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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

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#1140

All the tactics T’s lawyers use to keep T away from revealing anything about his actions, what was communicated and basically “What the President knew and when did he know it.” The upshot is to protect an incumbent president…but the truth is T can and should be INVESTIGATED…within the constructs of the law, and Impeachment process demands this.

As Pelosi keeps stating “No one is above the law.”

One lawyer for the president recently even suggested that Mr. Trump could shoot someone on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and not be investigated by local authorities, echoing a statement the president made during his 2016 campaign in which he said he wouldn’t lose any voters over such an action.

A longstanding Justice Department legal opinion says a president can’t be federally prosecuted while in office, but says nothing about being investigated, and in any case doesn’t apply to state and local efforts to enforce their own laws. Mr. Trump’s lawyers say he is beyond any such actions.

This administration has articulated a view of presidential power in which the president is above the law,” said Erica Newland, who served in the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel during both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Lawyers representing the president either in his personal or institutional capacity have argued that law enforcement can’t investigate the president at all; that he can shut down investigations into himself or his associates; and that obstruction-of-justice laws don’t apply to the president. (Nobody argues that presidents aren’t subject to all laws once they are out of office.)

At the same time, since Democrats took over Congress in January, Mr. Trump’s government and personal lawyers have fought numerous legal battles over congressional oversight—arguing that close aides don’t have to testify even if subpoenaed, that all congressional investigations must serve a “legislative purpose,” that cabinet secretaries can disobey subpoenas and that a congressional impeachment inquiry is invalid.

Further, they have argued that federal courts can’t transmit evidence of presidential wrongdoing obtained by a grand jury to Congress for possible consideration of impeachment.n some instances, Trump administration attorneys have contended that courts have no right to stop the president from taking official actions.

Some of the claims are contradictory: Mr. Trump’s personal attorneys have argued he can be held accountable only by Congress, while his White House lawyers fought efforts to hold him accountable in Congress.

To some extent, Mr. Trump’s lawyers are just doing their job: taking aggressive, legal positions in the best interests of the client, and hoping for the best. Lawyers for previous presidents have made similarly aggressive claims about powers and immunities to defend the president personally or the long-term authority of the office.

But scholars of presidential power say what is different about the Trump administration is its unwillingness to acknowledge the legitimacy and interests of other institutions.

Sidebar - T’s lawyer’s arguments recap

Presidential Power

Some positions that lawyers representing Mr. Trump, the White House or the Department of Justice have argued since January 2017 in court or in other legal documents:


#1141

Lt. Col Vindman’s testimony - 10 hours. Wow.


#1142

Lt. Col Vindman testifies today to say that the Ukraine call (July 25th, 2019) transcript does not include all pertinent details and OMITS a lot of important information. Vindman wanted to change the transcript (all experts review the rough transcripts) but they were not accepted. Transcript was then dropped into the highly sensitive server.

Again - Sins of Omission…very obvious curbing of the truth.

WASHINGTON — Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president omitted crucial words and phrases, and that his attempts to include them failed, according to three people familiar with the testimony.

The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.

Colonel Vindman, who appeared on Capitol Hill wearing his dark blue Army dress uniform and military medals, told House impeachment investigators that he tried to change the reconstructed transcript made by the White House staff to reflect the omissions. But while some of his edits appeared to have been successful, he said, those two corrections were not made.

Colonel Vindman did not testify to a motive behind the editing process. But his testimony is likely to drive investigators to ask further questions about how officials handled the call, including changes to the transcript and the decision to put it into the White House’s most classified computer system — and whether those moves were meant to conceal the conversation’s most controversial aspects.


(David Bythewood) #1143

As predicted, now that the House has moved to formalize impeachment proceedings, the GOP is insisting everything that came before has to be tossed out and that it’s all a political stunt to keep Speaker Pelosi in power.
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#1144

@Keaton_James

:smirk: We found the answer. Y’all are amazing! So proud of this crew!


#1145

Former G.O.P. Lawmaker Pressed for Ambassador’s Ouster, Diplomat Says

Robert Livingston, a former Republican congressman turned lobbyist, repeatedly told a Foreign Service officer assigned to the White House that the American ambassador to Ukraine should be fired because of her association with Democrats, the officer told impeachment investigators on Wednesday.

The officer, Catherine M. Croft, testified that she “documented” multiple calls from Mr. Livingston about the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, while she was working at the National Security Council from mid-2017 to mid-2018. She said that she informed two other officials — Fiona Hill, then the senior director for Europe and Russia at the council, and George P. Kent, a Ukraine expert at the State Department — about them at the time.

“He characterized Ambassador Yovanovitch as an ‘Obama holdover’ and associated with George Soros,” she said, referring to the billionaire liberal philanthropist, according to a copy of Ms. Croft’s opening statement reviewed by The New York Times. “It was not clear to me at the time — or now — at whose direction or at whose expense Mr. Livingston was seeking the removal of Ambassador Yovanovitch.”

