Impeachment-Democratic Style: Why The Democrats May Prove The Greatest Barrier To A Full Trial

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on precedent created by the Democrats against their own case for a full trial in the Senate.

Here is the column:

When William Shakespeare wrote that “all the world is a stage” and “one man in his time plays many parts,” he could have probably had in mind Senator Charles Schumer. In 1999, the Democrat from New York famously opposed witnesses in the trial of President Clinton as nothing more than “political theater.” Now Schumer has declared that witnesses and a full trial are essential for President Trump, and that a trial without witnesses would be deemed the “most unfair impeachment trial in modern history.”

That does not include the Clinton case where Schumer sought to proceed to a summary vote without a trial. As the Senate now gears up for the third presidential impeachment in history, the fight has begun over the rules and scope of a trial. The Framers were silent on the expected procedures and evidence for a trial, beyond the requirement of a two-thirds vote to convict a president. The only direct precedent on these issues is derived from two very different trials, those of President Johnson and Clinton.

By sending a thin record to the Senate, the House could not have made things easier for Trump. Since the House did not take time to subpoena critical witnesses, such as former national security adviser John Bolton, or to compel testimony of other witnesses, the Senate could simply declare that it will try the case on the record supplied by the House, a record that Democrats insist is already conclusive and overwhelming. Moreover, in reviewing the past trials of Johnson and Clinton, Democrats may have to struggle with precedents of their own making. Indeed, Republicans could argue that a trial without witnesses is impeachment in Democratic style.

THE BYRD MOTION

The first question for the trial could be whether there should even be a trial held at all. In early England, the House of Lords often refused to hold trials on impeachments, which often were raw political exercises. In the Clinton trial, Democrats moved to dismiss both impeachment articles as meritless. The motion by Senator Robert Byrd failed on a largely party line vote with Democrats, including Senator Joe Biden, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Schumer, opposing having any impeachment trial at all.

Ironically, the obstruction of Congress article in the Trump impeachment would make a stronger case for such a threshold dismissal. The House adopted a brief investigation in order to impeach by Christmas. Trump has challenged the demands from Congress for testimony and documents in court. President Nixon and Clinton both took such appeals to the Supreme Court then lost. I disagree with the White House assertions of immunity and privilege. However, Democrats have taken the position that it can set an artificially short period of investigation and impeach a president who goes to court instead of simply yielding to the demands from Congress.

This would allow lawmakers to effectively manufacture the grounds for impeachment by setting abbreviated investigations then impeaching when presidents turn to the courts. In this case, the House burned more than three months without issuing subpoenas to key witnesses. It even pulled a subpoena for an impeachment witness rather than have the court rule on its merits. Meanwhile, other courts have ruled on these matters, such as the court order for former White House counsel Don McGahn to appear. An appellate court ruling could be expedited on that and other cases but not by Christmas. Worse yet, the Supreme Court has agreed to review decisions ordering Trump to turn over tax and financial records.

The greatest departure from tradition in the Clinton trial was the barring of live testimony and most witnesses in presenting evidence. The Johnson trial followed the tradition with 25 prosecution and 16 defense witnesses. In the Clinton trial, Democrats opposed having witnesses in the Senate trial. That was a surprise since the issue of witnesses came up during the House proceedings where I testified as a constitutional expert. While I favored calling witnesses in the House investigation, I noted that the Framers did not specify when, if ever, witnesses would be heard. But a Senate trial was viewed historically as an obvious forum for witnesses.

Two things prompted the House to not call many witnesses. First, the Clinton impeachment was the culmination of a long investigation by two independent counsels and a evidentiary record delivered by two vans to the House Judiciary Committee. With dozens of sources and statements, the House did not see the necessity of recalling all the same witnesses. Second, Democrats had accepted that Clinton committed felony perjury about an affair with a White House intern. They simply insisted that you could not impeach a president for that crime if the issue was personal.

THE DASCHLE MOTION

The Democrats outmaneuvered the Republicans and got an agreement not only to limit the witnesses to three but to bar public review of their depositions. They succeeded in barring any public testimony on the floor. After the depositions were finally completed, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle moved to bar those depositions from being played on the floor and move forward to closing arguments. All Democrats except Senator Russ Feingold had once again voted to skip ahead to closing arguments.

Some precedent is a bit more recent. Representative Adam Schiff and the other House impeachment managers are expected to demand fair play and equal treatment in the presentation of witnesses and evidence, the very due process denied in the House investigation. Democratic leaders repeatedly denied witnesses and minority hearing days for Republicans. They allowed only one witness who was not on staff for the entire House Judiciary Committee proceedings, and I was that witness in the hearing.

As a general rule, I am inclined to oppose the threshold dismissals and to favor witnesses in Senate trials. But the House has now undermined those principles by advancing a dubious obstruction article and an incomplete record. Schumer has expressed shock at the very notion of a Senate trial without testimony, asking why Republicans are “so afraid of witnesses” and portraying a trial without witnesses as a mockery. A full trial, however, will require Republicans not only to ignore the precedent set by Schumer and other Democrats in the Clinton case but also the incomplete record.

In the Trump case, the House has rejected calls to take a little more time to secure additional testimony or court orders against the administration. Even during the final impeachment vote, House Democrats referred to still developing facts involving the conduct of associates of Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine. If House Democrats had simply taken more time, they could have locked such testimony and evidence into the record and not have to rely on Senate Republicans to complete their case for them.

After rejecting basic rights to Republicans during the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee hearings, Democrats are now demanding the witness and adversarial rights that they denied the minority. They hope that Senate Republicans will resist the temptation to offer a trial that is as cursory and as contrived as the House investigation.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law for George Washington University and served as the last lead counsel during a Senate impeachment trial. He testified as a witness expert in the House Judiciary Committee hearing during the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

281 thoughts on “Impeachment-Democratic Style: Why The Democrats May Prove The Greatest Barrier To A Full Trial”

  1. This Sunday is the 5th day in the Octave of Christmas:
    The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

    For those who see this as irrelevant and insidious that I would post the following sermon by Pope Paul VI, consider the source:

    Text of Pope’s Address at Nazareth
    New York Times, January 6, 1964

    There was a time when the NYT thought it important to propagate the words of the Pope, deferring to the wisdom of the Vicar of Christ, to a world that collectively understood darkness all to well. That was then, this is now.

    How we have fallen…especially the NYT

    Oremus

    From an address given at Nazareth by Pope Paul VI

    The example of Nazareth

    The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus – the school of the Gospel.

    The first lesson we learn here is to look, to listen, to meditate and penetrate the meaning – at once so deep and so mysterious – of this very simple, very humble and very beautiful manifestation of the Son of God. Perhaps we learn, even imperceptibly, the lesson of imitation.

    Here we learn the method which will permit us to understand who Christ is. Here above all is made clear the importance of taking into account the general picture of his life among us, with its varied background of place, of time, of customs, of language, of religious practices – in fact, everything Jesus made use of to reveal himself to the world. Here everything is eloquent, all has a meaning.

    Here, in this school, one learns why it is necessary to have a spiritual rule of life, if one wishes to follow the teaching of the Gospel and become a disciple of Christ.

    How gladly would I become a child again, and go to school once more in this humble and sublime school of Nazareth: close to Mary, I wish I could make a fresh start at learning the true science of life and the higher wisdom of divine truths.

    But I am only a passing pilgrim. I must renounce this desire to pursue in this home my still incomplete education in the understanding of the Gospel. I will not go on my way however without having gathered – hurriedly, it is true, and as if wanting to escape notice – some brief lessons from Nazareth.

    First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us, besieged as we are by so many uplifted voices, the general noise and uproar, in our seething and over-sensitized modern life.

    May the silence of Nazareth teach us recollection, inwardness, the disposition to listen to good inspirations and the teachings of true masters. May it teach us the need for and the value of preparation, of study, of meditation, of personal inner life, of the prayer which God alone sees in secret.

    Next, there is a lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character. Let us learn from Nazareth that the formation received at home is gentle and irreplaceable. Let us learn the prime importance of the role of the family in the social order.

    Finally, there is a lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the ‘Carpenter’s Son’, in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work; here I would restore the awareness of the nobility of work; and reaffirm that work cannot be an end in itself, but that its freedom and its excellence derive, over and above its economic worth, from the value of those for whose sake it is undertaken. And here at Nazareth, to conclude, I want to greet all the workers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern, their brother who is God. He is the prophet of all their just causes, Christ our Lord.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1964/01/06/archives/text-of-popes-address-at-nazareth.html

    1. Estovir, thanks for reminding us you’re such a good Catholic. With all your homophobic posts, it gets a little confusing.

      1. Congratulations for proving his point. At one point in time we were a civil society. While the editors of the NYT probably werent devout Catholics, they showed deference to the institution of the Catholic Church just as every societal institution at one time was robust, respected and showed deference. While I am not Catholic I can see what estovir is trying to do. The state of our culture has fallen greatly, with every decent societal norm destroyed, a point your self-righteous, ad hominem supports all too well. Dumb azz

              1. “First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us, besieged as we are by so many uplifted voices, the general noise and uproar, in our seething and over-sensitized modern life.”

