Impeachment

Justin Amash to Trump: Let Bolton, Giuliani, and Mulvaney Testify

Meanwhile, Andrew Napolitano thinks Trump "pretty clearly" violated criminal bribery laws

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House Democrats have upped the ante in the impeachment inquiry. President Donald Trump's efforts to make security assistance to Ukraine contingent on politically useful probes, they suggest, are a violation of criminal bribery law.

"The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections," said House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) at a press conference on Thursday. "That's bribery."

Weighing in on Neil Cavuto's Fox News program, Judge Andrew Napolitano explained that "it wouldn't matter if it was Joe Biden or Joe Blow" who was at the center of the investigations sought by Trump. It's also inconsequential, he said, "whether the favor comes or not." (Republicans have argued that, since the aid was released before the country conducted any investigations, there was no quo in the quid pro quo. Others counter that this only happened because Congress started getting suspicious.)

"I think that the argument that asking for a favor in return for doing a legal obligation—releasing the [security] funds—is pretty clearly a violation of criminal bribery laws," Napolitano told Cavuto. "Republicans may not want to acknowledge that, which is why they'd rather undermine the witnesses than address the merits."

Napolitano is referring to the first day of impeachment inquiry testimony, when the two witnesses—William B. Taylor, the chargé d'affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs—railed against Trump's attempts to push Ukraine into investigating a political rival. In response, the minority party characterized both men as liable to have misrepresented or misunderstood interactions they had with those close in Trump's circle.

According to Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.), the libertarian-minded congressman who left the Republican Party in July, there is an easy way to gain clarity.

"This is simple. Keep it simple," he tweeted on Wednesday. "The White House released security assistance to Ukraine only after Congress started asking questions. Why? Considering that Bolton, Giuliani, Mulvaney, and others may have pertinent first-hand testimony, why won't President Trump let them testify?"

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  1. “House Democrats have upped the ante in the impeachment inquiry.”

    What an odd way to say “moved the goalposts”

    1. It’s not a surprise that Billy has beclowned himself on an impeachment article.

      And I’m someone who thinks pretty much every president should have been impeached for one thing or another.

      1. Poor Billy, still riding Amash’s leg. Hoping against hope he’ll steal enough votes away from Trump, to get Warren elected.

        1. If Bolton, Giuliani or Mulvaney have anything exculpatory to offer, let´s hear it.

          Withholding information from Congress was one of the Nixon articles of impeachment approved by the Judiciary Committee.

          1. Pelosi is welcome to add that to the articles. The problem is that there are no articles of impeachment and this isn’t going to the Senate.

    2. If the goalpost is impeachment in this metaphor, Trump has been the one dragging it up to the kicker and… fuck I can’t do a sports metaphor to save my life.

        1. I’m a scumbag because I don’t lick Republican nutsacks at the frequency of your liking, correct?

          1. Hillary’s nutsack on the other hand…

          2. No. You’re a scumbag because you’re a scum bag.

          3. It’s not that Tony doesn’t like nutsack. it’s that Tony does not have enough room in his mouth for nutsacks AND Hillary’s dick.

          4. Oh, Tony, don’t blame us for the fact that neither Republicans nor Democrats want to be serviced by you and think you’re icky.

    3. If someone asked me in 2016 who, out of supposed liberty lovers, would stand up to Trump, I would have guessed Amash and Napolitano. Those two seemed to be in it for the actual love of liberty, rather than partisan pandering. Eff Rand. The jury is out on Massie.

      1. No surprise.
        You’re a reflexively progressive eunuch only concerned with shallow virtue signaling

        1. lol, wut?

          how much virtue does standing with amash and napolitano net you?

          it certainly won’t make you popular with the mainstream crowd. defending liberty used to get you some virtue points on this site before it turned into a competition to suck trump’s cock. who exactly is he signaling to?

          1. Hey, look at the idiot who doesn’t remember all the slurping Amash got for being a punk and going after Trump.

  2. You’d think Judge Nap would’ve mentioned bribery once before now.

    1. Odd that isn’t it. I guess he just forgot to include it or something.

      1. That Napolitano was ever a judge is terrifying thought.

        1. Maybe for statists like you. For lovers of liberty, he is an inspiration.

          1. The left hated Napolitano until he said something they agree with.

            1. See James Comey too.

    2. Add Judge Nap to the (((deep state))) database? How about Amash, him too?

      1. No he is on the idiot list. If you can explain why his theory seems to change with the talking points and has no bearing on any actual law, feel free. Otherwise, stop wasting everyone’s time.

        1. Huh? He made the same point weeks ago.

    3. So to be clear, your contention is that he has not? And you have some further conclusion to be drawn from that?

    4. He should turn in his law license. This is dumb beyond all measure. Now Foreign Policy is no longer a fancy Latin phrase, it is bribery

    5. I’m with the word-picking police. If you withhold promised aid money unless an investigation of Trump’s opponent is publicly announced it’s extortion. If you promise a meeting with the U.S. president only if an investigation of Trump’s opponent is publicly announced that might be bribery.

  3. “Keep it simple. Confess! CONFESS, YOU CRIMINAL!”

    -Justin Amash, “Libertarian”

    1. Pretty telling that you equate letting first hand witnesses testify to confession. Here, let me help you put that mask back on straight.

      1. Right, because Amash (and, you) would be absolutely satisfied with Trump’s inner circle testifying that everything was on the up-and-up, right?

        Bullshit.

        You would accuse them of lying and then insist that Trump has to testify, to purge himself of his sins.

        Your problem is that you think people can’t see past your gaslighting. They can. The only person who believes your bullshit is you.

        1. Right, because Amash (and, you) would be absolutely satisfied with Trump’s inner circle testifying that everything was on the up-and-up, right?

          And how are Amash and DOL, whose opinions are the two most important ones, going to react when the key witnesses continue to be blocked from testifying?

          1. Schiff has already stated that they are moving on without Mulvaney, Bolton, etc.

            “We can’t afford to wait …”

            Yea, sure. That’s definitely the reason.

            1. Schiff has already stated that they are moving on without Mulvaney, Bolton, etc.

              Mmmkay. So how are Amash and DOL, whose opinions are the two most important ones, going to react when the key witnesses continue to be blocked from testifying?

              1. By crying and then jumping back into the circle jerk?

                1. By crying and then jumping back into the circle jerk?

                  Okay, so in your opinion, no different from letting them testify.

                  So your first assertion was that asking that key witnesses be allowed to testify is the same as demanding confession (even though I assume in your opinion Trump is 100% innocent and would be exonerated by said testimony).

                  When asked why you see those two things as being equivalent, you say that they shouldn’t testify because Amash and DOL won’t believe them. When asked what would be different about that if they continue to not testify, you point to the same outcome.

                  So, again, how is asking the witnesses to testify the same thing as demanding a confession?

                  And, following up on the recent confusion, how is the fact that Amash won’t believe them both an argument for and against having them testify? And if the testimony will absolve Trump, what is the advantage of continuing to block it?

                  1. //So, again, how is asking the witnesses to testify the same thing as demanding a confession?//

                    It is not. I have no idea why you assume I am equating these things. And you *are* assuming that because I *never* made such a statement. My issue is with Amash implying that the absence of testimony from Mulvany, Bolton, and Guiliani means that their testimony is going to be detrimental to Trump.

                    For someone who constantly cries about people “rephrasing” things and knocking down a straw man, you’ve certainly built one worthy of envy.

                    1. I have no idea why you assume I am equating these things. And you *are* assuming that because I *never* made such a statement.

                      Geraje Guzba
                      November.15.2019 at 11:38 am
                      “Keep it simple. Confess! CONFESS, YOU CRIMINAL!”

                      -Justin Amash, “Libertarian”

              2. “Mmmkay. So how are Amash and DOL, whose opinions are the two most important ones, going to react when the key witnesses continue to be blocked from testifying?”

                Given the ridiculous rules (Democrats have HOURS for questions, Republicans get 45 minutes and Schiff routinely interrupts them), he should be glad that a single Republican is even sitting in the room.

                1. Given the ridiculous rules (Democrats have HOURS for questions, Republicans get 45 minutes and Schiff routinely interrupts them), he should be glad that a single Republican is even sitting in the room.

                  Probably. But based on my own experience having been in high stakes legal conflicts with extremely unethical people, you have to be very careful about this kind of thing. A refusal to participate can backfire badly, even if you feel like the behavior on the other side is blatantly criminal, since you’re ceding control of the narrative.

                  The Dems are floundering so badly that if it were me (and if I were as innocent as Trump claims to be), I would cooperate 100% and simply tell the truth at every turn. It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s actually quite effective.

                  1. Well, yeah, but you’re an idiot so your advice is worthless.

                  2. Oh?

                    And what kind of “high stakes legal conflicts” have you been involved in? A “refusal to participate” doesn’t really exist at all because in the civil and criminal law context, you always have the power of a subpoena to compel testimony from uncooperative witnesses. In the impeachment context, such luxuries do not exist.

                    1. And what kind of “high stakes legal conflicts” have you been involved in?

                      Construction disputes involving millions of dollars. People get funny when the stakes are that high.

                      A “refusal to participate” doesn’t really exist at all because in the civil and criminal law context, you always have the power of a subpoena to compel testimony from uncooperative witnesses.

                      Yes, but not at this stage, which is analogous, in a civil context, to a pre-trial mediation or, in a criminal context, a grand jury trial.

                      But as you point out, this is neither of those things.

                      So why are you so butthurt that Amash has said the witnesses should be allowed to testify?

        2. Well, if that’s what they testified, then someone would be guilty of perjury. So we’d have to get to the bottom of it.

      2. If they do testify and say that the aid hold up had nothing to do with the request for Ukraine to investigate the situation with the Ukraine company Biden’s son worked for, the Democrats will just accuse them of perjury.

        1. If they do testify and say that the aid hold up had nothing to do with the request for Ukraine to investigate the situation with the Ukraine company Biden’s son worked for, the Democrats will just accuse them of perjury.

          So?

          1. So the point is the Democrats are not interested in their testimony and are just posturing.

            1. So the point is the Democrats are not interested in their testimony and are just posturing.

              So? Blocking them from testifying helps Trump’s case how?

              1. It’s not Trump’s case.

                1. It’s not Trump’s case.

                  Mmmkay, but you realize he’s being accused of a crime and being set up for impeachment, right?

                  I mean, if you get accused of robbing a liquor store, it’s not technically your case, sure, but does that make it wise to say “I have witnesses that will exonerate me, but they’re not going to testify because it’s not really my case?”

                  1. Oh, now he’s being accused of a crime? And here I though it was a “political” process with no rules. Get your story straight.

                    //I mean, if you get accused of robbing a liquor store, it’s not technically your case, sure, but does that make it wise to say “I have witnesses that will exonerate me, but they’re not going to testify because it’s not really my case?”//

                    If a person is being accused of a crime, they don’t have to do shit other than sit back and watch the prosecution founder. Don’t forget where the burden of proof is, jackass.

                    1. Oh, now he’s being accused of a crime? And here I though it was a “political” process with no rules.

                      Disingenuous much?

                      Yes, he has been accused of a crime. You must have noticed that.

                      That crime has not yet gone to trial. That’s why Trump’s people can refuse to honor the subpoenas and why Schiff & Co. can ignore due process for the moment.

                      If a person is being accused of a crime, they don’t have to do shit other than sit back and watch the prosecution founder.

                      That’s true. Probably not a good strategy, but it’s true that this is their right.

                      It’s almost like you’re aware of these distinctions but desperately want to sweep them under the rug, for some reason.

                    2. It’s not a good strategy for Trump to let the Dems make their case without his witnesses?

                      Remember, the ultimate end of this is the Senate. Letting his people speak puts them on record for no good reason at this point. Except some vague assertion from you that it’s good strategy.

                      If he’s going to have them testify, it makes far more sense to do it later.

                2. It´s not Trump´s case?

                  It´s only his presidency at risk. Let them testify!!

              2. Trivially, it prevents the Washington Post from running a headline reading, “Mulvaney, Bolton, and Guliani Testimony Confirms Trump Guilty”, which you know they would do regardless of what the three of them actually said.

                1. But it doesn’t prevent the Washington Post from running a headline reading “Mulvaney, Bolton, and Guliani Refusal to Testify Confirms Trump Guilty.”

                  1. Whod otou think is being convinced of anything at this point, especially by people who see Hitler is everything Trump does?

                  2. That the multiple refusals to allow testimony evinces Trump´s guilt is an entirely permissible inference. And the most logical inference.

        2. I do not think that Mulvaney, Pompeo or Bolton will tell anything other that the truth. They are too smart to get caught perjuring themselves. The problem is the truth will not look very good for President Trump. So better to keep them away from the Congress. Big problem for the President is Bolton has a book contract and we his testimony through that route.

      3. “Pretty telling that you equate letting first hand witnesses testify to confession. Here, let me help you put that mask back on straight.”

        Would you let cops root around your house with no search warrant, even if you had absolutely nothing to hide?

        1. Would you let cops root around your house with no search warrant, even if you had absolutely nothing to hide?

          How does “letting first hand witnesses testify” = “let cops root around your house with no search warrant?”

          1. Why would anybody allow any authorities to do anything more than they are legally permitted to do?

            Is Trump going to get “brownie points” for “playing along”?

            The Dems and Amash — I know, I repeat myself — brought this shit show to life with THIS. This is all they had. It isn’t anybody’s to do anything but laugh at their ineptitude.

            1. Why would anybody allow any authorities to do anything more than they are legally permitted to do?

              Because the witness’ testimony would supposedly be exonerating?

              Is Trump going to get “brownie points” for “playing along”?

              No. He just looks guilty as fuck when he forbids actual witnesses from testifying and then tries to dismiss the whole proceeding due to it not having direct witness testimony.

              Team Trump has been begging to take this inquiry out of the shadows and into the court of public opinion. Now that they have the public limelight, what’s the reason now for not participating?

              1. Trump and Zelensky releasing the transcripts of their calls and repeatedly affirming everything was fine is about as first hand as it gets. And, yet, you have no problem dismissing it.

                If you were being honest, rather than feebly gaslighting people with freshman year sophistry, you would admit that you’re just being a disingenuous asshole.

