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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

Even by the base standards of today’s House G.O.P., which often resembles a ragtag protest group more than a government party, this was a slimy effort at diversion. “This is about distraction, distraction, distraction,” the veteran Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee, of Texas, accurately pointed out. But it was left to Hank Johnson, a seven-term Democratic congressman from Georgia, to deliver the most effective put-down of Gaetz. “The pot calling the kettle black is not something that we should do,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what members, if any, have had any problems with substance abuse, been busted in a D.U.I.—I don’t know. But, if I did, I wouldn’t raise it against anyone on this committee.” The titters that went around the hearing room as Johnson was speaking indicated that at least some of those present knew what he was referring to.

Late one night in 2008, a police deputy stopped Gaetz’s car, for speeding, not far from the congressman’s home. In his incident report, the deputy said that Gaetz smelled of beer and that “his eyes were watery and bloodshot, and he swayed and staggered when he got out of the car.” The deputy arrested Gaetz and took him to a police station, where he was booked and photographed. For reasons that have never been entirely clear, the charges against Gaetz were later dropped. But, in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times , in 2014, Gaetz acknowledged that he had “made bad decisions that resulted in an arrest” and added, “that is sort of something that we all live with.”

If you think, for a moment, that Johnson’s rebuke was sufficient to shame Gaetz into silence, you haven’t been paying attention for the past few months. In their fealty to Trump, many members of the House G.O.P. are entirely shameless and more than a bit bonkers. Given a second opportunity to speak, Gaetz brought up Hillary Clinton—why not?—and said he was just glad that the country now had a President who is concerned about corruption.

He wasn’t the only Republican to speak in favor of his amendment, of course. Another was Louie Gohmert, the Texan who once issued a dire warning about “terror babies” and who, on Wednesday night, as the hearing started, read out the name of an official who has been identified, in some reports, as the intelligence whistle-blower. In weighing in on Gaetz’s amendment, Gohmert followed his example and brought up Clinton. He also offered a novel theory that she was somehow responsible for the Democrats’ impeachment of Trump. “What we continue to see is projection,” Gohmert said. “Someone on their side engages in illicit conduct and that is what they accuse President Trump of doing.”

Within the confines of a supposedly serious congressional hearing, there is no wholly effective way to counter the sort of slime and gibberish that Gaetz and Gohmert were promoting. In any case, it wasn’t directed at Americans who are undecided about the merits of impeaching Trump, if any such people exist. Its only purpose was to fire up the Trump faithful, go viral on right-wing Web sites, and, perhaps, even get picked up on Fox News. In other words, it was part of politics as a tribal ritual rather than politics as rational discourse, and, therefore, it was largely immune to rational counter-argument.

Jackson Lee pointed out that Trump had put aid to Ukraine on hold despite the fact that the State Department and other U.S. agencies had stated that the country was already in compliance with anti-corruption directives. Hakeem Jeffries, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, read out a list of the names of witnesses, Trump appointees all, who confirmed that the President had pressured a foreign government to target a U.S. citizen: Biden. Zoe Lofgren, who represents a district in Silicon Valley, said that, although the behavior of Hunter Biden and of Trump’s sons and daughters were things that voters could consider in a general election, “here we are talking about the abuse of Presidential authority.


House Panel Delays Vote on Impeachment Articles

House Judiciary Committee Democrats on Thursday abruptly put off a pair of historic impeachment votes after a drawn-out battle with Republicans stretched late into the night, setting up final action on Friday to approve charges that President Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, called off the votes moments before they were expected to take place, announcing just after 11 p.m. that he wanted lawmakers to have time to “search their consciences” before the final roll call.

The chairman said the committee would reconvene Friday morning to promptly finalize two articles of impeachment, with the outcome certain.


:hugs: well, at least we know the vote will happen tomorrow now.




Day 3 House Judiciary Votes on Articles of Impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee approves two articles of impeachment against President Trump: abuse of power (23-17) and obstruction of Congress (23-17). The articles now head to the full House for consideration.


