Trump Stands Impeached: A Response To Noah Feldman

In the House Judiciary Committee, I had some fundamental disagreements with my friend Professor Noah Feldman on issues ranging from the basis for impeachment on the basis of specific crimes (bribery, extortion, campaign finance violations, and obstruction of justice) as well as his claim that the legal definition of these crimes are immaterial to their use in impeachment. Ultimately, the Judiciary Committee dropped those four theories and went forward with the two articles that I testified would be legitimate, if proven: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Now, however, we have another disagreement. Feldman has written in Bloomberg News that Trump is not actually impeached until the articles of impeachment are transferred to the Senate. I disagree and believe that Feldman is conflating provisions concerning removal with those for impeachment. Frankly, I am mystified by the claim since I see no credible basis for maintaining this view under either the text or the history of the Constitution.

Five provisions are material to impeachment cases, and therefore structure our analysis:

Article I, Section 2: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment. U.S. Const. art. I, cl. 8.

Article I, Section 3: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present. U.S. Const. art. I, 3, cl. 6.

Article I, Section 3: Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust, or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to the Law. U.S. Const. art. I, 3, cl. 7.

Article II, Section 2: [The President] shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment. U.S. Const., art. II, 2, cl. 1.

Article II, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. U.S. Const. art. II, 4.

Under these provisions, President Donald J. Trump was impeached on December 18th at 8:09 p.m.  Article I Section 2 says that the House “shall have the sole power of impeachment.” It says nothing about a requirement of referral to complete that act. Impeachment occurs when a majority of the House approves an article of impeachment. 

Section 3 gives the “sole power to try all impeachments” to the Senate.  For such a trial to occur, the Senate is officially informed of the articles of impeachment by the House. One can argue that without such a referral, the Senate would not take up the impeachment.  Indeed, as I stated in my testimony, English precedent includes the power of the House of Lords not to take up impeachments.  The majority of impeachments were not taken up by the House of Lords because they were viewed as raw political exercises. That is not our tradition. 

A common analogy is often drawn to federal indictments by a grand jury. Though this analogy can be overstated, on this point, there is a telling distinction between the indictment and trial stages. If the grand jury decides the evidence presented establishes probable cause, it issues an indictment . As with the House in an impeachment, a majority of the grand jury (16 of 23 members) must vote for indictment, which is then called a true bill. The submission to a federal court in an arraignment is to allow a defendant to plead guilt or innocence. If an indictment is not submitted, there can be no trial or conviction. Moreover, there is a time limit as there is in an impeachment with statutes of limitations and other limits on the life of an indictment. If a House does not submit articles of impeachment to the Senate, those articles will die with that Congress. Like indictments, the limit is on the ability to prosecute or try the articles of impeachment.

Where Noah and I agree is that this use of the articles as a bargaining chip is a departure from tradition and undermines the integrity of the process.  It also contradicts the Democratic narrative that the House could not wait because this is a “crime in progress.”  I argued that a little more time could greatly enhance this record.  Now, having adopted articles of impeachment on a facially incomplete and insufficient record, the House suddenly has ample time to toy with the Senate on the transferral of the articles for trial. 

Yet, on the issue of impeachment, that was established with the adoption of Article 1 on the abuse of power. President Trump stands impeached as clearly defined under Article 1 of the Constitution.

262 thoughts on “Trump Stands Impeached: A Response To Noah Feldman”

  1. Impeachment is nothing but a charge, an accusation, or a recommendation to be tried in court. Trump has been impeached under those circumstances. It basically means nothing until a trial actually happens, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

    It’s not like ANY evidence of the charges have come forth, TDS and Orwellian hate has more to do with the impeachment than anything else.

    As far as fascist Pelosi trying to dictate the terms of the trail,

    “In the 1993 ruling Nixon v. United States, the Court ruled that “additional procedural requirements” on the Senate are “inconsistent with the three express limitations” that the Constitution has set on the Senate for trying impeachments in its associated Clause.”

    Leftist, you can live better without them.

    1. I suspect it might be that a censure engenders a definite punishment at an immediate time. With a “suspended” impeachment the house can hold it over the president’s head indefinitely until they want to use it against him later, whereupon they will then forward the articles to the Senate for trial. It could be used as a means to coerce his future behavior or bring it up at a later time when it is politically advantageous to the democrats to do so.

      1. In qualifying my last statement, I have no information as to whether or not this is one of the intended purposes of the House leadership. But they might do as I suggest as the mechanics tend to avail these abilities to them.

        I have seen this happen in the criminal justice world with the county holding out on levying certain charges on people that they want to lean on. I do not agree with the ethics of this practice but it does happen. The district attorney / prosecutor receives information from a Law enforcement agency on a particular person and does not file information with the court to formally charge the defendant. Later, if say the defendant commits another offense for which they are formally charged, the prosecutor can then use the first crime against them by threatening them with filing the first charge if they do not agree to plead guilty to the second offense. Since the defendant now faces the criminal liability of two convictions, they are less likely to demand a trial for the latest offense. The defendant in the first example is held in a virtual probation that lasts as long as the statute of limitations for the first offense. One that can be revoked simply by dropping the hammer on him if the defendant misbehaves.

      2. Trump has been impeached, and the Senate has the sole power to try the impeachment charges.
        It seems to me that “delivery” of the House Articles of Impeachment to the Senate is beside the point; the House has voted to impeach Trump.
        Even if Pelosi wants to sit there with her thump and the Articles of Impeachment up her ***, I think the Senate can take up those Articles of Impeachment without delay.