                1. And, yet, you have no problem dismissing it.

                  Where did I dismiss it?

                  By “dismissing it” do you actually mean “not taking it as the final word?”

                  If you were being honest, rather than feebly gaslighting people with freshman year sophistry, you would admit that you’re just being a disingenuous asshole.

                  You’re pretending asking witnesses to testify is somehow a violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and you say I’m gaslighting people?

                  1. //By “dismissing it” do you actually mean “not taking it as the final word?”//

                    Yes.

                    Person A: “I didn’t try to murder him.”
                    Person B: “It’s true, he did not try to murder me.”

                    Square = Circle: “Not so fast ….. let’s get some of these other people who weren’t there to give their opinions on what REALLY happened.”

                    Yes, you’re gaslighting people. You’re the only one who buys your own bullshit.

                    Best of luck.

                    1. //By “dismissing it” do you actually mean “not taking it as the final word?”//

                      Yes.

                      Thanks for confirming that. Dishonest partisans aren’t usually that open about being dishonest partisans.

                      I would tweak your analogy a bit to:

                      Briber: I didn’t bribe anyone!
                      Bribee: I didn’t get bribed!

                      Gerage Guzba: “Case closed, folks, they both deny it!”

                      You’re the only one who buys your own bullshit.

                      What is it you think I’m saying that you think is bullshit?

                    2. If the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim both deny the allegation…

                    3. If the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim both deny the allegation…

                      I agree that the Dems have a tough row to hoe here. It smacks of extreme desperation.

                      The trouble with GG’s analogy is that one can imagine Zelinskey’s motivations for not wanting to take a stand against Trump.

                      For that reason, I don’t think saying “both Trump and Zelinskey deny it” is a slam dunk proving their innocence. They would deny it even if it were a crime.

                      But maybe the best analogy would be a drug deal – both denying it doesn’t prove it didn’t happen, but it’s going to be tough to prove with neither’s cooperation.

                    4. Square, how the heck is this bribery?

                    5. Square, how the heck is this bribery?

                      I don’t think it is. I was just looking for a better analogy than the one GG used. The drug deal analogy is better.

                      I.e. if there’s a crime here, Ukraine is not the victim.

                    6. Square… this is why you are dishonest in this whole thing.

                      We have a literal title ix case in california where both the male and female said he wasnt abusing her. He was kicked off campus because a witness had the opinion he did even though both said they were play fighting. This is so much closer to what we have so far than your switch to calling the two briber and bribee. You are being dishonest here.

                      Everyone within one connection in this trial has said no connection. Trump, zelensky, and zelenskys aid. Even sondland even said no pid pro quo after he asked directly of there was no connection.

                      And you refuse to believe it.

                      You’re being utterly dishonest here.

                    7. We have a literal title ix case in california where both the male and female said he wasnt abusing her. He was kicked off campus because a witness had the opinion he did even though both said they were play fighting.

                      What is the role of Biden in this analogy?

                      This is so much closer to what we have so far than your switch to calling the two briber and bribee.

                      Yeah, I admit the briber-bribee analogy was not a good one. The drug deal one is better.

                      But really probably the best analogy would be paying someone for blackmail information. That’s really not too far from what he’s being accused of.

                      You can see how both the guy paying for the information and the guy supplying it might be willing to lie about it, right?

                      Everyone within one connection in this trial has said no connection.

                      That’s true. If people like Giuliani and Mulvaney, who are even closer than that, testify the same thing, that should nail the coffin shut, no?

                      You are being dishonest here.

                      You keep saying that, but no, I’m not. I may be being a frustrating hard-ass in making you prove your case, but you often surprise me. I think you can take it.

                      As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think the Dems are pulling up a very strong case, here, at least not one that will have any real legal traction. I think they’re hoping to just set up a narrative of corruption and not have it questioned.

                      But part of why I don’t think it will be found to be a crime is that, as many have pointed out, it would be hard to conduct foreign policy if the behavior we know of so far were to be made illegal.

                      What I am not prepared to do is just accept that Trump is innocent of any sort of wrongdoing based merely on the say-so of him and the others involved, as you’re asking me to do. Biden is a shady dude, and for sure should be investigated, but that doesn’t mean Trump’s motives here are pure as the driven snow.

                      I also don’t believe the things I hear from Taylor or Schiff or Kent, if that helps.

                2. The transcript is of one conversation. It is a transcript based on some notes. It is not a transcript of a recording. The transcript hints at extortion (getting promise aid for a Biden investigation) without saying it outright. The transcript is not the be-all-end-all of an investigation into whether Trump was extorting or bribing Ukrainian officials into making a public announcement of an investigation of Biden. There are witnesses and other conversations. It’s convenient for Trump supporters to say “you have a transcript that’s all you need” but the transcript is not the only available evidence.

              2. “Because the witness’ testimony would supposedly be exonerating?”

                For the DEMOCRATS? You cannot possibly be this naive.

                1. “Square = Circle” is a sophist troll. He makes half-baked, poorly reasoned arguments but, when you point out the fact that the arguments do not make sense or have terrible implications, he retreats to “I never made that argument” and then counters with a digression into something even more absurd, only to deny ever having made the digression. When all else fails, he accuses you of licking Trump’s balls and having mental problems.

                  Best to just ignore and file away along with Pod, DOL, Chemical burns, and Tony.

                  1. lol

                    This from the guy who literally said

                    “Keep it simple. Confess! CONFESS, YOU CRIMINAL!”

                    -Justin Amash, “Libertarian”

                    and then pretended he didn’t.

              3. Trump, the Ukrainian President and Foreign Minister all say it did not happen.

                Not sure what else you need. The top 3 involved all say “no”.

                1. He needs Bolton, Mulvaney, and Guiliani to testify, affirm that everything was fine, repeat that there was no wrongdoing, and then have the Democrats accuse them of being liars while CNN circulates a host of dishonest headlines and Amash accuses them of “carrying water” for a corrupt President.

                  That is what he wants.

                  Wait … I’ll even anticipate his reply:

                  “Uh … that is so NOT what I want; I’m just a disinterested observer making disinterested observations about a proceeding that I don’t care about one bit, but go ahead and keep licking Trump’s balls.”

                  1. Wait … I’ll even anticipate his reply:

                    Close.

                    Actually my response is what I’ve been saying all along:

                    1) Trump simply saying he did nothing wrong is not proof he did nothing wrong.

                    2) Your assertion that Amash is trashing the Fourth and Fifth Amendments by opining that the key witnesses should be allowed to testify is either:

                    a) retarded, or

                    b) dishonest.

                    1. Did you miss Amash twice voting for the inquiry, the second time as an attempt to break claims of exec priveledge? Amash has not made one mention of process here that would help the president.

                      Again, your dishonesty.

                    2. Did you miss Amash twice voting for the inquiry, the second time as an attempt to break claims of exec priveledge?

                      What does that have to do with what I said?

                      Amash has not made one mention of process here that would help the president.

                      a) Why should he?
                      b) What does that have to do with what I said?

                2. Not sure what else you need. The top 3 involved all say “no”.

                  You know what? Everyone involved in Whitewater said there was nothing wrong with that, either.

                  Again. Again, again, again, I’m not saying anything proves Trump’s corruption. I’m saying that denials from the people involved are not proof-positive exoneration.

                  1. Whitewater had 12 convictions directly related to fraud. Not process crimes.

                    Again, you are being dishonest.

                    1. So everyone involved in Whitewater did claim that what they were doing was criminal?

                      Even the Clintons?

                  2. Trump does not have to provide exoneration. Dems have to prove guilt and they have spectacularly failed at doing so.

                    Hell, yesterday was the biggest waste of time imaginable with a person testifying who had no info on any aspect of what was being discussed at all. And this was their SECOND day. They’ve already landed on empty.

                    1. They actually should’ve led with her. Would’ve been better for their narrative.
                      “Career hero angel civil service diplomat bullied out of her job so evil sexist Trump can commit treason!”
                      Chronologically, it makes more sense.
                      But Ds are a dumb and incompetent bunch (so are the Rs)

          2. Because the people taking the testimony obviously have the witnesses interests in mind, at all times.

            1. Because the people taking the testimony obviously have the witnesses interests in mind, at all times.

              So allowing witnesses to testify is the exact same thing as completely overturning the Fourth Amendment because not everybody questioning will necessarily be on Trump’s side?

              1. No, it’s more like overturning the Fifth Amendment and then presuming guilt because someone refuses to testify. But, you know, this isn’t criminal, so … fuck the rules … they don’t have to comply with shit. Now go cry about it.

                1. Now go cry about it.

                  Why would I cry about it? I’m not the one running around wailing and rubbing ashes in my hair because Trump is being investigated.

                  1. And, like anyone else, he must participate in his own investigation and prove his innocence. If you’re going to an illiberal piece of shit, stop pretending to be a down-the-center neutral guy.

                    Buy hey …. it’s your impeachment party, you can cry if you want to.

                    1. And, like anyone else, he must participate in his own investigation and prove his innocence

                      You are again willfully misrepresenting what I’m saying. It’s like a pattern with you.

                      I’m saying his refusal to participate is probably unwise.

                      Further, I’m saying that your declaration that asking that witnesses be allowed to testify is exactly the same thing as completely suspending both the Fourth and Fifth Amendments is hyperbolic to the point of being . . . wait for it . . . exactly the partisan gaslighting you’re accusing others of engaging in.

                      it’s your impeachment party

                      No, it isn’t. I don’t really care how this turns out. I’ve been really clear about that. That weeping and wailing you hear? That’s you, up and down this thread, sad that people are being mean to your God King.

                    2. “sad that people are being mean to your God King.”

                      Right, it was pretty clear you were one of those from the start of your stupid assertions.

              2. Square,
                For 3 years the Ds and intel establishment have been feverishly digging into anything and anyone the least bit connected with Trump and indicting them for process crimes.
                That you’d reccomend, as if sincere, that anyone voluntarily put themselves in position where that would be a possibility – just to get a “gotcha” over on Trump supporters to satisfy your egotistical neutrality – undercuts your stated principles.

                1. What I’m saying is that GG rephrasing what Amash said to

                  ““Keep it simple. Confess! CONFESS, YOU CRIMINAL!””

                  Is hyperbolic to the point of dishonesty. His pretending that a request to allow witnesses to testify somehow overturns not just the Fourth but also the Fifth Amendment is either bizarrely hysterical or willfully dishonest.

                  If Trump’s people really think the risk of getting caught in a ‘gotcha’ outweighs the political risk of stonewalling, then that’s their move to make.

                  But I hand it to you that you at least admit to being a Trump supporter, rather than a libertarian whose neutral and dispassionate observations have led you to the conclusion that Trump must obviously be 100% innocent of all he has been accused of and shouldn’t be investigated.

                  1. In fact, I would put GG’s characterization of what Amash said roughly on par with Schiff’s characterization of Trump’s call with Zelenskiy.

                    1. Amash knows full well how the Ds/corporate media will spin literally anything they say, so demanding they be “allowed” to testify would have the effect of denying them 5th amendment rights.
                      The simple act of testifying, regardless of content, would be a self-admitted invitation to slander and libel.
                      It’s a stretch, but nobody’s pulling any muscles

                    2. The act of testifying in a civil proceeding does not waive the privilege against self-incrimination, which can still be asserted on a question by question basis.

                    3. Amash knows full well how the Ds/corporate media will spin literally anything they say, so demanding they be “allowed” to testify would have the effect of denying them 5th amendment rights.

                      How so? What power do the Dems and corporate media have to deny their 5th amendment rights?

                      The simple act of testifying, regardless of content, would be a self-admitted invitation to slander and libel.

                      I don’t understand what you’re saying. Elaborate?

                      Don’t get me wrong – I agree that Amash is prone to empty self-righteous posturing. I think he’s still too young and immature to be a viable presidential candidate, but maybe he’ll be back in ten years with some more perspective.

                    4. Knowing that they will be smeared as “guilty! Coverup! Watergate!” by the Ds/corporate press no matter their testimony, agreeing to do so would be like putting handcuffs on themselves, or building their own gallows.
                      All the Ds have is narrative, and in the current environment, any testimony would be “incriminating”

                  2. What is the risk of stonewalling? There’s only a risk if you start with the assumption that their testimony will be detrimental to Trump. In other words, by assuming that silence is evidence of guilt.

                    1. In other words, by assuming that silence is evidence of guilt.

                      You’re right. I’m sure no one will assume that.

                    2. Guilt is a fair inference from Trump prohibiting testimony.

                  3. I never said anything about the Fourth or Fifth Amendment. You are making that up, Mr. “I hate straw men but …. here’s one of my own.”

                    1. I never said anything about the Fourth or Fifth Amendment. You are making that up, Mr. “I hate straw men but …. here’s one of my own.”

                      Square = Circle
                      November.15.2019 at 1:04 pm
                      Because the people taking the testimony obviously have the witnesses interests in mind, at all times.

                      So allowing witnesses to testify is the exact same thing as completely overturning the Fourth Amendment because not everybody questioning will necessarily be on Trump’s side?

                      Geraje Guzba
                      November.15.2019 at 1:12 pm
                      No, it’s more like overturning the Fifth Amendment and then presuming guilt because someone refuses to testify. But, you know, this isn’t criminal, so … fuck the rules … they don’t have to comply with shit. Now go cry about it.

                  4. I don’t like frauds, and the “pretending to neutrality” bit is far more prevalent on the opposite side

                    1. Mike Laursen, chemjeff, de oppresso, moderation4ever, pod, Jason Cavanaugh, eunuch (cmw), escher, echo, and – at times – yourself

                      Trump supporters, like the man himself, are pretty transparent.

                      That legitimately neutral voices here largely side against the Ds on this one is not evidence of partisanship on their part.
                      It’s evidence of the ridiculousness of the Ds.

                      Not everything is always equal

                    2. I give you credit for largely maintaining neutrality, if to the extent of straying into partisanship at times to maintain it, and being direct when you step outside that zone

                    3. I give you credit for largely maintaining neutrality, if to the extent of straying into partisanship at times to maintain it, and being direct when you step outside that zone

                      Thanks for that. I have a very high bar to clear to get me to take sides, and I know I can be a stubborn pain in the ass, which makes me appear partisan at times. But what can I say? I get called partisan by people on both sides. As a young D&D player I was that guy who tended to be the true Neutral monk or the Chaotic Neutral ranger. I believe in balance, but I’m also a contrarian.

