Mr. Yermak. This brief pull-aside conversation followed the larger meeting involving Vice President Pence and President Zelensky, in which President Zelensky had raised the issue of the suspension of U.S. aid to Ukraine directly with Vice President Pence. After that large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks. I also recall some question as to whether the public statement could come from the newly appointed Ukrainian Prosecutor General, rather than from President Zelensky directly.
                    6. Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself. I do not specifically recall how I learned this, but I believe that the information may have come either from Mr. Giuliani or from Ambassador Volker, who may have discussed this with Mr. Giuliani. In a later conversation with Ambassador Taylor, I told him that I had been mistaken about whether a public statement could come from the Prosecutor General; I had come to understand that the public statement would have to come from President Zelensky himself.
                    7. Finally, as of this writing, I cannot specifically recall if I had one or two phone calls with President Trump in the September 6-9 time frame. Despite repeated requests to the White House and the State Department, I have not been granted access to all of the phone records, and I would like to review those phone records, along with any notes and other documents that may exist, to determine if I can provide more complete testimony to assist Congress. However, although I have no specific recollection of phone calls during this period with Ambassador Taylor or Mr. Morrison, I have no reason to question the substance of their recollection about my September 1 conversation with Mr. Yermak.
                    I declare under penalty of perjury that the aforementioned is true.
                    Executed on November 4, 2019.

                    1. Note that Sondland declared that all of the ambassadors were in agreement that a public declaration against corruption was good for Ukraine, and good for the US.

                      This isn’t a gotcha moment. This is typical diplomacy.

                      Diplomacy, I might add, that has been hampered significantly by Democrats abusing their power to try to drag the 2016 election out for 3 years.

                    2. Karen, you don’t respond on point and show little evidence of having read my posts before turning on the firehose of cut and pastes (I have answered your question on investigating Biden at least twice now while you accuse me of dodging it and then don’t respond).

                      Besides for bringing to your attention twice now that the transcript is not the only evidence or represents the only event in the coordinated administration effort to force Zelensky to make a public announcement about the Biden’s as you have twice now Sid ends the argument, I asked for a plausible explanation for this coordinated effort which includes someone – Mulvaney said it was the WH – putting a hold on military aid to the Ukraine, I don’t see a response to that question in your “response”. Do you think you can answer that?

                      PS As a fellow citizen interested in the truth, can I assume you favor witnesses in the Senate TRIAL, including OMB officials who can clear up where the hold came from?

                    3. “Besides for bringing to your attention twice now that the transcript is not the only evidence or represents the only event in the coordinated administration effort to force Zelensky to make a public announcement about the Biden’s as you have twice now Sid ends the argument”

                      Anon, you have provided no factual proof of what you say to Karen, me or anyone else. You keep saying the same things and what you provide is presumption, distortion and outright lies. That is not acceptable to normal and logical people. You can get acceptance only from those that are so emotionally impaired that they put logic and the law aside.

                      ” I asked for a plausible explanation for this coordinated effort which includes someone…”

                      Anon, you have things backwards. You have to provide reasonable proof that a criminal action exists. So far you have provided none. You don’t even have a crime. Everytime a criminal action occurrs in your vicinity you are not requested to prove your innocence. First the state provides reasonable proof that you are guilty. Then the investigation begins but the burden of proof is on the accuser. In this case that is you and you have not provided reasonable proof. Instead when challenged you run away.

                      The President has a right to do many things. You don’t like what he does so you call it a crime. The fact of the matter is the President was elected to do those policies you object to and one of those things was to stop the outflow of the taxpayers money to other countries that is not benefitting our country. That is what happened in Ukraine and that is what happened in a lot of our foreign aid disputes.

