Pelosi’s Half Right Constitutional Claim Leaves The House All Wrong

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the position of Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe that the blocking the submission of the impeachment to the Senate by Speaker Nancy Pelosi is both constitutional and commendable. He is half right but the House is entirely wrong in its gaming of the system in this fashion.

Here is the column:

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe has penned an editorial column in support of the refusal of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to submit House articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial. Tribe declares this strategy is not just constitutional but also commendable. That view may be half right on the Constitution. However, it leaves Pelosi all wrong on her unprecedented gaming of the system. The withholding of the articles is not only facially inappropriate. It shatters the fragile rationale for the rush to impeach.

Tribe focuses on a point on which I agree entirely. We both have criticized the position of Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, who testified with me in the House Judiciary Committee hearings, that President Trump has not really been impeached. Feldman insists that impeachment occurs only when the articles and a slate of House trial managers are submitted to the Senate for trial. However, there is no support for that interpretation in the text or history of the Constitution. Indeed, English impeachments by the House of Commons often were not taken up for trial in the House of Lords, yet all those individuals still were referenced as impeached.

Now for our point of disagreement. The Constitution does not state that the House must submit the articles of impeachment to the Senate at any time, let alone in a specific period of time. Tribe insists this means that the “House rules unmistakably leave to the House itself” when to submit an impeachment for trial. There are, in fact, two equal houses of Congress. Faced with a House manipulating the system, the Senate can change its rules and simply give the House a date for trial then declare a default or summary acquittal if House managers do not come. It is the list of House trial managers that is necessary for Senate proceedings to commence.

The “standing rules of procedure and practice in the Senate when sitting on impeachment trials” are triggered when the House gives notice that “managers are appointed.” The Senate is given notice of the impeachment in the congressional record shared by both houses. The articles are later “exhibited” by the managers at the trial. Waiting for the roster of managers is a courtesy shown by the Senate to the House in preparing its team of managers for the trial. We have never experienced this type of bicameral discourtesy where the House uses articles of impeachment to barter over the details of the trial. Just as the Senate cannot dictate the handling of impeachment investigations, the House cannot dictate the trial rules.

Tribe calls it “utter nonsense” to accuse Pelosi of “constitutional betrayal” for holding up the impeachment trial. Yet just because the Constitution does not declare such a withholding to be wrong does not make it right. Tribe was appropriately outraged when the Senate refused to vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland during the final year of the Obama administration. While the rules “unmistakably leave” to the Senate itself when, if ever, to vote on a nominee, Tribe has treated that decision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a constitutional betrayal, even calling McConnell “McTurtle” and “flagrant d**khead” over his position on such powers.

Under its rules, the Senate shows comity to the House in waiting until the roster of managers is sent, just as the House shows comity to the Senate in submitting an impeachment without conditions. The two articles were passed by the House to submit a president for trial, not to empower Pelosi to unilaterally use impeachment as a means to coerce an equal chamber. Yet Tribe commends Pelosi for her unprecedented delay of the process. What is most remarkable about the stance that Pelosi has taken is how it has already damaged the position of the House, and could even create lasting damage for the House as an institution. Not only did the House refuse to subpoena critical witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton, but they also inexplicably withdrew the subpoena of a key aide to Bolton shortly before a federal court was prepared to rule on it.

The result is an inferential impeachment case without the testimony of witnesses with possible direct knowledge of quid pro quo over Ukrainian aid. Democratic leaders insisted there was no time to spend even a couple of months building a better case since there was a Trumpian “crime spree” in progress. By wasting months and not getting more testimony, Pelosi left it up to the Senate to create a record unwisely and quickly abandoned by the House. It is a highly ironic position, given the historical opposition to any witnesses by Democratic senators, including now Minority Leader Charles Schumer, during the 1999 impeachment of President Clinton. Only three depositions were allowed, with no live testimony, back then.

Tribe, who testified with me during the Clinton impeachment hearings, now calls such a trial without witnesses a sham. The strategy of Pelosi is unlikely to succeed with the Senate, but it has succeeded in making a mockery of the rushed rationale. It is like a neighborhood watchman calling for urgent police action then refusing to give any information about a crime until he gets certain assurances on the trial conditions.

