Three things have happened in recent days that should have any logical person convinced that President Trump is a liar and guilty of the thing he's being impeached for:
1. His lawyers have asserted that the reason for withholding aid to Ukraine had to due with the fact they were responsible for interfering in the 2016 election.
(This is a conspiracy theory. Debunked by the intelligence community. It's also what Russia wants us to believe. Why would Trump's lawyers be promoting a Russian story? Worse, if Ukraine is responsible for interfering in our elections, why would you trust them to investigate your political rivals? None of that makes any sense, but it's downright frightening that Trump's lawyers would promote that explanation. Scary.)
2. The Lev Parnas tape, recorded at a small gathering, wherein President Trump advocates for "taking out" Ukraine ambassador Marie Yavonovitch.
(First, Trump has claimed he doesn't know Lev Parnas, yet he was near enough to him that this tape was recorded. So his claim would appear to be untrue. A lie. Other than that, I don't have any problem with him firing her. He has a right to do that. However, he should have just cut that cord. Instead he instigated a campaign to have her discredited and ruined.)
3. John Bolton's book wherein he claims that Trump told him directly that they should withhold the aid to Ukraine until they investigated Joe Biden and others.
(This is at the heart of the whole case. Again, more evidence that this was Trump's intent - to withhold the aid for personal, political gain. Of course, this question is easily solved by having Bolton testify, which one would think everyone would favor if they want to get to the truth.)
Given these three items, I don't see how it's possible to believe that Trump is innocent. The only defense now is to assert that Trump did not do anything wrong. That none of this amounts to an impeachable offense.
This is the defense we will see pushed hard - he never did anything wrong in the first place.
And if that's true, why is Trump's defense pushing any other argument and undermining their own case?
By necessity, the best argument now is that he did nothing wrong. I think that is the argument that will be pushed the most. It's the only thing that makes sense because you can't argue that what he is accused of was wrong, but he didn't do that.
Bolton has thrown a monkey wrench into the Impeachment proceedings. Will we see more blindness to Trump's criminality, or will the GOP vote to call him? I'm fearful it's the former.
I don't think they'll call any witnesses.
I didn't think so either until the Bolton manuscript came to light. But now, Romney said he'll vote for witnesses and documents and there are other members of the GOP leaning toward it as well.
In either case, there will be more coming out everyday making the GOP look bad if they stick their heads in the sand protecting the criminal.
How many others? Enough to give us hope?
I hope so! Bolton's bombshells will continue to cast doubt on the Trump defense.
I will say, I listened to Alan Dershowitz and found his argument to be persuasive that because no crime was committed and Trump has not been charged with a crime, it's not enough to impeach. I would recommend everyone listen to what he had to say and consider the impact on our nation seriously.
Hi Crankalicious, to your point I would offer two thoughts. Although not part of the official charges, according to the GAO Pres. Trump did break an actual law, so there is an actual crime. whether the Democrats have missed an opportunity, or not, is another matter.
Also, relative to Dershowitz's point, whether Pres. Trump's apparent abuse of power is an impeachable offense is also, as I see it, a validly arguable point.
To the last point, I do not see his "crime" as warranting removal from office. Censure yes, removal no.
We all know that Trump will be acquitted by the Lilly livered GOP dominated Senate.
But the acceptance of witnesses as part of the proceeding will at least serve to inform the public that there was a fair evaluation as to Trump's innocence or guilt. A kangaroo court of cover up must be shown to reflect poorly on the current administration.
Really? After your first sentence I have little doubt that you will maintain an opinion of "guilty" regardless of any "fair evaluation". It won't matter one whit whether there are witnesses called or not; Trump will forever remain GUILTY! in your opinion.
The same for you, Dan. Even if by some miracle the Senators vote to impeach, you'll say he's not guilty. It works both ways.
Now why would you say that? Has the TDS destroyed you memory or are you making stuff up again?
I've clearly stated that I think he is guilty, just as I've clearly said it has not been proven. The only real difference between us is that you are willing to declare guilt, without any doubt, without any proof.
I've witnessed plenty of proof from those who should know as they were involved in Trump's scheme. Why should I doubt the words of career diplomats against the word of a known liar. I'd believe those people over the cretin every time.
Are you in agreement with Trump it was a "perfect and beautiful," call?
You should doubt it because you don't understand the difference between "proof" and "opinion". Take the advice of someone that does understand the difference.
What Holmes reported was first hand info, but if you want to call it opinion, then so be it. Do you believe he lied about what he heard Trump say? If so, what was his motive to do so?
With Sondland agreement with Holme's description of the call, why is this just doubt and not proof in your mind? What was Sondland's motivation to lie?
Now we Have Bolton backing up all of the other witness testimony. What is his motivation to lie? Are they all Trump Haters? And Kelly believes Bolton over Trump.
My opinion is irrelevant. Somehow, Wilderness you keep on this silly idea that any alleged wrongdoing by Trump can only be linked to those harboring some sort of secret vendetta against him. Has it occurred to you that most of the people having trouble with Trump and his behavior are merely following the evidence?
You, yourself, acknowledged that he did it, why do YOU think that he is guilty? Does it have anything to do with TDS?