        1. I don’t know the parliamentary procedure as to whether or not the authority to begin the Senate trial is established by the conveyance of the articles, that the house presently acting with delay lends some credence that they are intentionally holding the charges from the trial to provide themselves with some form of advantage or at least a liability avoidance.

          In our appeals courts here a few months ago there were cases relating to timeliness of the filing of answers, process etc. and the overall mood of the rulings tended to favor strictly to actual service of the documents rather than the intent or attempt to deliver these. Of course this is not at all applicable to the discussion on the impeachment. But probably regardless of how various legal experts believe the due process legally must transpire, many of the pols are just going to (eloquently speaking that is) make shit up as they please.

          1. Darren Smith – I think the House passed a Rule during this last Session which allows them to “make shit up” if they are Democrats.

              1. Cindy Bragg – that article is from a long time ago. I have still been on, but I am one of the many Anonymous. However, thanks for the welcome back, though. I changed my style, but I guess I will go back to my old style. 😉

          2. Darren,
            I don’t know if there is something in House or Senate rules that Pelosi can rely on if she chooses to delay the Senate trial by withholding “delivery” of the Articles if Impeachment.
            It looks like she’s trying to get leverage over how and when the Senate trial is conducted. Since the House majority control how the impeachment proceedings played out, I doubt that the Senate leadership will allow Pelosi to call the shots in the Senate trial.
            It’ll be interesting to see if Pelosi does have any procedural basis for delaying the Senate trial by delaying delivery of the articles.
            Even if she does, it’s hard to see what kind of political benefit would be gained by the Democrats by stretching this out.

            1. Maybe Pelosi will indefinately put the Impeachment Articles of the House in cold storage, and say that “we really didn’t mean it” when the House voted for them .

        2. The resolution states that Trump is thereby impeached, but what does “impeach” mean? To charge, to call into question. It implies a court or other audience to hear the charge, to consider the question. Specifically in the context of the constitution, the audience must be the senate. Unless the senate receives the charge, no impeachment has occurred. I am not talking about a dismissal. I am saying that the house rule defining impeachment as a mere declaration amongst themselves is invalid. It cannot alter the definition of the word “impeachment” as applied to its constitutional context. The adoption of a rule is not sufficient to amend the constitution. Feldman is right.

    2. A putative impeachment is not an impeachment at all without an audience to consider it. It is a mere pretense that amounts to nothing.

  2. I like the title. What follows causes me some concern. For the sake of clarity, I will try to group the paraphrased statements you make, with my concerns.

    Your Statement:
    Ultimately, the Judiciary Committee dropped those four theories (bribery, extortion, campaign finance violations, and obstruction of justice) and went forward with the two articles that I testified would be legitimate, if proven: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

    My Concern:
    If the implication is that your testimony resulted in what ultimately became the 2 Articles that were settled on, you are giving yourself too much credit. If the implication is that bribery, extortion, campaign finance violations, and obstruction of justice were not included because they were not warranted, I submit they were not included for other reasons. Since any articles the House charges the President with, must be supported in a Senate Trial, one of those other reasons, stated as a guideline before the Impeachment hearing began, is to keep the scope narrowly focused. So, as a minimum, there is that.

    Your Statement:
    Feldman has written in Bloomberg News that Trump is not actually impeached until the articles of impeachment are transferred to the Senate. I disagree and believe that Feldman is conflating provisions concerning removal with those for impeachment.

    My Concern:
    Other than your belief, there is no basis for saying Feldman is conflating anything. His stated argument, “If the House votes to “impeach” but doesn’t send the articles to the Senate or send impeachment managers there to carry its message, it hasn’t directly violated the text of the Constitution. But the House would be acting against the implicit logic of the Constitution’s description of impeachment.”, hangs on what he sees as the Constitution’s implicit logic of impeachment.

    Your Statement:
    An analogy can be drawn to federal indictments by a grand jury.

    My Concern:
    Although some aspects of the Grand Jury indictment process lend themselves to drawing analogies, it starts breaking down when you consider where the indictments are delivered. A Grand Jury delivers an indictment that starts a legally timed process in the court system, that is regulated by an existing body of law. In the case of impeachment, the Articles are passed to the Senate, who establish the rules that regulate the trial and set the schedule. So, while an analogy can be drawn, it is not a photocopy of the process.

    Your Statement:
    Where Noah and I agree is that this use of the articles as a bargaining chip is a departure from tradition and undermines the integrity of the process.

    My Concern:
    I have two issues here: First, to be a departure from tradition, a tradition has to have actually been established. Prior to this impeachment, there have only been 2 impeachments over a span of more than 100 years. That is hardly a tradition. It is barely enough points of reference to draw a straight line. Second: the stated reason for holding up immediate delivery of the Articles is to support the integrity of the Senate Trial, and there is no reason to believe otherwise.

    Your Statement:
    It also contradicts the Democratic narrative that the House could not wait because this is a “crime in progress.” I argued that a little more time could greatly enhance this record.

    My Concern:
    The Democratic narrative of a crime in process is an argument for moving with all reasonable haste. It is not an argument for handing over the work done to this point, to someone who will throw it away without serious consideration. Neither is there any reason to believe that ‘a little more time’ would have provided more testimony or documented evidence to support more charges, or better clarify the two that were decided on, given the intransigent nature of the President and his control of the sources of that evidence.

    Your Statement:
    Now, having adopted articles of impeachment on a facially incomplete and insufficient record, the House suddenly has ample time to toy with the Senate on the transferral of the articles for trial.

    My Concern:
    The test of the Articles being adopted on a ‘facially incomplete and insufficient record’ is a conclusion for the Senate Jury to determine. There is no factual basis to believe that conclusion will hold up, if considered by an impartial jury.
    Additionally, and lastly, the House is not ‘toying’ with anyone. That is a disappointing conclusion. If you actually believe that, you are either not paying attention or unable to process the unfolding reality.