  2. Timely article and a positive contribution to the discussion.

    Why Bureaucracy, Not Your Doctor, Is Making All Your Medical Decisions

    With the current third-party payment structure, you doctor does not practice as much medicine on you as insurance executives and federal bureaucrats do.

    Americans, who practices medicine on you? The answer may seem self-evident, but it is not. In our current health-care system, millions of nameless, faceless government or private insurance bureaucrats practice medicine on you without a license for medicine.

    You may think your life is in your doctor’s hands, but it is not. The bureaucrats, not you or your doctor, make your medical and financial decisions. Consider these health-care decisions:

    Diagnosis
    Treatment: what, when, where, by whom
    Medications
    Paying for care

    Your doctor does not express your diagnosis in words such as arthritis, asthma, or heart failure. If a physician or hospital wants to be paid, they must use a letter-number diagnosis listed in the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) code book, which turns 1,400 human ailments into more than 68,000 codes. Examples of these “diagnoses” include: W55.21 (bitten by a cow); W61.33 (pecked by a chicken); V00.01 (pedestrian on foot injured in collision with roller blader); Z63.1 (problem with in-laws); and my personal favorite, Y92.146 (injured at a swimming pool within a prison).

    Once a diagnostic code is established, you expect the doctor to recommend the correct treatment by the most experienced operator in the best facility at the optimal time given your medical condition. In reality, you will receive whatever the insurance carrier allows, whenever the carrier allows it, at a contracted facility, by a specialist on the insurance carrier’s panel. All those medical choices are made by nameless, faceless bureaucrats, not your personal medical caregiver.

    Doctors Don’t Get to Make the Decisions

    Clinical advisories and guidelines written by federal administrators have become medical mandates. These treatment plans generally work well for large populations but do not allow for the specific idiosyncrasies, variations, or allergies of individual patients that only their personal physicians know. Although wanting the best care for you, if the doctor deviates from the approved treatment plan, he or she risks reprimand, financial penalty, and even loss of clinical privileges.

    Since you watched your doctor write your prescription, you assumed he chose your medication. Reality is otherwise. The medication you get is decided by a pharmacy benefits manager (PBM), a company contracted by the insurance carrier or health plan. Only the drugs listed by the PBM are available to the prescribing doctor, based on step therapy.

    Also known as fail first, step therapy starts with drugs that have the cheapest price, largest rebate to the PBM, and least risk of adverse reaction. These are the drugs the doctor can prescribe, even if they are not the right medications for you. Only after you have taken them and after the doctor proves to the PBM that the medication failed, can a second, stronger set of drug options become available. Eventually, the PBM may allow the doctor to prescribe the drug he or she wanted for you in the first place.

    Recall the promise, if you “like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” assuring patients they could choose their doctors. While the doctor shortage before 2010 did limit patients’ options for personal physicians, the Affordable Care Act further reduced the possibility you could have the doctor of your choosing in the following way.

    Obamacare raised costs to all insurance companies by expanding eligibility and benefits, reducing medical underwriting, and increasing administrative burdens. Insurers offset the increased expenses by narrowing their medical panels.

    In other words, they fired physicians, eliminating them from their contracted panels. Privately insured patients were forced to choose their doctors from a much smaller pool than previously. It is worse for Medicaid patients: Nationally 31 percent of physicians do not accept Medicaid patients, and in Texas, less than half do.

    Third Parties Determine Health-care Outcomes

    Money is an incentive used to reward preferred behaviors and outcomes. “He who has the gold makes the rules.” In health care, he who controls the money determines what is preferred. As third parties rather than consumers decide what your doctor is paid, third parties rather than consumers determine the outcome. As a result, the outcome is not timely care.

    Covering 180 million Americans, private insurance companies’ preferred outcome is profit. The longer they withhold payment, the more money they make. Thus, insurance carriers delay, defer, and deny patient care.

    The federal government is the third-party payer for 140 million Americans through Medicaid, Medicare, and Tricare. Washington’s preferred outcome is extension of its power. This is accomplished by expansion of the scope and reach of the federal bureaucracy.

    To pay the exorbitant costs of federal bureaucracy, Washington diverts money from providers and hospitals to pay bureaucrats and agencies. As a result, patients have less access to care and longer, medically dangerous wait times before they can see a doctor. Some even die waiting in line for life-saving care.

    With the current third-party payment structure, your doctor does not practice as much medicine on you as insurance executives and federal bureaucrats do. As a result, Americans do not get timely needed care. The only way for patients to get the care they need when they need it is to restore a direct doctor-patient relationship, without a third-party payer in between making medical and financial decisions.

    Someone will no doubt exclaim, “I can’t possibly afford to pay for my care.” The proper response is, “Last year, you did pay $28,166 — what did you get for it?!” If each patient were in control of family health-care spending, the United States could have a free market for health-care goods and services.

    Prices would plummet. Add safety nets for the “disabled, blind, and aged,” the originally intended Medicaid population, and all Americans would have the health care they want: affordable and accessible.

    Deane Waldman, MD MBA, is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Pathology and Decision Science and author of “Curing the Cancer in U.S. Healthcare: StatesCare and Market-Based Medicine.”

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/12/27/why-bureaucracy-not-your-doctor-is-making-all-your-medical-decisions/

    1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me forty-two 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-six weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – with good luck I will soon have seafront property to sell

  3. My hope is the Senate will take a vote to try the case brought by the House. I admire my President for many reasons and admonish him for others. He is a very transparent individual. Probably too transparent for his own good most would say. But his ego is as large as Texas (my state) and it could definitely work against his best interest to fall into the traps set by Schumer should there be a full trial.
    This country is so divided and that division has only widened since the beginning of the impeachment, which according to Nancy Pelosi has been in the making for 22 months prior. The sooner they put an end to this impeachment the better, yet the House is surely going to go on a serial impeachment hunt for the rest of his term.
    To summarily dismiss the case brought before them with 51 votes for an acquittal would bring relief for some. It wouldn’t matter if angels took the witness stand in his defense, there is too much hatred against him. The congress should be doing what we sent them there to do.

  4. The Basis for Impeachment and Removal

    “The president shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided 2/3 of the Senators Present Concur.”; Article 2 Section 2 Clause 2 of the United States Constitution.

    This is a conditional statement that covers All foreign interactions, due to the fact that all foreign interactions are agreements between two foreign nations or the representatives thereof.

    “A treaty is nothing more than a bargain”, Federalist #64 Jay.

    So it doesn’t matter what you call the foreign interaction, it is a negotiation of an agreement between the United States and a foreign government or entity. Saying an agreement with a foreign entity is not a treaty is like saying bacon isn’t pork.

    Furthermore, by and with the means Before and During, not After, the President must receive the advice and consent of the Senate before and during any foreign interactions or contacts to determine the Interest of the United States in the subject of the contact, to set the parameters of the discussions, and to set what constitutes an agreement. When their conditions are met then the President has been empowered, as the Representative of the United States, to sign the agreement in the name of the United States of America.

    To understand this relationship between Representatives and Congress you must read Article #13 of the Articles of Confederation which defines this dependent relationship which is reflected by extension to all Executive departments and officials of the Federal Government, up to and including the President, on Congress, and in Particular the Senate which has been empowered with the Power of concurrence on all Laws and all Treaties.

    The coequal branches of Government are the House and the Senate, two distinct assemblies of the States as the Union with corresponding Rights of Suffrage to reach Majority Consensus. The combined unions into the Bicameral Legislature forms the More Perfect Union of the States, a symbiotic relationship which establishes the Power of the Purse, Legislative Checks and Balances, Continuity and Stability of Government, and the Union of the States as the Established Government Authority and the Senate as the Supreme Legislative and Governing Authority of the United States.

    The United States of America is a Compound Confederacy combining a Simple Confederacy with a Confederated Republic establishing Congress, with Distributed Power and Collective Decision Making, as the decision making assembly of the States as the Union, the Union which makes our Country the United States of America.

    Impeachment and Removal is for any Government Official, up to and including the President, who forgets this subordinate relationship with the States as the Union as they are assembled in Congress!

          1. My credentials are my ability to read and comprehend on at least an 8th grade level, maybe you should try it, everything I write comes straight from the Constitution, Articles of Confederation, and the Declaration of Independence, all of which are written for the common person to read and comprehend.

    1. federalistpapersrevisited — I think that is a nice summation. I suspect that constitution scholars will quibble about non-treaty negotiations with foreign countries, but really have nothing to add.

    1. Now that China is no longer accepting most of our recyclables, maybe we will stop shipping our garbage overseas for others to deal with. We don’t want the nasty, polluting business of recycling plastics here in the US. We got China to do it, and then felt ecologically superior to the polluting, fetid country. Some of that toxic smoke is from our garbage.

