Impeachment

Bob Barr: Trump 'Was Doing Precisely What a President Should Have Been Doing' With Ukraine

The 2008 Libertarian Party presidential ticket continues to run interference for the embattled Republican president.

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Bob Barr, that Republican congressman turned Libertarian presidential candidate turned Newt Gingrich enthusiast, is no stranger to impeachment, having been an early backer of sacking Bill Clinton and later serving as one of the House managers during the Senate's trial of the 42nd president. In a new Daily Caller op-ed, Barr draws on that experience to issue a pre-emptive exoneration of Donald Trump: "It is clear that no federal laws were broken and nothing close to an impeachable offense took place."

The definition of "impeachable offense" is inherently slippery. As Jacob Sullum has reminded us, "impeachment does not require provable statutory violations," and "'High crimes and misdemeanors'" include violations of the public trust that do not necessarily involve breaking the law." In other words, it's in the eye of the (congressional) beholder.

Barr, who sponsored an obstruction of justice impeachment inquiry months before Monica Lewinsky became a household name, looks upon Trump's whistleblown July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and sees virtue, not vice.

"The president of the United States was doing precisely what a president should have been doing," 2008's fourth-place finisher asserts. "Trump emphasized that his administration was serious about getting to the bottom of corruption in Ukraine…and that a high government official in our country—former Vice President Joe Biden—had improperly interfered with that country's effort to discover and prosecute corrupt acts."

Trump's track record of tackling global corruption, in Ukraine and elsewhere, is on the thin side. And Barr's uncharitable rendering of Biden's activities is not shared even by some Republican senators. "The whole world felt that this that [Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor] Shokin wasn't doing a [good] enough job," Sen. Ron Johnson (R–Wis.) said last week. "So we were saying, 'Hey, you've…got to rid yourself of corruption.'"

No matter. "Trump was acting responsibly and presidential," Barr concludes. "He deserves our appreciation, not our opprobrium."

Joining Barr in the Trump Appreciation Club is his 2008 running mate, Wayne Allyn Root, the millionaire Republican who became a conscientious Libertarian and finally an angry white male. Root last week wrote that what the Ukraine scandal is "really all about" is "the massive corruption, scandals, fraud and theft by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and John Kerry."

The whistleblower complaint, Root maintains, is a "premeditated hit job and Deep State coup against the president," engineered by Democratic leaders who want to "knock him out of office before he can properly investigate and prosecute them."

Like Barr, Root was a supporter of impeaching Bill Clinton, although he now characterizes that move as a "giant mistake." The Nevada-based commentator also supported impeachment and "prison time for fraud" for his old Columbia University classmate, the "traitorous" Barack Obama.

The Barr/Root ticket got 0.4 percent of the national vote, slightly more than the L.P. received in 2000 and 2004. Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray boosted that total to 1 percent in 2012, then Johnson and Bill Weld nabbed 3.3 percent in 2016. Weld, who has followed the Barr/Root path into and back out of the Libertarian Party (and is waging a long shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination) supports not just impeachment but also a charge of treason against Trump.

Johnson, who has been keeping a low profile since his disappointing run for U.S. Senate last year, has expressed support for the first whistleblower, and retweeted this bit from the Libertarian Party:

Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.), who is still not ruling out a run for the Libertarian Party's 2020 nomination, famously became the only House Republican to support an impeachment inquiry back in May, then seven weeks later left the GOP altogether. He continues to tweet stuff like this:

Among the declared 2020 L.P. presidential candidates, there isn't a lot of discernible enthusiasm for the I-word. At a pre-Ukraine-controversy debate I moderated in July, impeachment was only brought up once, by Kim Ruff, who described the House case (as it stood then) as "trumped-up nonsense," and said that the constitutional tool would be much better deployed over the undeclared war in Yemen.

Here are boiled down versions of what the five candidates on stage said when I asked them to name "the worst aspect of the Trump presidency so far."

Arvin Vohra: "His failure to withdraw from NATO….If I'm president, I'm going to bring all the troops home, I'm going to shut down every military base."

Dan "Taxation Is Theft" Behrman: "You can't tell [Trump supporters] that Trump is bad, you can't tell them that he has done anything wrong; he is God as far as they're concerned. What we can do is we can say, 'Look, he's done some great things, but we can do so much more, and he's not willing to go there."

Adam Kokesh: "The worst thing about the Trump presidency is the presidency part. We spend all this time arguing about personalities and policies and who should sit on the throne, and we never stop to ask: Why do we have the throne in the first place?"

Max Abramson: "Of course there's the refusal to bring the troops home…My reason for running for office is to bring the troops home, end the wars overseas."