Cross-posting :pray:

Supreme Court to Rule on Release of Trump’s Financial Records

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether President Trump can block the release of his financial records, setting the stage for a blockbuster ruling on the power of presidents to resist demands for information from prosecutors and Congress.

The court’s ruling, expected by June, could give the public a look at information the president has gone to extraordinary lengths to protect. Or the justices could rule that Mr. Trump’s financial affairs are not legitimate subjects of inquiry so long as he remains in office.

Either way, the court is now poised to produce a once-in-a-generation statement on presidential accountability.

The case will test the independence of the court, which is dominated by Republican appointees, including two named by Mr. Trump. In earlier Supreme Court cases in which presidents sought to avoid providing evidence, the rulings did not break along partisan lines.

To the contrary, the court was unanimous in ruling against Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton in such cases, with Nixon and Clinton appointees voting against the presidents who had placed them on the court. The Nixon case led to his resignation in the face of mounting calls for his impeachment. The Clinton caseled to Mr. Clinton’s impeachment, though he survived a Senate vote on his removal.

Mr. Trump asked the court to block three sets of subpoenas, and the justices agreed to decide his appeals in all three.

All of the subpoenas sought information from Mr. Trump’s accountants or bankers, not from Mr. Trump himself, and the firms have indicated that they will comply with the court’s ruling. Had the subpoenas sought evidence from Mr. Trump himself, there was at least a possibility that he would try to defy a ruling against him, prompting a constitutional crisis.

This is big news.


Summary of the Impeachment Inquiry into Trump

December 2nd-13th

It’s amazing what can happen in just 11 days.

General Congressional News:


The President’s Public Remarks:

Sideshow Rudy:

Justice Department:


Public Hearings:

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


Missed one,

12/13/19 PRESS RELEASE: Meeting Announcement for H. Res. 755—Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Meeting Announcement for H. Res. 755—Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The Committee on Rules will meet on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 11:00 AM in H-313, The Capitol on the following measure:

  • H. Res. 755 — Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.


Dec 13, 2019


A Great Big Gift Not on Trump’s Disclosure Form: Giuliani’s Legal Advice

The lawyer, of course, is Rudolph W. Giuliani, but Mr. Trump did not mention Mr. Giuliani or his unpaid labor on the annual financial disclosure he filed in May, which requires that the value and source of gifts — including free legal work — be publicly listed.

That requirement is cut and dried, said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. She cited guidance from the Office of Government Ethics, issued in November 2017, that states federal officials must disclose “gifts of legal defenses — in kind or by payment of the fees.”

“The purpose is to ensure the public has an opportunity to see whether there is any kind of corrupting influence,” said Ms. Clark, who has written on ethics issues involving government employees in need of lawyers.

So if Giuliani doesn’t technically work for Mr. Trump and he doesn’t work for the US Government, what the fuck does this crazy man think he’s doing?


T’s sway is moving this Dem over to R.

The freshman Democrat, who represents a New Jersey district where President Trump is popular, told aides he will announce his switch next week.

Mr. Van Drew has spoken with senior advisers to Mr. Trump about announcing his switch at an event at the White House either immediately before or just after the House votes on two articles of impeachment, which is expected to happen on Wednesday, according to Republicans and Democrats.


Lindsey Graham invites Rudy Giuliani to Judiciary panel to discuss recent Ukraine visit

Sen. Lindsey Graham is inviting Rudy Giuliani to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his recent trip to Ukraine.

In an interview airing on Face the Nation Sunday, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said that Giuliani, who is serving as the president’s personal attorney, could appear before his committee separately from the impending Senate impeachment trial.

“Rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, I’ll be glad to talk to you,” Graham said. “We can look at what Rudy’s got and Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and anything else you want to look at after impeachment. But if Rudy wants to come to the Judiciary Committee and testify about what he found, he’s welcome to do so.”