So, let's bring on the witnesses, both sides are free to present their respective cases, what is it that Trump people want to hide?
If he is acquitted, of course, how can I say that he remains guilty? And even if I do, what does it matter?
What evidence? All I've seen is testimony as to what the "witnesses" opinions are.
I don't know how you can say he is guilty of acquitted. Of course, I don't know how you can say it now, either!
Yes, the House blew it in their rush to push the Impeachment through, ignoring the courts, bypassing the needed efforts to gather evidence and vet their witnesses.
They didn't build a case, they threw a biased partisan party that flaunted their majority to be able to Impeach the President simply because they were able to... it was, I am sure, a dramatic political show that they used to pound their message over and over (wouldn't waste the time myself to watch the imbeciles blather on) ... but it was short on facts and evidence good enough to actually Impeach and remove the President.
So you didn't watch the House case, but knew what they said and did. You'd make a hell of a juror for Trump or OJ.
I didn't have to watch however many days of them repeating their ignorant statements to know they had nothing that would stand scrutiny.
I spent ten minutes listening to experts far more informed than I dissect their public display of arrogance and ignorance to know that is what they presented.
I don't have the time in my life to waste listening to biased fools blather their ignorance to the world, all the while thinking they are proving themselves brilliant in the doing... if that is what floats your boat, have at it, I can understand why you find it so appealing.
I am equally critical of the House impeachment process Ken, but I am being pushed to being critical for a different reason now. Primarily because they are turning impeachment from a remedy process into just another political tool.
Indeed, they are, and for some of us who didn't give the benefit of the doubt to the House Democrats, who have all along been clamoring to impeach Trump since before he was sworn in, we did not have to wait to get to this point to realize this was no more than a political power grab.
When you spend more than two years promising to do something, and then you do it... it is obviously not being driven by a recent event, that is just the excuse you found viable enough to justify your act.
A "political power grab". This could not be more obvious. Given the murkiness of the question, and that the impeachment vote was almost 100% along party lines (only two Democrat representatives voting against, both in highly conservative districts and zero Republican representatives voting for) there is no question that it is a political power grab.
So just let him get away from meddling in the next election as he got caught trying to do once already, right Ken? Are you positive he won't try again? What if he does, will the precedent set by the Senate trial let him do this without fear of impeachment again?
Or is he too smart for that to happen? I seriously doubt it!
I disagree, Crank. Abuse of power covers crimes of all sorts. A misdemeanor can be a jaywalking infraction. Extortion of another country is a bit more serious than this.
Elizabeth Warren, also a lawyer, disagrees with Dershowitz's interpretation. Still, he has an interesting argument that I'm willing to entertain.
Damn Crankalicious. Your comment prompted me to find Dershowitz's full Senate-floor presentation. And I can see why you are willing to "entertain" it.
Kudos to you for that. I found his presentation so compelling that I am seriously considering changing my prior opinion on the 'High crimes and misdemeanor' determination.
I was so moved by his presentation that I watched it a second time without interruptions. Now I am off to find a counter-point to his position just to be sure I can be comfortable with my change of opinion.
Here is the full NPR link to his presentation, I highly recommend that folks that have only seen the news clips of his presentation, (formerly like myself), pay the price of an hour's viewing to hear hin out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqmhfyH09jM
Have you seen his testimony in an earlier trial where he says just the opposite, Gus? I don't remember if it was at the Clinton trial or not, but its been on the news lately.
If I'm not mistaken, the House used a clip in their presentation.
He spoke of that in his presentation. It was during Clinton's impeachment. His explanation is that after Clinton he was prompted/forced to dig deeper to support his opinion—and he has changed his mind after further research.
That sounds plausible, smart, and the mark of an open-mind to me. But still, that episode is one of the things I am digging into to be sure of my new opinion. I will get back to you after I find it, but I feel confident 'partisan hack or paid flunkie' aren't labels that would fit him.
If anything, you might call him wrong in his interpretation, but even then I think it would be an "honest" wrong and not an agenda-driven wrong.
He has presented me with a challenge because I initially disagreed with his declaration, but now I am beginning to think I am the one that was wrong. I have to work this out for myself, but he presented a damn convincing case.
He always does Gus, after all he got OJ off in a trial with the most evidence against a client we've ever seen. He attacked every piece of evidence with loads of BS as he's doing now.
Donald OJ Trump. You like the sound of it, Gus? If not, get used to it.
"Loads of BS"? You could be right Randy. That is still something for me to determine, (relative to his impeachment argument), but, the documented support for his contentions is not BS.
For instance, his citations for the convention debate regarding what should be the parameters for an impeachable offense is well documented in historical records. As are the Supreme Court justices and other Constitutional scholars' opinions he cited in support of his argument.
As a serious question, do you think any of those are BS? Remember, he isn't arguing Trump is innocent, he is arguing that the specific impeachment charges are Constitutionally invalid.
I know what he argued, Gus. Attempted bribery and extortion are crimes, no matter how you spin it. To argue this isn't impeachable is grasping for straws. I don't believe the founding fathers would agree with Alan.