                      I’ve gained more respect for you as I’ve gotten to know you – I was dismissive of you at first, and for that I apologize.

                    4. Eh, I can definitely be a dick at times

  4. “House Democrats have upped the ante in the impeachment inquiry.”

    What an odd way to say “lost the general public so they used different poll-tested words”

  5. Okay, then let Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, and the whistle blower testify as well you fucking ass clown. If Amish thinks all of the witnesses should testify, good for him. But if he can pick and choose witnesses, he can’t then complain about the other side doing the same.

    1. Again, weird hearing a “libertarian-leaner” busting out “if you have nothing to hide, then let the cops do what they want”

      1. any words preceding “politician” can usually be ignored

    2. The whistleblower is sacred, and must not testify under any circumstances. Trump and his goons have the burden of proving their innocence.

      That Amash continues to hold himself out as some sort of principled libertarian is absurd. The man has completely lost all semblance of fairness and due process obviously means absolutely nothing to him.

      1. And Amash means nothing to the country. He’s a has-been at this point.

        1. ANd he knows it. He is just auditioning for a role on MSNBC at this point.

      2. The man has completely lost all semblance of fairness and due process obviously means absolutely nothing to him.

        How does “the key witnesses should be allowed to testify” = “The man has completely lost all semblance of fairness and due process obviously means absolutely nothing to him?”

        1. The person who’s “complaint” led to all of this isn’t material? Seriously?

          1. Thank you.

            I find myself going squarely in circles here with this guy.

            1. I find myself going squarely in circles here with this guy.

              You have yet to make an actual point in response to anything I’ve said.

              1. Go fuck yourself. That’s a point. You may not agree, but’s that my testimony, and I’m sticking with it.

                1. Go fuck yourself. That’s a point.

                  No, it isn’t. It’s a command. It’s not subject to proof.

                  No offense, but you’re really bad at this.

                  1. Well, then you need to exonerate yourself right now buddy. Prove that you can’t fuck yourself. That’s right. Prove it! Because I have a ton of witnesses on this site that will gladly testify you fuck yourself every time you open your mouth.

                    1. Again, you didn’t state that I fuck myself. You commanded me to do so.

                      Basic logic – it can be your friend, if you let it.

                    2. The command to “go fuck yourself” implies you have the ability to do so. The ability to do so implies the possibility that you do do so…

                    3. The command to “go fuck yourself” implies you have the ability to do so. The ability to do so implies the possibility that you do do so…

                      But is the command itself falsifiable? No. It is not a statement, by definition, and thus is not subject to logic, which deals in statements, not commands and queries.

                    4. 0=[] is definitely that kind of persona.

          2. The person who’s “complaint” led to all of this isn’t material?

            ?

            I’m saying witnesses should be allowed to testify.

            1. No, you’re saying they should be compelled to testify

              1. No, you’re saying they should be compelled to testify

                No, I’m not. I understand you wish I were, but I’m not. If Trump lifts the prohibition on them testifying, and they still don’t want to, I don’t think they should be forced until it’s a Senate hearing.

                If they continue to be barred from testifying, don’t be surprised when that gets used as part of the justification for sending it the Senate where they can be compelled.

                1. If you’re simply arguing that barring their testimony creates the possible appearance of guilt, sure.
                  You’ve been arguing that barring their testimony creates the probable appearance of guilt.
                  Thus, the desire for their best outcome would compel them to testify.
                  I disagree

                  1. You disagree on the where we are in the gap between “possible” and “probable?”

                    I don’t have a problem with that.

                    But I would point out the difference in optics between them refusing to testify and being forbidden to testify.

                    My main argument here being that Amash saying these guys should be allowed to testify is not Stalinist behavior on Amash’s part.

                    1. Correct, and I can agree to your distinction between refusal and prohibition.

                      The problem with Amash is that he’s a weasel trying to insinuate Stalinist practices while avoiding direct advocacy.

                    2. The problem with Amash is that he’s a weasel trying to insinuate Stalinist practices while avoiding direct advocacy.

                      That’s where I think you’re reading too much into it. I think he’s just looking for attention and some credit for being “not that type of conservative,” hoping to position himself as a conservative alternative to Trump.

                    3. Giuliani and Mulvaney have disregarded subpoenas. Compliance with a subpoena is not an optional matter.

                      Indeed, the Judiciary Committee in the Nixon matter considered similar obstruction of Congress to be an impeachable offense. Article III if I recall correctly.

                    4. Giuliani and Mulvaney have disregarded subpoenas. Compliance with a subpoena is not an optional matter.

                      Not all subpoenas are created equal.

                      Indeed, the Judiciary Committee in the Nixon matter considered similar obstruction of Congress to be an impeachable offense. Article III if I recall correctly.

                      So? It’s an accusation that never went to hearing. It means nothing.

            2. But they AREN’T. And not by Trump alone.

              1. Who else is stopping them?

                Honestly asking.

                1. Even if it is Trump alone, executive privilege is a real valid thing. Obama even used it.

                  1. Even if it is Trump alone, executive privilege is a real valid thing.

                    Fine. I’m not saying Trump doesn’t have the right to tell his people not to testify. I’m saying Amash is not being unreasonable in saying they should be allowed to.

                    The point at hand is my question regarding who besides Trump is forbidding them to testify.

                    Obama even used it.

                    And you defended him, right?

                    1. Did he ask for an impeachment inquiry under Obama? Dont think anyone her did.

                      But you seem to be arguing from assumption again. This guys defends process abuse against trump so he must have wanted to jail obama… right?

                    2. Did he ask for an impeachment inquiry under Obama?

                      I honestly don’t know. Did he initiate articles of impeachment? I don’t think so. Did he opine that Obama should be impeached? Maybe. Wouldn’t surprise me, but I honestly don’t know.

                      This guys defends process abuse against trump so he must have wanted to jail obama… right?

                      One would think, right?

                2. Schiff is refusing to allow the whistleblower to testify, for one.

                  Again, the person (Eric Ciaramella) who initiated all of this.

                  1. Okay. So in regards to the people we were actually talking about, no one but Trump is forbidding them to testify?

                    I haven’t been following this as closely as many here, so I’m fully prepared for someone to produce something that says otherwise.

                    As I said, I think the whistleblower should be allowed to testify, too.

                    1. And again you miss the point of someone doing something extra legally they dont have to.

                      I’ve literally seen you say never talk to a cop. Why the change here?

                    2. Schiff and the Ds have certainly forbidden any chance for a fair and open hearing, and has offered no adjustment of the rules to encourage their testimony.
                      Trump is in a position where he really has no option but to prohibit their testimony under those conditions

                    3. And again you miss the point of someone doing something extra legally they dont have to.

                      What point am I missing? I’m trying to establish whether there is anything other than Trump preventing these guys from testifying.

                      I’ve literally seen you say never talk to a cop.

                      No, I don’t believe you have. I’ve tried that before. It didn’t go well.

                    4. Schiff and the Ds have certainly forbidden any chance for a fair and open hearing, and has offered no adjustment of the rules to encourage their testimony.

                      Have they? Repubs would get to question them, too, right? Just like any Congressional hearing? Haven’t we moved on to the public hearing phase, now?

                    5. Have you seen the hearing?
                      Rs are sometimes allowed to question. Other times, they’re told they’re not allowed

    3. But if he can pick and choose witnesses, he can’t then complain about the other side doing the same.

      Has Amash ever said the Biden’s shouldn’t testify?

      1. He said the whisteblower shouldn’t. And he hasn’t exactly come out in favor of Biden testifying, now has he? And when Democrats blew off the prospect of Biden testifying, Amash was strangely silent.

        1. He said the whisteblower shouldn’t.

          Link? Given your other statements so far, I’d like to see what literally, actually said, because you can be a little interpretive in how you treat statements.

          If that’s what he said, I agree he’s being a hypocrite.

          1. Oh, I understand. Your internet browser only permits you to visit Reason.com, right? Seems to be a chronic problem with assholes that insist on other people providing them with corroborative evidence that they can just as easily find themselves if they took the fucking time rather than pretending that their refusal to look is evidence of absence.

            https://reason.com/2019/11/05/rand-paul-wants-whistleblower-outed-libertarians-want-the-old-rand-paul-back/

            He’s a hypocrite. We all knew that.

            1. Your internet browser only permits you to visit Reason.com, right? Seems to be a chronic problem

              And then you link to Reason.com. Holy shit, man, if you’re going to be an asshole, don’t be an idiot at the same time.

              And I think you accidentally linked to an article about Amash saying the whistleblower shouldn’t be doxxed, when what you were telling me was that Amash said the whistleblower shouldn’t be allowed to testify.

              At least, I assume that was an accident, because you couldn’t be a big enough hypocrite to be actively gaslighting us, right?

              1. The point to linking to Reason was to illustrate that you could have easily found the article in question, without leaving the site.

                Good job. You’re an asshole and retarded to boot.

                1. The point to linking to Reason was to illustrate that you could have easily found the article in question, without leaving the site.

                  You mean the article that completely didn’t say what you said it did?

                  I could probably easily find a bunch of other articles that also don’t say what you said they did.

                  Here’s one.

                  Do you have something to back up what you actually said?

                  1. Having trouble at home, square?

                    1. I am actually a little under the weather today, which does put me in a pissy mood.

                      Doesn’t change the fact that GG’s source in no way backs up his claim.

                    2. Here’s to your convalescence

                    3. Here’s to your convalescence

                      Tx. 🙂

                  2. So, in your mind, keeping the whistleblower’s identity a secret from the President and Republicans is consistent with permitting the whistleblower to testify? Because both of those conditions can be simultaneously satisfied?

                    Makes perfect fucking sense.

                    1. So, in your mind, keeping the whistleblower’s identity a secret from the President and Republicans is consistent with permitting the whistleblower to testify?

                      They are, in fact, unrelated things.

                      You asserted that Amash wants the whistleblower to be forbidden to testify.

                      I asked you to back that up, you linked to something unrelated, insulted me, and changed the subject.

                    2. We call 0=[] the drive-by kid.

                      No citations but tantrum throwing like a 3 year old.

  6. Me to Amash:
    Fuck off and die, you cowardly, leeching fraud

    1. “” “” “” “”

  7. Weighing in on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News program, Judge Andrew Napolitano explained that “it wouldn’t matter if it was Joe Biden or Joe Blow” who was at the center of the investigations sought by Trump.

    I am so fucking confused. So you’re saying that the U.S. is not allowed to use foreign aid as leverage at all? Once we’ve started giving aid to a country, we’re not longer allowed to decide how, when and what conditions must be met before that aid is disbursed?

    WTF, Ukraine is not entitled to anything from the American taxpayer. If the U.S. needs to use it to further our own national interest, that is our prerogative. Ukraine is welcome to tell us to fuck off if they don’t want to deal with the strings attached to our aid.

    At first we were told that the main issue was that it had to do with Trump trying to investigate a political opponent. Now we’re told, the political opponent/upcoming election has no bearing on whether or not Trump’s actions were improper.

    How is anyone supposed to be able to follow this?

    1. By Nap’s logic, if the President had information about an American committing some horrible crime in Ukraine, the President couldn’t tell Ukraine about it and couldn’t leverage our aid to them to get them to instigate without being guilty of bribery.

      How can he not understand how stupid and crazy that sounds? Why would anyone want to degrade themselves like that no matter what the reward for doing it?

    2. If it makes no sense, that is because it is intended to be senseless. The theory of impeachment is deliberately Orwellian. It can mean everything and nothing at the same time; it can mean two or three or four different things at once, each of which contradict the others; it is a standard without standards; a crime without illegality; an ocean without water.

      The purpose is to make the process so stupid, so unbearably stupid, that a sane person observing it from the outside would be at pains not to conclude that the apparent stupidity is a hallucination of sorts, a subjective delusion, a personal misunderstanding, that nothing this stupid can possibly be deliberate and that, therefore, something must exist beneath the stupidity, something palpable, something nefarious, because such stupidity cannot possibly be intentional.

      The incoherence is a feature, not a bug.

      1. The incoherence is a feature, not a bug.

        Well its a terrible feature if the Democrats are trying to get the American population on their side.

        1. They’re not. The impeachment stunt is red meat for the progressive lunatics in New York and California. The Democrats couldn’t care less about anybody else.

          1. That wouldn’t even make sense though, a lot of Democrats elected in purple Trump districts are up for re-election this year.

            1. this *upcoming* year (2020)

              1. In my opinion, the Democrats know they are toast. The prospect of the electorate swinging against them has been more or less accepted. They have calculated that can afford to lose a few seats here and there; they may just as well win them back the next time around. The Democrats cannot afford to lose their lunatics, however.

                1. That is an interesting perspective. They don’t want a repeat of 2016 when they illegally suppressed the Bernie vote because Boomers weren’t ready to accept that Millennials and young Gen Xers are unseating them as the primary voting constituencies.

                2. Democrats had a plan to back fill the gaps in fleeing Democrat electorate with new immigrants. Trump put the kibosh on that.

                  Democrats wanted to finalize plans to control the Judicial Branch just in case they did lose an election here and there. Trump put the kibosh on that.

                  Democrats wanted to use illegals and homeless in Blue states to add/hold Congressional Districts to the Blue states losing residents to Red states. The SCOTUS and Trump put the kibosh on that.

                  Democrats wanted to impeach Trump and then Pence to get Pelosi as President. Voters and Trump are putting the kibosh on that.

                3. That explains all of the Republicans with senior committee assignments retiring from the House.

                  Is this the year Republican stupidity finally becomes so pervasive that they forget how to win elections?

                  1. Tony thinks those RINOs wont be replaced by new Republicans.

                    Hahaha.

                    1. But not with any power since they’ll be in the minority again.

                    2. Poor Tony doesnt realize how control of the Presidency and the US Senate cripples the House.

                      All those federal judges.

            2. The issue of Congressional Districts gets more complicated by the Census 2020. There is a good chance that some of the Democrats who might win the 2020 House election might have their congressional district pulled out from under them. It’s happened to politicians before.