Kim Ruff: "To my mind, probably the worst thing that Trump has done, among many things that he's done poorly, is continue the unconstitutional war in Yemen. But in order to go after him now—which is totally an impeachable offense—we would have to own the fact that Obama started it, and admit the fact that we've continued this from president to president."

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    1. I am making $92 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $ninety five however I see the way it works now.I experience masses freedom now that i’m my non-public boss. that is what I do……☛ http://earny.xyz/KfKLXSiYq

    2. Repeat a lie often enough…

    3. It makes sense that Donald Trump, the most corrupt president in US history, would take up the cause of rooting out corruption.

  1. Chief Law Enforcement Officer tries to enforce laws, immigration, foreign corrupt practices… Reason gets upset.

    1. Orange man bad, for sure.

      1. He is bad! Jesus fucking Christ. What is it with you people?

        Orange man bad. Yes. True statement.

    2. He could enforce them against the president but chooses to cover for him instead.

      What are you guys on? Seriously.

      1. They are on a powerful and timeless mix of scapegoating foreigners and promises of a return to “greatness”. It is a tactic used since history has been recorded by craven politicians to whip up the feeble minded and fearful.

        1. Poor Collectivist Jeffy lives in a fantasy world where he will become a superhero and defeat Orange Man Bad! Or Hitler

      2. Poor wearingit doesn’t know what the president is.

    3. I’m sure that he’s exclusively interested in the “corruption” of political opponents is just a coincidence.

      1. There’s plenty of other people interested only in anything corrupt they dream Trump might have done. This includes the Democrats, half the GOP establishment and the media. It’s a good thing that somebody is looking into non-Trump corruption, even if it has to be Trump himself.

    4. So when is Conway getting fired for violating the Hatch Act?

  2. >>The definition of “impeachable offense” is inherently slippery.

    I want to say you’re better than to base your work on this.

    1. Trump’s track record of tackling global corruption, in Ukraine and elsewhere, is on the thin side. And Barr’s uncharitable rendering of Biden’s activities is not shared even by some Republican senators.

      So wait Welch, it’s OK for YOU to run interference for the impeachophiles?

        1. no no i created an open Mock Matt space

  3. The 2008 Libertarian Party presidential ticket continues to run interference for the embattled Republican president.

    I left the GOP when they nominated George Bush, I left the LP when they nominated my former Congressman – and former prosecutor – Bob Barr. The LP apparently learned nothing from the experience, they still ran the Johnson/Weld ticket. How many times must the frog be stung by the scorpion to learn its lesson?

    1. Johnson was way better than Barr. Barr is the only LP candidate I didn’t vote for. (Wrote in Ron Paul in the general).

      1. Seconded. Gary Johnson was way better than Barr. Ron Paul was way better than Gary Johnson. Harry Browne was way better than Ron Paul. There are levels to this.

    2. Johnson was alright. He was a little too goofy and a little too sincere to actually be taken seriously, but he was at least the most libertarian candidate in the race. Weld, on the other hand… wtf?! It was disturbing to see Sarwark still defending the Weld choice at the SoHo Forum, rather than just admitting that that one was fucked up.

      1. I think Sarwark was just defending the process. It’s really not his fault Weld was nominated.

        1. Fair enough, in that case I agree. I thought and still think that it’s unfair to dump all the blame on him. Once Weld was chosen, that was the guy to run with. But I think it would have been nice for him to say at the forum that he felt it was a mistake to nominate Weld.

          1. Yeah, he tried really hard not state his personal preferences. I can understand that, as he doesn’t want his position to influence the nomination process. While I am at it, I am personally much closer in views to Dave Smith than Sarwark, but I gotta say that Dave came across as a douche in that debate.

            1. Agreed. Smith literally accused Sarwark of being a privileged White person who doesn’t care about wars because we are blowing up Brown people. Now, one could take umbrage with Sarwark’s comment that he would support Chaney if it meant a complete eradication of the drug war at home (a statement that actually made me think a lot about what I would do myself in that situation), but to criticize him with a complete SJW argument? Pathetic. I’ve listened to a lot of Dave Smith across Part of the Problem, Tom Woods Show, etc….and this was one of the first times I just cringed when he talked.

              1. Right, it’s easy to deride if it’s an issue you might not care as much about. If someone said to me, how about Dick Cheney, but he will guaranteed shepherd Congress into ending the Fed? Can’t say that wouldn’t at least pause at that opportunity.

              2. Smith was simply pointing out Sarwark’s hypocrisy in light of Sarwark using SJW tactics against the Mises institute. Sorry, there’s no defending Sarwark in that fight. Smith got fired up because Sarwark has been antagonizing the likes of Tom Woods and Jeff Deist for years. And did you catch his dig at Hoppe?

            2. Yeah, Dave did come across as a douche. The only mildly annoying thing from Sarwark was dancing around answering certain questions, but he was polite.

