Impeachment

The Evidence That Trump Abused His Powers Is Clear and Convincing

The allegations against Trump are more serious than the offenses that led to Bill Clinton's impeachment because they relate directly to his duties as president.

|

As someone who has found Donald Trump's presidency to be equal parts hilarious and horrifying but is still not convinced that whoever the Democrats end up nominating would be better, everything considered, on the issues I care about, I have mixed feelings about the impeachment inquiry. On one hand, I tend to agree with Gene Healy that the impeachment power, which has never been used to actually remove a president in the 230 years since George Washington started his first term (although the threat of impeachment led Richard Nixon to resign), has been sorely neglected. On the other hand, I'm not sure that party-line votes to impeach Trump in the House and acquit him in the Senate will do much to reinvigorate that power in a salutary way.

For similar reasons, the political impact of impeachment is uncertain. It could help Trump in next year's election by energizing his supporters or hurt him by energizing his opponents. Likewise for congressional Republicans and Democrats. The one thing Trump's impeachment probably won't do is sway anyone who does not firmly identify with either camp. That's a shame, since the conversation about what counts as an impeachable offense is worth having. Instead we have a shouting match between rabid partisans that obscures the important issue of when a president's conduct is so intolerable that his fate should not simply be left for voters to decide.

If Donald Trump were a Democrat (as he was from 2001 to 2009), we can be sure that Republicans would be pouncing on the allegations against him instead of blithely dismissing them. Conversely, Democrats would be doing what the Republicans are doing, resorting to increasingly desperate defenses of their guy. For anyone who does not feel at home in either major party, these reflexive reactions are as mystifying as the passion of baseball or football fanatics is to people who take no interest in professional sports. And given the weird hodgepodge of policy positions that passes for ideology in both parties, this political tribalism is not much more meaningful.

The last time the House of Representatives impeached a president, just five Democrats voted for the two articles that were sent to the Senate, where five Republicans joined all 45 Democrats in voting to acquit Bill Clinton on one article (obstruction of justice) and 10 Republicans joined the Democrats in voting against the other article (lying to a grand jury). This time around, we can expect even fewer legislators to cross the party line, despite the fact that the charges against Trump are more clearly related to his duties as president.

Is that because the evidence against Trump is weaker than the evidence against Clinton? In some respects, it is. But it is hard to take Trump's defenders seriously when they insist not only that his conduct does not warrant impeachment but that he did absolutely nothing wrong.

Start with the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. "I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense," Zelenskiy says, according to the rough transcript released by the White House. "We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. Specifically, we are almost ready to buy more Javelins [anti-tank missiles] from the United States for defense purposes." Trump immediately responds, "I would like you to do us a favor, though."

The "favor" requested by Trump has two parts. First, he wants Zelenskiy's government to investigate "what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine" involving "Crowdstrike" and "the server," a reference to a bizarre conspiracy theory alleging that Ukrainians hacked the Democratic National Committee's emails during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

U.S. intelligence agencies and Special Counsel Robert Mueller have concluded that Russian operatives hacked those emails as part of an attempt to hurt Hillary Clinton's candidacy and benefit Trump. But because Trump does not like the implications of that conclusion, he is fixated on an alternative explanation: Ukrainians did it and framed the Russians in an attempt to hurt his candidacy and benefit Clinton. Although there is no evidence to support that theory, it appeals to Trump's vanity and his outrage at the idea that Russia helped him win the election. Its relevance to legitimate U.S. national security interests is harder to see.

The second part of the favor Trump asks from Zelenskiy is related to the dubious allegation that former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender to oppose Trump in the 2020 election, pressed the Ukrainian government to replace Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin with the aim of thwarting an investigation of Burisma, an energy company that employed Biden's son Hunter as a board member from 2014 to 2019. Trump calls Shokin, who was widely criticized as corrupt, "a very good prosecutor" and describes his ouster as "very unfair." He asks Zelenskiy to confer with Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, and Attorney General William Barr about the Bidens' alleged misconduct, which he says "sounds horrible to me."

Here, too, Trump's personal motive in seeking to discredit Biden is obvious, while the legitimate public interest is harder to discern. It was no secret that Giuliani, acting as Trump's representative, had been encouraging the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens. As Giuliani explained last May, he was seeking "information [that] will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government." Responding to criticism of his lobbying, Giuliani said "there's nothing illegal about it," although "somebody could say it's improper."

Yes, somebody could. Likewise, somebody could say it was improper when the president of the United States pressured the government of a country desperate for U.S. military aid to cooperate with his personal lawyer in digging up dirt on a political opponent. The idea that Trump was simply concerned about the general issue of official corruption in Ukraine—a subject he does not broach during his conversation with Zelenskiy—seems highly implausible when you read the transcript. Last month Trump himself said what he wanted from Zelenskiy was "very simple": "a major investigation into the Bidens."

In addition to the strong circumstantial evidence contained in that conversation, which alarmed several administration officials who listened in on the call, the following points have emerged from the impeachment investigation:

• Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified that there was a clear "quid pro quo" between the Ukrainian investigations sought by Trump and a White House meeting with Zelenskiy. "Everyone was in the loop," he said. "It was no secret." In cooperating with Giuliani to obtain a public commitment from the Ukrainian government to conduct the investigations, Sondland said, "I followed the directions of the president."

• Although Sondland initially said he was not aware of a connection between the investigations and the freeze that the Trump administration imposed on $391 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine, he later revised his account in light of other officials' testimony. This week he said that he was "absolutely convinced" the aid would not be delivered without the public commitment Trump sought and that he communicated as much to a Zelenskiy adviser on September 1.

• Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper testified that the connection between the aid and the investigations "was stated very clearly" at a meeting the day after Trump talked to Zelenskiy. She said Pentagon officials worried that the freeze, which Trump ultimately lifted under congressional pressure, was illegal. And although Zelenskiy himself was not aware of the aid freeze at the time of his July 25 conversation with Trump, she said, other Ukrainian officials were already asking about it.

• William Taylor, the U.S. chargé d'affaires in Ukraine, testified that both the aid and the White House meeting were contingent on the investigations. Taylor described the demands as contrary to U.S. interests, saying, "It's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."

• Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), expressed similar concerns. "It is improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent," he said. "It was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma, it would be interpreted as a partisan play."

• Jennifer Williams, a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, likewise testified that the favor Trump wanted from Zelenskiy was "unusual" because "it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter."

• Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine, said Trump's charge that Biden had corruptly interfered with the Burisma investigation was "not credible" in light of bipartisan concerns about Shokin, whose removal was consistent with U.S. foreign policy.

• Fiona Hill, a former NSC Russia specialist, described the claim of Ukrainian hacking as "a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves."

• "POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelenskiy to go to [a] microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton," Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testified. "I had concerns that there was an effort to initiate politically motivated prosecutions that were injurious to the rule of law."

Does all this amount to proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump is guilty of illegally extorting Zelenskiy (or, alternatively, soliciting a bribe from him in exchange for an official act)? No, but that standard of proof does not apply to impeachment, which in any case does not require a criminal act.

The picture could be clarified by testimony from unwilling witnesses such as Giuliani, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who also directs the Office of Management and Budget. But even without that testimony, I'd say there is clear and convincing evidence that Trump abused his official powers in the service of his personal interests and that he has repeatedly lied about it since that abuse came to light.

Clinton also lied, and he did so under oath. That is no small thing, especially since it seemed to reflect a belief that he was above the law. Furthermore, the subject that he lied about, his sexual relationship with a White House intern, was itself a troubling abuse of power. But that abuse did not involve U.S. foreign policy, and it did not impinge on the separation of powers by obstructing the delivery of congressionally appropriated funds. It is hard to see how people who thought Clinton's conduct was impeachable could believe Trump's is not, unless they are blinded by unconditional partisan allegiance.

Whether it is prudent to impeach Trump with less than a year to go before he faces re-election is another matter. But Democrats already seem to have made up their minds about that, and they will have to live with the consequences.

NEXT: Despite Stiff NIMBY Opposition, San Francisco Business Owner Will Be Allowed to Convert Arcade Repair Business Into Normal Arcade

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. > If Donald Trump were a Democrat (as he was from 2001 to 2009)
    Lies! All lies!

    1. You’re a sad person.

    2. Poor Sullum. Trump broke his brain.

      1. POTUS is the chief law enforcement officer of the Federal government.

        You simply cannot square being a known perjurer with that position. Sullum betrays his bias by not recognizing or accepting that reality.

        1. OH! Law enforcement can never commit crimes, because it’s their job to CATCH criminals! It’s both funny and sad to see Trumpsters in total mental collapse/

          1. No mental collapse, regardless of where you stand on Trump’s actions to argue that Clinton’s didn’t “directly relate” to his duties is absurd on it’s face.

            When your judgement is that bad, it does put the rest of what you assert in a very bad light.

            1. Has NOTHING to do with what I said.
              But you stick with the wacky notion that law enforcement can never commit crimes, because they … CATCH CRIMINALS!

              Regardless of where you stand on Trump’s actions

              A RETRACTION.

              to argue that Clinton’s didn’t “directly relate” to his duties is absurd on its face.

              to argue that Clinton’s didn’t “directly relate” to his duties is absurd on it’s face.

              I NEVER ARGUED THAT
              IT APPEARS NOWHERE IN THIS THREAD.

              CALLING YOU OUT: HOW DID CLINTON HAVING SEX WITH LEWINSKI DIRECTLY RELATE TO HIS DUTIES … BUT TRUMP INVITING ANOTHER FOREIGN COUNTRY TO INTERFERE IN ANOTHER ELECTION, WITH EXTORTION BY TAXPAYER DOLLARS?

              1. Why did you destroy the LP Hihn? Was it your mania? Or did you just hate everyone and decide to screw the movement?

              2. Sorry you are too deranged to follow my argument about offices of trust and perjury, so instead had to substitute your own about the subject matter of Clinton’s lies under oath.

                You should seek some form of assistance. But I’m sure Sullum is thrilled that you have his back.

        2. Wait, does that mean President Bill Clinton didn’t commit perjury when he was impeached?

          1. “I never had perjury with that woman.”

          2. When he was impeached?

            No, he committed perjury, he lied under oath during a suit, was caught, then was impeached over it.

            I understand that you were, maybe just out of diapers back then, but try to keep up.

            1. He was also disbarred over it as well.

              1. NOW you saying that lying about a sexual affair is WORSE than lying to defend neo-nazis and white nationalists from launching mass assaults and even murder …… and YOU say that can be squared with Trump being “the chief law enforcement officer of the US Government.”

                NOW you day law enforcement means DEFENDING HEINOUS CRIMES! And HOW DARE YOU equate violent assault and murder with … CONSENSUAL SEX????

                Trumpsters be SCARY. 🙁

                1. So you’re ok with perjury? Is this why you ruined the LP?

      2. Sullum buying into the one sided hearing and hearsay evidence. Most of the nation will some substance first.

    3. SHAME ON TRUMPTARDS … so eager to be brainwashed by the morally debased President …. LYING to defend his base of NEO-NAZIS and WHITE SUPREMACISTS

      UNDENIABLE PROOF! Video and FOUR guilty verdicts — white nationalists, “serial rioters,” for launching mass assaults on people standing peacefully, in Charlottesville;
      https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

      Why does Trump lie SO BLATANTLY .. and SO OFTEN?
      He’s programming the robotic minds of his subservient base … Just as Bernie and Elizabeth do to theirs

      1. So Trump is “morally debased” and the half the country that voted for him – his “base” as you say, are “NEO-NAZIS and WHITE SPREMACISTS”, because some “white nationalists” exist and harmed others. I understand your argument, and it’s lacking.

        It’s interesting how he exercised his power to assure the Charlottesville police force all stayed in the park and let conflicts arise outside the park while doing nothing about that. It’s interesting because the Democrat Mayor Charlottesville and governor of the state hate Trump, and control the local police.

        1. Cowardly evasion (sneer)
          As useless as Trump screeching, “FAKE NEWS” … as his cult of bobbleheads nods in obedience.
          FAILS TO ADDRESS A SINGLE POINT!

          I understand your argument, and it’s lacking.

          SHAME ON
          YOU!SO WHY DID YOU WHINE LIKE A PUSSY .. AND REFUSE TO ADDRESS …. … ONE … SINGLE … WORD OF IT.

          ***MAYBE *** IF *** I **** YELL *** LOUDER???

          SHAME ON TRUMPTARDS … so eager to be brainwashed by the morally debased President ….
          LYING to defend his base of NEO-NAZIS and WHITE SUPREMACISTS

          Video and FOUR guilty verdicts — white nationalists, “serial rioters,” for launching mass assaults on people standing peacefully, in Charlottesville;
          https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

          DO YOU HEAR ME NOW;?Why are YOU defending violence, mass assault and murder … by neo-nazis and WHITE NATIONALISTS (no quote marks)

          Why does Trump lie SO BLATANTLY .. and SO OFTEN? He’s programming the robotic minds of his subservient base …

          Many, like here, scurry around like cockroaches … copy-pasting words they know nothing about …. in “response” to THE WRONG TOPIC they know nothing about … and LIE that they’ve seen the PROOF.
          God save America.
          If it’s not too late already
          Left – Right = Zero

          1. (Sneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)

            Hihn – Coherence = Zero

            1. DENIES ABSOLUTE PROOF … PRESENTED
              1) VIDEO of Trump saying the violence was initiated by the “alt-left charging, the alt-right, swinging clubs, and wearing nazi helmets

              2) VIDEO of the actual initial assault.
              * Alt left standing peacefully, UNARMED (arms locked a al 1960s)
              * Alt-right carrying clubs, wearing nazi helmets, charges and assaults peaceful protesters..
              * Alt-right also carrying police-style riot shields. The fuckers CAME for violence.

              3) THE SMOKING GUN … Four white nationalists IMPRISONED for … STARTING THE VIOLENCE TRUMP ;LIED ABOUT!!! Described as “serial rioters” … by Trump’s own DOJ..

              Oh wait, the two videos were faced, by George Soros, using a body double for POTUS. And the criminal convictions were FAKE NEWS by the DEEP STATE.

              THAT IS HOW BAT-SHIT CRAZY DARIUSH IS. SEE the proof he denies, like a whiny pussy. Judge for yourself
              https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600
              (sneer)

              1. Everything you said is complete bullshit. Is that sort of ranting how you helped turn everyone off to the LP?

                When you think about it, you’re the reason Trump got elected.

              2. The Dems have nothing. It has all been a charade to smear Trump. It is now looking doubtful they take it to a vote. Schiff is trying to find an out to the predicament he is in. He has stated he will take it to his ‘constituents’ to determine if he should push to vote for impeachment. He wants the smear without the process because once the vote is taken the process moves to the senate and he instantly loses control. The senate may even call on him to answer questions about when he first spoke to the so-called whistle blower. Also, in the Senate he will no longer be allowed to hide the identity of the whistle blower who will also be expected to testify. I strongly suspect the testimony of the whistle blower and that of Schiff will contradict each other a lot. Schiff is terrified of taking this to a vote in case it actually passes

      2. First, you might want to answer the question why you lie so blatantly and so often.

    4. Nobody said a thing when Joe Biden took credit for getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired on camera. I 100% agree. I am an independent and I haven’t seen anything that is even arguably criminal. If the conversation had was even remotely close to the public transcript, all negotiations would be considered abuses of power. This whole process is a sham intended to set perjury traps.

      1. I haven’t seen anything that is even arguably criminal

        You’ll never see what you REFUSE to see,

        https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8025064

        1. We all see your annoying puke. We just REFUSE to eat it because that’s all it is — puke.

          Maybe if you try serving up some non-biased facts and legitimate unknown information instead of just emotionally regurgitated puke – you might get some acknowledgement.

          1. ANOTHER BULLSHITTING TRUMPARD SAYS THAT ACTUAL VIDEOS AND CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS ARE …… BIASED> h
            Bend over, while I jam PROOF up your pathetic ass!

            LAME! Trumptards be eagerly manipulated puppets … dancing on a string.
            Charlottesville!. When YOUR President LIED to defend YOUR favorite people: neo- nazis and white nationalists. ABSOLUTE PROOF!

            In press conference, Trump says alt-left initiated the assaults, charging his alt-right base, swinging clubs.

            The actual video …Trump’s own voice … stating a PROVEN lie at press conference… as the snotty punk he is.

            “What about the alt left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt right? Do they have any assemblage of guilt? What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do.”

            Trump lied … shamelessly — to defend Nazi and racist assaults. SHOUTS DOWN news media – as he always does when guilty. Calls them LIARS. “I watched it all on television … SO DID YOU.”

            BULLSHIT. Nobody watched it. NO news cameras at the assault. News reports broadcast what they called “personal videos” (cell phone videos). None recorded the actual assault.

            That’s WHY the President’s “worst” act was saying “… good people on both sides.” USELESS, because that would include two good folks on one side, fifty on the other side.

            NEXT, UNDENIABLE PROOF THAT TRUMP IS A LYING SACK OF SHIT … WHICH PROVES TJJ2000 IS A FUCKING RACIST OR NAZI

          2. Part Two

            VIDEO PROOF: The initial assault.. (Private video found on an alternate news twitter feed)

            “Alt-Left” standing peacefully, no visible clubs or bats.

            Alt-Right Fascists/Racists charge en masse, swinging clubs.

            Fascists carrying police-style riot shields. The assholes CAME for violence.

            SHAME ON EVERYONE who LIES about the truth, to defend a morally debased President, over country and honor.

          3. Part Three

            KAPOW :

            4 men found guilty in violent Charlottesville rally described as ‘serial rioters’ (Trump’s own DOJ

            Three members of a white supremacist group were sentenced to prison Friday for kicking, choking and punching multiple people during the 2017 “United the Right” rally in Charlottesville and other rallies in California. The three were members of the California-based militant white supremacist organization “Rise Above Movement.”

            A fourth defendant, Cole Evan White, will be sentenced at a later date, the attorney’s office said.

            “These defendants, motivated by hateful ideology, incited and committed acts of violence in Charlottesville, as well at other purported political rallies in California,” U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen said.
            “They were not interested in peaceful protest or lawful First Amendment expression; instead, they intended to provoke and engage in street battles with those that they perceived as their enemies.”

            This is now being converted to a Press Release, sent to all major media outlets, with all evidence … and to the House impeachment committees.
            Watch this thread. I shall be punished for this. Trump’s not the only psycho on the alt-right.

            TJJ2000 … PUT UP OR SHUT UP … SHOW YOUR PROOF … OR YOU ARE NOW A PROVEN DISGRACE.

              1. “TJJ2000 … PUT UP OR SHUT UP … SHOW YOUR PROOF … LIKE I SHOWED MEE … OR BE A CONFESSED /I> DISGRACE.”

                FAIL!
                MOAR cowardly whining … a CONFESSION THAT HE’S A FULL OF SHIT PSYCHO … AS CHARGED.

                MY proof was crammed up his pathetic ass (IN SELF-DEFENSE) here.
                https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8025157

                “Mess with the bull, get the horns.”

                1. ^More and more endless “Parts” of emotional Puke.. NOT a single point at-all (let alone any valuable one to be found). Sorry; still not eating this regurgitated puke – but I did see it…

                  Saw your post – Acknowledged as Puke – Still won’t eat it.

                  1. I guess the theory is — If you throw enough puke (many many parts/servings) at the people I guess someone is liable to end up with something in their teeth.

                    Also known as, “Repeating a lie so many times it becomes an accepted truth.” Brainwashing by repeated repetition.

                    [WE] will make you Sell your soul to the [WE] foundation – because you don’t own you; [WE] own you and [WE] will make sure that’s the accepted truth by repeating it so many times you’ll be to annoyed to believe otherwise.

      2. Nobody said a thing when Joe Biden took credit for getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired on camera.

        IT WAS DEMANDED BY THE ENTIRE EUROPEAN UNION … BECAUSE THE PROSECUTOR WAS A MAJOR CORRUPTION,

        Do you sit on Donnie’s lap, while he brainwashes you with fairy tales?