Tribe insists that Pelosi is justified as McConnell said he will not follow his oath to do “impartial justice” and accuses him of a “clear violation” of his oath as a juror. Before the Clinton trial, however, Democratic senators said the same thing without such objections. Schumer, who has declared the statement by McConnell an “astonishing admission of partisanship,” had actually campaigned on a pledge to not impeach or convict Clinton and also dismissed objections to his suggestions that he should act like an impartial juror. Tribe also does not mention a long line of Democratic senators who declared Trump guilty before even the start of a trial.

In reality, a jury of politicians judging the alleged use of public office for personal gain is like having the Pirates of Penzance sitting as jurors in a maritime salvage case. Pelosi is demanding the Senate allow witnesses, which Democrats opposed during the Clinton trial, while holding up the start of a trial, which Democrats until recently insisted was so urgent that they could not wait for supportive testimony or court rulings. All this is being done for the implausible purpose of forcing the Senate to yield to House demands in order to receive a case that it does not want to try.

Pelosi is more likely to prompt a change in the Senate rules to deter this and future gaming of the system by dropping the courtesy of waiting for a House submission of managers. That would be a tragedy, since it is a long tradition going back to England, and courtesies like civility are now rare in Washington. Pelosi would have better served the House by taking the time to build a proper case for removing Trump. Instead, however, she went for a short investigation to fulfill a pledge to impeach by Christmas, and then complained that the Senate might not call witnesses that the House failed to compel to testify. That is the problem of playing chicken by yourself. Your opponent can watch you drive over a cliff of your own choosing.

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.

82 thoughts on “Pelosi’s Half Right Constitutional Claim Leaves The House All Wrong”

  1. GOP Senator Puts Nancy Pelosi on Notice; No Articles by Monday, He Will Introduce Measure to Dismiss

    Josh Hawley

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    Josh Hawley Retweeted Laurence Tribe
    Hey Dems, this is the guy who got you into this jam by recommending you withhold the Articles from Senate. Now he’s literally making up constitutional provisions. Constitution says nothing about “filing” (Tribe’s word) Articles in Senate or otherwise giving House power over trial
    Josh Hawley added,
    Laurence Tribe
    Verified account

    @tribelaw
    This loony idea has no substance. The Senate cannot “dismiss” articles of impeachment that have been voted by the House but have yet to be filed in the Senate. Neither the Senate rules nor the Constitution permit any such move. https://twitter.com/hawleymo/status/1212827693856763907
    2:44 PM – 2 Jan 2020
    820 Retweets 1,634 Likes K. S. Reed🎉 Suzy 🎉CJMike LawrenceEcho Juliet – ⭐⭐⭐ – God WinsTripp WhitbeckChris HeimannLaura田无界
    174 replies 820 retweets 1,634 likes
    Reply 174 Retweet 820 Like 1.6K
    New conversation

    Josh Hawley

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    Constitution says House has power to impeach, Senate has sole power to try impeachment cases. For 1st time in history, Dems trying to obstruct an impeachment trial. Senate should update its rules to dismiss these (bogus) Articles if House Dems refuse to try their case
    158 replies 503 retweets 1,243 likes
    Reply 158 Retweet 503 Like 1.2K

  2. byethebook,
    Natacha frequently sprinkles the same 5-10 talking points in her comments, posing as “questions”.
    The ????? marks do stand out in her comments.
    You seem to be confused about the difference between refusing to play tiresome, mindless games of Twenty Question, and “the inability to refute claimed facts”.
    And when her ‘facts” are refuted in a reply, then you pretend that the reply did not exist.
    You have a lot in common with Anon/ Anon1, who was also very fond of playing that same game.

  3. When the House does deliver Articles over to the Senate the Senate should send them back for more precision. They do not state a claim.

  4. Do you dispute that we know who knows what was going on (Bolton, Mulvaney and the rest)? Why wouldn’t you want to hear from them?

  5. “The two articles were passed by the House to submit a president for trial, not to empower Pelosi to unilaterally use impeachment as a means to coerce an equal chamber.”

    – Professor Turely
    ______________

    Nancy Pelosi et al. must be charged with willful and deliberate coercion of a jury and “jury tampering.”

