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Impeachment Inquiry into Trump 2019

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#622

great job…


#623

Pelosi, Hoyer Announce Floor Consideration of Resolution Regarding Whistleblower Complaint

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer released the following joint statement today:

“Allegations that the President of the United States sought to enlist a foreign government to interfere in our democratic process by investigating one of his political rivals – and may have used the withholding of Congressionally-appropriated foreign assistance days earlier as intimidation – are deeply alarming. It is imperative that the Acting Director of National Intelligence provide Congress the complaint, as specified under the law, and all requests for documents and testimony relating to this allegation. Furthermore, the whistleblower who brought this matter to the attention of the American people must be protected.

On Wednesday, the House will vote on a resolution making it clear Congress’s disapproval of the Administration’s effort to block the release of the complaint and the need to protect the whistleblower. This is not a partisan matter, it’s about the integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution. We hope that all Members of the House – Democrats and Republicans alike – will join in upholding the rule of law and oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution as Representatives of the American people.”


#624

FYI guys, it’s not clear if there will be a formal vote to open a new inquiry or if they will create a select committee or if there will be a full house vote to bring articles of impeachment. I think the only thing that has clearly changed today is the position of the Speaker of the House on impeachment.

I’m thinking this is full steam ahead on impeachment, which is great news for the committee’s already hard at work. So far it looks like Nancy will be using the existing framework of committees, launching impeachment from the Judiciary Committee.


#625

The number of Dems (and one Independent) has been skyrocketing forward for the Impeachment process to begin. 218 votes needed to Impeach.

167 House Democrats and 1 independent publicly support launching an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, according to an Axios analysis.

Driving the news: Allegations that Trump may have pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe Biden have unleashed a new wave of calls to impeach Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet Tuesday with the 6 committee chairs leading different strands of the Trump investigation, before a full caucus meeting about impeachment at 4 p.m. ET.

Why it matters: One summer phone call by President Trump is proving to be more of an impeachment catalyst for House Democrats than two years of drip-drip revelations from Robert Mueller’s investigation. An overwhelming majority of House Democrats now support an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

The big picture: The total jumped after Trump hurled racist attacks against a group of congresswomen of color who had criticized his immigration policy. A major uptick emerged in the aftermath of Robert Mueller’s late May statement, and again after the former special counsel’s Capitol Hill testimony in July. The total was at 80 members as of June.

The bottom line: Pelosi has long wagered that impeachment would be fruitless without overwhelming public support.


#626

Calling it like it is…Presidential Candidate/Rep Tim Ryan (D-OH)

and Rep Justin Amash (I-MI) - another truth teller


#627

:eyes:


#628

The magic number for a simple majority in the House is 218. Conviction and removal of a president would require 67 votes in the Senate.


#629

Funny

The Senate voted via unanimous consent on Tuesday on a resolution calling for the Trump administration to release to the Senate Intelligence Committee a whistleblower complaint that allegedly involves President Trump and Ukraine.

Why it matters: The resolution is non-binding, but it’s a rare show of bipartisanship on an issue that threatens to spark an official impeachment proceeding in the House. The House will vote on a similar resolution on Wednesday. The Senate Intelligence Committee has opened a bipartisan investigation into the complaint and is currently in talks to bring in the whistleblower for a closed-door testimony.


#630

Pushback from Majority Leader McConnell on today’s Impeachment Inquiry announcement from House Leader Pelosi. Same old line, which is also echoed by Kevin McCarthy…Sour grapes from Dems at the loss of the 2016 election and are hellbent on Impeachment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called today’s announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry a "rush to judgment" by “Washington Democrats” who are determined to impeach President Trump.

"It simply confirms that House Democrats’ priority is not making life better for the American people but their nearly three-year-old fixation on impeachment," he said.

Read McConnell’s full statement:

“Washington Democrats have been searching for ways to reverse their 2016 election defeat since before President Trump was even inaugurated.

The result has been a two-and-a-half-year impeachment parade in search of a rationale. When investigations by Special Counsel Mueller and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence deflated their breathless accusations of a campaign conspiracy with Russia, Democrats have simply shifted to new arguments for their predetermined conclusion.