        1. So you’re saying that Biden does the bidding of the EU? Talk about foreign interference in US affairs!

    5. What people who oppose impeaching and removing Trump don’t realize is that if Trump is not removed for this kind of self-aggrandizing corruption and abuse of power, it will be the new normal and is what every future president will do. It’s terribly short-sighted of Trump backers to say they’ll allow this kind of behavior by their guy because they like some of the things he’s doing, since the likelihood is that in either 2020 or 2024, there’s going to be somebody in the White House they won’t be so happy with, but there won’t be anything they can do about it.
      Dave Lindorff
      thiscantbehappening.net

  2. Of all the things presidents have done, this is what you want one impeached for? Fuck you.

    1. Impeachment should require 2 things.
      1 clear, indisputable evidence of the ‘crime’ or act. Tapes or stained dresses. The opposing party must be at least partly in agreement.
      2. A serious, nation endangering offense. Like covering for burglary and bribery or other actual dirty tricks. Rumors, innuendos, projection, inferences of horse trading are weak sauce.

      You’ve disgraced yourself Jacob.

      1. How has he disgraced himself? Sondland’s testimony was clear and convincing.

        //Mr. Castor: (01:32:24)
        When you talk in your statement about in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I later came to believe, it was your speculation, it was your guess that the resumption of security aid would not occur until there was a public statement from Ukraine committing to the investigations of 2016. I believe you said that at this point you believed everyone knew this. Is that correct?

        Gordon Sondland: (01:32:50)
        I think once that Politico article broke, it started making the rounds that, you know, if you can’t get a White House meeting without the statement, what makes you think you’re going to get a $400 million check? Again that was my presumption.

        Mr. Castor: (01:33:05)
        Okay. But you had no evidence to prove that, correct?

        Gordon Sondland: (01:33:10)
        That’s correct.//

        The guy literally testified he had no proof whatsoever apart from his thoughts. But, of course, “clear and convincing.”

        1. Welcome to “journalism”.

          1. You guys remind me of the second year of law school, when students were assigned a losing position and instructed to defend and advance that hopeless, silly position.

            1. No one believes your illiterate ass when to law school hicklib

            2. Law school? Were you a janitor there?

      2. “Impeachment should require 2 things.”

        :”Impeachable acts” are whatever the House decides they are, and can be as malleable as the whims, and winds, of politics. And that is why the Senate has to agree, and that is why not one President has ever been removed from Office.

        Impeaching Trump (and I am no fan of his), would likely be a bootless enterprise (I can’t see the Senate finding him guilty), and might just ensure his re-election, if it isn’t already ensured, given the clowns the Dems have been parading around.

        1. I’m hoping the Dems vote to impeach because then it moves to the Senate for a legitimate investigate. An investigation which Schiff no longer controls and which can call for the testimony of the whistle blower. The Senate should also be able to soapena Schiff and finally learn the truth of when he first made contact with this whistle blower. The stupidest thing Schiff has ever stated is that he does not know the identity of this whistle blower. Schiff is a compulsive liar, and I look forward to seeing him testify in the senate.

    2. Lefties are crazy. Crazy dont see the craziness spewing from their mouths and crazy actions.

      Whatever. The sooner this Civil War 2.0 starts the sooner we can get back to expanding American middle class wealth. There will be so many new homes..move in ready and furnished.

      All you need is a giant dumpster to throw out all the Socialist anti-American propaganda and its like home.

      1. SHAME ON TRUMPTARDS … so eager to be brainwashed by the morally debased President …. LYING to defend his base of NEO-NAZIS and WHITE SUPREMACISTS

        UNDENIABLE PROOF! Video and FOUR guilty verdicts — white nationalists, “serial rioters,” for launching mass assaults on people standing peacefully, in Charlottesville;
        https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

        Why does Trump lie SO BLATANTLY .. and SO OFTEN?
        He’s programming the robotic minds of his subservient base … Just as Bernie and Elizabeth do to theirs

        1. Can we get Hihn banned again? And since we know who he is, I’m in favor of getting him civilly committed, against his will, in Idaho. Where he lives.

          I figure keeping him on a massive maintenance dose of Thorazine would be appropriate.

  3. his supporters or hurt him by energizing his opponents.

    This line kind of reminds of the scene in Thick as Thieves where the incompetent hoods bust into the thief’s hotel room and accidentally kill his dog, realizing the thief isn’t there.

    Hood 1: Aww man, I feel all bad and shit… I used to have a little dog just like that.

    Hood 2: Yeah, but now we got his attention.

    Hood 1: Yo man, we already HAD his attention.

    Trump’s opponents are ALREADY energized. That’s been the problem, they’ve been operating at max RPM since 2016 and there’s no end in sight. This IS all they have. If anything, Trump has gained supporters due to the clear scam that this impeachment hearing is.

    1. I wish we could at least recognize the current state of affairs for what it REALLY is, even if I’m wrong about it being a deep state coup: We’re in a civil war– the type of civil war where all the buildings are left standing and no one fires a shot. This is a political civil war, and it’s completely based on the tantrum over Hillary not ascending to the Iron Throne. People are so incensed that she didn’t become elected, that they’re going to do everything they can to undermine Trump. And it’s important to know that if it had been President Mitt Romney, or President Gary Johnson, or President Jeb Bush, the exact same thing would be happening.

      1. Well said, and I partially agree.
        It’s not just because Hillary lost though.
        The Ds have been showing the seeds of utter hatred for Rs in their base for 20 years, and they’ve extended that deep seeded hatred to anyone at all who opposes progressivism over the last decade.
        Progressivism has become a faith demanding religious devotion, and they declared a total fatwa in 2016.
        I’m unsure if there ever was any real distinction between the deep state and progressivism, as the philosophical basis of both is the same, but there certainly hasn’t been since 2015.
        Progressivism not based upon Nazism, and especially the version couched in equality/inclusion/altruism, was always doomed to nervous breakdown. The battles for social “justice” or civil rights have already been won, leaving the faith, hence its devotees, without purpose. Additionally, Western decadence leads to a situation where the “elites” are increasingly incompetent.
        Faith becomes increasingly incompatible with reality. All the values, and the fantasy, of progressivism – higher intelligence, credentialism, cultural superiority (what’s up, rev?) – requires an environment where the fiction of those values and the noble fight against injustice can be increasingly isolated from reality. Trump’s election was the brutal intrusion of reality on that fantasy world, where progressives were confronted with both their own incompetence and the injustice of their supposed superiority.
        What we have now is the culmination of a mass psychotic breakdown, and progressivism’s panicked lashing out to maintain its dominance. In this way, I’ve long maintained that Trump is indeed an existential threat – to progressivism.
        But the followers of the faith will maintain their loyalty, because their identity, their psyche, is first and foremost Progressive. The leadership, however, are not all true believers. They are psychopaths, as that is who rises to leadership in such an environment, but will continue to pursue their path to ultimate power.
        This is exceedingly dangerous… and they’ll win if people don’t begin to recognize and take seriously exactly what is going on.

        1. The battles for social “justice” or civil rights have already been won, leaving the faith, hence its devotees, without purpose. Additionally, Western decadence leads to a situation where the “elites” are increasingly incompetent.
          Faith becomes increasingly incompatible with reality.

          You’re on to a larger theme here which I think is a symptom of a larger cultural trend. In an interview, Douglas Murray was asked to riff on some things that he thinks are important that no one is talking about. Paraphrased, he said, “I think if one thinks that as Western Society passes from a state of belief to non-belief (referring to decreasing religious influence in the Western world) that things are just going to be ‘business as usual’, one would be sorely mistaken.”

          He made sure to note that he said those words as an atheist and I found myself nodding vigorously in agreement. And I nodded as an atheist.

          1. When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into thee.

            The human mind needs faith – it is our superpower. Think of how much confidence affects performance (con: “with” fidence: “faith”) in any endeavor. The human psyche will find faith, it’s just a question of in what. A lot of replacements come in when the dominant cultural force is displaced. For many, that is the State. For some, it is the Self. For many others, it’s unclear – which is challenging. But Man cannot go without God. Even nihilism is a faith.

            Man would sooner will nothing than not will at all.

            1. Ultimately, there is a strong suicidal drive in Man – one kept at bay by purpose.
              That suicidal drive can manifest on a mass level, as ideology.
              Maybe better to say that every ideology is a struggle between purpose and the suicidal drive.
              The thing is, some suicidal drives are self-contained. This is the utility of asceticism – to quarantine the drive. The purpose given to others then is expansionary.
              But others are malicious. They seek to destroy not only the self, but also the world/others. This type of drive appears when the connected purpose is withdrawal, no longer growth.

              (Forgive me – thinking “out loud”)

              1. Quit whining. Try to prepare for your replacement with a bit of dignity.

            2. Don’t ask me. I’m watching the Browns game.

              1. (sigh) It’s been decades since my 16 years of season tickets. 🙁

            3. The human mind is a pattern recognition (and problem solving device.). But it does not take long for any of us to recognize we do so with both limited information AND unreliable perception.

              The first person to successfully spear a fish learned he cannot even trust his own eyes.

              We ALL live in a world that requires some manner of faith just to get through the day. Anyone who argues otherwise is only fooling himself.

              Knowing what your personal faith entails is about the best any of us can do.

        2. There is a philosophy professor in the California university system who pretty well defines the issues – ‘All people in rural areas are uneducated, bigoted, idiots. Only people who live in metropolitan areas should ever be allowed an opinion.’
          Several people from the Red States areas have said they will stop receiving philosophy from him and in return, stop sending him food.

          1. lol… The philosophy professor who’s job depends on stealing my earned “tax-money” leaving me no choice but to buy the puke he spills since obviously it’s not worth anything to free people?

        3. “The battles for social “justice” or civil rights have already been won, leaving the faith, hence its devotees, without purpose.”

          Absolutely Genius post Nardz. Although I don’t think I’d put “social justice” (in today’s interpretation) anywhere close to individual “civil rights” as it seems by today’s interpretation they’re complete opposites.

        4. People don’t realize that non progressives are at war with progressives. By virtue of the fact that they are already at war with us.

      2. And it’s important to know that if it had been President Mitt Romney, or President Gary Johnson, or President Jeb Bush, the exact same thing would be happening.

        I have to disagree with you somewhat there – the reason it wouldn’t be the exact same thing is the same reason we don’t have a Romney or Johnson or Jeb! presidency. Once the Left starts in with their attacks on racism, privilege, elitism, wealth, whatever, those sorts are the first to apologize and defend themselves at great length whereas Trump just blows it off and moves on. Nobody before has had to withstand the amount of abuse Trump has had to take because nobody before has been capable of withstanding that amount of abuse – they all would have folded long ago. Trump’s long history as a New York real estate developer and as a Democrat have made him uniquely qualified to engage in no-holds-barred gutter fights with lying, corrupt, immoral, nasty people – he’s one of them. Fortunately for us, he’s not evil and he doesn’t hate America, capitalism, Western civilization and human progress.

        1. Open wider, clinger. Your betters haven’t finished curb-stomping your stale, bigoted right-wing preferences. A half-century of victory in the culture war isn’t nearly enough, so more liberal-libertarian progress is America’s future.

          1. Such insight! What eloquence! You really have outdone yourself.

            1. I think Kirkland has already admitted being a parody account.

          2. Jeezus, don’t you old fuckers have the capacity to learn a new shtick? Yours is tired.

          3. Hey assface, why don’t you go back to sucking alter boys’ cocks.

            1. Hey assface, why don’t you go back to sucking alter boys’ cocks.What a shameful DISGRACE to liberal-tarians wordwide.

              1. Corrected

                Hey assface, why don’t you go back to sucking alter boys’ cocks.

                What a shameful DISGRACE to liberal-tarians worldwide. As bad as the Authoritarian Right.

                Left – Right = Zero

      3. And it’s important to know that if it had been President Mitt Romney, or President Gary Johnson, or President Jeb Bush, the exact same thing would be happening.

        No it isn’t.

        Trump has been uniquely terrible in ways that a Jeb or a GayJay wouldn’t have been:
        1. Proudly ignorant and boastful
        2. Values loyalty over competence – that is partly true for everyone, but it is WAY more true for Trump than for others
        3. Validates and justifies the paranoid xenophobia that is gripping the right-wing nowadays

        1. Yes, he is a real jerk. Not impeachable in itself.

          1. Trump’s conduct — not his boorishness, nor the downscale nature of his deplorable supporters fans — should be the focus of an impeachment proceeding.

            1. Trump’s accomplishments — not his boorishness, nor the downscale nature of his deplorable supporters fans — should be the focus of the coverage of his re-election campaign.

              FIFY

              1. WHAT accomplishments?

                1. Hihn – Accomplishment = Loser

                  1. COWARDLY EVASION … FAILS THE CHALLENGE
                    But infantile name-calling.

                    1. Cowardly – Evasion = Hihn

          2. Yes, he is a real jerk, and that is about his only saving grace…

        2. Thanks, but I’ll take the unfiltered ignorance of a Trump over the quiet, destructive ignorance of an Obama or Clinton any day.

        3. Validates and justifies the paranoid xenophobia that is gripping the right-wing nowadays

          I don’t need Trump to validate my paranoid xenophobia; as an immigrant, I know first hand how awful the world outside the US actually is. I hope Americans will listen.

      4. YOU LOSE, DIANE, BIGLEY

        SHAMEFULLY eager to be brainwashed by the morally debased President …. LYING to defend his base of NEO-NAZIS and WHITE SUPREMACISTS

        UNDENIABLE PROOF! Video and FOUR guilty verdicts — white nationalists, “serial rioters,” for launching mass assaults on people standing peacefully, in Charlottesville;
        https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

        Why does Trump lie SO BLATANTLY .. and SO OFTEN?
        He’s programming the robotic minds of his subservient base … Just as Bernie and Elizabeth do to their puppets.

        Left -Right = Zero

        1. Nobody cares what you think, Hihn. That’s why you came in fourth in a three person election.

          1. Hihn – 3 Person Election = Fourth Place

          2. It’s not what *I* think retard, or *you*.
            It’s what the PROOF shows, whiny loser

    2. Although upon further reflection, I suspect that the levels of unhinged behavior is because Trump is the first True Outsider we’ve elected… well, in my lifetime, that’s for sure. I mean, maybe Jimmy Carter was somewhat of an outsider? MAYYYBEEE?

      1. Who’d have thought reason would be the one defending the state and more importantly unelected bureaucracy.

        1. It fits their recent editorial slant. For shame, KMW.

          1. KM-W needs a good hard spanking.

        2. The levels of respect and deference Reason is willing to extend to career bureaucrats and intelligence operatives is amazing. Normally Reason operates on the assumption that all government agencies are either corrupt or incompetent or both.

          In all my years of reading this website (I would estimate around a decade, give or take a year) I have NEVER seen such fawning support for federal employees as what Sullum et al have been showing during this impeachment farce.

          1. What about the sacrifice of the level of respect we have for their writers? Are we supposed to pity them for being in thrall of the Kochtopus, or dis them for selling out this cheaply?

            1. SHAME on Trumptards …. eagerly to be brainwashed by the morally debased President …. LYING to defend his base of NEO-NAZIS and WHITE SUPREMACISTS

              UNDENIABLE PROOF! Video and FOUR guilty verdicts — white nationalists, “serial rioters,” for launching mass assaults on people standing peacefully, in Charlottesville;
              https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

              Why does Trump lie SO BLATANTLY .. and SO OFTEN?
              He’s programming the robotic minds of his subservient base … Just as Bernie and Elizabeth do to their puppets.

              Left -Right = Zero

          2. Principals trump principles in the age of Trump.

          3. Reason probably never was a libertarian publication. What they favored was low taxes, less regulation, lower import tariffs, and mass immigration, positions that seem superficially libertarian but really are just self serving policy preferences.

        3. Yeah – it appears Sullum who finds Trump “horrifying” has TDS. His referencing a factcheck.org article, that quotes Yurily Lutsenko saying “the younger Biden was not investigated”. However a NYT article quotes the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (appointed by Obama) speech in Sept 2015, “to call for an investigation into ‘the misconduct’ of the prosecutors”, who refused to provide information about a UK case against the owner of Burisma. NYT: “Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch” 12/8/2015

          What we have is a strong liberal faction seeking to control the narrative about this, by gaining control of the allegedly unbiased fact check organizations that aren’t unbiased. Leading to statements like Bidens “that’s all been debunked” without any reference to any investigations. Sullum should try to debunk say John Solomon’s “John Solomon Drops 28 Uncomfortable Facts Crushing The ‘Debunked Conspiracy Theory’ Narrative” or his article “The Ukraine scandal timeline Democrats and their media allies don’t want America to see”.

          While Lutensko as Ukrainian prosecutor said “the younger Biden was not investigated” in 2015, he also says he was investigating Burisma and the Bidens, and that Marie Yovanovitch (Obama appointed Ukrainian ambassador at the time) gave him a list of names to not prosecute in Jan 2017, including the AntAC group funded by George Soros, which also received a lot of US funds which was being investigated for how it spent that money.

          There are several things clear here. First, Ukraine has had a lot of corruption issues over the years. Second, Obama’s State Dept., the Bidens, and the Democrats were heavily involved in Ukraine, including Hunter Biden being hired in 2014 by Burisma. Third, US senators sent a letter to Ukraine telling them to cooperate with the Mueller probe or risk losing US foreign aid (is that illegal too?). Fourth, the DNC worked with Ukrianian authorities to investigate Trump’s associates in Ukraine (Manafort who did business long before) so is this illegal? Fourth, we have Joe bragging about getting the prosecutor fired on tape. There’s been a lot of turnover in government in Ukraine, with the 2014 uprising and exile of Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovych. Finally, Trump hasn’t been involved in the Ukraine, except to investigate what happened in the 2016 election regarding foreign interference, something the Democrats used to be concerned about until their Russian collusion hoax fell apart, and now all of a sudden, they don’t want any investigation into what they spent years investigating, except regarding Ukraine.

          1. I know you just said that you discredit anything factcheck.org says, but I’ll link to it here for others who want to read it:
            https://www.factcheck.org/2019/10/the-democratic-letter-to-ukraine/

            1. Bless you!
              I also note his failure to provide any links.

            2. The Factcheck.org simply makes the point that in their opinion, the Democrats pressured Ukraine less than Trump. Beyond that, it actually confirms Biden’s corruption and the lack of investigation. So why exactly did you provide this link? What were you trying to show?

              1. According to FactCheck.org, the Democrats didn’t threaten the Ukrainians, they just said “Real nice relationship our two countries have. Be a shame if something happened to it…”

          2. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/world/europe/ukraine-paul-manafort.html


            Ukraine Court Rules Manafort Disclosure Caused ‘Meddling’ in U.S. Election

            By Andrew E. KramerDec. 12, 2018

        4. Who’d have thought reason would be the one defending the state and more importantly unelected bureaucracy.

          We defend TRUTH … which only asshole judge solely by what tribe its.

          And despite your retarded brain, it IS possible to support an individual without supporting her profession. This is the same moral blunder that has you saying all Democrats are satanic.

          The same mentality as those who hate “niggers” and “kikes.”
          The militant self-righteous

      2. I am not sure that shouting and behaving badly is the same as being an “outsider”. And doing things differently from the usual is not always good. If President Trump could point to some success doing things differently, that might help. But I suspect it will be difficult for him to do.

    3. I AM one of the supporters that Trump has gained. I was pissed at both parties for giving us two of what I considered to be the worst possible candidates. Trump has turned out to be an incredible surprise, and there is little in politics that surprises me anymore. It is no accident that we finally have China taking us seriously. The Middle East hasn’t been this peaceful in a long time, even if it IS a hellhole.
      But what has truly pushed me over to Trump is the disgraceful actions of progressives in both the democratic party and the media (but I am being redundant). These are disgusting party partisans who do not give a CRAP about anyone who isn’t them. As far as they’re concerned, it’s all OUR fault for not submitting to letting them rule us. Just look at some of the other posts right here on this page….
      THANK GOD FOR TRUMP!!!!!

      1. I agree with you SezWhom. IMHO, Trump is the most libertarian president we’ve had in my lifetime, even more so than Reagan. Yet we have some at Reason who find him “horrifying”.

        IMHO, part of the reason for some anti-Trump feelings among libertarians, has to do with how he attacked illegal immigrants and trade policy with foreigners as a big cause of our economic problems. I believe the true cause of our economic problems, are who’ve we’ve collected elected, and their anti-free market policies that benefit the political class. I think Trump realized he couldn’t get elected blaming us for who we’ve voted for, and instead created the foreigner straw man to attack, knowing the real problem was too much government. Barry Goldwater said, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” which is how I see this. That Trump found it necessary to lie to get elected so he could give us more freedom and the political class less power, I believe he’s taken the righteous path. Just as we allow government officials such as the police and FBI, to lie to criminals to facilitate catching them in their crimes (though often abused).