    These charges are clear, extant and far more serious than the liberals’ vacuous “witch hunt” charge of “Hint Pro Quo” against the President.

  6. See the assessments of Laurence Tribe’s commentaries on the constitution by Stanley Brubaker and Robert Bork, published in 1989. The money quote from Bork: “it is protean and takes whatever form it needs to to achieve the preferred result. Ordinarily, that would exclude it from serious consideration, but it merits discussion due to its influence…”. Brubaker’s conclusion: it left no room for constitutional democracy; elected bodies are toy telephones engaged for play while a clerisy of lawyers decides all consequential questions of social policy.

  7. “Gaming the system”? Really, Jon? You’re defending that lying crook who colluded with Russia to cheat his way into our White House by complaining that Speaker Pelosi is trying to prevent Moscow Mitch McConnell from summarily dismissing the Articles of Impeachment without any evidence or a trial? All of this coming after the fat, lying crook refused to cooperate with either the Mueller investigation or the Congressional investigation into his attempt to cheat again with the assistance of a foreign government. All of this coming after Moscow Mitch McConnell refuses to even call for a vote the 275 bills passed by the House, so that Fatty can use the cutesy phrase “Do Nothing Democrats”.

    The ones trying to “game the system” are the Republicans, Jon. You don’t have to be a law professor to see this truth. I’d still like for you to cite for me the statute, evidentiary rule, or Constitutional provision allowing Trump to refuse to produce documents and to order witnesses not to testify. Where is the authority allowing this? Being a law professor, you should be able to produce it.

    1. McConnell refuses to even call for a vote the 275 bills passed by the House, so that Fatty can use the cutesy phrase

      We know who got her talking points this morning.

      1. Yup. ( I can be just as articulate and comprehensive in my replies as Benson. And I can see that it saves lots of effort).

      2. You have no idea how Trumpian this response is. Tell me: am I lying about the 275 bills that McConnell refuses to call for a vote or assign to a conference committee? Instead of agreeing or citing different facts, you accuse me of being a disciple of something or another, but I didn’t watch any political shows this morning. In any event, is this statistic true or false? if true, then what about it? Who are the real “do nothings” in Congress? These bills were all or mostly bipartisan, too.

        1. I don’t think I’ve ever accused Natacha of lying.
          She presents many of the same false talking points dozens if not hundreds of times, but in fairness, I can’t accuse someone who is delusional of lying.
          The recent repitition of the exaggerated Pelosi talking point ( 275 bills the House passed sitting on McConnell’s desk) has been dutifully taken up by Natacha and others.
          I don’t know what made my earlier comment “Trumpian”;
          ‘Yup” is Bensoniann, but not Trumpian.
          I won’t go back through Natacha’s earlier comments for all of her claims, but we’ve learned from Natacha that Trump must have “cheated” if her candidate lost.
          After seeing her whining about Trump’s election non-stop in her comments, I think she probably actually does believe that.
          But again, her delusions do not mean that she’s lying.

          1. Which “talking points” are “false”? Do you have proof? If so, let’s see it. I’m “delusional”? Really? Why? Because I cite facts? Trump’s cheating with the help of Russia comes straight from the Mueller Report, which is based on testimony taken under oath and certified copies of documents: all hard evidence. What do you have to counter this evidence? Hannity, Rush, Mark Levin, Ingraham?

            The candidate voted on by most Americans won the popular vote, and would have won the Electoral College, too, except for cheating: Republican gerrymandering, voter suppression, poll watching, and colluding with Russia to smear her via a false social media campaign. Do you have proof that: Republicans don’t gerrymander, take steps to suppress the vote, especially of minorities, send out poll watchers to intimidate voters, especially minorities, purge mostly Democratic voters from voter rolls, or that Trump’s campaign didn’t provide insider polling information to Russians for their use to smear Hillary Clinton? Why can’t you answer these points without attacking me as delusional or lying? These things constitute cheating, too.

            Trump is not, and will never be, legitimate. Americans want him gone. Now. We aren’t going to shut up about it until he’s gone.

