Pelosi’s Blunder: How The House Destroyed Its Own Case For Impeachment

Below is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the blunder by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of not submitting the impeachment case to the Senate — a mistake that now threatens not just the trial but the rules for impeachment trials.

On Sunday, Pelosi went largely unchallenged in her obviously incorrect claim that the House is still in court seeking witnesses in the impeachment. The House is litigating pre-impeachment witnesses, but has never sought to subpoena, let alone compel, key witnesses in the impeachment from John Bolton to Rudy Giuliani to others with direct knowledge of any alleged quid pro quo. Indeed, the House has done nothing for four weeks after the vote – a vote that I strongly discouraged in favor of spending a couple months seeking these witnesses and/or court orders. Now Pelosi is actually suggesting that they could still seek the witnesses while the House does nothing. It remains the most baffling blunder of the impeachment.

Here is the column:

“Situation quiet. The captain has been put away for the night.” The words from the movie “The Caine Mutiny” came to mind on Friday when House leaders announced that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not move until next week in submitting the impeachment of President Trump to a Senate trial. While various Democrats have publicly grumbled about the delay, going into its fourth week, without any sign of success in forcing the Senate to call witnesses, Pelosi continued a strategy that could jeopardize not just any trial but the rules governing impeachment. Indeed, Pelosi may force the Senate into a couple of unprecedented but well deserved rulings.

From the outset, the ploy of Pelosi withholding the House impeachment articles was as implausible as it was hypocritical. There was no reason why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would make concessions to get an impeachment that he loathed. More importantly, just a couple of days earlier, House leaders insisted that some of us were wrong to encourage them to wait on an impeachment vote to create a more complete record. Pelosi previously insisted that House committees could not pursue direct witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton because there was no time to delay in getting this impeachment to the Senate. She then waited a month and counting to send the articles over to the Senate.

The delay now seems largely driven by a desire to preserve the image of Pelosi as a master strategist despite a blunder of the first order. Senator Dianne Feinstein expressed the frustration of many members in saying, “The longer it goes on, the less urgent it becomes. So if it is serious and urgent, send them over. If it is not, do not send it over.” But she and other members were quickly pressured to “correct” their earlier statements by stating the exact opposite and praising the brilliant strategy of Pelosi.

Perhaps the most pathetic change was House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, who correctly stated, “At the end of the day, just like we control it in the House, Mitch McConnell controls it in the Senate. It does not look like that is going to happen. I think it is time to send the impeachment to the Senate and let Mitch McConnell be responsible for the fairness of the trial. He ultimately is.” It took just a few hours for Pelosi to get Smith to say that he “misspoke” and praise her inspired strategy.

Now what started as a demand to guarantee Senate witnesses has been downgraded to a demand to “know the rules” while waiting for the Senate to take a vote that it indicated weeks ago. In the alternative, sympathetic media figures insisted that Pelosi succeeded in “forcing a discussion” of Senate witnesses despite the fact that we had the same discussion in the trial of Bill Clinton without the House deciding to withhold the articles.

The fact is that Pelosi played into the hands of McConnell by first rushing this impeachment forward with an incomplete record and now giving him the excuse to summarily change the rules, or even to dismiss the articles. Waiting for the House to submit a list of managers was always a courtesy extended by Senate rules and not a requirement of the Constitution. By inappropriately withholding the articles of impeachment and breaking with tradition, Pelosi simply gave McConnell ample reason to exercise the “nuclear option” and change the rules on both majority voting as well as the rule for the start of trials. That is a high price to pay for vanity.

It could get even worse for the House case. I previously discussed that the Senate had an excuse to simply declare that a trial will start next week and either the House will appear with a team of managers or the case will be summarily dismissed. McConnell is now moving toward a summary vote in the Senate, in light of the House failing to comply with its own procedural obligations. That is what happens when prosecutors defy a court and fail to appear for a trial. It is known as “dismissal for want of prosecution.”

The Senate also is faced with two threshold problems that could create lasting damage to this process. First, the obstruction of Congress count, as I previously discussed, raises a troubling position that a president can be impeached for going to the courts rather than turning over evidence, even when the House set a ridiculously brief period for an investigation. The Senate could summarily reject that article as making the request for judicial review into a high crime and misdemeanor while allowing little time for deliberation. Second, if the Senate agrees to the Democratic demand for witnesses, it invites future rush impeachments where the House sends woefully incomplete and inadequate cases and demands witnesses it never bothered to subpoena, let alone compel to appear.

The Senate is, therefore, caught in a tough position of enabling the House in such slipshod impeachments or refusing to hear witnesses who, unlike the witnesses called by the House, could have direct evidence to share on the allegations. One possibility is that, as in a real court, the Senate could allow witnesses but give the House a set trial schedule. If the House wants to belatedly go to court to try to enforce a subpoena, the Senate will hear the testimony of witnesses like Bolton when that expedited litigation is complete. However, it will not extend the trial schedule of the Senate.

Trials will usually last a fraction of the time of an investigation, but few investigations are as hurried or heedless as the House investigation was. The House wasted four months after the whistleblower complaint without issuing a subpoena to Bolton or Rudy Giuliani or others. Had it sought to compel such subpoenas, it would have had rulings from the courts by now. Indeed, it took only three months for the appeal over the Watergate tapes to be ruled on by the Supreme Court in the case of Richard Nixon.

The Senate could set a generous period for the trial of three weeks. That is in addition to the four weeks the House wasted on the poorly conceived ploy by Pelosi. If the House is ready to present these witnesses, they can be heard. But if those witnesses are not ready to testify due to ongoing litigation, they will not be called and the Senate will proceed to its verdict. In that way, future Houses are now on notice that it is in their interest to complete their records before sending an impeachment to the Senate.