Speaker Pelosi’s much-publicized efforts to restrain her far-left conference have finally crumbled. House Democrats cannot help themselves. Instead of working together across party lines on legislation to help American families and strengthen our nation, they will descend even deeper into their obsession with relitigating 2016.

This rush to judgment comes just a few hours after President Trump offered to release the details of his phone conversation with President Zelensky. It comes despite the fact that committee-level proceedings are already underway to address the whistleblower allegation through a fair, bipartisan, and regular process.

It simply confirms that House Democrats’ priority is not making life better for the American people but their nearly three-year-old fixation on impeachment.”

And Kevin McCarthy’s words (same link)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for launching a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

“Speaker Pelosi happens to be the speaker of this House but she does not speak for America when it comes to this issue. She cannot decide unilaterally what happens here. They have been investigating this President before he even got elected,” he told reporters.

He criticized Democrats for going after Trump, saying, “This election is over.”

“It’s time to put the public before politics,” McCarthy said.


(Albert Lannon) #631

I’m torn over impeachment – because the Senate either will not act, or will go through the motions and acquit the Tweeter-in-Chief. Plus I think the Dems need to start emphasizing program over Trump. BTW – did you-all know that in England “trump” is slang for fart? True. When my then-young nephews came over with my late brother-in-law (stationed there in the Air Force) around 1958 they used it all the time – “I trumped!”


#632

This is a new wrinkle…T called Pelosi today. Good job Nancy!:statue_of_liberty:

“The President actually said to Nancy Pelosi, ‘Hey, can we do something about this whistleblower complaint, can we work something out.’ And she said ‘Yes, you can tell your people to obey the law.’ So she quickly swatted that down." -

@HeidiNBC


#633

And now the WH is releasing the Whistleblower report. Gee, was it all about not releasing the report? T does not want this inquiry to go to a vote…very bad for his re-election. Hmmmm.

White House preparing to release whistleblower complaint to Congress

Trump has approved releasing the document at the center of his latest standoff with lawmakers, a senior administration official said.

By NANCY COOK

09/24/2019 06:56 PM EDT

Updated 09/24/2019 08:03 PM EDT

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The White House is preparing to release to Congress by the end of the week both the whistleblower complaint and the Inspector General report that are at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, according to a senior administration official, reversing its position after withholding the documents from lawmakers.

The move shows the level of seriousness with which the administration is now approaching the House‘s new impeachment proceedings, even as President Donald Trump publicly tried to minimize the inquiry as a “witch hunt” or “presidential harassment,” or a move that will help him win his 2020 reelection campaign.


#634

No guard rails on this impulsive President…he’s without any internal forces that might have blocked his guile and underhanded method of getting dirt on Biden.

He’s fired them all…except his pal Giuliani who according to this article inserted himself into the Ukraine issues, and forced some of the giving the Ukraines some heat to get some dirt on Biden, as well as punishing them for Manafort’s treatment (see black log book, which T claimed was falsified)

So Giuliani is talking about how the State Dept asked that he go to Ukraine and how the FBI could not do this…(on Laura Ingraham show - below)

I think this reveals that Bolton is at least a leaker.

But Trump admitted this week that he had done some of what his own advisers feared, using the call to raise the issue of Biden with Zelensky. And the wave of consternation triggered by that call led someone in the U.S. intelligence community to submit an extraordinary whistleblower complaint, setting in motion a sequence of events that now includes the start of an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.

But Trump admitted this week that he had done some of what his own advisers feared, using the call to raise the issue of Biden with Zelensky. And the wave of consternation triggered by that call led someone in the U.S. intelligence community to submit an extraordinary whistleblower complaint, setting in motion a sequence of events that now includes the start of an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.

Though the whistleblower report focuses on the Trump-
Zelensky call, officials familiar with its contents said that it includes references to other developments tied to the president, including efforts by Giuliani to insert himself into U.S.-Ukrainian relations.