                      You don’t like the President. That is fine. Don’t vote for him. However, you cannot make your claims and expect those that support the President’s policies to agree with you. Your frustration, emotion and lack of intellect seem to force you into creating criminal conspiracies to statisfy your desires. That will not happen. This will go to the Senate because of a vote that is legal but destructive to our form of government. Your type of shenanigans based on the lunatic left has grieviously injured our government. Hopefully the Senate will throw it out or deal with it and demonstrate the crooked ways the left has distorted the truth. Hopefully people will recognize the dangers of the left and vote enough of the crazies out so that the damage can be limited.

                    4. By the book – you keep claiming there is other evidence.

                      I just showed you, yet again, that this “evidence” was disproven hearsay. It was rumors started by Sondland.

                      In addition, if you actually read Sondland’s sword declaration, which I posted verbatim, you would understand that the announcement was not about the Biden’s.

                      The only thing that was requested was that prior to meeting with the President, Ukraine make a public announcement against corruption.

                      This was agreed upon by all the ambassadors as good for both Ukraine and the US. This is because Ukraine has a long history of corruption. Again, I remarked that Obama and Biden himself both remarked upon this multiple times during the Obama administration. President Zelensky ran on anti-corruption. The US requested a pledge that he would fight corruption.

                      This is a good thing. This is a normal thing. Impeaching someone because they asked that Ukraine pledge to fight corruption is insane.

                      You do not impeach a president for withholding a meeting. That is the stupidist reason to oust a leader of a country in the history of time. It takes complete lack of reasoning to justify this.

                      There must be consequences to Demcorats abusing their power to try to either drag on the 2016 election for 3 years, or try to meddle in the 2020 election.

                      Do you support giving $1 billion to a country with ties to Russia and a long history of corruption,without any assurances that it will fight corruption? If so, why?

                      No, you did not address my question in this thread of conversation: Why shouldn’t Joe Biden be investigated for alleged criminal activity?

                    5. Please note: I provide supporting documentation for my position. I included Sondland’s sworn declaration amending his original statement, verbatim.

                      I include video links where people can see with their own eyes as the Democrat case falls apart.

                      By providing this information, it presents a foundation for a real discussion. If someone disagrees with what I’ve said, here are the facts to take up.

                      Instead, what we typically see here on the blog, is either straight ad hominem, or someone will simply state a contrary opinion. “But there’s more evidence.” OK. Post it.

                      I have been following this carnival. I have looked at the evidence, and the facts. I have come to the conclusion that this is a political hit job, planned since the day Trump got elected, and amounts to an abuse of power.

                      To change my mind would require facts, supporting evidence, and a reasoned argument. “But there’s more evidence” won’t cut it. Shouldn’t cut it.

                      Impeachment of a President should require an act so egregious that support crosses party lines.

                      Republicans do not support impeachment because of the facts of the case.

          2. By the book: I have asked you the same questions multiple times. You gave no answer. Because it would prove this was a political hit and an abuse of power.

            So I ask again:

            Why shouldn’t Joe Biden be investiged? There is sufficient evidence to look into criminal allegations against him. Even the Demcorats’ own witnesses admitted Biden behaved improperly.

            The Democrats are obstructing an investigation into alleged criminal activity by Joe Biden.

            In order for the investigation to be wrong, no reasonable person would have to think he did anything wrong. Then, an investigation would just be a fishing expedition to get dirt. Kind of like what happened to Trump. However, the impeachment witnesses already said that Biden raised red flags. Therefore, the Democrat objection to the Biden investigation just deflated.

            Sondland admitted that “no one on planet Earth” tied any investigation to aid.

            Watch, as Sondland admits he “presumed”, i.e. made it up, and that Schiff misrepresented his testimony.

            https://youtu.be/EnEWYilDgcg

  4. “Despite my long association and friendship with Gerhardt, I must disagree with that remarkable suggestion.

    No offense to Professor Turley intended, but after his glowing description of former student Michael Avenatti, a few other folks whom he praised and wound up not acting with stellar ethics, and now this Professor Gerhardt’s hyperbolic playing up to CNN, a character reference from Turley isn’t the best augury for an attorney’s future behavior.