Then that's what he should have been charged with, isn't it?
Abuse of power covers both bribery, extortion, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Ah. A simple statement that "I think there is something fishy" then, rather than specific crimes. This is exactly why GA's link said it was unacceptable.
Everything points to Trump's trying to bribe Zellinksky for his own personal advantage in the 2020 election. Do you really believe he's above doing so? Seriously, do you even care if he did it?
No, I do not believe he is above that.
Do YOU believe you know why he did it, without having a crystal ball and without testimony that he gave that reason? Or is your assumption adequate to assign guilt?
On a side issue, but one very relevant to this question, do you find that Trump can never have any political opponent investigated regardless of any illegal actions? Can a Democrat never propose investigation of any Republican and vice versa?
And finally, is sitting as judge and jury by Trump's opponent in the next election a violation in the same manner? Even if they believe there was wrongdoing, do they have the right to actually sit on the jury to convict him? How is that different, except of course that Trump cannot convict and remove HIS opponents as Warren and the others can - just look at what they did?
But, but . . . Attempted bribery and extortion aren't the charges of impeachment Randy. No matter how you spin it.
It's not an abuse of power to bribe a foreign country for one's own benefit? Then what is? A list would be fine.
Does your list request assume I would answer no to your question?
Not at all, Gus. Just wondering what you consider an impeachable offense?
An inadequate reply would be actions that rise to the level of treason and bribery in severity. A serious reply would require an almost book-length essay on all possible presidential actions.
But I will throw you a bone. I do not believe Pres. Trump's Ukraine-issue actions rise to a level of warranting removal from office. If Impeachment was not automatically conflated with conviction and removal from office in the mind of the general public I could say that I do agree Pres. Trump's actions in this issue do rise to the level of impeachment as a form of censure—which I think he does deserve, but when impeachment includes removal from office I cannot say that.
Okay, as long as you guarantee he won't do it again, Gus.
Damn Randy. That was an excellent quip. Seriously, I don't do sarcasm well, so I mean that.
May I add to your opinion what was not stated.
Had the House followed precedence and procedure in their efforts to put forth a case to the Senate for Trump's Impeachment, perhaps we could consider to what level his actions deserve being addressed.
But the House did not do its job, it did not gather actual evidence. It did not prove its position. It did not put forth to the courts any request for information or access to 'witnesses'.
The House said essentially: "We can Impeach the President so we will, there is nothing in the rules saying we have to have definitive proof of crimes or treason, we can just decide we feel he has done it, and Impeach based on our beliefs and opinions... facts and law are irrelevant"
That is the issue, and should this pass muster in the Senate, should Trump suffer any judgement, be it nothing more than censure, then we are fast approaching the end of the Republic, and this will be a key watermark point for its end.
Wish Dershowitz had addressed the sixth amendment as well. This is something that I continue to wonder about; if a crime has been committed (as required) for an impeachment, doesn't the sixth amendment requirement for an impartial jury come into place for the trial? With 4 Senators competing for his job, it seems more than passing strange that they can be considered "impartial" jurors as they vote to find guilt or to remove Trump from the job they covet. We would never, ever allow either a judge or juror to have the conflict of interest they do, but I have yet to see anything at all on the question.
I agree with your point. Can you imagine the arguments against that if the Democrats lost 3 of their 47 votes because of it?
The rationalizations would be incredible. Although not much worse that a raft of witnesses that have nothing to offer but "I presume" or "I assume".
Careful! Dont say wrong! Dershowitz could hear/read you.
Alan would defend Adolf Hitler if it paid enough. Look who he's defending now. Trump was innocent, even if he did try to get a foreign power to meddle in our elections.
A real patriot...to the Right!
Thank you for that recommendation.
Wise man, in a world with so few left.
I have concluded that people that tolerate Trump have started to embody the very nature of his conduct. Misinformed and intentionally misleading.
In spite of the fact that with 99 percent certainty we all know who is buried in Grant's tomb, the GOP is playing games saying that we now need to open the box to actually see.
Republicans and conservatives say that we can 't handle the truth.
A man is writing a book to make money from. And he will reportedly make claims that are substantiated nowhere else in his book.
This is what you present as unassailable truth - proof beyond a reasonable doubt - something that makes it impossible to believe anything else?
I presented it as more evidence in a mountain of evidence that supports the assertion that Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
Unfortunately your "mountain of evidence" is a molehill of opinions, mostly from people who highly dislike Trump and often have reason to. People he has fired, for instance, or publicly disgraced.
Of course the whole thing hinges not on wanting Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, but on the reason he wanted it done. A world of difference; it is well proven that he wanted an investigation (Trump said so himself). There is zero reason to present "evidence" of the request for an investigation as there is no offense, impeachable or not.
Unfortunately, that makes zero sense. The issue at hand is whether or not Trump withheld Congressionally-approved aid because he demanded that Ukraine investigate for his personal benefit. That's abuse of power.
"Trump said so himself)."
This one of the funniest posts you've ever made, Dan. Thanks!
He also has reams of contemporary notes and documents which back up his story. But then, he probably made them up because he's one of us "haters."
