Would a Senate acquittal moot some of the impeachment-related subpoena cases?

In theory, at least, the House could continue to investigate possible impeachment proceedings indefinitely, even after an acquittal

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The House of Representatives has issued several subpoenas related to its impeachment inquiry. The Supreme Court may resolve the validity of some of these subpoenas in the near future. Other subpoenas, which are not on expedited tracks, would not be resolved until after the 2020 election.

What happens to the latter category of subpoenas if the President is impeached, and subsequently acquitted in the Senate of all charges? Could the President move to dismiss all pending cases as moot?

Perhaps the House would counter that it needs the information to consider another impeachment inquiry. After all, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not control the impeachment process. (Ditto for the Sixth Amendment.) In theory, the House could enter into a permanent impeachment inquiry–keep searching for new evidence until it can make the case to convict the President.

If the cases do become moot, then many of these cases may never be resolved by the courts.

I highly recommend Charlie Savage's article in the Times. He details how the Trump administration can win, merely by pushing the litigation deadlines beyond the scope of a Senate trial.

NEXT: Trump's Farm Bailout Has Cost Over $10 Billion This Year

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  1. As you say, in theory the House could institute a perpetual impeachment investigation, at least until the voters got tired of it. So I don’t see how, as a legal matter, acquittal would moot the cases.

    But the legal system isn’t run by robots, and I suspect acquittal would have some influence anyway.

    1. If the Dems pick up seats in the election you’ll see more of it, they lose 10 or more seats it will stop, at least until Trump actually does something impeachable, then I’ll join them.

      But you have to be a little understanding of their mental state, they are just frantic. RBG isn’t going to last 4 more years, and their election prospects are dwindling. Trump’s making serious inroads with the Black population, and seems to be at least holding his support with swing state white voters, if not increasing it.

      1. ” their election prospects are dwindling. Trump’s making serious inroads with the Black population, and seems to be at least holding his support with swing state white voters, if not increasing it.”

        Yeah, you could really see this at work when all the candidates Trump backed this year won their elections, and Virginia elected all those Republicans to their state legislature.

        1. Virginia is trending blue no doubt about it, so perhaps are previous purple states like Nevada.

          At the same time former purple states, or even blue states are trending red, like Ohio, which isn’t even in play anymore, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. For every Virginia that used to be red, there is a West Virginia which is now red but used to be solidly blue.

          1. West Virginia is one of those weird cases. Some politicians tried to approach problems in WV by helping them set up alternatives to coal-mining as the pillar of the economy. Others have chosen to claim straight-faced that electing them will lead to the coal jobs coming back.

            Oregon went through the same thing 40 years ago… there were plenty of jobs in timber extraction and processing into lumber, until there weren’t. It took time, and energy, and suffering to diversify the economy. The Oregon Republicans are still pining for the days of plentiful timber jobs, and as a result, they aren’t taken seriously. By continuing to pretend that it’s a good idea to build the economy around coal, the R’s in WV are headed the same direction as the R’s in Oregon.

            They’ve been using gerrymandering to hold on to seats (so have the D’s). The biggest challenge is reviving the minority party in states where they haven’t been able to win much… after a few election cycles of “our side can’t win”, it gets harder to recruit quality candidates, and that just reinforces the “our side can’t win”. But once you get those good candidates into all the races, things start to change.

        2. What would the election have been if you exclude the worthless third worlders from Latin America and Asia who have moved to Northern Virginia in the past 20 years?

          1. Your wet dream?

            1. Damn right. Liberals like to talk about the 1950s with its 91% top marginal tax rate and it being America’s peak of economic success. At that time, America was also known to be white Christian nation and non-whites and women were legally and culturally subjugated.

              1. I’m kinda sorry that things weren’t really the way you remember them. For example, some people remember the 50’s as the Civil Rights Era, and kind of laugh at the way America was paranoid of Commies back then.

          2. It’s not as you put it ‘worthless third world workers’ it’s worthless government workers from our imperial capital in Washington DC that have moved to northern Virginia and changed the electorate.

            I’m not sure if it’s better to quarantine them all in one place or disburse them out into America and hope the infection disapates. But the long term fix is radical surgery to cut out the cancer of a huge federal bureaucracy to destroy the infection outright.