      2. And I agree, Weld was a definite wtf?! I literally heard him say “Woodrow Wilson” when asked who is favorite president was. Are you fucking kidding me? Even a complete lying asshole politician would know that if you are the LP VP, you don’t say Woodrow Wilson.

  4. ” “‘High crimes and misdemeanors'” include violations of the public trust that do not necessarily involve breaking the law.”

    That’s certainly AN interpretation.

    1. they obviously meant to write “..high crimes, misdemeanors, or disappointing people”

    2. You guys really are suffering from big time TDS.

      It took me about 30 seconds on the wikipedia article to find some contemporary references for what that standard was construed to mean at the time of the Founding.

      There are a few interesting quotations, but I’ll go with Madison, who advocated impeachment in cases necessitated by “the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate.”

      So, if Madison thought that simply being negligent or untrustworthy was an impeachable offense, I think it’s safe to say that “high crimes and misdemeanors” can refer to non-criminal actions.

      The wikipedia article has a rather lengthy history on its use as a term of art.

      But don’t let that get in the way of your TDS. Orange good, amirite?

  5. reason: Joe Biden has been a dedicated public servant all his life. How dare Barr and Trump suggest WITHOUT EVIDENCE that Biden was involved in corruption!

    1. Grrizzly gets it wrong. It’s not that Barr and Trump are suggesting “without evidence” that Biden was involved with corruption, but that Barr and Trump make the accusation despite every single damn bit of evidence proving it’s a lie.

      For the umpteenth time : Biden pressured Ukraine by order of the President, per the policy of the State Department, following the stated aims of the European Union, in conjunction with similar pressure from the IMF & World Bank, with support of the Republicans in Congress, and to the applause of every reform & anti-corruption group in Ukraine itself.

      Every one of those individuals/counties/organizations/groups wanted the object of that pressure – prosecutor Shokin – fired, most particularly the anti-corruption organizations in Ukraine.

      And Shokin wasn’t investigating Burisma at the time, hadn’t been for over a year, had blocked British efforts to investigate the energy company, and never investigated Hunter Biden at any time whatsoever.

      You want something that’s 100% a lie? That’s the claim Biden intervened to help his son. It can not be supported honestly in any form. An “investigation” of something so easily refuted would have to be a fraud.

      And we haven’t even gotten to Trump’s other quid pro quo demand, CrowdStrike. That’s not only another lie, but batshit lunatic crazy to boot.

      Trump tried to trade the favor of the United States of America for his own private gain, and the demand was another country’s leader support a pure fraud. Please explain why that’s not impeachable…..

      1. “but that Barr and Trump make the accusation despite every single damn bit of evidence proving it’s a lie.”

        Except the video where Biden admitted it proudly.

        1. Everyone gather around to witness an argument so imbecilic it couldn’t fool a tiny child. No wonder you’re too timid to claim a name, given the abundance of Stupid in your reply. But I’m willing to help, so will walk you through it slowly:

          (1) A U.S. leader pressuring a foreign government is not evidence of “corruption”, but a common tactic of U.S. foreign policy from George Washington on.

          (2) Even someone whose cranium is an empty desiccated shell can’t be dumb enough to think a U.S. leader pressuring a foreign government is evidence of “corruption”, when it’s been a common in U.S. history from George Washington on.

          (3) Even someone who hates American can’t believe a U.S. leader pressuring a foreign government is evidence of “corruption” How does such idiocy make sense?

          (4) Even a bootlicking wretch – with ethical & mental quotient to mush after years of defending Trump – couldn’t possibly say a U.S. leader pressuring a foreign government is evidence of “corruption”.

          (5) Even Trump – who lies like other people breathe – never dared claim a U.S. leader pressuring a foreign government was evidence of “corruption”.

          So when you proudly point to Biden talking about pressuring Ukraine as “evidence”, you just look like a half-wit moron. Don’t you realize that, or is the news a slap in the face? I’ll do the safe thing and continue to treat you like a total idiot. Maybe it will help you if I explain everything :

          When Joe Biden pressured Ukraine it was by directive of the President, following the policy of the State Department, in conjunction with our allies, and for objectives important to the United States of America – as has been typical with every presidential administration since this nation’s founding.

          When Donald John Trump pressured Ukraine it was for his own private gain, against the policy of State Department, had zero to do with any national objective, and was strong-arming a U.S. ally to force foreign interference in a U.S. elections. Good luck coming up with a historical precedence for that

          Those are two different things. Now, I get it: You’re shit-for-brains stupid. But don’t you know anyone who is willing go over this again & again until you finally get it?

          1. We just witnessed a murder, people.

          2. ah the nazi prison guard Nuremberg defense. He had orders.