I think what we should see, is that it be 'thrown out'.
If the House had done its job correctly, as was done in past Impeachments, and gone through the process of vetting witnesses and availing the court system, perhaps indeed this would be a non-issue and most Americans would agree with the findings.
But the House did NOT do that, they did NOTHING that resembled fair, impartial, or thorough investigative work.
What the House did was completely biased and political.
And the LACK of evidence and substantiated proof DEMANDS that the Senate denounce their efforts and toss the case out... dismiss it, or whatever terminology and definition works.
If the House had done its job, correctly, following prior precedence and procedure, this would be a non issue... they would have the evidence they wanted, NOT hearsay, NOT opinion, and the proceedings in the Senate would have been forced to deal with the facts.
This has been a mockery of what the Impeachment process was meant to be, as bad as what the Republicans did to Clinton over his sexual dalliances had been, at least they followed the letter of the law, the rules and precedence of the past... and despite doing so they paid the price politically.
It should be infuriating to any Trump hater, that the House pushed this through with nothing to support it other than opinions and hearsay, and then leaving it to the Republican led Senate to decide what be done with it.
What trial are you watching, Ken. Or are you watching at all. What part of the House inquiry dod you believe was done wrong? Why didn't Barr do his job and appoint a Special prosecutor? We know why. He's protecting the POTUS rather than the country.
I believe the House wanted to call a number of witnesses and the White House wouldn't allow them to testify. So is it your opinion that the White House is guilty? That they stonewalled? That they had something to hide? That they obstructed justice? Any of those?
I seriously doubt Ken really knows about the process the House used because the toady Barr refused to appoint a Special Prosecutor.
As he admitted, he didn't watch much, but he knows what happened anyway.
Yes I have seen this argument typed before.
But as I understand it, if they had availed themselves of the courts, and challenged the Executive Privilege being used to bar those witnesses, they could have then gained access to those witnesses.
The Democrats in the House did not care if they were creating a Constitutional crises, they did not care if they were harming the separation of powers, the ability of future Presidents to do their job, past precedence, the law, none of it.... it was a political power play, it was a lashing out against Trump and to hell with the consequences to the Republic or future of America.
The argument that they didn't have the time to follow proper procedure is not an excuse, if you cannot allow for due procedure and process, vetting of facts and truths, then what you have is not a Republic, what you have is mob rule and malfeasance by the majority party of the House.
I must ask, are you watching the trial?
1. His lawyers have asserted that the reason for withholding aid to Ukraine had to due with the fact they were responsible for interfering in the 2016 election."
The defense has in no respect claimed that the aid was held up due to interference in the 2016 election.
"2. The Lev Parnas tape, recorded at a small gathering, wherein President Trump advocates for "taking out" Ukraine ambassador Marie Yavonovitch."
The tape has not been verified, and if one listens to the tape they will hear someone that may or may not be beTrump saying in a jovial tone "get rid of her" and the others laughing as he made a joke. Marie was not removed until 13 months after that comment. That is a fact.
"3. John Bolton's book wherein he claims that Trump told him directly that they should withhold the aid to Ukraine until they investigated Joe Biden and others."
This is a second-hand media report from the NYT. No one has seen this book, and we have no idea if this statement is being provided in a full context or if it is even in the book. It would be prudent to have this book looked at perhaps Chief Justice Roberts could suggest the manuscript be viewed to ascertain if itis of value as evidence in this impeachment.
The language of the Constitution will and should exonerate the president. One must remember this is not a court of law. What I have witnessed is the House presented a very weak case for impeachment. And the Senate is doing their job with what they have been handed. The defense has pointed out so many problems with how Pelosi did not follow the proper procedures from the very beginning of this procedure.
It may not be time to cry foul, but realize the there just was and is no proof to impeach the president. Lots of smoke, just no gun. One should not be condemned when a crime cannot be proven with facts.
Please keep in mind, this is my opinion, a slight rebuttal of the information that crankalicious has provided.
In other words, everyone is lying except the person who's lied over 10,000 times since being elected and continues to do so at an alarming rate, correct?
Randy, In no respect, have I accused anyone that testified a liar. In fact, the defense has used much of their testimony (In its proper context) to show that they themselves claimed their testimony was opinion-oriented. I found each and every witness well versed in their field, and in my opinion, gave truthful information. However, much of the information was second-hand, hearsay, and opinion-oriented. The only example of first hand was the overheard Sondland call, where the gentleman overheard Trump say ---" will he do the investigation"? However, the conversation between Sondland and the gentleman is Soundland giving an opinion.on what he thought Trump's attitude was on a subject. Plus, the overheard call was a day after Trump asked Zelinsky to start an investigation. Seems Trump might be curious and ask Sondland if he felt Zelinsky was going to do the investigation. One has to keep in mind Trump never denied asking Zelinsky to investigate the Biden's and CrowdStrike.
Not one claimed to have evidence to support any form of crime. Most just providing concerns about the call, and or the aid being held up
In regards to the WAPO lie list, one only needs to consider what they are listing as lies, to realize most are based on trump's statement taken out of context. I gave up keeping up with the list due to just realizing that fact.