            1. Today’s vocabulary lesson is the difference between “disburse” and “disperse”.

              1. Senior moment, nobody would bat an eye of Biden did it.

                1. True enough. I don’t care what Biden has to say, either. Was landing in that category what you were going for?

  2. “Perhaps the House would counter that it needs the information to consider another impeachment inquiry. After all, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not control the impeachment process. (Ditto for the Sixth Amendment.) In theory, the House could enter into a permanent impeachment inquiry–keep searching for new evidence until it can make the case to convict the President.”

    I think that practicallly and effectively, issue preclusion would apply. (Ultimately, the check on excessive impeachment inquiry comes not from the Court(s), but from the ballot box. The fact that the Senate acquits on charges A, B, and C in no way implies that President Trump won’t generate new charges D, E, F, and G immediately subsequently. Mr. Trump seems to only be capable of finding the restrictions on his authority in the rearview mirror.

    1. “The fact that the Senate acquits on charges A, B, and C in no way implies that President Trump won’t generate new charges D, E, F, and G immediately subsequently.”

      Nor does it imply that the House majority won’t just keep spamming the Senate with frivolous charges. It isn’t Trump generating these charges, it’s the Democrats.

      1. Right. and the court’s largen criminal dockets aren’t the result of people breaking the law, it’s law enforcement’s fault for spamming the courts with frivolous charges.

        1. If the prosecutor keeps bringing charges that he can’t convict on, yes, you blame the prosecutor, not the guy he’s trying to railroad.

          1. “If the prosecutor keeps bringing charges that he can’t convict on”

            Can’t convict in a fair court? Or a biased Senate? The two are not equivalent.

            1. Strange concern about fairness, given the loud ranting around here how the impeachment is political and the House can do whatever it wants and put anything into articles of impeachment.

              1. “Strange concern about fairness”

                You don’t prefer fair courts? Well, I still do.

                1. That’s too bad they are a minority.

                2. I too want a fair court, and I also want a fair prosecution – including an investigation.

                  But impeachment (at least this time, and I wasn’t cogent enough to have a firm opinion on Clinton at the time) appears much more as a partisan attack rather than a true belief in the impropriety of the actions themselves.

                  In the instant case, if we assume the bad version of what Trump did it looks awfully similar to the bad version of what Biden did. If we think one is improper then we should investigate both, and yet, only one is being investigated. So it’s not really the acts themselves, but the actor, and while Cardinal Richelieu had a point, it’s not a society I want.

                  1. “I too want a fair court, and I also want a fair prosecution – including an investigation. ”

                    On the one hand, you have people testifying in open hearings. On the other hand, Trump told nearly all the potential defense witnesses not to appear for Congressional hearings. When one side isn’t given an opportunity to contribute to an investigation, that might be unfair. When they intentionally decide not the participate, their cries of unfairness deserve mockery and derision.

                    1. As we have been told many times, the House is a Grand Jury, not a trial court. Thus why multiple people have not testified, including the whistleblower.

                    2. “As we have been told many times, the House is a Grand Jury, not a trial court.”

                      Being told something multiple times doesn’t make it true. The House isn’t a Grand Jury OR a trial court.

                      “why multiple people have not testified”

                      There are different reasons why different people haven’t testified. One of the reasons why multiple people haven’t testified is because they don’t know anything, and haven’t got anything to testify about. But another reason that applies to multiple people who DO know things worth testifying about is that the President ordered them not to testify.

                      To switch to a criminal court proceeding instead, it would be unfair if the defense weren’t allowed to present witnesses. If the defendant orders the defense counsel not to put on a defense, that’s stupidity at work, but it isn’t unfair.

    2. I think that practicallly and effectively, issue preclusion would apply. (Ultimately, the check on excessive impeachment inquiry comes not from the Court(s), but from the ballot box.
      You agree that the proper way to address this President’s claimed abuses, is at the ballot box. Please explain to Dems this simple solution.

  3. In theory, the House could enter into a permanent impeachment inquiry–keep searching for new evidence until it can make the case to convict the President.

    I thought we were already doing that.

    1. Pretty much, but until this summer it wasn’t openly acknowledged.

      1. Yeah, people keep forgetting about all the impeachment articles they kept submitting before this summer. Why do people keep forgetting about those?