It would send a message for future impeachments, as the author Herman Wouk wrote, “Remember this, if you can. There is nothing more precious than time. You probably feel you have a measureless supply of it, but you have not. Wasted hours destroy your life just as surely at the beginning as at the end, only in the end it becomes more obvious.” It is now obvious.

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. He also serves as CBS and BBC legal analyst.

368 thoughts on “Pelosi’s Blunder: How The House Destroyed Its Own Case For Impeachment”

  1. By killing Soleimani, Trump made clear that the blank check for aggression the previous six presidents gave Tehran is now canceled.
    _____________________________________
    Killing Solerimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. has made it clear to the people of Iraq, lebanon and Iran that the US is no friend. Those two men were responsible for the defeat of ISIS and now the people of the region know whose side the US is on.

    https://youtu.be/VR7oLjHdFjY?list=PLXU7w5ENk8aUXd-YxNLDlo5vZoLXzaGg5

    1. “Killing Solerimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. has made it clear to the people of Iraq, lebanon and Iran that the US is no friend” to murderous leaders, terrorists, misogynists and the like.

      Trump is setting a new American policy and hopefully the people of Iran already protesting will revolt and overthrow their leaders that have subjugated them for so many years.

          1. Allan said — in reference to “chaos” — “That is what you may hope for…”

            What a ridiculous thing to say and/or conclude.

            Who would want more chaos? I certainly don’t.

          2. Ali Soufan:

            “Just as the misguided American invasion of Iraq in 2003 revitalized Al Qaeda, some 17 years later, a return to chaos in the same country may yet do the same for the Islamic State. My take in @NYTOpinion
            https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/14/opinion/iran-isis-iraq.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share … via @NYTOpinion”

            Why ISIS Is Delighted That Suleimani Is Dead

            The jihadists are poised for a comeback.

            By Ali H. Soufan

            Mr. Soufan is a former F.B.I. special agent and the author of “Anatomy of Terror.”

            Jan. 14, 2020

            https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/14/opinion/iran-isis-iraq.html

            “Like all terrorist groups, the Islamic State draws fuel from chaos and division. The killing of General Suleimani promises much of both to come. The Islamic State still has deep pockets, affiliates around the world, and a knack for recruitment. General Suleimani’s death will have its leaders rubbing their hands in anticipation.

            “The damage is done. Without a major cooling of tensions, a jihadist resurgence might now be all but inevitable.”

            1. A jihadist resurgence like ISIS was a distinct possibility when the land ISIS held was taken over. Now this author is essentially repeating the same thing. However, you forget that Hamas, Hezbollah and multiple other terrorist organizations are run from the largest terror state, Iran that is expansionist and left alone is soon to get nukes while already working on ballistic missiles to carry them.

              Add to that their desire Death to America and the number of unlawful acts against the US and our allies. In comparison that sort of makes this authors concerns silly.

                1. There are a lot of experts around and for about 40 years the experts were wrong. He probably belongs to that group of experts.

              1. you forget that Hamas, Hezbollah and multiple other terrorist organizations are run from the largest terror state, Iran that is expansionist and left alone is soon to get nukes while already working on ballistic missiles to carry them.
                _________________________________
                I doubt that anyone forgot that which is made up lies.

                The state that is backing the most terrorists is Saudi Arabia. Iran has been under attack by the US (and its allies) for decades. It has so far been the only state in the region that is not a US vassal state that has managed to avoid utter destruction by US ( and its allies)

                Iran will continue to try to defend itself.

                1. Name the terrorists the Saudi government is backing. Tell us the numbers in each group. Tell us how many missiles the Saudi’s have supplied and to which terrorist group those missiles went to. Tell us where those missiles have recently been fired.

                  Presently Saudi Arabia is restraining activities in the field of terrorism. I deal with the present. You can go ahead and blame women for eating the apple.

              2. Allan,
                As much as the killing of jinn’s evil twin Suleimani was absolutely the right thing to do, there will likely be others sponsored by jinn’s beloved Iran ready to take his place. That’s just the world we live in.

                1. Apparently Soleimani was brilliant in the type of warfare he engaged in. Brilliance is hard to replace as is experience and trust. Try to replace a Churchill during WW2.

      1. Trump is setting a new American policy and hopefully the people of Iran already protesting will revolt
        ________________________________________

        That is absurd. This is the same old neocon policy that has been spreading poison, hate and death for 30 years.
        https://youtu.be/m58jF8_KgzI

        1. Jinn showing the same video doesn’t change anything demonstrates one who is not up to date. The video is from a dozen years ago long before Trump became President. His policies are completely different. You must have been sleeping.

          Reread the article I posted.

    2. [Many] Arabs have claimed that they cannot understand why Hamas and Islamic Jihad are mourning an Iranian general responsible for the killing and displacement of thousands of people in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Some Arabs scoffed at the two Palestinian groups for labeling Soleimani as the “martyr of Jerusalem” at a time “when most of his rockets and bullets were being used to kill Arabs and Muslims to implement Iran’s scheme of expanding its control to Arab and Islamic countries.”

      Without Iran’s financial, military and political support, Hamas and Islamic Jihad would not have been able to maintain their control over the Gaza Strip…. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have demonstrated that they care nothing for the thousands of Arabs and Muslims killed by Soleimani’s Quds Force. As far as these groups are concerned… [t]he end goal for Hamas and Islamic Jihad remains the elimination of Israel….

      The ongoing cooperation between Iran and the Gaza-based groups poses an imminent threat not only to Israel, but also to the PA, Egypt and other Arabs who are opposed to Tehran’s expansionist schemes in the region.

      Full story at: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15425/palestinians-qassem-soleimani

      1. at a time “when most of his rockets and bullets were being used to kill Arabs and Muslims to implement Iran’s scheme of expanding its control to Arab and Islamic countries.”
        __________________________________________

        That is nonsense.
        Iran is seeking to survive without having their country destroyed. The Iranians see the destruction in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Palestine and they know who is behind that destruction.