I am curious, what part of my comment do you feel I called anyone a liar?
Randy, I am not calling anyone involved a liar. I am simply pointing out in the case of Lev's and the Bolton information has not been verified as of yet. Both reports seem to hold water. But, nothing has been verified on either alligations.
Bolton has not given any form of a statement from himself or his attorney in regard to the content of the leak. I would believe him if he directly gives a statement, and actually clarifies the NYT vague statement and clarify it, give context to it. Randy, I will be buying his book, and reading it. I just think we need to know the full statement, as well as the rest of the conversation that took place.
In regard to Lev, Someone here did leave a link that enabled me to listen to the tape. Naturally, I could only recognize one voice, the rest in the tape were others at the gathering. The voice I recognized appeared to be Trump's and he did say what was reported. Although, while listening to the tape I noted from beginning to end there was constant levity, lots of laughing. When Trump made that statement the laughing increased as if he may have been joking. I don't condone that kind of behavior.
If I had to make a judgment if it were Trump, I believe it was. I have not heard much on the tape in the past weeks.
"Randy, I will be buying his book, and reading it. I just think we need to know the full statement, as well as the rest of the conversation that took place."
Is that why he refused to testify earlier? Because he was writing a book and figured he would get more sales if this gem became known but never stated? Makes more than a little sense; just an attempt to gain more money from the whole thing.
Does that taint anything he says? You decide.
The way he conducted himself when first asked to testify and then making an abrupt change in attitude after he was fired could give way to speculate this the reason he wrote a scorching book about his time in the Trump White House. It is possible his rendition of his one on ones with Trump could be tainted.
Although Trump has the right to bring a lawsuit for defamation to rebuke anything that he feels a mistruth.
I will say that the book was put together very quickly, and seemed to be leaked at just the appropriate time to aid the impeachment trial. As I said I feel it odd that Bolton has not confirmed or denied the leak as of yet. This looks more like a "buy the book ploy". And what I have found with that kind of ploy, as a rule, the book delivers very little that it was promised to.
I think most people would trust Bolton's word over a known liar, Dan.
Rest assured there will be even more damning evidence in the coming days, Shar. Apparently Lev is smarter than he looks--not a criticism as I hope I am too--and has reportedly documented many exchanges with those "in the loop," as well as, the "Three Amigos."
When one deals in the world of scoundrels, one needs to cover one's back. No telling what he has.
I have to agree, I expect more from both Bolton and Lev, and I don't think it will be too long.
But it will be too late. If Trump screws up again, this time with more damage to our country or citizens, the Senate Cons cannot claim they didn't have a chance to stop him.
Hmm. You mean like the exploding economy, right? Or the beautiful employment picture. Maybe the falling illegal border crossings? Or do you refer to how he screwed up and wages rose as a result?
Sorry, Randy, but Con's don't want to stop these things; such a desire is left to the Libs that feel that (their) ends always justifies the means and puts no limit on what they will do to remove Trump from Washington so they can control it themselves.
Randy, other than our society's morale, what damage do you feel Trump has done to the country. And what would you imagine him doing that will do damage to the country or our citizens?
I do understand many feel he has alienated some allies with his agenda in regard to foreign policy. However, I don't feel he has done damage. One must keep in mind presidents have term limits, and each, as a rule, introduce their own agenda. This president may leave the country better than he found it in some respect. In some ways, he may leave it in need of change. But don't most presidents?
In regard to the Senate. I think they did their job in securing the Constitution and set a good precedent due to this impeachment. It will set a precedent to ensure the House will take the time needed to present a case they can prove before handing it to the Senate. WE will never know how this impeachment would have played out if the House took the time to fight for their beliefs. AS of now this impeachment did nothing but leave us all with questions, and opinions.
My own question --- envolved so many whys. Why did the house not take all the time needed to get every witness? When they saw the roadblocks from the WH and the DOJ is when they should have used all the powers the House is provided via the Constitution. What's ironic is the Trump's defense used the Constitution as well as our Government laws to beat the house. The House should have fought fire with fire.
As I said the only good is a solid precedent has been set in regard to how impeachment should be handled in the investigatory phase.
So, this was not all for naught.
If Trump has alienated some "allies" by requiring they pay their share of costs then they weren't much of an "ally". Or so it seems to me - I have an aversion to "friends" that think more of my wallet than they do of me.
Yes, I agree with your sentiment. In my own opinion, I feel Trump's very progressive foreign policies have gleaned more respect than it lost. I think he uses a very common-sense approach in regard to foreign policy. He keeps it very uncomplicated. I am impressed with the work he is doing to giving a stab at trying to solve the long growing Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Like he needed this on his plate. It is clear he continues to do his job under extreme pressure.
Trump is the laughingstock of the world, Shar. No matter how much money they pay he's still a figure of comedy. You guys love his lies, but others know better than to trust this cretin on anything he says.
Well, ya know, Randy, it's just them damned, snooty liberal eggheads who think they're smarter and better than him. Who cares about knowledge, education, culture, manners, and cooperation between civilized nations when you can have a loud-mouthed, cheating bully like Trump in charge and representing the good ol' boys of the good ol' U. S. of A.?