    3. “Weighing in on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News program, Judge Andrew Napolitano explained that “it wouldn’t matter if it was Joe Biden or Joe Blow” who was at the center of the investigations sought by Trump.”

      I’m still baffled how Biden’s actions wouldn’t fall under “bribery” in this case. Because he did not specifically say “To protect my useless son”?

      1. According to Napolitano it doesn’t matter whether he said “my useless son” or “the world’s trust in Ukraine’s judiciary.”

        Biden’s threat to hold up Congressionally approved aid over political concessions from the Ukraine is bribery. Guess he’s a Warren supporter.

    4. Once we’ve started giving aid to a country, we’re not longer allowed to decide how, when and what conditions must be met before that aid is disbursed?

      That would be like telling people on welfare how they can spend the money they’re given. We all know that’s a big no-no.

    5. So you’re saying that the U.S. is not allowed to use foreign aid as leverage at all?

      No. He’s saying the President can’t unilaterally hold Congressional appropriations hostage to serve his own personal interests.

      The idea is that when the U.S. has decided to aid a foreign country, the President can’t decide on his own to withhold it and add further conditions.

      1. Obama and Biden did.

        Just sayin’.

        1. Obama and Biden did.

          And that was wrong, too, right?

          1. Probably should be investigated

          2. “And that was wrong, too, right?”

            Except investigating that, you know, led to this farce inquiry.

            1. So, it’s not true that that wasn’t investigated?

              1. What is true that the prosecutor, a month before Biden had him fired, made a large move against the oligarch in charge of Burisma. The State Dept was then lobbied on behalf of Burisma to stop it. Biden, again less than a month later, then had that prosecutor fired. The replacement, of course, cleared Burisma of all charges.

                1. You’re talking about Ukraine’s investigation. It’s not clear to me that what Hunter and Joe did broke any Ukrainian laws.

                  Biden should be investigate by our government if he broke our laws.

          3. “”And that was wrong, too, right?””

            Apparently not, else they would have been charged.

            1. Oh. Okay. Then what’s the complaint?

      2. If you can propose a practicable standard to differentiate between a President pursuing “personal interests” and pursuing the “national interest,” I would be interested in hearing about it.

        Because if “personal interests” is synonymous with “political popularity,” then everything any President does, even if it is well within the scope of his executive authority, becomes impeachable conduct if there is any probability that the conduct in question has the tendency of influencing the electorate to view the President favorably.

        1. If you can propose a practicable standard to differentiate between a President pursuing “personal interests” and pursuing the “national interest,” I would be interested in hearing about it.

          Yes – that’s a sticky question, and the Dems may not have made the best move hanging their hopes on this.

          That doesn’t mean that’s not what they are accusing him of.

          1. Right.

            So Democrats are accusing Trump of wrongdoing that doesn’t make any sense, in principle, and cannot be applied, in practice, to differentiate impeachable conduct from unimpeachable conduct.

            But, by all means, let’s have everybody come in to testify in a proceeding concerning an accusation that makes no sense because otherwise Trump looks guilty.

            Makes perfect sense.

            1. Don’t get me wrong – Trump is free to continue going about this in the way he has up until this point.

              What I’m saying is that if he’s not guilty, he’s an idiot.

              1. Just throw him in the lake with cement boots. If he sinks, he’s innocent.

                Moron.

                1. Just throw him in the lake with cement boots. If he sinks, he’s innocent.

                  You seem congenitally incapable of addressing the actual argument being made.

                  Pro tip: if you always have to “rephrase” someone’s argument in order to rebut it, you may not have a very solid point you’re making.

                  You may even be a dishonest partisan intentionally gaslighting people.

                  1. You’re the one who actually tried to argue above that Trump and Zelensky denying any sort of bribery is actually proof of the bribery and, therefore, third party witnesses that were not privy to a damn thing need to be trotted out in order for Trump to exonerate himself.

                    You freely concede Trump is being accused of an amorphous, crime with no elements or applicable standards, but he must participate in the clown show investigation, otherwise he’s guilty.

                    For fucks’ sake, people can read. They can scroll up and see your bullshit. It’s not going anywhere. Maybe you’d like to take a look at again, one day … when Trump is reelected.

                  2. “Pro tip: if you always have to “rephrase” someone’s argument in order to rebut it, you may not have a very solid point you’re making.”

                    You should give chemjeff this advice

                    1. You should give chemjeff this advice

                      While I often agree with the abstract philosophy behind chemjeff’s comments, he too is pretty bad about this kind of thing, yes.

                    2. You agree with base sophistry?

                    3. You agree with base sophistry?

                      No, I think chemjeff really is committed to individual liberty and non-aggression – that’s the part I agree with. I think he just has a tendency to caricature Trump supporters and jump immediately to accusations of racism, which then antagonizes Trump supporters, who then attack him, at which point he digs his heels in and becomes quite contrarian.

                      I can sympathize, because I get contrarian with people, too, but I don’t share his prejudice against Trump supporters (at least any more than my prejudice against any partisans), so I think I wind up harping on the left-wingers more than he does.

                    4. Jeff’s beliefs are emotional rather than intellectual. Hed like to believe he’s committed to individual rights and the NAP, but he can’t keep it consistent. This is where the psychosis comes in, and he begins arguing against statements/positions that are internal fixtures rather than what really appears.
                      Then he gets to places like “if a refugee is persecuted enough at home, that refugee deserves asylum even if the refugee rapes children while in custody awaiting hearing” – he is so fixated on the morality of pity that suffering is the only factor that matters and a nation has no right to consider anything else.
                      If he came out as an anarchist, he’d have a little more consistency, but since his philosophy is moral rather than logical he doesn’t have as clear an idea of what he believes as he thinks.
                      He’s interesting to observe because he’s both sincere and pathologically dishonest

      3. No. He’s saying the President can’t unilaterally hold Congressional appropriations hostage to serve his own personal interests.

        But I thought it didn’t matter if Trump was holding it to investiate Hunter Biden (not that that has been fully established yet). Now they’re saying that he can’t withhold it regardless of who it was that we needed to investigate.

        The idea is that when the U.S. has decided to aid a foreign country, the President can’t decide on his own to withhold it and add further conditions.

        Now this I can get behind, but I don’t see why this standard has been applied to Trump but not to any other U.S. president in modern history.

        1. But I thought it didn’t matter if Trump was holding it to investiate Hunter Biden (not that that has been fully established yet). Now they’re saying that he can’t withhold it regardless of who it was that we needed to investigate.

          It’s almost like the Dems, too, are corrupt, lying idiots.

          But regardless of whether or not what they are saying is true, what they are saying does not imply that “the U.S. is not allowed to use foreign aid as leverage at all.”

          Now this I can get behind, but I don’t see why this standard has been applied to Trump but not to any other U.S. president in modern history.

          I think we all know why. This is the dangerous game that they’re playing.

          When Obama came into office he suddenly reversed his position on investigating the Bush administration for torture and war crimes and whatnot.

          Why?

          He didn’t want to be subjected to the same scrutiny.

          The establishment is so apoplectic with rage over Trump, that they’re throwing caution to the wind as far as precedents they are setting for the future.

          1. “‘The establishment is so apoplectic with rage over Trump, that they’re throwing caution to the wind as far as precedents they are setting for the future.””

            No kidding. Perhaps that’s TDS in action.

            1. Precedents don’t really matter when your plan is to go full totalitarian

            2. No kidding. Perhaps that’s TDS in action.

              Indeed.

          2. what they are saying does not imply that “the U.S. is not allowed to use foreign aid as leverage at all.”

            That’s not how I see it. They seem to be implying that the U.S. is not allowed to use foreign aid as leverage at all.

            1. Maybe in the sense that in order to apply the rules the way they want to apply them in order to get Trump on something, they might effectively render that the case.

              But it’s not the argument they’re trying to make, and pointing out that this is a potential ramification of the precedent they’re trying to establish is a pretty good response to the allegations.

              It means they really need to prove that Trump solely and exclusively wanted fabricated dirt on his political opponent. That’s a high bar, and I don’t think they’re going to clear it.

    6. I just have a hard time getting riled up about the US bribing, extorting and/or threatening another nation to get it to do what we want it to. I always thought that was just foreign policy 101.

      1. I always thought that was just foreign policy 101.

        Definitely. The old school method would just be to have one of Zelenskiy’s kids raised in the Trump White House, to have a little extra leverage.

        1. No more hostages these days
          And, as I mention in either this or the other thread, we’re the ones paying tribute now

  8. Unfortunately, both Amash and Napolitano have diminished themselves in my eyes. I have always considered, obviously incorrectly, these two men to be well principled and above naked political punditry. Trump was wrong and he should be absolutely admonished for his indiscretions. But we have more evidence of Biden committing the exact same crime in trying to get the investigation into Hunter stopped. And even if Trump took the wrong path, this is an issue that needs to be investigated, END STOP. Nap and Amash are only focused on removing someone they do not like, not getting to the bottom of all the criminal perpetrated by our government.

    1. “But we have more evidence of Biden committing the exact same crime in trying to get the investigation into Hunter stopped.”

      You have no evidence that happened because it never happened. It was a lie created by crooks in Ukraine and Russia parroted by Fox News and other Americans and spoon fed to uninformed people. These crooks created the lie so they could sell it to Trump.

      1. We have Biden truthers like Pod who will never be satisfied that his own words bragging about the crime he committed can be taken seriously.

        There is more evidence…FAR more evidence…that Biden used US aid to get Ukraine to do something than we have of Trump doing so.

        1. We also have video where Joe Biden bragged about it.

          Joe Biden bragging about withholding Ukrainian aid

          1. So is it wrong when Biden does it but OK when Trump does it? Is that the best you got? Two wrongs make a right?

            I’ll assume that your baby mind can’t grasp the fact that Biden was pursuing a known US policy aim, which is legitimate, and Trump was pursuing a bullshit conspiracy theory to hurt his political opponent for personal gain in contravention of US policy.

            1. So, fair to say that your take is “wrong when Trump does it but OK when Biden does it?”

              Can I get a show of hands on how many people think it would be wrong no matter which guy did it?

              1. What Biden did wasn’t wrong. It was normal in all the ways these duplicitous assholes are saying: the quo for his quid was a legitimate US foreign policy aim. Get rid of the corrupt guy and we’ll release the aid.

                Trump threatened to withhold aid if he didn’t get political dirt on Biden based on a lame internet conspiracy theory. That’s bribery.

                When Republicans are doing Both Sides, they are admitting guilt and trying to distract you.

                1. Yeah – I already had you in the “OK for Biden, not for Trump” column, but thanks for confirming.

                  1. And you’ve clearly camped out in the “Trump can’t be uniquely corrupt–whatever he does, there must be an equal and opposite Democrat who did something bad” lane.

                    Your logical fallacy is who gives a fuck. You know what it is.

                    1. And you’ve clearly camped out in the “Trump can’t be uniquely corrupt–whatever he does, there must be an equal and opposite Democrat who did something bad” lane.

                      I said no such thing. I said that I already knew that in your opinion Biden did nothing wrong and Trump is “uniquely corrupt.”

                      I’ve never required both sides to be exactly equal to recognize that there are corrupt shitheads on both sides.

                    2. Your logical fallacy is who gives a fuck.

                      Actually, I can get on board with this. None of this seems like a big deal and I think most people consider this to be insider political football rather than an actual scary thing we need to defend the nation from.

                      Most people freaking out about this seem like political junkies.

                    3. Actually, I can get on board with this. None of this seems like a big deal and I think most people consider this to be insider political football rather than an actual scary thing we need to defend the nation from.

                      Most people freaking out about this seem like political junkies.

                      This is pretty much my overarching point. I think rational people haven’t come to conclusions on this. If you’re sure Trump is innocent or that Trump is guilty, that’s a commentary on you.

                      But that’s not what Tony is saying – he’s saying I’m committing a logical fallacy by saying both sides are corrupt, but he’s too lazy to try to remember what the name of it would be (i.e. that’s the thing he doesn’t give a fuck about).

                      Make no mistake, Tony is absolutely sure Trump is guilty of every crime he’s been accused of.

                    4. Both sides obviously have corruption. But not everyone in government is corrupt. Both parties are not equally corrupt. As all of the Trump apologists here have been insisting, corruption is something you have to prove.

                    5. As all of the Trump apologists here have been insisting, corruption is something you have to prove.

                      And thus we arrive back at Square One.

                      Here we go ’round the mulberry bush . . .

                    6. “”Your logical fallacy is who gives a fuck. “”

                      Not a logical fallacy.

                    7. Poor Tony.

                      Trump has one missing part of the equation that Joe Biden has. Joe Biden was trying to protect his son Hunter Biden from criminal charges.

                      But Tony’s baby mind for Team Blue will never admit that.

                      *Hands baby Tony a buttplug pacifer

              2. Is there a difference between investigating potential corruption of US officials an/or their relations and blocking investigation of potential corruption of US officials and/or their relations?

                1. Is there a difference between investigating potential corruption of US officials an/or their relations and blocking investigation of potential corruption of US officials and/or their relations?

                  Who are you accusing of having done which?

                  I’m not making any claims about the facts of any of these situations. I’m pointing to people on both teams and saying “if you believe x is bad, why don’t you also believe y is bad?”

                  The most common response, of course, being that the people on the Other Side are lying.

                    1. Oh – I thought it was a rhetorical question, and so I jumped ahead.

                      The answer was “yes.”

                    2. 0=[] is on the bandwagon misrepresenting the case against Trump.

                      Trump did was 100% legal and what his supporters want him to do.

                      Joe Biden was trying to get his son Hunter Biden from facing criminal charges and that is what Democrats want him to do.

              3. *half-raises hand*

                I think both are potentially wrong depending on other factors, including that one was conditional on the other occurring. On the whole, though, I think they both fall into the category of ‘shady but not exactly impeachable.’

                I am far more concerned with examples of corruption that represent long-standing patterns of behavior or systemic abuse of power. I haven’t yet seen a clear example of that with the Trump administration. Certainly not at the level of, say, a ‘family’ charity accepting donations from foreign powers while one of the potential beneficiaries of that charity held an office that could directly benefit said powers.