Trump announced Tuesday that he would release a transcript of his call, insisting that it would show there was “NO quid pro quo!” and would reveal a conversation that was “friendly and totally appropriate.”

But even within Trump’s party, few have gone so far as to say they would consider it appropriate for the president to solicit foreign help in an American election. And his political fate may hinge on how lawmakers and the public assess not only his intentions on the call but also the actions of his subordinates in the events surrounding it.

U.S. officials described an atmosphere of intense pressure inside the NSC and other departments since the existence of the whistleblower complaint became known, with some officials facing suspicion that they had a hand either in the complaint or in relaying damaging information to the whistleblower, whose identity has not been revealed and who is entitled to legal protection.

Trump’s closest advisers, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who was ordered by Trump to suspend the aid to Ukraine, are also increasingly targets of internal finger-pointing. Mulvaney has agitated for foreign aid to be cut universally but has also stayed away from meetings with Giuliani and Trump, officials said. But the person who appears to have been more directly involved at nearly every stage of the entanglement with Ukraine is Giuliani.

Rudy — he did all of this,” one U.S. official said. “This s—show that we’re in — it’s him injecting himself into the process.”

Several officials traced their initial concerns about the path of U.S.-Ukrainian relations to news reports and interviews granted by Giuliani in which he began to espouse views and concerns that did not appear connected to U.S. priorities or policy.

The former New York mayor appears to have seen Zelensky, a political neophyte elected president of Ukraine in April and sworn in in May, as a potential ally on two political fronts: punishing those Giuliani suspected of playing a role in exposing the Ukraine-related corruption of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and delivering political ammunition against Biden.


#635

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!

Yesterday Trump was telling us he held up the aid to Ukraine because of “the corruption.” Today, he probably realized the optics on that weren’t good since it played into the allegations that he was pressuring the Ukraine to drum up charges of corruption against Joe Biden’s son. So today, he came up with a completely different story. Now he’s really grumpy because “just the United States” is giving aid to Ukraine. “[Other countries] are not doing it.”

Well, it’s not surprising to discover that Trump’s claim that we are the only ones financially supporting Ukraine is total B.S. (see the E.U. response below) – but then Trump only has the vast resources of the State Department at his disposal. Guess he couldn’t pick up the phone to get the facts, but decided to soak up disinformation on Fox News instead – and base his new lie on that.

Trump is desperately trying to convince us that he didn’t hold up the aid as a way of pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political rival. He’s doing a dismal job of that. It’s hard to believe someone who first tells you one story and then abruptly bails on that story and concocts a new one that is equally unbelievable because it has no basis in reality.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday shifted his explanation for temporarily withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, citing what he criticized as a lack of similar financial contribution by other Western powers to the Eastern European nation.

Trump’s latest remarks are at odds with his assertion Monday that he denied the assistance because he feared bureaucratic corruption within Ukraine’s government. The new claim also comes after weekend reports that he repeatedly pressured newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.

“But my complaint has always been, and I’d withhold again, and I’ll continue to withhold until such time as Europe and other nations contribute to Ukraine,” he continued. “Because they’re not doing it. Just the United States. We’re putting up the bulk of the money. And I’m asking, why is that?”

The president, who has long grumbled about U.S. expenditures toward international alliances, appeared to reprise that line of reasoning later Tuesday. Trump said he had vented his frustrations to several Cabinet officials, and singled out France and Germany as countries that should commit greater resources to Ukraine’s protection.

“I keep asking the same question," he told reporters, appearing alongside British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. "Why is it that the United States is always paying these foreign countries, and other foreign countries that, frankly, are much more affected, they’re not?”

But the European Union pushed back on Trump’s assertions in a statement Tuesday.

"The European Union’s support to Ukraine in the past 5 years has been unprecedented and consistent," said Maja Kocijancic, an EU spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy. "Since 2014, the EU and the European Financial Institutions have mobilized more than €15 billion in grants and loans to support the reform process, with strong conditionality on continued progress."