Yep, with their reading, and spelling, and all that waste of time stuff.
Who needs that $hit? We've got King Trump to bribe them fureners for the good ol' U.S. of A. If Trump does it, you know it's good for 'Murica.
oh lordy, lordy . . .
Was I supposed to buy a ticket, or is this a free show?
I do believe you've been in the peanut gallery the entire time, Gus!
Gus, you don't have to buy a ticket. Remember the song from Li'l Abner, "What's Good for General Bullmoose is Good for the USA." We are seeing it performed for real now.
It's just the preview; the actual show starts late next November with high pitched wailing, gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair from the scalp.
GA, if you think this is a show, where have you been for the last three years? The minority of voters wanted to see a boorish reality TV star run their country. Now, that's a show.
Randy, Many countries have thought us laughable for many years. However, now there is a tone of hypocrisy in the tone of that laughter. Keep in mind one of Trump's biggest promises was to put America first. I think he has kept a good balance. He clearly respects other countries' right to govern without pushing America's views. I have found his views fair and realistic when dealing with foreign matters.
He sort of just keeps his nose out when he can.
Yes indeed, he meddles in the Ukraine and gets away with it. Even some of the Republican Senators admit he was wrong in doing so. But you don't seem to care if he breaks the law, and probably never will.
The OMB just released a document via the FIA proving Trump was trying to extort the Ukraine in June, long before the call to Zelensky.
Doesn't sound like he "clearly respects other country's right to govern without pushing America's views" to me.
Perhaps you can enlighten me on your comment?
I now the Center for Public Integrity sued and got access to them in December through the Freedom of Information Act. had not heard any report on derogatory evidence coming from the emails.
So far I have not been able to locate any document released by the OMB that claims any proof that Trump was trying to extort Ukraine in June, long before the call to Zelensky. I know from the impeachment proceedings the Defense proved Trump was concerned in June about what other Countries were paying in aid, and there were emails in regard to that concern. Is that what you are referring to?
Who reported that?
The document was released this morning, Shar. I haven't looked for it online because I saw a copy of it on one of the real news shows. This excludes Fox, of course.
I will continue to sech for the info. Again, Randy, I don't tune into much talk jock media. Most news can be found online.
Here's one link with several stories about the documents being released through the FIA, Shar.
https://www.americanoversight.org/omb-r … -oversight
Yes, we found out the oversight from Congress can literally be stonewalled for the length of a POTUS's term. And this is perfectly acceptable for those on the Right.
I wonder how you'll feel when a POTUS from the left does the same thing. There's precedent now, andyou won't be able to complain about it. Donald OJ Trump. Hail to the new king!
Randy, I feel you are wrong here.
"Yes, we found out the oversight from Congress can literally be stonewalled for the length of a POTUS's term"
The House can turn around tomorrow if they find an impeachable offense. However, they will need to consider how the president's defense will fall back on the Constitution, and our own laws and protocols. This seemed to be the problem this time around.
I can guarantee you if there is a next time around the House will use all their power and take all the time they need to get witnesses.
"I wonder how you'll feel when a POTUS from the left does the same thing."
I won't like it, any more than I liked it this time. As I said this leaves us all wondering what if more witnesses were produced. Nothing was proved or disproved. Would this not mean we all got the shaft? Hey, it's Government at its best.
1. Aid to the Ukraine was not withheld. It was delayed. Aid to countries have been delayed by many presidential administrations. President Donald Trump has an obligation to investigate corruption.
2. Who cares? Every ambassador serves at the discretion of the president. He can legally fire any ambassador of his choosing. This is a nothing burger.
3. John Bolton is a disgruntled former employee. He also wants to get as much publicity for his book as possible. This claim has gotten him so much free publicity his book is almost guaranteed to be a best seller and get him a big paycheck. He provides no proof, just an accusation.
Again, the bottom line in this impeachment is.
1. We all read the transcript released by President Donald Trump.
2. Ukraine got the aid. It was delayed like aid is delayed to countries for various reasons in every presidential administration. obama always delayed appropriated aid to Israel.
3. Ukraine got the aid and didn't begin an investigation into the Bidens.
So, what was wrong? Nothing.
Mike, Is whether aid was withheld or delayed more than simply a semantics argument?
In these discussions, I think it is just semantics, but I also think the reality of the situation demands that question be resolved. Because, if he withheld the funds then it seems he is guilty of violating the Impoundment Control Act, but if he merely delayed the disbursement then I don't see it as a violation.
What do you think? Were the funds disbursed within the Congressional appropriation's mandate? I recall conversations about this, but not the answer, and I haven't checked for myself.
As for the ambassador . . . meh, sure he has that right, and of course the action can only be subjectively debated, but it still stinks to me. Even if the only issue is Pres. Trump's 'style', it still stinks.
Bolten? One thought immediately pops to mind. Really? Since he is no longer a Trump friend his motives are automatically assumed to be anti-Trump and untruthful? In my mind that is not a positive thing. I don't recall hearing all these "disgruntled employee" charges prior to this media leak. And at this point, you don't know if he has proof to provide, or not. Hell, at this point he hasn't even made an accusation yet, it is only a media leak that says he did.