        It’s a nice change to elect someone lying about anti-freedom messages , to get someone who actually is working to give us more freedom, rather than the opposite we’ve had for decades.

        1. Trump is the most libertarian president we’ve had in my lifetime,

          LIBERTARIANS DON’T LIE TO DEFEND MASS ASSAULTS AND MURDER BY NEO-NAZIS AND WHITE SUPREMACISTS … .

          NO LIBERTARIAN WOULD BE THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER AT INCREASING OUR DEBT … AFTER OBAMA HANDED HIM THE LONGEST ECONOMIC GROWTH EVER TO AN INCOMING PRESIDENT.

          Trump has already added as much 8-year debt (CBO 2024 forecast) as Obama added AFTER 8 years … and what did Obama start with? 🙂

          even more so than Reagan.

          That’s even wackier!!

          Reagan was the deciding factor in defeating a Christian Taliban initiative that would have banned gay teachers in public schools. It was winning by a safe margin … until Reagan RIDICULED IT (and you) … “Gay teachers are no threat to our kids. Homesexuality is not comunicable, like measles.”
          It lost by a landslide, the first loss for the nationwide, anti-gay Anita Bryant Crusade … which then collapsed.

          Passed an ACROSS THE BOARD tax cut .. like Kennedy’s, the ONLY two peacetime economic booms since the 1920s. The economy is a three-legged stool — consumers, employers, investors. DUH. If ANY leg lacks confidence, the stool falls over,

          NO LIBERTARIAN … EVER … WOULD CAMPAIGN ON A 60% TAX CUT FOR … HIMSELF … AND A TINY SLIVER OF THE 100% … ON TOP OF HIS LOOPHOLE EXEMPTION FROM THE CORPORATE INCOME TAX.

          HE’D HAVE BEEN A BILLIONAIRE PAYING A MARGINAL (TOP) INCOME TAX RATE OF … 15%. WHAT’S YOUR MARGINAL RATE, SUCKER.

          LIBERTARIANS WERE THE FIRST TO OPPOSE ‘CRONY CAPITALISM.’

          1. Hihn Inhaling His Methane Farts – Hihn’s Crystal Meth Fueled Posts = Zero

      2. Same here. I abstained for 2016 because I thought both candidates were bad. I also left the Democratic party in 2015 because of Hillary’s nomination. I have gotten more and more disgusted by the conduct of the Democrats since then, while Trump has turned out to be a pretty moderate president in his policies, despite his rhetoric.

  4. The walls are closing in! It’s the beginning of the end!

    It’s hilarious how desperate you’ve gotten since Russiagate blew up in your faces. Jesus fuck. You want Trump impeached because he didn’t actually do what Biden admitted to doing and bragged about on public television. LMAO.

    1. //Rep Mike Turner: 00:56:18 Okay. Well after you testified, Chairman Schiff ran out and gave a press conference and said he gets to impeach the President of the United States because of your testimony, and if you pull up CNN today, right now their banner says Sondland ties Trump to withholding aid. Is that your testimony today Ambassador Sondland? That you have evidence that Donald Trump tied the investigations to the aid? Because I don’t think you’re saying that.

      Gordon Sondland: 00:56:41 I’ve said repeatedly Congressman, I was presuming. I also said that President Trump, [crosstalk 00:56:49]

      Rep Mike Turner: 00:56:49 Not just the President, Giuliani didn’t tell you, Mulvaney didn’t tell you. Nobody. Pompeo didn’t tell you. Nobody else on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying aid to these investigations. Is that correct?

      Gordon Sondland: 00:57:04 I think I already testified-

      Rep Mike Turner: 00:57:05 No. Answer the question. Is it correct? No one on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying this aid to the investigations. Because if your answer is yes, then the Chairman’s wrong, and the headline on CNN is wrong. No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations, yes or no?

      Gordon Sondland: 00:57:23 Yes.

      Rep Mike Turner: 00:57:24 So you really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations.

      Gordon Sondland: 00:57:36 Other than my own presumption.//

      I guess this is what adds up to “clear and convincing” nowadays.

      1. It is amazing watching cognitive dissonance of reason editors work in real time. Every fact counter to the narrative is omitted from this article.

        1. It really is astounding. Do they really think people can’t read? Apart from the dishonesty, publishing articles like this can only be justified with a standing presumption that everyone who reads them is a moron, can’t read, and doesn’t know how to use an internet search engine.

        2. “there are more than two sides to every story”

          1. But only one fits our rag.

            KMW, NYT, WaPo,etc

  5. “Perjury doesn’t relate to the duties of a President”

  6. It would seem that to conclude that there is no legitimate interest in investigating how Hunter Biden had a position he had no qualifications for other than having a father in the highest echelons of US government requires simultaneous presumptions that the Biden’s motivations were innocently motivated while Trump’s were nefarious on their face.

    I am not that holds up to any honest scrutiny.

    1. This entire article is a long, winding path to “Orange Man Bad; Joe Biden good.”

      1. Believe it or not, sometimes Orange Man really is bad. His fans around here might stand to benefit from accepting this.

        1. “His fans”

          What a strange thing to care about.

        2. Poor baby jeffrey. Ever missing the argument.

        3. chem….tell us, was the line crossed? Specifically where? And what are the guiding principles to make that determination?

          I simply assume that there was a quid pro quo: you get an oval office visit in exchange for investigations in the 2016 election and the highly irregular interactions of VP Biden with Ukraine while he was VP, and the obvious impropriety of his son Hunter. Let’s assume this is all 100% true. As a result, you see: Orange Man Bad, Orange Man Must Go.

          My view is this is a case where multiple things are true, regardless of intent. On balance, are his actions impeachment-worthy? Not even close. I would feel this way whether it was Trump, Obama, Bush, whoever – the Team label is irrelevant. To me, it is perfectly legitimate for a POTUS, exercising his article 3 powers, to do quid pro quos with foreign powers to advance US interests. In fact, I want them to. Ambassador Sondland’s testimony made this point quite well. I don’t see what the fuss is. The US government decided closer relations with Ukraine was in our interest. Particularly in light of Crimea. So the POTUS dangled a call and an oval office visit (which cost taxpayers nothing) in exchange for Ukraine actually doing something in our interest: address their screwing with a past election, and potential corruption by former VP Biden.

          This is clear and convincing evidence POTUS Trump was doing his job. 🙂

          1. Asking jeff to articulate a precise argument is like asking obama to write a speech without referring to himself.

          2. To me, it is perfectly legitimate for a POTUS, exercising his article 3 powers, to do quid pro quos with foreign powers to advance US interests.

            I AGREE with this. But that ISN’T WHAT TRUMP DID, except in a very vague general sense. What he actually did, is engage in a quid pro quo to advance his narrow personal interests. As I mentioned to you before, his quid pro quo, had it been successful, would have benefited him personally FAR more than it would have served some vague general national interest. This is why it’s relevant that Trump didn’t mention anything at all about broader issues of corruption in Ukraine. He specifically focused on two things, that were of personal interest to himself and to his future electoral prospects. In that sense, it would have been no different if Trump had, say, demanded Zelensky give him tax breaks for building a new Trump hotel in Kiev. Sure one could argue that it would broadly, in some vague sense, “improve US-Ukrainian relations”, but it would be far more helpful to Trump himself.

            It DOESN’T mean Biden is immune from prosecution, just don’t use this instance to try to pursue it. There is an entire DOJ that will do it, there is even an international treaty that enables it.

            1. Maybe in your mind the investigation of Joe Biden had only a vague national interest, but to others, including Trump, the sinecures of close relatives of government officials is a serious issue worthy of exposing.
              The Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election, being something in the past, would have no bearing on future events and we had just been through a concerted effort to uncover who had influenced our democracy.
              In either case, what was asked for, had plausible explanations other than what Trump haters insist were his primary motivation.
              No harm, no foul. No impeachment.

            2. I AGREE with this. But that ISN’T WHAT TRUMP DID, except in a very vague general sense. What he actually did, is engage in a quid pro quo to advance his narrow personal interest

              No.

              In this case, the interests of the US to not have foreign interference in US elections directly co-incided with Trump’s personal interest to not have foreing interference in US election that he’s in.

              The fact that it helps Trump is irrelevant. It is a side effect of being the person who tries to root out corruption. Rooting out corruption will help your standing with anyone else who is against corruption. No matter what party you’re in.

              Trump did nothing wrong.

            3. What he actually did, is engage in a quid pro quo to advance his narrow personal interests.

              This is an opinion. I asked you for a guiding principle, chem.

          3. I’d have to say that clear and convincing evidence would very likely be found of quid pro quo in the foreign dealings of every President going back to James K. Polk. Which leaves me with the question, what are we really trying to prove here. What is the endgame? Is this a long term impact to sipher certain powers from the office for good or a backdoor rewrite of Article 3?

        4. I’ve said it repeatedly, Trump is bombastic, thin skinned, seems to flail about on various policy issues with what appears to me to be a lack of a coherent, deep philosophical underpinning (*cough*hillary*cough*).

          But this impeachment hearing, and the entire Russiagate Ukrainegate thing is a farce. And I feel it needs to be more forcefully said because, as the tweet of the year noted, we live in a bloated, feudal empire with a small suggestion box. And the people surrounding the suggestion box are trying to rip it off the wall.

          1. I agree with Diane. The Ukrainegate thing is a farce — a lie — a lame excuse to feed the dancing puppets with. Not a shred of proof.

            And an even larger fuckup by Trump, who says Crowdstrike is a Ukrainian company, owned by a very rich Ukraine.

            It’s actually a publicly traded corporation, headquartered in California .. which cause the Trumpard puppets tp screech, “FAKE NEWS … DEEP STATE” and “OBAMA IS A MUSLIM FROM KENYA.”

            And they vote! 🙁

        5. For the very few people, it seems, who actually use their brains — It’s gonna take more than just some anonymous accusation of “He’s bad” to make a believer out of them.

          That’s a lesson the entire sheeple population of the left could learn from. baaaah, baaaahhh, baaaad… (Maybe if I try to speak their language or something)… 🙂

          1. It’s gonna take more than just some anonymous accusation of “He’s bad” to make a believer out of them.

            What will it take for YOU … to deny all the sworn testimony? And accept reality

            Especially when you totally humiliated yourself, as a proven bullshitter, here.
            https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8025083

            Can you ever do more than whine?

            1. How about starting with a legitimate case. Instead of this he said, she said, speculative accusations.

              Consider this — I find it more of a crime to be stealing my earnings and handing in over to a foreign government or wasted on a government sh#t-show than any speculative accusation that might come out of this case.

      2. “Orange Man Bad; Joe Biden good.”

        Orange Man bad?!? He BAD, all right! He SoOOoooOOO BAD, He be GOOD! He be GREAT! He Make America Great Again!

        We KNOW He can Make America Great Again, because, as a bad-ass businessman, He Made Himself and His Family Great Again! He Pussy Grabber in Chief!

        See The Atlantic article by using the below search-string in quotes:
        “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet”

        He pussy-grab His creditors in 7 bankruptcies, His illegal sub-human workers ripped off of pay on His building projects, and His “students” in His fake Get-Rich-like-Me realty schools, and so on. So, He has a GREAT record of ripping others off! So SURELY He can rip off other nations, other ethnic groups, etc., in trade wars and border wars, for the benefit of ALL of us!!!

        All Hail to THE Pussy Grabber in Chief!!!

        Most of all, HAIL the Chief, for having revoked karma! What comes around, will no longer go around!!! The Donald has figured out that all of the un-Americans are SOOO stupid, that we can pussy-grab them all day, every day, and they will NEVER think of pussy-grabbing us right back!

        Orange Man Bad-Ass Pussy-Grabber all right!

        1. You could get a job on Trumps campaign.

          He needs further examples of unhinged idiots.

    2. What would you have the US Department of Justice investigate Hunter Biden for?

      What alleged corrupt act is he supposed to have committed?

      The Ukrainian authorities have already investigated Hunter Biden and have found nothing.

      https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/hunter-biden-did-not-violate-anything-former-ukrainian-prosecutor-says-n1059136

      1. That his position with Burisima was indirectly greasing of his father’s palms. Please explain how Hunter Biden had qualifications for that position except as the son of VPOTUS.

        1. That his position with Burisima was indirectly greasing of his father’s palms.

          Okay. Where is the evidence of this purportedly occurring?

          Please explain how Hunter Biden had qualifications for that position except as the son of VPOTUS.

          I agree with you that it looks suspicious, but the Ukrainians already looked into it and found that it didn’t break their laws. So how could it be illegal from an American legal point of view?

          1. Literally the same bribery statute Reason was trotting out the other day that Trump “clearly” violated.

            18 U.S. Code § 201

            //(2)being a public official or person selected to be a public official, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for:
            (A)being influenced in the performance of any official act;//

            We will give your son money, if you protect us from investigations.

            Now, THAT’s clear and convincing.

            1. The problem with this interpretation of events, is that it implies that Joe Biden *wouldn’t* have demanded the firing of Shokin, if it wasn’t for the “bribe” being paid to Hunter Biden by way of salary. That is possible, but difficult to prove, especially considering so many other people and institutions were also demanding the firing of Shokin, including Ukrainian domestic reform groups, for reasons that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden or US domestic politics.

              It would be analogous to, say, a domestic steel maker “bribing” Trump, by hiring Don Jr. to a sinecure, in order to “persuade” him to impose tariffs on Chinese steel. Well, Trump is going to impose steel tariffs anyway, so if this domestic firm hired Don Jr., would it really be a “bribe”? It could be, but it would be difficult to prove.

              1. //That is possible, but difficult to prove//

                Hence the request for an investigation. It seems you are perfectly capable of parsing mixed motives, and alternative explanations for people’s conduct, especially when those people are elected officials.

                So, try … just try … to apply that same type of critical thinking in assessing the allegations against Trump.

                You might be surprised that nothing is “clear and convincing.”

                1. I DON’T agree with Sullum with the “clear and convincing” part of his analysis.

                  But I do think that Trump’s actions aren’t as benign as his defenders here are making them out to be.

                  He wasn’t interested in “fighting corruption” in some broad sense. Would you at least agree with that?

                  1. Nobody claimed it was a broad sense. Fighting corruption doesnt have to be broad, it can be exacting. He put the same conditions on money to various south American countries and lebanon as well. It has become a fairly standard review for foreign aid under Trump.

                    1. He put the same conditions on money to various south American countries and lebanon as well.

                      No he didn’t, unless you can demonstrate that Trump called the Prime Minister of Lebanon and demanded that he investigate Biden’s activities in that country too.

                  2. Why should his actions be “benign”? Why can’t they be self-interested and self-serving (like any other human) but not outside the normal presidential activities?

                    Since when were libertarians in favor of strict, uncompromising, maximally defined, punitive legalisms?

                    1. I believe personally that those who wield power should be held to higher standards of behavior.

                      Self-serving behavior is fine when ordinary people do it, in pursuit of their own narrow interests, but it is not fine when those in charge who wield enormous power do it to serve their own narrow interests.

                    2. Since when were libertarians in favor of strict, uncompromising, maximally defined, punitive legalisms?

                      Ummm, equal treatment under the law,
                      So we never get suckered with nonsense like that.

              2. Why wasn’t Shokin fired before Biden threatened to withhold aid?

                1. Shokin was fired MONTHS after Biden threatened anything.
                  In fact, Biden may not have actually threatened to do anything at all. It may all have been made up by Biden.

                  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/02/correcting-media-error-bidens-ukraine-showdown-was-december/

                2. It’s hard to say. Biden claims his threat was what made it happen. chemjeff’s point, though, is that many people were calling for Shokin’s resignation because he was perceived as not fighting corruption in Ukraine. If Biden’s true motivation were partially or fully to protect his son, Hunter, it would be very difficult to prove that because Joe had such a legitimate cover story. chemjeff’s argument is that it would be difficult to prove anything.

                  I would add to that, there are a bunch witnesses and public statements from Joe Biden, first or second-hand, casting doubt on the official, legitimate cover story.

                  1. Joe Biden pressured Ukraine on orders of the President, following the directive of the State Department, for policy aims of the United States government, at the request of the European Union, in conjunction with similar pressure from the World Bank, and along with parallel action by the IMF and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. His pressure had bipartisan support in Congress, was applauded by every reform group in Ukraine – and then cheered by Ukrainians when it proved successful.

                    Tell us : Who in Ukraine applauded Trump’s corrupt extortion and sleaze?

                    1. If all that is true, why would it take Joe Biden strong-arming the Ukrainian government to get Shokin fired?
                      You would think, based on the narrative by Trump haters that Shokin was just the worst person on the face of the Earth, he’d have been gone long before, but it took hero Joe Biden to, finally convince them to give him the boot.
                      The narrative sounds fishy.

                    2. It is Joe Biden’s own brag, from a speech he gave, so it’s possible Shokin’s firing would have happened anyway. chemjeff and grb are not making it up, though, when they say there was quite a bit of international consensus that Shokin was corrupt and needed to go.

                    3. You realize that “international consensus” doesn’t lend any credibility, and often does the exact opposite.
                      Burisma loaded their board with connected international insiders. It is no surprise that groups headed by people, some of whom have been convicted, that make their living via graft and bribery would decry the man investigating a company known for graft and bribery as being corrupt himself.
                      But you know who pulls your strings, and you evidently approve.

                    4. I’m going to ignore the ad hominem and give a serious reply. My personal opinion is that international consensus gives some credibility, but it’s not the be-all end-all of credibility. Anyway, my point was only that there was international consensus and it does provide cover for Joe Biden’s actions, as chemjeff claimed.

                      I didn’t say that the international consensus makes Biden’s actions credible to me. I don’t know enough about Shokin and his record to have an opinion on how corrupt he was.

                  2. That was a typo: should read, “there are not a bunch of witnesses…”

                  3. There was nothing for Biden to protect his son from, since the only active investigation had been terminated months ago.

                    Lest we forget, the Crowdstrike bullshit was one of Trump’s zany conspiracies to deny Russia’s electing him (by a TOTAL of 39,000 voters) The claim is that Crowdstrike is owned by a wealthy Ukrainian, who interfered to help Hillary. It’s a publicly-traded corporation, headquartered in California,

                    Trump has trained his cult well on conspiracies. He won the GOP nomination with 37% of the vote, roughly equal to the Republicans who are … birthers (SCARY!). So now, the more evidence of Trump’s guilt … is seen as more proof of a conspiracy!!

            2. Joe Biden is currently engaged in efforts to thwart Lindsey Graham from obtaining government documents pertaining to Hunter Biden’s dealings in the Ukraine.

              Which certainly appears to be a pattern with him.

              At least this time he is not doing so while wielding the power of the Federal government.

              THIS time.

              1. Never happened. Trying to thwart Graham.
                The alt-right is now in full panic mode, with new conspiracies every few hours. They don’t even need a link!

          2. The point is that it is suspicious, though not necessarily damning. Yet Trump wanting suspicious behavior investigated is presumed damning.

            1. Exactly. Well said.

            2. Trump wanting suspicious behavior investigated, in the manner that he chose to pursue it – not via a formal investigation, but by “back channels” and personal lawyers and quid pro quos over arranging a meeting and suspicious holds over military aid, is presumed damning.

              Can we stop pretending for a moment that Trump was just some anti-corruption truth seeker wanting to get to the bottom of things in Ukraine? He was only interested in purported corruption involving Biden and the Democrats (via his CrowdStrike conspiracy theory).

              1. So Trump gets investigated for “Russian Collusion” which falls flat on it’s face but somehow asking for Biden to be investigated is an impeachable act?

                — “He was only interested in purported corruption involving Biden and the Democrats”

                — “Here, too, Trump’s personal motive in seeking to discredit Biden is obvious, while the legitimate public interest is harder to discern.”

                Premature and unfounded speculative accusations shouldn’t be credited as criminal evidence in a just justice system.

                1. I didn’t say “criminal evidence”. I do think it is an abuse of his power as president, when he uses the tools of his official office in order to try to obtain something of personal benefit to himself.

                  1. “I do think” …. “something of personal benefit to himself”

                    That’s the “unfounded speculative accusation” I speak of. This idea is entirely implanted by propaganda and UN-provable short of reading Trumps mind to find out what the root intention was.