  3. Feldman is either incompetent or lying. Every single word of his

    “As for the headlines we saw after the House vote saying, “TRUMP IMPEACHED,” those are a media shorthand, not a technically correct legal statement. So far, the House has voted to impeach (future tense) Trump. He isn’t impeached (past tense) until the articles go to the Senate and the House members deliver the message.”

    is wrong, including his parenthesized tenses—”to impeach” is an infinitive and “isn’t impeached” is present tense. Feldman ignores not only the wording of the resolution passed by the House: “Resolved, That Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is impeached …”, but the House rules, which state

    “The respondent in an impeachment proceeding is impeached by the adoption of the House of articles of impeachment.”

    and

    “Following adoption of the articles of impeachment, the House adopts resolutions appointing managers to present the articles before the Senate, notifying the Senate of the adoption of articles and appointment of managers, and authorizing the managers to prepare for and to conduct the trial in the Senate.”

    Despite being so obviously and blatantly wrong, Feldman’s piece is now being promoted by the White House and Trump’s supporters.

    1. A word (like “impeach”) can have more than one meaning, e.g. a statutory meaning, a constitutional meaning, a laymen’s meaning, et cetera. I think Feldman is correct that the constitutional meaning includes delivering the articles of impeachment and prosecuting the case in the Senate. Otherwise, the Senate could constitutionally give that job to a federal prosecutor instead of to House managers.

      https://originalismblog.typepad.com/the-originalism-blog/2019/12/president-trump-has-not-yet-been-impeached-even-though-the-house-approved-articles-of-impeachmentand.html

    2. The house cannot change the meaning of the word “impeachment” as used in the constitution in the applicable context. They do not have the sole power to amend the constitution. There is no sense of the word “impeach” which does not involve an object under consideration and a subject audience which considers it. Unless the putative impeachment declared under house rules is implicitly or explicitly communicated to the senate, it is not an impeachment. Feldman is correct that voting to impeach is not exercising the power to impeach. The power to impeach is exercised in the delivery of a declaration of impeachment along with its articles to the senate. And how can anyone be a respondent to a case which has not been filed in its court of jurisdiction?

      1. No one here has yet to answer why the matter of whether Trump has now been impeached is of any importance whatsoever. It appears that Feldman’s only concern was whether Trump could say that he has not been impeached. I don’t know why Prof Turley felt that this is important enough for him to try to refute that contention. The answer to the competing contentions is: “So what!”

        The Ukraine facts are now public. The Senate, under its current rules, must wait for the House’s charging document to be delivered to the Senate before the Senate can officially take it up. The document will either be delivered to the Senate, or it will not be sent over. Either way, whether Trump has now been impeached under the Constitution is totally immaterial to anything of importance..

        Finis.

        1. ” The document will either be delivered to the Senate, or it will not be sent over. Either way, whether Trump has now been impeached under the Constitution is totally immaterial to anything of importance..”

          As I said earlier I don’t have the answers. What disturbs me in your answer is that you are giving the sole power of “indictment” to the Speaker of the House since her actions are being taken without a House vote. Further you are defining this as an impeachment when the process was not completed so that an innocent man is able to be judged innocent.

          In this country we are innocent until proven guilty. That is not occurring with your scenario.

          1. An impeachment IS an indictment, you moron. An indictment is simply a charge, not a verdict.
            And Trump isn’t innocent, he’s guilty as sin. The only reason he wasn’t removed from office is that a majority of the “jury” were his henchmen.

            1. “you moron”

              Jibalt, I wasn’t as clear as I should have been. He was indicted (impeached), but what did that mean? It meant hyper-artisan democrats in the House had the votes to impeach him even though they had no basis. Such an impeachment should be considered an abuse of power but democrats of recent times don’t think of the law and the country, they only think of raw power. The Senate rightfully decided on his innocence though some extremely partisan people have difficulty looking at the facts. TDS can make relatively smart people dumb as doornails.

              Today we have a new problem of a corrupt wannabee President, Joe Biden. We now have a computer filled with documents and emails that have been confirmed in multiple ways. The emails demonstrate Joe Biden lied when he said he knew nothing of the business deals being made. We have confirmation from the CEO of the company involved with the Bidens who met with Joe Biden twice. Evidence of the meetings exists. We have recorded statements by Hunter that demonstrate his father’s involvement, a statement from Jim Biden “plausible deniability” when asked about Joe’s involvement. A recorded statement paraphrased ‘if you say that we are all going to drown’, by one of the partners when told by Bobulinsky that the record had to be corrected because the computer and the information on it wasn’t Russian disinformation. We have documents proving amounts of money going to the Biden family along with the division of profits that included Joe Biden.

              Now you are at a crossroads. My initial comment where I wasn’t as clear as I should have been defended a President who was doing what the law intended. Ukraine, we know for sure, needed to investigate the Bidens so Trump did absolutely nothing wrong. On the other hand, we are seeing corruption by the Biden family based on deals involving China, Ukraine, Russia, and many other countries.

              The question now after my admitting my writing to be unclear will you admit that you have been wrong about the Biden family and that investigation is appropriate?

              1. “even though they had no basis”

                You’re a lying maggot.

                “Now you are at a crossroads.”

                Nope … you’re a stupid ignorant dishonest sack of shit, period.

                1. “you’re a stupid ignorant dishonest sack of shit, period.”

                  Jibalt, read your response. It is a reflection on you.