        1. Probably because the earlier impeachment articles, (Such as this one.) didn’t get as much press.

          1. Gosh, Brett, when was this impeachment article passed and submitted to the Senate? You’d think that would have made at least some of the papers when it happened.

            1. I’m unaware that ANY impeachment articles have passed and been submitted to the Senate. FoE was talking about perpetual investigation, not continual impeachment articles.

              1. “I’m unaware that ANY impeachment articles have passed and been submitted to the Senate.”

                And yet there you were, claiming there had been.

                1. I said there were earlier impeachment articles, and linked to one set. I didn’t say they’d gone anywhere.

                  1. “I said there were earlier impeachment articles”

                    But you were asked about earlier impeachment articles that had been submitted to the Senate. Which is why your attempt to evade the question you were asked so was so egregiously ridiculous, and your attempt to defend your attempt at evasion doubly so.

    2. In theory, the House could enter into a permanent impeachment inquiry–keep searching for new evidence until it can make the case to convict the President.

      In theory, the police could keep searching for new evidence to establish that the suspect was in fact guilty.

      1. Because it’s more important to convict a specific person rather than determine if a crime was actually committed. At least you have the Attorney General of New York to keep you company.

    3. It’s permanent failure theater.

      Failure theater was such an effective strategy for the GOP establishment the last 20 years that it looks like the Dems have adopted it as their own, thank God.

      You can tell it’s a complete failure because Trump’s approval rating right now at the end of Nov, is exactly the same as Obama’s was 8 years earlier leading in to his reelection campaign, based on the RCL poll average. To be sure Trump’s disapproval rating is a whopping 2 points higher.

      Impeachment Failure Theater was a successful failure, the made a meangless gesture, which probably means we will get more failure theater.

      1. “You can tell it’s a complete failure because Trump’s approval rating right now at the end of Nov, is exactly the same as Obama’s was 8 years earlier leading in to his reelection campaign, based on the RCL poll average. To be sure Trump’s disapproval rating is a whopping 2 points higher.”

        The mistake the D’s made in 2016 was the same mistake the R’s made in 2008… not taking the competition seriously. In 2008, the R’s acted as if keeping the Presidency was a done deal, and they were just arguing among themselves as to which R would be the one chosen. The D’s did the same thing in 2016… Americans couldn’t POSSIBLY be stupid enough to actually vote for that buffoon… but it turns out they could possibly be that stupid.

        Now, if they’re stupid enough to vote for that buffoon AGAIN, well, they’ll get what they deserve.

        1. If the Democratic bench is so deep you had a bunch of dynamic candidates that could beat Trump, why is the field looking so underwhelming this year?

          1. “why is the field looking so underwhelming this year?”

            Because (duh) there’s too many of them, dividing the vote. You know, the same thing that happened to the R’s in 2016.

            Trump won the R primary by dividing and conquering, then beat Hillary by not being Hillary. Not being Hillary probably won’t be enough in 2020, just like not being W won’t get you a Peace Prize like it would in 2009.

  4. The left (Daily Kos) is already saying that if he is acquitted, they will just try again. The only purpose of this impeachment effort is to prevent the President and Congress from getting any other work done.

    The Democrats simply can’t accept the plain fact that they lost the 2016 election, even though they were the ones who cheated. They control the media and thus the narrative (at least for those who still get their news from the media), but they are still nothing but liars, cheaters, and sore losers. I realize this forum frowns on this kind of negativity, but a civil debate where the facts aren’t allowed to be spoken is worse than none at all.

    1. Quit whining.

      Or not.

      How you prepare for your replacement is a personal choice. If you want to go out whimpering and whining, be my guest.

    2. The Democrats simply can’t accept the plain fact that they lost the 2016 election, even though they were the ones who cheated.

      Two lies in one sentence. Not bad, but you’ve got a way to go to catch your hero.

    3. and Republicans cannnot accept the fact that they lost their majority in the House, the institution that is directly elected by the people. If only there weren’t so many “checks” and “balances.” ARRGGG!!!

      1. I accept it, it’s pretty much expected that the voters are going to take away a congressional majority from a president after 2 years.