      We also send our toxic eWaste to India for untouchable caste children to pick over.

      We waste so much fuel dumping our problems on poorer countries.

      When you make a mess, you clean it up. We need to clean up our own trash. Recycling plastic is toxic and expensive. Maybe if we’re not able to export it, we’ll figure out a cleaner, better way to deal with our mess.

        1. Of course it is not our intention to harm children overseas. The correct word would have been “where” not “for”. But our country is well aware of what happens to the eWaste we send to India. We know where it goes, and how it is disposed of. And we still do it.

          We need to clean up our own messes. There is an incentive to send it overseas where it is cheaper, and less regulated. But it’s not right.

          This is also one of the reasons why I support domestic oil drilling. We have better environmental protections, and we can avoid sending money to countries that commonly support terrorism. We should develop our own oil reserves.

          1. Of course it is not our intention to harm children overseas. The correct word would have been “where” not “for”.

            Karen,
            The only reason I challenged your comment was to be consistent in calling out misrepresentations of facts. Leave the hyperbole to the Left. I understood what you meant, but we have people on this blog that would eat that hook, line and sinker.

  5. Ivan, calm down. After all this is the three turtledoves day of Christmas.

    The House of Representatives has now asserted that Donald Trump’s noncooperation with their inquiries is the high crime of obstructing Congress.

    1. If you don´t want to be called out for saying patently false and stupid things, then STFU :). Christmas time doesn’t give you a pass to be an ass.

      An “assertion” by the House doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. The WH doesn’t have to cooperate with the House, nor vice versa.

        1. An article that was crafted by the way, because the only thing it obstructed was their arbitrary Christmas deadline. This fiasco began with a hearsay whistleblower complaint that blew up immediately upon release of the call transcript. How do we know it blew up? Because Schiff needed to parody the call rather than cite an impeachable offense. House Democrats got busted playing politics with a political process and lost control of the process. And unsurprisingly, they are projecting blame on Senate Republicans for the Democrats failure.

  6. Turley buries the facts deep in his column which explain why witnesses were not called in the Clinton Senate hearing and why anyone who wants a fair hearing in this one should be lobbying McConnel to call them instead of beating the dead horse of the House not fighting Trump for their appearance.

    All the witnesses had testified previously in the Clinton hearing and the material was deemed possibly indecent and not in keeping with Senate decorum. There was no issue regarding determining the facts, which Clinton also admitted to, unlike Trump.

    There is no excuse for Turley continuing to blame the House without faulting Trump for his unprecedented blanket refusal to cooperate, and in any case, that point is moot. Law professor or citizen, serious people have no excuse for not demanding the 1st person witnesses be heard from on these serious charges, and that power is no longer available to the House. It is to the Senate.

    1. bythecrookedbook:

      “Turley buries the facts deep in his column ….There is no excuse for Turley continuing to blame the House without faulting Trump for his unprecedented blanket refusal to cooperate, and in any case, that point is moot.”

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

      What you and every other Dim nimrod “bury” is that the President has every right to assert executive privilege and have that matter litigated BEFORE turning over witnesses or documents to the Mouse of Representatives. Under the “logic” of your juvenile assessment, every criminal defendant or administrative respondent who doesn’t take the witness stand based in his legal rights should be punished AND presumed guilty of any whack-a-mole charge the Dim-rods (I like that) can dream up..

      Keep throwing those batting practice arguments and most around here will just keep blasting them right back over your head. It seems Soros has some stupid talking points authors. Nazis always made for bad lawyers.

      1. “the President has every right to assert executive privilege and have that matter litigated ”

        1) Trump did not plead executive privilege on this subject. Prof. Turley has been misrepresenting the facts about that for months now, Trump pleaded absolute _immunity._

        2) Trump did not seek to have the matter litigated. Prof. Turley has been misrepresenting the facts about _that_ for months now, too. Trump argued that it was nonjusticiable, that the courts had no authority to decide the matter.

        “Under the “logic” of your juvenile assessment, every criminal defendant”

        Stop right there; you’re making a category error. Impeachment is not a criminal proceeding. (In non-criminal proceedings, the defendant/accused _can_ be required to testify.)

        1. Stop right there, you’re making a Constitutional error.

          Trump, like any citizen, has the right to dispute the demands of the House. If the House wants to compel the production of evidence then they can go to the court to do so. Its as simple as that.

          It doesn’t matter that impeachment is not a criminal proceeding. What matters is that the Congress does not possess absolute power. We have a system of checks and balances…the check on the House subpoena is a ruling from the judiciary.

          Go back to elementary school and learn basic civics.

          1. Ivan, I fear that you have it all wrong. Impeachment by the House of Representatives is no trial at all. The non-criminal trial is held by the Senate.

            1. Reading comprehension is clearly not your thing: the question is whether or not the President has the right to question the House subpoena/demand. The answer is always yes.

              Nowhere did I claim that Impeachment proceedings are a trial, in fact I said it is not, you clown. Think before you post.

          2. Ivan, more and more power is concentrating in the hands of unelected bureaucrats, who work behind the scenes regardless of who sits at the Resolute Desk. Look at how much trouble FBI agents caused because they felt they were above the law. FBI, IRS, NSA, EPA, and all those other myriad government agencies, all staffed by some people with strong political bias, combined with power. They last throughout administrations.

        2. David:

          The POTUS hasn’t directly asserted any privilege yet. He’s simply alluded to immunity which any lawyer will tell you is based on testimonial privilege or executive privilege or both. These defenses don’t have to be asserted until CONGRESS seeks to compel testimony in court. So you have it half right but the analysis you use about process is lacking.

          On the issue of categorical error, I wasn’t saying impeachment was criminal in nature. I was alluding to the necessity of due process in any government fact-finding and decision making and analogizing to BOTH criminal and administrative adjudications. And by the way, the Fifth Amendment applies to criminal and civil proceedings.

          Hope this clears up your confusion. Bythebook’s confusion is hopeless.

          1. “any lawyer will tell you is based on testimonial privilege or executive privilege or both”

            Well, I am a lawyer and I won’t tell me that, because it is not correct. The immunity that Trump is asserting is NOT the same thing as privilege. If you review Judge Jackson’s ruling on the McGahn assertion of immunity, you will be able to see the difference. The administration took the position that McGahn did not have to appear at all because he was absolutely immune from testifying. The court rejected that argument (as did the only other court ever to consider it, with respect to Harriet Miers) but noted that he could still assert executive privilege with respect to individual questions when appropriate.

            As for due process, no particular process is due in the impeachment context. Nixon v. U.S. made that clear. Three justices wanted to hold that there had to be at least the trappings of a proceeding; the majority, however, rejected that, even for the hypothetical situation in which the senate just automatically voted to remove.

            Finally, as for the fifth amendment, one can assert it in the course of civil proceedings, but only to protect oneself from criminal prosecution, not to insulate oneself from the civil suit. As a result, if a litigant does choose to assert it in such a civil context, it can be held against that litigant. (That contrasts with a criminal case, in which a fact-finder is absolutely forbidden to consider a defendant’s refusal to testify.)

            1. Finally, as for the fifth amendment, one can assert it in the course of civil proceedings, but only to protect oneself from criminal prosecution
              ___________________________________________

              As far as i know Trump has not been asked to testify. How does the fifth apply to preventing others from testifying?

            2. David:

              Well if you knew the law you’d tell me that. The holder of a legally recognized privilege is conferred immunity from contempt of court for refusing to testify. That’s why I said Trump’s claim of immunity is based in privilege. It’s only been that way since the1500s so maybe you hadn’t heard about. Here’s the famous case every lawyer should know: “1577 in the case of Berd v Lovelace
              the full report of which states:

              ‘Thomas Hawtry, gentleman, was served with a subpoena to testify his knowledge touching the cause in variance; and made oath that he hath been, and yet is a solicitor in this suit, and hath received several fees of the defendant; which being informed to the Master of the Rolls, it is ordered that the said Thomas Hawtry shall not be compelled to be deposed, touching the same; and that he shall be in no danger of any contempt, touching the not executing of the same process.’”

              By the way, Trump hasn’t plead anything because Congress was in too much of a hurry to take hiM To court.

              Btw If you’re a lawyer, did you ever pass the bar?

              1. Mespo, as noted by David, Judge Jackson has already ruled that total immunity does not apply, and cites Miers in support. This discussion begins on p. 90 of her ruling and also notes how rare this claim is as historically the Executive branch has negotiated disputes over specific testimony, while recognizing the legitimacy of congressional oversight.

                1. bythebook -some decisions of the Supreme Court are 9-0, some 5-4. Judge Jackson might as well be Judge Judy right now. The Supremes have said they will hear three of these cases probably in March.

                  1. Paul, yes, you can hope that the SC will find for presidents ignoring congressional oversight with blanket stonewalling, but as noted, there is a reason that the case law is rare. Those cheering on the President in this effort will quickly regret it if he prevails.