            1. I shouldn’t even bother with something at this clown-level, but…

              (1) The original story was Biden free-lanced foreign policy to rescue little Hunter. When Trump sold out his country for personal gain and withheld military aid to Ukraine (a country suffering invasion by Russia) that was one of the lies he demanded from Zelensky.

              (2) But that story is crudely false. Five minutes looking at the facts and it’s utterly exploded. There is absolutely no honest way to rescue it.

              (3) So the more dim-bulb Trump supporters have decided to talk like Biden’s pressure on Ukraine was a crime or transgression anyway. These aren’t very bright people. They’re like the guy in the story looking for his car keys under a streetlamp. No, he says, he dropped them over there – pointing into the dark. So why look under the streetlamp? More light…..

              The one theory where Biden did something improper was contradicted by all facts, so they just take what they know Biden did, and simply pretend it was a crime or improper.

              (4) Of course they have no theory, or story, or narrative, or logic, or history, or law, or reason which makes it so. Try asking them why pressure on Ukraine following official U.S. government policy for U.S. government objectives is wrong. Ask them to explain how that’s akin to a Nazi war crime. They sputter and babble and babble like a fool. Nothing Biden did was wrong. They can’t find anything Biden did wrong. So they pretend they found something wrong anyway.

              I honestly think supporting Trump has rotted their brains.

      2. “For the umpteenth time : Biden pressured Ukraine”

        I like how you admit it, then go on to excuse it for extremely stupid and gullible reasons.

        No no, fully swallow that narrative. You don’t look like a moron eating shit and loving it at all.

      3. There is no evidence that Biden is corrupt. Nope. The Chinese and the Ukrainians gave his drug addict son all that money out of kindness. They didn’t get anything from Biden in return. Nothing at all.

        Trump is the luckiest man alive with his enemies. He must have saved people from the Nazis in a previous life or something to be blessed to be opposed by people as stupid as you are.

        1. How many other people is Trump personally investigating. His story is that he is just trying to root out global corruption, so there must be other investigations he is personally leading, where are they?

          1. Here’s my problem :

            I can’t believe John is gullible enough to believe Trump cares one bit about corruption. Trump cares about nothing but Trump; that’s been true his entire life. This is the same Trump who shrugged when the Saudis cut Khashoggi into pieces. The same Trump who showers love & kisses on the mob boss who rules Russia, who fawns over the corrupt thug president of the Philippines, who showers ever more favors on Netanyahu as each new corruption charge is added to the list, and positively swoons whenever Kim Jung Un bats his eyelashes. This the Trump who told the Chinese he wouldn’t criticize them over Hong Kong, and told the Russians he didn’t care they interfered in the last presidential election. But Trump suddenly grows ethical scruples over Ukraine? Even John can’t be that much a dupe..

            But then again, can John really be hypocrite enough to recycle yet more Trump lies or excuse this latest portly swan dive into the sewer? A president withholds critical military aide to a country facing a Russian invasion; demands a “reciprocal” quid pro quo; strong-arms the foreign leader to interfere in the upcoming U.S. election, extorts fraud “investigations” per his specification.

            The CrowdStrike thing is gibberish and Biden Saved His Son garbage can’t stand five minutes of factual scrutiny, but Zelensky needs missiles for his country’s survival, so that’s what Trump told the Ukrainian president to deliver.

            Does John excuse sleaze like this? Is he that much a hypocrite? Or is he a hopeless gullible dupe? You see the problem : It seems impossible Trump could sink a person so low in either case, so how can you possibly judge which option is true?

            Dupe or Hypocrite. I flip a coin to settle the question of John…..

      4. Well here’s Shokin’s side of the story.

        https://www.scribd.com/document/427618359/Shokin-Statement

        You can regurgitate Democrat talking points or you can have an open mind and consider the other side. Maybe start here.

        1. Funny how all you hear is crickets from grb and De Oppresso Liber. Guess their TDS can’t handle hard facts and Primary Sources.

          1. Ya wanna know what’s hilarious?

            It’s not that you’ve adopted someone so grotesquely sleazy and corrupt that he even nauseated Ukrainians. They’re pretty hardened to that kind of thing, but Shokin was too much even for them. One example : Shokin’s former driver advanced high in the prosecutor’s office – high enough to be arrested for extortion and taking bribes. A search of his house found bags of cash, several million dollars worth of diamonds, and documents linked to the boss himself, including Shokin’s passports, property registration certificates and even his licence to carry firearms. Shokin fired the man who tried to charge the driver, dropped all charges and returned the loot. Can we get the “other side” of that?

            By the time Joe Biden arrived in Kiev in December 2015 and issued his infamous ultimatum, Shokin had lost the support of all but 3.5 per cent of Ukrainians. There were street demonstrations by pro-democracy groups dedicated to him alone. He was loathed by every single reform group and reformist in Ukraine. Yet now he’s become the patron saint and holy martyr of all Trump bootlickers. That’s pretty funny, but it’s not the most hilarious thing about this.