                    There is nothing evidently “obvious” about it as the article’s author supposes. It’s all hearsay – a speculative accusation about Trumps reasons for asking for an investigation.

                    1. It’s terrifying, how totally Trumpsters have been brainwashed .

                      “Hearsay” is the wackiest, and first applied to the whistleblower. It was hearsay, but ….. umm, all the people he heard were named … and interviewed, for the whistleblower complaint.

                      THEN … almost everything the whistleblower has been confirmed, by eyewitnesses, under oath.

                      You’re nearly a month behind the news, and clearly more focused on partisan loyalty than on Truth, Facts and America.

                    2. The hearsay argument would be more pertinent if this were the Senate trial rather than the House hearing, and if more witnesses close to Trump and Guiliani had been willing to testify.

                      If the matter makes it to Senate trial, more firsthand witnesses can be compelled to testify.

                  2. So Trump gets investigated for “Russian Collusion” which falls flat on it’s face

                    You just fell on your own face. Collusion was never investigated at all, for the same reason obstruction was not. A sitting President cannot be indicted,

                    What Mueller said, very explicitly was that his purpose was top gather evidence, while it was still fresh in everyone’s mind. He never said WHY? Which should be obvious.

                    Gather evidence for crimes which cannot now be charged.
                    When Trump leaves office, there will be at least four criminal charges filed.

              2. So you are apparently perfectly fine with a POTUS candidate with a history of taking suspected bribes out in the open and bragging about his corrupt actions. Pure Dem,never change Jeff

                1. Sigh. Nowhere did I say that what Biden did was totally fine. Good heavens.

                  1. Another tactic of Lefties- deny deny deny

              3. That is what the Democrats have to prove, not merely assert. They have not put forth that harming a political opponent was the primary motivation beyond a doubt or even a lesser standard of proof.

                1. Is there some kind of principle in common law that when someone commits a crime that the judge and jury have to figure out if they committed the crime because of a primary or non-primary motive? Isn’t the commission of the crime the important thing?

                  1. Yes, it’s the difference between voluntary and involuntary. Manslaughter and murder. Criminal and negligent, or innocent. Etc etc.

                    1. Motive is the difference between those categories of crime. But Mickey Rat referred to “primary motivation” as if there is a legal concept of ranking a defendant’s motives and only considering the one at the top of the ranking n determining guilt.

              4. Personal motive doesn’t mean Jack shit when the action is objectively appropriate.

                Stuff your thought crime up your ads ‘mike.’

            3. No. Once again, it isn’t that he wanted to investigate, it’s how he went about it.

              1. A wrong procedure “high crime”?

                1. “high crime” of using economic routes to persuade a foreign country into a desire… As if that practice isn’t and hasn’t always been the 1st route of coercion only surpassed by a declaration of war.

                  1. It also attracts the bogeyman.

                2. It could be spun that way, but a more accurate description is that Trump allegedly pursued an investigation that would embarrass and dig up dirt on his Presidential race opponent by furtively pressuring a foreign government.

                  1. his Presidential race opponent

                    Biden is not and will not be his presidential race opponent.

                    1. That is incorrect. Biden has filed with the FEC as a Presidential candidate in the 2020 race. That makes him one of Trump’s opponents.

                    2. Biden is not and will not be his presidential race opponent.

                      You’re scary, Dude.
                      He IS a candidate. AND he lead in the polls. AND Trump has his crazy Crowdstrike conspiracy, which he mindlessly placed in Ukraine.

                  2. No, that is not a more accurate version.
                    It is a DNC and Deep State talking point.
                    But you know that, you’re just a gaslighting marionette

                    1. You missed the word, allegedly. I put it in there very much on purpose as an acknowledgement that you, Nardz, and others disagree with the allegations. But you just had to attack me personally, anyway.

                  3. Which would be conduct worth complaining about. But less so if the investigation seemed warranted.

                    On the other hand, what actually happened? Talk. Ukraine funds were delayed for a short while for pretextually valid reasons (even if you believe the rest reason was something else). No investigation. Nothing was gained or lost by anyone.

                    The actual thing that actually happened doesn’t seem like a “high crime”.

              2. Yeah, he should have sicced the CIA and intelligence agencies of foreign countries on him. That is the “correct” Obama way you and the rest of the progs so love.

                1. He could have done standard procedure and had the Department of Justice investigate. After all, a serious investigation would involve looking into Biden’s domestic actions, as well as asking for the cooperation of Ukraine and China. A serious investigation would have also included a firewall between the investigators and Trump so that he wouldn’t less open to accusations of doing the investigation for personal gain. A serious investigation would certainly not involve Trump’s personal attorney as the main driver of the investigation.

                  1. You’re useless, mike.
                    You comment based on a fantasy world where you get to decide good and evil, and impose your values on all others as the basis for discussion.
                    It’s disingenuous, and you’re a disgusting human being.
                    The sooner you die, the better

                  2. The AG doesn’t count as part of the DOJ?

              3. “…how he went about it.”
                You mean not using the deep staters, that have openly defied him at every turn?
                Like the ambassador, who thwarted efforts of Ukrainian officials to travel to the US to present information?

                1. “Deep state” is a pretty loaded way of referring to career bureaucracy, which is something mankind has been infected with since Babylonian times.

                  Many of the “deep state” bureaucrats that have testified in the House hearings have been around through many Republican and Democratic administrations. So, why do they have such a strong adverse immune reaction to Trump when they have worked with other Republican presidents?

                  I think it has a lot to do with Trump’s not reading their memos, not listening to their briefings, getting his information instead from right-wing news sources, being impulsive and prone to tweet about sensitive foreign policy matters in the middle of the night, spitefulness and pettiness, getting his personal attorney involved in diplomacy.

                  Behavior like that is going to drive diplomats crazy. I know some people here think that proves Trump is a rebel outsider crusader draining the swamp. I don’t share that belief, but you’re welcome to it.

                  1. “Deep state” is a pretty loaded way of referring to career bureaucracy, which is something mankind has been infected with since Babylonian times.

                    Career bureaucracy is a pretty sugarcoated way of referring to the deep state.

                    1. Yup, words have connotations. “Career bureaucracy” is neutral language, without sugarcoating or vilification.

                  2. You don’t share any beliefs
                    You’re a puppet
                    Your life has 0 value

                    1. Nobody is buying what Lefties are selling.

                      Bureaucrats who try to be unbiased and try to do their jobs well no matter who is politically in charge are less of a problem than biased and politically motivated bureaucrats trying to sabotage their CEO.

              4. You keep repeating this thread after thread Jeff. So what would have been propper?

                Instead of trump telling zelensky to “call rudy and the attorney general mr. Barr”, he should have just had barr or rudy call themselves?

                That’s literally the argument you’re dieing on, and its very dumb.

          3. Ukrainians never looked into it baby jeffrey… the investigation was dropped because Shokin was fired.

            1. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/hunter-biden-did-not-violate-anything-former-ukrainian-prosecutor-says-n1059136

              A former Ukrainian prosecutor who investigated a gas company tied to Hunter Biden said Thursday that there was no evidence the former vice president’s son engaged in illegal activity.

              “From the perspective of Ukrainian legislation, he did not violate anything,” Yuriy Lutsenko told The Washington Post.

              1. You should look into who luksenko is.

                Following the indictment of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, The National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine opened a criminal investigation against Lutsenko at the request of Kyiv’s Solomyansky District Court, according to Kyiv Post.

                Lutsenko is currently under investigation for criminal abuse of office though that nature of his transgressions is unclear. It may or may not be tied to the indictment of Parnas and Fruman or his attempt to curry favor with the United States.

              2. Lutsenko?
                Who replaced the guy that Crazy Uncle Joe got fired for investigating Burisma?
                Yeah, he had no motivation to clear Hunter (except to try to keep his job).

            2. The investigation was dropped because Shokin was fired?

              Where is your evidence that any investigation was active when Shokin was removed?

              1. Shokin’s own words.

          4. I can’t say Hunter Biden did anything illegal more than anyone seems to be able to prove that Trump did anything illegal. But when the son of a sitting vice president is given a job the likes of which Hunter Biden was given, there’s little question it was Patronage.

      2. So you’ve missed the opening if multiple investigations into Burisma the last 2 days? And to think how strongly you argued of the corruption of ukraine before Shokin was fired, how justified joe biden was. Yet you find it is not odd that foreign nationals, manu related to politicians, were asked to be on the Burisma board to try to avoid scrutiny of corruption.

        1. You mean this?

          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment-burisma/ukraine-widens-probe-against-burisma-founder-to-embezzlement-of-state-funds-idUSKBN1XU2N7

          I also find it interesting that this investigation only started after the new prosecutor met with Giuliani. Maybe the quid pro quo was realized after all.

          And I never argued that Burisma didn’t have its own ethics problems. One theory is that the previous prosecutor, Shokin, only pretended to investigate Burisma because he was actually interested in soliciting a bribe from Burisma, after all. You don’t solicit a bribe from an innocent party.

          1. So you say Burisma is unethical… but it is only investigated due to Giuliani.. yeah. No bias dumbass.

            1. I find the timing curious.

              1. Of course you do.

                One could be suspicious of timing in 2 ways…

                They started the investigation after getting the money..

                Or..

                They had closed the investigation prior due to pressure and now feel they can reopen.

                Dont even have to guess which suspicion you have.

                Also dont have to guess why you’re suspicious of the timing and not Burisma actually being guilty.

                1. I don’t give a shit about Burisma. They certainly don’t seem like they are on the up and up.

                  1. Yet you have confidently held there is no corruption involving Hunter and his purpose for being on the board.

                    Is this where you move goalposts again?

                    1. I didn’t say “there was no corruption” involving Hunter Biden. Let me spell it out clearly for you.

                      Hunter Biden may or may not have done something illegal. The Ukrainian authorities, however, don’t seem to think so.

                      Joe Biden may or may not have done something illegal. The proper way to ascertain if he did, is to open a proper investigation via the Department of Justice, NOT to send one’s personal attorney running around Europe conducting shadow diplomacy, and threatening to withhold meetings or military aid unless foreign governments accede to the president’s personal demands.

                      Burisma may or may not have done something illegal, but it sure looks like they’re in neck deep with the former President who was a real corrupt shitbag.

                      Trump may or may not have done something illegal, but it looks more like an inappropriate abuse of his power. It may not be criminal, but it is enough to justify stripping power away.

                      Happy?

                    2. WTF would you know about “the proper way”?

          2. By the way.. you know the U.S. aka Biden, approved Shokins replacement right? Why the investigation was dropped. Per the prosecutions statements. You find that normal but an investigation into a corrupt, who both morrison and yonavich both said were corrupt, as abnormal.

            1. The US has been pulling the strings in Ukraine since 2013. We, or I should say – the deep state, have been picking their top officials for years.
              Zelensky beat State’s guy, and now there is panic that Trump might work with him

            2. That is what Shokin said after he was fired. Sounds a bit like sour grapes from the ousted prosecutor.

              1. It’s amazing how quickly you dismiss claims without evidence when they disagree with your narrative. There is also the prosecutor Solomon interviewed.

                1. Shokin was the guy that Solomon interviewed.

                  1. He also interviewed luksenko as well as having other people verify the do not investigate list yanovich apparently handed him.

                    1. This would be the same Lutsenko that you trashed in this very discussion as a corrupt shitbag? That one?

        2. Of course he missed it.

          The evidence against Trump is clear and convincing.

          //Will Hurd: 01:36:30 When you met with President Selensky after the July 25th phone call, so you met him on July 26, did the investigations or Joe Biden come up in that meeting?

          Gordon Sondland: 01:36:41 I don’t recall Joe Biden coming up.

          Will Hurd: 01:36:43 Was there any frustration expressed to you by the phone call that happened the day before?

          Gordon Sondland: 01:36:47 No. As I testified, everyone said it was a good call.//

      3. The prosecutor Joe Biden put in place to replace the one he demanded be fired after raiding the oligarch’s property said Hunter did nothing?

        Well, GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.

        Pretend Trump fired Mueller and put somebody in place who stated that Trump did nothing wrong. You’d be satisfied with that?

      4. What if Hunter received $1,000,000 per month? What if it were $10,000,000? Would you still respond the same way?

    3. Mickey Rat — ANOTHER PUPPET, DANCING ON A STRING,

      Does he REALLY believe the entire GM Board of Directors has experience in the AUTO INDUSTRY????? (LOL) Is Mickey a FILE CLERK to be so ignorant? or so easily brainwashed?

      The QUALIFICATIONS for a board positions are experience in the senior management of a corporation — which is what they do, Hunter is a venture capitalist. Industry experience is not even “required” for senior OPERATING management (CEO).

      Meanwhile, here’s PROOF that you are a TOTALLY BRAINWASHED PUPPET of a morally debased President

      https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

      WOULD YOU LIE, Mickey, TO DEFEND MASS ASSAULTS BY NEO-NAZIS AND WHITE NATIONALISTS???? Even MURDER?

      Do you stand with Trump … AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SWAMP?
      (shudder)

    4. Actually, it doesn’t even matter how Hunter got that job; as soon as he did, Joe Biden had a massive conflict of interest. That conflict could have been resolved by either Hunter or Joe resigning.

  7. Sullum to ENB: “Hold my beer.”

    1. Binion still drunk in a corner.

  8. This is a completely dishonest hatchet job of an article.

    After selectively cherry picking hearsay (without citing to any of the testimony that later undermines the assertions), Sullum asks:

    “Does all this amount to proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump is guilty of illegally extorting Zelenskiy (or, alternatively, soliciting a bribe from him in exchange for an official act)? No, but that standard of proof does not apply to impeachment, which in any case does not require a criminal act.”

    So … we have no crime, and no actual evidence that adds up to any wrongdoing, but – somehow – the evidence is “clear and convincing” that Trump “abused” his powers.

    Just come out and say it: Democrats are immune from investigation.

    It would be much more honest than this horseshit.

    1. No one is arguing “Democrats are immune from investigation”.

      There is an entire Department of Justice that is capable of investigating whether Joe Biden broke the law or not.

      How about, you know, telling AG Barr to open a formal investigation into Joe Biden?

      1. No one is arguing that Dems are immune from investigation just that it is a crime for any Republican to do it.

        1. Here let me fix that:

          …just that, it is, at a MINIMUM, improper and inappropriate for Trump to have demanded an investigation into Biden in the manner that he did.

          No one here is arguing that Joe Biden is pure and doesn’t deserve scrutiny.

          1. //Rep. Castro: 01:41:53 And part of the way that you figured that all of this stuff that was going on, that you were part of something that was basically wrong is because in the July 25th phone call, the president himself, he didn’t tell you, we don’t know if he told Rudy Giuliani or not because Rudy Giuliani won’t come in here. He said directly to the president of Ukraine that he wanted the Bidens investigated. Wasn’t that your reading of the call?

            Gordon Sondland: 01:42:19 First of all, I don’t believe that I was a part of something that was wrong because based on what I knew, I thought we were operating well within the center lane of proper US diplomacy.//

            Clear and convincing.

            1. I’m curious, where are you getting these transcripts?

              1. From the clear and convincing store:

                //Demings: 02:05:38 Do you have any knowledge of a possible meeting on or around May 7th, involving then president elect Zelensky and several of his aides to discuss how to handle pressure from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani about investigating the Bidens?

                Gordon Sondland: 02:06:00 I don’t recall such a meeting.

                Demings: 02:06:02 You don’t recall such a meeting? You don’t recall hearing anything about such a meeting? If you don’t have firsthand knowledge.

                Gordon Sondland: 02:06:08 Well, if I don’t have records, schedules… right now I don’t recall anything about such a meeting. Is this a meeting among the Ukrainians?

                Demings: 02:06:21 The meeting among the Ukrainians involving then President Elect’s Zelensky. So this would have been early on in his presidency with several aides to discuss how to handle pressure from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani about investigating the Bidens.

                Gordon Sondland: 02:06:38 Yeah. I don’t recall such a meeting.//

              2. Why baby jeffrey? So you can pretend the transcripts are fake?

            2. Okay, I found a source for the transcripts.

              I guess I don’t understand what is your point. Is it your argument that Sondland is saying that he didn’t think the conversation was wrong? Because he said in his testimony over and over that he thought the quid pro quo was wrong.

              1. //Will Hurd: 01:32:47 So let me ask this question. Did you participate in or overhear any conversations about the potential information collected by Ukrainians on the Bidens, would be used for political gain?

                Gordon Sondland: 01:33:03 Did I-

                PART 3 OF 5 ENDS [01:33:04]

                Will Hurd: 01:33:00 … On the Bidens would be used for political gain?

                Gordon Sondland: 01:33:03 Did I personally hear that? No.

                Will Hurd: 01:33:05 Did you participate in any conversations when this was being discussed?

                Gordon Sondland: 01:33:08 Not that I recall.//

              2. My point is that Sullum is a dishonest hack who literally ignores every part of the transcript where Sondland makes it clear that, apart from his own presumptions, he never heard, or witnessed, or was instructed to link the release of military aid to an investigations of the Bidens.

                1. Sullum chose to pick from only the opening statements, all of which were roundly disputed and found to be lacking during cross examination.

                  1. Of course, how else do you argue that the testimony was clear and convincing?

                    //Dan Goldman: (25:08)
                    And in fact, Mr. Holmes said that you said that President Trump only cares about the “big stuff” that benefits himself. Is that something that you would have said at the time?

                    Gordon Sondland: (25:21)
                    I don’t think I would have said that. I would have honestly said that he was not a big fan of Ukraine and he wants the investigations that we had been talking about for quite some time to move forward. That’s what I would’ve said because that’s the fact.

                    Dan Goldman: (25:36)
                    Mr. Holmes also remembers that you told him in giving an example of the big stuff, the Biden investigation that Rudy Giuliani was pushing. Do you recall that?

                    Gordon Sondland: (25:50)
                    I don’t, I recall Burisma, not Biden.//

                2. Sondland WAS instructed, via Giuliani, to link a meeting with Trump to an investigation of the Bidens.

                  1. Really? You don’t think we’ll notice those shiny new goalposts?

                    So now it is an impeachable offense to add pre-conditions to a meeting with foreign officials?

                    Good luck with that one.

                    1. If the preconditions are a demand to fulfill a *personal demand* of the president? Yeah, absolutely. Why wouldn’t it be? That is an abuse of his power as president to serve his own narrow interests.

                      If Obama had said to some foreign leader in 2012, “I won’t meet with you unless you first look into what those shady Romney kids are up to”, would you not consider that an abuse of power?

                    2. Umm.. baby jeffrey… Obama’s hot mic moment.

                    3. You mean his “more flexibility” hot mic moment? What are you referring to specifically?

                      When did Obama say something to the effect of, “I won’t meet with you unless you look into those shady Romney kids”?

                    4. Where he asks putin to do him a favor and stop engaging in Georgia and elsewhere until after the election where obama can cave to him.

                      How dense are you?

                    5. So what was Obama’s *personal* interests in Georgia, or Russia? Any?

                      Did Obama demand that Russia or Georgia look into, say, Romney’s kids, before accepting a meeting with either of their PM’s?

                  2. Sondland actually said no when asked if Giuliani told him and was tied to the investigation. care to try again? Quote is in this thread even.

                    1. Adam Schiff: (14:05)
                      You’ve testified that the White House meeting that President Zelensky desperately wanted and that was very important to President Zelensky, was it not?

                      Gordon Sondland: (14:15)
                      Absolutely.

                      Adam Schiff: (14:17)
                      You’ve testified that that meeting was conditioned was a quid pro quo for what the President wanted, these two investigations, isn’t that right?

                      Gordon Sondland: (14:27)
                      Correct.

                      Adam Schiff: (14:28)
                      And that everybody knew it.

                      Gordon Sondland: (14:29)
                      Correct.

                      Adam Schiff: (14:32)
                      Now that White House meeting was going to be an official meeting between the two presidents, correct?

                      Gordon Sondland: (14:37)
                      Presumably.

                      Adam Schiff: (14:39)
                      It would be an Oval Office meeting, hopefully.

                      Gordon Sondland: (14:41)
                      A working meeting, yes.

                      Adam Schiff: (14:42)
                      A working meeting, so an official act, correct?

                      Gordon Sondland: (14:45)
                      Yeah.