    1. Everyone is in denial….or is it The Nile?

      Lying is perfunctory. Turley calls a moral reprobate who lies for a living, a friend. Adam Schiff, James Comey, Pelosi, all lie with gusto while the liberal media sit as their feet lapping up their excrement

      Then there is this jewel by the wh8re of babylon:Jill on her son Hunter.
      We are beyond redemption in America.

      ####

      “Jill Biden: ‘Hunter Did Nothing Wrong’”

      On Saturday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Up,” former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden defended her son, Hunter, by stating he “did nothing wrong, and that’s the bottom line.”

      Biden said, “I know my son. I know my son’s character. Hunter did nothing wrong, and that’s the bottom line.”

      1. I have no difficulty or reluctance answering your question.

        If there are creditable allegations of wrong doing by Biden that fall under federal law he should be investigated or if the Congress wants to hold hearings on our past and present Ukraine policy they have that power and probably could and should call Biden since he was the Obama administration point man there. Given what several State Dept witnesses testified to on his behavior there, as well as what a now GOP congressman from Pennsylvania who served as an FBI advisor to the Ukraine on dealing with corruption at that time said, as well as investigations from the WSJ, Bloomberg, WaPo, and now the NYTs have found that’s probably a dry well.

        What we should all object to is a president using the power of his office to ask for a public announcement of an investigation of his main political rival just before election year, and that from a foreign government. You understand why, correct? Do I have to run through that for you?

        1. “announcement of an investigation of his main political rival just before election year, and that from a foreign government.”

          Anon, That is a lie. Trump did not ask for an announcement of an investigation of his main political rival.

          1. Allen, members of his administration made a concerted and effective effort to get the Ukrainian president to make that public announcement and it was dropped at the last moment when the scheme was exposed.

            Are you saying Trump didn’t know about it? Sondland said under oath that he did and also said the public announcement was all that was required, not the investigation.

            1. “Allen, members of his administration made a concerted and effective effort to get the Ukrainian president to make that public announcement and it was dropped at the last moment when the scheme was exposed.”

              Spreading rumors again Anon? Anyone can make up stories. Unless you have proof this type of talk is categorized as a lie.

              “Are you saying Trump didn’t know about it? ”

              Trump stated what happened. If you know differently provide facts not lies. Sondland said NO QUID QUO PRO. Trump’s actions were consistent with what he promised the American people so other notions fall by the wayside. That means he was perfectly consistent. If you have another reason that you think was illegal and actionable (It wasn’t even given your best story or lie to date) provide the proof rather than lies.

              I voted for Trump because he promised to protect American dollars and not to give it away without America benefiting. He lives up to his promises unlike Obama.

        2. “If there are creditable allegations of wrong doing by Biden that fall under federal law he should be investigated”

          Anon, On the face of what is presently known today, there is reason to do an investigation. Ukraine has reason to do an investigation. The country should not be providing aid to country’s where our money has been corruptly used. The President pledged to stop that type of nonsenseas so everything he did was consistent with his promise to the American people. Therefore your claim of personal benefit has no validity.

  5. Linus Appears At Hearings To Explain True Meaning Of Impeachment

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Amid the turmoil and confusion of President Trump’s impeachment hearing, one small voice silenced the noise to bring clarity and inspiration. Dragging a light blue blanket behind him, young Linus van Pelt entered the room and made his way to the microphone.

    All eyes were fixed on the boy as he quoted a heartwarming passage from Article One of the U.S. Constitution. With rapt attention, the House Judiciary Committee listened until his final words: “That’s what impeachment is all about, Charlie Brown.”

    Chairman Jerry Nadler said he was moved to tears by the testimony. “In all the hustle and bustle of getting Trump out of office and out of the 2020 presidential race, I forgot what the true meaning of impeachment really is.”