The testimony adds to a timeline of known attacks on Ms. Yovanovitch by conservatives questioning her loyalty to President Trump. It is not clear if Mr. Livingston’s work, or those financing it, were in any way connected to efforts by two Americans with business interests in Ukraine who wanted her gone and, later, by Mr. Trump’s private lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Nor did Ms. Croft have anything to say about whom else Mr. Livingston spoke with.

READ THE STATEMENT

Catherine M. Croft’s opening statement to House impeachment investigators.


#1146

Thanks for this. Another telling declaration in her testimony:

On July 18, I participated in a sub-Policy Coordination Committee video conference where an OMB representative reported that the White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, had placed an informal hold on security assistance to Ukraine. The only reason given was that the order came at the direction of the President.

Testimony like this makes it difficult for the President to claim that his underlings were acting without his knowledge. Trump was at the top of the command chain, orchestrating this extortion attempt.

Croft’s testimony here precisely corroborates Ambassador Taylor’s statement in which he makes the same assertion. From CBS News:

On a conference call on July 18, Taylor said he heard an official from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) say that there was a hold placed on hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine for use in fending off Russian aggression. The official said the order to put the aid on hold came “from the President to the Chief of Staff [Mick Mulvaney] to OMB,” Taylor wrote.

Now we need testimony from OMB officials to confirm that when Mulvaney instructed the OMB to withhold the aid he said Trump gave him the order. Then we need to hear from Mulvaney himself for the final confirmation that the order originated with Trump. Of course, since they work for Trump in the Executive Branch, the OMB and Mulvaney are stonewalling. In the meantime, the impeachment committees are vigorously pursuing their testimony – we can only hope they prevail. (And it’s also no surprise that Trump appointee Bill Barr is not using the DOJ’s subpoena power to pursue the truth.)


#1147

Cross-posting


(David Bythewood) #1149

Developing story: CNN just broke that John Bolton will not testify without a subpoena. No outlets seem to have it online yet.


#1150

Cross-posting :pray:


#1151

Fine sleuthing! :male_detective:

The WaPo just confirmed it in its live impeachment stream:

I assume Bolton is asking for the subpoena just to cover his ass – but then maybe he’s digging in his heels and will defy the subpoena – it’s hard to tell with him.


#1152

New Yorker staff writer Dexter Filkins called the prospect of former National Security Adviser John Bolton testifying before the House impeachment inquiry the “$64,000 question” of Washington and warned that Bolton’s corroboration of other White House officials’ accounts was “potentially devastating” for President Donald Trump.

Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Filkins noted that Bolton’s name continues to come up in the testimony of other White House and State Department officials who have testified about alleged misconduct by Trump. Filkins offered context about Bolton and the effect his testimony could have based on his time with the conservative firebrand for a long, New Yorker profile from this past spring.

“You spent time with Bolton. Based on what you know about him, do you think he will testify willingly? If so, what kind of witness would he be?” Cooper asked.

“That’s the $64,000 question,” Filkins replied. “Everyone in Washington is wondering about that. I think, on one hand, he knows everything. He had total visibility and he left on bad terms with Trump. Trump said: ‘I fired him.’ He said: ‘No, I quit before you could fire me.’ But on the other hand, he’s always been — you know, he’s a partisan. He’s always been a stalwart Republican and he came from Fox News, he came from that whole thing. So, it’s really hard to tell. Potentially what’s so interesting is if he does testify, to what other people have said that he did, and he believed and he said, then I think it’s potentially devastating for the president because of [Bolton’s] stature as one of the premier Republicans in the Republican establishment.

Among other blockbuster revelations, Bolton is reported to have privately blasted the efforts of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, to extract a political investigation of Joe Biden, calling it a “drug deal,” based on the testimony of former State Department official Fiona Hill.

“I think what’s interesting here is that from the very beginning, from day one when he got hired by Trump, they never saw eye to eye on anything,” Filkins explained. “He’s not a Trump ally. He’s not Trump’s friend. This is what’s so beguiling to people in Washington right now. Nobody can really figure out what he’s going to do. He’s a smart guy. He’s a Yale lawyer. He’s really smart. He was in the middle of it, so he knows everything.”

Watch the video above, via CNN. [Click on the article title above and then on the video at the top of the article.]

And here’s Filkins’ in-depth New Yorker profile of Bolton (may require a subscription):


#1153

Me too. He was sidelined, not included in meetings AND witnessed T, Giuliani and other create shadow governments from within. Bolton’s comment about watching a ‘drug deal’ go down (watching these guerilla tactics in play) make me think Bolton is out for revenge. The subpoena immunizes him from any future legal proceedings (perhaps) from the WH.

Buckle up…next Thursday Nov 7th for another show down. :fire:


(David Bythewood) #1154

Oh, definitely. John Bolton’s temper and vindictive nature are as legendary as Trump’s. Trump stabbed him in the back. There is no way Bolton won’t gladly return the favor. I’ve been waiting for this.


