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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

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#1787

Day 2 House Judiciary Debates Articles of Impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee debated two articles of impeachment against President Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.


#1788

Lots of Impeachment Opinion Op-Eds

Jennifer Rubin (WaPo Conservative Op-Ed writer)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/12/nothing-could-be-more-conclusive-proof-trumps-guilt/

E. J. Dionne

The profound damage President Trump has inflicted on our liberties can be measured by widespread complacency in the face of his administration’s escalating attacks on the rule of law, our public servants and the truth itself.

As Attorney General William P. Barr was reducing the Justice Department to a legal defense and public relations firm, Trump himself (who pretends to be law enforcement’s greatest friend) was attacking the FBI in terms that authoritarians use to prepare the way for persecuting their political enemies.

“Look how they’ve hurt people,” Trump told his supporters Tuesday night in Hershey, Pa… “They’ve destroyed the lives of people that were great people, that are still great people. Their lives have been destroyed by scum. Okay, by scum.”

Please pause here. “Scum” was the word used twice by the president of the United States about those who dedicate their lives to battling wrongdoing and lawlessness. And because he is Trump, the response involved mostly shrugs and head shaking.

When this presidency began, it was commonplace to write off fears that our political and journalistic systems would eventually “normalize” the president’s abuses. The worry was that however strong our system might have been in the past, we would come to accept behavior that had never been acceptable before.

This is exactly what has happened. When the House unveiled impeachment articles on Tuesday, a large share of the reporting and commentary was about the political risks facing Democrats for insisting on something that would once have been uncontroversial: It is a chilling threat to freedom and to democracy for the commander in chief to use his power to press a foreign government to investigate a political opponent.

Update: 12.12.19


#1789

WTFery.

Rep Gaetz gets called out on why he is talking about a substance abuse problem for Hunter Biden…by Rep Hank Johnson (D-GA)

“This is about our conscious …to think it is allowable for a President to get away with this.” By Rep Johnson

update:


(David Bythewood) #1790

In response to the IG report and Trump’s spinning of it:

Trump calls FBI ‘scum’ at rally

Trump called the FBI ‘scum’ and hit out at the report that discredited his theory the Russia probe was a deep-state plot at a wild Pennsylvania rally

“Look how they’ve hurt people,” Trump told his supporters Tuesday night in Hershey, Pa… “They’ve destroyed the lives of people that were great people, that are still great people. Their lives have been destroyed by scum. Okay, by scum.”

How do the victims of Trump’s lies get their reputations back?


We have a joke in my house: “loudest bird wins.” This shouldn’t apply to congress.

House Republicans’ Trump impeachment strategy is simple: Distract, deceive and yell

GOP lawmakers have treated the hearings like Fox New segments, delivering loud, rambling monologues in a deliberate attempt to wear down participants and viewers.


#1791

Some discussions with McConnell perhaps.


(David Bythewood) #1792

So THIS happened during today’s hearings.



Also, as the Senate trial approaches…

There’s a Surprisingly Plausible Path to Removing Trump From Office

It would take just three Republican senators to turn the impeachment vote into a secret ballot. It’s not hard to imagine what would happen then.


(David Bythewood) #1793


Republicans are homing in on 3 main defenses of Trump amid the Ukraine scandal. Here’s why none of them hold up.


#1794

This is a very very long markup, I’ve complied most the update but like Matt, I’m waiting for that vote. Will have to update this thread tomorrow. I have one last class that need my attention today. Keep posting it helps me stay in the loop!

Cross-posting :+1:


#1795

The Justice Department on Thursday quietly published on its website some never-before-seen internal legal opinions that could help President Donald Trump block congressional requests as he faces impeachment by the US House and a trial in the Senate.

Eight of the opinions appear to bolster the White House’s stonewalling of Congress on witness testimony and document subpoenas. The opinions date back to the 1970s, when President Richard Nixon faced impeachment, and the early 1980s. One from 1982 was written by the former head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the request of Rudy Giuliani, who at the time worked within the Justice Department.

Some of the opinions appear to have been made public before, and some have only been cited by the Justice Department in other legal arguments. Those released Thursday hadn’t all been collected before on the Justice Department’s central website regarding its internal legal opinions.

A Justice Department official acknowledging the releases said these opinions were cited in the Office of Legal Counsel’s more recent opinion that former Trump White House counsel Don MGahn should be immune from subpoenaed congressional testimony. The House has sued for McGahn to testify, winning at the trial court stage, and the Justice Department is appealing. The newly released opinions were requested by the House as part of the McGahn lawsuit, according to the official.


#1796

updated

National Security Council’s Ukraine expert, Alex Vindman, and Vice President Mike Pence’s national security aide, Jennifer Williams, testified before Congress that they first learned of the hold-up as early as July 3.

The possibility of a hold up when it was announced on July 18 immediately sparked confusion and concerns from national security officials and diplomats, prompting a series of NSC-led inter-agency meetings, during which officials came to a unanimous conclusion that the security assistance should be resumed, according to several witnesses’ testimony in the House impeachment inquiry.

Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, told House investigators that aides at the Pentagon were confused by the hold on the financial aid because the Defense Department had certified the financial transfer in May when Ukraine had met the necessary anti-corruption benchmarks. She said senior aides were unclear how everything would “play out” legally.

So the comments in the room at the deputies’ level reflected a sense that there was not an understanding of how this could legally play out,” she told Congress, according to the transcript of her interview behind closed doors before the public hearings. “And at that meeting, the deputies agreed to look into the legalities and to look at what was possible.”

In September, shortly after House committees launched a wide-ranging investigation into whistleblower allegations that Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and others attempted to pressure Zelenskiy’s government to dig into the president’s political rival, the Ukraine aid was suddenly released.

Updated


#1797

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.


#1798

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.


(Matt Kiser) #1799

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


#1800

Perfect


#1801

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.


#1802

Cross-posting :pray:


#1803

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.


#1804

Summary of the Impeachment Inquiry into Trump

December 2nd-13th


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


General Congressional News:

News:

The President’s Public Remarks:

Sideshow Rudy:

Justice Department:

Documents:

Public Hearings:


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


Day 1058
#1805

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.

Created:

Dec 13, 2019


#1806

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?