            People demanding Shokin be fired included President Obama, the State Department, Republicans in Congress (then), the European Union, the World Band, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development…. Gosh, the poor guy was just so misunderstood !!!

            Yes, Shokin briefly investigated Burisma, but that was dropped a year before Biden’s ultimatum. In that year he refused to provide any information to British officials trying to charge Mykola Zlochevsky, the powerful oligarch who ran the energy company. That’s hardly surprising, since Shokin never charged a single oligarch with a single crime, despite the fact they had looted the country under the previous regime. Maybe that’s all Biden’s doing too, Oh Gullible Grimsrud?

            Yehor Soboliev, a former reformist MP in the parliament explained the process : “Neither Shokin nor Poroshenko wanted to investigate Zlochevsky. They simply began a criminal case, arrested a few assets, and began negotiating with the corruptioneer for a bribe.” Sounds like just Trump’s kind of guy. No wonder you have adopted Shokin as a second idol. But I promised you the funniest twist yet, which is this:

            Bothered to look very closely where your precious affidavit came from? Dmytro Vasylovych Firtash is another mega-corrupt Ukrainian oligarch, arrested by Austrian authorities and ordered extradited to the United States on charges he secured a titanium extraction permit in India with $18.5 million in bribes. Dmytro is fighting tooth&nail to escape trial in the U.S, and one of his many useful tools is the ever-obliging Shokin. Your precious affidavit is just Shokin performing another round of whorish service to the same criminal oligarchs who owned him as a prosecutor. Don’t you wonder how much he’s getting paid?

            Don’t you also wonder how you Trump defenders can be so damn gullible, blind, and stupid?

            I don’t. You have to be gullible, blind and stupid to even be a Trump supporter……

      5. I don’t know where you’re getting this disinfo from, but Shokin was not “investigating” at the time because he had been told not to. When he wanted to investigate further into Burisma, enter VP Biden and so called “global” pressure.

  6. “…what the Ukraine scandal is “really all about” is “the massive corruption, scandals, fraud and theft by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and John Kerry.””

    While I am no fan of Barr or Root (both Republican wolves in Libertarian sheep clothing), this is what I keep hoping Reason would investigate and report on. Any moron can point at Trump and declare “Orange Man Bad”. We get it. Trump is a turd sandwich. I would like some in depth analysis and investigation into why relatives of 3 VERY prominent democrat officials are involved in a one particular foreign country. There may be absolutely nothing to it and everything is on the up and up. But these endless “But Trump said/did…” articles are not going to convince me that he is the real criminal here.

    1. Trump is the giant douche. Hillary was the turd sandwich.

  7. “high crimes and misdemeanors” sound oddly like actual crimes to me. The Founders weren’t ones to mince words.

    1. “and other things, like boorishness and bad fashion sense”

      1. “being a feeling hurter”

    2. Or, in the words of Madison, “”incapacity, negligence or perfidy,” and in the words of Franklin, being “obnoxious”.

      High crimes and misdemeanors is a term of art in US jurisprudence, and no it doesn’t mean literal “misdemeanors” in the modern criminal sense.

      1. I think Benjamin Franklin is far more credible than Bob Barr. His full quote (from the Constitutional Convention where he urged the impeachment provision):

        History furnishes one example only of a first Magistrate being formally brought to public Justice. Every body cried out against this as unconstitutional. What was the practice before this in cases where the chief Magistrate rendered himself obnoxious? Why recourse was had to assassination in which he was not only deprived of his life but of the opportunity of vindicating his character. It would be the best way therefore to provide in the Constitution for the regular punishment of the Executive when his misconduct should deserve it, and for his honorable acquittal when he should be unjustly accused.

  8. At the time the Constitution was written, ‘high crimes’ were those carrying the death penalty. Misdemeanors were what we would call felonies. Of course, with the ‘living constitution’ standard in place, it could mean anything the guys in power want it to mean, like stealing an election by winning when you were expected to lose.
    Emoluments, using a case filed against President Washington as an example, were meant to be money paid for actions by the person in office. By that standard, the $500,000 paid President Clinton for a speech while his wife was Secretary of State considering allowing a business deal by the guy paying for the speech might have warranted investigation.

    1. “Emoluments, using a case filed against President Washington as an example, were meant to be money paid for actions by the person in office…”

      Maybe selling political access while a sitting SoS?

      “Emails reveal how foundation donors got access to Clinton and her close aides at State Dept.”
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/emails-
      reveal-how-foundation-donors-got-access-
      to-clinton-and-her-close-aides-at-state-
      dept/2016/08/22/345b5200-6882-11e6-
      8225-fbb8a6fc65bc_story.html?utm_
      term=.2cbca4a77536

      1. The Clintons are criminals, we can agree on that. Why can’t you apply the same standard to the actual current president?