                      Adam Schiff: (14:46)
                      And in order to perform that official act, Donald Trump, wanted these two investigations that would help his re-election campaign, correct?

                      Gordon Sondland: (14:55)
                      I can’t characterize why he wanted them, all I can tell you is this is what we heard from Mr. Giuliani.

                      Adam Schiff: (15:01)
                      But he had to get those two investigations if that official act was going to take place, correct?

                      Gordon Sondland: (15:08)
                      He had to announce the investigations, he didn’t actually have to do them as I understood it.

                      Adam Schiff: (15:13)
                      Okay, President Zelensky had to announce the two investigations the President wanted, make a public announcement, correct?

                      Gordon Sondland: (15:20)
                      Correct.

                      Adam Schiff: (15:22)
                      And those were of great value to the President, he was quite insistent upon them and his attorney was insistent upon them?

                      Gordon Sondland: (15:28)
                      I don’t want to characterize whether they are of value, not value. Again, through Mr. Giuliani, we were led to believe that that’s what he wanted.

                      Adam Schiff: (15:37)
                      Well, and you said that Mr. Giuliani was acting at the President’s demand, correct?

                      Gordon Sondland: (15:42)
                      Right. When the President says, “Talk to my personal lawyer, Mr. Giuliani,” we followed his direction.

                      Adam Schiff: (15:47)
                      And so that official act of that meeting was being conditioned on the performance of these things the president wanted as expressed both directly and through his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, correct?

                      Gordon Sondland: (15:59)
                      As expressed through Rudy Giuliani, correct.

                    2. Baby Jeffrey… have you read the posts Geraje has made. Sondlin was explicitly asked a question if anyone ever tied aid to the investigation and he says no.

                      Are you incapable of following arguments? Post the opening statement and Schiff questioning sondland completely contradicts his opening statement.

                      I also wonder if you fucking know what the word presumably means.

                      You really arent helping your argument.

                    3. Jeff, Sondland is merely saying that was his testimony, not that it was true. Later, he refutes all of that under cross, as Jesse et al have demonstrated.

                      Sondland should be Manaforts cellmate.

              3. The quid pro quo is based on as much fact as your predeliction to bugger young kids. By that I mean something said, taken out of context, assigned the worst possible interpretation despite others being readily available and simply willing that warped version into “truth”.

                1. How WACKY can a brainwashed Trumptard be?
                  As bad (or worse) as Sanderstards and Warrentards,

                  UNDENIABLE PROOF

                  https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

                  We now know Trump SHAMELESSLY LIED, to deny that his base, neo-nazis and white supremacists, had launched mass assaults in Charlottesville … even manslaughter?

                  How can his puppets defend THAT???

          2. By asking a country to do so? How dare a president ask a country to investigate corruption. Imagine if a VP did that in 2015.

            1. Oh knock it off with the whole “he’s just asking about corruption” act. That isn’t what Trump did and you know it. He had two specific, narrow requests, not a broad concern about corruption generally.

              If Trump HAD said what you claim he did, then there would be no problem here. It is BECAUSE he made specific narrow requests that would benefit him personally, is why he’s in trouble now.

              1. Yes. 2 specific requests. One as a favirx and another as an if you can. The first was a favor to investigate the 2016 elections which even fiona hill said had Ukrainians backing the wrong horse. An investigation that a ukranian court found to be illegal per their laws.

                The second was to look into the son of a VP sitting on a board getting paid for nothing except for possible influence from his dad. The same company that was protected until just this week. Yet you dont find that to be noteworthy.

                1. Okay, Jesse, so why didn’t Trump ask about all of the other purported corruption that he believed was in Ukraine? Trump evidently believes Ukraine is a very corrupt place. Why not ask about all the rest of it? Hmm?

                  Could it be he wasn’t actually interested in Ukrainian corruption broadly, and was instead only interested in the purported corrupt acts that were of the most personal interest to himself?

                  1. Are you saying that it is impeachable to feel that certain crimes are more important than others?

                    Because there are a whole lot of prosecutors (and a President or two) that are going to be in BIG trouble, what with centuries of that “prosecutorial discretion” thing suddenly illegal…

                    1. You’re trying to draw inferences to the general when I am referring to the specific.

                  2. Play baby jeffrey why didnt obama and biden ask about all those other corrupt prosecutors?

                    1. Ukraine has a central prosecutor general office. What other prosecutors?

                    2. Oh my god you’re fucking retarded. You have to be.

                      Shokin was held hostage by 1 billion dollars to be fired. A single prosecutor. For allllllll the corruption in Ukraine, one prosecutor. Are you this fucking stupid?

                    3. Please read this:

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosecutor_General_of_Ukraine

                      Shokin was the person in charge. The system in Ukraine is not like the system here. There is one central Prosecutor General office in charge of all the investigations. Imagine if the DOJ were in charge of ALL of the prosecutions in this country. Who would be responsible for failures in that department?

      2. We’ll get there:

        https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/hunter-biden-linked-company-received-130m-in-special-federal-loans-while-joe-biden-was-vp

        And, for the record, nothing prohibits other countries from investigations the dealings of Americans abroad. Nothing.

        1. Okay, so if Hunter Biden defrauded the US government via the TARP program, perhaps that could form the basis of an investigation.

          The item that you cited however has nothing to do with Ukraine or Burisma.

          1. It was TALF. It wasnt fraud by criminal definition but virtually everyone who was a part of it was politically connected. It gave out federal loans to buy risky funds where the recipient would keep any profits and lose nothing if the investments failed. Who could participate in TALF was determined solely by government officials and there appeared to be no application of uniform Grant’s outside of political connections. The fact that Rose Seneca got 130 million of this grant mere months after forming is pretty damning. Just like hunters parlay into china aboard air force 2.

            But yes, let’s keep pretending no corruption is there baby jeffrey.

            1. I never said “no corruption”. Will you stop putting words in my mouth?

              1. You’ve said plainly there is no reason to investigate hunter in this thread. That it was inexcusable for trump to ask a country to look into it even though it occurred in their country.

                You’re a dishonest fuck.

                1. There is no reason for American authorities to investigate Hunter Biden. What for?

                  The Ukrainian authorities have already determined that Hunter Biden didn’t break any of their laws. But hey, Ukraine is a corrupt place, right? Maybe he did and an honest prosecutor would bring Hunter Biden to justice.

                  It was inexcusable for Trump to ask Zelensky to look into the specific prosecution of ANY SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL in that country, whether it’s Hunter Biden or not.

      3. Jeff… do you know which branch the DoJ falls under? Asking to see if you’re retarded or not.

        Was obama wrong to order a review of the torture memos?

        1. That is the POINT. If Trump had just told Barr to open a formal investigation into Barr, we would not be having this conversation. He would not have been dangling foreign aid money in exchange for promises of investigations, he would not have sent his personal lawyer running around Europe on some shadow diplomacy mission.

          We would be having a different conversation, for sure, but not this one where he mixes up foreign aid with domestic politics.

          1. er, formal investigation into Biden

            1. Barr has no legal authority to pursue leads in Ukraine. He even asked Ukraine to contact Barr. Did you even read the transcript?

              1. Sure he does. There is a whole treaty explaining the procedure on how the US government may pursue law enforcement investigations in Ukraine. Here it is.

                https://www.congress.gov/treaty-document/106th-congress/16/document-text

                That’s the way to pursue an investigation. Not by sending your personal lawyer to traipse around Europe as a giant case study in conflict of interest.

                1. Holy shit Jeff, try understanding what you read. The treaty is a coordination agreement. Barr cant just waltz into Ukraine and investigate. That is why trump asked him to work with Barr on his request on the phone call.

                  1. You’re right, Barr can’t just waltz into Ukraine and investigate. But there is a procedure for him to follow if he wishes to pursue an investigation. It’s all right there. So it’s not true that Barr is unable to conduct an investigation in Ukraine. He has the tools to do so if he chooses to do so. Why do you think Trump chose not to follow this course of action, and instead send his personal lawyer to run around Europe?

                    1. Barr is a little busy investigating all those people you’d rather have investigating (covering up) Biden’s possible corruption

                    2. Not following some specific “procedures” you mostly just made up is a “high crime”?

                    3. Jeff are you purposefully not reading my posts?

                      TRUMP FUCKING ASKS THE UKRAINE TO WORK WITH BARR IN THE PHONE CALL.

                      God you’re dense.

                    4. Yes, he does.
                      And Giuliani.

                      Why does Trump ask Zelensky to work with Giuliani?

                      Is Giuliani an employee of the government?

                    5. For an “individualist” (lol) you seem to have quite a bit invested in faceless bureaucrats and arbitrary (assumed) procedures

                2. Given that Obama had stopped these investigations, Ukraine needed to be told that with the new administration, investigations should start again. That’s what Trump did. What’s the problem?

      4. And what would the commies say if Trump did that?
        “He’s abusing his power for political gain.”
        Amitire?

      5. Did Trump not ask Zelensky to talk with Barr?

      6. That’s what Trump did. And then he asked Ukraine for cooperation. It’s right in the transcript.

  9. There are people on the left who can’t stand Trump, Glen Greenwald and Matt Tiabi to name two, who think the impeachment case is complete bull shit. Why is it that not a single member of the reason staff can come to that conclusion or do anything except repeat the Democratic talking points day after day?

    You would think that reason would want to pretend it had any integrity if only to cover up for its lack of integrity. Nope they are going all in on this

    1. //Will Hurd: 01:36:30 When you met with President Selensky after the July 25th phone call, so you met him on July 26, did the investigations or Joe Biden come up in that meeting?

      Gordon Sondland: 01:36:41 I don’t recall Joe Biden coming up.

      Will Hurd: 01:36:43 Was there any frustration expressed to you by the phone call that happened the day before?

      Gordon Sondland: 01:36:47 No. As I testified, everyone said it was a good call.

      Will Hurd: 01:36:51 Is in your opinion, your interactions with President Selensky, is he a straight shooter? Is he a liar or is he a liar?

      Gordon Sondland: 01:36:58 He impressed me greatly and that’s why I wanted to get he and President Trump together as soon as possible.

      Will Hurd: 01:37:03 And so when he makes express statements you tend to believe them?

      Gordon Sondland: 01:37:07 Yeah. With my limited interaction with him, he seems very honorable.

      Will Hurd: 01:37:11 Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. I hope you make your plane.//

      Clear and convincing.

    2. I think Gillespie can.

      The rest of them have been relentlessly negative about everything in the world for so long they can’t be otherwise. Nothing but villains everywhere.

    3. SHAME ON YOU, JOHN!
      UNDENIABLE PROOF: TRUMP IS A MORALLY DEBASED PSYCHO

      https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

      But …. if Trump can lie about known facts ,… then his supporters MUST also lie ,,, it’s like the Loyalty Oaths under McCarthyism, when the GOP was last captured by the fascist right.

      1. “Morally Debased Psycho”… that should be your user name, Hihn!

  10. Something like 90% of republicans don’t want Trump impeached.

    Explain how that squares with republican senators voting to convict?

    1. Explain how that squares with republican senators voting to convict?

      See for yourself! (smirk)

      https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

  11. //Rep. Maloney: 02:02:01 I understand. And you said it’s wrong to investigate political opponents. We’ve agreed on that today, haven’t we, sir?

    Gordon Sondland: 02:02:07 Yes.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:02:08 And yet of course that’s what we know the president was asking for. Let me ask you something. Who would have benefited from an investigation of the president’s political opponents?

    Gordon Sondland: 02:02:20 I don’t want to characterize who would have and who would not have.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:02:23 I know you don’t want to, sir. That’s my question. Would you answer it for me?

    Gordon Sondland: 02:02:27 Restate your question.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:02:28 Who would benefit from an investigation of the president’s political opponent?

    Gordon Sondland: 02:02:34 Well, presumably the person who asked for the investigation.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:02:38 Who was that?

    Gordon Sondland: 02:02:40 If the president for the investigation, it would be he.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:02:42 Well, it’s not a hypothetical, is it, sir? We just went around this track, didn’t we? The president asked you about investigations. He was talking about the Bidens. When he asked you about the Biden investigation, who was he seeking to benefit?

    Gordon Sondland: 02:02:57 He did not ask me about the Biden investigation …

    Rep. Maloney: 02:03:00 When he asked you about investigations.

    Gordon Sondland: 02:03:00 I said that about 19 times, Mr. Maloney.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:03:02 Sir, we just went through this. When he asked you about investigations, which we all agree now means the Bidens. We just did this about 30 seconds ago. Right? It’s a pretty simple question, isn’t it? I guess I’m having trouble why you can’t just say …

    Gordon Sondland: 02:03:17 When he asked about investigations, I assumed he meant …

    Rep. Maloney: 02:03:20 I know what you assumed.

    Gordon Sondland: 02:03:21 … Company.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:03:21 But who would benefit from an investigation of the Bidens?

    Gordon Sondland: 02:03:26 There are two different questions.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:03:27 I’m just asking you one. Who would benefit from an investigation of the Bidens?

    Gordon Sondland: 02:03:31 I assume President Trump would benefit.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:03:33 There we have it, see. Didn’t hurt a bit, did it? Didn’t hurt a bit. But let me ask you something …

    Gordon Sondland: 02:03:43 Mr. Maloney.

    Rep. Maloney: 02:03:44 Hold on, sir.

    Gordon Sondland: 02:03:45 Excuse me. I’ve been very forthright and I really resent what you’re trying to do.//

    Clear and convincing.

    1. Jacob Sullum-worthy levels of truthseeking.

      1. This puts into question all of Sullum’s other works that I previously thought were well researched and reasoned. I’ll have to be much more skeptical about him in the future.

  12. I don’t know how an honest journalist could write:

    “• Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified that there was a clear “quid pro quo” between the Ukrainian investigations sought by Trump and a White House meeting with Zelenskiy. “Everyone was in the loop,” he said. “It was no secret.” In cooperating with Giuliani to obtain a public commitment from the Ukrainian government to conduct the investigations, Sondland said, “I followed the directions of the president.””

    And then ignore the near half dozen times sondland said he was directed by nobody to withhold foreign aid during cross examination, that it was his presumption that it had occurred.

    You basically have to treat his opening subjective statement as fact and then ignore the cross examination.

    Not only that, you have to ignore the statements from OMB saying Ukraine was not the only country whose aid was held under review, even concurrently to Ukraine. Youd have to ignore the fact that Ukrain got their javelins quickly despite them never being sent under obama.

    You literally have to ignore every fact not directly negative to Trump in order to convict trump.

    And the biggest joke of all you have to assume without question that nothing bad happened with Hunter biden getting 3 million dollars.

    Why reason ignores any issue or piece of evidence counter to the D.C narrative is astounding.

    1. A journalist wouldn’t write that. I’ve been peppering the comment board with Sondland’s repeated denials. Apparently, Sullum cannot be bothered to conduct basic research on his own.

      Why such blatant dishonesty?

      1. Sollumn is not smart by any means. But he isn’t so stupid he believes this crap. He is writing it because he is paid to put out disinformation. The question I have is who exactly is that who is paying him

        1. It starts with a K and rhymes with “woke.”

      2. I’m guessing Sullum wrote this before the testimony was available, presumably from a copy obtained the day before. Another KMW plan to ‘get ahead of’ the news.

        Sad. I always appreciate her comments on the podcasts, but her editorial management sucks.

        1. If one’s priority is libertarianism, or liberty in general, an editorial approach intended to appeal to the Left is utterly moronic

    2. Simply quoting Fiona Hill’s “fictional narrative” claims without mentioning the news articles from 2017 which directly contradict her is prima facie evidence that this column is just recycled Beltway Groupthink.

      1. Oh, you mean the articles about Chalupa? Like this one?

        https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

        This is Dr. Fiona Hill’s “fictional narrative” quote, in context:

        Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its Security Services did not conduct a campaign against our country and that perhaps, somehow for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian Security Services themselves. The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies confirmed in bipartisan congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.

        That IS a fictional narrative.

        1. Do I need to link the NYT article for the 5th time about a ukranian court finding illegal actions for the 2016 elections?

          1. So you don’t have to, ‘zonie:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/world/europe/ukraine-paul-manafort.html


            Ukraine Court Rules Manafort Disclosure Caused ‘Meddling’ in U.S. Election

            By Andrew E. KramerDec. 12, 2018

        2. Notice how she very carefully ties together the two statements with an “AND”?

          Everyone knows, and agrees, that Russia ran a PR campaign involving multiple candidates during the 2016 election – “interfering”, as it is put.
          Everyone that isn’t in partisan denial also knows that the Ukraine worked with a DNC operative to arrange for the Ukrainian government to run a PR campaign against Trump, and in addition illegally leaking private materials about Manafort to the press in order to embarrass Trump and damage his campaign.

          Nunes himself published a major report on #1, but Hill falsely claims it isn’t his position, then again falsely links that position to the true facts about Ukrainian activities.

          It’s bullshit, from someone whose entire opening statement fell apart upon even the slightest questioning.

          1. Oh, sorry, I meant Hill in that last sentence.
            Too many different choices for ‘witnesses’ whose opening statements turned out to be full of lies upon questioning for that to be clear, sorry.

          2. The point here, is that there is no contradiction between the story involving Chalupa, and Dr. Hill’s claims about a “fictional narrative”.

            1. No actually that isn’t the point at all.

        3. Just to be open-minded, I will agree Jeff that her statement is correct IF the Republicans were claiming that only Ukraine and not Russia attempted to meddle in the 2016 election. That certainly would be false.

          But that’s not what they are claiming; they are claiming both countries tried to meddle in order to help their preferred candidates or further their own goals. And the story you linked confirms that.

          What Hill did in her statement was to set up a strawman by implying that Ukraine did nothing wrong and Russia was the only guilty party, and anyone who claimed otherwise was a Russian stooge.

          She did this consciously because if the Deep State and the Dems admitted that Ukraine tried to hinder Trump it would 1) give justification to Trump’s demands for an investigation and 2) cast light on the many dealings of top Democrats with Ukraine and not just Hunter Biden.

        4. Hill tried to distract from the facts by posting a false dichotomy. In fact, both Russia and the Ukraine (and many other countries as well) interfered in the US elections. They do so every election.

    3. I don’t know how an honest journalist could write:

      HE … and most of humanity … knows which statements came first, and which were corrections. Have you been brainwashed again?

    4. “”You basically have to treat his opening subjective statement as fact and then ignore the cross examination. “”

      In the banana republic you are not allowed a defense.

  13. Goalpost successfully moved.

    But the constitution still says “high crimes” so moving the rhetorical goalpost isn’t very effective.

    1. My favorite is Democrats claiming using claims of executive privilege as an obstruction claim. Next up, using the 4th amendment to deny evidence as obstruction.

      1. Where has Trump asserted executive privilege? OTOH, the direction for witnesses such as Bolton, Mulvaney and Pompeo not to appear and testify has been explicit. The logical inference is that their testimony would be inculpatory.

        1. Progressive “logic” is sick and twisted

  14. “Clinton also lied, and he did so under oath. That is no small thing, especially since it seemed to reflect a belief that he was above the law. Furthermore, the subject that he lied about, his sexual relationship with a White House intern, was itself a troubling abuse of power. But that abuse did not involve U.S. foreign policy, and it did not impinge on the separation of powers by obstructing the delivery of congressionally appropriated funds. It is hard to see how people who thought Clinton’s conduct was impeachable could believe Trump’s is not, unless they are blinded by unconditional partisan allegiance.”

    OK, holding the Senate to its own precedents is perfectly fair, since their own rules say that when trying impeachments they sit as a court. So the precedents the Senate sets when sitting as a court are worth considering.

    Clinton signed legislation allowing plaintiffs like Paula Jones to ask defendants about their sexual histories. Then he lied about his sexual history in the Jones suit, thus making clear that the standards and laws he approved as President were for the little people only, not for high and mighty people like him.

    So perjury and double standards aren’t necessarily impeachable, even when related to the Pres’s actions in office. Either follow that precedent, or admit it was wrong, that Clinton should have been convicted, and that from now on there’s a higher standard of impeachment.

    Don’t forget the failure to impeach Clapper. So when fellow members of the Deep State want to impeach one of their opponents, they should be held to the same (ultra-high) burden of proof from which Clapper benefited.

    1. “Furthermore, the subject that he lied about, his sexual relationship with a White House intern, was itself a troubling abuse of power. But that abuse did not involve U.S. foreign policy”

      Wonder if Sullum knows the lie was used to fend off allegations of rape and harassment.