        1. Iran is seeking nuclear weapons and calls for Death to America. We need know no more though we look at what the government is doing to its people while it spends its funds as the largest state sponsor of terrorism. Their government within the boundaries of Iran is the Iranian people’s problem but their terrorism and threats make it ours.

    3. Killing Solerimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. has made it clear to the people of Iraq, lebanon and Iran that the US is no friend…of terrorist regimes.

      And as your name implies jinn, your support for them makes it clear that you’re no friend of the United States and our allies.

      1. And as your name implies jinn, your support for them makes it clear that you’re no friend of the United States and our allies.
        __________________________________________

        The US military is the aggressor in the Middle East. The planning for the destruction of the countries that do not knuckle under to US control has been planned for a long time:

        https://youtu.be/fSNyPS0fXpU

  2. The vast majority of Americans recognize a sham impeachment with no evidence. This was a loser strategy from the second it was hatched (before Trump was even elected).

  3. So today, January 15, 2020, Pelosi sends over the articles of impeachment, selecting her seven managers, and gives a speech in rebuttal of Mr. Turley’s quote on time.. and time wasted. IMO, Pelosi is a poor leader, a ego which needs stroking, and most of all, a person who will not ever be considered as a “Statesman” Or in today politically correct nonesense “Statesperson”. Many of our elected representatives in Washington D.C. appear to me as silly as high school petty ego trips. And unfortunately, many of these high schoolers are well funded by powers that want our Constitution, our bill of rights and our freedoms destroyed. I am truly sad for our Republic.

  4. Well Lucy Pelosi is at it again. She took the opportunity during her press conference this morning to once again set up the Russian football for the Charlie Brown Democrats to take another run at it. She is correct that this impeachment fiasco will be part of President Trump’s legacy. It will also be her and her caucuses legacy. This Senate and the November 2020 election will will define what that legacy will be.

    The story itself fails the smell test on a number of fronts. It falsely claims that allegations of Biden’s corrupt dealings with Ukrainian officials as vice president have been “discredited,” and its only named source is a cybersecurity firm with foundational ties to the NSA and to Crowdstrike, which you may remember as the extremely shady Atlantic Council-tied company at the heart of the plot hole-riddled 2016 Russia hacking narrative (whose CEO is now a billionaire).
    https://consortiumnews.com/2020/01/14/establishment-pundits-go-nuts-over-new-russian-hacking-conspiracy/

  5. How can you destroy something that doesn’t exist, genius? There is no case, never was a case, never will be a case for impeachment of VSPDJT. Get a grip on reality occasionally and get out of your Democrat echo chamber.

  6. I say the House should have a vote on whether to have a vote to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate on which they have had a vote.

    Then we can have even more press conferences on this.

  7. Mitch McConnell Sends Pelosi Shirt Reading ‘I Impeached The President And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt’

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Mitch McConnell felt bad for Nancy Pelosi after watching her get forced to impeach the president by the radical wing of her party, then impeach him and sit on the articles of impeachment for weeks. So, he decided to cheer her up a bit.

    McConnell had his staffers deliver Pelosi a shirt reading “I Impeached The President And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.” Pelosi did not seem to understand the nice gift, pointing her finger sternly and lecturing the McConnell staffer: “Don’t mess with me.” Though her dentures fell out before she could finish her rant, sadly.

    “It’s the least I could do,” McConnell said, a grin slowly spreading across his face. “I feel bad for the poor girl — so much work on impeachment for nothing. Everyone needs a little consolation prize, a little affirmation. A participation trophy, you might say.”

    As an offended Pelosi held a press conference condemning the shirt as a “slap in the face,” Mitch McConnell hurriedly confirmed hundreds more conservative judges.

    – Babylon Bee

  8. “The Senate is, therefore, caught in a tough position of enabling the House in such slipshod impeachments or refusing to hear witnesses who, unlike the witnesses called by the House, could have direct evidence to share on the allegations.”

    How is that a “tough position” for the Senate? The House blew their case…er…they couldn’t successfully create one. Then they decided to “end” it before they heard all of their one-sided witnesses! The whole thing would have been an SNL skit if it weren’t so funny. Kick it to the curb and move on. The Senate is in an EASY position.

      1. Until their precise motives in doing so become apparent. Then it will go down in history as the biggest political crime in history, and the end of the Democratic Party.

    1. Well David, I don’t really think anyone expected you to see anything but partisan wrangle and deep belief in the OMB propaganda.

  9. TRUMP ON IRAN AND SYRIA: NO STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK

    Iran’s Qassim Suleimani was an engine of mayhem in the Middle East. His business model was to go to Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq and recruit Arab Shiites to kill Arab Sunnis (and Americans and Israelis) and to create pro-Iranian statelets inside Iran’s Arab neighbors to weaken them from the inside. I followed this man closely. No one should mourn his passing.

    So why do I still question the wisdom of his assassination? Because it was done without a clear strategic or moral framework. And the biggest lesson I learned from covering the U.S. interventions in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan is: When administrations are not constantly forced to answer hard questions from the outside about what they’re thinking strategically and morally — when questioners are dismissed as unpatriotic — that administrations’ inside thinking gets sloppy, their intelligence gets manipulated and trouble follows.

    Never assume that people who are in charge know what they are doing just because they are in charge.

    What is President Trump’s strategic framework? One day, without any consultation with allies or our commanders, he ordered U.S. troops out of Syria, where they were serving as a critical block on Iran’s ability to build a land bridge to Lebanon and were a key source of intelligence. In the process, he abandoned our most important allies in fighting ISIS: the Syrian Kurds, who were also creating an island of decency in their region, where islands of decency are the most we can hope for.