#1155

White House lawyer moved transcript of Trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms

Moments after President Trump ended his phone call with Ukraine’s president on July 25, an unsettled national security aide rushed to the office of White House lawyer John Eisenberg.

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine adviser at the White House, had been listening to the call and was disturbed by the pressure Trump had applied to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rivals, according to people familiar with Vindman’s testimony to lawmakers this week.

Vindman told Eisenberg, the White House’s legal adviser on national security issues, that what the president did was wrong, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Scribbling notes on a yellow legal pad, Eisenberg proposed a step that other officials have said is at odds with long-standing White House protocol: moving a transcript of the call to a highly classified server and restricting access to it, according to two people familiar with Vindman’s account.

The details of how the White House clamped down on information about the controversial call comes as the House impeachment inquiry turns its focus to the role of Eisenberg, who has served as deputy White House counsel since the start of Trump’s administration. House impeachment investigators on Wednesday evening announced they have asked Eisenberg and a fellow White House lawyer, Mike Ellis, to testify Monday.

Vindman’s account marks the first known instance in which a witness before the impeachment inquiry has provided a firsthand account linking Eisenberg to the decision to move the problematic transcript to a highly classified server.

Former Trump national security officials said it was unheard of to store presidential calls with foreign leaders on the NICE system but that Eisenberg had moved at least one other transcript of a Trump phone call there.

Eisenberg is in for it now. :8ball:

And what about that other call Eisenberg moved to the super secret server? :interrobang:


Day 1014
#1156

Watch live the Impeachment Inquiry Rules Vote in Congress

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/774513460/as-impeachment-inquiry-moves-into-open-phase-heres-what-to-expect-next

The impeachment inquiry enters a new open phase with a House vote on a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry. The measure drafted by House Democrats lays out the ground rules for public hearings, provides procedures for the president and his counsel to respond to evidence and sets out the process for considering articles of impeachment in the Judiciary Committee and the full House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the vote in a letter to House Democrats this week after weeks of noting that there is no requirement for a full House vote. The move means that the House is another step closer to voting on articles of impeachment against President Trump.

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the author of the House resolution, told NPR that the vote means the House is “entering a different phase” on the impeachment process. He said that he expects Democrats to be largely united on the vote and that when he briefed the caucus on the details, he stressed that “a clear transparent process was important.”

The vast majority of House Democrats publicly back the inquiry, so the measure is expected to pass with few members breaking with their leaders.

The move is also a way for Democrats to try to take away the primary attack from Republicans, who for weeks have declared the current inquiry a “sham” because the House hasn’t gone on the record with a vote formalizing it.


#1157

Here comes where the rubber meets the road…T wanting to back with funding on not impeaching him from Senators, and money for their re-election campaign is part of the bid. Politics as usual.

Here’s the message:

If we don’t post strong fundraising numbers,” the message warned, “we won’t be able to defend the President from this baseless Impeachment WITCH HUNT.”

Sen Collins (R-ME) has avoided discussing whether this impeachment inquiry or impeachment is worthy of her support. Her seat in Maine is definitely in play.

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/31/trump-impeachment-senators-donor-062084

President Donald Trump is rewarding senators who have his back on impeachment — and sending a message to those who don’t to get on board.

Trump is tapping his vast fundraising network for a handful of loyal senators facing tough reelection bids in 2020. Each of them has signed onto a Republican-backed resolution condemning the inquiry as “unprecedented and undemocratic.”

Conspicuously absent from the group is Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a politically vulnerable Republican who’s refused to support the resolution and avoided taking a stance on impeachment. With his new push, Trump is exerting leverage over a group he badly needs in his corner with an impeachment trial likely coming soon to the Senate — but that also needs him.

Republican senators on the ballot next year are lagging in fundraising, stoking uncertainty about the GOP’s hold on the chamber, and could use the fundraising might of the president. Trump’s political operation has raked in over $300 million this year.

On Wednesday, the Trump reelection campaign sent a fundraising appeal to its massive email list urging donors to provide a contribution that would be divided between the president and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis. Each of the senators are supporting the anti-impeachment resolution despite being endangered in 2020.

“If we don’t post strong fundraising numbers,” the message warned, “we won’t be able to defend the President from this baseless Impeachment WITCH HUNT.”

Next week, Trump will lend a hand to Georgia Sen. David Perdue, a staunch ally who has also spoken out against impeachment. On Nov. 8, the president will host an Atlanta fundraising lunch that will jointly benefit his campaign, the Republican National Committee, and Perdue’s reelection effort. Attendees are being asked to give up to $100,000, according to an invitation obtained by POLITICO.

Thank you @rusticgorilla


#1158

Comments:


#1159

For Impeachment posting (reached my limit)

Wow…double wow! :boom:

Eisenberg is one who knew and covered it up quickly. He’s looking to get disbarred. Bigly.


Day 1014
(David Bythewood) #1160

Limit reset.

Also, Kellyanne Conway would like to talk to you about the war on Christmas on this totally unremarkable day.

#HappyHalloween