Author Topic: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment  (Read 27283 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« on: October 06, 2019, 02:04:50 PM »
Per CCP's suggestion, starting this thread.  Let's make sure to be precise with regard to on which thread we post!   


https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/06/mcconnell-vows-kill-democrat-impeachment-effort-senate/

DougMacG

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ccp

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rickn

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2019, 01:30:46 PM »
Fake whistleblower who was the catalyst for the current informal impeachment inquiry in the House Intelligence Committee had a professional tie to a current Dem candidate for president.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/whistleblower-had-professional-tie-to-2020-democratic-candidate

Crafty_Dog

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Geraghty
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2019, 11:45:49 AM »
   Our Constitution Is Clear on Powers, and We Really Should Read It
By Jim Geraghty

October 9, 2019 10:03 AM

President Donald Trump speaks about the House impeachment investigation at the White House in Washington, D.C., October 7, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Making the click-through worthwhile: a full-throated defense of the powers and authorities of those in elected office, as set under the U.S. Constitution, and how that stance proved inconvenient to many in the political realm in recent years; ESPN suddenly loses its voice when it comes to covering the NBA’s dispute with China.

The Powers of an Office Don’t Change Depending on Whether You Like the Officeholder

The powers and authority of an elected office do not change depending upon whether you like or agree with the person in that office.

This means that when the House of Representatives or one of its committees requests documents or testimony or issues a subpoena, an administration can’t simply ignore the request — or send an eight-page letter from lawyers that amounts to a middle finger.

It doesn’t matter if the administration officials insist there’s nothing important in the requested documents, or if the administration says the demand for the documents is just a “blatant partisan maneuver to discredit the White House in an election year.”

In the coming days, you’re going to hear members of Congress outraged at the White House defiance of a coequal branch of government. They will argue that the refusal to comply with demands amounts to a coverup of a crime, a violation of the Constitution, and that resisting officials like the attorney general “knows the answers are there because he’s the one who has the documents that contain the answers we’re looking for. He’s the gatekeeper here, and if he won’t give us the information this institution needs to do our duty, our constitutional duty, then we will use every legal and constitutional tool that we have to get to it.”

You’re going to hear members of the president’s party declare that “this is a witch hunt, pure and simple, Mr. Speaker, and it has no place in this House.” They will howl that the fight “is about politics” and the opposition “doing whatever it takes to attack the administration, no matter the issue, no matter the cost.”

Members of the president’s party will contend that perhaps the fight is the point, that the outcome matters less to the House majority leaders than assuring their base that they’re fighting the president with everything they’ve got: “Under this majority, everything has to be a fight — everything. Everything has to be a confrontation. Everything has to be a showdown. And I get the politics. I understand this is an election year. But this goes way, way too far. It is just wrong.” The president and his allies will argue that the opposition party’s base voters never recognized the preceding election’s results, and furious grassroots activists believe that the president isn’t really legitimate, and that thus they cannot possibly honor a request driven by such unhinged and extreme motives.

And in the end, it will all result in the House finding Eric Holder in contempt.

Oh, I was talking about former attorney general Eric Holder’s refusal to turn over documents to Congress about Fast and Furious back in 2012; what did you think I was talking about?

The thing is, back then a lot of folks seemed to think Holder had the right to refuse to turn over those documents, and that the subpoenas were somehow illegitimate or unlawful because of what they claimed was blatant partisanship and bad faith demonstrated by the Congressional majority. (The fact that 17 House Democrats agreed with the GOP majority was conveniently ignored.)

The Atlantic’s David Graham declared, “There is a strong whiff of election-year fishing to this case.” The New York Times editorial board denounced the GOP for “shamelessly turning what should be a routine matter into a pointless constitutional confrontation.” Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson thundered the contempt vote against Holder was “a partisan witch hunt by House Republicans,” “without legitimate cause,” and that Darrell Issa was trying to “manufacture something that can be portrayed as a high-level Obama administration cover-up.”
Stay Updated with Morning Jolt

A guided tour of the news and politics driving the day, by Jim Geraghty.

Rep. Jerry Nadler didn’t vote on the contempt charge; he walked out during the vote, calling the effort “shameful” and “politically motivated.” More than 100 Democrats joined him in refusing to vote. Nancy Pelosi also called the contempt vote “shameful” and contended that it was really designed to suppress Democratic turnout in 2012: “These very same people who are holding him in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote. They’re closely allied with those who are suffocating the system: unlimited special interest secret money.” To Pelosi, it was simply unthinkable that House Republicans could have wanted to see Department of Justice documents relating to Fast and Furious for any legitimate reason.

Just to be clear, back in 2012, a lot of people thought it was just fine if an administration and its officials refused to turn over documents because they thought the members of Congress investigating them were a bunch of partisan hacks.

When Holder defied Congress, a lot of people cheered. When Congress held him in contempt, a lot of people thought Holder should wear it as a badge of pride.

A Wired headline declared, “Holder Held in Contempt of Congress, Which Means Almost Nothing.” Admittedly, a big reason for the lack of consequence was the fact that the executive branch official in charge of enforcing contempt of Congress against Attorney General Eric Holder was . . . Attorney General Eric Holder. (“Officer! Arrest that man looking at you in mirror!”)

