WTF Community

The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump


(David Bythewood) #2292


Gosh, going through all these stories today, I was struck by one horrible thought. I don’t know if this right but it seems the President’s team is actually arguing to end impeachment all together with some of these claims. It’s very troubling. This could be the last impeachment ever.

In my review, I believe, no process would be deemed correct by the White House. The President’s team argues in court that the court has no jurisdiction to rule on information and witnesses given to the House. Then here before us they have been arguing the exact opposite, that the House should have gone to the courts to get rulings on subpoenas. They tried that with Don McGahn’s testimony, it’s taking ages, we’ll pretty much never get that testimony.

So then I started thinking, maybe impeachment is already dead as legal way to remove a President, it’s just that Trump is now proving it to be completely true. No one is really taking this seriously, I see more articles about Mitt Romney drinking chocolate milk, than I do the merits of the arguments being made.

So think about it, this is as far as Congress has been before, so maybe there truly is no mid-term removal outside the 25th amendment. For all the hype is gets Impeachment sure seems like harsher Censure. :woman_shrugging:t2: Anyways those are my terrifying thoughts this evening.

What do you guys think? Impeachment, already broken or did Trump break it?


This may be where we are heading, you are right. As the goal posts keep moving away from a ‘fairness’ quotient, and what was true in the Nixon and Clinton impeachments will not serve as a benchmark here in terms of calling witness and getting documents, is chilling.

The fact that the majority of the Senate can vote to ignore T’s behavior because T has the right to do as he pleases. There is an obvious power grab, right to power, fueled by an entrenched Senate and the team of lawyers acting on the President’s behalf, not the nations is very alarming.

Here’s some push back from the Congressional legal perspective against DOJ





Thread from Ezra Klein- Vox boiling down the argument towards what the R’s hope to accomplish - basically Getting the R’s to bypass any knowledge that T used his office to leverage another country to do his bidding in 2020 election.

@MissJava or @Pet_Proletariat - I’d like to as for a move to Impeachment plz! Thnx


Day 1105
(David Bythewood) #2298

The fact is, impeachment was NOT made for the governing body we have now.

It was to be tried in the Senate because that was seen as the more stable, staid body.

But the Senate at that time was far smaller, and Senators were appointed, not elected. Our current legislative block has shown that the Senate now is even MORE politically polarized than the House, and no longer trustworthy as a rational deliberative body. I really do think it’s time we re-examined how that all works.

(David Bythewood) #2299


Even the professor, Dershowitz quoted as agreeing with his argument, actually disagrees. Read Professor Bowie’s response to Dershowitz’s insane claims.

Don’t Be Confused by Trump’s Defense. What He Is Accused of Are Crimes.

By Nikolas Bowie

Watching CNN last week, I learned that I’m partly responsible for President Trump’s legal defense.

On the screen was one of the president’s lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, explaining his new position that impeachment requires “criminal-like behavior.” When the legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin interjected that “every single law professor” disagreed with him, Mr. Dershowitz rejoined that one professor — me! — was “completely” on his side.

Mr. Dershowitz encouraged Mr. Toobin to read a law review article I wrote on the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, in which a former Supreme Court justice, Benjamin Curtis, successfully argued that no one should ever be punished for doing something that wasn’t a crime. Mr. Dershowitz apparently thought my article supported his view that even if Mr. Trump did everything the House has accused him of doing, the president shouldn’t be convicted because he hasn’t been accused of criminal behavior.

As an academic, my first reaction was to be grateful that someone had actually read one of my articles.

But as a legal academic, my second reaction was confusion. Even if you think impeachment requires a crime, as I do, that belief hardly supports the president’s defense or Mr. Dershowitz’s position. President Trump has been accused of a crime. Two in fact: “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”

The phrase “abuse of power” appears nowhere in the federal criminal code, which lists thousands of criminal laws passed by Congress over the years. But many crimes aren’t written down in codes. Crimes derived from the “common law” — the body of law developed from judicial opinions and legal treatises rather than statutes — have been a staple of American law for centuries. Today in many states, district attorneys routinely charge people with things like “assault,” “forgery” and “indecent exposure” even where no statute makes those things a crime.

Common-law crimes are no harder to define with precision than crimes written down in a statute. Ask any first-year law students for the common law’s definition of burglary and they’ll (hopefully) be able to tell you: “the breaking and entering of the dwelling house of another in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony.” If someone is accused of burglary in a state where the crime isn’t defined by statute, no defense lawyer would respond by announcing that burglary is vague or made up. Burglary is an established crime, even where its definition exists only in legal treatises and judicial opinions.

President Trump’s defense falls apart for precisely the same reason. As with burglary, American legal treatises and judicial opinions have long recognized the criminal offense of “abuse of power,” sometimes called “misconduct in office.” In 1846, the first edition of the pre-eminent treatise on American criminal law defined this common-law offense as when “a public officer, entrusted with definite powers to be exercised for the benefit of the community, wickedly abuses or fraudulently exceeds them.” The treatise noted that such an officer “is punishable by indictment, though no injurious effects result to any individual from his misconduct.”