  15. “Here, too, Trump’s personal motive in seeking to discredit Biden is obvious, while the legitimate public interest is harder to discern.”

    //Rep Jim Jordan: 01:49:23 Thank you. Ambassador, President Trump’s not a big fan of foreign aid, is that right?

    Gordon Sondland: 01:49:29 I don’t know if that’s a fair characterization. I think he’s careful.

    Rep Jim Jordan: 01:49:32 He’s expressed concerns about foreign aid going to certain countries.

    Gordon Sondland: 01:49:34 Yeah.

    Rep Jim Jordan: 01:49:34 Okay, fair enough. And he knew Ukraine was corrupt, is that right?

    Gordon Sondland: 01:49:38 He believed Ukraine was corrupt.

    Rep Jim Jordan: 01:49:39 Yeah, and he wanted Europe to do more?

    Gordon Sondland: 01:49:41 Definitely.//

    It’s so difficult to discern a legitimate public interest.

    1. Where does Trump have the authority to withhold aid to Ukraine unless the Europeans pitch in more aid of their own?

      1. He didnt withhold aid. There are many reasons he can hold for review as he did for countries such as lebanon, el Salvador, etc.

        Honest question… even after the testimony from the OMB member, you think only Ukraine had aid delayed?

        1. No, I don’t think only Ukraine had aid withheld.
          Aid can be delayed for legitimate reasons, and it can be delayed for illegitimate reasons.
          I honestly don’t know the reason why the aid to Ukraine was delayed. It sure seems like it was used to try to leverage Zelensky into making a public statement about investigating the Bidens, before he would agree to meet with them.

          1. Which is a legitimate reason

            1. No it isn’t.

              1. Well you got some of em to say outright that this a legitimate action.

                He didn’t do it, but if he did do it, there’s nothing wrong with it.

              2. Yes it is, jeff.
                Just because you’re butthurt that your preferred progressives are finally taking heat for rampant corruption doesn’t make it illegitimate.
                Don’t like Trump?
                Too bad.
                Vote for someone else.
                Otherwise, fuck off

          2. So you have no evidence that anything illegitimate happened.

            Thank god, we finally got Jeff to see the light.

            1. Sadly, no. His starting premise is Orange man bad so no facts will change that

              1. You know what?
                Sometimes Orange Man really is bad.
                You should ponder that sometime.

                1. Politicians are often bad. Orange man is less bad than the alternatives and more bad than the absolute, perfect ideal.

                2. Oh, Orange Man is bad in many ways. This isn’t one of them.

            2. He asked the president of a foreign government for essentially a personal favor, abusing the power of his office for such a purpose.

    2. None of this seems to cite anything but Sondland’s own presumption about what he thinks Trump cares about.

      1. When many of the firsthand witnesses are refusing to testify, it’s hard to provide more than circumstantial proof. However, the standard for the impeachment hearings is only whether it is worth writing up articles of impeachment and having a trial in the Senate. In the Senate trial, witnesses who refuse to testify now can be compelled to testify.

        1. Those firsthand witnesses are simply refusing to testify before Schiff’s partisan clown show. They’ll be happy to testify before the Senate. The Senate will also likely call the WB, the Bidens, Schiff, and various Democrats.

  16. “President Trump suggested he is softening his stance on a proposal to pull sweet and fruity e-cigarettes off the market, saying that prohibition can have dangerous consequences.

    “If you don’t give it to them, it is going to come here illegally,” he said in a White House meeting Friday with vaping industry leaders, public-health advocates and others on a policy to address a surge in underage vaping. Mr. Trump said that Instead of legitimate companies “making something that’s safe, they are going to be selling stuff on a street corner that could be horrible. That’s the one problem I can’t seem to forget.”

    “Now instead of having a flavor that’s at least safe, they are going to be having a flavor that’s poison,” he said.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-warns-of-dangers-in-banning-vape-flavors-11574455609?

    Trump is arguably the most libertarian president we’ve had since before World War II.

  17. I used to trust and respect Jacob soooo much. Now I gotta believe he’s writing this stuff just to keep his job.

    1. I maintain that Sullum is so principled that he will consistently apply his principles–even when good sense might tempt others to weigh other factors.

      If Joseph Stalin himself were the Democrat nominee, Sullum would still call Trump’s actions like he sees them, which isn’t to say that he would support Stalin. Rather, he’s calling it like he sees it with true objectivity.

      I have to admit that my position on Trump and the Ukraine is in some ways related to my fear of the socialist deluge that will surely follow if Trump doesn’t win in November of 2020.

      However, because the testimony and evidence has been insufficient to substantiate that Trump might have wanted to withhold aid to Ukraine unless they were willing to come clean on what they’d done in 2016, that doesn’t mean that wasn’t his intent initially–before he released the aid in question without the Ukraine launching an investigation.

      My take is that there is insufficient testimony or evidence to justify overturning the results of a presidential election–regardless of what was in Trump’s heart. If Sullum is putting the emphasis on the context and what must have been in Trump’s heart, there is plenty of room for honest and reasonable people to indulge in conjecture. Conjecture just means there isn’t enough evidence to substantiate your opinion, and Sullum shouldn’t be dinged for that either. Uncertainty is the human condition, but we all form our own opinions anyway.

      1. I’ll wait until after the FISA abuse report comes out to see of Reason is gaslighting or not. But the last year hasnt been kind to that question.

        1. Comey’s abuse of the FISA courts is indefensible–by Comey’s own testimony it’s indefensible.

          If the FISA abuse report comes out and exonerates Comey, over Comey’s own public testimony, it will be an indictment of the abuse report.

          1. The IG report was already damning to Comey. While it should have ended with more than a report, we have yet to see the fallout outside of the first pending indictment.

            Im more curious as to what narrative Reasons editors attempt to push.

    2. Be careful with that thought. “I used to think you were smart because you said so many things I agreed with but now that you’ve said something I disagree with I realize that you’re a stupid piece of shit” is a copyrighted phrase of a certain member of the commentariat here. Not to mention which, it might not say a lot of you, but it says more about you than it does of Sullum.

      1. Amen to that.
        It is especially amusing to see it on certain Shikha Dalmia articles.
        Dalmia’s views on immigration are well known, and she gets tons of shit for it from most of the commenters here.
        But occasionally, she will write something that doesn’t have to do with immigration. And it will be a well-written, well-researched article, and those same commenters who would normally trash Dalmia and call her horrible names if it were some immigration article, would suddenly remain silent and say nothing at all.
        It is amusing to see.

        1. So it is impossible for a writer to be ignorant on one topic but reasonable on another in your view? Love Sullum, he’s always right. Hate Sullum he’s always wrong.

          Isn’t that putting principals above principles?

      2. Hey, lots of things I disagree with without thinking the writers insincere. But this case is so egregious, they gotta be liars, because they’re not stupid.

  18. According to Reason’s logic, it shouldn’t matter if trump did anything wrong or not, since house dems are gaining politically from the investigation, it should be shut down immediately as election interference and abuse of power.

  19. Look at this. The great majority of us start from the same premises, the same values. We aren’t a cabal that formed to promote Trump. We make up our minds based on what we see, and if we happen to fall on Trump’s side it’s because it makes the most sense. Yet here we are so at odds with the bloggers, ostensibly.

    I’m compelled to believe bloggers like Jacob are lying thru their teeth for a fee. It just doesn’t make sense for them to come down where they are.

    1. I think it is more the bubble they live in. Remember, 90% of d.c. voted for Hillary.

      1. Jacob’s too smart to be blinded by a bubble.

    2. Robert …. EXPOSED

      Look at this. The great majority of us start from the same premises, the same values. We aren’t a cabal that formed to promote Trump. We make up our minds based on what we see, and if we happen to fall on Trump’s side it’s because it makes the most sense.

      UNDENIABLE PROOF YOU HAVE BEEN SUCKERED BY BLATANT LIES.

      https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

      HOW DARE YOU defend blatant lies and bullying … to defend neo-nazis and white nationalists, who LAUNCHED the mass assaults in Charlottesville???

      We make up our minds based on what we see

      With your eyes closed!

      PROVE IT. At that link you will “see” UNDENIABLE PROOF” that Trump KNOWINGLY LIED to defend nazis and Presidents. Will you now have “seen” that Trump is a liar of psychopathic proportions … and come back here to issue a correction? Or stand with the most vile hatred in America?

      Will you “see” the facts?

      The great majority of us start from the same premises, the same values.

      Are YOU in that majority? Or in the sewer with Trump?

      1. When a neo-Nazi or white supremacist is falsely accused of wrong-doing, I will defend him or her just like I defend anybody else falsely accused of wrongdoing.

        IOW, Trump is not being impeached for his statements about Charlottesville, whatever they may have been and those statements are irrelevant.

  20. Why do we get the misinformation continually repeated that the intelligence agencies proved the the Russians hacked Hillaries and the DNC servers. The FBI, CIA and other agencies never inspected the servers. They took the unverified statements of Crowdstrike. That proves nothing. They may be right. They did not prove it.

    1. http://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/22/ray-mcgovern-the-pitfalls-of-a-pit-bull-russophobe/

      “The bogus “all 17 intelligence agencies” claim lasted only a few months before Clapper decided to fess up. With striking naiveté, Clapper asserted that ICA preparers were “handpicked analysts” from only the FBI, CIA and NSA. The criteria Clapper et al. used are not hard to divine. In government as in industry, when you can handpick the analysts, you can handpick the conclusions.”

      1. “Hill has been conditioned to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin and especially his security services are capable of anything, and thus sees a Russian under every rock — as we used to say of smart know-nothings like former CIA Director William Casey and the malleable “Soviet experts” who bubbled up to the top during his reign (1981 – 1987). Recall that at the very first meeting of Reagan’s cabinet, Casey openly told the president and other cabinet officials: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” Were Casey still alive, he would be very pleased and proud of Hill’s performance.”

      2. LIAR
        SOURCE?

        1. There’s a link at the top of the comment…

          It was written by Ray McGovern, CIA analyst for decades and founder of VIPS

          http://raymcgovern.com/

          1. HAHAHAHAHAHA …. HEARSAY EVIDENCE … A MEETING HE NEVER ATTENDED

    2. The FBI, CIA and other agencies never inspected the servers. They took the unverified statements of Crowdstrike.

      Brainwashed fool.
      They got the CONTENTS of the server … which any semi-literate techie knows would reveal any fakery.

      “What do you believe. “
      “ANYTHINg I WANT TO, WHICH IS WHAT FREEDOM MEANS!”

      1. They got a report on the content of the server from a private firm that has a close/crony relationship with the DNC

        1. BULLSHIT, BY A COMPUTER ILLITERATE

          CROWDSTRIKE NEVER HAD THE SERVER. THEY MADE AN IMAGE(S) OF IT. UMMM, THAT’S HOW IT’S BEEN DONE FOR DECADES. LIKE WHEN YOUR COMPUTER MAKES A BACKUP OF YOUR WINDOWS DISK (AND ANY OTHERS YOU SELECT.) You are essentially helpless to brainwashing … by your own choice.

          TRUMP IS A LYING SACK OF SHIT FOR SAYING CROWDSTRIKE IS OWNED BY A RICH UKRAINIAN. AND SO ARE YOU, FOR YOUR LIE ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DNC. IT IS ONE OF THE HIGHEST RATED CYBER-SECURITY FIRMS IN THE COUNTRY. ANOTHER WACKO CONSPIRACY

          It’s kinda sad how EAGER you people are to be brainwashed (left AND right)

          1. P.S. the DNC had 140 servers … all of which had to be totally cleaned and neutralized.

  21. It really bugged me all those years when people thought Jacob wrote the things he did only because tobacco companies paid him, because I knew better. Also I thought he just wouldn’t. Now this Trump business has me believing he would.

  22. Why are the Reason comment boards monopolized by anti-libertarian authoritarians?

    1. “Why are the Reason comment boards monopolized by anti-libertarian authoritarians?”

      BC you’re here. But you’re not really a monopoly.

    2. Yes. It is those who are against a deep state coup and those seeking to maintain the outcome of a democratic election that are the authoritarians….

      1. I wasn’t aware that the House of Representatives were part of the “Deep State”.

        1. You’re willfully blind

        2. Jeff… you see dumb shit. Do you see the AND in my statement? Try the second clause you fucking retard.

          1. Fuck it I have to be clear for you, you’re so fucking dense.

            The house is currently trying to undo an election through impeachment you fucking dumbass.

            1. How is it undoing an election if the duly elected vice-president takes office and the entire administration remains intact? The possibility of impeachment is baked into the electoral cake in the event of presidential abuse of power.

              1. No it isn’t.

                “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

                Quote where it says abuse of power?

                1. That’s what a high crime is.

                  1. Can you name the section of the US Code that defines Abuse of Power?

                    1. Here’s the article a lot of people have been linking to, that delves deeply into what the “high crimes and misdemeanors” means:

                      https://www.lawliberty.org/2018/08/08/the-original-meaning-of-high-crimes-and-misdemeanors-part-1/

                      “The House of Commons had impeached and brought before the House of Lords for trial officers of the crown, including ministers and judges, that they believed had violated the constitution or laws; subverted the rights of Parliament or the system of government; ABUSED OR MISUSED POWER [emphasis mine]; failed to perform the duties of office faithfully and competently; engaged in self-dealing behavior or misuse of funds; or were guilty of oppression, corruption, or other misbehavior or “mal-administration.”

    3. Because you don’t know what the word “authoritarian” means?

      Authoritarians don’t eliminate 12 regulations for every new one created, for example. An “authoritarian” would be a lot more like the Obama Administration on regulation. A libertarian would be more like Trump on regulation.

      Same story for taxes.

    4. Lol, says the guy whose username was a bloodthirsty French leftist who sent hundreds of people to the guillotine without a smidgen of due process. That’s a real freedom lover you chose to emulate there, Robes.

      You can’t make stuff like this up.

    5. Because Ron Paul, mostly.

      This is why over 60% of Americans would self-identify with libertarian values, fiscally conservative and socially tolerant … but 91% of THEM reject the libertarian label. (Cato survey)

      When an ideology is REJECTED by the vast majority who LIVE the values CLAIMED by the ideology …. well, it’s now a cult, dominated by the alt-right.

      Consider. Reason.com will publish dozens of articles and “brickbats” on stupid things government does …to readers who already know that … but NEVER A SINGLE WORD on the OVER 50,000 libertarians (small-l) serving in local elected office.

      Alos, nearly every day, tribal bigotry, negative stereotypes if “the left.”
      NEVER such treatment of “the right”
      In a MOVEMENT founded on being NEITHER right nor left.
      A movement which is now a cult … with libertarians as a Voiceless Majority..

    6. I’ve been here a long time, and if there are two things that I’ve been told repeatedly, it’s that libertarians aren’t partisan and they hate tribalism.

      Thus, President of the US Donald Trump is god-king emperor of the universe who can do no wrong.

      1. Correct on libertarians aren’t partisan (in the left-right sense).
        But the movement has been hijacked by anti-gummint goobers … displacing the original pro-people focus. Ron Paul deserves only part of the blame for that.

        We pro-people folks also contributed. We never justified the existence of government — not government per se, but the people’s right to form one. On that, even “extremist” Ayn Rand stood with Jefferson – consent of the governed.

        The anti-guvs are 100% AUTHORITARIAN.

  23. “The allegations against Trump are more serious than the offenses that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment because they relate directly to his duties as president.”

    The allegations against Barack Obama, that were never led to impeachment, were more serious because they involved violating the Fourth Amendment rights of 300 million Americans.

    1. So why didn’t Republicans pursue impeachment in any serious manner?

      1. Because the Democrats chose their candidate wisely.

      2. You should ask them and get back to us with what they say.

      3. They dont operate under the guise of criminalizing politics like democrats do.

        See Rick perry in texas for a really bad example. Ted Stevens in Alaska. Etc.

        1. Wait, so violating the rights of 300 million Americans was just “politics” that shouldn’t have faced impeachment?

          1. “Wait, so violating the rights of 300 million Americans was just “politics” that shouldn’t have faced impeachment?”

            WIH does that mean?

        2. They don’t operate under the guise of criminalizing politics like democrats do

          Separation. Abortion, Anything on the Christian Taliban’s agenda.

          The brainwash their loyal puppets, same as the Dems do.
          And just as easily.

      4. “So why didn’t Republicans pursue impeachment in any serious manner?”

        I suspect it had something to do with the fact that many of them supported violating the Fourth Amendment rights of 300 million Americans–in the name of the War on Terror.

        1. More of that Fourth Amendment wackiness?

          Where do you get THIS wacky notion? That 300 million American were victims of warrantless searches and/or unreasonable searches and seizures?

          Hysteria, much?

    2. What Fourth Amendment violation of 300 million Americans are you talking about?

      1. Are you joking?

        There’s this thing called the NSA.

        Here’s the Fourth Amendment:

        “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

        —-Fourth Amendment

        1. BUSH2 hahahaha

          Are you joking?

          It’s called RIDICULE .. of your never-ending hysteria.

          GIVE US A SOURCE FOR YOUR LATEST WACKY HYSTERIA, THAT 300 MILLION AMERICANS WERE VICTIMS OF WARRANTLESS SEARCHES OR UNREASONABLE SEIZURES.

  24. Trying to figure who Reason would like as POTUS.

    Hillary?
    Lunchbucket Joe?
    Crazy Bernie?
    Pocohantas?

    If not who do you like up there?

    1. Probably Mike Pence. He’s worse than Trump on all matters of substance, but not style, and not as bad as the Democrats. “Bad within normal limits.”

      1. “Bad within normal limits.”

        Before the ’16 election, I had a discussion with a guy who handles and controls serious money, and we agreed that the hag would be elected, as dishonest, nasty and outright obnoxious as she is and was, since she was within your boundaries.
        Neither he nor I voted for Trump, but that concept stands and Trump is “bad” outside of swamp standards.
        We are both pleased the hag did not get to affect our lives for many years to come.

      2. Pence is a leader in the Christian Taliban, versus Trump a PROVEN leader of nazis and racists. Two sides of the same authoritarian coin,

        Learn what Separation means. (Or make one of the wacko denials.)

    2. Trying to figure who Reason would like as POTUS.

      Crippled by your own bigotry and ignorance.

  25. Giuliani associate Lev Parnas claims to have ‘hard evidence’ of wrongdoing for Trump impeachment inquiry

    Parnas could be a rich vein of damaging information against both Giuliani and Trump. He says he had a private meeting with Trump at the White House during last year’s Hanukkah party at which the president gave him his marching orders.

    But he is also a dubious character who could make a problematic witness. That might risk devaluing the extremely serious and reliable testimony that Democrats have relied on so far to make their case against Trump.

    The “fun” is just beginning.

    1. Sounds like he’ll be the Michael Avenatti of the impeachment hearings.

  26. I have to disagree with the premise that Trump has abused his powers as, like every president before him, his powers are whatever the hell he can get away with and therefore logically cannot be abused. Now, if you want to talk about his authority – his legally delegated powers – sure, just like every president before him he’s abused his authority but why he should be held to stricter standards or his abuse of authority held to be somehow categorically worse than others is beyond me. Do Trump’s actions rise to the level of impeachable offenses? Sure. In fact, I’d argue that his actions rise to the level of treason. Just like about 99% of the rest of our modern collectivist government that believes the Constitution is a blank check for government action. But unless and until we wheel out the guillotine, I’d be careful about which mob you’re joining in calling for heads to roll and why they’re calling for it.

    1. …Why? Heads wouldn’t literally roll, and I assume no one here is an elected official or likes many/any elected officials, so why should we be cautious about calling for more impeachments?

  27. Impeachment will not remove Trump from office, and the Democrats know that. They are using impeachment as their weapon of choice in a massive PR duel with Donald J. Trump.

    1. True.
      Could probably be considered an abuse of power…

  28. To the contrary, polls already indicate that independents now favor Trump after watching the hearings.

  29. “…that standard of proof does not apply to impeachment, which in any case does not require a criminal act.”
    Bullshit. The Constitution says “high crimes and misdemeanors.” So, yeah, there needs to be actual illegality.

