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Donald Trump: the Case for Impeachment

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    It will be interesting to see how long Nancy Pelosi can hold off on sending the articles of impeachment to "Moscow Mitch".

    Her goal, of course, is to get a fair trial, and not a "rubber stamp" acquittal desired by the White House. If she can someone manage to get some witnesses to testify, the outcome will not be good for Trump.

    The New York Times reported that Trump’s demand that the Pentagon withhold money from Ukraine at a crucial time in its war with Russia roiled the White House. The hold was implemented from the Office of Management and Budget, and was overseen by Mick Mulvaney. Aides were concerned that the hold was illegal and at one point tried to rope the Pentagon into assuming responsibility for it, prompting one official to respond: “You can’t be serious. I am speechless.” Eventually, lawyers at the Office of Management and Budget began to develop the argument that Trump could override Congress’s law based on his role as commander in chief. (The whistleblower’s report cut that argument short: Trump released the funds once he knew the scheme had been exposed.)

    The story reveals that Trump’s own top national security advisors tried to talk him out of his determination to withhold the money. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton met with Trump together to convince him to release the aid because it served American interests. He refused.

    It is no wonder he does not want any of them to testify. We can now safely exclude the possibility that their testimony would exonerate him. Since neither Esper or Bolton no longer works for Trump, Trump has less control over them, which means they would be more likely to comply with a subpoena from the Democrats.

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    May be not the right "thread" but please look at the following; talking about "corruption in Kentucky, Wow, wake up Pelosi!!

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    John Bolton, the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, said today he was willing to testify in the Senate impeachment trial if subpoenaed.

    In his statement that "the House has concluded its Constitutional responsibility by adopting Articles of Impeachment related to the Ukraine matter, it now falls to the Senate to fulfill its Constitutional obligation to try impeachments

    "Given that Mr. Bolton’s lawyers have stated he has new relevant information to share," Chuck Schumer said , "if any Senate Republican opposes issuing subpoenas to the four witnesses and documents we have requested they would make absolutely clear they are participating in a cover up.”​

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    I think Pelosi is holding all the cards, and now with the John Bolton statement, it puts more pressure on McConnell to capitulate to her demands. If McConnell remains resolute in protecting Trump, she can simply ask Adam Schiff to subpoena Bolton to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. Bolton would have no choice but to comply.

    So McConnell is in a corner. Let Bolton testify to the Republican friendly Senate or the more hostile Schiff run House Intelligence Committee. McConnell knows that and Pelosi knows that. In either case, Bolton's testimony will command high viewership ratings. It could be the equivalent of the "Nixon tape" moment when Republicans had an epiphany moment of enlightenment about their own future in protecting the president.

    Meanwhile as the Iranian distraction evolves, chances are that Trump's unhinged statements and actions will further undermine his own credibility, and even though the two matters are unrelated, some Republicans in Congress may be getting cold feet with "covering up for Trump" and let Pelosi have her way on witness demands in the Senate.

    I Love Nancy Pelosi.

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    Sorry you are too optimistic. Don't forget Bolton is an "warhawk" and loves what Trump did. I don't trust him at all. We need other people who are not afraid of the truth. Bolton, Pompeo, Pence, McCarthy, etc. all will lie, even under oath to protect the "child". Like I've said before this is just an "fake corrupt" court like thing. Make it an "real court" case as it should be. If not, then McConnell will get his wish and Trump will get another 4 years or longer as "dictator".
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    This morning, the speaker of the House reiterated that she does not plan to send documents necessary for the Senate trial until she sees the proposed rules. Naturally, McConnell accused her of "shameless game-playing".

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    Although some House members would like to include Jim Jordan, Doug Collins, and John Tarcliffe in the Senate trial, wiser heads (including McConnell) are resisting the idea.

    Trump, partial to bare-knuckles tactics and top-rated TV performances, loves the idea, according to four administration and congressional officials familiar with his thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly.

    Trump wanted Senate Republicans to dismiss the charges against him immediately without a trial, but McConnell explained to him that was not possible.

    At this point, it does not seem likely that we'll be forced to watch either Jim Jordan or Matt Gaetz in action again. To quote Dana Milbank, the Republican clown car has run out of gas.