                  You must be quite angry that Biden has been caught being corrupt. You probably are doubly angry because You have nothing to say in the matter and you know if you try you will look like a fool. Your only outlet is for you to throw a temper tantrum like an eleven year old boy and then change your name or go back to one you already have.

                  You don’t demonstrate any smarts. I’m not sure but in the dog park are you walking Anonymous the Stupid or is he walking you?

      2. “Feldman is correct that voting to impeach is not exercising the power to impeach. ”

        I don’t have any answers but I see a lot of faults in the answers already proposed. This most recent answer permits the House Leader without a vote to singularly thwart the will of the House. I don’t think the Speaker was given such powers.

      3. Utter nonsense. Of course it’s moot, but both you and Feldman were wrong, as numerous Constitutional scholars, as well as people with a basic grasp of the English language, explained.

  4. Impeach, impeached. Words which get bandied about. If the House voted to Impeach did that mean he is out of office. Or that they send charges over to the Senate for a trial and the Senate would impeach and thus remove or refuse to impeach and not remove the President from office. The population gets confused. Articles of Impeachment are similar to charges of a crime put together by a Grand Jury. A different setting holds the trial before a trial jury.
    Now we have Pelotsee with holding the Articles to Impeach from the Senate. She needs to be removed from office. She is too old.

  5. Politico Poll: Majority Approves of Impeachment

    Independents On Board

    A majority of voters approve of the House of Representatives’ impeachment of President Donald Trump earlier this week, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of the vote.

    The narrow majority who approve, 52 percent, is greater than the 43 percent who disapprove of the House voting to impeach Trump, the poll shows. Five percent of voters have no opinion on Trump’s impeachment.

    Support for impeachment breaks sharply among party lines. Among Democrats, 85 percent approve of the House’s action, and only 12 percent disapprove. Approval among Republicans is only 16 percent, compared with 81 percent who disapprove.

    Among independents, 48 percent approve of the House passing articles of impeachment and 41 percent disapprove.

    Edited from today’s Politico

    1. Does this poll have much meaning? I don’t think so.

      “Methodology:
      National Tracking Poll #191284 December 19-20, 2019
      Crosstabulation Results
      This poll was conducted between December 19-December 20, 2019 among a national sample of 1387 Registered Voters. The interviews were conducted online…”

      Online? with what controls? On our present blog Peter has loads of different names, is said to be a male and female. Others have added other genders and there have been many estimates of his age and exactly where he lives. His educational status is severely in doubt while religion has never been mentioned.

      “…and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of Registered Voters based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.”

      Lots of variables for a sample size of 1,387 with even more uncertainty of the data. My bet, based on the little we know of this study anyone can do this type of study and get completely opposite results. They should report the complete methodology along with all the non replies and who was doing the data collection.

      1. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to come to the conclusion that Mifsud is dead.

        Is anyone in government anywhere on this planet “reliable”? Obviously not. Our prosecutors are no better than the Italy´s.

        1. Ivan – not to put too fine a point on it, but Sherlock Holmes is fictional. 😉 I don’t believe him either. 🙂

  6. “Under these provisions, President Donald J. Trump was impeached on December 19th at 8:09 p.m. Article I Section 2 says that the House “shall have the sole power of impeachment.” It says nothing about a requirement of referral to complete that act.

    If the act is not completed how can it be deem completed?

    1. He already told you … the act of impeachment is the House adopting the articles of impeachment. The House rules spell it out:

      “The respondent in an impeachment proceeding is impeached by the adoption of the House of articles of impeachment.”

      1. The House cannot amend the constitution by the mere adoption of a rule. It cannot change the definition of the word “impeachment” to something meaningless. The word always contemplates conveying a disparagement of the quality of an object in the judgment of an audience. No conveyance to an audience in the context used renders the term meaningless. The constitution requires that the articles be conveyed to the senate. It does not have to explicitly say that it must be conveyed because that is implicit in the definition of the word itself.

        1. “It does not have to explicitly say that it must be conveyed because that is implicit in the definition of the word itself.”

          What makes it implicit?

        2. ‘It cannot change the definition of the word “impeachment” to something meaningless.’

          A true but completely irrelevant, stupid, and intellectually dishonest strawman.

          ‘The constitution requires that the articles be conveyed to the senate.’

          No it doesn’t.

          ‘It does not have to explicitly say that it must be conveyed because that is implicit in the definition of the word itself.’

          Wrong, you dishonest git.

  7. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are guilty of jury tampering in the Senate, abuse of power, usurpation, political quid pro quo et al.

    You don’t suppose Nancy Pelosi will impeach herself and Chuck do you?

  8. The Constitution may say nothing about what is the predicate for an impeachment hearing by the Senate, i.e., whether an impeachment charge must first be delivered by the House to the Senate. But the Senate’s own impeachment rules (8/16/86) require that the Senate receive a charge from the House and that “managers are appointed [by the House] to conduct an impeachment…and are directed to carry articles of impeachment to the Senate.”

    So the applicable Senate rules require the appointment of House impeachment “managers” and their transmittal of impeachment charges to the Senate before the Senate can commence an impeachment hearing or trial.

    Of course, the Senate could change its longstanding rules in order to allow the Senate, itself, to “deliver” the pending impeachment charges. But that would show that the Republicans are not patriots but are solely “politicians.”

    I wonder why Prof Turley failed to take note of the Senate’s own rules on the subject.

    1. To myself…I previously said that Prof Turley is wasting space on trivia (this topic). My comment above is to the point that it would be stupid for the Senate Republicans to proceed with impeachment proceeding without having formally received charges from the House. The Senate’s own rules do not allow this and, if they did so, the Senate Republicans will simply look like fools and unpatriotic manipulators.

