A Leap or Perpetuating Evel? A Response To Sen. Chris Coons

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I have long respected Sen. Chris Coons (D, Del.) as a highly intelligent and effective senator.  I was surprised today to be watching Michael Smercomish (who I also respect greatly) to hear Sen. Coons following the party line in arguing implausibly that Hunter Biden is not a relevant witness in any trial despite his centrality to the Trump defense.  I previously addressed how Biden would be deemed relevant in a conventional trial and Smercomish quoted one of my Washington Post column at length to offer the opposing view. Sen. Coons responded not by addressing the relevancy argument but by dismissing such arguments as clever lawyering and “a stretch . . . a leap of logic worthy of Evel Knievel.”  I should note that this analogy was lost on my youngest son, Aidan, who immediately asked “who is Evel Knievel?” When I explained, he responded, “isn’t that a good comparison?”

No, it was not meant to be a positive comparison.  Putting aside that he broke every bone in his body, Sen. Coons was trying to say that I was leaping over logic and law to reach this conclusion. On the eve of the Martin Luther King Day, I can only paraphrase that “He who passively accepts [Evel] is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” The truly impressive Knievel-like leap is to call your witnesses and then vault over the witnesses requested by the defense.

The position of the Democrats seem to take the position that only prosecution theory witnesses are relevant — in other words, their witnesses.  There are defense witnesses allowed under the federal rules who are called to support alibis or defense theories.

As I previously noted, under Federal Rule of Evidence 401, courts will often review possible testimony under the standard of whether “it has a tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence.”  Even before the adoption of the Bill of Rights, Congress enacted a statute reaffirming the right of the “defense to make any proof that he can produce by lawful witnesses” in cases of treason and capitol cases.  This right to present a defense has been repeatedly reaffirmed by the Supreme Court including in the 1967 opinion in Washington v. Texas, where the Court ruled that “the right to offer the testimony of witnesses and to compel their attendance, if necessary, is in plain terms the right to present the defense, the right to present the defendant’s version of the facts  . . . Just as an accused has the right to confront the prosecution’s witnesses for the purpose of challenging their testimony, he has the right to present his own witnesses to establish a defense.”

What is curious is that, if the Democrats are successful in calling the witnesses that they want at trial, it is inevitable that the White House will be allowed its own witnesses.  Why not take the high road and maintain a consistent, coherent position that each side will be allowed such witnesses? Instead, Coons and others struggle to explain why witnesses wanted by the House are essential but those wanted by the White House are mere “distractions.”

Sen. Coons is too smart not to see the hypocrisy in that position. Besides, the last thing any of us want to see . . . is me in a skin tight, Knievel bodysuit.

 

72 thoughts on “A Leap or Perpetuating Evel? A Response To Sen. Chris Coons”

  1. Dear Professor Turkey, great and thoughtful. As for Evel: sic transit glorium… A message perhaps the entire Government could remember. Thanks

  2. The Democrats should be careful what they wish for. Let’s see….who might the Trump team call as witnesses?

    Al “we have to impeach him or he will be re-elected” Green, who also said the plans for impeachment began before Trump was sworn in.

    Nancy Pelosi who said when asked why the rush responded: This is not a rush we’ve been working on it for two and a half years.

    Adam Schiff, who lied about his staff working with the whistleblower. He also denied knowing the identity of the whistleblower.

    The so-called whistleblower.

    The inspector general if the IC to answer the question why was the first-hand knowledge requirement removed shortly before the complaint was filed.

    Fiona Hill who wrote that it would be dangerous to supply Ukraine with lethal military aid during the Obama administration but claimed that Trump’s delay of a few weeks damaged national security.

    Wouldn’t Pam Bondy questioning Hunter Biden be must-see-TV?

    And let’s not forget the six Democrat members of the judiciary committee who voted for impeachment before Trump ever picked up the phone OR the WaPo article published 19 minutes after Trump was sworn in stating “The impeachment of Donald Trump has begun.”