    And then, a few weeks later, Trump ordered the killing of Suleimani, an action that required him to shift more troops into the region and tell Iraqis that we’re not leaving their territory, even though their Parliament voted to evict us. It also prompted Iran to restart its nuclear weapons program, which could well necessitate U.S. military action.

    Edited from: “Trump’s Code Of Dishonor”, by Thomas Friedman

    The New York Times, 1/14/20

    1. Self-Love, the most common trait of the Leftist. Narcissism runs rampant among Leftists, and this Seth person is living proof.

      No one cares.

    2. Thanks Seth, you proved you can copy and paste propaganda from the NYT’s, what abilities will you show us next?

    3. His business model was to go to Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq and recruit Arab Shiites to kill Arab Sunnis
      _________________________________________

      That us a distortion of the truth

      Soleimani recruited fighters to combat Islamic-State/Daesh. IS is a Sunni organization backed by the Saudis that carried out genocidal attacks against Shiites so it is natural that the Shiites were motivated to fight back. But the fighters that Soleimani recruited were not all Shia. He was able to recruit both Kurdish and Sunni groups. Soleimani’s strength was that he was able to organize and coordinate all the enemies of ISIS to defeat them.

      Here is a video of the battle of Tikrit in 2015. Notice how it was Iran that provided the logistical support and the fighters complained that the US led coalition forces were refusong to help.
      https://youtu.be/sF_5dIBjqzA

      https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/emotional-battle-tikrit-will-defeat

      Later Soleimani convinced Russia, the Syrian Army and the Kurds to join the Iraqi militias (Sunni and Shia) to coordinate efforts to defeat ISIS.

      In the region (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon,Iran) the US is not viewed as having done very much to defeat ISIS. In fact it is widely believed that Soleimani is the mastermind behind the defeat of ISIS and the US was sometimes helping ISIS. The assassination of Soliemani clarified and reinforced this belief.

      1. TRUMP POLICY:

        “By killing the two together, the Americans exposed the big lie at the root of 40 years of American deliberate blindness to the reality of Iranian culpability and responsibility for the acts of terror and aggression its surrogates have carried out against America and its allies.

        By killing Soleimani, Trump made clear that the blank check for aggression the previous six presidents gave Tehran is now canceled. From now on, the regime will be held responsible for its actions. From now on US policy towards Iran will be based on reality and not on escapism.”

        See op-ed above.

    4. Are you really foolish enough to think that the Iranians ever suspended their desire to have a nuclear weapon in order to blow up everyone on the east coast? They never stopped you Obama loving fool!

      1. You asked Peter Hill, Shill …. Seth: “Are you really foolish enough to think that?

        That is why he changes his name so much?

    5. ha ha that is just dumb

      the strategy is KILL YOUR ENEMIES and it works better than most overly educated, pretzel brained fools realize

    6. Donald Trump and the Mythmakers

      To protect their 40-year old delusion-based policy, Trump’s domestic opponents are supporting Iran.

      January 14, 2020
      6c7cc57e-6bfe-415c-a0ca-d4042f39faa4.jpeg
      For the past 40-odd years, two narratives have guided American Middle East policy. Both were invented by the Carter administration. One relates to Iran. One relates to Israel.

      Both narratives reject reality as the basis for foreign policy decision-making in favor of delusion. Over the past two months, President Donald Trump has rejected and disavowed them both. His opponents are apoplectic.

      As far as Iran is concerned, as journalist Lee Smith explained in Tablet online magazine this week, when Iranian “students” seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, they placed the Carter administration in a dilemma: If President Jimmy Carter acknowledged that the “students” weren’t students, but soldiers of Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Khomeini, the US would be compelled to fight back. And Carter and his advisers didn’t want to do that.

      At the base of their decision to prefer fantasy to reality in regards to Iran

      So rather than admit the truth, Carter accepted the absurd fiction spun by the regime that Khomeini was an innocent bystander who, try as he might, couldn’t get a bunch of “students” in central Tehran to free the hostages.

      At the base of their decision to prefer fantasy to reality in regards to Iran was the hope that Khomeini and his “students” would be satisfied with a pound or two of American flesh and wouldn’t cause Washington too many other problems.
      So too, as Smith noted, the Carter administration was propelled by guilt. The worldviews of many members of the administration had been shaped on radical university campuses in the 1960s. They agreed with the Iranian revolutionaries who cursed Americans as imperialists. They perceived Khomeini and his followers as “authentic” Third World actors who were giving the Americans their comeuppance.

      Khomeini and his “Death to America” shouting followers got the message. They understood that Washington had given them a green light to attack Americans in moderate and, as Smith put it, “plausibly deniable” doses. it. For the next 40 years, Iran maintained its aggression against America. And from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, every president since Carter accepted and kept faith with Carter’s decision not to hold the Iranian regime responsible for the acts of aggression and war it carried out against America through proxies.

      During the Iraq War from 2003-2011, Iran’s aggression reached new heights. Iran organized the Shiite militias that waged war against the US forces in Iraq. It also supported Al-Qaida in Iraq which organized in Iran and used Iran as its logistical base for operations.

      More than six hundred American forces were killed and thousands were wounded in attacks carried out with Iranian-made improvised explosive devices

      More than six hundred American forces were killed and thousands were wounded in attacks carried out with Iranian-made improvised explosive devices, (IADs). Yet rather than confront Iran for its aggression and take action against it, the Bush administration tried to make a deal with the mullahs.

      Under Obama, reaching an accord with Iran was the singular goal of US foreign policy. Every other goal was subordinated to Obama’s burning desire to appease Iran at the expense of Israel and the US’s Sunni Arab allies.

      This then brings us to President Trump. Trump’s decision to kill Qassem Soleimani – who as commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force was the head of all of Iran’s regional and global terror apparatuses – destroyed the Carter administration’s Iran narrative.