Back then, we could have had a broad bipartisan consensus that even the biggest, dumbest partisan hack is entitled to the full powers and authorities of the office. We could have all agreed that even if a committee chairman has a bigger axe to grind than Paul Bunyan, that didn’t make compliance with requests for documents, subpoenas, or testimony optional. We could have agreed that congressional oversight of the executive branch was an important tool against bad decisions, corruption, and coverups, and that because of its importance, oversight by a lawmaker we thought was too partisan was still better than brazen disregard and defiance of that oversight.

But congressional Democrats and their allies in the media didn’t make that choice. They established the argument that some defiance of Congressional subpoenas is okay, as long as the executive branch believes that the Congressional investigators are being unfair. And now, here we are.

No, the president of the United States and his administration should not refuse to cooperate with a House impeachment effort in any way, shape or form. But we didn’t get here overnight. The power and authority of an elected office do not change depending upon whether you like or agree with the person in that office — and that applies to the current president, too.

If you want an imperial presidency when your guy is in charge, you have to live with the consequences of an imperial presidency when the other guy is in charge. From the founding of the United States legal system to 1963, there were no judicially imposed nationwide injunctions against any federal policy. During the eight years of the Obama administration, judges imposed 20 national injunctions. In the less than three years from the start of Trump’s presidency to September 2019, judges have imposed 40 national injunctions, including ones blocking administration changes to the DACA program, the question about citizenship on the national census, and changes to the temporary protected status of immigrants.

The good news for the administration is that sometimes some superior court will look at the national injunction and rule it unjustified. As the Republican Policy Committee notes:

    . . . on July 26 the Supreme Court stayed an injunction from a California federal district court that would have prevented the Trump administration from repurposing appropriated funds to build a border wall. Second, on September 11 the Supreme Court stayed a nationwide injunction against the Trump administration’s new rule requiring asylum seekers who cross the U.S.-Mexico border to apply for asylum in Mexico or another third country before applying in the United States. These decisions did not resolve the underlying lawsuits, but did allow the federal government to move forward with its policies. In addition, on June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court stayed a district court injunction against the Trump administration’s travel ban against people from several nations, which allowed that policy to continue.

There’s this really great document under glass at the National Archives that spells out what the powers of Congress and what the powers of the executive branch are. Some folks in Washington should check it out sometime, they would learn a lot.

ccp

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you mean the bombast is not winning people over
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2019, 05:14:50 PM »
Not shocked .
lets see if he flies even more off the handle:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fox-news-poll-record-support-for-trump-impeachment

looking worse everyday
he is not even working with his fellow Republicans
it seems

 :cry:

ccp

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Biden's friend
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2019, 04:30:10 PM »
so it was Biden he is (blowing) for....

I figured this

Only he is around long enough likely to know this intelligence guy.

Now we come full circle back to the Deep State and Biden (and Obama)

Could even the Clintons be in this loop?

Certainly the list of names of potential blowers can be narrowed.

Thank God we have people willing to uphold the rule of law and the Constitution and save Democracy from the Orange man and his fascist party.   :wink:





Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2019, 11:44:39 AM »
I confess to feeling a bit worried in this moment.  The comment attributed to Bolton about Rudy being a hand grenade and Rudy's cronies being arrested is emblematic.  Combined with the serious ding to Trump's credibility over "abandoning the Kurds" AND THE PRECIPITOUS MANNER IN WHICH HE DID IT weaken his aura of strength-- and this is a particularly bad moment for that.  The Reps are using this as a way of distancing themselves from him.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 11:48:02 AM by Crafty_Dog »

DougMacG

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2019, 01:43:46 PM »
I confess to feeling a bit worried in this moment.  The comment attributed to Bolton about Rudy being a hand grenade and Rudy's cronies being arrested is emblematic.  Combined with the serious ding to Trump's credibility over "abandoning the Kurds" AND THE PRECIPITOUS MANNER IN WHICH HE DID IT weaken his aura of strength-- and this is a particularly bad moment for that.  The Reps are using this as a way of distancing themselves from him.

All valid points (IMHO), especially the 'manner in which he did it'.  Also the manner in which he hasn't explained it very well, as you mentioned about the Mpls speech where he could have really laid out the case.  Besides policy and manner, he gave his opponents talking points. We will see where that leads but I don't think those talking points will hold up.  No one at the top of the Dem side would have even ordered what it took to win against ISIS in Syria much less kept troops in place longer or indefinitely to protect the Kurds.  They are blowing smoke while he is making real decisions about real American lives and military commitments.

Each Dem will say, as they say with China tariffs, I would have done it differently, I would have done it better.  But they wouldn't have.
---
The Kurds lost 11,000 in the last conflict while the US lost 24, if I heard that correctly.  That sounds like we were supporting their effort, not fighting alongside them.  We can't directly take up or support their fight against Turkey because of NATO rules.  NATO may be the first thing to change if this turns into the genocide people are suggesting.

The tripwire point made is one thing but are troops aren't their to be a human shield. The idea of another red line test is one we don't want to fail.