                    1. bythebook – if the Senate moves forward when it reconvenes, the SC may find the cases moot.

                    2. Those cheering on the President in this effort will quickly regret it if he prevails.

                      We’ve been hearing those same alarms for 3 years now. He continues to prevail against efforts to undermine his administration. I have no regrets at this point. In fact, the IG report has strengthened my support. Durham and Barr will remove all doubt. Then it will be up to the voters to accept or reject Trump’s direction of our country, or the totalitarian left’s bribes and lawfare.

      2. Pretty weak and inaccurate argument by Mespo against the obstruction article, as his points have fallen off one by one to only “that hearsay whistleblower is a 1st person witness”. He’s been consistent on wanting him outed as he cleverly asserts that the jailhouse snitch is of questionable character after the murder weapon and recently changed life insurance policy have been found. Irrelevant.

        Amusing, but unspoken as always is the unwillingness to look at facts. In this case the 1st person witnesses in the administration who would likely throw the most available light on our knowledge of what happened.

        These witnesses were Turley’s focus until the Democrats no longer had any ability to call them, and now he’s forgotten about the witnesses while continuing to stick it to the Democrats for ………….whatever he can think of.

      3. Under the “logic” of your juvenile assessment, every criminal defendant or administrative respondent who doesn’t take the witness stand based in his legal rights should be punished AND presumed guilty of any whack-a-mole charge the Dim-rods (I like that) can dream up..
        __________________________________________________
        Nobody is asking Trump to give up 5th Amendment protection from self-incrimination so don’t try to pretend that is what this is about.

        I could be wrong but I believe only the President can compel others to disobey subpoenas and get away with it. And when the subpoenas are a summon to appear in an impeachment inquiry the Supreme Court has already ruled the President does not have that right to prevent others from testifying. .

        You do not have the right to prevent others from testifying against you. You also do not have the right to have a court hearing to assert that non-existent right. So don’t pretend this is about extending rights to Trump that everyone else has.

        Putting legal considerations aside Trump has been accused of abuse of power and obstruction. Those accusations will stick in the minds of a vast majority of the electorate if the witnesses that have direct knowledge of the facts do not testify. The only way Trump can be exonerated in the eyes of those voters is if the witnesses provide exculpatory evidence. Even if witnesses provide the evidence that clears Trump many will believe they are lying but the majority will figure Trump is cleared of the accusations.

        Just to be clear the fact that the vast majority of voters will know Trump did what he is accused of (if no exonerating testimony appears) does not mean he will lose in 2020. A lot of people who believe he did the things he is accused of will vote for him anyway.

        1. Those accusations will stick in the minds of a vast majority of the electorate…

          Some people believe in Santa and a few others (and declining) believe in George Soros secretly funded agitprop groups. Santa looks better and better by the week

          Run Hillary Run in 2020!!

          ho ho wh8re

          🤶🏻

    2. Law professor or citizen, serious people have no excuse for not demanding the 1st person witnesses be heard from on these serious charges, and that power is no longer available to the House.

      Let’s test that theory. House Republicans had 1st person fact witnesses they were not allowed to call in both Schiff and Nadler’s hearings. All completely in the control of the House Democrats. House Democrats also refused to wait for subpoenas to be decided by the courts, which is something that was completely within their control to demand. What excuse did they have for rushing an incomplete investigation to a vote?

        1. Huh? They were allowed to call all of their first person fact witnesses? Like Schiff, the whistleblower or the Bidens? What am I missing here, because they weren’t allowed to call any of them.

            1. Are you naturally slow, or only when you’ve been drinking and doing these drivebys? My comment was a question for clarity. Why don’t you translate his comment, since you claim to understand that dialect.

            1. Explain how the whistleblower is not a first person fact witness of his own complaint. Additionally, it would depend on what facts/evidence the Republicans want brought into the inquiry to determine if they’re fact witnesses or not. By denying those witnesses, the Democrats are at less of a risk of losing control of the political narrative.

              1. Explain how the whistleblower is not a first person fact witness of his own complaint.
                _________________________________________
                The complaint became irrelevant. The committee had the transcript before they had the complaint. they had enough info to investigate without the complaint.

                If Hunter Biden was called then why not Trump’s children and Jared Kirchner. The positions of power that Trump’s relatives enjoy are due to the same type of corruption as Biden’s son. Maybe we should ask Canada to investigate trump’s relatives.

            1. How do you know until they are heard? How many of the witnesses called by the Democrats were first person fact witnesses? And yet they were called.

              1. The only issue that is in dispute is did Trump extort the Ukraine by refusing to give them aid until they complied with the demand to investigate the Bidens for corruption.
                The Whistleblower, Shiff and Biden don’t have any info that would help answer the question.
                Some of the witnesses didn’t have info that would help either but they did help with revealing who would have the info.

                1. “but they did help with revealing who would have info”

                  You do a killer Heather Locklear Faberge commercial

                2. The Whistleblower, Shiff and Biden don’t have any info that would help answer the question.

                  You know this how? Both Trump and Biden have asserted their actions were consistent with an anti-corruption purpose. Only one of the two is proven to have leveled a QPQ with Ukraine…Biden. Yet Biden wants us to take his word for it, instead of wanting to prove it.

                  Logically, if Biden was innocent, the proof would destroy Trump’s reelection and make Biden virtually unbeatable.

                  1. Logically, if Biden was innocent, the proof would destroy Trump’s reelection and make Biden virtually unbeatable.
                    ___________________________________

                    Biden may well not be innocent, but that doesn’t in anyway justify extortion by Trump.

                    Is that your argument? If both Trump and Biden are corrupt is that a tie and trump goes free?

                    I believe the WB, Biden and Shiff have no personal knowledge because I have heard no rational argument that suggest they would.

        2. David:
          The whistleblower – and he wasn’t legally one – who made the complaint is not a fact witness? Maybe your confusion isn’t fixable?

          1. Not what I said. The whistleblower — and of course he was one; the ICWPA does not purport to define whether someone is a whistleblower, but simply whether that person is entitled to certain protections — was not a FIRST PERSON fact witness.

            That isn’t even a controversial claim; indeed, it was the primary Trumpkin argument before the quasi-transcript was released: the whistleblower doesn’t actually have any firsthand knowledge of anything.

            1. The whistleblower — and of course he was one;

              They had to restrospectively alter the definition to allow his complaint.

              1. They had to restrospectively alter the definition to allow his complaint.
                ______________________________________

                You are just tossing out red herrings.
                If the complaint has been rejected the law says the whistle blower can then submit it directly to Shiff and his House committee.

            2. David M. Nieporent – the “snitcher” is not a legitimate whistleblower. They did not literally tick all of the boxes, which is a requirement.

              1. the “snitcher” is not a legitimate whistleblower.
                _______________________________________
                That is not really important at this point

                Trump released the transcript before the complaint was submitted to Congress. None of the statements laid out in the articles of impeachment rely on anything that the whistle blower said.

                Personally i think the whistle blower is working for Trump so I would like to hear him testify, under oath, who put him up to this. But even if it turns out that Trump did ask him to file the complaint, its not really relevant to a Senate trial at this point.

              2. Mr. Schulte,
                I disagree with the use of the word “snitcher”. For future reference, please use the word “fink”. 😁

            3. Also, you’re very confused about my location on the political spectrum.

              Hmm? Let’s examine your objectivity.

              it was the primary Trumpkin argument

              No, not confused at all.

              1. Hmm? Let’s examine your objectivity.

                it was the primary Trumpkin argument

                No, not confused at all.
                ______________________________________
                He should have called the people that one day say the WB has no 1st hand knowledge and then next day claim the WB does just plain “liars”

                We get it that you want the House to impeach Biden.

            4. David M. Nieporent:

              “Not what I said. The whistleblower — and of course he was one; the ICWPA does not purport to define whether someone is a whistleblower, but simply whether that person is entitled to certain protections — was not a FIRST PERSON fact witness.”
              ********************
              He’s neither whistleblower nor a first person witness but he is a fact witness to explain the motivations for the lies he perpetrated.

              The whistleblower was not legally a whistleblower within the relevant statute as the POTUS conversations aren’t covered by the statute. Here’s a lawyer who actually knows what he’s talking about:

              “As I’ve previously explained, the man in question may be a “whistleblower” in some common-usage sense of the word. Yet, he is not a whistleblower in the statutory sense. That’s the only sense that matters because the relevant statute is what triggers whistleblower protections. Under that statute, protected status is given to an official who reports on intelligence activities within the jurisdiction of the director of national intelligence. The statute does not apply to the president’s conducting of foreign policy, including his communications with foreign heads of state.

