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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

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#1655

:eyes:


#1656

READ: House Intel Report :boom:

https://intelligence.house.gov/report/


#1657

Trump Impeachment Report Released by House Panel

The House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released a report documenting the impeachment case against President Trump, laying out the conclusions of its inquiry into allegations that he abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election and then impeded attempts by Congress to investigate.

The report is based on two months of public and private testimony from diplomats and other administration officials who described a campaign by the president and his allies to get Ukraine to announce investigations of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats, while withholding nearly $400 million in military assistance and a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president.

The report’s approval, expected on Tuesday evening, will set in motion the next phase in the impeachment of Mr. Trump, accelerating a constitutional clash that has happened only three times in the nation’s history. Both parties are poised for a fierce, partisan debate in the House Judiciary Committee over whether to draft articles of impeachment — most likely based on the evidence in the report — that could go to the House for a vote before Christmas.

If a majority of the House voted to approve articles of impeachment, the president would be impeached. The proceedings would then move to the Senate for a trial.


#1658

The calls listed on the Trump Impeachment report are damning for Nunes pertaining to speaking with Lev Parnas. A lot of back and forth, and a lot of questions as to why Nunes did not recuse.


and a pithy statement from Ari Melber MSNBC


#1659

More regarding phone calls

Call records included in an impeachment report released by House Democrats Tuesday show that House Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had a number of contacts in April with Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas, an associate of Giuliani’s who has since been indicted for campaign finance violations.

Why it matters: The call records constitute some of the only new revelations from the report, which mostly relies on witness testimony that has been released to the public.

The big picture: The April contacts came in the midst of a smear campaign against former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, which was led by Giuliani, Parnas and John Solomon, a Trump-friendly journalist who formerly wrote for The Hill.

  • The Daily Beast has reported that Parnas, who helped introduce Giuliani to Ukrainian officials in his quest to dig up dirt on Trump’s rivals, also helped arrange meetings for Nunes in 2018, when the top Republican was investigating the origins of the Mueller investigation.
  • Nunes has dismissed the entire impeachment inquiry as a hoax and part of a continued effort by Democrats to take down President Trump. He is likely to face new scrutiny about his involvement with key players at the center of the inquiry.

Impeach%20Records%20Axios%202


(David Bythewood) #1660

Adam Schiff Spells Out Why Trump Is A Danger To America


The post below has a video of Adam Schiff’s statement.



https://www.npr.org/2019/12/03/784368506/rep-adam-schiff-the-uncontested-facts-show-this-president-solicited-a-bribe?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter


#1661

I feel like I should apologize for being a downer here, but I must say I’m deeply disappointed that the House Intel Committee did not apply the two crucial words of “bribery” and “extortion” when laying out Trump’s nefarious acts. Their report does not use the word “extortion” to describe Trump’s demand that Ukraine’s President must announce investigations before military aid would be released. Nor does the report use the word “bribery” to describe Trump’s offer of a White House visit in exchange for Ukraine’s President announcing investigations. A search of the document shows that the word “bribery” is only used when the report quotes the Constitution, defining impeachable offenses as “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Because the words “bribery” or “extortion” were not used in the report, we’re seeing tepid headlines like this one from CNN.

Trump%20accused%20of%20misconduct

Not the headline I was hoping for.

To me. today has a feeling of déjà vu, recalling the day the Mueller Report was released. I was angry then that Mueller refused to say in plain English that Trump committed criminal acts and he would have been indicted if he weren’t President. Instead, Mueller used language so convoluted that, at times, you really had to strain to understand what he was driving at (yes, he was following a DOJ policy memo, but it’s debatable whether or not he needed to apply it with such zeal). Now today, I’ve got to admit I have a similar sinking feeling. This time it appears to be the Democrats who won’t just spit out in clear terms what Trump did. It was extortion. It was bribery.

I’m ready and willing to be talked out of my depression here. Maybe I’ve got this all wrong. Perhaps the words “bribery” and “extortion” will be introduced later during the House Judiciary hearings and then incorporated into the articles of impeachment. I’ll be counting on Rachel Maddow to enlighten me tonight and restore my optimism. :bulb:

UPDATE: I jumped the gun here! Thanks @Windthin for posting this:

Rep. Adam Schiff: 'The Uncontested Facts Show This President Solicited a Bribe

The fact that Schiff is making the bribery case verbally in his statements to the nation is music to my ears! Perhaps the committees just don’t want to put it in writing quite yet. Faith restored. :sunny: :rainbow:


#1662

Thanks for airing your frustrations regarding are they (Dems/Mueller/Schiff/Pelosi) going to bungle it again - @Keaton_James

What we all want is to have the Dems with Schiff in charge to hit-em-over-the-head with facts, details and convincing evidence of bribery, extortion, abuse of power, obstruction and the like. Yes we want a full TKO :boom:

The Pelosi/Schiff/Nadler calculation is right now IMHO is that they have the facts lined up with testimony, and all sorts of receipts to get T on charges of how he’s used the office for his own personal gain, via bribery and the other articles they are defining as abuse of power, along with Obstruction etc.