:lying_face:


#636

Here’s some interesting background on what the term “transcript” really means when used to refer to a record of a presidential phone call. It’s actually a collection of notes taken by two or more note takers. It is not based on a tape. A source for this article states there are no known tapes of Trump’s phone calls.

The source also states that note takers tend to omit “issues that could be controversial.” WTF? Those are the very parts of any call that it would be most important to have a record of!

Excuse my cynicism, but I’m already suspicious about the provenance of the “transcript” Trump will be releasing. Are there various drafts of such a collection of notes? Are we getting the first draft or a later draft that may have been edited? The document released should contain a detailed description of how it was created and the history of any modifications.

This is why I’m glad that a formal impeachment inquiry has begun. It should give Congress more power to collect the information they need. For example, it may be necessary to subpoena the note takers who were on this call and question them regarding details of the call – especially if the transcript does not appear to be a comprehensive record.

Details from a phone call made by Donald Trump that has led the U.S. House of Representatives to launch a formal impeachment inquiry against the president isn’t likely to come from a recording or be verbatim, former White House and national security officials say.

Instead, because of standard White House protocol for handling phone calls between the president and other world leaders, a transcript is likely to be put together from written notes by U.S. officials who listen in.

Trump said on Tuesday a “complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript” of the July 25 call would be released on Wednesday. In it, the Republican president is alleged to have pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden, the U.S. Democratic presidential front-runner.

The transcript would show the call was “totally appropriate,” Trump said on Twitter.

However, standard practice when a president is talking to a foreign leader is not to make a recording but to have at least two and sometimes more note-takers from the National Security Council (NSC) on the call, a former senior NSC official told Reuters.

Those note-takers are themselves usually Central Intelligence Agency officers on assignment to the NSC, he said.

Their notes serve as the principal record of such calls, the former official said. He was not aware of any electronic recordings made by the U.S. government on calls between Trump and other world leaders.

Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense during the Obama presidency, said not only would any so-called transcript be based on notes, but it would also likely be incomplete because the note-takers usually do not include issues that could be controversial if they became public.

“Typically a note-taker will write notes about what the principal says in a fashion that does not embarrass their principal,” said Farkas.

A former White House senior official concurred there was unlikely to be a recording.

“There’s no physical recording but there are a lot of people listening and taking contemporaneous notes of these calls,” the official said. “When you read it, it looks almost like a transcript.”


#637

What you need to know about the impeachment inquiry into Trump

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/09/25/what-you-need-know-about-impeachment-inquiry-into-trump/

What is the process for an impeachment inquiry?

Pelosi said Tuesday that the six key committees that are already investigating the president will continue to investigate Trump “under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.” If the investigations conclude there are reasons for impeachment, the Judiciary Committee will draw up articles of impeachment, and the Judiciary Committee and then the full House will vote on it.

Here’s how Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) summed up the process in August to CNN, when he decided his committee was launching an impeachment inquiry: “We are investigating all the evidence, gathering the evidence. And we will [at the] conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment to the House floor. Or we won’t. That’s a decision that we’ll have to make. But that’s exactly the process we’re in right now.”

So the House was already in an impeachment inquiry?

Yes. Well, kind of. It depends on whom you ask. Nadler’s committee has charge over impeachment, and he surprised some of his members this summer when he publicly said they’ve started an inquiry. Pelosi was not supportive of this, and as recently as last weekwouldn’t say “impeachment inquiry” publicly. But the allegations facing Trump on Ukraine changed her mind.

How long does the impeachment process take?

It can be as long or as short as the House wants. As The Fix’s Aaron Blake notes, if past is precedent, this could be wrapped up in four months. But Democrats probably are on a tight timeline here; politically it could be much more difficult to make their case that impeachment is necessary if it’s 2020 and nearing an election where Trump could get thrown out of office anyway. Before the Ukraine allegations, polls showed a majority of Americans didn’t support impeachment.

Will the Senate remove Trump from office?

As it stands now, probably not. There’s no evidence the Republican-controlled Senate wants to confront Trump in such a way. In fact, on Monday Senate Republicans were trying to defend Trump. It’s up to House Democrats to uncover something that could change Republicans’ minds.