As far as notice goes, he has been telling them this is coming from the start, 10 months ago and again a couple of months ago.  Didn't he lose Mattis and Bolton over this?  It was in all the papers.  )

Newsweek, 12/20/2018
President Donald Trump announced that Defense Secretary James Mattis was [resigning] one day after the commander in chief suddenly declared the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.
https://www.newsweek.com/james-mattis-leaving-trump-defense-secretary-resign-1267657
https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/09/26/bolton-us-troops-will-stay-in-syria-until-iranian-troops-leave

In spite of the way the evening news words it, this offensive didn't start because of America's withdrawal.  This offensive was delayed because of America's presence in the area.  The 10 month delay from the first notice gave them some time to take cover or make peace.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2019, 08:35:38 PM »
"As far as notice goes, he has been telling them this is coming from the start, 10 months ago and again a couple of months ago.  Didn't he lose Mattis and Bolton over this?  It was in all the papers. , , ,

"In spite of the way the evening news words it, this offensive didn't start because of America's withdrawal.  This offensive was delayed because of America's presence in the area.  The 10 month delay from the first notice gave them some time to take cover or make peace."

Very well said!  I will be using this. 



ccp

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Republican cracks forming
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2019, 08:04:40 AM »
https://www.yahoo.com/news/lindsay-graham-trump-impeachment.html

Maybe this will at least get Trump to control himself rather than go around making things continuously worse

Frankly he can't be defended anymore

from my point of view

But I will support him against any Democrat but reluctantly.....

I am tired of this daily stupid tit for stupid tat.

DougMacG

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Re: Republican cracks forming
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2019, 09:59:41 AM »
"But I will support him against any Democrat but reluctantly....."

One point is that he is far better than any of the Democrats on every issue and principle, two Supreme Court picks for example.  Secondly, no other Republican could have stood up to this.  His unconventional demeanor unfortunately is a necessary part of his political arsenal.

G M

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Re: Republican cracks forming
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2019, 10:15:11 AM »
"But I will support him against any Democrat but reluctantly....."

One point is that he is far better than any of the Democrats on every issue and principle, two Supreme Court picks for example.  Secondly, no other Republican could have stood up to this.  His unconventional demeanor unfortunately is a necessary part of his political arsenal.

Exactly! Better men would have been destroyed by this.

DougMacG

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Re: Republican cracks forming
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2019, 10:44:01 AM »
Trump uses Democrat tactics against them.  Plenty of things Obama said and did were just as bombastic, greeted with no outrage outside of a few conservative outlets (like ours).  See our Glibness thread in its entirety.

ccp

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2019, 02:32:36 PM »
"Exactly! Better men would have been destroyed by this."

 :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o

That said, IF he doesn't bring the Republicans in the House Senate and locally down with him! 

If he just played it a bit smarter  he would not have to be on *defense* , and we with him, EVERY Day!

He just keep giving the enemy more and more to keep up the barrage.
Just got done with Mueller and what the heck, he goes and does exactly what he just got exonerated with the Mueller report by extorting influence. 

For Gods sakes can we please have some peace and maybe an inkling of harmony?




ccp

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2019, 02:49:43 PM »
OTOH maybe a slightly better man , less impulsiveness and foul mouthed

would not have had to take this much abuse
or given the enemy as much to try to crush him in the news with.....


Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2019, 04:18:04 PM »
"(E)xtorting influence"? 

To simple minded me it was perfectly correct to ask Zelensky to look into the possibility that Biden & Son had been engaged in venal skullduggery.

ccp

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2019, 05:03:39 PM »
but the appearance of holding up, what 400 million, to the ukes ?

isn't that exactly what the mueller report just showed he did not do
more or less





Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2019, 05:38:58 PM »
a) If we have it right, Zelensky did not know at the time of the phone call, which makes the whole accusation specious;

b) perfectly good reasons to hold up the money-- sussing out whether the money would be spent as intended or corruptly stolen, and pressuring the Euros to do their fg part.


Crafty_Dog

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Uh oh , , ,
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2019, 02:49:12 PM »
Well, this would appear to blow out of the water a goodly percentage of the defense here , , ,  leaving only that insisting on investigating the possibility of corruption by the previous VP was perfectly valid , , , which is the point I have been making all along , , ,

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/us-ambassador-testifies-trump-made-ukraine-aid-contingent-on-biden-investigations/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=breaking&utm_campaign=newstrack&utm_term=18404501

ccp

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2019, 03:03:02 PM »
well what is wrong doing the same thing the minute after the Mueller report said you did not do anything with a chance to go on offense for the first time in 2.5 yrs only to put himself , and us , right back on defense .



no biggy

seems like a wise strategy to me.   :roll:

Trump is like a blind man in a bar room brawl  -

just swinging in every direction, no real plan no coordination just flailing

And to think this whole thing was soooo unnecessary .
Biden was toast anyway.

Frankly, what stupidity arrogance.
He puts our whole thing at risk.

Sorry I know I have more or less said this but I am just about as pissed at him as at the Left .

Now we have CNN trying to tell me someone who was high up ex official is writing a tell all book under the "Anonymous"
and who is NOT doing it for the money and has such courage and bravery to come forward , get this without revealing his or her name..