    “We’ve heard testimony after testimony,” said Committee Member Karen Bass, “but this was the only one that really hit home for me. Sometimes it takes the wisdom of a child to help you realize what life is truly about.”

    It’s reported that after van Pelt’s testimony, the members of the Committee put their differences aside, worked together to decorate a beautiful impeachment tree, and joined their voices in the singing of a beloved impeachment carol.

    Babylon Bee

  6. “Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz on Wednesday blew apart years of talking points used by Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), former FBI director James Comey, and others about the bureau’s conduct at the outset of the Russia investigation.”

    Short video documenting a few lies: https://freebeacon.com/issues/watch-ig-exposes-democrats-lies/

    It’s time for some members of the blog to put away their presumptions and their hearsay.

      1. >>”It’s time for some members of the blog to put away their presumptions and their hearsay.”

        “Allan – I am afraid you are dreaming the impossible dream. 😉”

        Paul, then perhaps someone should take their writing utensils away.

  7. “So we know Schiff is a liar”

    👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

    “In the middle of Russia fever, the liberal press took a hectoring tone to any outlet that showed a glimmer of doubt. How dare any journalist not believe that President Trump is an agent of Vladimir Putin! Who would question the upstanding virtues of the FBI?

    Of course, we now know that the conspiracy theories were wrong. There was no Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

    And, moreover, the inspector general report proves that the FBI trampled over civil liberties and common sense in pursuit of the case. While idle conversation during a meeting with George Papadopoulos and an Australian official may have sparked the inquiry, Crossfire Hurricane, it was only because of outlandish gossip in a Democrat-funded opposition report, the Steele dossier, that the FBI was able to land a surveillance warrant for Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Even as the agency found that Steele’s sources did not back up the dossier, that facts did not back up the dossier, they continued the red scare. When it came out that Page was an informant for the CIA, an FBI lawyer lied about it.

    Every suspicion of FBI agents was leaked to the press and printed without skepticism. Few questioned their methods.

    It is only now that the New York Times begrudgingly publishes an “analysis” that, oops, maybe this was “A Disturbing Peek at U.S. Surveillance.”

    Forgive us, then, for the sense of déjà vu when it comes to the impeachment hearings. This time, the press is near united in arguing that you shall not question the narrative of how this whole thing got started. Don’t you dare name the whistleblower. Don’t ask how Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) might have helped him write his complaint. Or even that Schiff is lying when he says he doesn’t know who the whistleblower is. Or why Schiff is subpoenaing the phone records of his colleagues.

    This is the same Schiff, by the way, who in 2018 said that the Department of Justice’s warrants for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISAs, met “the rigor, transparency and evidentiary basis needed.”

    Schiff had the same information as Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who found the exact opposite. So we know Schiff is a liar.”

    – NY Post

  8. “The only two impeachable offenses that I saw as conceptually and constitutionally viable were abuse of power and obstruction of Congress but testified that the record would not currently support such claims.”

    Again, I cannot comprehend this stance. Three is overwhelming evidence that president Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine, in order to obtain “favours” which would help in his re-election.

    Some key points from the testimony:

    Taylor said he heard from National Security Council aide Tim Morrison that on September 1, Sondland told Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak that the military aid to Ukraine was dependent on Zelensky’s pursuit of the Burisma investigation. Taylor cited Sondland telling him in a call that Trump wanted Zelensky to publicly announce he would order the two investigations, thus placing Zelensky “in a public box”. Taylor quoted Sondland stating “everything” including military aid and a Trump–Zelensky meeting was contingent on that announcement.

    ==

    I then took the opportunity to ask Ambassador Sondland for his candid impression of the president’s views on Ukraine,” Holmes said. “In particular, I asked Ambassador Sondland if it was true that the president did not give a shit about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland agreed that the president did not give a shit about Ukraine.”