    1. You people are SCARY, in how easily you can be manipulated.
      What’s a HIGH crime.
      A MISDEMEANOR?

  30. “Does all this amount to proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump is guilty of illegally extorting Zelenskiy (or, alternatively, soliciting a bribe from him in exchange for an official act)? No, but that standard of proof does not apply to impeachment, which in any case does not require a criminal act.”

    It is not “proof” of anything. You have the opinions of many, the facts of none.
    You should know better.

    1. That’s exactly what Sullum said. Why completely gloss over the rest of what he said — that this phase of impeachment doesn’t require proof nor does the entire impeachment process require criminal charges?

      1. The rule of law is the only thing keeping you alive.
        Be careful how much of a joke you and your handlers wish to make of it

        1. Sullum is making a joke of the rule of law by accurately referring to the Constitutionally-defined impeachment process?

          1. Sullum is making a joke of the rule of law by:

            1. Deliberately misrepresenting the evidence in favor of impeachment is clear and convincing; and

            2. Acknowledging that the quantum of evidence he imagines is clear and convincing doesn’t actually prove a crime, or any defined wrongdoing, but nevertheless justifies removal of a sitting President.

            He’s lying about the facts, and he’s lying about their weight. Quite fair, in my view, to call that a complete disregard for the rule of law.

            1. Sounds like you’ve looked at all the testimony and evidence presented so far, and have a different *opinion* from Sullum. Having a different opinion doesn’t seem to rise to the level of “lying”.

              1. Sounds like you haven’t read anything I wrote and, like a true troll, are pretending that we have to start from scratch to establish all the points where Sullum is wrong.

                Okay, nice game. Enjoy playing.

  31. Jacob,
    Have you watched Glenn Beck’s Youtube “chalkboard” series on the impeachment and Ukraine situation? That seems like a more reasonable analysis of the available facts than the interviews we’ve been seeing in the impeachment hearings.

  32. In the end, all this Sturm und Drang will amount to little more than a noisy footnote in the history of the Trump presidency. Sullum’s vivid imagination notwithstanding, there was nothing in the testimony of the past week that would cause 18 Republican Senators and one or two Red State Democrats to vote to remove Trump from office. NOTHING.

    In fact, I don’t see anything in the past week’s hyperventilating that would convince the 30 or so Red District Democrats in the House to join Pelosi’s Light Brigade and charge headlong into the cannons of an impeachment vote. It’s over.

    The only question remains is if the Democrats will recognize their failure, or if they will double down on stupid? In this decision, they have been ill-served by a biased Beltway Media who has fed the fevered imaginations of the Democrats with blatantly false information and grossly biased commentary. The Democrats, who should be panicking right about now given the recent poll numbers from Wisconsin, seem to be willing to go down fighting.

    This should be fun to watch, especially if it does make it to the Senate.

    1. “… Sullum’s vivid imagination notwithstanding, there was nothing in the testimony of the past week that would cause 18 Republican Senators and one or two Red State Democrats to vote to remove Trump from office. NOTHING.
      In fact, I don’t see anything in the past week’s hyperventilating that would convince the 30 or so Red District Democrats in the House to join Pelosi’s Light Brigade and charge headlong into the cannons of an impeachment vote. It’s over.”

      I’m not convinced it’s over, since the incidence of TDS seems epidemic, but there is certainly nothing like “evidence” to do so.
      However, I do want to point out to those watching the circus, that over the last couple of weeks, congress has been so preoccupied that not one of my freedoms has been compromised!

    2. Right in the first paragraph, Sullum writes: “…I’m not sure that party-line votes to impeach Trump in the House and acquit him in the Senate will do much to reinvigorate that power in a salutary way.”

      He acknowledges up front, as many of us do, that there’s virtually no chance the Senate will remove Trump from office. Knowing that, why are Trump fans here so apoplectic? You are going to win this one.

      1. How are we going to win Reason back, though? That’s what my complaint is about.

        1. Robert, if you’re concern is that you like Reason and you feel it’s writing quality is drifting off in a bad direciton, I can understand and respect that concern. Seriously.

        2. Just go away.

      2. “He acknowledges up front, as many of us do, that there’s virtually no chance the Senate will remove Trump from office. Knowing that, why are Trump fans here so apoplectic?”

        Well, answer this question: If the Sullum knows it’s going to fail, then why do it in the first place?

        It’s not as if impeachment is a trivial procedural matter that will be forgotten soon; if anything, it has deepened the partisan divide in America. So why do something so consequential if it’s doomed to fail?

        (As an aside here, I didn’t consider myself to be a Trump fan until recently. I supported Cruz in the primaries, and only voted for Trump in 2016 to keep Maleficent out of office)

        If there were a prosecutor or police chief who said “we think this guy is guilty of child sex abuse but we don’t have enough evidence to convict him, but we’ll arrest him and file charges anyway in order to punish him and send a message to our supporters” Reason would be spitting fire for weeks, and calling for their heads.

        So why do it to a sitting president? The answer to that question will answer the question of why “Trump Fans”, as well as numerous other fair-minded Americans, are so pissed.

        1. If you are asking me why do it in the first place, I wouldn’t. If I were a Democratic strategist, I’d be advising that the whole thing is likely to backfire and make Trump more popular. And keep reminding the public about Hunter Biden.

          If you are asking why the actual Democratic leadership is doing it, my guess is that they want to dig up dirt about Trump in the months leading up to next years election in hopes of influencing undecided voters. It’s probably a desperation play, as they don’t seem to have any compelling Presidential candidate (again).

          1. Sorry, Laurens, when this gets released, it will take less than 15 minutes to assure Trump’s impeachment and removal. I assume they’re waiting until the election is closer — Trump’s bullshit here, plus five criminal charges handed down to Southern District of New York, from Mueller.

            Very few Americans stand with you … in lying to defend mass violence and murder … by Trump’s racists and neo-nazirs … in America … oh, the shame.

            https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

            1. Please look at all my comments in this thread and others. You are arguing with someone who is more or less on the same side as you.

              1. Agreed. My issue is the sheer, overwhelming evidence.
                And my paste-in should have been … redacted. 🙂

                NEITHER party has a candidate. 2020 will likely see … not labels I use myself … a fascist vs a socialist. As more independents abandon the two major parties, the worst extremes get an ever-louder voice — which then drives away more. That’s the main reason Prez candidates no longer move to the center in the General; their base will stay home, whining about DINO’s or RINO’s.

                Amash is correct; both parties are in a death spiral. Which puts America at great risk.

                1. Yes, I worry about the future of the nation, too.

                  1. The Silent Majority had defenders. he Voiceless Majority is … voiceless.

      3. Because Sullum is lying about the facts and their weight.

        1. One can lie about facts, but giving weight is a subjective judgment, isn’t it? Why hostility and calling someone a liar because they have a different subjective opinion?

          1. Assigning weight to the facts you’ve lied about is a problem. If you don’t see that as a problem, I don’t know how I can convince you. If the facts don’t matter to you (and, it appears they don’t), then this discussion is over.

            1. I do see “assigning weight to the facts you’ve lied about” as a problem. That wasn’t how you expressed your criticism of Sullum in your original comment.

              1. Original comment: “Because Sullum is lying about the facts and their weight.”

                Laursen: “I do see ‘assigning weight to the facts you’ve lied about’ as a problem. That wasn’t how you expressed your criticism of Sullum in your original comment.”

                Not sure what more I can say.

                When you can’t read, you can’t read.

                1. Not as dangerous as your total inability to think.
                  You proved him correct.

                  1. What a constructive comment, asshat.

  33. Some key context – these crooked politicians usually have each others’ backs – “I don’t investigate you if you don’t investigate me.”

    It takes some strong political incentive to overcome such a cosy, incestuous relationship among the elites.

    If Trump is to be impeached, it should be for *delaying* an investigation into Biden, not for belatedly wanting him investigated when Biden became a thorn in his flesh.

    1. Word.

      In fact, there’s no information that could come out short of Trump saying “investigate Burisma, but DON’T investigate X” that would constitute an abuse of power.
      Investigation of corruption on the part of US officials is a duty of the executive.
      Short of violating someone’s rights without a warrant, which isn’t even in the realm of the current complaints against Trump, the method and motivation of such investigation is irrelevant.
      There would be nothing illegal, unconstitutional, unethical, immoral, or wrong if Trump had said “investigate Burisma/Biden or you don’t get a meeting”.
      Sorry, Biden created probable cause by boasting about his use of US aid to influence political decisions in Ukraine while his son was being paid by a Ukrainian firm. End of story.

      1. And by the way, Sondland testified that the State Department (at least those apparatchiks dealing with, or loyal to, Ukraine and Zelensky wanted the meeting with Trump to bolster Zelensky’s party’s chances in parliamentary elections.
        Sondland’s testimony stated a direct political motivation for that meeting, but for some reason corporate media, including this rag, never mention it…

        1. United States laws do not have jurisdiction over Ukrainian politicians.

          Many, many mainstream media stories mention that Zelensky had political reasons for wanting a White House meeting with Trump. They have mostly focused on Zelensky’s wanting the appearance of having American at his back when negotiating with Russia.

          That has been front and center in reporting on Sondland’s testimony. Is your beef that someone didn’t frame Zelensky’s motivations specifically in terms of his party winning seats in parliamentary elections? That’s pretty hair splitty.

          1. “Many, many mainstream media stories”

            By all means, continue killing yourself

        2. LIAR. He corrected that, while you were off the planet.
          There are NEVER enough conspiracies for Trumpsters.

      2. What investigations into corruption in Russia has Trump supported, tacitly or openly?

        In fact, does the only foreign “corruption” he’s tacitly or openly called for happen to involve Joe Biden?

        1. There’s his calling for an investigation of CloudStrike, which was more about Hillary than Joe, but that doesn’t really contradict your point, since it was another politically-related request.

  34. Here’s how to GUARANTEE impeachmnent and removslk in 10 minutes (plus checking the PROOF provided.
    Charlottesville!
    Absolute Proof!! THEIR President LIED to defend THEIR favorite people: neo- nazis and white nationalists.

    LIE: In press conference, Trump says alt-left initiate the assaults, charging his alt-right base, swinging clubs. FULL PRESSER: Trump’s shameful lie that alt-left initiated violence, charged with clubs, 7:00 — 11:14 — 13.15

    “What about the alt left that came charging

    at, as you say, at the alt right? … What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do.

    SHOUTS DOWN news media – with insufferable arrogance — as he always does when guilty. Calls them LIARS. “I watched it all on television … SO DID YOU.” .

    NOBODY watched the initial assault. NO news cameras at the assault. News reports broadcast what they called “personal videos” (cell phone videos). None recorded the actual assault. Until personal videos found later

    That’s WHY the President’s worst offense was saying “… good people on both sides.” There was (then) no proof of his totally shameful lies..

    Describes ALT-LEFT as wearing black helmets and carrying clubs …. ONE SICK FUCK

    Next, UNDENIABLE PROOF – Donald Trump is a PSYCHOPATHIC LIAR … manipulating his loyal base –nazis, racists and the rest of the Authoritarian Right.

    1. Part Two<

      VIDEO PROOF: The initial assault.. (Private video found on an alternate news twitter feed) “Alt-Left” standing peacefully, no visible clubs, bats or helmets.

      LIE: Alt-left initiated violence … PROOF: Alt-right
      LIE Alt-left wearing black helmets … PROOF: Alt-right.
      LIE: Alt-left carrying clubs. … PROOF: Alt-right
      LIE: Trump saw it personally on TV – Obama born in Kenya

      >SHAME ON EVERYONE …. Who LIES to defend a morally debased President, over country and honor.

      NEXT: THE SMOKING GUN!!

  35. Part Three

    KAPOW !
    4
    white nationalists, described as ‘serial rioters.” imprisoned for violent Charlottesville rally.
    (Trump’s own DOJ!)

    Three members of a white supremacist group were sentenced to prison Friday for kicking, choking and punching multiple people during the 2017 “United the Right” rally in Charlottesville and other rallies in California. The three were members of the California-based militant white supremacist organization “Rise Above Movement.” …. A fourth defendant, Cole Evan White, will be sentenced at a later date, the attorney’s office said.

    “These defendants, motivated by hateful ideology, incited and committed acts of violence in Charlottesville, as well at other purported political rallies in California,” U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen said. “They were not interested in peaceful protest or lawful First Amendment expression; instead, they intended to provoke and engage in street battles with those that they perceived as their enemies.”/blockquote>

    All three parts are now being converted to a Press Release, sent to all major media outlets, with all evidence … and to the House impeachment committees … plus a shorter video, edited to all three smoking guns,. “How to guarantee impeachment and removal in 10-15 minutes”

    Trump’s not the only psycho on the alt-right. Watch this thread.
    1) Will I be punished AGAIN?
    2) Will they AGAIN sneer at UNDENIABLE proof?
    3) Will they AGAIN “feel the hatred”?

  36. no one fucking cares. Get over it.

    99% of those who think this is a witch hunt are .. shockingly.. trump supporters.

    99% of those who think it’s obvious he committed a crime are… shockingly… trump haters.

    If he had a D after his name all those people would have reversed positions.

    This is all nonsense.

    1. in addition, this is all a complete waste of time. There is no chance the Senate will convict. It’s Bill Clinton all over again…

  37. The proof has yet to be released. Virtually guaranteed to secure impeachment and removal, after only 10 minutes of proof.

    https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

    99% of those who think this is a witch hunt are .. shockingly.. trump supporters

    You just ridiculed your own comment!

    1. i don’t think you understand what you read.

      1. You said Trump supporters are slavishly mindless puppets. No better than the opposing team’s puppets..

        As PROVEN when you ignored undeniable proof of an impeachable offense.
        I don’t think you understand what you say.
        So, here, you can run and hide from the facts, again!!

        https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

  38. But…
    I want corruption by US politicians in Ukraine to be investigated.
    Yes, this might implicate the Bidens as well as people close to the Clintons, if not the Clintons themselves.
    It would also include Republicans, John McCain being one, but there would be others.
    With the Ukraine phone call, Trump did what I want & expect him to do as President.

    1. I want corruption by US politicians in Ukraine to be investigated.

      There was none. And that’s not even Trump’s bullshit claim.
      But you did manage to name (almost) every wacko conspiracy!

  39. “Here, too, Trump’s personal motive in seeking to discredit Biden is obvious…”

    Well, it is if you buy into the Orange Man Bad syndrome, and believe that anything Trump does has to have some nefarious purpose.

    1. Trump himself told us to never trust you. The Orange Man is Good Syndrome would defend Trump from even shooting someone to death, on Fifth Avenue. According to Trump. which also proves that no insult is too severe for puppets on a string.

      Learn the meaning of “obvious.” You’ll never see anything you refuse to believe exists. Any other zany conspiracies? Maybe that Obama dude, the Muslim from Kenya?

  40. I thought this was called “Reason” for a reason – maybe you just liked the sound of the word or something. Look, absolutely NO ONE testified to a quid pro quo; instead, lots of people testified that they BELIEVED or CONCLUDED or INFERRED there was a quid pro quo; that’s not evidence. In a court of law, this “evidence” would have been excluded. The fact that lots of people THINK the president did something isn’t evidence, regardless of those people’s resumes. Honestly, dealing with this stupidity hurts my head. We’re all dumber for listening to this. If you want to prove Trump’s motive, then you need direct evidence (ie Trump said X) or circumstantial evidence. For the latter, you need to prove that no reasonable person would have thought Biden and/or his son were worth investigating, but EVERY SINGLE witness admitted they were worth investigating, that it was at least SUSPICIOUS. Oops! Logically and legally, you had to call Biden & his son to establish their factual innocence. Then, you’d have to infer from the innocence that no one could have thought they were guilty. Here, at best, you’ve “proven” their innocence (through an alleged lack of evidence). Even so, you have NOT established that Trump actually believed in their innocence and/or that he should have. That is, you have NOT established that a reasonable person MUST believe they’re innocent, not even close. To date, we have no idea what, if anything, Biden’s son did for that money – we don’t even know how much he was paid! According to Ukrainian press accounts, $ went directly to Biden (not just his son). Is that true? Don’t know, but how can we assess those claims w/o any testimony from Biden or his son? Look, you hate Trump, I get it, but the laws of logic & evidence don’t change just because you don’t like the guy. Honestly, I can’t stand to read this website any more because it’s just illogical nonsense. I can find lots and lots of people who are convinced that Epstein didn’t kill himself, but that’s not evidence. Likewise, there’s just no evidence here at all.

    1. Look, absolutely NO ONE testified to a quid pro quo

      NEVER assume that everyone is a brainwashed and uninformed lackey of the political elite, like you. THREE have testified to a QPQ, publicly, under oath,

      There may have been others, in secret testimony.

      1. Who testified to a qpq?

        Given your love of links, it’s surprising you couldn’t supply one.

        Oh wait, there isn’t one (that wasn’t later recanted)

  41. I don’t know what’s going on at Reason but man.

    Didn’t they think the evidence was clear against Kavanaugh too?

    Apparently, the process matter little to them which is disappointing. There were a couple of questionable assertions in the article (e.g. Sondland also said it wasn’t a Quid. Or the claim the Republicans would do the same if in their position. Except a) we don’t know that and b) one would have to assume the GOP (which is possible) were not going to accept the results of a lawful election and proceed from that point forward. The claim smells of projection and quite frankly not sure how it passed editorial scrutiny. The other part I find bizarre, if we accept the impeachment is just political theater and a bunch of hearsay and mud slinging, apparently Trump is not allowed to defend himself going as far as to call him a ‘snowflake’. The message, to me anyway, is let them do what they do to you and damn the process! Terrible message and the damage being done here by the Democrats is greater than anything Trump did in my view. Beccaria isn’t impressed I’m sure. That is, once the people lose faith in a legal system/process, cynicism sets in and the DNC is doing this; not Trump).

    I invoke Occam’s Razor here. From the onset. Even before Trump took office, they squawked about impeachment. Which suggests to me, they had a plan in place to take him down.

    Also. I look at the character of the people leading the charge. Hardly people of character Tlaib, AOC, Ilhan and Schiff.

    Heck, I’m full on board with them being commies at heart.

    1. //I invoke Occam’s Razor here. From the onset. Even before Trump took office, they squawked about impeachment. Which suggests to me, they had a plan in place to take him down.//

      Had the Democrats exercised some restraint over the past three years, their present calls for impeachment would be more credible. I did not vote for Trump; but the histrionics since his inauguration, along with the manufactured “scandals,” have fatigued me. Trump is not a Russian agent. He is not a maniac. He is not shredding the Constitution. The worst part is that all of these allegations are coming from a party that routinely advocates for legislative policies that treat the Constitution as a suggestive guideline that can be ignored.

      I was not a Trump supporter before. The Democrats actions have changed my mind. Trump on his worst day is better than any number of Democrats on their best.

      1. Even before Trump took office, they squawked about impeachment.

        Pity the brainwashed snowflake.

        1. Love when prog snowflakes call others snowflakes.

          But ONE example.

          https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/11/will-trump-be-impeached

          1. Snowflake now links to a proggie site, for an article with no relevance to the discussion.

            What have you learned at Daily Kos?

            (Also a total asshole calling me a prog, but that’s Rufus)

    2. No, they didn’t think the evidence was clear against Kavanaugh. They wrote articles about the uselessness of lie detector tests, for example. (I think that might have even been a Sullum article.)

      1. There were plenty of articles that said the accusations were credible.

        1. NEVER a link for their bullshit.
          All like Trump.

    3. I invoke Occam’s Razor here. From the onset. Even before Trump took office, they squawked about impeachment. Which suggests to me, they had a plan in place to take him down.

      The “squad” were “squawking” about impeachment from before they were elected, sure. But then again, they started serving in 2019, after we’d already seen more than 2 years of Trump’s bullshit.

      Neither Pelosi nor Trump wanted to get caught up in impeaching Trump. They didn’t think it would help the Democrats any better than you do. How many times did they go to Trump to try to reach bipartisan agreement on legislative packages? They thought they had deals on immigration and infrastructure. Even now, Pelosi thinks they can get there on NAFTA 2.0. Pelosi even ran interference for Trump, for a while, sidelining the squad and trying to stay on message for 2020.

      The whistleblower’s report, and the clear abuse of power involved, changed that calculation. If Trump could simply behave like a normal, conservative president, we’d be talking about something else right now. But he couldn’t. After he failed to suffer lasting repercussions over his obstruction of the Mueller investigation (or any apparent damage over what it revealed about Russian involvement in his campaign), he just had to push the envelope on what he could get away with. And so now he’s served Pelosi with an example of abuse so clearly unacceptable that she could no longer run interference.