      Soleimani was killed in Baghdad along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the commander of one of the Soleimani-controlled Shiite militias in Iraq. Iraqi protesters, who have been demonstrating against Iran’s control over their government since last October claim that Soleimani was the one who ordered al-Muhandis to kill the demonstrators. More than 500 demonstrators have been killed by those forces in Iraq over the past three months.

      Americans exposed the big lie at the root of 40 years of American deliberate blindness to the reality of Iranian culpability and responsibility for the acts of terror and aggression

      By killing the two together, the Americans exposed the big lie at the root of 40 years of American deliberate blindness to the reality of Iranian culpability and responsibility for the acts of terror and aggression its surrogates have carried out against America and its allies.

      By killing Soleimani, Trump made clear that the blank check for aggression the previous six presidents gave Tehran is now canceled. From now on, the regime will be held responsible for its actions. From now on US policy towards Iran will be based on reality and not on escapism.

      The second false narrative that has formed the basis of US Middle East policy since Carter is that Israel and the so-called “occupation” are responsible for the absence of peace in the Middle East. Moved largely by Carter’s hostility towards the Jewish state, his administration was the first to call Israel’s control over Judea and Samaria an “occupation.” It determined, through a 1978 memo authored by Arthur Hansell, the State Department’s legal adviser, that the mere existence of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria constituted a breach of international law.

      Because the Hansell memo was based on a wholly specious interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention from 1949, and had no basis in actual international law, the Reagan administration refused to adopt it. But that didn’t stop Ronald Reagan from adopting the anti-Israel substance of Carter’s policy narrative. Just as Reagan turned a blind eye to Iran’s responsibility for the terror attacks its proxies carried out against the United States – including the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in April 1983, and the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in November 1983 – so he substantively accepted Carter’s anti-Israel narrative which blamed Israel for the absence of Middle East peace. Reagan appointed veteran diplomat Philip Habib to serve as his special envoy for Middle East peace. Habib put together a “peace plan” predicated on the notion of Israeli guilt.

      The first Bush administration, the Clinton administration, the second Bush administration and of course, the Obama administration all held to the Carter line that blamed Israel and its control over Judea and Samaria

      The first Bush administration, the Clinton administration, the second Bush administration and of course, the Obama administration all held to the Carter line that blamed Israel and its control over Judea and Samaria, (and Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, and – until 2005 – Gaza), for the unrest and instability of the region. Obama, of course, went full circle. He adopted the Hansell memo as US official policy and enabled the UN Security Council to pass a resolution criminalizing the existence of Jewish communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

      The fact that the Carter narrative was self-evidently ridiculous and destabilizing made no impression on these successive administrations. PLO aggression and refusal to either disavow terrorism or accept Israel’s right to exist in any borders were brushed aside as irrelevant and unwelcome information.

      Israel’s profound concessions for peace were pocketed, poo-pooed and forgotten.

      Last November, the Trump administration put paid the phony narrative of Israeli avarice with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the administration was disavowing the Hansell memo and replacing it with an accurate international law-based assessment that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are not inherently illegal.

      Wednesday, while the world was awaiting Trump’s response to Iran’s failed missile attack against Iraqi bases housing US forces, the Kohelet Policy Forum held a conference on the legal and diplomatic significance of Pompeo’s announcement. In a pre-recorded message for the conference, Pompeo briefly explained why he decided to disavow the Hansell memo. His explanation could be equally applied to the Trump administration’s policy towards Iran.

      Trump’s refusal to continue their forty-year marriage of policy to delusion is an unforgivable transgression

      In Pompeo’s words, “It is important that we speak the truth when the facts lead us to it. And that’s what we’ve done.”

      For the American foreign policy establishment, Trump’s refusal to continue their forty-year marriage of policy to delusion is an unforgivable transgression, and a threat. Not only has he committed the crime of rejecting their collective “wisdom,” his reality-based policies might actually be working. The threat to them is obvious.

      If Trump’s reality-based policies succeed, he will dismantle their foreign policy legacy. All their protestations of wisdom, all their fancy resumes and titles as former senior officials will lose their allure and market value.

      Since Pompeo’s statement regarding the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria related to an issue which, while critical, is less in the headlines today than it was under Obama, aside from a few peremptory condemnations, the foreign policy aristocrats ignored it. As they saw it, once they return to power and start working with an Israeli government led by someone other than Benjamin Netanyahu, the anti-Israel phony narrative will be restored to its rightful place as the foundation of US policy.

      The Iran story is different. Days before the drone strike that killed him, Soleimani tried to re-enact the 1979 “student” takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran with “protesters” in Baghdad. But this time it didn’t work. And Soleimani paid with his life for his failure. Iran’s half-hearted, failed missile attack against US forces in Iraq showed that the Iranian regime is terrified of Trump and their reversal of fortune.

      Trump’s policies expose the mendacity and rank insanity of his predecessors’ policies towards Iran and Israel. Since Obama’s policies were particularly radical, divorced from reality and devastating, Trump has reasonably singled them out for particular rebuke and condemnation. Among other things, Trump rightly said the missiles Iran shot at US forces in Iraq were paid for by the 150 billion dollars in sanctions relief and 1.8 billion dollars in cash that flowed to the coffers of the IRGC through the 2015 nuclear agreement.

      Rather than keep quiet as their signature policy was exposed as a strategic disaster, Obama administration officials and their supporters in Congress and the media went into very public paroxysms of rage. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser and chief propagandist, who sold the nuclear deal to a credulous and eager media, said Trump’s move would lead to war. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the US strike against Soleimani was “disproportionate,” hinting it was a war crime to kill the terrorist who had just ordered the seizure of a US Embassy. She scheduled a Congressional session to curb Trump’s power to confront Iranian aggression and nuclear proliferation.