        How long did Obama keep his?

        1. “How long did Obama keep his?”

          About as long as it was accurate to say that (certain) people couldn’t accept the fact that he won the 2008 election.

    4. “They control the media and thus the narrative (at least for those who still get their news from the media)”

      Luckily, they don’t control the people who get their news from your ass.

      1. I’m sure many people have gotten many things from Cuckland’s ass…

        1. So you have THAT in common, too?

          1. I ain’t never go the clap from Cuckland and ain’t never want to have it again!

  5. Seems like the House has means to moot the OP. Just don’t vote to impeach until all the subpoena’s have been answered. Let the process take as long as it needs.

    Or impeach on some articles, and hold for a later vote any other articles which depend on unanswered subpoenas. That, at least, would put the onus for a protracted process where it belongs, on the unresponsive witnesses, and on Trump.

    The longer the process lasts, the more presently-unexpected incrimination the investigation will turn up, as reluctant witnesses steel themselves and come forward.

    1. “The longer the process lasts, the more presently-unexpected incrimination the investigation will turn up, as reluctant witnesses steel themselves and come forward.”

      You realize that presumes there actually are crimes to find, right? If there aren’t, the process can last forever without more incrimination turning up.

      Just another example of the way Trump’s enemies can’t even conceive of him not being guilty.

      1. The fact that you can conceive of it doesn’t make it true. It’s possible he’s guilty, it’s possible he’s not. It’s possible he’s a space lizard pretending to be a human being, it’s possible he’s not.

        He did hold up aid to Ukraine to try to get them to claim to be investigating the Bidens. I suppose it’s possible that the space lizards take turns pretending to be that particular human being, and the one currently playing him isn’t the same exact space lizard who did the crime. It’s possible…

        1. “He did hold up aid to Ukraine to try to get them to claim to be investigating the Bidens.”

          Or perhaps to get them to actually investigate the Bidens; There’s that assumption of bad faith surfacing again.

          1. There’s that assumption of bad faith surfacing again.

            For which there is ample evidence.

            1. And yet it’s still a conclusion, not a known fact, which is constantly elided.

              I used to have this discussion with my students years ago: there are known facts, and there are inferences. The inferences most likely to be true have the most known facts that all correlate with it being true, and the least that are anti-correlated.

              But when you say that A, B, and C are true, when what you know is merely that A and B are true, and you infer from them that C is true you’re trying to pass of an inference as a little own fact, which is inherently misleading.

              And in a context like this, where you need to convince people who may not like the President, but aren’t already convinced, it’s an especially counter productive strategy, because it essentially says “I don’t have actual facts to back up my assertion, so I’m just going to assert that it’s true.”

              If instead you present your known facts, explain why you think those suggest a specific inference, and then address why other known facts neither refute it nor cast doubt on your inference you might be able to convince someone to adopt your beliefs. But this tactic isn’t one that will work, just like the “long form birth certificate” argument didn’t work on people who didn’t buy into it because they wanted it to be true.

              1. “I used to have this discussion with my students years ago: there are known facts, and there are inferences. The inferences most likely to be true have the most known facts that all correlate with it being true, and the least that are anti-correlated. ”

                Hopefully, they had other teachers that taught them better.

                Fact: That direction is east.
                Fact: I observe the sun on the horizon that direction.

                From this I infer the fact that it is morning. The fact that it is moming is not dependent on the number of other inferences I’m making, it’s based on the invariability of the facts used in the inferernce, and the accuracy of my observation.

          2. ” There’s that assumption of bad faith surfacing again.”

            On your part, maybe. I didn’t assume anything.

    2. Or treat the failure to comply with valid subpoenas to be a separate article of impeachment, as the House Judiciary Committee voted in Article 3 of the Nixon matter.

      1. Most certainly, it’s a crime for a person to defend themselves.

        1. Not at all. Get a subpoena, show up and take the Fifth. No crime. Of course, if it’s one of those subpoenas which says bring these documents, then it can get tricky. The documents can’t take the Fifth. And yeah, defending yourself by destroying the documents is a crime.

          The problem with your argument, Iowan, is that innocent people don’t have to worry, and guilty people do. All those State Department witnesses who got subpoenas? Not a worry in the bunch.