Giuliani traveled to Ukraine earlier this month to gather information intended to discredit the House’s impeachment probe, which focuses on Trump pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens. Giuliani was spotted at the White House on Friday.

Graham said he didn’t know what material Giuliani had gathered.



Lots of discussion on Twitter. I think it’s one for one with Amash. Do you think it’s a big deal for Democrats or just noteworthy like Amash was when he changed his party to Independent?


I think it is just plain gamesmanship …I win, you lose strategy. Is it a big deal…it is because it gives T that talking piint…AND reinforces his ‘control’ via bully tactics to outstrip the Dema.

It feels though like a one-off…Amash at least has integrity.

This guy is motivated by fear…and looks very pliant to our eyes.

I sure hope T gets some kind of real pushback…not just along party lines.


I think this is right. It’s not good that it happened and it gives Trump that talking point at a bad time for Democrats. I guess this guy might not have been doing well in his district? Sucks for Democrats who voted for him in 2018, they need a new candidate.


A federal judge has ordered the State Department to look for and release more documents relating to the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday that the department must search for more Ukraine-related documents and give them to American Oversight in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the watchdog group.

The State Department had previously given the group documents from Aug. 2 or earlier but will now be required to provide additional documents dated through Oct. 18.

American Oversight said in a tweet that the new records "would include any communications of senior officials, like Sec. Pompeo, with Giuliani or with anyone outside the government about the Ukraine pressure campaign."

The move comes after the State Department late last month released a tranche of documents in response to the request from American Oversight.

Those documents showed repeated contacts between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.


Weeks of congressional hearings and debate have failed to move the electorate on impeachment, according to the latest Fox News Poll. At the same time, approval of President Trump’s job performance has climbed three points.

Currently, 45 percent of voters approve of the job Trump’s doing, up from 42 percent in late October. Over half, 53 percent, disapprove. That lands the president almost exactly where he started the year, as 43 percent approved and 54 percent disapproved in January.

The poll, conducted Sunday through Wednesday, also finds 50 percent want Trump impeached and removed from office, 4 percent say impeached but not removed, and 41 percent oppose impeaching him altogether.

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Here’s what his polling numbers (within the tweet) seem to suggest…Van Drew’s numbers were indicating his constituency disliked impeachment and therefore would vote against Van Drew if he did vote with Dems.

(Polling numbers…but hard to decifer)


Freshman Democrats push for Amash as impeachment manager

A private campaign is underway to draft Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) as an impeachment manager in the Senate trial of President Trump, a bid to diversify House Democrats’ appeal to voters with a rare conservative voice.

A group of 30 freshman Democrats, led by Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), has asked House leaders to consider the libertarian, who left the Republican Party earlier this year, for the small group tasked with arguing its case for removing Trump in the upper chamber, according to several Democratic officials.

The thinking, according to these people, is that Amash would reach conservative voters in a way Democrats can’t, potentially bolstering their case to the public. He also would provide Democrats cover from GOP accusations that they’re pursuing a partisan impeachment; Amash is one of the most conservative members of the House and a vocal Trump critic.

“To the extent that this can be bipartisan, it should, and I think including Representative Amash amongst the impeachment managers is a smart move both for the country, for the substance and for the optics,” Phillips said, adding that Amash brings an array of qualifications: He’s an attorney, a constitutionalist and “the first and only member of the Republican conference, when he was a Republican, to show courage,” Phillips added.

Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving the GOP.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would ultimately make the call and is expected to announce managers early this week, multiple Democrats said. Amash did not respond to a request for comment about whether he would accept such a position. But Phillips, who is in touch with Amash about the idea, said the lawmaker has agreed to consider it if asked.


Americans remain divided on impeachment

More Republicans prefer the Senate not hold a trial at all (46%) than hold a trial that acquits the president (40%).

Rather unremarkable poll until they asked if the GOP prefers what kind of nothing they want to do about Trump. More would rather do nothing, not hold a senate trial at all, than acquit the President. Says everything about the state of Congressional Republican oversight.

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