                1. On the whole, though, I think they both fall into the category of ‘shady but not exactly impeachable.’

                  I agree. I’ve seen people called out on Biden’s kind of thing before, and even if convicted the consequences are hardly earth-shattering. It tends to be regarded as a paperwork filing error – i.e. you forgot to declare your conflict.

                  Certainly not at the level of, say, a ‘family’ charity accepting donations from foreign powers while one of the potential beneficiaries of that charity held an office that could directly benefit said powers.

                  Yes. I had that exact same conversation with grb last week, pointing out that if you took his arguments and applied them to the Clinton Foundation, you’ve got a situation far uglier than what anyone involved here has been accused of.

                  But if I’m not mistaken, as it’s not getting any publicity at all, I do believe that the Clinton Foundation is under investigation.

                2. Agree with you here, mamabug, with the caveat that blocking seems a little shadier, in most circumstances, than prompting (left that word out above) investigation.
                  Obviously, the nature of the investigation is the critical factor

                  1. with the caveat that blocking seems a little shadier, in most circumstances, than prompting

                    Agreed.

            2. “I’ll assume that your baby mind can’t grasp the fact that Biden was pursuing a known US policy aim”

              The US foreign policy is, literally, anything Trump says it is. He runs it.

              1. And impeachment is right there in the constitution as a remedy for when he commits high crimes.

                1. High crimes doesn’t mean “you have to be fucking high to believe it’s a crime.”

                  Yet, here we are. Living constitution, I guess.

                  1. You’d think it was a crime if he had a (D) after his name.

                    1. Compelling argument. Perhaps you should testify. Your ability to read minds would make you a star witness.

                    2. But you would because you’d be told that this was the most blatantly corrupt, odious human chunk of cellulite who ever entered the city of Washington, let alone sat in the Oval Office. And the people telling you that wouldn’t be wrong.

                    3. But you would because you’d be told that this was the most blatantly corrupt, odious human chunk of cellulite who ever entered the city of Washington, let alone sat in the Oval Office.

                      To be fair, I think that was Chester Arthur.

                    4. Literally the only thing I know about Chester A. Arthur has to do with the Die Hard movies.

                    5. I would LOVE to see Tony testify!

                    6. What’s 21 out of 42?

                    7. What’s 21 out of 42?

                      The Answer to just Life and the Universe, but not Everything?

                    8. You should like Die Hard: With a Vengeance
                      Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Irons are in it.
                      Narrowly edges out the first as my favorite in the series (though I wish Ellis from the original could’ve had a recurring role – he was an awesome ’80s guy’)
                      “What is 21 out of 42” is a riddle they need to solve to find a bomb

                    9. Tony, if a person is a Democrat they are likely a criminal. It’s likely why they are Democrat.

                      Obama (D) got away with murdering two Americans.

        2. Biden, in his own words, said he told Ukraine to fire the prosecutor or they wouldn’t get $1 billion(!) – the prosecutor was fired, Ukraine got our money

          Trump is ACCUSED of threatening to do exactly what Biden bragged of doing in order to investigate corruption – no investigation was announced, Ukraine got our money

          Well at least the “most important ally” of the US got our money

          1. Both claim to have been acting in the course of a completely above-board corruption probe. Each side accuses the other of lying about that. Me, I don’t trust either one of them, and secretly think both of them were probably engaging in ordinary, garden-variety, everyday political corruption, since that’s how shit works.

            Well at least the “most important ally” of the US got our money

            And yes – I think you’re honing in on the parts of the system that aren’t going to get looked at or changed. The mouths under the spigot may change, but no one is proposing shutting the valve.

            1. Trump is being accused of a specific incident (quid pro quo/bribery/extortion for Biden investigation) with a finite goal (2020 election advantage).
              Biden is being accused of a specific incident (quid pro quo/bribery/extortion for protection of Burisma via firing Shokin) with an open ended goal (foreign payoffs to influence US policy).
              If the latter proves true, it absolves the former absolutely.
              If the former proves true, it has no bearing on the latter.

              1. If the former proves true, it has no bearing on the latter.

                True.

                If the latter proves true, it absolves the former absolutely.

                Less true. Biden being corrupt doesn’t make Trump’s way of going about getting him not corrupt.

                But again, given the likelihood of Biden’s corruption here, it’s going to be very hard to prove that there’s a criminal element to what Trump did. I would think you would have to prove that Trump had no other motivation whatsoever besides his personal gain. I doubt that’s even the case, let alone provably so.

                1. True. To assert that Trump has ‘no other motive whatsoever besides personal gain’ means accepting at face value the idea that, once a politician leaves office, the US has zero national interest in determining if any of their prior actions while in office were corrupt.

                  1. Fair, but even were Trump’s sole motivation personal gain, the presence of the corruption he sought renders his motive moot. Uncovering that corruption serves the national interest and is literally the President’s duty. That being the case, the discovery of corruption renders it impossible for personal gain to be his sole motive.
                    I say the above regarding this specific case; in light of public facts (clear conflict of interest, CFR video), we can definitively state that this is not a fishing expedition (or exclusively one).
                    Were similar actions taken without such evidence, I’d have to rethink the position – but then the issue is less quid pro quo and more abuse of power.
                    Were a widespread program of investigation in place, that is without a specific incident/target, and some sort of quid pro quo was needed to gain cooperation of one or more relevant countries… well, that’s just standard diplomacy.

                    1. Analogy:
                      I’d consider the IC “investigation” of Trump to be like a cop pulling someone over and busting their taillight so its ‘out’ as an excuse to pull them over, ordering the person out of the car and cuffing them because the cop ‘feared for his safety’, saying into his mic that he ‘smells marijuana’, searching the car and planting a bag of weed.
                      With Biden, it’s more like a cop sitting at a red light while someone speeds through the intersection as they’re smoking a blunt and blaring music with the windows down.
                      The former is a case of manufacturing probable cause. In the latter probable cause is rather obvious.

      2. Poor pod. Such a dilemma to have some Ukrainians that lie and some that tell the truth depending on whether they are for Trump or for the Bidens.

        Same thing with Deep Staters. Some bureaucrats are honorable Commies like Brennan and others are crooks because they wont go along with lefty agendas.

      3. Sir, are you calling star witness George Kent … a liar?

      4. You have no evidence that happened because it never happened.

        The Shokin thing does seem like a bit of a red herring, but to deny the obvious corruption involved in Hunter’s position at Burisma is just silly.

        1. If the Bidens have nothing to hide, they should welcome an investigation.

          Right? Isn’t that the Mueller line?

          I expect progressives to live by their own rules, at the very least.

          1. And the first rule of progressive club is all rules don’t apply to us.

          2. Why isn’t there an investigation?

            Why is Hillary still on the loose for that matter?

            Just how incompetent is the Trump justice department?

            1. Why should Trump really go after Hillary. He may find the need to delete some emails of his own.

              Government generally doesn’t investigation the previous admin. Obama threw all kinds of threats about investigating the Bush admin. But didn’t.

              1. True, though Obama did “investigate” the next administration…

            2. Pretty incompetent. The DOJ is full of Democrat cronies.

          3. If the Bidens have nothing to hide, they should welcome an investigation.

            Yup.

            I expect progressives to live by their own rules, at the very least.

            I expect people to live by rules. I don’t really care what Team they’re on.

            1. Rules that …. you make up on the fly?

              1. Rules that …. you make up on the fly?

                Nope. If anyone here is arguing that, it’s you.

                1. Like the rule that an accused has the burden to exonerate himself otherwise it is perfectly okay to presume he’s guilty.

                  Good rule.

                  1. Like the rule that an accused has the burden to exonerate himself otherwise it is perfectly okay to presume he’s guilty.

                    Hmm. Haven’t seen you advocating that one (except as regards Biden).

                    Or are you pretending that what I’m saying?

                    Yeah – that would be more par for the course for you.

                    1. That has literally been your entire argument. Mulvaney, Bolton, and Guiliani need to testify otherwise Trump is not exonerated and we must presume the Democrats have an impeachment case to make. You are agreeing with Amash, and that is his precise argument.

                      Do you really think people can’t read, or that once you post all your prior bullshit is invisible?

                    2. That has literally been your entire argument. Mulvaney, Bolton, and Guiliani need to testify otherwise Trump is not exonerated and we must presume the Democrats have an impeachment case to make.

                      No, it isn’t, and you declaring it be so doesn’t make it so, no matter how much easier it would be for you to refute my point if that were the one I were making.

                      Do you really think people can’t read, or that once you post all your prior bullshit is invisible?

                      Not at all. Reading what else I’ve written here is what makes it clear that you’re full of shit and are making a point of not understanding what I’m saying.

    2. Nap and Amash understand that the President’s power should ALWAYS be challenged, at every turn. And that impeachment should ALWAYS be cheered on, because it slows the wheels of oppression and forces politicians to fight each other, rather than pass new laws to attack our liberties.

      1. This is fucking retarded, eunuch

        1. This is unelected bureaucrats bitching that the elected President isn’t doing what they want.

          If Libertarians support the unelected over the elected, then they are bigger morons than most people think they are already.

          1. If Libertarians support the unelected over the elected, then they are bigger morons than most people think they are already.

            Libertarians support liberty over its opposite. That doesn’t change based on who wins elections.

            1. If you’d rather have somebody you cannot fire over somebody you can, then you are a moron. Not saying you personally, but if this is libertarian “philosophy”, then the movement deserves little more than ridicule and scorn.

              1. No – that’s the exact opposite of the main idea. The main idea is that you don’t tolerate abuse of power even when the guy abusing the power was democratically elected.

                1. IOW, if you have an elected President, say, murder an American citizen without due process, you would look to un-elected members of the justice system to mitigate that. Their relative status as “elected” vs. “un-elected” is immaterial.

                  1. If we have Congress pass a law that is loathesome, we can elect new members to undo it.

                    Undoing regulations from the bureaucracy is a far more difficult proposition.

                    1. “”Undoing regulations from the bureaucracy is a far more difficult proposition.””

                      As evidenced by the hard time Trump is having with his EO to end an EO (DACA).

                    2. Undoing regulations from the bureaucracy is a far more difficult proposition.

                      Yes, but, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb saying that the most common libertarian position would say that if elected officials pass anti-freedom legislation, and this legislation is undone by un-elected bureaucrats, that is a pro-freedom outcome.

      2. My internet’s down, find me a time Amash came out and tried to impeach Obama

  9. for posterity, fuck you Justin. see right through you.

    1. Trump just keeps collecting the hash marks in the PRO column and Amash is another notch.

      Amash outed himself as a hack because of Trump. He might have been successful in hiding this character flaw from more Americans had it not been for Trump.

      1. word. swamp, drain it.

      2. Name one of Trump’s character flaws. Bonus points for not mentioning Twitter.

        1. he caved to Al Davis and Pete Rozelle

        2. Name one of Trump’s character flaws.

          This is a pointless exercise – he’s just as predictably partisan as you are.

          1. I admire predictability and partisanship. It’s shifty “both sides” do-gooders who make me suspicious. I went through that phase. Then Republicans invaded and occupied a country based on abject lies, killing hundreds of thousands for literally no reason.

            Their fiscal policy, of course, has always been psuedo-science.

            1. Yet you want to maintain an antagonistic approach to Russia

              1. Isn’t it well past vodka coma hour in Moscow?

                1. I am so sick of war mongers like you. Go send your own children to go die for some sick political cause, stop trying to send my brothers and sisters.

                  1. Tell your brothers and sisters to stop being Russians.

                    1. I hope that you start to see the value in peace some day. If it were up to me, I’d make sure people like you and John Bolton are never anywhere near the levers of power.

            2. I went through that phase.

              No, you didn’t. The fact that the Iraq invasion smacked you a teensy little bit out of your narcissistic bubble doesn’t make you permanently evolved.

              1. I grew up a Republican, but it was back when Republicans still admitted mere ditz-headed aristocrats instead of going all-in on racist religious lunatics. It was the Iraq War, which started during my freshman year of college, that made me start to maybe a wee bit question my political beliefs, considering Republicans had become truly evil anti-democratic ignorant psychopaths.

                I mean, if Dick Cheney had actually been right about something, who knows what would have happened? Evil isn’t so bad as long as it’s not dumb. Alas.

                1. It was the Iraq War, which started during my freshman year of college, that made me start to maybe a wee bit question my political beliefs, considering Republicans had become truly evil anti-democratic ignorant psychopaths.

                  And now you’re in the phase of believing that therefore the Democrats are the Good Guys.

                  1. They’re the only other option.

                    1. That’s not a meaningful “option.”

                    2. It’s meaningful in that it’s actually the only one.

                    3. It’s meaningful in that it’s actually the only one.

                      And guess what? If you don’t like the Dems, your only other option is the Repubs, by your logic.

                      Here we go ’round the mulberry bush . . .

                    4. Of course, which is something they, in all their ridiculous religious fanatic ignorant bigoted flat-earther horseshit, figured out a long time before idealistic young liberals did, if they even have. Turns out evil and stupidity are not incompatible.

                    5. everyone’s evil. ketchup.

                    6. Turns out evil and stupidity are not incompatible.

                      In my experience, they’re pretty constant bedfellows.

                2. Tony…Tony….Tony. You were never a Republican. You were a RINO.

                  Now you want to be a LINO.

            3. “”Then Republicans invaded and occupied a country based on abject lies, killing hundreds of thousands for literally no reason.”‘

              Then shouldn’t we be wary of agencies that propagated those abject lies?

            4. Tony, you just bitched about “invading and occupying a country based on abject lies” and you want to maintain an antagonistic approach to Russia… BASED ON THE WORD OF THE EXACT SAME PEOPLE

              1. It’s Good and Noble when his Team does it.

              2. What better way to destroy the USA than an escalation between two nuclear powers?

                1. You want a One World Government (Global Socialism), you gotta break a few eggs…

        3. “Name one of Trump’s character flaws.”

          Trump is an absolute asshole. Didn’t vote for him to be the moral leader of the world.

          1. I’m sure you had the same low standards for Obama and would have had for Hillary. I’m sure.

            1. Obama killed Americans without any legal right to do so, used the IRS to harass opponents, had his IC spy on Congress AND a rival candidate for President to his preferred candidate.

              Trump has done WHAT to compare to this?

              And Hillary was in charge of a Foundation that took in a LOT of money…right until she lost the election and it all dried up. I bet it’s a coincidence, though.