              In this instance, the inspector general of the intelligence community (IGIC) chose to handle the man’s complaint as if it raised an intelligence-related “urgent concern,” as defined by the statute. The IGIC thus treated the man as if he had protected status. That was an error. The acting director of national intelligence correctly found that the complaint did not meet the statutory criteria, and he therefore declined to pass it along to Congress (as the statute mandates for complaints that do meet the criteria). But as he is new and understandably did not want to be perceived as throwing the IGIC under the proverbial bus, the acting DNI publicly conformed to the fiction that the man has protected status under the law. He does not.”

              ~ Andrew McCarthy, Esq.

              You can read the discussion of 50 U.S. Code § 3033 which deals with a whistlebower in the context of an intelligence agency and an “urgent concern”:

              https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/09/trump-whistleblower-claim-congress-should-investigate/

              Here’s McCarthy’s credentials:

              “For 18 years, Mr. McCarthy was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. From 1993 through 1995, he led the prosecution against the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman and his jihadist cell for waging a terrorist war against the U.S. – a war that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. During the last five years of his tenure, he was the chief assistant U.S. attorney in charge of the Southern District’s satellite in White Plains. During that time, he was also heavily involved in the investigation of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Following the 9/11 attacks, he supervised the Justice Department’s Command Post near Ground Zero in New York City. In 2004, he served at the Pentagon as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.”

              If you’ve got better credentials than AUSA McCarthy state ’em.

              And lke I asked earlier, did you pass the bar?

    3. Get a grip. Imagine Juanita Brodderick testifying in the Senate to the details of her being raped by the President. Imagine Paula Jones testifying to seeing the President drop his pants and expose his penis to her. Imagine any public investigation into the accusations against Hillary and the sick actions that were allegedly taken against Bill´s victims.

      The effect of seeing these accusations made publicly on the Senate floor would have been absolutely devastating…and I’m saying this as someone who supported Bill. If we had done to Clinton what was done to Kavanaugh, then Bill would have resigned.

      1. Juanita Broaddrick had sworn three times under oath that nothing happened. I don’t think hypothetical contrary testimony at that point would have convinced anyone of anything.

        Also, not really clear how either of those people would have been allowed to testify given that they had no information relevant to either article of impeachment.

        1. David M. Nieporent – Lewinski signed an affidavit saying nothing happened. Opps, then that blue dress showed up. People lie for the strangest reasons, some good, some bad.

          1. Whether Lewinsky lied depends on whether she genuinely believed that oral sex was sex. (She denied the latter, not the former.) But assuming for the sake of argument that she lied, I don’t see how that is relevant here; it’s not exactly a shock that some people lie, even under oath. The point is, after swearing repeatedly that nothing happened, a contrary claim by Broaddrick would not have had a whole lot of credibility. The only reason we could know for certain what happened with Lewinsky was the dress. (We also had her taped conversations with Tripp, but that could’ve just been the proverbial locker room talk.)

            1. could’ve just been the proverbial locker room talk.

              Straw men are your thing, not surprisingly. You failed to define the word “dress” since Hillary wears combat boots, Bill “Rapist in Chief” Clinton has genital herpes and peyronnies disease (bent dicq) and FOB see women as objects of pleasure, eg Weinstein, Epstein, et al

              But lets discuss straw men since we need to be certain you like brains made of straw sans heart

            2. You seem to change your mind as facile as Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Rachel Madcow.

              “Juanita had sworn three times under oath…” Dec 27 at 11:30 am

              then

              ”not exactly a shock that some people lie, even under oath”
              Dec 28 at 7:18 AM

              And that trolls make sh!t up

              Just saying

    4. The usual Trumpsters here continue to avoid as much evidence as possible. This supposedly based on a concern for an imagined principle in Trump denying not specific requests an an oversight inquiry, but denying any duty to respond at all.Yeah, great principle!

      Those who care about establishing the Presidents guilt or innocence should lobby for the Senate calling those 1st person witnesses.

  7. Gym opened again today after being closed for 3 days. Got out of bed at 5 am and dragged my slug body to do Stairmaster for 45 mins. The demons were howling!!!

    A new year is around the corner, and it is time for a new attitude, renewed vigor, and a new attitude. If not you then who? Get on your feet!

    😅

      1. 😀

        Watching Gloria Estefan videos while doing cardio exercises helps

        Since you’re in Arizona, maybe exercising in the desert will do the trick? Drag your wife with you.

        1. estovir:

          It’s worth considering that 80s running guru, Dr. James Fixx, died at age 52 with 10% body fat from running 15 miles a day from a combination of atherosclerosis and cardiomegaly. The fault of our demise is in our stars not our exercise routine.

            1. Mespo is going to join me at the gym one day at 5:45 am to tackle a Stairmaster

              Yes. He. Will.

              because diversity is our strength

            2. Estivir:
              In my playing days, it was a daily routine of running and weight training. Now in my 60s it’s maintaining my 1950s era river house and pool. The running and lifting were much easier. I could finish a exercise regimens in 2 hours. The house takes all day Sat and Sunday.

            1. I thought I posted this earlier, but I’m not seeing it. Running might have bought Fixx a few extra years.

              https://www.nytimes.com/1984/07/24/science/the-doctor-s-world-james-fixx-the-enigma-of-heart-disease.html

              ‘former wife, Alice Kasman Fixx, said, ”He never had any warning.”

              ”If he did,” she said, ”he ignored it.”

              Reports immediately after his death suggested that Mr. Fixx did not have a regular physician and had not gone for a routine checkup as his sister had urged him to do, even though his father had his first heart attack at the age of 35 and died of another one at 43.’

            2. Wikipedia on Fixx:

              “Death

              Fixx died on July 20, 1984 at age 52 of a fulminant heart attack, during his daily run on Vermont Route 15 in Hardwick.[1] The autopsy, conducted by Vermont’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Eleanor McQuillen, revealed that atherosclerosis had blocked one coronary artery 95%, a second 85%, and a third 70%.[4] (His father Calvin Fixx had died of a second heart attack at age 43.[5])

              In 1986 exercise physiologist Kenneth Cooper published an inventory of the risk factors that might have contributed to Fixx’s death.[6] Granted access to his medical records and autopsy, and after interviewing his friends and family, Cooper concluded that Fixx was genetically predisposed – his father died of a heart attack at 43 after a previous one at 35, and Fixx himself had a congenitally enlarged heart – and had an unhealthy life: Fixx was a heavy smoker before beginning running at age 36, had a stressful occupation, had undergone a second divorce, and his weight before he took up running had ballooned to 214 pounds (97 kg).[7] Medical opinion continues to uphold the link between moderate exercise and longevity.[8]”

            3. FH is a death sentence with little hope of extending one’s life when undiagnosed. Most cases are undiagnosed. By the time it is discovered they have already had a cardiac event (e.g. heart attack) meaning their arteries are sclerotic (“clogged”).

              See
              The Tragic Truth About Familial Hypercholesterolemia
              https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2015/09/24/17/25/the-tragic-truth-about-familial-hypercholesterolemia

              Once a person’s coronary arteries are occluded there is no regression. While the idea of using roto rooter is attractive, it ain’t possible. Thus current treatment goals for all patients diagnosed with ANY TYPE OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS is to prevent progression, which means diet and exercise initially, then pharmacological intervention if the patient is non-compliant. As seen in the comments here, most Americans are noncompliant. James Fixx extended his life by 10-20 years with his lifestyle interventions. He would have lived longer had he had a cardiac checkup: he was experiencing reoccurring chest pain prior to his MI.

              On that note, we are vacationing out of state, staying at a hotel on the ocean, with a beautiful balcony room facing the ocean. I did my cardio this morning in the hotel gym and now it is breakfast time:

              Eggs Benedict, Biscuits with tons of butter, and because I like Mespo, I will have a plate of bacon in his honor. I am joking.
              😋

  8. I remember when Krugman predicted Trump would usher in economic catastrophe. I know of a hard core Democrat who passed on buying a horse because she said since Trump got elected, obviously the economy was going to go into the toilet. I remember when people on the blog used to say that today’s booming economy was Obama’s doing. That’s interesting, since Trump reversed so many of Obama’s policies. The only record Obama broke was for minorities going on food stamps.

    Meanwhile, Democrat presidential candidates appear to be in a race to have the most policies that would destroy our economy. They frantically try to outdo each other with promising lucrative free bees to prospective voters. It’s like promising to rob people and give it to them. Reparations for the sins of people dead over a hundred years. Free college. Free healthcare. Free healthcare to illegal aliens. Open borders. Abolish ICE. Get more people competing for entry level jobs. That’ll keep people poor and voting Democrat for sure! $1000 guaranteed income (paid for by taking a lot more than $1000 from taxpayers, hoping they don’t do the math). Undo Prop 13 protection for businesses in CA. Higher Corporate tax rates. Wealth taxes. Knocking the rich right out of investments, and when that money dries up so will all of our IRA and 401 investments. It’s a race to see who can usher us into Venezuela faster.

    How interesting. The economy is booming. More people have jobs. More people are better off. And the Democrats are running on the polar opposite policy.