        I guess Saudis just love booking empty hotel floors? Good thing Trump didn’t seem to return the favor by, for instance, saying he was “locked and loaded” and “waiting for the Kingdom to tell us how to proceed”.

        https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-saudi-arabia-financial-interests-ties-hotel-bookings-sales-2018-10

        1. Because he didn’t take payments for access and launder them through a fraudulent charity like Clinton did, then had FBI director run interference and tank the investigation.

          Your “both sides” bullshit ignores that the actual evidence pretty much only points at one side…the Democrats (and a few seedy Republicans in bed with them, like McCain). They’re the criminals and they should be investigated. Hell, at this point I’d be fine with Trump openly confirming the investigation and announcing “If they did nothing wrong they have nothing to fear”, if only to watch the conniptions from TDS sufferers.

    2. At the time the Constitution was written, ‘high crimes’ were those carrying the death penalty. Misdemeanors were what we would call felonies.
      Wrong, and wrong. Where do you come up with this rubbish?

    3. At the time the Constitution was written, ‘high crimes’ were those carrying the death penalty

      That’s bullshit. The term ‘high crimes’ was used for offenses that were deemed specific to a high office. They were specifically NOT applicable to regular people but only to offenses that could only be committed by those in a position of authority – and included things like failure to spend money specifically authorized by Parliament in the way that Parliament intended the funds to be spent – appointing incompetents/crooks as subordinates – misappropriation of funds – etc

      1. Not true.

        Treason is a high crime, and was for the English long before the Constitution was written. Any citizen (or subject) could commit treason. “High crimes and misdemeanors” is and was intended as a catch all for an inherently political act.

        In the event a President was suspected of actual treason the process would be impeachment, followed by removal from office, followed by an actual criminal trial for treason.

        1. “High crimes and misdemeanors” is and was intended as a catch all for an inherently political act. Political in both commission, and adjudication

          1. The phrase wasn’t a mere catch-all. The high crimes are offenses specific to the office. They generally are not defined in statute precisely because they are specific to the office. Misdemeanors are offenses that were defined in either common law or statutory law – what we today would call crimes – normally adjudicated by judiciary.

            The two together had a long legal history in English impeachments – and a specific prospective impeachment was a huge deal at the time of the Constitutional – and was mentioned in the debate there re impeachment. The conflict between Phillip Francis and Edmund Burke against William Hastings (Governor General of the East India Company).

            One of the better explanations of what that term meant in the Constitutional era

            1. Sorry Warren Hastings.

        2. Treason is a high crime

          The crime was treason – and it could be either ‘high’ (specifically offense against the high office of the King and his direct officials) or ‘petty’ (roughly betrayal of one’s obligations to other social superiors – usually as an aggravating charge of murder/attempted). The penalty was the same – death (though quartering was unique to ‘high’ since the point there was to distribute the body parts around the kingdom for deterrent purposes). You can’t possibly understand that specific crime nowadays in its feudal meaning without understanding the mutual feudal obligations of the time that bound everyone.

          The founders meant high crimes to include exactly the sorts of offenses that were included when English officeholders were impeached – on a charge of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ – by the House of Commons – and then sent to the House of Lords for conviction and removal. They separated the grounds/charges for chrissakes – Treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. If they had meant Treason, bribery, treason or misdemeanors, then that’s what they would have written (and felt ashamed for being such idiots).

  9. >>>he’s using the powers of his public office for personal gain and counting on Republicans in Congress to

    stop doing the same a million times over? fuck you, Justin.

    1. As much as I disagree with reason’s positions on immigration and trade, they are at least reasonable positions that are consistent with reason’s professed ideology and legitimate points of disagreements with the President.

      Why reason cannot just stick to their reasonable points of disagreements and feel the need to push the worst sorts of leftwing bullshit instead is a mystery. You would think they would avoid being associated with this sort of nonsense for no other reason that doing so makes people less likely to take them seriously when they do make a legitimate point.

      1. i should stop expecting more from the place i goto comment lol

      2. WTF Reason lies constantly on immigration.

        1. Thinking about this … Reason is constantly wrong about everything, because at some point there was a conscious effort to only employ low-IQ propagandists. For example the Reason Foundation has a full-time education researcher, Lisa something IIRC, who does good work. And yet every article here on education is full of the kind of fallacies and half-truths that are obvious to anyone who’s read the literature.

      3. Because Reason is the mouthpiece for Koch Industries’ interests, and Trump is bad for Koch’s China ambitions, therefore Koch is bad for Reason.

        1. “…therefore *Trump* is bad for Reason.”