However, with the exception of replacing "transcript" with memorandum, your "bottom-line" is accurate.
Anyone who has had to deal with the legal world knows that semantics is important. If you withhold something, someone doesn't get it. If you delay something, people eventually get it. It's a significant point. I've seen attorneys walk away from a huge contract over whether the world "and" or "or" should be used in a specific section.
So, the Ukrainian funds were not withheld. They were delayed.
"If he withheld the funds then it seems he is guilty of violating the Impoundment Control Act"
President Donald Trump didn't do any thing that presidents back to the time of George Washington did. Obama would always delay appropriated funds to Israel.
Here is an article about the Obama Administration suspending aid to Pakistan. Where was the outrage? Also, Biden did threaten Ukraine with withholding funds and publicly bragged about it.
https://www.npr.org/2011/07/10/13774666 … o-pakistan
You may not have heard about Bolton being disgruntled, but he did leave the White House under unhappy circumstances.
Here is an article about John Bolton being fired by President Donald Trump.
"Bolton, a longtime critic of diplomacy with North Korea, had scheduled his foray to Mongolia weeks before Trump’s impromptu invitation to meet Kim. But the national security adviser’s isolation at such a high-profile moment underscored the growing disconnect between the two men.
Their repeated clashes on policy and style reached an exclamation point Tuesday when Trump ousted Bolton..."
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/w … ohn-bolton
Did I not hear last night in the hearing questions that Obama held up approved aid to the Ukraine for several years? Not a few weeks, but years?
Yet we're seeing feigned outrage over a hold so short that Ukrainian officials were not even aware of it.
Cool, Mike! Can you explain why he didn't go through the proper channels, and instead relied on Rudy to do his research rather than the experienced professionals hired for this purpose?
In another thread, didn't Wilderness say he didn't watch the presentation of evidence from the House managers? So isn't he basing his opinions on his media sources and not on the actual facts of the case?
Of course. I've watched or listened to almost every minute of the trial to form my opinions. Wonder what he'basing his on?
No, he didn't say that. What he said was that he had watched some of it and there was zero evidence, only opinions from witnesses that agreed they did not "witness" anything like what their opinions were.
This was strengthened considerably when the defense presented the rest of the story - the rest of the "testimony" which included, over and over, those admissions.
Gentlemen and ladies, do you think that extortion and bribery is not a crime in of itself? I certainly could not get away with it, why should the President? It is turning out just as I thought it would. Trump's guilt or innocence is now not at issue, but now whether the "act" is such that it rises to a level warranting impeachment. Quite clever of Trump's defense attorneys.
Outside of proving Trumps involvement and intent, would it be a crime?
If we attack the principle of impeachment here, when can it be validly used? Don't you think that there was enough evidence to impeach Richard Nixon for illegal wiretapping during Watergate?
Listening to Alan, every instance of a President who has been impeached was a travesty and abuse of the Constitutional provision for impeachment.
What did the Founding Fathers create the provision for if not for a remedy for abuse of discretion and power?
And Wilderness, as to your comments about an impartial jury? Are the 50 plus GOP senators determined to acquit Trump impartial?
GA put forth the argument that lays to rest this imbecilic and partisan effort to Impeach the President.
I will put forth the link he provided again.
It puts to rest every single claim and argument the Democrats have made for Impeachment. You either believe in the Constitution, precedence and law, or you do not. If you believe in the Constitution, precedence and law, you cannot support this farcical effort to Impeach the President.
Ken, I watched the Dershowitz testimony before Congress, and although he made a compelling argument about the definition of a standard where impeachment is a remedy, it would appear that according to him there were in actuality no crimes associated with any of the former Presidents that were impeached or involving Richard Nixon who was most certainly going to be that should have rose to the level of an impeachable offense.
I understand the principle of not allowing the Executive to be under the control of the Legislative branch as they theoretically are co-equal in power. Impeachment based on partisanship, the President exercizing discr tionary authority in his job, or for actions that would in itself not be a crime, may well not be appropriate.
If according to the article I attached and what Dershowitz alluded to, that as Nixon once said "it is all legal if the President does it" or that the President saw the national interest and the pursuit of his own re-election through whatever means necessary as one in the same? Would the conservative have really given Obama that much latitude, most certainly not.
https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-i … eed-2020-1
How, realistically, can the Executive ever have his power checked and the line drawn? So, what is the mechanism, really? So, according to Dershowitz, what Nixon did was not a crime, but a matter of discretionary judgement not subject to any form of check? As the attached article points out and I support, that concept is a slippery slope to an imperial Presidency, without ethical behavior with the "law" as an inconvenience that can be skirted at his caprice.
Is that what you Trump people and general conservatives are advocating?
And while I don't like the partisan nature of much of the impeachment process, at least in the way it had been applied, the President is not a King who can do as he likes without restraint or accountability.
So, I can't buy any into the Dershowitz explanation that attempts to absolve Trump and restructure th very concept of the impeachment process, in general.
"How, realistically, can the Executive ever have his power checked and the line drawn?"