    1. “What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.”
      ~ Hannah Arendt

  3. Once again, I disagree with Jonathan Turley. The impeachment trial in the Senate is not to establish criminal guilt or the lack thereof. It is simply for removal from office or not. The Constitution makes clear that the form and content of the trial is entirely up to the Senate. Federal statutory law plays no role. The Supreme Court agrees as does anyone who can read the Constitution for what it states.

    The Senate can call up whatever witnesses it desires, or none at all, even just those for the offense and none for the defense.

    So I opine that Jonathan Turley is simply wrong in this instance.

    1. DBB:
      “Once again, I disagree with Jonathan Turley. The impeachment trial in the Senate is not to establish criminal guilt or the lack thereof. It is simply for removal from office or not.”
      *****************
      Okay, so you can be found legally innocent of the charges and be removed from office?

      You don’t disagree with Turley. You disagree with rationality..

      1. mespo727272, you fail to understand the plain words of the constitution — and also the historical fact that a high crime is not a statutory crime. Which remains my point.

        1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me forty-two citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after fifty-nine weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – Since this is waaaay out of your field and probably not covered in Weart, you are not aware that when the Constitution was passed there we NO statutory high crimes or misdemeanors yet. We had to elect a legislature and enact laws , then we had high crimes and misdemeanors. Treason was already stated. I guess you failed civics?

            1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me forty-two citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after fifty-nine weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – I keep telling you not to use Wikipedia, twit.

                1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me forty-two citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after fifty-nine weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – you descended to ad hominems? Poor baby.

  4. I’m personally surprised at the Prof’s assessment of Coon’s effectiveness. If he’s smart I’ll accept the opinion. But effective? He’s just another anti-anything that is a schwanz stukker (purposely misspelled).

  5. “On the eve of the Martin Luther King Day, I can only paraphrase that “He who passively accepts [Evel] is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.”
    *********************
    Given the current morality test for great men and MLK’s proven womanizing, plagiarism and perhaps enabling of sexual assault as detailed here, may I confidentially grab a cable and pull down every statue of him I see?

  6. They should move to dismiss. What’s the worst that could happen? It’s denied and then they acquit? The only reason witnesses are even on the table at all is because the GOP is hobbled by a handful of weaklings looking to appease their “colleagues on the other side of the aisle.” It’s ego. They want to appear virtuous and principled, as if their “colleagues on the other side of the aisle” aren’t sharks who’ve been smelling blood for 3 years.

    And btw, I [respectfully] disagree with the “expert witnesses” and will go with Dershowitz on this one: abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. It’s an extrapolation and a basic logical fallacy. “The constitution says we can impeach Trump for playing hokey and basketball; hokey and basketball are sports; therefore we can impeach Trump for playing sports.” If you can think of even ONE abuse of power that’s not a bribe, treason, high crime or misdemeanor, then that argument is null and void. How about sex in the Oval Office with an intern? lol

    1. The Left have only one playbook…they have been using it since January 2017 and they are using it in the Fauxpeachment and also in Virginia this weekend.

      ….

      https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/01/18/beware-virginia-a-remarkable-confluence-of-events/

      Beware Virginia – A Remarkable Confluence of Events…

      There is a remarkable confluence of data-points surrounding a second amendment rally in Virginia this holiday weekend that bear a strong note of caution. Something akin to an astroturf event appears in the background.

      Data-points:

      ♦ Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is running for President. Bloomberg has funded the majority of Virginia anti-gun legislators who are now proposing considerable restrictions on lawful gun ownership in the commonwealth.

      ♦ It is also worth noting in the wake of the astro-turfed Charlottesville narrative, the professional political messaging of the Democrat apparatus, via Joe Biden, proclaimed in April 2019 that Charlottesville represented “the battle for the soul of this nation.”

      If there is one consistent aspect to DNC activists (Occupy Wall Street, Antifa etc.), it’s that they use the same playbook.