  10. I still don’t understand why Biden wasn’t already being investigated by the FBI.

    Anyone who brags on television about shutting a corruption investigation down by withholding aid should be investigated.

    If Biden bragged about robbing a bank on television, would the FBI investigate?

    1. Not likely, with do many Clintonites at the top…

    2. he’d insult a minority during and media would use it as a deflection.

    3. Reason would say no. They’d scream that it’s an intolerable abuse of police authority to deny the Democratic candidate his chance to run for office without scrutiny.

  11. Barr’s view is sensible. While it is true that the process of impeachment is political in nature and need not be predicated upon proof of statutory violations or specific criminal laws, it is decidedly unhelpful to conclude that the propriety of its application should be analyzed in a vacuum, with no guiding standards, limits, or applicable precedent. “Impeachment is whatever you want it to be,” is probably as close to arbitrary as one can get without actually calling it so. I have seen absolutely nothing in the constitutional or historical record to indicate that impeachment was intended to be an arbitrary process.

    Further, it seems decidedly absurd that a supposedly “libertarian” publication is endorsing an understanding of impeachment, a remedy intended to be invoked in the rarest of rare circumstances, as a process that would be equally legitimate in its application as against a President accused of overt bribery as it would against a President accused of shaking hands with someone without wiping spittle from his hand provided that a sufficient number of senators find themselves sufficiently incensed by the conduct in question.

    “Bribery, treason, and high crimes and misdemeanors” is not a meaningless phrase. We should avoid interpreting it in a manner so as to render it as mere surplusage. At the very least, statutory violations and criminal laws should closely guide the analysis since these proscriptions generally embody conduct that most members of our society would look upon as criminal. Moreover, the national interest imperiled by the allegedly impeachable conduct should be clearly identified and compelling. I struggle to see what *national* interest was imperiled by President Trump’s brief phone call with Zelensky or, for that matter, what practicable standard can be adopted to reliably differentiate the conduct of a President serving his or her personal interests, exclusively, as opposed to conduct serving the national interest with collateral personal benefits. The distinction is especially difficult to see when the “personal interest” in question is the President’s popularity among the electorate.

    If all conduct that politically benefits a President is impeachable solely by virtue of it politically benefiting the President, then we no longer have an impeachment process, the Constitution has no fixed meaning, standards for assessing the conduct of public officials do not exist, and Presidential elections are effectively meaningless. Many people criticize the libertarian position as being nothing more than anarchy with some crude biblical morality sprinkled throughout for want of a limiting principle. Articles like this make it more and more difficult to argue otherwise.

    https://www.crf-usa.org/impeachment/high-crimes-and-misdemeanors.html

      1. John, isn’t it interesting that the whistleblower has some sort of a professional relationship with a Dem candidate for President?

        1. damikesc, what is your source of information there?

  12. Glad that Reason got invited back on Journolist.

  13. What a tard fest.
    Corrupt Ukrainian energy company hires Bidens son to gain favor
    Joe threatens Ukraine to fire prosecutor investigating corrupt company his son works for
    Ukraine fires the prosecutor and investigation is dropped
    Joe son collects a couple million until Joe runs for president and the son quits
    All of the fucking idiots in the media claim any suspicion of the above timeline is a conspiracy theory and worthy of impeachment
    Jesus what a bunch of fucking idiots

    1. Welch is only an idiot to the extent that this diatribe is sincere.

  14. “The definition of “impeachable offense” is inherently slippery. As Jacob Sullum has reminded us, “impeachment does not require provable statutory violations,” ”

    An excellent reason why those at Reason should reject it – instead there seems to be support.

    This from an organization and people like Welch who support coercive monopolies (like the state) while claiming to support a free market

    1. If I was to be generous I’d say that it it a common libertarian sentiment that public officials should much more regularly be impeached. However, the point is based upon the fact that public officials regularly and blatantly break the law. The problem with even being that generous with Reason’s push for impeachment is that they skip past the criminal aspect just because they hate the president

  15. Finally a true libertarian viewpoint.

    1. Pretty sure we got one more Hihnsane sock.

  16. Barr is completely full of crap. He’s telling the same lies Trump does. Trump was not trying to push Ukraine seriously to address corruption – Trump doesn’t care in the least about Ukraine’s corruption. He was trying to coerce Ukraine into helping Trump politically. That was his ONLY motive. Trump knows, or ought to know – and for certain Giuliani knows – that the corrupt and incompetent Ukrainian prosecutor Shokin was not investigating either Hunter Biden or Burisma when Joe Biden demanded that Shokin be fired.

    I’m no fan of what Biden would want to do as president, but Trump is smearing him, and Barr effing well knows it. Trump is attempting to obtain more foreign interference in our election, same as he did in 2016, and that’s impeachable per se.