            1. Natacha – your Gish Gallop now has the runs. Where the devil are you getting these lies?

            2. I believe that Natacha is not “going to shut up about it until he’s gone”.
              Probably not even then.
              If the Mueller Report established that Trump cheated with the help of Russia to win the election, anyone making that claim should try to find where Mueller said that and present it.
              Also, an explanation of how “Republican gerrymandering” got Trump elected should be interesting.
              Since there were the usual 10 questions in Natacha’s rant, I won’t review her comment, and answer all of the ??????????s she likes to scatter in her comments.
              I’ve already gone over the reasons why she seems delusional.
              And that was recently, when someone suggested that her ideas belonged in the dust bin.
              I explained why they actually belonged in the loony bin, so I don’t see any point in going over that again.
              I don’t think she brought up “Fox News” in the comment I’m responding to, be she did mention Hannity.
              That’s one of her obsessions. It’s doubtful that anyone who has ever posted here has mentioned “Fox News” or ‘Hannity” even a fraction of the time that they’ve been mentioned by Natacha.
              The issue of why candidates gear their campaigns for winning 270+ electoral college votes has been covered before.
              If the Democratic nominee wants to win California by 4 million votes again, ending up with a 3 million vote nationwide plurality, but losing the election, that’s fine.
              If Trump wins again in November but is behind on the popular vote, it’ll give Natacha four more years to continue displaying her TDS.

        2. Natacha – Pelosi poison pilled those 275 bills before they were sent over, that is why they are sitting there, waiting for the current Congress to die.

          1. Mr. Schulte,
            Part of the reason Pelosi made that claim about 275 House bills sitting on McConnell’s desk was to push back against accusations of a “do- nothing” House.
            And we know from watching Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and others that the House has indeed been very busy over the past several months.😉

        3. **********
          is this statistic true or false? if true, then what about it? Who are the real “do nothings” in Congress? These bills were all or mostly bipartisan, too.
          **********
          It is a simple thing to go to http://www.loc.gov and and read the daily digest. It list the bills voted on. You might be surprised at how many bills are presented each day. Some don’t pass because they are not acceptable by all parties. So do pass. Maybe you can make a list and report back????

        4. Should the Senate pick up and consider those 275 bills you mentioned before taking up impeachment? Is that what you want? If not, why bring it up?

          Personally, I’d like to see each one of those 275 bills full considered before taking up impeachment, but that might push it out beyond Nov 2020 election, and right beyond end of congressional session…

          boo hoo

      3. Yeah, and now we know who didn’t get theirs. Someone tell me how an inability to refute claimed facts is forgiven because the one who made them is allegedly a ringer. Man up TIA, for a change. You can’t let a girl kick sand in your face in front of everybody.

        1. “You can’t let a girl kick sand in your face in front of everybody.”

          your gurl Angelo / Peter / Enoch / Burgoyne / Betty Crocker is screaming with blood coming out of her various parts

          bwahahahahaha

          you pathetic cultists are evaporating like the bad witch in Oz, and your screams are unimpressive.

          Who’s your Daddy, b*tch? Say it louder?

          We can’t hear you

          bwahahahaah

    2. “I’d still like for you to cite for me the statute, evidentiary rule, or Constitutional provision allowing Trump to refuse to produce documents and to order witnesses not to testify.”

      – NUTCHACHA
      ____________

      NUTCHACHA, I’d like you to cite the Constitution wherein “statute” or “evidentiary rule” is provided weight, force or dominion.

      Nancy Pelosi has the unqualified power to impeach in Congress and no power in the Senate.

      Mitch McConnell has the unqualified “sole Power” to facilitate a trial and vote of the jury, which is the Senate.

      The Chief Justice has the unqualified power to preside in this case in the Senate.

      You have the unqualified freedom to caterwaul, rant and publish your screed of convoluted incoherence.

      But you and the communists in America have no power in the Constitution to make any demands or impose any requirements. The “manifest tenor” of the Constitution is in clear English. Let’s read it together:

      Article 1, Section 3

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

    3. House by complaining that Speaker Pelosi is trying to prevent Moscow Mitch McConnell from summarily dismissing the Articles of Impeachment without any evidence or a trial? All of this coming after the fat, lying crook refused to cooperate with either the Mueller investigation….
      ________________________________________________
      That is a lot of factual inaccuracy.
      It was Pelosi’s job to dig up the evidence. You are suggesting that the prosecutor should be asking the jury and the judge to dig up the evidence.