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    From "Bipartisan Report" this morning:

    This week, among other grave issues, Iran launched missiles at two overseas U.S. military bases, a jetliner crashed in Iran killing all 176 people on board, and gun violence, lack of access to health care, and other threats continued to rock the country. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is still spending all of his time on Twitter. This Friday morning, he posted almost three dozen tweets and retweets and counting, many of which focused on harassing Democrats for daring to demand fairness in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

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    David Brooks, New York Times: Trump Has Made Us All Stupid

    Quoting Brooks:

    "Donald Trump is impulse-driven, ignorant, narcissistic and intellectually dishonest. So you’d think that those of us in the anti-Trump camp would go out of our way to show we’re not like him — that we are judicious, informed, mature and reasonable.

    "But the events of the past week have shown that the anti-Trump echo chamber is becoming a mirror image of Trump himself — overwrought, uncalibrated and incapable of having an intelligent conversation about any complex policy problem."


    Okay we know all that, and maybe I contributed to that discourse. As Brooks further writes, "This is Trump’s ultimate victory. Every argument on every topic is now all about him. Hating Trump together has become the ultimate bonding, attention-grabbing and profit-maximization mechanism for those of us in anti-Trump world." So yes that includes me as I write here. And Brooks makes a point when he says, "Most of this week’s argument [in the media] about the Middle East wasn’t really about the Middle East. It was all narcissistically about ourselves! Democrats defend terrorists! Republicans are warmongers! Actual Iranians are just bit players in our imperialistic soap opera, the passive recipients of our greatness or perfidy."

    And so it goes. Americans feeling good about themselves and American exceptionalism if you are a true rabid Trump supporter. Trump is keeping Americans safe. Many believe the completely made up shit that "Soleimani was planning to blow up US embassies." But such claims provide fodder for me to blast the Trump supporters for being so Stupid. Yes Dutch, I am using that word more and more nowadays. Stupid. You said it often and so am I now saying it.

    Brooks concludes: "We’re in the middle of a clash of civilizations; the Middle East is so screwed up, we should just get out; we’re too stupid/ineffective/racist/imperialistic to do any good there anyway."

    Amen to that...

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    George Conway and Neal Katyal published an article in yesterday's Washington Post that provided a couple of clever ways for Nancy Pelosi to present the articles of impeachment,

    One option is to simply send the 2nd article, since it is clear that he is guilty of all that he is charged, which would make it difficult for Republican senators to justify their acquittal when their own election day comes.

    The 2nd option is to send both, but require that the senate call witnesses and additional information. If Moscow Mitch doesn't do that, it would than allow the House to do so, putting Mitch in a very compromised position.

    We should know that she is planning to do in the near future, possibly even this week.

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    Something I could have predicted, knowing that Trump won Wisconsin by 20 some thousand votes, a poll conducted at UWM about impeachment of Trump, 6% undecided, 49% say acquit, and 44% say impeach. Just shows the world how ignorant and out of touch Wisconsinites really are, after knowing or hearing about the evidence and articles of impeachment, Wisconsinites are dumbed down. This is a state where the state minimum wage is still $7.25 per hour. Wisconsin is also the state that has the drunkest cities in America, what does that say about the citizens who live and work here?

    In the city where I reside, Kenosha, there is literally a bar on every corner. It's nothing to read local news about someone on their 6th. or 8th. DWI, DUI, or OWI. Maybe too much alcohol is affecting the average Wisconsin resident's thought process. According to a Bing search I conducted, my city has 172 bars. The estimated population is around 100,000 people, most must be drunk or on drugs and having either dead brain cells or too inebriated to make informed decisions.

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    It's not your imagination. Wisconsin is the 2nd drunkest state in the country. 24.5% of its residents drink excessively, and Green Bay is the drunkest town in the state. The only state that is drunker is North Dakota.

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    Trump's defense team is coming together.

    Here's the list so far:

    Kenneth Starr - In 1994, Starr was appointed to investigate the Whitewater Scandal. From that, he investigated firing of White House Travel Office personnel, potential abuse of confidential FBI files, whether or not the Clinton’s had hidden money in a failed Arkansas bank, Vince Foster’s death, and eventually the Monica Lewinsky scandal that led to Clinton’s impeachment. (Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh worked for Starr digging up dirt on Clinton.) In other words, this guy just kept digging until he found some dirt. In defending Trump on TV this time around, Starr has argued against the “evils of impeachment,” saying “impeachment has become a terrible, terrible thorn in the side of the American democracy and the conduct of American government since Watergate.”

    Robert Ray - Took over from Starr after the Lewinsky scandal. Arrested for stalking in 2006.

    Jay Sekulow - Has been on Trump's legal team since 2017. Has long been an advocate for school prayer and government funding of religious institutions.