What kind of dumb ass shit is this?
This person is brave ? 
Sounds like a cowardness rats ass to me.......

I have to stop reading drudge and cable news.

Maybe just tune into Rush on radio for peace of mind....


Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Impeachment, Removal math
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2019, 08:48:25 AM »
Because of swing district votes, the House doesn't even have  a simple majority to approve an inquiry.

Removal in the Senate needs 2/3rds vote of those present.  The Dems 47 Senators include Joe Manchin D-West Virginia and Doug Jones D-alabama, unlikely to vote for removal.  Best case, the Dems need 20-22 Republican votes to join them. 

Since this is political, they need the 67 most liberal Senators.  From the source below that includes, Roy Blunt, Missouri, Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Shelby, Grassley, Lindsey Graham, South Carolina, Daines, Montana, Moran, Kansas, Kennedy, Louisiana, Hoeven, North Dakota, Sullivan Alaska, and more.
http://www.progressivepunch.org/scores.htm?house=senate

Without a real crime that we don't know of right now, that isn't going to happen.

What about Senators running for President?  They would need to suspend campaigning in order to remove their general election, while competing with each other.  Take away Senators Warren, Sanders, Booker, Harris and Klobuchar and Dems would have to nearly run the table with Republicans.

One more thing, in nearly two and a half centuries, no Senator has ever voted to convict /remove a President in his own party.

Without a crime, it isn't going to happen.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 09:18:26 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2019, 10:39:19 AM »
The true point I think is to weaken Trump for the election.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2019, 03:56:53 PM »

DougMacG

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2019, 04:25:04 PM »
quote author=Crafty_Dog
What of the separation of powers argument?
The report is an Executive Branch effort.
--------------------------------------------

Also Congressional funding, congressional oversight.  I thought Grand Jury material did not get released. 535 people can keep a secret?  In any case, it's the same material that led to the conclusion of no collusion, no criminal charges.

Witch hunt continued.



Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Foreign Influence and Double Standards
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2019, 06:57:43 AM »
That's interesting- I did not know that- even though the Ukes did not start an investigation if Biden & Son, they got the money anyway.
================

Foreign Influence and Double Standards
Democrats deplore Trump on Ukraine but not Clinton in 2016.
By The Editorial Board
Oct. 25, 2019 7:03 pm ET
President Donald Trump speaks at the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., Oct. 25. Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Democrats want to impeach Donald Trump for inviting Ukraine to investigate 2020 election rival Joe Biden. But then why are they opposed to investigating whether Democrats used Russian disinformation to get the FBI to investigate Donald Trump in 2016?

That’s the double standard now on gaudy public display over multiple news reports that U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the origins of the Russian fiasco of 2016 has become a criminal probe. Attorney General William Barr this year appointed Mr. Durham, a highly regarded and veteran prosecutor, to examine this part of the Russia tale that special counsel Robert Mueller chose to ignore.
John Durham's Review of Russia and The FBI is Now a Criminal Probe
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Yet you’d now think, judging from the political reaction, that Mr. Durham was Rudy Giuliani. “These reports, if true, raise profound new concerns that the Department of Justice under AG Barr has lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trump’s political revenge,” said a joint statement from Democratic impeachment investigators Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff.

“If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election,” the statement added, “the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.”

This is called pre-emptive political damage control. Democrats know that the Hillary Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Mr. Trump, and Fusion hired former British spook Christopher Steele, who compiled a dossier of allegations about Mr. Trump from Russian sources that turned out to be false.

Worse, Fusion funneled the dossier to the FBI, which used it to persuade the secret FISA court to issue a warrant to eavesdrop on Trump official Carter Page. Democrats now want to discredit any attempt to hold people accountable if crimes were committed as part of this extraordinary dirty trick.

But how can you be appalled about one form of foreign intervention in U.S. politics while whitewashing another? Based on the public evidence so far, Mr. Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden’s activities in 2016. Mr. Trump may also have delayed U.S. aid as leverage to persuade Ukraine’s new president to open an investigation. Yet the aid did flow again starting Sept. 11, even though Ukraine never opened the investigation of the Bidens that Mr. Trump wanted. In other words, Democrats want to impeach Mr. Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate an opponent, even though he failed.

By notable contrast, the Clinton campaign’s invitation and payment for foreign intervention in 2016 against Donald Trump succeeded. Russian disinformation was used by America’s premier law enforcement agency to justify investigating an American presidential campaign. This is what Mr. Durham is looking into, and thank heavens someone finally is.

Regarding potential crimes, Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham referred Mr. Steele to the FBI and Justice Department “for investigation of potential violation(s)” in 2018 related to the dossier and Mr. Steele’s public comments. Devin Nunes, former head of the House Intelligence Committee, also sent eight criminal referrals to Justice this year related to the Russia probe, including leaks of “highly classified material.”

Mr. Durham may decide not to charge anyone with crimes in the end, and that’s fine. What Americans deserve to know is what happened, including who in the Obama Administration or FBI worked with Fusion GPS, whether the White House or CIA were involved, and what James Comey’s FBI told the FISA court. People need to be held publicly accountable so reforms can be made and to serve as a deterrent so this doesn’t happen again.