      I agree that the House Democrats also appear to be manipulating the situation. But, to many of us, Trump is an existential threat to our democracy.

    2. There is no contradiction. The impeachment is complete. The Senate, however, cannot complete—or even begin, the hearing without transmission of the charges. The actual impeachment and the impeachment hearing or tow different animals. Prof. Turley, as usual, is correct.

      1. carl sanders – let me give you an analogy. You are taking a class from me, the class ends, I hang on to the grade. You are in limbo. Until I submit the grade to the office, you might as well as never taken that course.

      2. I don’t know what “contradiction” you are talking about. I understood Turley to disagree with Feldman’s contention that the Senate could not proceed with an impeachment trial until the charges were delivered by the House to the Senate. I agree with what seems to be Turley’s contention that the Constitution is silent on this issue. Turley’s response to Feldman is brief and muddy. And, as I pointed out, Turley omitted any reference to the Senate rules that require that the House deliver charges to the Senate before the Senate can act.

        1. Reading Turley again, I see that he states – without reference to any provision of the Constitution, statute or rule of the Congress: “If a House does not submit articles of impeachment to the Senate, those articles will die with that Congress.” One cannot divine from this what is Turley’s position on whether the current Senate can proceed with an impeachment trial if the House does not transmit its pending impeachment document to the Senate. I had inferred that Turley thought that the Senate could do so. But Turley should clarify his thinking for us.

          1. In the article to which Turley responds, Feldman concluded as follows:
            “But if the House never sends the articles, then Trump could say with strong justification that he was never actually impeached. And that’s probably not the message Congressional Democrats are hoping to send.”

            I gather that it is this airy Feldman thought with which Turley disagrees. But who cares that Trump could say that he was not impeached under that circumstance? That is totally unimportant to anyone. That’s one of the reasons I initially stated that this blog spurt is trivia on a trivial matter.

            1. RDKAY – I agree with Professor Feldman on this one. What Pelosi has done is spiked the ball on the one yard line. She isn’t over the goal yet.

              1. Paul,

                I don’t want to say much now, but I couldn’t more strongly suggest that they/enemies of the USA do Not harm our horses, dogs & Hack our bank accts as is just really pisses off a lot of people.

                Btw, “My troops are back on their horses.”

                Great white Buffalo, I took a new Christian friend there to see “it”, he, the new friend, he now knows it’s true now.

                Merry Christmas every one, & for Christ sake at least stand up & defend your loved ones!!!

              2. Paul:

                Reborn Marty Feldman here is making stuff up. The document doesn’t require the formality of transmittal though it may imply it. However, analogizing this to an indictment and arraignment is analogizing horses with donkeys. Four legs, long ears and hooves do not a thoroughbred make. Likewise an impeachment is not a criminal charge even though it shares some charcteristics, I wish the arrogant putz was correct but like so much of what he says, it’s just wishful thinking.

                1. mespo – she has to appoint managers and send the bill over. Until all that is done, Trump is not impeached. We can agree to disagree. However, there are good arguments on both sides.

              3. But Feldman says she is over the goal line – so far as whether Trump can argue that he has not (yet) been impeached. Turley disagrees.
                I say: “Who cares?” It’s truly a non-issue.

                The bigger question right now is whether the Senate has the authority to deal with the impeachment charges if they are not sent over by the House to the Senate. If the House pockets the charges, I predict that the Senate will just ignore them, and impeachment will die a quiet death. But it’s hard to see the House Democrats pocketing the charges, after all the fuss they have created.

                1. RDKAY – I would disagree Pelosi is over the goal line until she picks her managers and sends them with the bill and sends a copy to the Chief Justice. She put 31 seats at risk for this impeachment. Those people are toast, they just are not going to get primaried. Their constituents are angry.

    3. The President was either impeached by the House or he wasn’t. Things are not clear. The Democratic House has politically manipulated the impeachment hearings. The American public should rise up in disgust.

      Pelosi is now playing another game with the managers. This too is reprehensible and again the
      American public should be disgusted. Perhaps that disgust will be seen in 2020.

      If Pelosi doesn’t do her job in the correct fashion and the Senate doesn’t get the papers of impeachment then the question of impeachment is in limbo. That is not the American way but since when has that stopped dirty Democratic dealings. The Senate can go ahead and hold the trial so that the President can be found not guilty or guilty if new damaging information arrives. Invariably he will be found not guilty because he did nothing impeachable.

      We will be left with a battle to decide whether or not he was impeached and whether or not he was found innocent. That makes America look foolish, but that is what the Democratic Congress does all the time.

      In the next posting RDKAY writes:

      “to many of us, Trump is an existential threat to our democracy.”

      That seem to be how Democrats think. They have no proof, they don’t care about fair hearings, and they don’t care about the law. What they care about is their feelings which are hurt because they lost a legimate election. It’s time for Democrats to move the party back to a legitimate party that believes in the Constitution and the law.

  9. Nancy: We’ll impeach, we’ll impeach. We will impeach all the way. From our first cigarette, to our last dying day!

  10. If they knew they could make up any rules they wanted in the House, and limit the witnesses to only those they wanted, and stifle the opposition’s questions, and hold the hearings in secret and then selectively leak little nuggets of testimony, they why the hell did it take them so long to impeach Trump? These morons are not qualified to run a country.

      1. “The executive branch runs the government.”

        Seriously?

        The People run the government through representatives in the House and Senate. There is only one power and that is the People through Congress. The branch with the power is the branch that can remove any officer of the U.S. within the hour if it so chooses. That branch is the legislative. Ask the President if he runs anything – he’s been running from the democrat House and the People that elected it for more than three years. The President follows the law and if Congress doesn’t like what the President is doing Congress may change the law within hours. All appointments go through Congress.