The gist of it is the House can and WILL Impeach him. They have the votes, they have the public support. It may never get passed the Senate but that maybe good enough, because of all the party-line loyalist Republicans. This is enough perhaps to damage his reputation, and dampen his zest for self-service and slow his 2020 roll.

That said…here’s an article on what perhaps the Founding Fathers thought was an abuse of power…ie, asking for a favor ie, bribery or forcing one for a favor, extortion, but in essence this is saying anything a President does the Congress deems wrong can be impeached. So semantically it does not make a huge difference. Maybe the Dems/Schiff are worried about the constant R refrain of, well the military support was delivered, and just asking is not bribery and case closed. Not sure…but I am so sure they are being very careful with their words.

Unlike the guy in London representing us who spouts every idiocy possible. :clown_face:

The Constitution invokes the concept of “bribery” without explaining what the term encompasses. Scholars say that silence is likely because the meaning of the term was well understood from English common law and parliamentary practice.

The Founders intended for the concept of bribery, for impeachment purposes, to broadly cover any “corrupt abuse of power to obtain personal benefit,” three lawyers for the nonprofit group Protect Democracy wrote on the website Lawfare. They recently compiled a survey of early American and English writings and precedents about bribery, as well as discussion in more contemporary scholarly works on impeachment.

Why does it matter if this is “bribery” specifically?

Primarily for political messaging. Critics of Mr. Trump have generally been talking about the scandal in terms of more abstract concepts like “abuse of power” and the Latin phrase “quid pro quo,” which means exchanging one thing for another.

Those phrases can be difficult to understand and raise the question of whether they amount to an impeachable offense. Ms. Pelosi’s sharpened rhetoric was part of a shift in which Democrats and other critics of Mr. Trump have sought to talk about their allegations using a more plain-English term — and one that is explicitly impeachable.

What about extortion?

Some analysts have cited extortion as another framework for thinking about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. One version of this offense is when a public official unlawfully obtains something of value, like an illegal fee, from another person by threatening to take or withhold some official action in a way that would harm the victim.

Last month, when Mick Mulvaney, Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff, gave a news conference in which he appeared to admit that the arrangement was a “quid pro quo” — which he later walked back — he also told reporters to “get over it” because it is routine for the United States government to hold up foreign aid to get a recipient country to change some policy.

As a description of using foreign aid as a lever in foreign policy, Mr. Mulvaney was correct. But the question boils down to whether Mr. Trump was seeking to coerce Ukrainian officials into actions to benefit the United States or to benefit himself.

Does it matter whether an attempted bribe succeeded?

Not legally.

Mr. Trump’s defenders have repeatedly argued that Mr. Trump committed no impeachable offense because he ultimately released the military aid to Ukraine in September, even though Mr. Zelensky had not announced any investigations.

Critics note that Mr. Trump released aid to Ukraine only after the White House learned that a whistle-blower had filed a complaint attempting to tell lawmakers that Mr. Trump was using his official powers to coerce Ukraine into helping his re-election campaign, and amid increasing and bipartisan pressure from Congress for the security assistance to be released.

In any case, while the impeachment process is not a court of criminal law, if it were, arguing that the scheme failed would be no defense: The federal statute specifically designates even an attempt to solicit a bribe as a crime.

Jonathan Chait of New York magazine has colorfully labeled this the “Sideshow Bob” defense, after a character in “The Simpsons” whose plot to kill Bart Simpson was foiled. In a 1994 episode, the imprisoned Sideshow Bob denounced his conviction for attempted murder: “Convicted of a crime I didn’t even commit. Hah! Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?”


#1663

You have to laugh at this…but the Republican Report on Impeachment is just pure ire. I read this blog…and you can have yourself a little chuckle maybe.

I’ll have a bit more to say about the Republican pre-buttal to the HPSCI Impeachment Report put out last night. But a good summary of the report looks like this:

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The report uses the word “Democrat” 226 times, all part of a ploy to suggest that facts presented in the impeachment hearing were a partisan plot.