    1. Exactly. Barr is full of crap. His position conveniently leaves out inconvenient facts.

      I am so sick of these lies from Trump and his crowd of Kool-Aid drinking supporters. I am not a fan of Biden and don’t support his policies, but I am utterly sick of these smears by people who pretend to be conservatives. As a lifelong Republican, I am disgusted by the lack of decency, honesty and integrity from those who have sold their soul to follow the Trump train as it careens off a cliff.

      1. LOL

        Media Matters getting ever more desperate

    2. //Trump was not trying to push Ukraine seriously to address corruption – Trump doesn’t care in the least about Ukraine’s corruption. He was trying to coerce Ukraine into helping Trump politically. That was his ONLY motive.//

      How, exactly, do you *know* that?

      Granted, you are certainly free to *suspect* it, and it may not be an entirely unreasonable suspicion, but all of the evidence elicited to date from people with first hand knowledge of the situation, including Trump, Zelensky, Volker, Sondland, and Pompeo, among others, undercut your suspicion.

      Your suspicions, as reasonable as they may appear to you and others, are not based upon any direct knowledge and, consequently, do not automatically transform all contrary statements into “lies.” Just because you think people are lying, doesn’t mean they are.

      1. I will take the over in the over/under of whether Trump/Pompeo are lying any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

  17. JOE BIDEN IS CORRUPT GARBAGE.
    We’d have crucified trump or his idiot son for less.
    America now fully understands that Joe Biden is corrupt garbage. That won’t disappear now.

    So Sorry. Thank You For Playing.

    1. Biden is corrupt, how? There is no doubt Hunter Biden used his father’s name and position to leverage the position on the Ukrainian gas company board. But exactly how is that the fault of Joe Biden? He can’t stop his son from doing that. As far as perspective goes, the Trump children have been cashing in on their father’s presidency. And Donald Trump has too, using his position to line his pockets through his personal businesses.

      Back to Joe Biden. When Hunter joined the board of the gas company, the investigation of that company was dormant. Joe Biden, supported by virtually everyone in the Western alliance, wanted the Ukrainian prosecutor filed for failing to go after corruption cases. He succeeded in getting him fired. That had zero to do with the investigation of the gas company which wasn’t happening. If anything, Joe Biden opened the gas company up to the possibility that the new prosecutor would go after the gas company. That person indeed looked at it and chose not to reopen the dormant investigation. While Hunter traded on his father’s good name, there was never a hint he did anything illegal. Same with Joe Biden.

      I am a lifelong Republican who is not a fan of Joe Biden. But I am utterly sick of these lies to smear a good, decent man.

  18. Those Libertarian presidential candidates are embarrassing. Trump has taken a daily dump on our Constitution. I thought Libertarians believed in the Constitution. Are they okay with Trump not complying with Congressional subpoenas? Refusing to testify? Every hear of checks and balances? I believe that’s in the Constitution. I guess Libertarians, at least those running for President, are fine with Trump asking foreign powers, including those hostile to the US, to investigate his political chief political opponents, Biden and Warren? That is illegal. Even more the quid pro quo Trump and his people dangled in front of the Ukraine President. Are Libertarians okay with that? I lived through Richard Nixon. Trump makes Nixon’s offenses look like jaywalking.

  19. I laugh with equal disdain for both Barr and Weld for the bellheaded tools they are.

  20. Why do democrats want government control over their life. Free everything (its not your money you did not earn it), Speech (mandated pronouns, prohibited words, etc), property (eminent domain), etc. The one that really gets me is gun control. “People of color” rave about how the cops (government) are just out to kill them for target practice yet they give up their 2nd amendment rights (the 2nd is about tyranny not hunting). They remind me of the Tories before the revolution. Trump is exposing the political aristocracy (the new royalty). Now Hillary is going to save them? I’ve been watching her since 92 (travel gate, rosewood law firm, whitewater, throwing all the women Bill nailed under the bus, Benghazi, 30,000 e-mails, clinton foundation, on and on). They sound like North Koreans when they speak about Kim jong-un. Trump’s not perfect but he is a damn site better than anything they have to offer.

  21. The Ukrainian phone call is a big yawn.

  22. Another idiot sets his rational faculties aside so that he can kiss Trump’s ring. Embarrassing. So now the mere membership on a corporate board and simple meetings are enough evidence to launch corruption investigations. If that’s the new rule I’m all for it. You’all realize that if we apply this kind of circumstantial evidence equally to all people it would pretty much call for investigating everyone in the US with assets over $5 million dollars? Let’s start combing through the lists of members to corporate boards and look for these kinds of relationships. Let the investigations begin!

  23. The fact that the president is getting impeached actually gets an article here?

  24. Is the lying Reason writing anymore article titles with the wording of the “Lying Trump” in it ?

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