        Seriously?

          1. The executive branch executes what and how the Constitution and Congress tell it to execute. Wasn’t Richard Nixon executing as the CEO of the executive branch. Yep, until Congress told him not to.

            D.B. Bloopers statement that, “The executive branch runs the government,” is unqualified and, therefore, strictly means that the executive branch does whatever it chooses to do without direction or opposition.

            Trump might have engaged in the same blatant quid pro quo as Biden if Congress hadn’t passed laws agaisnt it.

            They call it the executive branch as the railroad calls the guy driving the train, strictly per its instructions, the engineer.

  11. This impeachment (or is it?) certainly grows curiouser and curiouser.

    There’s three areas that have always had me curious from the start:

    1) Why the decision to impeach after Pelosi publicly declared that an impeachment had to be iron clad, compelling and bipartisan?
    2) Why the rush?
    3) Why the deliberate and concerted effort to keep the judicial branch on the outside?

    Regarding 1), I can only view this through a political lens if only because the P in Pelosi unabashedly stands for political and not policy-wonk (to be fair, I view McConnell through the same lens even though his name his less alliteratively accommodating in this regard). Viewed through this lens, there are three primary political reasons to impeach even if you fail to reach your own threshold arguments: a) it’s an offensive offset to the damaging IG report, b) it will inflict political damage on your opponent with 2020 around the corner and c) you believe that Biden (the only viable candidate for Pelosi) and the DNC are politically vulnerable on the Ukraine issue (as per Politico). In that context, if you do nothing, you’re playing defense and absorbing what could be significant political damage. On the other hand, if you impeach, you can launch an all-out offensive that will also deflect from your vulnerabilities and well, you know that time honored DC commandment: do unto others before they do unto you…and then go full Alinsky.

    I believe 2) is in no small part related to 3). There’s no question that this impeachment is legally fraught with issues of executive privilege, separation of powers and potentially legitimacy. Here’s where the Dems came up with the following strategic and tactical epiphany: rather than take the not insignificant risk of potentially ending up on the wrong side of the legal equation on any of these issues and casting a pall over the whole proceeding, why not leverage the sole power of impeachment to run a completely insular impeachment where the Dems can dictate the rules, the process and impeach at will with zero judicial risk? Moreover, if the President raises any objection (a certainty), he can be impeached for obstruction of Congress (note not obstruction of justice). Mission accomplished as the impeachment end is built into the means. If anyone objects to the legal and constitutional grounding to any of this, it’s completely moot as there is no judicial pathway available in this construct. Also moot are such novel, troublesome issues as checks and balances, co-equal branches of government, executive privilege and separation of powers. Why the rush? If you lack judicial authority, you can’t compel witnesses to testify and if you can’t compel you take what you can get–which in this case was a lot of second-hand witnesses and hearsay from which you can infer whatever you want. No worries because impeachment for obstruction is a guaranteed baseline. However, how long can you go before someone notices that the substantial time spent inquiring about Ms. Yovanovitch’s feelings regarding her recall have zero relevance to impeachment? How long before it rises above a murmur that the impeachment emperor is wearing no clothes?

    In this case, we have an answer–about 3 months with the media at your back.

    As far as the current delay shenanigans, my initial take at first glance is that it gets even better: as an added bonus, the Dem’s judicial argument in overcoming executive privilege etc is greatly strengthened as the President is already impeached as a matter of established fact. The trick will be to get the judiciary involved once the Senate refuses new witnesses (the same witnesses the House failed to introduce for the reasons above).

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

      1. That’s not the point–the issue is more along the lines of once President Trump/EB officials refused to comply with subpoenas, the House could challenge legally and involve the judiciary.

        However, they notably refused to go down that path for a reason.

        1. A summons from the House is legal. Just like a ruling from the judiciary, it is only enforced by the AG. As the executive branch played hard ball do you actually think a court ruling would make a difference?

          The Donald has stated that as President he can do anything he wants. I take him at his word.

    1. Wait. You don’t know about the looming revelation of the debacle?
      _____________________________________________________

      The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious scandal in American political history.

      The co-conspirators are:

      Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann, Comey,

      Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr,

      Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove, Steele, Simpson,

      Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Azra Turk, Kerry,

      Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch,

      Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Obama et al.

    2. If you watch these you will have a lot of questions answered.
      I would like to see them shown at the hearing with live broad cast.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn4weTY-2zE&amp=&t=
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK2coiDHLZ4&t=
      youtube.com/watch?v=wRFtijtoV6I

      Rudy will destroy their case.

      In part 4 I think he shows 2 of Schiff’s staffers AND the “whistle blower” are on the take.
      After watching this I understand why Rudy has never lot a case.
      No he said – she said there just lots of hard evidence.

      OH! To answer your question about the rush. Rudy was already investigating when the call was made.
      They were tipped about his investigation when Mr Trump ask for assistance in the matter.
      Hurry up or go to jail. I hope they like orange.

  12. “The majority of impeachments were not taken up by the House of Lords because they were viewed as raw political exercises. That is not our tradition. ”
    Well, it is our tradition now.

  13. A wonderful piece in the WSJ that probably includes a few quotes from the news media that Peter Shill copied to the blog. We now know the Washington Post and NYTimes wrote a lot of bogus articles which duped Peter Shill who remains duped to this present day. They also duped the Obama administration while misleading the FISA court and the nation. What an abysmal failure Obama was.

    Obama’s FBI and the Press
    The media establishment congratulated itself for getting duped into supporting an abuse of power.

