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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump


(David Bythewood) #2312

I am a bad person:

I regret nothing.



The House should start these new impeachment proceedings today.

A Justice Department lawyer said Thursday in federal court that the House can impeach a president over ignored subpoenas, a noted contrast to what lawyers for President Donald Trump are arguing at his Senate impeachment trial this week.

Asked by a federal judge what the House can do to enforce its subpoenas, Justice Department lawyer James Burnham said without hesitation that the House can use its impeachment powers, among other options, like withholding appropriations.

A few hours later, lead Democratic House manager Adam Schiff mentioned Burnham’s assertion during Trump’s impeachment trial.

“In the category of you can’t make this stuff up,” Schiff said on the Senate floor. “The judge says if the Congress can’t enforce its subpoenas in court, then what remedy is there? And the Justice Department lawyer’s response is impeachment.”

Eliciting laughter from the senators, Schiff, a California Democrat, continued, “You can’t make this up. I mean, what more evidence do we need of the bad faith of this effort to cover up?”

Trump is fighting charges of abuse of power over his Ukraine dealings, and obstructing Congress for ordering his aides to defy subpoenas. Trump’s lawyers say the President was lawfully protecting the executive branch in a dispute with Congress over documents and testimony.


This point about Rudy Giuliani by Schiff is excellent. We don’t know who Is paying Rudy, Trump has said he doesn’t pay Rudy to carry out these schemes. It’s a WTF moment.

Click tweet for video.

Who’s paying for Rudy’s work?

The question

Who pays for Rudy Giuliani’s travel and work on President Donald Trump’s behalf?

Who asked

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) asked the question to the House managers and the president’s counsel.

The answer

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) replied, “I don’t know who’s paying Rudy Giuliani’s fees.” He then noted that Giuliani has said several times that his work was on behalf of Trump not in his capacity as president, but as a private citizen.

“The whole country is paying the freight for it,” Schiff added.

Trump attorney Jay Sekulow responded, assailing Schiff for raising the issue and pivoting to claims about former Vice President Joe Biden. He also attacked three Democratic senators, whom he said had asked Ukraine to cooperate with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation amid reports that the government might be pulling back its support.

Why it matters

There have long been questions about how Giuliani has been paid for his work on Trump’s behalf — especially because he is not a U.S. government employee. Reed’s question underscored Giuliani’s unusual role as the president’s personal attorney, who also happened to be involving himself in U.S. foreign policy at Trump’s direction.


A move I’ve been thinking about.

I’m wondering if the House should have a subpoena to Bolton locked and loaded and, if there is a vote in the Senate for no witnesses, immediately (within minutes) issue that subpoena. This will put Republican Senators on notice that the damning evidence Bolton has, (the evidence that Republicans are so desperate to hide), will be heard by the nation. And the nation can thank the Democrats for that and shame the Republicans for their attempted cover up. If there is a no-vote on witnesses, we need to sound the trumpet at once and keep blaring it until November and beyond. :trumpet:


Engel has hinted at as much and he’s the only one home still authorized by HRes. 660.

01/19/20 House Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn’t

(David Bythewood) #2318




I haven’t perused this in depth yet. It looks like the most important takeaway here will be further confirmation that Trump is outright lying when he says he “doesn’t know the guy.”



Analysis of first recording released by Parnas shows significant engagement between Parnas and the President. Parnas has 79 exchanges with Trump.

Now that Parnas has released another recording of him speaking with Trump, it’s a good time to look again at that first recording. One thing I’m surprised about is that the media did not fully convey (IMO), how substantive Parnas’s conversation with the President was. This wasn’t just a passing remark or two shouted across the room; Parnas and the President engaged in a meaningful way – and surely Trump had to remember that (after all, in his own words, “nobody has a better memory than me”).

In addition, there will be records of the fact that Parnas was at these dinners. All Trump’s team had to do was check the lists of donors that have attended these events. I can speak from experience – I attended similar events for Mike Levin (Rep., D), here in CA-49 and received thank you letters and emails and, of course, follow up requests for more contributions.

And, because this is the President, there would have been security records, too.