              1. All but one of those charges are debunked horseshit. Yes, Obama droned an American citizen terrorist. Shame on him! Shame! I’m sure you aren’t whoring out a dead human for the sole purpose of finding literally the one possible thing a Democratic president might be wrong about for the assumption of purely partisan gain for Republicans.

                You gotta do better with me than Breitbart horseshit. I keep up on all your lies.

                1. “All but one of those charges are debunked horseshit.”

                  Tell me more about being a blind partisan, Tony. Please.

                  Literally every single thing I wrote there is true. But you’re too much of a sycophant for the Dems too ever notice that.

                  Note: I was able to name a Trump character flaw. You are incapable of doing the same to Democrats.

                  1. I’ll cite their flaws all day long. Name somebody. Obama? Too idealistic. Way too idealistic.

                    But the thing is, he was also as decent a human being as we could possibly expect in a president. Democrats have to be. They can’t have even a minor flaw, or Republicans will use their propaganda machine to destroy them. Tan suit. Never forget.

                    But he really didn’t employ the IRS for partisan purposes. That was a rightwing bullshit lie.

                    1. “I’ll cite their flaws all day long. Name somebody. Obama? Too idealistic. Way too idealistic.”

                      Quite a flaw.

                      “You know what his problem was. He believed in people TOO much. Darn it. He was also too much of a perfectionist”

                      “But the thing is, he was also as decent a human being”

                      If you ignore the extra-judicial killing, spying on Congress, spying on the media, going off on whistleblowers unlike anybody else, weaponizing the IRS, spying on political rivals, having guns be sold to Mexican drug cartels to justify limiting American rights…yeah, he as a swell guy.

                      You’re such a fucking joke, son.

                      Trump is rude and an asshole. He hasn’t murdered anybody extrajudicially, so by default, he’s a markedly better person than Obama. Nor id he claim he had a justifiable RIGHT to do so.

                    2. They ADMITTED they did it.

                      He was in office for YEARS and just had rogue elements in the IRS do that with, literally, no punishment for doing so?

                      Sure. Believe that one.

                    3. Trump has killed more innocent civilians than Obama did in his entire 8 years. If you want to hang the universe of morality on the concept of American citizenship, fine. Knock yourself fucking out. I’m going to choose to interpret it as partisan fucknuterry, if you don’t mind. Which is to say, if Trump killed an American citizen terrorist with a drone, you would be 100% perfectly fine with it. I believe that, and I believe it because it’s true.

                      Just go to snopes or whatever to educate yourself on the tired IRS horseshit you’re trying to sell.

                    4. “”Trump has killed more innocent civilians than Obama did in his entire 8 years.””

                      Executing Obama’s wars.

                      We could end those wars. But liberals have a problem with that. So they have no moral high road.

                    5. Nor id he claim he had a justifiable RIGHT to do so.

                      One whose justification was secret, no less.

                  1. And many on her campaign staff were also taking salaries from the Foundation.

                    No conflict of interest, there, no siree!

        4. Bump stock ban.
          Not vetoing every budget, even if veto-proof.
          Not keeping the federal government shutdown for 2.75 years.

          1. Not really character flaws.
            I’ll go:
            He often doesn’t plan far enough ahead, though in some areas he does
            He strays from brash to inappropriately boastful too often
            He can be naive

            As far as actions, I’m most annoyed that he didn’t immediately fire 75+% of federal bureaucrats upon taking office, and he’s let the Establishment manipulate him into not making an alliance with Russia

  10. So an U.S president threatened to with hold money unless certain policy goals were met? FDR, Ike, Carter , Reagan , Bush 1, Clinton, Obama , ect never did that. Oh the humanity.

    1. It seems the Dems are claiming that Trump is the first competent President.

      1. +1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

        Presidents demanding a return on our taxpayer money to foreign countries? THE HUMANITY!

    2. Not policy goals. Important distinction. Personal benefit.

      1. Hey Tony, long time no see. Hope you are well and enjoying life!

      2. Except there’s zero personal benefit and fighting corruption is a forever ongoing policy goal.

        1. Public announcement of a corruption investigation into Biden is like a free negative political ad. It’s a huge personal benefit.

      3. Personal benefit? Non-dirt because Hunter did no wrong, right? So what actual benefit was there, outside of some Trump fantasy (remember he also talked about Ukraine looking into the Crowdstrike servers)?

        1. It’s still a crime to bribe a foreign head of state even if the thing you’re seeking to gain is confirmation of a bullshit internet conspiracy theory.

          Why isn’t the fact that POTUS believes bullshit rightwing internet conspiracy theories the real story here?

          1. Funny how this morphed from extortion to bribery, almost as if the crime was so difficult to categorize.

            And as unappealing as it is, it isn’t a crime to believe in ridiculous things

            1. No it isn’t. It is a crime to extort or bribe a foreign head of state. It’s definitely a crime to do so for a political campaign’s benefit. The only reason Trump isn’t in prison now is because he’s president, just as Mueller said.

              1. Good joke T-Lady.

          2. Your citation fell off…again…Tony.

        2. Public announcement of a corruption investigation into Biden is like a free negative political ad. It’s a huge personal benefit.

  11. If Trump was trying to push an investigation into someone who was not clearly corrupt, there might be a case for continually calling him “a political opponent”. Say Buttigieg or Tulsi; even Lizzie or Bernie, although those two have been around long enough to be corrupt one way or the other. But the Bidens have clearly demonstrated enough favoritism to provide grounds for corruption probes. Again and again, they keep implying that it is improper, even treasonous, to investigate a living politician for corruption if he is running for office.

    Far as I can see, the only good Trump has done was Gorsuch, and providing excelent entertainment. His tax cuts are outweighed by his tax increases, and his regulatory cuts are pretty minimal compared to what’s left. He is probably a lot less interventionist than Hillary would have been.

    But if this is the best they can dig up on him, it’s even weaker than the GOP excuse for impeaching Clinton.

    1. If Trump was trying to push an investigation into someone who was not clearly corrupt, there might be a case for continually calling him “a political opponent”.

      I think there’s something to the observation that Trump hasn’t ever expressed any concern about any other corruption anywhere in the world. One has to believe it’s pure coincidence that the only corrupt guy in the world who suddenly needs to be stopped immediately is the guy who happened to be leading in the polls against Trump.

      But I 100% agree with:

      if this is the best they can dig up on him, it’s even weaker than the GOP excuse for impeaching Clinton

      If they can’t dig up anything more in the course of this, this is not going to go well for them.

      1. He’ll be impeached and, barring an unforeseen political shift of giant magnitude, acquitted in the senate.

        And Republicans and 90% on this website will have to live with defending his actions. I’m sure they’ll never ever bring up any similar wrongdoing if President Warren does it. I’m sure they won’t even ever talk about any of her future wrongdoing, what with their new shiny new standards for politicians.

        1. And you have to live with defending Democrats. Thus with all who defend their flavor of politician while pretending others are the corrupt ones.

          All politicians are corrupt. All political backers are corrupt.

          1. What a stunningly specific insight definitely not designed to turn your brain off to real corruption by the worst actors who are the ones who benefit from both-sidesism and libertarian “all government is evil” bullcrap.

            Did you know that your political worldview, almost as if by design, serves few purposes better than that of letting the most corrupt politicians off the hook?

            They’re all bad! No think! Bad!

            1. Almost every ill your precious politicians want to fix was caused by government. Why the devil should I make any distinction between the various bad actors who constitute government?

              1. What are you gonna fix society with? You gonna radically alter the social contract and the life of every individual human in America by not passing laws through Congress?

                This is suddenly seeming like an important question.

                1. You gonna radically alter the social contract and the life of every individual human in America by not passing laws through Congress?

                  You’re still missing the point that libertarians don’t want to “alter the social contract and the life of every individual human in America.”

                  I understand that when your goal is to “alter the social contract and the life of every individual human in America,” it seems impossible to achieve without government. When that’s not your goal, government starts to seem a lot less necessary.

                  1. But of course they do. Come on. They don’t want to radically alter the tax code? Public spending?

                    If they don’t want to achieve these things via politicians, I think I am entitled to know just how they do intend to achieve them.

                    1. Through NOT HAVING politicians and the GOVERNMENT they create.

                      Why do so many people have so much trouble understanding spontaneous cooperation? Are y’all so damned suspicious of everybody that cooperation is simply inconceivable? Do you think society would not exist without government creating it?

                    2. I see, so what you’re complaining about is libertarians wanting to relieve some of the burdens government places on society and the individual.

                      And you want to call that “tyranny.”

                    3. You’re describing a goal, and I’m asking about the means.

                    4. You’re describing a goal, and I’m asking about the means.

                      You remind me of Jeff Goldblum’s speech at the end of Thor: Ragnarok (hopefully that doesn’t offend the sensibilities of the High Art people).

                      I mean, you can’t throw off an oppressor without having an oppressor in the first place, right? I mean, they’re really central to the whole process.

                    5. I’m a fan of democratic accountability and systemic checks and balances, myself. But what do I know. Maybe Madison and Hamilton were idiots and Ayn Rand is the real genius.

                    6. I’m a fan of democratic accountability and systemic checks and balances, myself.

                      Do you want a cookie?

                      Maybe Madison and Hamilton were idiots and Ayn Rand is the real genius.

                      Madison > Hamilton > Rand.

                    7. Good joke Tony.

                2. I thought it was obvious that he said “almost every ill your precious politicians want to fix was caused by government.”

                  Doesn’t that imply that he wants to cut government… which is much different from “not passing laws through Congress?”

                  I mean, this is pretty basic reading comprehension..

                  1. Cut government… with a chainsaw?

                    1. No, you …. with a woodchipper.

                    2. You have to use jackbooted thugs to save us from the jackbooted thugs. It’s just logic.

                    3. You have to use jackbooted thugs to save us from the jackbooted thugs. It’s just logic.

                      Actually you use logic and persuasion.

                    4. Oh, I thought you were a serious commenter. Now I realize you’re just one of the people that comes here for nothing but the LULz. That’s too bad. My mistake. Carry on with your empty day.

                    5. Tony does bring up a legitimate point, though in the practical rather than philosophical realm.
                      How do you defeat the jackbooted thugs without your own thugs?
                      Again, I’m talking practice not philosophy or theory

                    6. How do you defeat the jackbooted thugs without your own thugs?

                      Ken Shultz actually had a good extended answer for this recently.

                      In short, it sounds corny, but what would Jesus do?

                      The only thing that breaks the cycle of violence is breaking the cycle of violence.

                      No movement that has ever sought to take control of a population by force has ever succeeded over the long term.

                    7. Poor Tony does not know what a Patriot is.

                      His type loves them some jack booted thugs and has no love for patriots.

                    8. Christianity would not have become dominant, and may not have lasted, without adoption by the Constantine and subsequent brutal imposition. It’s still around, and dominant as transformed into Capitalism (not identical to free market) and Socialism.
                      Islam is still dominant, and originated in explicitly violent conquest.
                      China is still a country, and I’m fairly certain that voluntary union wasn’t part of the process.

                      I think your point about violence is still more theory than practice – but I’d like to hear some examples otherwise.

                      What would Jesus do?
                      He’d cause commotion then martyr himself.
                      Caesar (the original JC) did the same thing, but was far more capable.

                    9. The cycle of violence cannot be broken.
                      It can be directed.
                      But we cannot change the laws of physics.
                      Lack of violence = stasis = absolute 0 = non existence

                    10. The cycle of violence cannot be broken.
                      It can be directed.
                      But we cannot change the laws of physics.
                      Lack of violence = stasis = absolute 0 = non existence

                      I think you and I may have a fundamental metaphysical disagreement, but we’ll have to save that for another time. 😉

                    11. Christianity would not have become dominant, and may not have lasted, without adoption by the Constantine and subsequent brutal imposition.

                      I disagree. I would argue Constantine adopted Christianity because it had become the dominant religion of the Empire. That’s the lesson Diocletian learned when he tried to stamp it out.

                      Islam is still dominant, and originated in explicitly violent conquest.

                      Yes, but didn’t spread among the conquered populations until many centuries after the Arab rulership stopped persecuting them.

                      China is still a country

                      Are you talking long or short term history? China long-term is a famous example of cultural conquest. For short-term, I’ll be surprised if the Chinese Communist Party outlives me.
                      .

                    12. I think your point about violence is still more theory than practice – but I’d like to hear some examples otherwise.

                      My examples are the lack of dominant force in the world that has been maintained through violence for any significant period.

                      The Spanish Empire failed because it originated in and was maintained by force. The British Empire succeeded because it was founded in and maintained by trade.

                      Things went to hell in British India only to the extent that the government took direct control and militarized British dominance of India. The British Empire didn’t last long after that.

                      The Mongol Empire as well – 100% based on violent conquest, and it evaporated almost immediately.

                      Caesar (the original JC) did the same thing, but was far more capable.

                      And now we curse his name. Are they really so similar?

                    13. Nice joke Tony.

                    14. You bring up some good points, but we’re talking about two different sides of the coin here.
                      I see “defeat” and think of the non dominant force overcoming the established authority.
                      You see “defeat” and talk of maintaining authority.
                      Here, I think we can both be right. The established authority cannot be displaced without violence, but authority cannot be maintained exclusively with violence.
                      Christianity was popular when adopted by Constantine, but not the most popular in the empire. It had been steadily growing because Christianity’s strength is a syncretic mythology, so it absorbs the trappings of everything it comes in contact with, but may have remained just a (rather than the) faith without adoption by Constantine. It was also more popular in the East, where Constantine wanted to reorient administration. Of course, after Constantine, Christianity has a thousand year run of establishing dominance very violently in Europe.
                      Why do we feel differently about the JCs? Because Christianity can tolerate only one God-as-Man. Jesus’s resurrection story was copied directly from Caesar’s (see: plutarch) in Peter’s(?) encounter with the resurrected jesus on the road, and would not have been as accepted without Caesar’s, another “messiah” betrayed and martyred for his mercy, precedent.
                      China and Islam I’m less familiar with, but they seem to illustrate the process of rising to dominance through violence and maintaining it through other means. British colonialism as well, and they’re a great example.