          That’s what happens when you give investigators reason to haul you in. Guilty people worry, innocent people don’t. That isn’t a flaw in the process, it’s what the process is about.

          1. “That’s what happens when you give investigators reason to haul you in. Guilty people worry, innocent people don’t.”

            That’s some fantasy world you live in.

            1. “That’s some fantasy world you live in.”

              Mr. Pot? Is that you? Have you met Mr. Kettle before?

          2. President Trump has executive privilege. Communications with his close advisers is exempt from Congressional oversight. Schiff is claiming the House Article I sec. 2 impeachment powers pierce that executive immunity. President Trump has seen no vote telling him the House is conducting and impeachment inquiry.

            Both sides claim they are within their legal rights to exercise their actions.

            It rests with the courts to decide.

            All of this is nothing more than self defense of the President.

            To claim different is ignoring facts you cant argue against.

            1. “President Trump has executive privilege. Communications with his close advisers is exempt from Congressional oversight.”

              Like other privileges, that doesn’t grant a general immunity from being called as a witness.

              To claim different is ignoring facts you cant argue against.

              1. President Trump has legal advice that in fact, notes that communication between the President, and his advisers is exempt from congressional oversight. Simple separation of powers doctrine. That is the basis for the Presidents refusal. The requests are simple congressional oversight. A legal disputed between co-equal branches of government.
                The House could address the legal question, with a simple vote by the full house to commence Article I sec. 2 impeachment hearings.
                Pelosi has made a calculation that since removing the President is beyond the will of the people, she will be content with just dirtying up the President for the upcoming election.

                But in the end, POTUS executing his article II powers is not a crime, or impeachable. Making such a claim is proof of desperation on the lefts part.

                1. “President Trump has legal advice that in fact, notes that communication between the President, and his advisers is exempt from congressional oversight.”

                  If his legal advisors have never heard of Nixon, they’re not giving him very good legal advice.

                2. “But in the end, POTUS executing his article II powers is not a crime, or impeachable.”

                  Apparently, you’ve never heard of Nixon, either.

        2. “Most certainly, it’s a crime for a person to defend themselves.”

          WTF are you blubbering about? None of the people who defied subpeonas were defending themselves.

          1. They haven’t testified. How do you know what they are protecting themselves from.
            You have the best mind reading act. Do you do private parties, or do you also to bigger venues?

            1. Are you intending to be taken seriously?

  6. I see nothing in the Constitution that says that the house can’t continue indefinitely with something entirely moot. It could work on new impeachments for Clinton.

    Others are correct, the check is the ballot box. When will voters turn against reelection of Congresmen?

    1. “I see nothing in the Constitution that says that the house can’t continue indefinitely with something entirely moot. It could work on new impeachments for Clinton.”

      There’s that part where they have to stand for re-election every two years. They only get to keep pestering poor, poor, Mr. Trump as long as they are still Representatives. And after he is no longer President, the job of hassling him goes to various prosecutors.

      1. No, I think a prior president could still be impeached, even if they’d served two terms already. As they could still be President another two years.

        Waste of time assuredly, but nothing beyond that.

        1. Yes but impeachment and conviction in the Senate does not block re-election.

          1. anorlunda, presumably impeachment, conviction, and a vote to bar holding further office would block re-election? Or are you positing an election after which the winner cannot be sworn in? What happens then? The Vice President elect immediately gets sworn?

            1. ” presumably impeachment, conviction, and a vote to bar holding further office would block re-election?”

              Being impeached removes the President from office. It doesn’t bar being elected to office subsequently.

              1. “Being impeached” above is shorthand for “being impeached by the House AND convicted by the Senate”.

              2. But with a vote to do so by the Senate, there can be a bar against further office holding. Are you suggesting that a subsequent election victory by a candidate who is barred from holding the office is a thing?

                1. The Constitution says “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.”

                  Neither Congress, nor courts can change, or add to those qualifications except by constitutional amendment. Impeachment, conviction, and removal from office do not contribute to the qualifications.

                  1. In the Constitution, anorlunda, the impeachment clause subtracts from those qualifications, saying:

                    Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States;

                    Practice in previous cases involving impeachment of judges establishes a rule that a separate vote subsequent to the vote on removal decides the question of disqualification. In two such cases, it has been done by a simple majority vote.