    “I asked why not, and Ambassador Sondland stated, the president only cares about ‘big stuff,’” Holmes continued. “I noted that there was ‘big stuff’ going on in Ukraine, like a war with Russia. And Ambassador Sondland replied that he meant ‘big stuff’ that benefits the president, like the ‘Biden investigation’ that” Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani “was pushing.”

    ==

    Lt Col Vindman told the US House intelligence committee that he had been concerned by the president’s demands to investigate Mr Biden.

    “It was probably an element of shock that maybe, in certain regards, my worst fear of how our Ukrainian policy could play out was playing out,” he said.

    “It was improper for the president to request – to demand – an investigation into a political opponent, especially [from] a foreign power where there is at best dubious belief that this would be a completely impartial investigation and that this would have significant implications if it became public knowledge,” he told the committee.

    He had reported the “inappropriate” discussion to NSC lawyers “out of a sense of duty”.

    ==

    Sondland testified that there was an explicit quid pro quo. “I know that members of this Committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ ” Sondland said. “As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”

    ==

    Cooper testified that regardless of the reason the Trump administration held back the aid to Ukraine, the simple act of withholding the funds without first getting Congressional approval is against the law, specifically, the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (ICA). The ICA precludes the president or other government officials from impounding, either permanently or temporarily, federal funds that Congress has designated to be spent for a specific purpose.

    ==

    Two White House budget officials resigned in part out of frustration with President Donald Trump’s order to freeze U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, a senior budget official told House impeachment investigators.

    Mark Sandy, whose closed-door deposition transcript was released Tuesday, said the initial concerns about the hold on military aid caused at least two officials within the Office of Management and Budget to resign.

    One of those officials, a lawyer, stepped down over concerns that the hold was violating the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which sharply curbs the executive branch’s authority to alter congressionally appropriated funds; another resigned over “frustrations about not understanding the reason for the hold.”

    ==

    This, coupled with the refusal of the White House to give any explanation for this overwhelming evidence of a conspiracy to illegally withhold aid, to obtain an advantage in the 2020 election, is damning. It’s an improper use of the office of president, and the White House has also sought to obstruct a investigation by Congress at every step ( ineffectually it has to be said.

    The record is more than adequate, it is overwhelming, thanks to these non-partisan career diplomats and experts who have chosen to speak up about the misconduct.

    US foreign policy was entirely subverted for a completely improper reason.

    1. Re the above “George Barwood” from his blog linked to his avatar name….

      …..

      My background is mathematical/musical – I was awarded a scholarship to study mathematics at Clare college, Cambridge, although I thought about pursuing a career as a professional musician. In the end I switched to computer science, which is how I make my living.

      Like many people, I have had my fair share of family tragedy as well. My brother had a brain tumour, causing paranoid schizophrenia, he became very violent. He was in and out of mental institutions for many years and died in a road accident while I was at Cambridge. My other brother died quite young after suffering from a degenerative brain disease. My father died from Alzheimer’s disease. A few years ago, I nearly drowned when I was washed off a rock by a huge wave while on holiday in Majorca.

      ……

      In other words, a fake

      These people are of the lie…everything they do is to push a lie

      1. Cut him some slack. The wave that hit him while atop the rock was particularly wet. The elevation of the rock from the ground was a dizzying 0.30 meters and the sand from the beach prolly got into his knickers. Talk about a sandy arse up his crack

        💩

    2. Hogwash based on hearsay and logical failure.

      “Three is overwhelming evidence that president Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine, in order to obtain “favours” which would help in his re-election.”

      Most things politicians do for the country they do to satisfy the people so they are reelected. Trump policies improved the economy of the nation which will be primary when he wins the next election. Are you going to advocate he be impeached for providing an improved economy “which help in his re-election”?

      ” in order to obtain “favours” How do you know? YOU PRESUME. Presumption is not evidence and neither is hearsay.

      Some key points:
      “Taylor said” Hearsay.
      “Holmes said” Hearsay based on the presumption of others.
      “Lt Col Vindman” Hearsay
      “Sondland” Presumed but didn’t know. When asked for fact he said the President said NO QUID PRO QUO.