Another fascinating point on this: If the House impeaches Trump, it’s possible Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could just refuse to hold a trial. For centuries, the agreed-upon reading of the Constitution is that if the House impeaches a president, the Senate holds a trial to convict or acquit the president. But there could be some wiggle room for McConnell to avoid that spectacle, writes Bob Bauer, who served as White House counsel under Barack Obama.

Could Trump run in 2020 even if he’s impeached?

If he’s impeached by the House, yes. If he’s removed from office, well, that’s never happened before so we’d probably all be armchair-interpreting the Constitution to figure that one out.


(judy silvan) #638

we need to respect nancy’s timing; it’s uber complex b/c it could definitely help the scump-bag. people are so sexist towards post-menopausal women—just sayin’. on the other hand I’m CELEBRATING!


#639

The Transcript is released today…and of course we do not know if the transcript is exact ( see @Keaton_James Congressional Committee Investigations into Trump 2019) but we do hear that T is asking for investigations to be made on Biden, asks Zelensky to talk with AG Barr and Giuliani to follow up on this, and says Mueller’s work was “incompetent” with a lot of issues that Mueller had investigated had started with Ukraine.

Yes, there’s T’s request for Ukraine’s help to find out about Biden…and there will be more deciphering as we want to hear or know that the full whistleblower’s account will be looked at separately. There is bound to be a lot more than this I think.

According to the transcript, Mr. Trump didn’t make an explicit link on the call between the U.S. aid—which he had ordered a hold on a week earlier—and an investigation into Mr. Biden’s son. Mr. Zelensky responded that the president was “absolutely right” and that European countries were “not working as much as they should work for Ukraine.”

The transcript, released Wednesday morning, isn’t verbatim and was based off the “notes and recollections” of Situation Room and National Security Council officials, the White House said.

The president on the call raised a discredited claim that his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has been pressing for months: that Mr. Biden as vice president called for the ouster of Ukraine’s prosecutor general to protect his son, Hunter, who sat on the board of a company whose owner the prosecutor had investigated. The prosecutor was the target of widespread criticism from the U.S. and other countries and had in fact hampered the investigation into the younger Mr. Biden’s company, Burisma Group. Ukraine’s prosecutor general in May said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son.

There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Zelensky. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it…it sounds horrible to me.”

He said Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr would call Mr. Zelensky and added: “I’m sure you will figure it out.” A Justice Department spokeswoman said the president never asked Mr. Barr to make the call nor did he ask the attorney general to investigate Mr. Biden. Mr. Barr also did not discuss the call or other matters related to Ukraine with Mr. Giuliani, she said.

Mr. Zelensky assured him that the new prosecutor general would “look into the situation,” and said that if Mr. Trump had any additional information to provide, it would be “very helpful for the investigation.”

Mr. Zelensky was the first person on the call to bring up Mr. Giuliani, after the president asked him to “do us a favor” and investigate matters involving Ukraine related to former special counsel Robert Mueller ’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Mr. Trump pointed to Mr. Mueller’s testimony before Congress a day earlier, which he said was “incompetent,” but added that “a lot” of the special counsel investigation had “started with Ukraine.

Transcript - Trump and Zekinsky discussion

Ongoing updates from NYT

and T’s reponse

Before the release, he declared on Twitter that Democrats had fallen into his trap, and that the release of the transcript would exonerate him — and make them look foolish.

Will the Democrats apologize after seeing what was said on the call with the Ukrainian President? They should, a perfect call - got them by surprise!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2019


#640

From that NYT piece,

President Trump urged the president of Ukraine to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about opening a potential corruption investigation connected to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., according to a transcript of a July phone callat the center of accusations that Mr. Trump pressured a foreign leader to find dirt on a political rival.

“I would like you to do us a favor,” Mr. Trump said in response to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine raising the prospect of acquiring military equipment from the United States. The president then also asked for another inquiry: that the Ukrainians examine an unsubstantiated theory about stolen Democratic emails.

image


#641

Yes it does.