Courts from Michigan to Maryland have recently upheld convictions of government officials for committing this common-law crime — despite objections that the crime has never been codified by statute. And the House, in its first article of impeachment, has accused Mr. Trump of exactly what the law prohibits: He “abused the powers of the presidency” for “corrupt purposes in pursuit of a personal political benefit.”

As for “obstruction of Congress,” that’s not only a common-law crime. Versions of the crime have also been listed in the federal criminal code since the 19th century.

Common-law crimes aren’t as common as they once were because they generally have been replaced by statutes, especially at the federal level. The Supreme Court long ago observed that Congress has never passed a law giving all federal district courts jurisdiction to hear common-law crimes. But in making this observation, the Supreme Court cast no doubt on Congress’s power to punish someone for a common-law crime. Since that decision, Congress itself has repeatedlyarrested and punished people for violating the unwritten crimes of contempt and bribery in contexts where the federal contempt of Congress statute doesn’t apply.

As a law professor who occasionally represents indigent criminal defendants, I am deeply troubled by prosecutions under vague, open-ended laws. The principle of legality — that no one should be punished for doing something that wasn’t clearly against the established law — sits at the foundation of any just society. We should all be skeptical of arguments that allow the government to tailor an offense retroactively to suit an obnoxious target.

But that’s not what’s happening to President Trump. And when Mr. Dershowitz defends the president by invoking my own law review article about Justice Benjamin Curtis, he seems to forget that when Curtis made a legality argument to contest President Johnson’s impeachment, Curtis declared, “There can be no crime, there can be no misdemeanor without a law, written or unwritten, express or implied.”

Abuse of power may be “unwritten” in any code, and obstruction of Congress may be “implied” by statutes, but these crimes are now as well established, well defined and destructive of the public trust as bribery or treason. If the president did what the House accuses him of doing, he can and should be punished.

(David Bythewood) #2301

“It’s we the people, not you the douchebag.”



What is seen as common sense on how to distinguish between right and wrong is obfuscated with legalese…which is beyond infuriating.

Yes, T’s activity was wrong and thereby considered an abuse of power. According to Dershowitz and the see-no-evil R’s, it is not.

You wonder what in the world is going on in Chief Justice Roberts head, having heard and seen thousands of lawyers with their lawyer-speak. Wouldn’t it be great is we were able to have a thought bubble above his head and contemplate what he really thinks? :cloud_with_lightning:



It’s the “L’État c’est moi” defense. :prince::joy:


Watch: Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 10

> The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump continues as Senators ask House impeachment managers and the President’s defense team questions


Live blogs:

New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / NBC News / CNN / The Guardian / Politico

(David Bythewood) #2305

Thanks to Claire McCaskill’s accurate takedown of Alan Douchewitz, “Mr. Underwear” is now trending.

(David Bythewood) #2306

Here is Rand Paul violating federal law after Chief Justice Roberts struck down his attempt to out the whistleblower. NAMES REDACTED.


Per NBC reporter Garrett Haake


A new form of gerrymandering from the R’s - we’ll just switch the rules, which fly in the face of common sense and have been illegal (soliciting help from a foreign country)

A new low…

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said on Thursday he has “no problem” with a White House lawyer’s argument that American politicians can accept damaging information on their opponents from a foreign country — a proposal that shocked Democrats.

White House Deputy Counsel Patrick Philbin told senators during Wednesday’s session of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial that it was a “mistake” to believe that any information about a political opponent that originates from a foreign country amounts to improper interference in a U.S. election.

I have no problem with what Philbin said,” Burr told reporters.

Philbin, responding to a question about whether Trump believes foreign interference in an American election is “illegal,” told senators that as long as the information is credible, it is relevant to American voters.


Mr. Underwear accused of worse than that, read, from the New Yorker,

In December, 2014, Giuffre set up a foundation, Victims Refuse Silence, to help survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking. The same month, she filed a motion to join the suit. She claimed that Epstein had abused her, and had trafficked her to powerful friends. She named three: Jean-Luc Brunel, a modelling agent; Prince Andrew; and Alan Dershowitz. She asserted that she’d had sex with Dershowitz at least six times, in Epstein’s various residences, on his island, in a car, and on his plane. When I asked why she had decided to name Dershowitz, she said, “Jeffrey got away with it, basically. And Dershowitz was one of the people who enabled that to happen.” She went on, “Dershowitz thinks he’s a tyrant and can get away with anything. And I wanted to say, I might be as meek as a mouse, but I’m going to hold you accountable.”

(David Bythewood) #2310


Huge holes in the logic…from the JustSecurity legal writers