    Pat Cippollone - Replace Don McGahn as White House counsel in October 2018 after McGahn told Mueller that Trump had ordered him to falsify records. Cippollone worked as an assistant to William Barr in the early 1990's. Cippollone crated the strategy of non-cooperation with the impeachment inquiry, which led to the 2nd article of impeachment. (Nixon, you may remember, willfully ignored subpoenas issued by the House, refusing to produce documents “deemed necessary… to resolve by direct evidence” what the president had done.)

    Alan Dershowitz - Defended Jeffrey Epsten, and also received a message at Epstein's house. Dershowitz said that his role will simply be to present an hour-long argument against impeachment, arguing that “Abuse of power, even if proved, is not an impeachable offense. That’s what the framers rejected. They didn’t want to give Congress the authority to remove a president because he abused his power.” (That would be news to Richard Nixon. since abuse of power was the third article of impeachment against him). Dershowitz , on Thursday night, was on FOX, claiming that the GAO report was wrong, and that "the Constitution does not allow Congress to substitute its own priorities for the foreign policies of the President.” In 2018, Dershowitz released a book titled " The Case Against Impeaching Trump". In January of 2019, he published the book titled, "The Case Against the Democratic House Impeaching Trump".

    Pam Bondi - Former Florida Attorney General , who made the news when it came to light that she decided not to pursue dozens of complaints against Trump University in 2013 after her reelection campaign received a $25,000 donation from the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

    Media matters notes that the people on Trump’s impeachment team have appeared on the Fox News Channel more than 350 times in the past year.

    Selecting Kenneth Starr, though, carries risks. “For everything Starr says to defend Trump, there will be clips of him taking the opposite position against Clinton. It will only underscore the Republican hypocrisy.”

    McConnell is doing his best to keep cameras and recording equipment out of the Senate chamber, in order to avoid the circus-like atmosphere of the House hearing) and to limit journalists’ access. Today a coalition of 17 transparency and First Amendment groups asked McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the leaders of the Senate Rules Committee to lift the unprecedented restrictions on the press and to let CSPAN use cameras.

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    And you still believe this all will be an honest impartial happening? Give me another full cart of total idiots. That is what you get if you refuse to "screen" anyone for their "background" when soliciting for any government job or even in any advisory role. There are here lots of "rules" which have to change; how about using "lie" detectors; especially in "impeachments.

    All Republicans will "lie" under oath, because Trump or Barr demanded such.

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    The New York Times had a good summary of the opening of the impeachment trial this morning:

    What is striking is the vast difference in the arguments that both sides presented.

    In a 46-page trial memorandum, and additional 60-page statement of facts, the House impeachment managers asserted that beginning in the spring, Mr. Trump undertook a corrupt campaign to enlist a foreign government to help him win the 2020 election. He did so, the Democrats argued, by pressuring Ukraine to publicly announce investigations of his political rivals, withholding as leverage vital military aid and a White House meeting for the country’s president.

    In a six-page filing formally responding to the House impeachment charges submitted shortly after and filled with partisan barbs against House Democrats, Mr. Trump’s lawyers denounced the case as constitutionally and legally invalid, and driven purely by a desire to hurt Mr. Trump in the 2020 election.

    So ..

    The Democrats presented a thoughtful 106 page document loaded with facts.

    The Republicans presented a six page document that had no facts at all. In addition, the president’s lawyers did not deny any of the core facts underlying Democrats’ charges, conceding what considerable evidence and testimony in the House has shown: that he withheld $391 million in aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine and asked the country’s president to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden.

    More ominously for Trump is this tidbit:

    Although the House ultimately declined to bring charges based on the special counsel’s Russia investigation, Saturday’s filing indicates the managers are also poised to reprise its findings as they argue that Mr. Trump’s behavior toward Ukraine fits a pattern that poses a continuing threat to American elections.

    You may remember that although Mueller did not find evidence of "collusion", he DID find 12 instances of obstruction of justice. Ultimately, that could mean as many as FOURTEEN articles of impeachment that could be lodged against Trump. Even if the senate dismisses the 2 articles that have already been submitted, the House could STILL take action of at least some of the other 12.

    The defense filing was far shorter than the House managers’ memorandum, but White House lawyers have until noon on Monday to produce a more comprehensive legal brief laying out the case they will make on the floor of the Senate.

    The House can then submit a written rebuttal by Tuesday.

    Heather Cox Richardson repeats a lot of the information that is in the New York Times article, but her January 18 publication takes us back to the 1600's, and explains why our government is designed the way it is - and why everything started to fall apart starting in 1987, and got WORSE after 1996.