      As for Trump not cooperating with the Mueller investigation that is also nonsense. Trump turned over millions of documents and allowed every single subordinate in the Trump campaign and White House to testify in Mueller without ever claiming executive privilege or immunity for anything. You just think Trump was being uncooperative because of the things he said about Mueller.
      Isn’t it a bit hypocritical for you to suddenly start believing in what Trump says?

      1. Yeah, jinn, Fox keeps talking all about the “millions of pages” of irrelevant flotsam turned over, but he refuses to produce the relevant stuff. This is one of the oldest lawyer tricks in the book: smother them with irrelevant paperwork, then claim you turned over reams of material. Of course, none of the material is useful or relevant, but there was a lot of it. Smoke and mirrors. Trump refused to be deposed. His written responses to interrogatories were drafted by Giuliani, and were incomplete and misleading. His lawyer, Flynn and Manafort all lied. He tried to pin Russia’s interference on Ukraine, and publicly sided against American intelligence in Helsinki, giving Putin lots and lots of useful propaganda material. This was unthinkable a few years ago.

        How is Speaker Pelosi supposed to gather evidence when Trump refuses to produce documents and commands subordinates not to testify? He then demotes, fires and always attacks anyone who testifies. He hid the actual transcript of the Ukrainian call in a secure server, to be used for state secrets.

        Bottom Line: THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE HOUSE THE POWER TO INVESTIGATE AND IMPEACH. THERE IS NO BLANKET EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE TO REFUSE TO COOPERATE WITH A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION. Trump claims he can literally do what he wants. That’s what this impeachment really is testing.

        1. NUTCHACHA,

          THE SENATE SHALL HAVE THE SOLE POWER TO TRY ALL IMPEACHMENTS.

          The Founders provided the unqualified power of the Sovereign, the Monarch, the King, to the Senate, in the case of an impeachment trial. Regarding a trial related to impeachment, Mitch McConnell is the Sovereign, the Monarch, the King. The Senate and the Senate alone has the sole Power and no other entity has any power to try or, otherwise, affect the Senate trial to any degree and/or in any aspect.

          What you, Nancy Pelosi et al. have to say matters not one infinitesimal sub-component of an iota.

          Regarding the impeachment of President Trump, Mitch McConnell is the King.

          Period.

          Read.

          Article 1, Section 3

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

          1. How can a case be tried without all relevant evidence? Where does Trump derive the authority to refuse to turn over documents and to order witnesses to testify? What are Senators supposed to vote on if no witnesses are allowed? What does Trump have to hide by trying to prevent McGhan, Bolton, Pompeo, Giuliani, et al from testifying? Is he afraid they’ll grow a soul or conscience, truly consider their oath to protect and defend the Constitution, or put the country ahead of the Republican party? Republicans are trying to turn this serious matter into a circus. What about Senators’ oath to protect and defend the Constitution?

            The bottom line here is that it’s not OK to leverage foreign aid in exchange for help with a political campaign, or to defy the authority of Congress to investigate. That sets bad precedent.

            1. What does Trump have to hide by trying to prevent McGhan, Bolton, Pompeo, Giuliani, et al from testifying?
              _______________________________________
              He might not have anything to hide.

              Imagine how foolish the Democrats will look when McGahn testifies that Trump never made any attempt to fire Mueller. They will look even more stupid because they spent a whole year begging for that testimony. And it will all be nicely timed to come just before the election. So Trump gains a lot by delaying the testimony until the time is ripe.

              Trump just yesterday committed a crime for which he could be legitimately impeached and removed from office, but there is no chance he will ever be tried and convicted for his real high crimes instead the foolish Democrats go after him for making trolling remarks (which he does every day) and that always backfires. It is as if the Democrats are trying to help Trump get re-elected.

            2. Natacha – Your Gish Runs continues, The President is just following the example of the House,

        2. Since you’ve read those “millions of pages” and know what is in them, Natacha, please tell us why they are not relevant.
          BTW, the Trump Administration stated during the Mueller investigation that they had already turned over 1.5 million pages of documents to the Special Counsel.
          I suppose that Fox covered that statement, but you will find that the statement was covered elsewhere.