    “When President Trump was elected, Paul Krugman wrote, “[I]f the question is when the markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”

    Still, despite Trump’s critics on tax policy and Chinese tariffs and to the surprise of many in the establishment, the markets are doing just fine. Several days ago, the Dow Jones Index gained its 10,000th point since Trump was elected.

    That index, which is made up of a handful of larger U.S. companies, is now over 28,000 points. A more accurate measure of market performance, the S&P 500 Index, is up more than 45 percent since Trump’s election November 8, 2016.

    Clearly, Krugman was wrong. One reason is that the Trump administration oversaw a tax reform package that cut U.S. corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent. Democrats smear Trump for cutting taxes to corporations, but during the Obama administration, there was bipartisan agreement that the U.S. corporate tax was too high — it’s just that nobody did anything about it.”

  9. Bill Clinton admitted to breaking the law when he perjured himself regarding having an affair with an intern.

    That did not rise to the level of a high crime, and therefore he was not removed from office.

    Trump has committed no high crime. This has been an attempt to wound him for 2020.

    Is this how it is going to be from now on? If you don’t like who won, then use your position of power to try to change the result? An FBI agent even materially altered an email from the CIA in order to spy on Carter Page, and therefore got a back door into the Trump campaign.

    Democrats have dragged this out for years. They promised they’d impeach him the day after he was elected. This whole Russian collusion hoax has gone on for 3 years. No matter how many times one explains that the evidence shows it was Democrats who actually colluded with Russia in order to influence the 2016 election, they have no response. Their allegations keep falling apart, just like the transcript showed there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine. In fact, it was Democrat Joe Biden who bragged, on camera, about a quid pro quo with Ukraine. Again, they have no response. You can explain to people over and over that you literally cannot have a quid pro quo if the other side isn’t aware of it, and they have no response.

    This isn’t justice. It’s political warfare.

    What if both sides start doing this from now on? What if elections never end no matter who wins and this kind of trench warfare just becomes the norm? Our country is going to destabilize into tribal warfare between Democrats and Republicans, and our prosperity will become a distant memory, a legend.

    1. Trump has been impeached for two high crimes. Conviction or the opposite is to be determined in a Senate trial.

        1. The evidence was given in closed door sessions, but should be obvious. The 2 high crimes can be found mentioned in many news sources. Do you not keep up?

      1. No, he has not. The evidence showed that he did not offer a quid pro quo to Ukraine.

        As has been explained, Ukraine knew nothing about it. You literally cannot have a quid pro quo all by yourself.

        The entire case has fallen apart. Democrats are just pushing yet another false narrative in order to wound Trump for 2020.

        Does it not bother you that one accusation after another has been abandoned? Remember when Trump was accused of being an anti-semite? When his voters were accused of spreading anti-semitism? This was obviously a falsehood, and so it was cast aside and the next false accusation tried on. One after another, they are discarded. There are no apologizes. No making amends.

        It’s OK because they just don’t like him.

        1. Karen continues with her falsehoods, based on her refusal to look at all the evidence. Perhaps she will agree that this can best be solved by the Senate calling the “1st person” witnesses Trump has been hiding. To this point she has avoided that question from me.

          1. A QPQ is not required for the allegations to be deemed an abuse of power. The President personally asked Zelensky to investigate his primary political foe for 2020, a clear misuse of his powers as president.
          2. Within 1.5 hours of the phone call, the WH put a hold on the military aid and tried to keep that fact secret from the public, and both Guliani and Sondland – he had 20+ phone calls with Trump on the issue – told Ukrainians and US State Dept personnel that the WH visit and military aid required a public announcement of the investigation from Zekensky.Zelensky scheduled an appearance on Fareed Zacharia’s Sunday news show on CNN to fulfill this requirement, but cancelled at the last minute when the scheme became public.
          3. The Ukrainians learned the aid was held up at around the time of the 7/25 phone call.
          4. Karen claims elsewhere that witnesses questioned Biden’s activities in the Ukraine. George Kent, career State Dept said the appearance of impropriety due to Hunter’s job at Burisma was noted to higher ups, but he also touched for the actual propriety of Joe’s work in the Ukraine, as did Amber Marie V. {Career State Dept), and Paul Volker (GOP appointee). A sitting GOP congressman who worked as a CIA advisor in the Ukraine says the prosecutor Biden had fired was corrupt, a well known fact to the IMF, the EU, and the US State Dept, all of whom wanted him fired.
          5. We should all be able to agree that we don’t want Presidents weaponizing their power to investigate political opponents. Right? There are procedures and institutions for this purpose. That’s one of the primary tools we have to keep us from becoming tin pot dictatorships.

          1. bythebook – you are not going to like it if they have witnesses, Trump wants scalps, starting with Schiff’s to get to the fake whistleblower. Then Biden pere and fils, then the whistleblower, then who the whistleblower told. And the Democratic Senators are going to have to watch this bloodbath. And Trump can campaign at night, the Senators cannot.

            McConnell is doing the Democrats a favor by not having witnesses.

            1. Paul, I get that wishful thinking is deemed a popular substitute on this board for a coherent argument, and especially by Olly and Mespo, but it is irrelevant to known facts and reasonable discussion. Based on your post, I take it you agree with me and favor calling relevant witnesses to the facts of this case, but not because Americns deserve to know those facts, but for imagined partisan advantage. OK, let’s just hear them.

              1. bythebook – the Senate is on a clock. There will not be time for witnesses for the Democrats. Only witnesses that Trump wants will be called. There is a new game in town.

              2. but it is irrelevant to known facts and reasonable discussion.

                Known facts, eh? If that were true, then surely the House Judiciary would have drafted articles of impeachment on them and the Senate would have had all the known facts to hold a trial and convict. Or is this just wishful thinking as a poor substitute for an actual case?

                Come on, surely you can do better than this.

          2. bythebook:

            “Karen continues with her falsehoods, based on her refusal to look at all the evidence.” You are describing your own actions, not mine.

            Have you forgotten that Democrats called for impeachment because they claimed that Trump engaged in an inappropriate quid pro quo with Ukraine?

            Are you so used to casting aside false allegations and promptly getting amnesia that you have forgotten what this was all about? That “whistleblower” activist mole who materially misrepresented what was in that phone call that he never even heard. The FBI had to change its rules for whistleblowing to include 2nd hand information, and then backdate it for this to even get off the ground.

            It is not an abuse of power to investigate alleged criminal wrongdoing, regardless of whether that person is running as a Democrat. You must admit this, because Trump has been investigated for years, both as a candidate and as a president.

            The Democrats’ own witnesses confirmed that Biden’s actions were wrong. Therefore it is most obviously not an abuse of power to investigate him.

            You claim that Biden’s actions were above board because Ukraine was corrupt and yet you also say that Trump asking for a public confirmation that the new President Zelensky will keep his campaign promise to fight corruption prior to meeting with him was an abuse of power. I assume that those who repeat this ridiculous contradiction have not suffered a traumatic brain injury. What explanation can there be for this illogical argument other than it is deliberate political warfare?

            Over and over again, we see Democrats charging Republicans for their own behavior. If investigating a political candidate for an opposing side is an impeachable offense and abuse of power, then Obama would be impeached, and all the Democrats in Congress would be thrown out of office.

            For you to persist in this willful blindness reinforces the belief that this is dirty political trench warfare.

            Is this the latest Democrat talking point you guys are passing around? Quid pro quo is dead. Don’t mention quid pro quo anymore. Nah. Guys, it’s investigating Joe Biden at all that’s an abuse of power. And, see, we’ll say it with a totally straight face after years and years of investigating Trump for false allegations. Our voters are such dupes, we can tell them anything, anything at all, no matter how inconsistent, paradoxical, or outrageous, and they’ll just absorb it and repeat. So, guys, we’ve all got to practice in the mirror making this new false allegation so we don’t bust up laughing or turn beet red in shame…oh, wait, we’re politicians and internet trolls. We lost our conscience long ago.

      2. The Democrat House dropped the false allegations like bribery. They still cling to the false allegation of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”

        Abuse of power is incredibly vague. As has been proven, there was no quid pro quo to get dirt on Joe Biden. Joe Biden, however, most certainly does warrant a fair investigation. Their own witnesses supported that. You can’t have a quid pro quo if the other party knows nothing about it.

        In order for it to be abuse of power to investigate Joe Biden, a reasonable person would have to believe him wrongfully accused. The Democrats’ own witnesses confirmed Biden’s wrongdoing.

        Therefore, this was another false allegation they will beat until and unless some other false allegation comes along. It’s just a gimmick for votes.

        They have declared that Trump going to the courts was obstruction of justice. As Professor Turley has pointed out, if that were true, then each and every president ever elected would have been impeached and removed from office.

        This is political trench warfare.

        That’s why you won’t define the crimes when asked. If Trump murdered someone, you’d say he was impeached for killing someone. There would be bipartisan unanimous support for impeachment. Instead, the very people who go after freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, and the electoral college, blather on about defending the Constitution and other vagaries. They speak in abstractions because there is no crime they can point to. It’s stumping for office at taxpayer expense.