      Putting a lot of hearsay and junk together doesn’t make a viable case.

      1. https://youtu.be/WTN_1V90n9Y
        One issue is trying to unwind that first sentence of “George Barwood’s summary of the key points of the testimony.
        “Taylor testified that “Morristown n told him that he heard from..” and it goes on and on.
        It would take a chart to keep track of this this kind of “he said that that he was told that someone else said that they talked to” daisy chain type of third and forth hand hearsay.
        Another issue is the concerns that have been raised about Lt. Col. Vindman; Vindman’s testimony came up in “George Barwood’s” comment. The link is a short video of Morrison’s testimony about Vindman.
        A fellow officer, another Lt. Col. who at the time was superior to then- Major Vindman, referred to Vindman as ” a political operative in uniform”.
        He also recounted having to take Vindman aside at one point and lecture him about the the impropriety of some of the statements Vindman was making to the Ukrainians.

  9. If Trump didn’t break any laws and he is being charged with whatever the democrats want to charge him with, then who cares that McConnell is coordinating with Trump during this farce of a process.

    1. On the other hand, if he did break laws what difference does it make if McConnell confers with Cipollone? The facts are the facts and are unaltered by such discussions.

  10. Democrats…a group of dishonest, deceitful, power hungry thugs

    https://www.inquirer.com/politics/clout/movita-johnson-harrell-west-philadelphia-special-election-20191213.html

    Democrat Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell resigns today, so get ready for a West Philly special election. Again.

    It’s only been nine months since the last special election for West Philadelphia’s 190th District seat in the state House of Representatives.

    Now we are gearing up for another, since Friday is State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell’s last official day in office. Her first official day in prison has yet to be determined.

    Johnson-Harrell, the second Democrat in a row to resign in disgrace from that seat amid criminal charges, was charged last week with stealing more than $500,000 from a nonprofit to fund a lavish lifestyle, with fur coats, family vacations, and designer clothes. State Attorney General Josh Shapiro says a guilty plea is in the works and will include jail time.

    The Democratic City Committee had a mess of a time selecting a candidate for the last special election. Johnson-Harrell was the third choice, after Clout raised questions about whether the first two contenders lived in the district.

    » READ MORE: New Democratic nominee in state 190th District vetted by Philly ward leaders for financial woes

    “We’re going to really scrutinize this one,” local Democratic Party Chairman Bob Brady said. The party has until Jan. 12 to pick a nominee.

    At least seven people are interested this time. Winning the Democratic nomination can seal the deal, since 87% of voters in the district are registered Democrats.

    Enter the Working Families Party, which clashed with local Democratic leadership in the general election for City Council, and got Kendra Brooks elected to a City Council at-large seat.

    The progressive organization is holding a town hall meeting Wednesday evening in the 190th District to ask voters what they’re looking for in a representative, according to Vanessa Clifford, the Working Families Party political director for Pennsylvania and Delaware. Nicolas O’Rourke, a Working Families Party Council candidate who didn’t win in last month’s election, will run the show as the party’s new state organizing director.

  11. APOLOGISTS ARE NEVER DEFENDING..

    THE ‘REAL DONALD TRUMP’

    When reading Professor Turley’s opinions, or the comments of Trump supporters, I never get a sense of the ‘real’ Donald Trump. Instead they’re always describing a theoretic president; an honorable businessman with a sense of national duty. He entered politics, not for opportunity, but because he cares about America.

    This theoretic Donald Trump is a mature family man deeply committed to Christian-Judeo principles. He cares about common folks less fortunate than himself. This theoretic president sincerely wants to root out arrogant bureaucrats. So that government can be run by sincere custodians of national interest.