We've seen that repeatedly as suits were filed over nearly every action Trump took. Over and over, suits were filed. Nearly all of those suits came back that he had used his power within the framework of the Constitution.
So there IS a way of checking abuse of power. The problem is that House Democrats wish to usurp that power for themselves - they wish to only allow the President to do what they wish done. We are now in the position of watching as those same people that have tried for the past 3 years to take presidential power into their own hands resort to the political ploy of simply removing a duly elected president as their only option in limiting his legal power.
I think this tells us what the Democrat leadership is all about.
"Then, Schiff dropped a doozy: “For precisely this reason,” he announced, “the president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won.”
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opin … in-in-2020
Dershowitz made the argument (and I am minimizing it to its purest simplest form) that if the actions of the President do not attain the level of consistent repetitive and fully provable crimes, or acts of treason, he should not be impeached.
It should not be within the realm of the House to sit in judgement on every act, and determine for themselves the intent of that act, and then judge it in a partisan effort.
I could easily make an argument that the President's actions were in the best interests of the Nation, as patriotic and altruistic an action as ever was made, he willingly risked his reputation and electorability to try and expose the corrupt and criminal acts of the former Vice President who used his son to launder billions of dollars from the Ukraine, China and who knows where else.
All a matter of perspective... that is why irrefutable proof of crimes beyond doubt are critical in such an effort as impeachment of the President.
But we did not get that from the House... what we got from them is no different than the Russian Conspiracy, they got up there and said he was guilty of these crimes, repeated over and over and over again charges that have no foundation in reality of facts. Just opinions and perspectives.
There is nothing provable to which Impeachment on any level is justifiable... if this does become something from which the Senate decides to impeach.. no President again in our history will be able to act on anything without the possibility of it being challenged by the majority party in the House, which will play to the masses making each and every act a political drama.
It will be the end of the Republic.
And our fall to something much worse.
No matter how detestable the person may be who holds the Presidency, the authority with which to act independent of approval of Congress must be preserved.
Impeachment should be reserved for serious and provable crimes that are to the detriment of the nation, the only thing Trump's actions could be detrimental to in this regard, are the Bidens, should they be found guilty of criminal activities... which is a whole other argument I do not want to open up here.
Let me add -
The Impeachment of Clinton was wrong, but it did follow precedence and procedure, it was via legal technicalities legit, but it was politically wrong, and the Republicans paid for their over-reach by being swept out of office.
That act opened the door for this, which is more unsavory and abusive of power, for this current effort followed neither proper precedence and procedures for Impeachment, nor do they have a valid provable/legal reason for it.
So why didn't Trump go through normal channels to investigate the Bidens, Ken? Instead, he had Rudy, Lev, and igor, who now are being investigated, do his dirty work for him.
While I may or may not agree with Dershowitz, I think it's a credible argument. However, Ken, there's also the very likely possibility that if we don't impeach, it won't be too long before the next Democratic President is using foreign nations to do his dirty work and I think Republicans will be horrified by it.
Further, these sort of precedents do not usually limit our politicians, they allow them to push the boundaries. Be careful what you wish for.
It sounds like you are saying it is okay to do something the wrong way if you have the right reasons. As in the ends justify the means?
Following the logic of your question about the Founders, why not ask why they included the parameters for impeachment? Why not just include the power of impeachment as a House power?
"Gentlemen and ladies, do you think that extortion and bribery is not a crime in of itself?"
This is quite simple to answer by referring to the appropriate federal statute.
"Outside of proving Trumps involvement and intent, would it be a crime?"
No. As has been repeatedly pointed out it is not only the President's prerogative but has been done with most of our foreign aid.
"If we attack the principle of impeachment here, when can it be validly used?"
When there has been Treason, Bribery or other "high" crimes rising to the level of treason or bribery.
"Listening to Alan, every instance of a President who has been impeached was a travesty and abuse of the Constitutional provision for impeachment."
I understood him to say that every other impeachment had been for criminal activity. Perhaps we should both listen again?
"What did the Founding Fathers create the provision for if not for a remedy for abuse of discretion and power?"
For when there is positive evidence of treason, bribery or other "high" crimes rising to the level of the first two. Certainly not when a partisan congress doesn't like having the "wrong" president and declares an abuse of power. As was pointed out, most of our presidents have been accused of that particular thing.
"Are the 50 plus GOP senators determined to acquit Trump impartial?"
IMO, certainly not, any more than the 200 representatives were impartial in their determination to convict. But that has little to nothing to do with the question of an extremely plain conflict of interest, inevitably resulting the impossibility of showing impartiality.
I mentioned that we would never, ever allow such a conflict to arise in our court systems; jurors are excused for far, far less than that and judges routinely recuse themselves for much less. Why don't we require it of Senators with such an obvious conflict? Not particularly arguing, just questioning why it is not done when it is such a big deal in every other trial? Even the Republicans aren't raising the issue - why not? Understanding is the desired result, not argument.
Can you name an instance where a former POTUS leveraged a foreign power to aid in his reelection?
The public outrage is the reason for the withholding. That much is clear.
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