                    15. I do not believe the laws of physics can be escaped – anything outside them is literally sense-less. We cannot sense, relate, thus we cannot conceive. And the laws of physics, thus existence, reduce to 2 fundamental processes: conflict and consumption. You’re experiencing both right now as you read this (indeed, you’re experiencing both at all times).
                      Though I don’t believe we can escape the laws of physics, I certainly believe there is a lot we don’t know. Hell, we don’t even have a unified theory that doesn’t require invention yet.
                      I do believe violence is fundamental, and absolute peace is nihilism.
                      But it is simply complex, or complexly simple. Violence cannot be escaped, but it can be directed, transformed, crafted

      2. I don’t know about him not noticing any other corruption; I try my best to avoid all news of bloviating politicians. But (1) he did campaign on draining the swamp, and (2) how many other politicians have said anything about corruption? Obama the light bringer had that corrupt AG, Holder, who ignored Congressional subpeanas into the Fast & Furious gun running.

        1. (1) he did campaign on draining the swamp, and (2) how many other politicians have said anything about corruption?

          Everyone does. Literally every president since Carter has run on being an outsider who was going to clean up Washington.

          But who did Trump fill his cabinet with?

          What has he done to address corruption in India? Or Nigeria?

          1. Which US officials were involved in corruption there?
            Did any US officials brag on video about what they accomplished in pursuit of such corruption?
            How much of our money do we send India and Nigeria?

            1. Which US officials were involved in corruption there?

              Probably none, right?

              How much of our money do we send India and Nigeria?

              Nigeria about 66% more than we send to Ukraine, India well over double.

              1. WTF?
                I can see Nigeria, but why the hell are we sending India so much?

                The practice of “paying tribute” gotten so turned upside down.
                It begs the question: who are our conquerers?

                1. I can see Nigeria, but why the hell are we sending India so much?

                  I suspect both a legacy of Cold War efforts to peel them away from the USSR side, and a sense that India and China are in direct competition for dominance in Asia. India and China have in fact been on the brink of outright war for decades, and I think the foreign policy establishment sees a prosperous and powerful India as a way to keep China in check.

              2. Rhetorical questions regarding Nigeria and India.
                We have video evidence of a former US official boasting of (likely) corruption. That is, the story of Hunter, Joe, and Burisma has been out there. It’s visible. I’d love a crackdown on all government corruption (not gonna happen) but find nothing suspicious in starting with the most prominent example.
                Ukraine is also uniquely important, as events and reactions prove. So not only is Ukraine of particular importance due to it’s relation to the only existential foreign threat to the US (Russia), but it seems to be at the heart of some very serious shenanigans involving our political class

                1. the only existential foreign threat to the US (Russia)

                  Not China? I feel like I’ve been told by Trump supporters that Russia is not in fact our enemy, but that China is really the big threat right now.

                  But in all seriousness, maybe Trump’s people can make the case that Ukraine is uniquely important. The Eastern European oil & gas scene is far more strategically important than anything in India.

                  I have not yet heard them make that argument, though.

                  1. Poor 0=[] does not know about the complicated facets of Eastern European spheres of influence and geo-political disputes.

                  2. I said threat, not enemy.
                    China isn’t an external existential threat, it can only aid and take advantage of internal self destruction. At this point at least.
                    Russia controls roughly half the world’s nuclear weapons (we have almost all of the other half), which certainly is an external existential threat.

                    The gas and oil of eastern Europe is of secondary importance. Of primary importance is Ukraine as a beachhead. Global Socialism cannot tolerate an independent and nationalist Russia, and definitely not if allied with an independent and nationalist US. Global Socialism could tolerate, and welcome at the right time, a nuclear conflagration. Of tertiary importance, Ukraine seems to serve as a convenient place for a great deal of Establishment corruption (though it can be replaced).
                    There might be more to Ukraine than that, but I don’t know yet.

                    1. I see what you’re saying. I didn’t get your thrust before. I didn’t get before that you’re talking actual alliance with Russia. I’ll have to ponder that.

                    2. But I was merely speculating about why the aid packages.

                    3. +1000

                    4. Better to have all the nukes on the same side than half and half pointed at each other.
                      There are some geographic advantages to a US-Russo alliance as well. Europe and China wouldn’t like it

          2. What the heck does any of that have to do with anything? First you say he hasn’t mentioned corruption except with this, then you say every politician has campaigned on fighting corruption, neatly accepting that Trump did too while dodging the question of Obama’s Holder coverup.

            As for India and Nigeria, did the Bidens do anything corrupt there?

            1. First you say he hasn’t mentioned corruption except with this

              Has he?

              every politician has campaigned on fighting corruption

              At least since Carter, yes.

              neatly accepting that Trump did too while dodging the question of Obama’s Holder coverup

              Wha? My pointing out that they all claim to fight corruption was in response to your assertion that Trump campaigned on fighting corruption, therefore he must be doing it.

              They sometimes lie while campaigning.

              I didn’t actually say anything about Obama and Holder, as I don’t think one President doing shitty things justifies another President doing shitty things.

              1. The hell you say — you are full of what evil Trump is doing, as if he is the first, and when that is pointed out, you suddenly change topics.

                1. The hell I say what?

          3. Wait, are India and Nigeria our bulwarks against an expansionist geopolitical adversary?

            1. Wait, are India and Nigeria our bulwarks against an expansionist geopolitical adversary?

              If we consider China, Iran, and Islamist terror groups like Boko Haram as expansionist geopolitical adversaries, then yes. Trump has commented before that he thinks all of these things are bigger concerns than Russia, no?

              And what does that have to do with Biden? If Biden had done the same thing in Nigeria, would that have been okay?

              1. I wasn’t aware that China or Iran had territorial expansions into India. I’m surprised that hasn’t started WWIII.

                1. China and india aren’t super friendly, but China has certainly been buying up much of Africa – likely to control the wealth of minerals found there

                  1. China has certainly been buying up much of Africa – likely to control the wealth of minerals found there

                    Yes – this is what makes staying friendly with countries like Nigeria important.

                2. China and India don’t always agree on border stuff, to put it mildly. I doubt either would outright invade the other, but they have their own proxy conflicts going on in SE and Central Asia – it’s more about what happens in places like Nepal and Myanmar.

                  Likewise, Iran is a long way from being able to launch a direct offensive into India, but they both compete for influence in Central Asia, Afghanistan in particular.

                  China, Iran, and India are the three main powers in Asia and always have been (depending on whether you count Russia as “Asian”). Of the three, the US seems to be most hot to contain Iran, but the most actually scared of China.

                  1. India is no threat whatsoever.
                    China is a threat because it has people, resources, and the will for long term planning.
                    Iran is a threat almost entirely because it’s controlled by a hostile, theocratic regime.

                    1. India is no threat whatsoever.

                      Not to us, no. They seem to keep Pakistan pretty permanently freaked out, and at least think of themselves as a threat to China.

                      Iran is a threat almost entirely because it’s controlled by a hostile, theocratic regime.

                      Again, that’s to us. Regionally, they are a major power, and would be an even more major power if not for the ass-backwards regime and the economic sanctions. I doubt we really see India as a significant check on Iran, though, since they’ve got a significant buffer zone between them – I think it’s more about China. Iran is why we have troops in Afghanistan and Iraq still.

                    2. +1000

                    3. In addition to “buying favor” foreign aid is a wonderful opportunity for graft.
                      Iran could be a great force in the world if not for that ass-backward theocratic regime. I’m personally a big fan of Persians. But I do think they’re a threat to more than just the US (and allies) if they get nukes (I know – real bold statement there). I’m uncomfortable with a theocracy based in a belief that the path to Heaven is through world conquest and martyrdom having nukes. Yes, that makes me very uncomfortable with Pakistan too, but they’re too into inbreeding to get their shit together enough to be more than a wildcard.

                3. []=0 take on geo-political situations is laughable.

      3. “I think there’s something to the observation that Trump hasn’t ever expressed any concern about any other corruption anywhere in the world. One has to believe it’s pure coincidence that the only corrupt guy in the world who suddenly needs to be stopped immediately is the guy who happened to be leading in the polls against Trump.”

        Is that true? The Deep State has only bitched about THIS call. We have no clue his views on corruption elsewhere.

        1. I think its the classic fallacy of thinking that the only thing you’ve heard of X is the only occurrence of X ever happening. Of course, you’d have to be more than a little dim to think like that.

          1. the only *time* you’ve heard of X

          2. Of course, you’d have to be more than a little dim to think like that.

            As opposed to thinking that since you observed X once, X must therefore be widespread?

            If you can point to more examples, I’ll happily accept. But I’m not going to just assume that they must be there just because you wish they were there.

            1. I’m not the one claiming that there is something to the observation that Trump hasn’t ever expressed any concern about any other corruption anywhere in the world.

              Trump didn’t PUBLICLY discuss his issues with Ukrainian corruption either.

              1. Trump didn’t PUBLICLY discuss his issues with Ukrainian corruption either.

                Fair enough. Maybe a good move on his part would be to point out some of these global anti-corruption efforts.

            2. As opposed to thinking that since you observed X once, X must therefore be widespread?

              I’m not sure why you would think that, S = C.

              1. In fact, I’d add that you’d have to be a moron to think that just because you observed X once, X is widespread, so I’m not sure why you’re suggesting that anyone is thinking this way just for saying “The Deep State has only bitched about THIS call. We have no clue his views on corruption elsewhere.”

                The main point was its pointless to say “well he hasn’t expressed it elsewhere” (even though this Ukraine thing was never expressed to the public) as evidence of some sort of wrongdoing.

                You said you “think there’s something to the observation”… so your thinking is a little inadequate here. Just pointing out that there exists another inverse version of a fallacy you committed doesn’t mean that others are committing that inverse fallacy. Asking a question does not = “I think there’s something to the observation”.

                Just trying to help since you seem like a sharp enough person… but this is a little weak.

                1. I think we agree that neither of those statements would be valid. But I do lean towards taking the lack of any reference to any such investigations as better evidence that they don’t exist than it is evidence that they do.

                  But I acknowledge that it’s a fair point that he didn’t talk publicly about Ukraine, either. Maybe they’re trying to conduct investigations secretly. That would be entirely plausible.

                  So, agreeing that we don’t actually know one way or another, what if it did turn out that this is the only corruption investigation he has ever asked for (which so far the evidence does not contradict)?

                  Given that this is a point that has been in circulation, why does he not inform us of these other investigations?

                  And just to be clear, I do think the Dems have a very high bar to clear to show that there was no other motive here besides personal political gain, which is what I think they’ll have to do in order to claim that this rises to the level of a “high crime.”

              1. He has accused the Venezuelan government of corruption, for sure. Has he attempted to investigate any Americans involved in business in Venezuela?

                Again, honestly asking – I know several of you here are following this way more closely than I am.

                1. No idea, but doubt it.
                  Trump’s moves against corruption are underwhelming, but we’ll see if there’s stuff going on that we just don’t know about.
                  Ukraine is definitely a good place to start

        2. Is that true?

          I don’t know. Can you think of any examples?

  12. Seems like its Biden, not Trump, who could shoot someone in the street and no one would be allowed to investigate.

    1. You gotta read some legitimate news every now and then. Do you really go every day of your life with Judge Janine screeching at you and never get tired of it?

      1. heard of her, never seen her show.
        You do know that Biden admitted to with holding money from Ukraine unless they stopped investigating a company his son was working for. why can’t Trump ask for that investigation to be restarted? or to find out about emails that may have affected the 2016 election don’t you want to know what happened?

        1. That did not happen and I don’t really give a shit if you know it or not. Trump is being impeached.

          And the Bidens can go to prison for all I care. I hope this hurts them. But this is a very, very lame conspiracy theory meant to distract from Trump’s crimes, even by Republican standards. And they came up with Pizzagate.

          1. if you don’t care If Biden goes to jail then why so upset about investigating something he bragged about. why do you deny something that is documented with him on video. I think you are the one that needs to read real news and maybe accept it. you have blinded your self to TDS. I for one think what Trump did in Ukraine and Clinton did with Russian-Steel was legal but if one is illegal then both are are illegal and so is Biden i’d be happy for all three to go to Jail but only if all three go to jail.

            1. I’m not the Trump justice department. Ask them why they aren’t investigating the Bidens.

              While you’re at it, ask them why Hillary is still at large despite running a child sex slave ring from a pizza restaurant.

              1. Uhh earth to Tony, that’s what Trump is alleged to have tried to do

                1. I believe Trump admitted on record that he used his pageants as an excuse to ogle underaged girls.

                  1. Miss Universe age limit is 18-28 years.

                    He’s not a known pedophile like Schiff.

                  2. Tony’s citations keep falling off for some reason.

                  3. Well, he did once say on camera that he was pleased by how his daughter was almost old enough for him to date.

                    1. No citation for that?

                      Since the MSM is a bunch of liars, video or audio of Trump would be needed.

                    2. Remember when FDR actually fucked his cousin?

                      Democrats: Slave owners and cousin fuckers.

                    3. So which behavior are you excusing, specifically?

    2. The DOJ could investigate Biden if there was anything there but there isn’t and that’s why Trump had to use our tax money coerce or bribe a foreign govt into launching the investigation. Ams Trump wanted the “investigation” announced on TV which is completely against how things acts done in the United States. Let’s imagine there as some evidence to support a belief that Biden had committed a crime by delivering the message that the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor had to go. The DOJ could entertain the information and would have complete jurisdiction to investigate but thet never announce they were investigating Biden and you’d hear about through leaks or other ways never in some formal press conference. Trump wanted a staged takedown on Biden and he was our money and his public to buy that press conference.

      1. Trump wanted a staged takedown on Biden and he was our money and his public to buy that press conference.

        I think mostly Trump wanted Hunter and Burisma in the news. Which he succeed at 100%.

  13. Trump cannot legally use the money for his own personal enrichment. Trump can’t say “I’ll release the money if you murder my political opponents”. Trump can say “I’ll give you the money if go on TV and say you’re investigating my political opponents”. Trump could have said “I want corruption investigated aggressively in Ukraine in return for the WH visit” but that wasn’t the point of this scheme. Trump was happy to work with the crooks in Ukraine to advance corruption. Trump was using corrupt individuals in Ukraine to undermine people who were fighting against the corruption in Ukraine.