      This is his own fault. And rest assured, if he is acquitted by the Senate, he will push still further. And when he does, I’m sure the lot of you will be crying, “enough with this impeachment business! Just let him do whatever the hell he wants!” And then there will be no end to his bullshit.

      1. Trump is one of the best Presidents in 80+ years.

        The fact that Lefties dont see that illustrates how much an enemy to America they are. Lefties think Trump is the problem when they are the problem.

  42. Under the standard put forth by Sullum, every president apart from possibly Coolidge should have been impeached.

    1. I think Sullum, and others who share his views, believe that the standards they use to condemn Trump today will be limited only to Trump; that, in the future, there will be a return to normalcy; that Trump is so uniquely bad, and evil, it is worthwhile to discard every reasonable and objective standard for assessing presidential behavior in order to manufacture a case against literally Hitler.

      I think they will find themselves sorely disappointed. The problem is that people never stop to consider that the prongs of arbitrariness they endorse to skewer their opponents today will gore them in the future. This attitude justifies every excess, but it is a dangerous attitude to have.

      1. Reason and other libertarians are not, for the most part, supporters of Republicans or Democrats. Someone’s criticizing Trump is not automatically an indicator that that person supports the Democrats.

        A non-partisan can find things to criticize about Trump, and also be critical of Democratic presidents.

        1. Trump is crude, vulgar, and petty. That’s why they hate him. He is ‘unclean’ and that rankles them. His policies, if from a Donkey, they would wholeheartedly embrace.

          Principals trump principles for them.

        2. Not supporting is one thing. Actively misrepresenting the facts is quite another. If you have to lie to make your case against Trump, you’re as much a partisan as anyone else.

      2. Poor Mikey doesnt realize that the way he talks signals who he supports and it aint Libertarianism nor Republicans.

        1. How would you know? That was a perfect depiction of libertarians and partisanship. .. so you fukcked up again … you being the phony who says he’s ENTITLED to suck the gummint teat, of money stolen from his own kids.

          The moral hypocrisy of Trumptardism.

          1. Do you prefer placing Laursen’s balls on right or left side of your mouth? Where do they taste saltier, you salty little girl?

    2. To be fair, that’s not really off the mark.

  43. “If Donald Trump were a Democrat (as he was from 2001 to 2009), we can be sure that Republicans would be pouncing on the allegations against him instead of blithely dismissing them.” No, we can be sure that Republicans wouldn’t have done jack shit because they wouldn’t even have noticed behavior that isn’t somehow legally actionable or morally objectionable. They couldn’t find their nut sacks long enough to impeach Hillary or Obama for stuff that was far worse. This farce of an inquiry has been an unending series of third-hand “And then he told me that she said that he heard that Trump said” gossip that 14 year-old girls would be too embarrassed to spread.

  44. I mean, since it’s a political process, sure, impeaching Trump because you don’t like him is completely valid.

    That’s pretty much all I’ve gotten out of the hearsay testimony so far. The hand-selected “witnesses” think Trump is nasty.

    How all you NeverTrumpers think this strategy will do anything other than help Trump get re-elected is beyond me!

    1. Is new to Reason. Yum yum beets? Vodka!

    2. Umm, puppet-on-a-string. The hearsay bullshit is bullshit.
      1) All of it has been corroborated by eyewitnesses, under oath.
      2) The whistleblower’s hearsay evidence was linked to first-hand observers, who were then interviewed before the complaint was file. That’s how it works!

      1. Not one “witness” has said Trump ordered them to carry out a quid pro quo.

        1. ***LIAR ***

          P.S. Obama is Christina, bon in Hawaii

      2. Is this a Sullum sock?

  45. Given that Trump is the President (wheather the Democrats like it or not) and the Consoiotution give him wide powers and the the fact I have seen many Presidents use thiese powers in this way I find the wqhole silly. It Trump a FLAWED President? Sure. but the Democrats are a corrupt Party who have many failed cities and states, used the tax payers money to enrich their friends (Green Energy Scams and Stimulus Packages), and have been convicted three times in the last few elections of voter fraud. I mean these are the people who are the RICHEST IN AMERICA and keep telling us that the Republicans are the party of the rich. Sorry, I am not a fan of the Republicans all the time but the Democrats re CRAZY. Reperations, Free College, Medicare for All, Open Borders, College Loan Forgiveness, Abortion until Birth and the list goes on.

    1. In Soviet America, most nouns are uncapitalized.

      1. In Mother America, the nouns capitalize YOU.

  46. I don’t give a shit whether Trump is removed or not-the whole thing is a political dog and pony show. I don’t think impeachment will help either party, except to drive most sane people away from both. I would actually prefer it if he goes because he has emboldened the progtards here in Virginia to the point it is about to become the next California/NY/Mass., but I am not optimistic.

    The Reason comment section has also become nothing but a hangout for Trump fellaters (about 90%) and progtard trolls (9%), I don’t think it will improve either.

    1. Trump has also emboldened a whole host of conservatards.

    2. You’re missing reason troll socks (80%) that flood these comments trying to boost web traffic.

  47. No one seems to have provided a consistent, coherent explanation for Trump’s actions, that are based in a body of evidence that is more credible than what we have so far seen.

    Trump never directly pointed at Sondland and said, “Military aid for a public statement about Biden investigations”? Okay. So what’s the innocent explanation for his actions, and what is the evidence we have to support that innocent explanation?

    He held up aid whose release was cleared and legally mandated. He conducted a pressure campaign through irregular channels. His lawyers buried the full transcript of his July call with Zelensky. Multiple officials had concerns with what he was doing. He has blocked anyone with ostensibly exculpatory information from testifying or producing evidence. Are these actions consistent with those of a man who just cares about corruption in Ukraine generally?

    Call the evidence “hearsay,” if you wish – that doesn’t absolve you of the fundamental obligation to use your brain. I know what Trump did. Nearly everyone else here does. The only “defense” being offered for Trump, in these comments, is that we don’t have sufficiently clear proof that Trump engaged in malfeasance.

    But this isn’t a criminal trial, and it’s not Trump’s freedom that’s at stake. It’s the integrity of our democracy and, more broadly, our ability to project force through out support of our allies. Supporting Trump’s clear abuse of power through pedantic, legalistic, and ultimately specious arguments just weakens our country and puts us all in danger.

    1. Oh? He had to POINT at Sondland???
      You folk are getting as desperate as Trump. For the same reason.

    2. //The only “defense” being offered for Trump, in these comments, is that we don’t have sufficiently clear proof that Trump engaged in malfeasance.//

      Proof matters, whether it’s in a criminal context, or any other. What I hate seeing is people pivoting to “well, we don’t have to prove jackshit because it’s not a real legal process” when they’ve turned up in front of the arbiter (be it a judge, a jury, or the voters) with nothing.

      A fundamental rule is this: if you’re making serious claims, you better have serious evidence. If you don’t produce such evidence, everyone is free to ignore you.

      That’s the reality. And that’s what’s happening.

  48. Uh Sondland explicitly said that it was merely his PRESUMPTION that there was a quid pro quo. You want to impeach a duly elected President over someone else’s presumption?

    1. THAT WAS ONE OF TWO CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO.

      Since it’s now impossible to find a reliable news outlet (only individual reporters), anyone who fails to follow BOTH sides is irresponsible, will never see both the good and bad arguments from the other side … and may even believe the other side is always evil, which is the definition of bigotry.

      1. And all that came from them was that Sondland thought the quid was a WH meeting not releasing the aid.

        1. ANOTHER screwup! There were both threats.

          And you Biden lie falls apart when Trump only wanted an ANNOUNCEMENT of an investigation … probably for another crock-of-shit TV ad

          1. Again that’s what the “witnesses” THOUGHT. They all said Trump never said that to them.

    2. Considering that several key witnesses refused to testify, and that impeachment will lead to a trial with higher standards of proof and the power to compel testimony, I’m OK with it.

      If one is a Trump supporter, you pretty much know how the Senate vote will turn out in the end, anyway. It’s very unlikely he will be removed from office.

  49. I don’t understand why Sullum quoted witnesses about the propriety of these alleged actions. They weren’t there (shouldn’t have been there) to opine. They were there to provide evidence. They have as much right as anyone to their opinions, but I’m not sure why they should be valorized. Why didn’t he stick to their claims about what happened?

    One test I like to use is to consider what would happen if the shoe were on the other foot. Would everybody switch sides? I suspect that is true in this case.

    The fate of this process appears to be in the hands of independents. Polls I’ve seen show that they have moved against impeachment since the hearings began.

    Once this gets to the Senate, the Bidens and Ciaramella will be called to testify. How does that help the project?

    What should happen here is what should have happened to Clinton. Instead of impeachment, the House should pass a resolution to censure the Prez and call it a day. Let the electorate decide his fate.

    1. Hearsay is as good as facts now.

      The left and the Democrats are going into places they know are bad but they can’t help themselves.

    2. “Once this gets to the Senate, the Bidens and Ciaramella will be called to testify. How does that help the project?

      What should happen here is what should have happened to Clinton. Instead of impeachment, the House should pass a resolution to censure the Prez and call it a day. Let the electorate decide his fate.”

      Isn’t Trump likely to be called? Won’t he insist on being given the chance to put his case forward? And the house wouldn’t censure without some investigations to uncover the extent of the actions to be censured. As for the electorate deciding his fate, they did that 2 years ago when they put Democrats in the majority in the house.

      1. They have already held their investigation. Now it’s decision time. The electorate appears to be moving in Trump’s direction at the moment. All subject to change.

        1. “They have already held their investigation. ”

          But Trump and others haven’t had the chance to testify.

    3. You are right that censure would be a smarter way for the House Democrats to handle the matter, considering that the impeachment proceedings are keeping Hunter Biden’s name front and center in the news cycle.

    4. “I don’t understand why Sullum quoted witnesses about the propriety of these alleged actions. They weren’t there (shouldn’t have been there) to opine. They were there to provide evidence. They have as much right as anyone to their opinions, but I’m not sure why they should be valorized. Why didn’t he stick to their claims about what happened?”

      Exactly: They’re not testifying as to personal knowledge of improprieties. They’re testifying, essentially, that they don’t like the President’s foreign policy, and that op-eds in the NYT make him look bad to them.

      Honestly, back in the 70’s I helped found a college chapter of the LP. But if Reason is what the Libertarian movement has come to, I’m now a bit ashamed of that.

  50. I had to make Osso Bucco, risotto and tortiglioni with cannellini beans, oyster mushrooms, onions, and prosciutto cotto for the girls.

    So I couldn’t ask earlier:

    What specifically about Trump is so horrifying, Jacob? I agree he’s hilarious but I think I’m enjoying it differently from you.

    What part of Trump initiating prison and tax reform, First Steps, a strong economy and a non-interventionist foreign policy instinct is so ‘horrifying?’

    Know who were horrifying, Jacob? Hillary and Obama. They fuck shit up in foreign policy, did jack shit economically and left behind a country more divisive than their rhetoric claimed.

    1. “What specifically about Trump is so horrifying, Jacob? ”

      He’s a conman in way over his head. And he’s clueless about how to get what he wants out of congress or the civil servants who are in the White House ostensibly to do his bidding.

      1. Fine. Hardly horrifying.

        Horrifying is going into a damn country and taking its leader out for no fricken reason unleashing a human migrant crisis Europe is still dealing with (specifically Italy) and turning Libya into an unstable failed state.

        THAT’S horrifying.

        1. Italy. As if they had no history there. Perhaps Greeks, Romans, Persians, Byzantine, Arabs, Spanish Hapsburgs, Berbers, and Ottomans had something to do with it as well.

          Libya has never been anything except unstable and failed.

          Yup Obama made a huge mistake. Can’t argue about that.

          Yet he is not the president.

          1. Libya was at least kept under control with that idiot Khaddaffyduck.

            He kept the migrants from flooding Italy as per a deal made between the two countries.

            And then Obama and Hilary decided to mess with Libya for some reason.

            But let’s pretend that wasn’t horrifying. It led to a massive migrant crisis and to the rise of Salvini and Lega Nord.

            NTTAWWT.

        2. Trump’s obsequious stand on the rape of Yemen is horrifying. He is one of the very few people in the world with the power to put an end to it, and he encourages it.

          1. Wasn’t Yemen one of Obama’s playgrounds?

          2. Your complaint is that Trump is not playing World Police????

            Strong.

            1. He’s a conman in way over his head. I mention his war crimes just to underscore the horrific side of the man.

        3. Record low black unemployment is horrifying to Donkeys. How ya gonna keep em down on the plantation if they can support themselves?

          Recall that the Donkeys did not even clap when Trump noted the record low black unemployment in his SOTU address. It was not good news to them.

      2. Record low unemployment, record high stock market, fighting back against China, pulling out troops from conflicts, how exactly is he in over his head? Fighting the deep state? Ok I’ll give you that one.

        1. Ya know what is also at record highs? NBA salaries.

          $102 million cap now. In ‘83 around $3 mil. Thank goodness for the government.

          The government does not create wealth. It does not create these amazing devices we are communicating with. It does not create commerce.

          1. That’s a whole other argument.

        2. “how exactly is he in over his head?”

          He doesn’t know what he’s doing and doesn’t know how to get what he wants. Over a year ago one of his minions at the White House wrote an anonymous op ed in the New York Times severely critical of Trump as an executive and as a man. He’s still there in the White House and just published a book in much the same vein as the op ed. Trump can’t even ferret out a disloyal and damaging employee from right under his nose. He can’t even shakedown Ukrainian politicians without exposing himself to domestic opposition.

          1. Man, you are one guy with no idea how things in reality are going.

            Every single person trying to out Trump from the inside has failed. They are the problem with our government and it shows. While its true that Trump is picking some of these people to work for his Administration some are legacy bureaucrats. Furthermore, Lefties want to limit who will work for Trump (by harassing them, etc). So Trump is left with people willing to work for his Administration who have a shelf life of 1-2 years. Trump gets what he wants out of them and then replaces them. Win-win-win

            1. Trump ran for office on a promise to ‘drain the swamp.’ He can only blame himself for being unable or unwilling to do so.

  51. Listen up you morons.

    The Donald is not a real Republican and the idiots who support him (including you fuckwads) are stupider than the idiots that think WWE wrestling is a fair competition.

    1. “Trump isn’t a real gangster! If you think he is you’re a moron..”, states the gangsters.

      The rest of us non-gangsters just know that America’s Federal Government should be all about our government stopping local and other government(s) – including themselves – from violating Inalienable Individual Freedoms and regulating our interaction with other countries.

      1. And that President Trump is doing exactly that and slowing Making America Great Again one step at a time.

        1. HOW MANY TIME WILL YOU DENY .. SO SHAMEFULLY .. ABSOLUTE PROOF THAT TRUMP LIED TO DEFEND VIOLENT ASSAULT AND MURDER BY NEO-NAZIS AND WHITE NATIONALISTS?

          https://reason.com/2019/11/22/the-evidence-that-trump-abused-his-powers-is-clear-and-convincing/#comment-8024600

          Plus .. he campaigned on a 60% tax cut for HIMSELF (and a select few in the 1%). … ON TOP OF his existing corporate tax loophole! He’d have been a billionaire with a TOP income tax rate of 15%. What’s your top rate, sucker?

          1. What’s funny is you propose that the government NOT stealing earned wealth is criminal..

            As a wise poster once said it perfectly, “Anyone who believes taking less is actually giving is ugly and starts from the wrong side of possession to begin with”.

            If President Trump launched, created or developed a commodity that the people found so nice & necessary they were willing to part with their earnings for what Trump was offering it’s certainly not any fault of Trumps.

            To steal with guns earned wealth isn’t just criminal in itself the whole idea that NOT stealing is criminal is just about at twisted morally as any person can get.

            1. What is it about lefties that makes them believe success is criminal and creating the best items for society (others) clearly marked by that success is some kind of crime? Is it just jealousy, envy or some kind of mental disease?

          2. “HOW MANY TIME WILL YOU DENY .. SO SHAMEFULLY .. ABSOLUTE PROOF THAT TRUMP LIED TO DEFEND VIOLENT ASSAULT AND MURDER BY NEO-NAZIS AND WHITE NATIONALISTS?”

            How many times are you going t shamefully lie about Trumps remarks concerning Charlottesville?

            At least one more time than whatever that number is.

  52. How is it a “dubious allegation” when Biden bragged on tape about using a billion dollars in aid to end an investigation into a company his son is on the board of directors of?

    How the hell is Hunter Biden qualified to be on the board of directors for a Ukrainian oil company when he doesn’t even speak the language?

    1. At the COUNCIL ON FOREIGN FRICKEN RELATIONS no less he boasted about it.

      1. HE DIDN’T DO IT FOR PERSONAL POLITICAL ADVANTAGE, TRUMPTARDS
        AND THE ENTIRE EUROPEAN UNION WAS HOLDING BACK FUNDS — UNTIL THE MAJOR SOURCE OF CORRUPTION WAS FIRED.

        You been brainwashed here, too.

        1. Have you ever heard of killing two birds with one stone?

        2. Considering the nature of those European institutions, that’s like citing the fact that a prosecutor is hated by 2 out of 3 Mafia dons to demonstrate that they’re corrupt.

  53. It’s pretty laughable that in the alternate universe where Hillary won she’d be held to any kind of standard by the media.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wish the media was this adversarial to every President, but they clearly keep the kid gloves on when it comes to Democrats.

    1. They are still wiping the sleep out of their eyes after 8 years of Obama.

    2. Don’t get me wrong,

      YOU SHOT YOURSELF!!!

      I wish the media was this adversarial to every President, but they clearly keep the kid gloves on when it comes to Democrats.

      Your near-total ignorance on EVERYTHING says you follow only the right-wing media.

      These days one MUST follow both sides, the only way to know of your side is full of shit … which is WHY you are so clueless … even here, you say actual sworn testimony is fake. You have ZERO right to peak about what the news media does, by your own choice.

      1. I follow the libertarian side and since the NAP isn’t full of shit I’m sure it’s the right side.

  54. this shit is getting beyond the point of a clown show.
    $Trump2020

  55. I think Trump is unlikely to win in the next presidential campaign. Trump’s leadership during his presidency was not accepted by most American citizens. It has even been angered by some people. Evidence of abuse of power will make his image in the hearts of the people once again affected. https://www.kindpng.com/imgv/bhwo_transparent-donald-trump-thumbs-up-png-donald-trump/

    1. Never underestimate the voting public’s ability vote while holding their nose.

  56. “Clear and convincing?”

    “Abused his power?”

    The corruption by the Bidens IS clear and convincing abuse of power. Suggesting an investigation of this corruption? Not at all.

    I don’t even like Trump but this impeachment nonsense has become absurd. Even Reason has lost its collective mind.

  57. I don’t think words mean what Sullum thinks they mean. And why the hell does Hihn keep linking this retarded article as a justification for his incorrect position on this issue? ///rhetorical

  58. The one thing Trump’s impeachment probably won’t do is sway anyone who does not firmly identify with either camp. That’s a shame, since the conversation about what counts as an impeachable offense is worth having. Instead we have a shouting match between rabid partisans that obscures the important issue of when a president’s conduct is so intolerable that his fate should not simply be left for voters to decide.

    For more on the topic, see these comments, which are as depressing as I expected.

  59. This is without a doubt that the current status of America’s relations with other countries is a little bit worse than what it was in Obama’s reign. Follow the details at https://statuscaptions.com/

  60. I’ll bet you’re shocked… shocked I tell you that a president would abuse his power… And you’re just absolutely stunned that this must be the first president since Nixon to do so.. but wasn’t it just a few years ago that Lois Lerner took the fifth, and Eric Holder stood in contempt of Congress because they refused to speak about the abuses of power exercised by the Obama Administration? Where were you then? The Fast and Furious debacle resulted in the deaths of over 300 Mexican civilians and 2 Federal agents. Why wasn’t there an impeachment inquiry then – especially if Holder became the obvious fall-guy to prevent an implication to the top.

    I’m disgusted with DT if these allegations are true, but they pale in comparison to the crimes committed by the previous administration.

  61. I think its totally admirable evidence according to for a trump. As I see last Trump’s assets on https://networthplanet.com/richest-celebrities/donald-trump-net-worth.html

Please to post comments