    This theoretic president is so high-minded that one could scarcely recognize him from Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. That Donald Trump, the ‘Real Donald Trump’, never comes to life in arguments of defenders. One supposes that Donald Trump is like a rare specie whose colors defy the capabilities of conventional cameras.

    The arguments of defenders never capture that bully with a penchant for bashing women and teenage girls. We never hear that ‘honorable’ businessman made use of bankruptcy courts on his journey to becoming a reality TV star. One gets no sense that ‘that’ Donald Trump had been a decades-long playboy who actually fraternized with Hugh Hefner and Jeffrey Epstein.

    The ‘Real Donald Trump’ has appointed industry lobbyists to run our regulatory agencies ‘not’ for the interests of working Americans, consumers, the elderly or sick. No, the ‘Real Donald Trump’ is only concerned with the interests of Republican donors. Under ‘this’ Donald Trump, Billionaires were richly rewarded with a tax cut that could have funded Obamacare for years, or relieved the student debt crisis.

    The ‘Real Donald Trump’ is a sociopathic narcissist whose only concern is getting ever richer. A 73 year old man with yellow hair and orange make-up who would appear ‘eccentric’ on the Main Streets of normal America. This Donald Trump, the ‘Real Donald Trump’, is deeply concerned with the interests of Vladimir Putin. Yet anyone who points that out is labled a ‘communist’!

      1. All Democrats are fakes and liars

        …..

        Nancy Pelosi is not the good Catholic she says she is

        House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invoked her religion in refuting the contention that she “hates” President Trump.

        On her way out of her weekly news conference recently, Nancy Pelosi was asked by James Rosen of Sinclair Broadcast Group whether she hated President Trump. Rosen was referencing comments by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, who’d earlier suggested that the Democrats were impeaching the president because they hate him.

        Pelosi, who had been walking away from the podium, exploded. She pointed a finger at Rosen and said, “I don’t hate anybody. I was raised in a Catholic house. We don’t hate anybody.”

        Then she added, “And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I pray for the president all the time. So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”

        I watched the exchange between Pelosi and Rosen with pride, amusement, astonishment and, ultimately, anger.

        It may surprise some, but I was proud of this woman, even though I reject her politics and question her values. I have to admire anyone who is gutsy enough to say “don’t mess with me” to a room of reporters. Plus, this woman from Baltimore is — no one can deny — fierce. She reminds me a bit of my own mother (but not as nice).

        But I was amused because of Pelosi’s idea that Catholics don’t hate anyone. As a Catholic, I can assure you that Pelosi does not speak for me, because I hate a lot of people, including some of the folks currently in Congress with the initials AOC.

        While I am certain that Pelosi believes that her heart is bursting at the seams just like the Grinch after his conversion, her actions do not show it. Father Joe Zaleski, an archdiocesan priest who appeared on my radio show last week, observed: “It is the church’s teaching that we should not hate . . . (but) look at what she said, you know, ‘I was raised in a Catholic house not to hate,’ but then she calls (Trump) a coward, then she calls him memes . . . She says she prays for the president but, I’m not so sure I believe that.”

        My astonishment stemmed from the fact that Pelosi would even make an issue of her faith when the reporter was simply asking whether she agreed with a fellow legislator’s comments. To turn a question about politics into a referendum on religion was, frankly, weird.

        But my overriding emotion triggered by Pelosi’s statement was profound anger. No one should try to hide behind a religion when they have spent most of their professional lives misrepresenting, as Pelosi has done through her passionate commitment to supporting abortion.

        In a “Meet the Press” interview in 2008, Pelosi said that, “As an ardent, practicing Catholic, (abortion) is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition.” A slew of bishops had to correct her.

        In 2013, she opposed a bill that would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks and she is not a fan of the Hyde Amendment. She has even stated that opposing abortion is not required of Catholics.

        For Pelosi to use her supposed Catholicism as a shield is unacceptable. As Matthew 7:16 notes, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Which means, if you have to tell people what a good Catholic you are, don’t bother.

        Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.

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