Mr. Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine will be investigated to a fare-thee-well, and it seems inevitable that Democrats will impeach him. They have wanted to do so since the day he was elected. But they and their media friends can’t then object with a straight face to an investigation into the Clinton campaign’s solicitation of Russian misinformation in 2016. Their double standard is impeaching the credibility of their impeachment of Donald Trump.

Crafty_Dog

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Rivkin & Foley: This Impeachment subverts the Constitution
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2019, 07:32:46 AM »
Third post


This Impeachment Subverts the Constitution
It’s nakedly political and procedurally defective, and so far there’s no public evidence of high crimes.
By David B. Rivkin Jr. and
Elizabeth Price Foley
Oct. 25, 2019 5:59 pm ET
Rep. Adam Schiff speaks beside Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill, Oct. 15. Photo: carlos jasso/Reuters

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed committees investigating President Trump to “proceed under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” but the House has never authorized such an inquiry. Democrats have been seeking to impeach Mr. Trump since the party took control of the House, though it isn’t clear for what offense. Lawmakers and commentators have suggested various possibilities, but none amount to an impeachable offense. The effort is akin to a constitutionally proscribed bill of attainder—a legislative effort to punish a disfavored person. The Senate should treat it accordingly.

The impeachment power is quasi-judicial and differs fundamentally from Congress’s legislative authority. The Constitution assigns “the sole power of impeachment” to the House—the full chamber, which acts by majority vote, not by a press conference called by the Speaker. Once the House begins an impeachment inquiry, it may refer the matter to a committee to gather evidence with the aid of subpoenas. Such a process ensures the House’s political accountability, which is the key check on the use of impeachment power.
John Durham's Review of Russia and The FBI is Now a Criminal Probe
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The House has followed this process every time it has tried to impeach a president. Andrew Johnson’s 1868 impeachment was predicated on formal House authorization, which passed 126-47. In 1974 the Judiciary Committee determined it needed authorization from the full House to begin an inquiry into Richard Nixon’s impeachment, which came by a 410-4 vote. The House followed the same procedure with Bill Clinton in 1998, approving a resolution 258-176, after receiving independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report.

Mrs. Pelosi discarded this process in favor of a Trump-specific procedure without precedent in Anglo-American law. Rep. Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee and several other panels are questioning witnesses in secret. Mr. Schiff has defended this process by likening it to a grand jury considering whether to hand up an indictment. But while grand-jury secrecy is mandatory, House Democrats are selectively leaking information to the media, and House Republicans, who are part of the jury, are being denied subpoena authority and full access to transcripts of testimony and even impeachment-related committee documents. No grand jury has a second class of jurors excluded from full participation.

Unlike other impeachable officials, such as federal judges and executive-branch officers, the president and vice president are elected by, and accountable to, the people. The executive is also a coequal branch of government. Thus any attempt to remove the president by impeachment creates unique risks to democracy not present in any other impeachment context. Adhering to constitutional text, tradition and basic procedural guarantees of fairness is critical. These processes are indispensable bulwarks against abuse of the impeachment power, designed to preserve the separation of powers by preventing Congress from improperly removing an elected president.

House Democrats have discarded the Constitution, tradition and basic fairness merely because they hate Mr. Trump. Because the House has not properly begun impeachment proceedings, the president has no obligation to cooperate. The courts also should not enforce any purportedly impeachment-related document requests from the House. (A federal district judge held Friday that the Judiciary Committee is engaged in an impeachment inquiry and therefore must see grand-jury materials from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but that ruling will likely be overturned on appeal.) And the House cannot cure this problem simply by voting on articles of impeachment at the end of a flawed process.

The Senate’s power—and obligation—to “try all impeachments” presupposes that the House has followed a proper impeachment process and that it has assembled a reliable evidentiary basis to support its accusations. The House has conspicuously failed to do so. Fifty Republican senators have endorsed a resolution sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham urging the House to “vote to open a formal impeachment inquiry and provide President Trump with fundamental constitutional protections” before proceeding further. If the House fails to heed this call immediately, the Senate would be fully justified in summarily rejecting articles produced by the Pelosi-Schiff inquiry on grounds that without a lawful impeachment in the House, it has no jurisdiction to proceed.

The effort has another problem: There is no evidence on the public record that Mr. Trump has committed an impeachable offense. The Constitution permits impeachment only for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Founders considered allowing impeachment on the broader grounds of “maladministration,” “neglect of duty” and “mal-practice,” but they rejected these reasons for fear of giving too much power to Congress. The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” includes abuses of power that do not constitute violations of criminal statutes. But its scope is limited.

Abuse of power encompasses two distinct types of behavior. First, the president can abuse his power by purporting to exercise authority not given to him by the Constitution or properly delegated by Congress—say, by imposing a new tax without congressional approval or establishing a presidential “court” to punish his opponents. Second, the president can abuse power by failing to carry out a constitutional duty—such as systematically refusing to enforce laws he disfavors. The president cannot legitimately be impeached for lawfully exercising his constitutional power.