    James FreemanDec. 16, 2019 5:23 pm ET

    President Barack Obama and FBI Director James Comey speak to members of the media in the Oval Office of the White House in 2015. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

    Thanks to a report from the Obama-appointed inspector general of the Justice Department, now everyone knows the truth about 2016. The Obama administration misled the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and wiretapped an American who supported the presidential campaign of the party out of power. One of the many sad lessons is that no American can count on even the most celebrated members of the establishment press to shine a light on such abuses.

    By concealing exculpatory evidence, the Obama FBI, directed by James Comey, obtained a warrant from a court intended to counter foreign enemies and managed to turn the surveillance powers of the federal government against a U.S. citizen participating in our domestic politics, Carter Page.

    Some of us have been concerned for a while about the abuses of the Obama FBI and their foundational challenge to free elections and a free society. Now it’s nice to see that even one of the New York Times columnists who enjoys tossing casual treason references at President Donald Trump is beginning to see the light.

    “The inspector general’s report about the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation offered a hideous Dorian Gray portrait of the once-vaunted law enforcement agency,” admits Maureen Dowd in the 11th paragraph of her umpteenth column attacking Mr. Trump. She adds: “The F.B.I. run by Comey and [Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe ] was sloppy, deceitful and cherry-picking — relying on nonsense spread by Christopher Steele. ”

    She’s referring to the British author of the now discredited “dossier” of smears paid for by Mr. Trump’s opponents. The FBI never told the court that Mr. Steele’s own sources debunked his report.

    Beyond Ms. Dowd, will the Times newsroom and that of the Washington Post now consider how they got this story so wrong for so long?

    In 2018, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger presented Pultizer Prizes in national reporting to the staffs of the Times and the Post. The prize citation reads:

    “For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

    After special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his nearly two-year investigation and reported in March that he found no evidence of Trump collusion with Russia, the prize citation seemed to be in need of a rewrite. Now Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report undercuts more details in the reporting.

    Among the prize-winning submissions was a report published on Feb. 28, 2017. The Washington Post wrote:

    “While Trump has derided the dossier as “fake news” compiled by his political opponents, the FBI’s arrangement with Steele shows that the bureau considered him credible and found his information, while unproved, to be worthy of further investigation… Steele was known for the quality of his past work and for the knowledge he had developed over nearly 20 years working on Russia-related issues for British intelligence.”

    Oops. The Post story elaborated that in 2016, “Steele became concerned that the U.S. government was not taking the information he had uncovered seriously enough, according to two people familiar with the situation.” According to anyone familiar with the Horowitz report, the government should not have taken his information seriously at all.

    Another Post classic that helped win the prize was the report published on May 22, 2017 that said Mr. Trump had asked intelligence officials “to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.”

    Of course everyone knows now that Mr. Trump was asking them to state the plain fact that there was no collusion evidence. But according to the Post at the time:

    “Current and former senior intelligence officials viewed Trump’s requests as an attempt by the president to tarnish the credibility of the agency leading the Russia investigation.”

    With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear that the FBI deserved to have its credibility tarnished. Continued the Post:

    “Senior intelligence officials also saw the March requests as a threat to the independence of U.S. spy agencies, which are supposed to remain insulated from partisan issues.”

    Is there anything more threatening than a powerful spy agency refusing to be accountable even to the duly-elected President of the United States? The Post saw things differently:

    “The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation,” a former senior intelligence official said of the request to Coats.”

    No, it’s now clear that there truly was a lack of collusion evidence. The false statements were being made by former senior intelligence officials.

    Among the Times prize-winners was a report on April 22, 2017:

    “Days after Mr. Comey’s news conference, Carter Page, an American businessman, gave a speech in Moscow criticizing American foreign policy. Such a trip would typically be unremarkable, but Mr. Page had previously been under F.B.I. scrutiny years earlier, as he was believed to have been marked for recruitment by Russian spies. And he was now a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump.

    Mr. Page has not said whom he met during his July visit to Moscow, describing them as “mostly scholars.” But the F.B.I. took notice. Mr. Page later traveled to Moscow again, raising new concerns among counterintelligence agents. A former senior American intelligence official said that Mr. Page met with a suspected intelligence officer on one of those trips and there was information that the Russians were still very interested in recruiting him.”

    The FBI shared all of their alleged concerns about Mr. Page’s Russian connections with the FISA court but did not share key information—including the fact that Mr. Page was working with the CIA. Is there any chance a FISA judge would have approved the FBI’s surveillance request on Mr. Page if his assistance to another arm of the federal government had been fully disclosed?

    The full details on the Obama-Comey FBI’s abuse of power in 2016 are taking years to come to light, and not just because too many prize-winning media outlets failed to recognize them.

    Where were the whistleblowers when America really needed them?

      1. I will add to the previous statement and add that the FISA Court was delinquint in evaluating the FISA applications. Kimberly Strassel from the WSJ says enough to make the public request that all of the 11 members at the very least be removed from the bench.

        FISA Court Owes Some Answers
        Why did the presiding judge stonewall Rep. Devin Nunes when he reported FBI abuses?

        Kimberley A. StrasselDec. 19, 2019 6:58 pm ET
        0:00 / 0:00

        Potomac Watch: As Sen. Chuck Grassley outlines the background of why the FISA court was established, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Devin Nunes highlight the FISA court’s too-little-too-late response to the FBI’s abuse of power. Image: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
        The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court this week blasted the Federal Bureau of Investigation for “misconduct” in the Carter Page surveillance warrant. Some would call this accountability. Others will more rightly call it the FISC’s “shocked to find gambling” moment.

        Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer issued her four-page rebuke of the FBI Tuesday, after a Justice Department inspector general report publicly exposing the FBI’s abuses. The judge blasted the FBI for misleading the court by providing “unsupported or contradicted” information and by withholding exculpatory details about Mr. Page. The FISC noted the seriousness of the conduct and gave the FBI until Jan. 10 to explain how it will do better.

        The order depicts a court stunned to discover that the FBI failed in its “duty of candor,” and angry it was duped. That’s disingenuous. To buy it, you’d have to believe that not one of the court’s 11 members—all federal judges—caught a whiff of this controversy until now. More importantly, you’d have to ignore that the court was directly informed of the FBI’s abuses nearly two years ago.

        On Feb. 7, 2018, Devin Nunes, then chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to Judge Collyer informing her of its findings in his probe of the FBI’s Page application. He wrote that “the Committee found that the FBI and DOJ failed to disclose the specific political actors paying for uncorroborated information” that went to the court, “misled the FISC regarding dissemination of this information,” and “failed to correct these errors in the subsequent renewals.” Mr. Nunes asked the court whether any transcripts of FISC hearings about this application existed, and if so, to provide them to the committee.

        Judge Collyer responded a week later, with a dismissive letter that addressed only the last request. The judge observed that any such transcripts would be classified, that the court doesn’t maintain a “systematic record” of proceedings and that, given “separation of power considerations,” Mr. Nunes would be better off asking the Justice Department. The letter makes no reference to the Intelligence Committee findings.

        Mr. Nunes tried again in a June 13, 2018, follow-up letter, which I have obtained. He told the court that Congress “uncovered evidence that DOJ and FBI provided incomplete and potentially incorrect information to the Court,” and that “significant relevant information was not disclosed to the Court.” This was Mr. Nunes telling FISC exactly what Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the world—18 months sooner. Mr. Nunes asked Judge Collyer to “initiate a thorough investigation.” To assist her, the same month he separately sent FISC “a classified summary of Congress’s findings and facts” to that point. The letter was signed by all 13 Republican members of the Intelligence Committee.

        Judge Collyer blew him off. Her letter on June 15, 2018, is four lines long. She informs Mr. Nunes she’s received his letter. She says she’s also received his classified information. She says she’s instructing staff to provide his info to “the judges who ruled on the referenced matters.” She thanks him for his “interest” in the court.

        This is stunning, given the House Intelligence Committee has oversight jurisdiction of FISA. And Mr. Nunes didn’t come to the court with mere suspicions; he provided facts, following a thorough investigation. The court at the very least had an obligation to demand answers from the FBI and the Justice Department.

        It didn’t—because it didn’t want to know. One of the biggest criticisms of the FISA court since its inception is that it is a rubber stamp for law enforcement. The FISA process is one in which government lawyers secretly and unilaterally present their case for surveillance to judges, with no defense attorney to argue in opposition. The system relies on judges to push back, but they don’t. Until recently, the FISA court routinely approved 100% of the applications before it.

        Just as it rubber stamped the Page warrant. That application made clear the FBI was asking to spy on a U.S. citizen associated with a presidential candidate. And the court was provided a footnote indicating political operators were involved in producing the allegations. If ever there was time to grill a few government lawyers, this was it. Yet from the inspector general’s evidence, the court whipped through the warrant with barely a blink.

        The secrecy of FISA had always shielded the players from scrutiny. But Mr. Nunes’s inspection of the Page applications threatened to highlight this rot in the system. Judge Collyer’s dismissive letters made clear just what the court thought of Congress poking its nose into the secret club.

        After the Horowitz report, the court had no choice but to respond. It’s predictably pointing fingers at the FBI, but the court should itself account for its failure to provide more scrutiny, and its refusal to act when Mr. Nunes first exposed the problem. The FBI is far from alone in this disgrace.

        Write to kim@wsj.com.

    1. “Is there anything more threatening than a powerful spy agency refusing to be accountable even to the duly-elected President of the United States?”

      The president has no jurisdiction over the intelligence community. They answer to the legislative branch. The Army requests their help for it like any other resource.
      they need.

      Consider: you have spent nearly three pages describing alternative reasons for the spurious interactions between Trump’s entourage and Russian intelligence members, and none considering Trump’s private investments in Russia. We still have no real understanding of his fiances. He has refused to provide them. Either the entire government is out to get him, or there is an enormous conspiracy in our country just to prevent him from being a success.

      1. “The president has no jurisdiction over the intelligence community. They answer to the legislative branch. ”

        Alex, I suppose you also believe that Nancy Pelosi or AOC appoints the Director of the CIA. That’s OK. I encourage you to keep believing it.

        “Consider: you have spent nearly three pages describing alternative reasons for the spurious interactions between Trump’s entourage and Russian intelligence members, and none considering Trump’s private investments in Russia.”

        Consider sending your complaints to Kim Strassel at the WSJ.

        Write to kim@wsj.com.

        What name will you going by tomorrow?

  14. It is simple, isn’t it? If nothing has to be delivered to the Senate to make an impeachment, then he is impeached and the Senate now has the sole power to try the impeachment. No need to wait on the delivery of something that is not required by the constitution.

    1. “It is simple, isn’t it? If nothing has to be delivered to the Senate to make an impeachment, then he is impeached and the Senate now has the sole power to try the impeachment. No need to wait on the delivery of something that is not required by the constitution.”
      *********************
      Anxiously awaiting the “how many angels on the pinhead?” argument!

    1. As for pompous ass and Harvard Prof. of Law (redundant?) Feldman, Moliere seems to have him pegged after his performance in the House: “A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool.”

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