It fails to acknowledge, however, that zero of the witnesses who testified were Democrats. Two (Jennifer Williams and Tim Morrison) testified they were partisan Republicans. Gordon Sondland didn’t testify to the point (indeed, in his statement he highlighted his past work with Democrats), but he got his position by dumping $1 million into Trump’s inauguration. The rest testified to being non-partisan.

Three of the witnesses — Kurt Volker, Morrison, and Sondland — were Republican witnesses. The testimony of the three of them, plus that of Bill Taylor, fully substantiates that Trump demanded investigations before he’d release aid to Ukraine.

The facts presented in the impeachment inquiry are not Democratic claims. They are non-partisan or Republican facts.

But in the Republican party in 2019, every fact that is damning to Donald Trump — even those shared by Republicans — is treated as a partisan conspiracy.


#1664

Summary of the Impeachment Inquiry into Trump 2019

November 22nd - December 3rd


Calendars:


General Congressional News:


New Documents:


:newspaper: Timeline has been updated. Breaking news starts below. :point_down:


#1665

cross-posting :pray:


#1666

The Impeachment Inquiry Report unfolds like the plot of a political thriller

Just browsing through the report and was struck by how compelling the headings are. They form a succinct summary of the damning evidence against Trump and lay out the sequence of events almost like the plotline of a political thriller – they are impactful and easy to remember – great talking points for your next encounter with a TCSD (Trump Crime Syndicate Denier).

My favorite heading: The President’s Hand-picked Agents Begin the Scheme

In copying these from the report, I left the links active so you can bop over and read the details in any section.

If you have time to read only one section, I recommend Schiff’s Preface in which he eloquently and persuasively lays out Trump’s criminal acts (yes, he doesn’t actually use the word “criminal” – he’s being careful with his language at this point, but the word “criminal” is bound to pop into your head). Boy does Schiff have a way with words!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

THE TRUMP-UKRAINE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY REPORT

INTRODUCTION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Preface [by Adam Schiff]

  2. Executive Summary

  3. Key Findings of Fact

  4. Report

THE REPORT

I. The President’s Misconduct: The President Conditioned a White House Meeting and Military Aid to Ukraine on a Public Announcement of Investigations Beneficial to his Reelection Campaign

II. The President’s Obstruction of the House of Representatives’ Impeachment Inquiry: The President Obstructed the Impeachment Inquiry by Instructing Witnesses and Agencies to Ignore Subpoenas for Documents and Testimony

_____________________________________________________________________________________


(David Bythewood) #1667

I can’t help it, this summary is dead on and makes me giggle.


#1668

Some obfuscation by Rep Nunes tonight on Hannity…


#1669

This is all any voter needs to know. Did the President try to cheat in the next election and did he try to cover it up? The report says yes he did and provides ample evidence.

The House Intelligence Committee set out three questions at the beginning of their inquiry, see below

Democrats unveil 3 questions to guide public impeachment hearings

• Did the President request that a foreign leader and government initiate investigations to benefit the President’s personal political interests in the United States, including an investigation related to the President’s political rival and potential opponent in the 2020 U.S. presidential election?

• Did the President – directly or through agents – seek to use the power of the Office of the President and other instruments of the federal government in other ways to apply pressure on the head of state and government of Ukraine to advance the President’s personal political interests, including by leveraging an Oval Office meeting desired by the President of Ukraine or by withholding U.S. military assistance to Ukraine?

• Did the President and his Administration seek to obstruct, suppress or cover up information to conceal from the Congress and the American people evidence about the President’s actions and conduct?

and the report says, yes and provides lists of evidence, see below

Executive Summary

I. The President’s Misconduct: The President Conditioned a White House Meeting and Military Aid to Ukraine on a Public Announcement of Investigations Beneficial to his Reelection Campaign

II. The President’s Obstruction of the House of Representatives’ Impeachment Inquiry: The President Obstructed the Impeachment Inquiry by Instructing Witnesses and Agencies to Ignore Subpoenas for Documents and Testimony

Remember the Judiciary Committee decides to bring Articles of Impeachment, which is why the hearing on Wednesday will center around the grounds for Impeachment.


#1670

Tonight Rachel Maddow gave us a dramatic reading of the Table of Contents. :hugs:


#1671

Yup…I saw that too. #30,000ftView

Kismet…great insights from you both!