Applying these standards to the behavior triggering current calls for impeachment, it is apparent that Mr. Trump has neither committed a crime nor abused his power. One theory is that by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Kyiv’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter was unlawful “interference with an election.” There is no such crime in the federal criminal code (the same is true of “collusion”). Election-related offenses involve specific actions such as voting by aliens, fraudulent voting, buying votes and interfering with access to the polls. None of these apply here.

Nor would asking Ukraine to investigate a political rival violate campaign-finance laws, because receiving information from Ukraine did not constitute a prohibited foreign contribution. The Mueller report noted that no court has ever concluded that information is a “thing of value,” and the Justice Department has concluded that it is not. Such an interpretation would raise serious First Amendment concerns.

Equally untenable is the argument that Mr. Trump committed bribery. Federal bribery statutes require proof of a corrupt intent in the form of a quid pro quo—defined by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Sun-Diamond Growers (1999), as a “specific intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an official act.” There was no quid pro quo in the call. Mr. Zelensky has said he felt no pressure, and the purported quid (military aid to Ukraine) was not contingent on the alleged quo (opening an investigation), because the former materialized within weeks, while the latter—not “something of value” in any case—never did.

More fundamentally, the Constitution gives the president plenary authority to conduct foreign affairs and diplomacy, including broad discretion over the timing and release of appropriated funds. Many presidents have refused to spend appropriated money for military or other purposes, on grounds that it was unnecessary, unwise or incompatible with their priorities.

Thomas Jefferson impounded funds appropriated for gunboat purchases, Dwight Eisenhower impounded funds for antiballistic-missile production, John F. Kennedy impounded money for the B-70 bomber, and Richard Nixon impounded billions for highways and urban programs. Congress attempted to curtail this power with the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, but it authorizes the president to defer spending until the expiration of the fiscal year or until budgetary authority lapses, neither of which had occurred in the Ukraine case.

Presidents often delay or refuse foreign aid as diplomatic leverage, even when Congress has authorized the funds. Disbursing foreign aid—and withholding it—has historically been one of the president’s most potent foreign-policy tools, and Congress cannot impair it. Lyndon B. Johnson used the promise of financial aid to strong-arm the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea to send troops to Vietnam. The General Accounting Office (now called the Government Accountability Office) concluded that this constituted “quid pro quo assistance.” In 2013, Barack Obama, in a phone conversation with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, said he would slash hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance until Cairo cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism goals. The Obama administration also withheld millions in foreign aid and imposed visa restrictions on African countries, including Uganda and Nigeria, that failed to protect gay rights.

Further, there is credible evidence that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election at the request of senior Obama administration officials. The Justice Department is investigating this as part of its broader inquiry—now a criminal investigation—into efforts to target the Trump campaign in 2016 and beyond. It is certainly legitimate for the president to ask Ukraine to cooperate.

In addition, the president’s constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” implies broad discretion to investigate and prosecute crimes, even if they involve his political rivals. Investigating Americans or Ukrainians who might have violated domestic or foreign law—and seeking the assistance of other nations with such probes, pursuant to mutual legal-assistance treaties—cannot form a legitimate basis for impeachment of a president.

It’s legally irrelevant that a criminal investigation may be politically beneficial to the president. Virtually all exercises of constitutional discretion by a president affect his political interests. It would be absurd to suggest that a president’s pursuit of arms-control agreements, trade deals or climate treaties are impeachable offenses because they benefit the president or his party in an upcoming election.

Using a private party such as Rudy Giuliani to carry out diplomatic missions is neither a crime nor an abuse of power. While the State Department’s mandarins have always lamented intrusions on their bureaucratic turf, numerous U.S. presidents have tapped people to conduct foreign-policy initiatives whose job—whether in the government or private sectors—did not include foreign-policy experience or responsibility. George Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate the “Jay Treaty” with Britain. Woodrow Wilson used American journalist Lincoln Steffens and Swedish Communist Karl Kilbom as special envoys to negotiate diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. A close Wilson friend, Edward House, held no office but effectively served as chief U.S. negotiator at the Paris Peace Conference after World War I.

Nor is it illegal or abusive to give a diplomatic assignment to a government official whose formal institutional responsibilities do not include foreign affairs, such as the energy secretary. JFK relied on Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to negotiate with Moscow during the Cuban missile crisis.

Although the impeachment inquiry has been conducted in secret, what we know suggests it has become a free-ranging exploration of Mr. Trump’s foreign-policy substance and process, with the committees summoning numerous State Department witnesses. Congress could properly undertake such an inquiry using its oversight authority, but by claiming that it is proceeding with an impeachment inquiry, it has forfeited this option.

If the House impeaches Mr. Trump because it disapproves of a lawful exercise of his presidential authority, it will in effect have accused him of maladministration. The Framers rejected that amorphous concept because it would have allowed impeachment for mere political disagreements, rendering the president a ward of Congress and destroying the executive’s status as an independent, coequal branch of government. If the House impeaches on such grounds and the Senate concludes it has jurisdiction to conduct an impeachment trial, it should focus first and foremost not on the details of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, but on the legal question of whether the conduct alleged is an impeachable offense.