    1. >>people who were fighting against the corruption in Ukraine

      the Bidens.

    2. “Trump can’t say “I’ll release the money if you murder my political opponents”. Trump can say “I’ll give you the money if go on TV and say you’re investigating my political opponents”. Trump could have said “I want corruption investigated aggressively in Ukraine in return for the WH visit” but that wasn’t the point of this scheme.”

      Every bit of this is false.

      The transcript released today show he offered a WH trip months before the call. There’s zero evidence he held up any money for any specific reason because, obviously, the money got distributed without any issues.

      Ukrainians say they weren’t pressured. The money was given regardless. A WH trip was offered months earlier.

      What the fuck do you think you have?

  14. I think the failure of Trump here is to explicitly state that yes it was qui quo pro to get another nation to investigate criminal acts by other Americans and companies within that nation. This nation does not give money without strings ever.

    Unless your Obama who gives money to Iran

    1. You don’t think it’s a bit suspicious that out of all the corruption in the world, all he cared about was what the Bidens did in a lame internet conspiracy theory?

      But lame internet conspiracy theories are the sum total of your knowledge of US politics, aren’t they?

      1. no conspiracy Biden admitted to it and it wasn’t just about Biden and you know that and thats why the left is scared of Trump since he may get to the truth and YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH

        1. I think you can’t handle the truth.

          1. YOU WANT THAT WALL, YOU NEED THAT WALL!

            1. You can’t always get what you want.
              –Trump campaign song

              Because, you know, Mexico isn’t paying for shit.

              1. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

              2. Poor Tony doesn’t even believe his own Team’s Narrative.

                Mexicans pay more in US taxes than they receive. Therefore, Mexicans are paying for the border wall.

      2. But lame internet conspiracy theories are the sum total of your knowledge of US politics, aren’t they?

        Hunter’s position at Burisma while Biden was serving as the lead on US-Ukraine relations was a conflict of interest. Full stop.

        But I do think the question as to why this one specific incidence of corruption suddenly became such a central issue for Trump hasn’t really been addressed.

        1. It’s nepotism in politics. I’m not saying it’s good, but it’s not illegal. If I’m wrong about that, but if I am I’m sure the Trump justice department will be all over it any time now.

          That said, even though it’s a load of crap, I hope it harms Biden’s political chances. I don’t want him to be the nominee.

          1. It’s nepotism in politics. I’m not saying it’s good, but it’s not illegal.

            What is illegal is the conflict of interest when Biden was put in charge of diplomatic relations with Ukraine. Otherwise, you are correct that there was nothing illegal about Hunter taking the job or Burisma offering it.

            1. If you say so. Let Barr go after them. Or explain to me why he isn’t.

              Could it possibly, just maybe, be because there’s nothing to investigate and it’s a bunch of FOX News horseshit meant to distract people from Trump’s crimes?

              1. Let Barr go after them.

                Yup.

                Or explain to me why he isn’t.

                Why should I have to? I don’t give a shit about Barr.

                Could it possibly, just maybe, be because there’s nothing to investigate and it’s a bunch of FOX News horseshit meant to distract people from Trump’s crimes?

                Maybe. But you don’t get to use that argument to defend Biden and then turn around and say that it’s not a legitimate defense of Trump.

                1. They were two distinguishable actions, though. Biden did nothing illegal, while Trump did something very, very illegal.

                  1. They were two distinguishable actions, though. Biden did nothing illegal, while Trump did something very, very illegal.

                    And the Team Red shills are saying the exact same thing with the names reversed.

                    I maintain my position that there is nothing surprising about your opinion on this.

                    1. So one of us is lying.

                      Which one of us lies?

                    2. The liars name starts with a “T” and ends with a “Y”.

                  2. Which one of us lies?

                    Between you and I? You.

                    Between Team Red and Team Blue? Both.

                    1. Both equally? That would be an amazing coincidence. And if it were untrue even to a small degree, the claim would serve the purpose only of letting the worse actors off the hook.

                      Both sidesism, deflection, two wrongs make a right–Republicans have employed these fallacies for decades. It’s time to catch up.

                    2. Again, I’ve never required both sides to be exactly equal to recognize that there are corrupt shitheads on both sides.

                      Far from “letting the worse actors off the hook,” I advocate letting no one off the hook.

                      You, on the other hand, claim that we must acknowledge that both parties are full of lying scumbag creeps, but that we must, nevertheless, choose one side to pretend is Good, and choose side one side to pretend is Evil, even though we all know that’s not true.

                      So, which one of us advocates lying?

  15. For the record, I think you can make a case that what Trump did is impeachable and warrants removal from office. It’s not a slam dunk case, but I don’t think it’s crazy, either.

    But I’m having a hard time seeing bribery, specifically. Maybe I just don’t understand the legal definition. But the fact that it’s only coming up at this stage in the process seems more like a sign that Democrats are worried that the narrative so far isn’t gaining traction.

    1. It’s arguably definitely bribery, and they have to say that because since the president is (apparently) above the law in all other ways, they have to hang onto the political narrative, which Republicans are so, so good at muddying with their BS and media ratfuckers.

      1. I still think it’s a bit of stretch. If they want to assign a clear criminal label to it, then extortion seems more appropriate to me.

        But I’m not actually sure that what he did is strictly criminal. As others have pointed out, the US makes foreign aid and other diplomatic favors contingent upon doing things that are in the interest of the US all of the time. That’s just normal diplomacy. It’s inherent to all politics. What makes this objectionable is that the conditions were tied to the narrow political self-interests of Trump. That seems like a clear abuse of power to me.

        But there are still problems with that. You can argue that Trump was legitimately concerned about the corruption of a prominent US politician, and therefore thought that he was acting in the interest of country at large. I don’t buy that, but it’s not crazy on its face. You can argue that since the aid was released, it was never actually conditional on an investigation. The counterargument is that the attempt is bad enough, but at the very least it raises doubts about the original charge. And you can argue that even if this was an abuse of power, it’s not egregious enough to warrant impeachment or removal.

        So, like I said, I think a case can be made, but it’s not a slam dunk.

        I stand by what I said about the timing of bringing up bribery. It’s not like it just appeared in the Constitution in the last week. If Democrats thought the bribery card was the strongest in their deck, they would have opened with it.

        1. Just to expand on this, my understanding of bribery is illegally offering someone something in exchange for a favor. The favor itself may or may not be illegal in isolation.

          Paying someone to approve your bid for a contract is bribery. Approving the bid is not illegal in isolation. The crime is in paying (and accepting) the bribe.

          Hosting a foreign leader at the White House isn’t illegal. Releasing military aid approved by Congress isn’t illegal. The “payment” here, isn’t illegal. So I’m struggling to see how its a bribe.

          Also, in bribery, the default is that you don’t pay the bribe. The default in this case, at least with the military aid, is that it would be released. So, again, I’m struggling to see how withholding something is a bribe.

          I think it’s easier to make the case that the threat of withholding the aid was an extortionary threat. But even then, since the aid was released all you can really call it is attempted extortion.

          1. Luckily we don’t have to scrutinize any statutes to make sure this really is a bribe, or extortion, or a quid pro quo, or whatever, since impeachment is, as we’ve heard ad nauseam, a political process, relying on the judgment of politicians instead of the criminal justice system. But bribery has a certain punch to it, what with it specifically being listed as an impeachable offense.

            1. But bribery has a certain punch to it

              Only if it’s accurate. And to know that you have to scrutinize the statues.

              Impeachment is a political process in the sense that it can only impose political punishment, as opposed to civil or criminal punishment.

              But impeaching someone simply because you disagree with their politics and policies is a very dangerous precedent, and not one I’m interested in seeing set. The offense need not be criminal, but it does need to be pretty egregious. Anything else would be an abuse of power by on the part of the Congress.

              For me personally, and without considering the potential fallout, Trump’s conduct in this case seems to cross a line and I lean towards impeachment and removal being warranted. But for the reasons I outlined above, I don’t think it’s clear cut. And there are consequences we have to grapple with here. I’m legitimately worried about what would happen if he were removed from office without a really strong case. The principled position is appealing, but is it worth destroying what confidence remains in our social institutions among 30-40% of the population?

              1. I thought I implied that, as political process, impeachment does not require the charge of bribery to be accurate, only that a majority in the House votes to make the charge.

                I absolutely concur with your hesitancy. For one thing, I don’t want Trump going anywhere, since the only way Democrats can win elections, apparently, is to have literally the worst human being on earth to run against.

                Also, I don’t want his supporters shooting any more people than they already have.

                1. I thought I implied that, as political process, impeachment does not require the charge of bribery to be accurate, only that a majority in the House votes to make the charge.

                  I guess that’s true, but I would hope that if a congressperson votes to impeach for bribery, that they actually think bribery is an accurate description of what happened and that there is a good case it could be proven in the Senate, rather than simply a politically expedient label.

                  1. The reality is he’s committed impeachable offenses by the dozens. As the punditry have so painfully been explaining, since this is a political rather than a criminal process, PR matters above all. That means a simple charge understandable by your average dumbass American. And given the polls, it looks like they found it.

                    1. since this is a political rather than a criminal process, PR matters above all

                      Even above integrity, both personal and of that very political process? I say no.

                      You make the best argument you can based on the truth. If the truth is that this isn’t bribery, don’t make a case based on bribery.

                      If the American people don’t buy your best honest argument, then that’s the political process at work.

                      Put another way, impeachment is a political process in the sense I described above, but that doesn’t mean it should be abused to play politics or for purely political gain. That’s the nuclear option of all nuclear options, and it leads us down a very dark road, far darker than one or four more years of Trump.

                    2. I’m trying to explain that if Republicans were not such gerrymandered Trump bitches, Trump would be gone yesterday based on the crimes he has admitted on video tape alone.

                      As with everything else in American politics, Democrats have to work extra hard, win the popular vote by more than 3 million, and win a cable TV PR battle of bullshit, all because the system is as broken as you people always complain it is.

                2. Watching these two trolls (Lynchpin1477 and Tony) comment is hilarious.

      2. “arguably definitely”

        LOL

      3. It’s arguably definitely bribery

        The House is welcome to vote on articles of impeachment and then the Senate can have that argument.

        But that’s not happening because it would go nowhere. That’s why Schiff is conducting this farce in the Intelligence Committee and why Trump doesn’t have to comply with anything.

    2. Dems: Trump is involved so there must be some kind of crime.

      1. Trump is a terrifying illustration of just how much you can get away with in the private sector. That he got a job where he’s apparently immune from being prosecuted for committing crimes is icing on the cake.

        He won’t be immune on Jan. 21, 2021, though.

        1. Trump is a terrifying illustration of just how much you can get away with in the private sector.

          And Obama was a terrifying illustration of just how much you can get away with in the public sector: massive corruption, killing American citizens, spying on political campaigns, widespread surveillance, etc. That’s what I actually care about.

          1. You care about it because some tits on FOX News told you to care about it. It’s tedious. It makes my head hurt. You are forgiving Trump for everything he’s done right now. But Obama!

            So have Obama prosecuted. Why is Trump not doing that? More Democrat conspiracies? Why are Republicans so good at winning elections but so bad at accomplishing anything? Why do you let them whine, oh how they whine, instead of standing up for what you seem to think are their rights and duties?

            Do you have a thought in your head that wasn’t supplied by a cable news pundit or rightwing blog?

    3. For the record, I think you can make a case that what Trump did is impeachable and warrants removal from office. It’s not a slam dunk case, but I don’t think it’s crazy, either.

      Careful with kind of talk around here.

      But I’m having a hard time seeing bribery, specifically. Maybe I just don’t understand the legal definition. But the fact that it’s only coming up at this stage in the process seems more like a sign that Democrats are worried that the narrative so far isn’t gaining traction.

      Agreed. Smacks more than a little bit of desperation.

    4. For the record, I think you can make a case that what Trump did is impeachable and warrants removal from office. It’s not a slam dunk case, but I don’t think it’s crazy, either.

      Fine, have Pelosi draft articles of impeachment, have the House vote on them, and then hand it over to the Senate. Of course, it’s obvious that that would go nowhere.

      But Schiff is trying to be partisan judge, jury, and executioner in the intelligence committee alone. That is not OK.

      1. Fine, have Pelosi draft articles of impeachment, have the House vote on them, and then hand it over to the Senate.

        I am fairly confident that will happen.

        Of course, it’s obvious that that would go nowhere.

        Agreed. Unless something new and really damning comes out, the Senate will not vote to remove from office.

  16. why won’t President Trump let them testify?

    He hasn’t been subjected to the comfy chair yet

  17. Is Jim Jordan’s insistence on not wearing a jacket his way of grooming America with his easygoing flirtation, so to speak?

  18. I’d just like to point out that someone, somewhere in this comment section wrote the words: “It’s arguably definitely bribery

    Regardless of whether Trump did or didn’t do anything wrong, those words are arguably definitely stupid and hilarious.

    1. “I think I may be absolutely certain.”

  19. Binion is buying into accusations without factual support. Hope he never serves on a criminal jury. Jurors who accept accusations as proof are the cause of many wrongful convictions.
    Judge Nap is buying into implied evidence which is unsupported by any actual evidence. Judge Nap is not addressing the issue that the president is entitled to pursue investigations of criminal activity, even suspected criminal activity of Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or Brennan or Clapper or Comey or . . .
    If Trump suspected Biden of criminal conspiracy, he can ask for an investigation. Biden’s status as a possible political opponent of Trump, is not a cloak of immunity against criminal prosecution.
    Judge Nap has switched sides and now sounds like a Dem. Both sides are wildly political and irrational and illogical. Judge Nap should step back and try to think objectively.

  20. Man, reason sure is desperate for web traffic.

    They sent in Tony, Lynchpin1477, and 0=[] .

    poor reason staff.

    1. Nobody thinks you’re not a Russian.

  21. Schiff’s committe is supposed to draw up impeachment charges. It’s absurd to ask people from the executive branch to come before the committee to defend the president before the House has even stated what he is supposed to defend himself against.

    Once Pelosi votes for articles of impeachment, this will go to the Senate, and administration officials will testify there if called.

    Schiff’s proceedings are a farce.

  22. I’m beginning to think Binion is Reason’s official version on OBL.

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