      On cue, a group of psychiatrists wrote an open letter to Congress insisting that Trump is crazy and must be restrained. (The same group has written several nearly identical letters since Trump took office.)

      To protect and preserve their 40-year old delusion-based policy, Trump’s domestic opponents are effectively supporting the Iranian regime against the United States. And as they see it, they have no choice. They are in a race against time. The more successful Trump’s reality-based policies towards Iran on the one hand and Israel on the other are, the harder it will be for the foreign policy establishment to restore their delusion-based policies when he leaves power. Given the stakes, we can assume that their attempts to clip Trump’s wings and debase him will increase in intensity, churlishness and irrationality as time goes by and as his successes mount.

      1. That’s a very good op-ed Allan. Thank you for posting it. This failed foreign policy mindset has been baked into our culture for a couple of generations. This administration’s actions will of course appear to be a radical departure from the group think that led us to the recent events. And of course every member of the political class, including their foreign policy advisers that promoted the failed policies of those previous administrations will own the legacy of that failure.

        1. Fido, the Brainless Wonder, this article by Carolyn Glick is probably a good article but the above article is much better and different. This research of yours demonstrates how you got your name. You need to improve your research skills. Try reading instead of trying to prove you are worth more than you are.

          1. Anonymous is right about one thing: It’s a “typical link/article from Allan” from one of his favorite rags “FrontPage Magazine.”

            “FrontPage Magazine is an online far-right political website, edited by David Horowitz and published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The website has been described by scholars and writers as right-wing, far-right, Islamophobic, and anti-Islam…” (Wikipedia)

            Now we know why he didn’t post the source.

            1. It is this type of posting that creates stupid people. They let others or their handlers decide what is good and what is bad. They don’t think for themselves. Maybe they can and maybe they can’t.

              The question is whether one can say what is wrong with the op ed? This writer definitely can’t so he simply dismisses the op-ed as bad because it is right-wing forgetting that most of the heated dialogue published in the leftist MSM has been wrong over and over again while places like Frontpage have been mostly correct.

              Anonymous is unable to think for himself so his opinions are totally meaningless.

              In case some don’t know David Horowitz was one of the intellectual leaders of the New Left Movement after the Stalin papers were released (Stalinists remained Stalinists or moved to the New Left when all the atrocities were revealed.). He is one of a handful of peole that knows the inner workings and lies that come frrom the far left. His conversion to the right came after his friend was killed likely by the leftist group he was working for. He learned no one cared and the suspicion is they were afraid she was going to release some damning material.

              Why is the left so afraid of David Horowitz and others like him? Because the wool had been pulled over their eyes and now they are vocal opponents of the left capable of proving that the left is lying so the only defense the left has is to stop them from talking.

              Nothing this group of posters write has fact or reasonable opinion. They simply repeat the left’s hate speech that opposes any

                1. Though Anonymous the Stupid may not recognize it Wikipedia reflects leftist views where politics is concerned and that is why it is not a resource for unbiased opinions.

            2. Below is the premise of the op ed article Anonymous knows nothing about. The rest of the article carefully explains the reasoning involved. Many on the left may actually agree with a lot of what Trump is doing here but they can’t say it for they will be ostracized. The rest don’t want to admit their policies of the past 40 years have been wrong.

              “For the past 40-odd years, two narratives have guided American Middle East policy. Both were invented by the Carter administration. One relates to Iran. One relates to Israel.

              Both narratives reject reality as the basis for foreign policy decision-making in favor of delusion. Over the past two months, President Donald Trump has rejected and disavowed them both. His opponents are apoplectic.”

  10. To those of you worrying about “blue” Virginia with Gov. Blackface grabbing our guns. Here’s a little Southern Comfort brought to you by scads of damn fine patriots — white, black, yellow and every other shade — some of whom I know pretty well and some who just chimed in from our neighboring states:

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/01/14/va-dems-drop-ar-15-confiscation-after-1000s-of-nra-members-show/?fbclid=IwAR2oV6UXzCMUf2eGozWmetKvHhEuO5w5PYCifQ2F4483EVvkfftEQUeaTSM

    1. A battle in a long war Mespo. The suburban housewives who swung the House to democrats in 2018 can show up too, and they will.

      For most Americans, who do want more gun control, we need to focus not on specific models, but on high velocity, small caliber and low recoil semi automatic weapons of all makes and models. These weapons produce damage to humans that doctors cannot fix and their low recoil means more rounds fired under control. They are designed to kill and maim humans and they are really good at it.

      See you down the road mespo. You’ll lose.

      1. You took your best shot. Suburban moms are married to gun toting suburban dads who understand that more criminals on the street mean more ammunition is required. A good scare and they’ll be with their husbands at the gun ranges.

        1. Polling as recent as last summer showed even most Republicans favor an assault weapons ban.

          When people understand that it is not large clips or semi automatic operation which mostly make them lethal but the literal explosion of human flesh and organs they cause, their reaction will be as visceral as the damage and opposition will grow.

          I was the anonymous who posted that way by mistake above.

          1. anon1:

            ” … but the literal explosion of human flesh and organs they cause, their reaction will be as visceral as the damage and opposition will grow.”
            *****************
            The so-called assault weapons shoot a .223 round or a 5.56 NATO round which is a small round that doesn’t “explode.” It’s a semi-automatic varmit weapon like a .22 caliber. You don’t know what an assault weapon is — like most of the stuff you comment about.

            1. Mespo, the bullet doesn’t explode, the human flesh and even nearby organs explode from small high velocity rounds. That is because damage from a missile is exponentially affected by the velocity while the weight ratio is a straight line.

              Read this accounting by one of the ER docs at the Parkland School shooting.

              https://www.theatlantic.com/letters/archive/2018/02/letters-the-toll-of-high-velocity-bullets/554192/

              There other accounts on line by experienced docs on what this looks like. Google it.