        3. Yeah, jinn, Fox keeps talking all about the “millions of pages” of irrelevant flotsam turned over, but he refuses to produce the relevant stuff.
          ___________________________________________
          What relevant stuff?
          Even Strozk and Page (who everyone agrees are not trump fans) have testified to Congress that there was nothing to investigate. Even they said there was no collusion, and that the FBI had arrived at that conclusion before Mueller was appointed.

          Mueller worked for the DOJ. DOJ works for Trump. Mueller spent two years leading you on a wild goose chase and all it
          took to convince you that Mueller was on your side and an adversary of Trump was for Trump to tweet that it is a witch hunt and a coup attempt. Don’t you think it is kind of pathetic that you believed Trump? Even Trump haters like to be lied to by Trump.

          1. Your response is too stupid to merit a response. You are a deep, true Fox disciple, and facts don’t faze you.

        4. The Trump Administration’s statement (that it had turned over 1.5 million pages of documents to the Special Counsel) was reported by NPR, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, and others.
          Judging by the huge number of references to “Fox News”, it appears that Natacha must watch it non-stop.
          She needs to broaden her horizons, look at other sources of news.

    1. That was mine. Device submitted the comment before I could enter my name.

  8. BS aside the Senate has a lot of power but must deliver a simple majority

    Google and Wikpedia state….

    Andrew Jackson nominated Roger B. Taney on January 15, 1835, to be an Associate Justice. A resolution was passed by a Senate vote of 24–21 on March 3, 1835, to postpone the nomination indefinitely. Jackson nominated Taney again on December 28, 1835.

    Is that the kind of Senate Rule you want to see?

    Once the committee reports out the nomination, it is put before the whole Senate for final consideration. A simple majority vote is required to confirm or to reject a nominee. … Of the 37 unsuccessful Supreme Court nominations since 1789, only 11 nominees have been rejected in a Senate roll-call vote.

    There have been 37 unsuccessful nominations to the Supreme Court of the United States. Of these, 11 nominees were rejected in Senate roll-call votes, 11 were withdrawn by the president, and 15 lapsed at the end of a session of Congress.

  9. As for the Merrick Garland reference the Senate has ‘complete’ authority. The President nominates. The Senate Confirms and how they confirm or do not confirm is up to the Senate. If they choose to not interview or even bother to state which spike held the nomination. Obama dropped the nominee like a hot potato. Why waste time and effort?

    The only two requirements are nominate and confirm. The rest is up to The President and The Senate.

    Garland was highly qualified? Apparently not. He never made it off home plate. Note: there is no such thing as ‘our turn’ the only center balance point is The Constitution and the desires of the House of Representatives or the media count for nothing.

  10. The oath of office, when it is and even more rarely followed says support and defend the constitution other oaths say protect. The trick is you have to take it in it’s entirety. Just like the Bible in whatever version, even the Koran or the Communist Manifesto. When you take an oath it is inclusive of the entirety. Each of these and more require complete obedience.

    I have yet to see where Pelosi has been faithful t her Oath of Office or even cognizant of what it says especially the joke of the left which says they want a living constitution. Have the never heard of Amendments? Apparenty not. or notice the Oath of Office is required, to be taken and followed.

    I mentioned the others as I view Pelosi as one who is faithful to another ideology and her claims to be Constitutional are mmmm suspect ? No. They are 100% BS.

    So I support the move to impeach Pelosi, the Squat who never took the required oath or like Schumer, Sanders and many others took it with purposes of ‘evasion.’

    I don’t buy the argument that she did anything write specifically because ‘if so’ it was for purposes of evasion

  11. What was the precedent for “DOJ’s conceptual claim to unreviewable absolute testimonial immunity on separation-of-powers grounds” that wasted more than six months of time calling McGahn to testify?

    What’s the precedent for a trial not hearing from witnesses that have so far failed to testify under oath, when there are multiple witness that have saying they were the ones who knew what was going on?

    In the Clinton trial, the facts were all in evidence. In this case, unless the House was willing to wait until after the next election to impeach for abuse of power in an attempt to influence that election, the best they could hope for was some honesty from Republican senators to insist on hearing what the witnesses have to say.