#1672

https://intelligence.house.gov/report/#report

Page 12

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election. As described in this executive summary and the report that follows, President Trump’s scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential reelection campaign. The President demanded that the newly- elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, publicly announce investigations into a political rival that he apparently feared the most, former Vice President Joe Biden, and into a discredited theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election. To compel the Ukrainian President to do his political bidding, President Trump conditioned two official acts on the public announcement of the investigations: a coveted White House visit and critical U.S. military assistance Ukraine needed to fight its Russian adversary.

During a July 25, 2019, call between President Trump and President Zelensky, President Zelensky expressed gratitude for U.S. military assistance. President Trump immediately responded by asking President Zelensky to “do us a favor though” and openly pressed for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden and the 2016 conspiracy theory. In turn, President Zelensky assured President Trump that he would pursue the investigation and reiterated his interest in the White House meeting. Although President Trump’s scheme intentionally bypassed many career personnel, it was undertaken with the knowledge and approval of senior Administration officials, including the President’s Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. In fact, at a press conference weeks after public revelations about the scheme, Mr. Mulvaney publicly acknowledged that the President directly tied the hold on military aid to his desire to get Ukraine to conduct a political investigation, telling Americans to “get over it.”

President Trump and his senior officials may see nothing wrong with using the power of the Office of the President to pressure a foreign country to help the President’s reelection campaign. Indeed, President Trump continues to encourage Ukraine and other foreign countries to engage in the same kind of election interference today. However, the Founding Fathers prescribed a remedy for a chief executive who places his personal interests above those of the country: impeachment. Accordingly, as part of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in coordination with the Committees on Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs, were compelled to undertake a serious, sober, and expeditious investigation into whether the President’s misconduct warrants that remedy.

In response, President Trump engaged in an unprecedented campaign of obstruction of this impeachment inquiry. Nevertheless, due in large measure to patriotic and courageous public servants who provided the Committees with direct evidence of the President’s actions, the Committees uncovered significant misconduct on the part of the President of the United States. As required under House Resolution 660, the Intelligence Committee, in consultation with the Committees on Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs, has prepared this report to detail the evidence uncovered to date, which will now be transmitted to the Judiciary Committee for its consideration.

It’s a 300 page report. It’s long. :pensive:


#1673

Watch Judiciary Hearing on Constitutional Framework for Impeachment

Legal discussions on the Constitutional tenets which support/oppose this move to impeach President T.

:point_down:


#1674

Let the Judiciary Hearing begin… #NadlerStayStrong

Here’s what you need to know:

President Trump committed impeachable offenses, three scholars invited by Democrats will testify.

Three constitutional scholars invited by Democrats to testify at Wednesday’s impeachment hearings will say that President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for political gain clearly meet the historical definition of impeachable offenses, according to copies of their opening statements.

The three law professors are appearing in the first impeachment hearing before the House Judiciary Committee as it kicks off a debate about whether to draft articles of impeachment against the president.

Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard, planned to argue that attempts by Mr. Trump to withhold a White House meeting and military assistance from Ukraine as leverage for political favors constitute impeachable conduct, as does the act of soliciting foreign assistance on a phone call with Ukraine’s leader.

“President Trump has committed impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors by corruptly abusing the office of the presidency,” Mr. Feldman planned to say. “Specifically, President Trump abused his office by corruptly soliciting President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations of his political rivals in order to gain personal advantage, including in the 2020 presidential election.”

Michael J. Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina, planned to argue that Mr. Trump “has committed several impeachable offenses” by taking actions regarding Ukraine that were worse than Richard Nixon’s misconduct during Watergate.

“If left unchecked, the president will likely continue his pattern of soliciting foreign interference on his behalf in the next election,” Mr. Gerhardt plans to say, adding that Mr. Trump’s actions “are worse than the misconduct of any prior president.”

Pamela S. Karlan, a Stanford law professor, will tell lawmakers that the president’s attempt to “strong arm a foreign leader” would not be considered politics as usual by historical standards.

“It is, instead, a cardinal reason why the Constitution contains an impeachment power,” she planned to say. “Put simply, a candidate for president should resist foreign interference in our elections, not demand it. If we are to keep faith with the Constitution and our Republic, President Trump must be held to account.”

Case against Trump is ‘slipshod’ and premature, scholar invited by Republicans will testify.

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University who was invited to testify at Wednesday’s impeachment hearing by the committee’s Republicans, will offer the lone dissent, arguing in his opening statement that Mr. Trump should not be impeached.

In a 53-page written statement submitted to the committee, Mr. Turley makes it clear that he is not a supporter of the president and believes that the Ukraine matter warrants investigation. But he plans to say that the Democratic impeachment case is dangerously “slipshod” and premature.

“I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger,” he planned to say. “If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president.”