              1. Yeah here’s your disinterested, dispassionate scientist merely explaining what she saw:

                “The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) of 1994 included language that prohibited semiautomatic rifles such the AR-15, and also large-capacity magazines with the ability to hold more than 10 rounds. The ban was allowed to expire on September 13, 2004, after 10 years. The mass murders that have followed the ban’s lapse make clear that it must be reinstated.”

                Advocate! Of course, she never mentions it had NO effect on gun violence an expired.

          2. The US already tried an assault weapons ban, which netted no difference either way. Most persons killed with guns are killed by hand guns. There is no clear definition of an assault weapon. It’s just a phrase gun grabbers like you use because it’s incendiary.

                  1. You missed this fantastic video linked in Mespo’s Breitbart article

                    stated by a Black man in Virginia @ 0:11 speaking to county supervisors of Prince William, Va

                    “If a guy in black face standing next to a guy in a hood tells me I need to give him my guns, we have got a problem”

          3. And polls show Hillary still has a 95% chance of winning! I thought all critically thinking people had given up on polls … I guess that shows what category you’re in. By all means, don’t let that stop you from posting unverified information.

      2. In 1789, the American Founders generally restricted the vote to: Male, European, 21 with 50 lbs. Sterling or 50 acres.

        Now you know why.

  11. I opine that Pelosi knows precisely what she is about.

    For example, by now the vast majority of citizens want Bolton to testify.

    1. Look who woke up from under his rock and is about to lecture on how to do a colonscopy in Hisanus

      From now on you will be known as Preparation H…..because you really are hemorrhoids on so many levels

        1. But not to be used everyday, b/c then you could actually thin that area around the eye, just for a quick fix on occasion.

    2. “by now the vast majority of citizens want Bolton to testify.”

      :rolleyes: The “vast majority of citizens” could give a rat’s posterior about this whole affair. Those paying a modicum of attention know it is a hoax. Your “vast majority”, when pressed for Bolton’s first name, would reply “Michael” and not “John”.

  12. https://twitter.com/VanJones68/status/1217247806223720448

    Van Jones

    Verified account

    @VanJones68
    Follow Follow @VanJones68

    We have more billionaires in this race than black people. The debate will suffer from that lack of diversity. #DemDebate @CNN
    4:51 PM – 14 Jan 2020

    @VBallTuan

    Replying to @VanJones68 @CNN
    Debate will suffer because there isnt any new ideas on that stage. Avg age on that stage is Jurassic park.
    1 reply 3 retweets 56 likes
    Reply 1 Retweet 3 Like 56

    Booooooooommmm!!!!!

    🤯

  13. The Nuclear Option: The Democrat Field Gets a Little Whiter, a Little Crazier

    Well, there goes Spartacus. Slain by a fellow warrior supposedly fighting for the same side.

    Not that Sen. Cory Booker ever had any real shot at the Democratic nomination for president considering the angry lust for socialism that drives Democratic politicians in Washington these days. Well, that and an unstinting hatred of President Trump.

    As left-wing and riled up as Spartacus is, he is simply no match for the fever dreams spun by the rest of the crazies in his party, all vying for the Holy Grail.

    For example, take Michael Bloomberg. The white billionaire in Gucci pumps is flaying himself over every effort he made back when he was mayor of New York City to fight crime and make the city a remotely livable place.

    Now that he is whoring himself out and opening his wallet to buy the Democratic nomination, Mr. Bloomberg has gone to California — a blueprint, he says, for the rest of the country.

    “I think that California can serve as a great example for the rest of the country,” he said during a recent visit to the high-tax state that people are fleeing in droves.

    “You have led the way on climate change, on fighting gun violence and on criminal justice. And you have, as importantly, welcomed immigrants with open arms because, unlike our president, you understand immigration doesn’t threaten America. Immigration strengthens America.”

    No wonder the guy is trying to buy the election. He certainly could never win an election on the issues.

    California a blueprint? More like a petri dish, infected with leper sores, fecal deposits, and discarded bloody needles.

    Truly, California has become a hotel you can never check out of.

    But thank goodness Mr. Bloomberg is still running for the nomination of a party that is completely obsessed with the color of everybody. Now that Mr. Booker has dropped out, Mr. Bloomberg is among the only people of color left in the Democratic race, green being the color of himself and Tom Steyer, the retired hedge fund billionaire with white skin who is trying to outbid Mr. Bloomberg for the nomination.

    There has been debate recently — and I am not kidding — among Democrats and some in the media over whether Andrew Yang qualifies as a “person of color” since he is of Asian descent. Apparently, these people are not sure his “color” counts as a positive since it would be used against him if he applied for admission to an Ivy League university.

    Seriously, this is how ridiculous the Democratic Party and your media have become.

    In any event, the party must go on, even if no black or Hispanic candidates are included in the next debate hosted by the Democratic National Committee.

    Et Tu, Spartacus?

    – Breitbart

    1. Yes… and imagine the joy every thinking property owner in Cali must feel now that their state has become the toxic wasteland of the USA. Can you say property value whacked?

    2. The Democrats have no candidates that can run on any platform other than socialist ideologies. Orange man bad. Abortion good. Constitution bad. Communism good. 2nd amendment bad. Hate good. Unity bad. Diversity good. Wealthy people bad. Free stuff good. White people bad. Colored people good. Cars bad. Cows bad. Airplanes bad. Illegal immigration good.

      The stupid in the Dem party runs deep and wide

  14. PELOSI’S DELAY WAS NO BLUNDER

    QUITE THE OPPOSITE

    This had to be one of the most successful failures — one of the most triumphant defeats — in modern political history.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) clearly failed in the stated aim of her four-week delay in sending impeachment articles to the Senate: to withhold the articles and the naming of impeachment managers until, as she put it last month, “we see the process that is set forth in the Senate.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) didn’t reveal his impeachment resolution and made no commitment to bring forth witnesses or documents.