    1. Of what possible interest would the left have in honesty except to subvert it? Remember the left includes all RINOs.

  12. Rep. Rashida Tlaib gave fare warning after being elected. There was Nancy too.

    1. Ever hear a really really bad band trying to cover inept with weird clothing and silly names? Milli Vanilli jumps immediately to mind

      How abut Plugosi and The Squat?

  13. Who cares. President Trump will be reelected Nancy will be out of a job & RBG will be replaced.

  14. It’s unfortunate that someone who blatantly misrepresented events leading to the President’s impeachment proceedings continues to feel entitled to offer their opinion in the matter.

    In your written statement Professor Turley, you state that Democrats had not bothered to subpoena key witnesses. You were referring to Bolton and Kupperman presumably, but your statement misleadingly implies that no key witnesses or direct participants were subpoenaed and makes no attempt to correct this misimpression.

    That’s false of course, as over a dozen participants with direct knowledge or involvement in key events were subpoenaed. It’s hard to believe this mistake could be made by someone even marginally informed or appearing in good faith to represent a non-partisan view, as you took pains to do.

    Even then, it might have been written off as a misstatement if it had happened only once, unfortunately the statement goes on to make the same assertion several more times.

    Paired with other misrepresentations about campaign finance violations and the Mueller report’s stated conclusions, it’s hard to avoid concluding that comments intending to paint your views as neutral and impartial in the statement and before the committee were insincere.

    You could have made a fair case as to why Democrats should have tried harder to obtain statements, without giving undue substance to the comments of Representative Al Green and while also acknowledging the attempts they did make. That you chose not to evidences that a fair case was not your goal.

    More information is coming to light about the administration’s actions, information which confirms the essential understanding arrived at in the impeachment hearings. Yes, we needed to hear from witnesses in the Clinton trial, and we need to hear from them in any trial of this President that hopes to be acceptable to the American people. There is too much evidence of bad faith on the part of this President to plausibly claim otherwise.

    Someone committed to the Constitution and rule of law would do better to use their platform to urge Senate Republicans to call the requested witnesses, rather than attack others who are trying to encourage that same thing.

    1. @Naylor… The only blatant misrepresentation going on here is yours detailing Professor Turley. We have seen too many times your partisan hatred of this president to accept anything you say. Turley, and professor Dershowitz are two of the most respected minds in constitutional law, and at the same time actually despised by Democrats because they don’t toe the acceptable line of orange man bad.

  15. However, it leaves Pelosi all wrong on her unprecedented gaming of the system.
    _______________________________________________

    Seriously????
    Do you really believe gaming of the system is unprecedented?

    At this point in time it looks to me that not gaming the system would be much closer to unprecedented.

    1. Gaming of the “system,” as you call it may or may not be unprecedented, but that does not make it right. Accusing one side of gaming the system, while doing it yourself is very unsettling and harmful to our system.

      1. Gaming of the “system,” as you call it may or may not be unprecedented, but that does not make it right.
        _______________________________________________

        Gaming of the system is not unprecedented and to pretend that this is the first time it has happened is a dishonest attempt to legitimize the enormous amount of gaming of the system that has gone before.

        1. Well, if whataboutism is suddenly fine, then when the GOP gets both houses again, let’s schedule the impoeachment of Obama. The three articles written to impeach Nixon are just as true of Obama’s behavior.

          1. Well, if whataboutism is suddenly fine,
            __________________________________________

            Your whataboutism is the refuge of scoundrels.

  16. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine that JT is not an RNC shill, but maybe his butt hurt from the blowback on his situational congressional testimony, masquerading as objectivity, will wear off and some real objectivity and balance will appear in his columns.

    When do we hear again about those precious WH witnesses he deemed critical to House proceedings, now that their appearance depends on the GOP controlled Senate?

  17. Tribe is a loon and btw what ever happened to that brain tumor he claimed caused him to leave his DOJ job? Spontaneous remission? He is a plagiarist, conspiracy theorist and pretty despicable person. Citing him is like citing these guys:

    1. “We have never experienced this type of bicameral discourtesy.” I got the feeling you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. How can you trust these people to run the country when they can’t even put together a proper impeachment? The bar is pretty low for getting into the House. Clowns.

  18. I think the Senate should just keep with its regular rules. The clock is ticking Nancy.

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