Alexis de Tocqueville observed in 1835: “A decline of public morals in the United States will probably be marked by the abuse of the power of impeachment as a means of crushing political adversaries or ejecting them from office.” What House Democrats are doing is not only unfair to Mr. Trump and a threat to all his successors. It is an attempt to overrule the constitutional process for selecting the president and thus subvert American democracy itself. For the sake of the Constitution, it must be decisively rejected. If Mr. Trump’s policies are unpopular or offensive, the remedy is up to the people, not Congress.

Mr. Rivkin and Ms. Foley practice appellate and constitutional law in Washington. He served at the Justice Department and the White House Counsel’s Office during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations. She is a professor of constitutional law at Florida International University College of Law.

Crafty_Dog

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MY supports President Trump
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2019, 08:18:34 AM »
Everyone here knows the high regard I have for Michael Yon.  Here he is today, reporting from Hong Kong.

 I've been so busy with the Hong Kong insurgency -- massively important -- that the massive attack on President Trump has almost slipped in like an asteroid.

The White House is standing up to China. Vice President Mike Pence just openly and in clear words stood up for Taiwan and Hong Kong, and about making other concrete moves to defend the United States and our allies.

If you know any Hong Kongers, ask them how China has been waging an immigration invasion to overtake peaceful Hong Kongers. The Chinese hand is flooding the Hong Kong aquarium with Pooh Fish. The lessons are too obvious.

The speech by Vice President Mike Pence was fantastic. It resonated very favorably with me, and with every Hong Konger I know who saw it.

I do not like President Trump and likely never will, but he is fighting very important fights and is smashing the Chinese Communist Party. I've seen military leaders I did not personally like but who were winners, and so I would support them. They were defending my country.

The only generals you have seen me attack were losing in their battle spaces. (McChrystal and Menard.) I had nothing against them other than losing.

President Trump is doing something that recent Presidents ranging back a couple of decades have not done. Vigorously fight back and stop apologizing for being a bad ass.

We've got the Chinese Communist Party on the ropes. This is no time to take out a President when he is smashing communist ribs.

Never thought I would say it, but now I am defending the Presidency of Donald Trump. He's beating CCP. Get out of his way. Support winning.


DougMacG

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2019, 12:23:13 PM »
quote author=Crafty_Dog
Don't agree with this 100% but it is McCarthy, so I post it here:
--------------------

I was thinking the same thing.  He is someone I trust to know more about it than I do.

Quid pro quo: yes,  Impeachable: No - That is a different argument than where we were a couple of days ago.  Still I agree it is not impeachable to pursue investigation of public corruption no matter that it may or may not lead to a political opponent.  And if it is worthwhile national purpose, then it is appropriate to tie US funds to the effort. 

If the opposite were true, can't investigate or target political opponents for any reason,  we would have to lock up the whole Comey, McCabe, Mueller gang - even before we find prosecutorial misconduct.

DougMacG

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Re: Rush makes the same point
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2019, 01:19:43 PM »
https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/10/24/did-you-know-senators-cant-campaign-during-an-impeachment-trial/?fbclid=IwAR1wiyjyX-8zu7Mp0E9EYoyYC4qC8R7ZCjIWTU22rOvoNNJ4k9T3ygp1BcU

Hard to say what that rule is but the optics are bad.  If they recuse themselves they are shirking their current responsibilities for political gain and if they participate it all looks political - because it is.  The constitution says 2/3rds majority "of those Senators present".  Does that mean for the vote or for the  whole trial.  I don't think they can just mail it in.  And there are 5 of them!  Every time one is missing, Republicans in the majority can vote to postpone the proceedings - until it goes past the election. 

Trump is killing terrorists, making new trade agreements, growing the economy, investigating corruption.  Democrats are doing this.  They don't wish to run straight-on with their agenda of implementing Venezuelan policies in the US.




Crafty_Dog

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Pelosi senses a trap
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2019, 10:17:42 PM »
Third post

By William McGurn
Oct. 28, 2019 6:48 pm ET
Opinion: House Impeachment Vote Follows Senate Resolution Condemning Process
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Opinion: House Impeachment Vote Follows Senate Resolution Condemning Process
Opinion: House Impeachment Vote Follows Senate Resolution Condemning Process
Main Street: On October 24, 2019, Senator Lindsey Graham tabled a resolution condemning the House of Representatives' impeachment process. A few days later, House Democrats announced a vote on an impeachment inquiry. Image: Alex Brandon/Associated Press
In Nancy Pelosi’s defiance of all House precedent, her dubious reliance on selective leaks of secret testimony to make her case, and her deference to Democrats who have been looking to impeach Donald Trump from the moment he was sworn in, the speaker now stands atop the most unprincipled presidential impeachment in U.S. history.

Her surprise decision Monday to call a vote that “affirms” the continuing impeachment investigation and will set procedures going forward indicates she has realized this unfairness works to Mr. Trump’s advantage.

Having unleashed the dogs of impeachment, Mrs. Pelosi now has no choice but to get it done or risk demoralizing and splitting her caucus. So impeachment it is, by hook or by crook, and the highhanded way she is proceeding—with no authorizing vote, no rights for the president’s counsel, no access to key documents members are entitled to—is a feature, not a bug.