So, Trump and his team knew for certain that it was more than just selfies that Parnas had with the President. It was actual sit-down conversations.

But back to that first recording. Here again is a link to the audio, which admittedly is tedious to listen to, so I don’t think you should feel you need to slog through the whole thing. Fortunately, there’s a transcript which is also below. You can easily search on “Parnas” and scroll to the parts of the dinner conversation in which Parnas was having a one-on-one with the President.

I’m not focusing here on what was said (which is certainly important), but just the fact that these exchanges were substantive enough that we can say for certain the President is lying when he claims he doesn’t know Parnas. He may not have known him by name, but he would have recalled once he saw Parnas’s photo, and once an aide reminded him, “remember that guy at the Trump Hotel dinner who wanted you to legalize pot and who bad mouthed Yovanovitch, prompting you to have her fired on the spot?” Yeah, that guy, Mr. President.

Here are a couple screen shots of a search on “Parnas” – he makes remarks to the president 79 times – many of those are just “chiming in,” but many are parts of significant one-on-one engagements. You can scroll through yourself to reach the same conclusion. (Again, I’m only focusing here on the extent of their engagement, not the content.)

Note: The search count reflects 4 mentions of Parnas in the introduction to the transcript and 79 instances of Parnas speaking to Trump.

The yellow ticks down the right margin indicate the times Parnas spoke with the President. You can see how he and Trump basically dominated the conversation throughout the middle portion of the dinner.

At the time this recording was released, I had an incorrect perception of the degree of Trump and Parnas’s interaction at the dinner, as I believe many other people did. Although the press referred to this as an “intimate dinner,” I still assumed (for some reason, I don’t know why) that Parnas just made a couple remarks to the President – so I still thought there was some wiggle room for Trump to “plausibly deny” he knew Parnas. However, looking more closely at the conversation from the first dinner (and now with a recording from a another dinner thrown in as well), we can only conclude that Trump outright lied when he said he didn’t know Parnas – and that leaves the door open for wondering why would he lie? What is he hiding? Could it be that in the subsequent months Trump spoke often with Giuliani about the work that Parnas was doing for both of them in furthering their corrupt extortion scheme?

Conclusion: Giuliani must testify about his conversations with Trump and if they included discussions about Parnas’s activies in Ukraine.

(David Bythewood) #2323


Cross-posting :raised_hands:

(David Bythewood) #2325

This sounds worse at first than it is, but it will come up, I am sure. It might almost be a fair thing he said, back when he had some modicum of integrity.

Claim: Alan Dershowitz once said he was “not happy seeing Nixon’s gang being tried by blacks and liberals” in D.C.
Snopes Rating: Correct Attribution

The jury now hearing the Watergate coverup trial is confined where news of the trial cannot reach it and possibly affect its deliberations.

Nonetheless, U.S. District Court Judge John Sirica should have moved the trial from Washington to insure an impartial jury, Bailey and Dershowitz said.

“I’m not happy seeing Richad Nixon’s gang being tried by blacks and liberals in the Disrict of Columbia,” said Dershowitz.

He thought it would have been “a lot fairer” to have moved the trial to “a district of Maryland where [the 1972 election] was very close, and where you had a mixture of whites and blacks.”



(David Bythewood) #2327


For the Question
“If Bolton were to testify in the light most favorable to the articles of impeachment, wouldn’t the allegations still not rise to the level of an impeachable offense, and therefore his testimony would add nothing to this case?”

(David Bythewood) #2329

David Corn is quite an apt “assholes to Americans” translator.


4 takeaways from the second day of questions in Trump’s impeachment trial

Senators are in the second and last day of questions in President Trump’s impeachment trial. They are expected to take votes Friday on whether to extend the trial by calling witnesses or to end it by voting to acquit or convict.

Below are four key takeaways from the second day of the Q&A portion of the trial so far. Here are the takeaways from the first day of questions.

The short version

  1. Trump’s defense still hasn’t answered key questions about his intent

  2. The fallout over the Trump team’s foreign interference argument [from Dershowitz]

  3. Rand Paul’s attempt to publicly out the whistleblower

  4. Democrats are increasingly pessimistic about winning the fight over witnesses