        Well, I don’t particularly want my taxes used so the Democrats can try to dig dirt on Trump and cheat for 2020.

    2. What if both sides start doing this from now on? What if elections never end no matter who wins and this kind of trench warfare just becomes the norm? Our country is going to destabilize into tribal warfare between Democrats and Republicans
      ____________________________________________________

      That nicely describes what the Democrat and Republican leadership are striving for.

  10. IN WA-PO COLUMN, TURLEY WRITES..

    IMPEACHMENT IS REAL

    Congressional Democrats’ current posture may be too cute by half, and is perhaps politically ill-advised, but any argument that they’ve entered a legal limbo by stalling the delivery of articles to the Senate falls flat. The Framers set a two-thirds requirement for conviction, because it knew that some impeachments might be pure political exercises. It is a different standard set for a distinct stage of this constitutional process.

    The House calls out presidential transgressions that meet the standard of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” That is not an ultimate finding of guilt, and alone can’t effect a president’s removal. But make no mistake, the House speaks in its own voice and in its own time. It did so on Dec. 18, 2019.

    Edited from: “I Testified Against Impeachment. But Let’s Not Pretend It Didnt Happen”

    Op Ed by Johnathan Turley

    This evening’s Washington Post

    1. Yes, the House impeached Trump in purely partisan warfare.

      Now the House is again abusing its authority for political purposes, by withholding the impeachment bill from the Senate. Pelosi has the gall to demand she tell the Senate how to run their affairs. When they acquit Trump, she will claim it was an unfair trail, and speak in more vagaries. If the Senate decides not to allow the House to hold them up any longer, and proceeds without their bill, then she will claim it was an illegitimate process.

      How ironic. Someone who systematically ignores the Constitution, declaring herself its champion.

      I particularly found it a spectacle when Pelosi became outraged when a reporter asked her if they were impeaching Trump simply because they hate him, as the evidence exonerates him. She stomped back to the podium, called Trump a bunch of names, and then said, as a Catholic, she was raised not to hate anyone, and how dare he imply otherwise. The lack of self awareness was total.

      Is this how you want our nation to be run? Bitter, savage political trench warfare, year after year? Because what goes around, comes around. At some point, Democrats will convince Republicans that it’s war. Imagine, if both sides acted the same. Imagine, for a moment, if Liberals were threatened with riots every time they were invited to speak at college campuses. Imagine if Democrats were afraid to wear political clothing because they were certain that they would be harassed or assaulted. Imagine if Democrat business owners were targeted for harassment all around the country and hounded out of business. Imagine if FBI activists targeted Democrat candidates and the IRS targeted Democrat organizations. What if every time Democrats told friends their political ideas, the conservatives called them fascist nazi racists xenophobes who hate the poor. What if Liberal students were harassed in K-grad school.

      Let’s consider what the world would be like if conservatives stopped restraining themselves, gave up, and treated Democrats the way they have been treated for decades.

      This has been going on largely one sided for quite some time, because conservatives believe in individual freedom, such as the right to disagree. What if they become convinced that the Democrat have set the rules that everyone has to play by?

        1. Leave it to the totalitarian Left to imagine a conviction and then sentence the defendant because the evidence didn’t exonerate them.

          Spoiler alert: In our first world western tradition of jurisprudence, the defendant remains not guilty if the evidence is insufficient to convict.

          1. True enough (although you’re apparently forgetting that this isn’t a criminal proceeding). But the evidence here is more than sufficient to convict.

            Also, you’re very confused about my location on the political spectrum.

                1. But, but he’s a lawyer and all. Probably sworn an oath to something. Certainly he wouldn’t support abusing the law for political purposes.

        2. “Spoiler alert: the evidence does not exonerate Trump.”

          Democrats claimed that Trump offered an inappropriate quid pro quo to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, tying aid.

          Facts:

          The FBI backdated a rule change that allowed 2nd hand informants to receive whistleblower protections.

          The whistleblower misrepresented the telephone call that he never even heard.

          The whistleblower met with Schiff’s team and Schiff lied about it.

          The telephone call showed no quid pro quo.

          Ukraine knew nothing about any quid pro quo – confirmed by Zelensky himself as well as the ambassadors. There can be no quid pro quo without the other party knowing about it. This alone disproves the allegation.

          Ambassador Sondland admitted he made the whole thing up, because he did not know why the aid was delayed.

          Trump’s team requested Zelensky reaffirm his commitment to fight corruption prior to a meeting. This was agreed upon by the ambassadors as good for both countries.

          The Democrats’ own witnesses confirmed the impropriety and inappropriateness of Biden’s actions, which warrant an investigation. Running as a Democrat does not shield you from criminal investigation.

          Conclusion:

          Trump is innocent of the charge that he abused his power to offer a quid pro quo to Ukraine to get “dirt” on his political rival.

          No matter what anyone else thought Trump thought during the phone call, nothing changes these facts. Unless you want to turn this into Lenin’s secret police, where they show you the man and he shows you his crime, then the case has crumbled along with all the other false allegations.

          Note that, already, bribery has been discarded and forgotten about. You don’t hear much about any quid pro quo, as that was obviously disproven. Now, they’re trying to make the case that investigating Joe Biden at all for any reason is an abuse of power. Imagine that, coming from the party that has investigated Trump for years.

          Just stop. Joe Biden’s actions and statements warrant an investigation. Democrats have abused power to obstruct that investigation.

          1. None of the things you label “Facts” are actually facts.

            1) The FBI had nothing whatsoever to do with the whistleblower. That was the ICIG.
            2) There was no rule change. (The talking point you have garbled is about an alleged change to a FORM, not to any “rules.” The statute, not a form, determines when someone gets whistleblower protection under that statute.)
            3) The whistleblower did not misrepresent the phone call. You may not be aware, but a quasi-transcript of the call has been released, as has the whistleblower’s complaint. The latter was entirely accurate.
            4) The call showed a quid pro quo.
            5) Ukraine did know about it. There is documentary evidence as well as testimonial evidence. Nobody “confirmed” what you claim.
            6) Sondland did not admit making anything up.
            7) Trump’s team did not ask anything of Zelensky about “fighting corruption.” Only about announcing an investigation of Biden.
            8) No witnesses “confirmed the impropriety and inappropriateness of Biden’s actions,” though some suggested that he should have recused himself to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
            9) Lavrentiy Beria, who is credited with the “show me the man” quote, was Stalin’s NKVD head, not Lenin’s.
            10) Nobody has discarded either bribery or quid pro quo. Those are both the essence of the abuse of power article of impeachment.
            11) Nobody has argued that investigating Biden is an abuse of power. The argument is that extorting a foreign country to announce an investigation of Biden on no grounds whatsoever is an abuse of power. (If there were legitimate concerns about Biden having committed a crime, then it would be the DOJ, not the government of Ukraine, that should/would have been investigating.)
            12) Democrats have not obstructed any investigation of Biden. There ISN’T an investigation of Biden. Not by DOJ (which Democrats have no power to obstruct). Not by the GOP-controlled Senate (which Democrats have no power to obstruct). Not by the House when it was controlled by the GOP (which Democrats had no power to obstruct).

            1. Reason won’t work with these people but good luck. It’s great to have real lawyer comment, love your mesblo rebuttals but it will get weary. Good luck.

          2. Trump is innocent of the charge that he abused his power to offer a quid pro quo to Ukraine to get “dirt” on his political rival.
            ____________________________________________

            Then don’t you think it would be a good idea to have the White House personnel that have direct knowledge of Why and when and for how long the aid was withheld to come forward and under oath clear the president?

            Why do you believe their testimony will damage the President?

        3. Spoiler alert: the evidence does not exonerate Trump.
          ____________________________________________

          The crucial evidence has not been presented.

          Is it not foolish to assume you know what that evidence would be if it was presented?

            1. I suspect that you feel it in your bones also.

              The simple fact is this:

              The reason people don’t want to hear the testimony is because they believe that it will not sound good if it is allowed.

              I personally don’t believe that. I believe if the testimony is given it will exonerate Trump.

              That is the funny part. I don’t like trump but I have a much higher opinion of him than his followers do. Trumps followers are all concerned about how he can avoid getting caught. I don’t think he did anything wrong.

              1. I don’t like trump but I have a much higher opinion of him than his followers do. Trumps followers are all concerned about how he can avoid getting caught.

                That’s quite a bizarre statement. Both claims are unsupported opinion and more importantly, reasonably unknowable.

                  1. jinn has inside information
                    _________________________________

                    I have no inside information.
                    I just do not believe Trump is stupid enough to do what he is accused of doing.

                    He is not anywhere close to being that stupid so that tells me he is innocent.