But it comes with a price. By trampling on impeachment norms, House Democrats are making their case harder in the Senate, where they would need 20 GOP votes to convict. Sen. Lindsey Graham exposed this vulnerability last week with a resolution—co-sponsored by 50 Republican senators—condemning the House impeachment process. Even Republicans who don’t like the president can unite on this.

Democrats counter that Republicans are complaining about process because they can’t address the substance. But process is how you get to substance. Can anyone really evaluate, for example, the testimony of William Taylor, the former acting ambassador to Ukraine, without hearing how he answered questions under cross-examination?

If Mrs. Pelosi were confident in what she’s doing, she could take the White House refusal to honor Democratic subpoenas to court. That’s what the Judiciary Committee did to get grand-jury material from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, back when House Democrats thought obstruction of justice was their path to impeachment.

Democrats have since moved on, but on Friday Judge Beryl Howell invited more judicial review when she ruled that the House is entitled to grand-jury information because “impeachment trials . . . constitute judicial proceedings.” Justice is appealing, which opens the door for a higher court to consider not only Judge Howell’s determination about impeachment being a judicial proceeding but her dismissal of a more fundamental argument by the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican, Doug Collins, that the whole inquiry is illicit.

Mr. Collins notes that while the Constitution doesn’t mandate a vote to authorize impeachment, it gives impeachment authority to the House, not to the speaker. The House has not delegated this authority the way it has delegated other authorities to other committees.

It’s telling that even now Mrs. Pelosi is not threatening to take the impeachment subpoenas to court. Maybe this will change after her resolution passes. But going to court would still be a problem because, rather than insisting on taking as long as necessary to get to the truth, House Democrats have made clear they’ve already made their decision on impeachment and aim to deliver by Christmas.

Which leads back to the president. Not only does the Star Chamber approach make a Senate conviction unlikely, a failure to remove Mr. Trump from office will certainly mean that he will make the Democrats’ behavior an issue in next year’s election.

Some Democrats appreciate the danger. Several times since Mr. Trump was sworn in, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler spoke of the high bar for overturning a presidential election. Would-be impeachers, he warned, would do well to recognize that the court of public opinion matters most.

“I’m talking about the voters, people who voted for Trump,” he told Roll Call back in November. “Do you think that the case is so stark, that the offenses are so terrible and the proof so clear, that once you’ve laid it all out you will have convinced an appreciable fraction of the people who voted for Trump, who like him, that you had no choice? That you had to do it?”

By contrast, Mrs. Pelosi has not only thrown out the Nadler standard, she’s also thrown out Mr. Nadler—even though impeachment traditionally has been the province of the Judiciary Committee. Instead, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is leading the Democrats’ impeachment effort. If the hope is to build a credible public case that even Mr. Trump’s supporters cannot deny, it’s an odd choice to make the face of impeachment a man who had falsely assured the nation he’d seen “more than circumstantial evidence” the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia.

Yes, the polls show what Mrs. Pelosi is banking on: clear movement for impeachment. But when broken down by party, as FiveThirtyEight.com does, the polls reveal a polarized America, with 83.3% of Democrats supporting impeachment against only 11.4% of the GOP voters Mr. Nadler said must be persuaded first.

This won’t stop the House from impeaching Mr. Trump. But no one ought to be surprised if, as Mrs. Pelosi seems to have sensed, the increasingly manifest unfairness of the way Democrats are going about it ends up, in the long-term, redounding to Mr. Trump’s advantage.


DougMacG

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment Inquiry Vote
« Reply #46 on: October 30, 2019, 06:27:05 AM »
I wrote to my "moderate" Democrat, swing district Congressman this morning and urged him to vote against the impeachment inquiry vote and suggested he instead focus on growing the economy, shrinking poverty and eliminating emissions.

DougMacG

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #47 on: October 30, 2019, 08:55:45 AM »
'Based on the evidence the House has made public, impeaching Trump is a baseless, meritless, reckless assault on our democracy.'
...
"Why doesn’t [Pelosi] just step aside and let Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar run the party?
https://nypost.com/2019/10/29/goodwin-history-will-not-be-kind-to-nancy-pelosi/

When you hear a never-Trumper or anti-Trumper say they favor impeachment, meaning removal without an election, the clarifying question back needs to be: You favor a civil war over settling this in an election?

Of course they aren't serious.  They don't want Pence to be President.  They don't have support of 67 Senators.  They don't want the parts of the Senate trial that involve Trump calling his witnesses or his defense lawyers cross-examining theirs.  cf.  The Defense calls Adam Schiff, under oath, with no time limit, and a fair judge to over-rule objections.  "The witness will answer the question."

Meanwhile 5 Democrat Senators running for President will sit in Senate Chambers for months while primaries go on and Biden and Trump circle the nation. 

Delay the Dem primaries over impeachment?  Delay their divided convention?  I love it.

Needless to say, this isn't going to happen.  Nancy Pelosi just doesn't know how to stop a freight train she isn't conducting.


Crafty_Dog

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