    But Pelosi’s delay seems to have blunted any hope President Trump’s defenders had of dismissing the charges without a trial. Before the speaker’s gambit, McConnell pledged that “there will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.” Trump is now calling for a dismissal, but Senate Republicans say they won’t allow that.

    Credit the delay. Public attention to the dispute and to former Trump national security adviser John Bolton’s willingness to testify makes it more difficult for Republicans to dismiss the charges. It also left time for investigators to obtain notes and phone records of indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas; released in part Tuesday night, they show, among other things, that people working with Giuliani apparently had Marie Yovanovitch, then the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, under surveillance.

    The biggest benefit of the 28-day delay, though, could not have been predicted when Pelosi sent the nation on this path. Many of the behaviors that got Trump impeached have returned in other guises for all to see:

    He took the nation to the verge of war with Iran based on a lie: that his assassination of a top Iranian general was justified by an “imminent” threat, specifically a planned attack against four U.S. embassies. When the world learned that Trump had fabricated it, he claimed “it doesn’t really matter” whether there is an imminent threat before he engages in hostilities — an assault on congressional authority to declare war.

    He is simultaneously preparing to assault congressional power of the purse. As The Post’s Nick Miroff reported, Trump plans to divert an extra $7.2 billion for a border wall — five times the amount Congress authorized — by siphoning money away from military construction and counternarcotics efforts.

    Trump has also refused to release $18 billion of congressionally approved disaster aid for Puerto Rico, which just suffered a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on top of the lingering effects from Hurricane Maria in 2017. Other (whiter) U.S. citizens got better treatment following natural disasters.

    Edited From: “The Most Successful Failure In Modern Political History”

    Today’s Washington Post

  15. I don’t think this is a blunder or a mistake. It’s a strategy. The House had no case. If this was about justice, then they would have stopped after it was discovered the “whistleblower” mole activist misrepresented a phone call he never even heard. Once it came out that there was no quid pro quo, that Ukraine didn’t know anything about any quid pro quo, and that there is a legitimate reason to investigate Joe Biden, then a just process would have ended.

    This is instead about gathering opposition research through abuse of power, and weakening President Trump for 2020. The Democrat field is weak. They have a socialist, the guy who got Ukraine’s prosecutor fired, and a lady who is socialist lite. All of them except Bernie have leaned far Left. Bernie’s always been hard Left. All 3 of them would destroy our economy and impoverish people. The economy is doing well under Republican leadership. Of course. More people would be out of work if the Dems win.

    They behave as if they don’t trust their chances of wining 2020, and so must wound Trump going in. They can’t win in a fair fight, so they’ve got to poison their opponent.

    It’s so dirty.

    Meanwhile, Leftists attack people wearing MAGA hats, fantasize about murdering them and burning down cities if Trump wins, threaten invited conservative speakers on college campuses across America, target for destruction little old bakers who don’t want to make a custom cake celebrating mental illness, try to get people fired if they take a biological definition of sex rather than wish to use 75 pronouns, and view womanhood as simply a state of mind. The Left has pushed to get men to shove women over in their own sports divisions, as well as given them access to their showers and locker rooms. Teenage girls crying that they don’t want to be forced to disrobe in front of a guy with all his genitalia out, are told to shut up, because that guy says he’s a girl, he is one. That’s what being a girl has been reduced to.

    Ugh. I am so tired of this. All the Leftist hate and trying to force everyone to do what they’re told. It’s anathema to personal freedom.

    1. Karen, the WB’s accounting was confirmed by witnesses to the call the transcript. If you really think there is no case at all, you should also be in favor of hearing from the 1st person WH witnesses who should be able to easily squelch the accusations. Write your senator.

      As to your dark fantasies about your fellow citizens, seek help. There is no one under your bed and the actual politically motivated murderers are overwhelmingly right wingers.

        1. I’ll take that comment as another fact loving American in favor of Senate witnesses. This is after all the home blog of America’s leading voice for hearing the witnesses.

            1. Yeah, wealthy white people in Louisiana and South Carolina are a critical swing block that Democrats must have to win…….Louisiana and South Carolina?

                1. You quoted the attendance and it is a good bet that those in attendance were primarily fans of the team so wrong again counselor.

                  1. YN ON:

                    Picked last for basketball? The schools only get 20,000 tickets per to disperse. It’s a good bet there were lots of fans from both schools but only a parochial egghead would think they weren’t from all across the country given their national fan base, not to mention the other 37,000 ticket holders. It’s a big event, in case you hadn’t heard there in the basement.

      1. “Karen, the WB’s accounting was confirmed by witnesses to the call the transcript.”

        Karen has stated, and we are all witnesses, that her neighbor has sources verifying there exist single parents female homeless drug addicts buying your crack in Gainesville and it has been confirmed by multiple reliable informants who have verified to high ranking people in Orlando

        so yeah, our sources beat the snot out of your “witnesses”

        Your momma also dresses you funny

      2. Conservatives have committed more political murders than Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, Hitler (yes…he was a socialist, despite revisionist history), Ortega, Mao Zedong?

  16. Professor Turley may be missing something – Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler may not WANT Bolton, Giuliani and others in the White House to appear because their testimony might expose Schiff’s conspiracy. They just wanted to score political points, not throw Trump out and they know the whole thing is a farce cooked up by Schiff.

    1. I’ve heard it said that a wife cannot testify against her husband. I don’t know the law but I fully accept the concept. Patients, clients, doctors and lawyers enjoy pro/patron privilege. Americans have a right against self-incrimination. “National security” and “sources and methods” have prevailed in cases throughout history.

      Bolton, the above-top-secret confidant of the President, does not testify. I’ll wager a beer or glass of wine on it – with a one-drink maximum.

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