                1. That’s quite a bizarre statement. Both claims are unsupported opinion and more importantly, reasonably unknowable.
                  ______________________________________

                  I agree it is bizarre. You think he is guilty and yet you defend Trump and you hope that witnesses that could clear him of all wrong doing never testify.

                  1. “You think he is…

                    you hope that…”

                    We saw you on Johnny Carson decades ago and we all thought he left us with Johnny. Yet here you are…with us!

                    1. I think the people who do not want to hear the testimony believe it will damage Trump.

                      If you believe they will exonerate Trump then why not hear the testimony?

                    2. jinn says: December 28, 2019 at 4:19 PM
                      I think the people….
                      If you believe….

                      You think mighty highly of your thinking abilities. Next you’ll be telling us Hillary was a gifted attorney, a legal scholar beyond compare and was a victim of Bill Clinton’s genital herpes when she had her epileptic seizure on that glorious afternoon in NYC

                      Thanks for playing. Its been enlightening… for you

                    1. Your reverse psychology ploy is woefully inept.
                      ________________________________

                      pffft. You are a dreadful mind reader.

                      I am 100% convinced that Trump did not withhold the aid for the purpose of pressuring Ukraine to do anything.
                      And I’m convinced there are witnesses that can verify that fact.
                      The charges made in the first article of impeachment are false.

                    2. I am 100% convinced that Trump did not withhold the aid for the purpose of pressuring Ukraine to do anything. And I’m convinced there are witnesses that can verify that fact.

                      The House had all the control to do whatever they wanted. The inquiry by the House provided no evidence to support an impeachable offense. They began and ended with a feeling he had. They chose not to pursue the subpoenaed witnesses through the courts. Instead they chose to impeach on the feeling they began with. And they chose to impeach on an obstruction charge they decided wasn’t in their time interests to remove. Now Pelosi wants the Senate to extend the House’s fishing expedition or she won’t transmit the articles.

                      The Senate now controls the process, if and when Pelosi transmits the articles as is. They can choose to weigh the evidence against the articles and vote. No need to find witnesses that exonerate the president. The House needed to find the evidence to prove the allegation of an impeachable offense. They failed.

                    3. “ The Senate now controls the process, if and when Pelosi transmits the articles as is. They can choose to weigh the evidence against the articles and vote. No need to find witnesses that exonerate the president. The House needed to find the evidence to prove the allegation of an impeachable offense. They failed.”

                      You are p!Ssing off Anon / Burndabook / RintintinJinn by not playing along.
                      If he / she / it stops posting their screeds on here it will be your fault

                      🥳
                      🤟🏼
                      🤡

                    4. 🙂 I have no compassion for enemies of the state. Now if they want to rejoin the civilized world and defend the rule of law against the tyranny of the political class, then it’s not too late. Their choice.

                    5. No need to find witnesses that exonerate the president.
                      ______________________________________________

                      There is “no need” to do anything. The Senate can simply vote to dismiss. But that will leave lots of voters believing that trump did in fact try to extort the Ukraine for his own political advantage.Trump supporters and trump haters will believe that Trump did it. The supporters will excuse it as necessary evil like the illegal antics of Dirty Harry.

                      The House Democrats have not failed to make a case. The case is not bullet proof but it is convincing if you couple the circumstantial evidence with the assumption that the witnesses that have not testified have knowledge that incriminates Trump.

                      I don’t make the assumption that the missing witnesses would provide incriminating evidence. I believe that assumption is made by people who think Trump is too stupid to see the trouble he would bring down on himself.
                      I believe Trump knew exactly what would happen and he
                      has done everything he could to make that happen. And he did it because he is smart enough to see in the end this will be a huge win for Trump.

                    6. But that will leave lots of voters believing that trump did in fact try to extort the Ukraine for his own political advantage.

                      And there will be lots of voters that believe he did absolutely nothing wrong. That’s the political calculation in this political chess match. Then moving forward, 2020 will bring us many gifts; a Democrat primary with a race to find out who will get to face Trump in the presidential debates. The Durham report that will roll out in time for those debates. Indictments, indictments, indictments. By the time voters cast their ballots, not only will they have the full picture of the efforts to take out this president, they will see who and what party was involved. Democrats will then lose the House in spectacular fashion, they’ll lose a ton of seats in the Senate. Given the total disasters in Democrat-controlled state and local governments, Democrats down ticket will feel the wrath as well.

                      There, that’s my prediction.

                2. Olly, Jinn stated his belief that the witnesses that failed to respond to House Committee subpeonas ( or the ones they did not even bother to subpeona) testify in a Senate trial, Trump will be expecting exonerated.
                  Logically, it would follow that Jinn also believes that the real reason the House Democrats did not go to court to enforce those subpeonas was not the alleged time factor.
                  Jinn must also believe that if these witnesses would exonerate Trump in a Senate trial, they would have blown up the allegations in the Impeachment Articles.
                  So the Democrats did not actually even want those people that they said they wanted to testify before House Committees, for fear of that testimony backfiring on them.

                  1. Is Jinn the latest iteration of the Gainesville jack-wagon, or has Correct-the-Record sent someone new?

                    1. TIA and OLLY are a couple of nincompoops with too much time on their hands. TIA talks a good game, but it’s a good idea to fact-check him or her. Allan, too, as well as a few others.

                  2. So the Democrats did not actually even want those people that they said they wanted to testify before House Committees, for fear of that testimony backfiring on them.

                    That is some convoluted shit you got there.
                    If the Democrats had a brain they might have figured that out from the start and not stepped into the trap.

                    1. In following Jinnsmith’s line of “reasoning”, the outcome will be “convoluted sh!t”.

                  3. Jinn must also believe that if these witnesses would exonerate Trump in a Senate trial, they would have blown up the allegations in the Impeachment Articles.

                    Using Jinn’s logic, that must be true. The House impeached on what they believed was sufficient evidence. McConnell has seen the case compiled by the House to support the 2 articles. He should not take the bait.

                    1. Olly is rightly worried that those 1st person witnesses – the ones JT has forgotten about now that the Senate has that ball in their court – will be called to presumably exonerate the President. But its not up to McConnel, it’s up to Romney, Murkowski, and a handful of GOP Senators who care what happened, as well as that most Americans want them to testify.

                      What self respecting American doesn’t want to hear them and put this thing to bed?

                    2. You’re projecting again Anon1. Not only has President Trump withstood every attempt to keep him from and remove him from office, he’s a lock right now for 2020. And that’s without Durham/Barr impending doom for your party.

                      It sucks so much to be you that you cannot even maintain one user ID.

                    3. Olly again defaults to wishful thinking as a substitute for rational discussion, a talent woefully lacking on this board in general. Virtually no one here, including JT, wants to see those 1st person witnesses, which in Ollys case belies his pretend certainty.

              2. I suspect that you feel…
                The simple fact is this:
                The reason people don’t want is…
                …they believe…

                What do you get paid by George Soros to project your feelz gudz beliefs to audiences on political forums?

                1. What do you get paid by George Soros to project your feelz gudz beliefs
                  ___________________________________

                  My belief is that Trump did not do what the first article of impeachment says he did. I believe there are witnesses that work in the White House that can confirm the facts and clear Trump of the accusations made.

                  If you have information to refute my beliefs, I would be happy to hear it.

                  Attempts to defame me will be taken as concessions that you have nothing

                    1. No one is trying to “defame” Jinnsmith.
                      I think we share the glowing review his superior gave Jinnsmith.
                      __________________________________

                      What is far more remarkable is that no one seems to be able to come up with a single thong that refutes my belief that if the witnesses testify they will prove that Trump is not guilty on the first article of impeachment.

                      Y’all seem to want instead to deny that belief.

                    2. There is “a single word” to summarize Jinnsmith’s rambling nonsense, but I don’t think it would clear the WordPress filter.

                  1. Attempts to defame me will be taken as concessions that you have nothing

                    Oh Anon we are just having fun.
                    You should be thanking us. They’re a step up from the manure David Brock feeds you even if you think it is chicken feed.

                    1. I am still waiting for anyone to say a single word that tries to refute my belief that if the witnesses testify they will prove that Trump is not guilty on the first article of impeachment.

                      You seem to want to avoid dealing with that assertion at all costs.

                    2. I am offended for the chickens being exposed to Anon, I mean, manure

                      Shame sh!t, every day…Anon just keeps changing profile names ala Peter Hill

                2. They post anonymously when it suits them, but complain about it vociferously when it doesn’t:

                  Who you ask?

                  Allan, OLLY, TIA, Paul, mespo, and some of the other people who comment here all the time.

                  It’s a reasonable wager (quoting) that”Anonymous” at 4:20 is TIA.

                  1. Call your first witness…Darren. Then, when you lose your wager, you’ll have to change your name from Anonymous to…Anonymous. Isn’t that convenient.

  11. In the House of Representatives, any means that leads to a vote on impeachment. But an actual trial in the Senate is in the Constitution. The form of the trial is up to the Senate but notice the growing public desire for witnesses to be called.

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