      ♦ Provoking civil unrest to achieve political objectives is a well known strategy of the Alinsky wing of the apparatus. ie. “never let a crisis go to waste”; and they are very good at creating the appearance of an organic crisis. It’s usually in hindsight when the astroturf originating the crisis is identified.

      The reason the Antifa mob was able to attack the peaceful marchers was ONLY because the Charlottesville Police were ordered to stand down by the far-left Democratic Mayor and Governor (link)

      As it was noted in the Charlottesville example, the authorities in Virginia purposefully funneled two activist groups together to create the conflict and crisis (‘Unite the Right’ and Antifa). Consider the possibility of the same play-book being deployed this weekend for the second amendment rally at the Virginia capitol.

      Situational Awarness – Take a look at how the authorities in Virginia have literally used chain link fences to fenced-in the current demonstration venue. One entrance, few exits:

      The Virginia state Capitol building is surrounded by fencing, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 in Richmond, Va., in preparation for Monday’s rally by gun rights advocates. Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday, Jan. 15, announced a state of emergency and banned all weapons from the rally at the Capitol. (Hoffmeyer/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

      ♦ Also, keep in mind how the national media are framing this: “Virginia has become Ground Zero in the nation’s raging debate over gun control.”

      Just as the national media did with the “far-right” -vs- “Antifa” for the Charlottesville example, there is a much larger national narrative overlay being deployed.

      ♦ Also as noted in 2017, getting President Trump involved in the controversy is a way to keep the story on a national scale and politicize the crisis. This is a presidential election year, and Democrats are attempting to converge a multitude of social issues for maximum electoral benefit.

      ♦ VA is an easy and convenient state for political narrative engineering. The geography of Northern Virginia to DC planning headquarters; in combination with a massive media apparatus in close proximity; has made many Virginia events become national stories.

      ♦ Establish the narrative to be engineered by the Astroturf:

      […] Virginia’s solicitor general, Toby Heytens, told Richmond Circuit Court Judge Joi Taylor on Thursday that law enforcement had identified “credible evidence” that armed out-of-state groups planned to come to Virginia with the possible intention of participating in a “violent insurrection.”

    2. here is a question to all Republicans and I am not a Democrat but I am an independent voter and I have a question to both sides rhetorical, how does the swamp drain the swamp?

  7. I can see why you would get a chuckle out of such machinations from politicians. But to be surprised by it? Certainly you have expected this. The Democratic party is too far out on the ledge on this one. There’s nothing else they can do, except to hope Trump does something else even dumber than this.

  8. Drag Hunter and all of his sexual trysts, his children those claimed and not claimed, titty dancers from China to California via Europe, drug dealers, drug friends, hookers, pimps, and oh yes, his ex-wives…..

    start there because this is a very serious affair and our nation’s US Constitution makes it clear: there are no monarchs.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/01/20/the-campaign-to-impeach-president-trump-has-begun/

    “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun”

    January 20, 2017

    The effort to impeach President Donald John Trump is already underway.
    At the moment the new commander in chief was sworn in, a campaign to build public support for his impeachment went live at ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org, spearheaded by two liberal advocacy groups aiming to lay the groundwork for his eventual ejection from the White House.

    “We think that President Trump will be in violation of the Constitution and federal statutes on day one, and we plan a vigorous offense to ensure the worst of the constitutional violations do not occur,” said Anthony D. Romero, the ACLU’s executive director.

    1. “We think that President Trump will be in violation of the Constitution and federal statutes on day one, and we plan a vigorous offense to ensure the worst of the constitutional violations do not occur,”
      __________________________________________
      Folks were saying the same thing about President Obama before he took office. I seem to recall, that Mr. Trump was one of those folks.

      1. Folks were saying the same thing about President Obama before he took office.

        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        actually no….you’re lying, Anon

        step away from the keyboard with your multiple personalities Anon and burnthebook…it will grow hair on your chest like Elizabeth Warren

        1. People like the guy at 6:20 pm can’t respond to content. They want to attack the person…and when they can’t, it drives them crazy.

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