                    1. You are misreading the text.

                    2. For Presidential Impeachment, is there a vote to convict, then a separate vote to bar from future office? If a second vote, how is that called for. McConnells choice? Senate action, Senate Rules?
                      I’ve learned alot from Schiff. Rules govern, majority can write any rules they want.

                    3. “For Presidential Impeachment, is there a vote to convict, then a separate vote to bar from future office?”

                      Nobody knows, since there’s never been a vote to convict.

                      So, probably, it would come down the McConnel. Quick question… would he rather deal with Pence, or with Trump?

                      … are you sure?

                  2. James, really? You must set me straight. Where do you think I have it wrong?

                    1. If setting you straight had any effect, I’d take you up on it.

        2. “As they could still be President another two years. ”

          How, exactly? They can’t be elected to either the Presidency or Vice Presidency. You figuring on the two-term President who takes the job of Secretary of State for a successor, only to watch the duly-elected President AND Vice-President drop dead of strokes simultaneously, while the Speaker of the House and Senate President get a bad case of acute heart trouble?

        3. “even if they’d served two terms already. As they could still be President another two years.”

          Ah, actually, once you’re past 1.5 terms, you’re ineligible to run for President again, or be VP. 22nd amendment:

          ” No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. “

  7. Law as practiced in the United States is often about nothing more than the use of money to muster power that stonewalls others until they give up or run out of resources. The practical impotence of the courts is, sadly, well illustrated by these cases.

  8. I hope the Demokrats try to run another impeachment investigation after this one fails. All they have after all that digging are a few diplomats complaining about being fired (all for good reason) and a lot of hearsay about why something that might have happened that never did.

    1. That, and Trump’s disastrous handling of the federal government, is all they’ll have going into next November. Is coddling war criminals enough of a problem for Trumpfans to turn away from him? How about his impenetrable wall that already has holes in it? Is selling out one of our limited number of allies in the Middle East enough? How about all that missing money that was supposed to come from his tax cut? Not a problem for you? OK, then.

      1. Seems the federal government has been run pretty well the last three years. Maybe not if you are fat government bureaucrat who used to like a power base in the swamp, big 100K salary to buy McMansion in Virginia, and “business as usual” in DC. But to everyone outside economy is humming along, black unemployment is almost nonexistent for the first time in the history of the nation, and the wall is finally going up. Can’t wait for another 4 years.

        1. “Seems the federal government has been run pretty well the last three years.”

          When you build your worldview on fantasy rather than reality, the results can’t be relied on. That’s the lesson of listening to Trump.

        1. public approval ratings.

          1. Better than Obama’s

            1. Obama is slightly less likely to be re-elected, either.

              1. James Pollock
                November.27.2019 at 7:46 pm
                That, and Trump’s disastrous handling of the federal government,

                At least you have confirmed, President Trump is performing the duties of President, at least as good as his predecessor, Obama.
                (strange Obama wasn’t under constant impeachment threats since before he was inaugurated)

                1. “At least you have confirmed, President Trump is performing the duties of President, at least as good as his predecessor, Obama.”

                  I’m afraid your skill at reading for content appears to be subpar.
                  In point of fact, neither was qualified for the Presidency when elected. Obama knew this, and learned on the job. Trump denies this, and thus hasn’t learned much, if anything.

                  “(strange Obama wasn’t under constant impeachment threats since before he was inaugurated)”

                  Not strange at all. Two factors affected that. First, impeaching Obama would have taken effort, and the R’s in Congress preferred inaction. Second, they learned from impeaching Clinton that doing so without a strong public case for impeachment was counterproductive.

    2. Jimmy,
      You remind me of the OJ Simpson case. When there was a mountain of evidence of his guilt, but also evidence that Mark Furman was a bit of a racist and a bit of a dick. You were the ones loudly screaming, “If there are 137 pieces of evidence showing that OJ is guilt and 1 piece that is suspect or tainted, it means that OJ must be innocent.”

      When I’m faced with that sort of delusional reasoning, I admit that I’m sorta stumped . . . does it even make sense to try and have a logical discussion with a 3-year-old?

      1. If there was a mountain of evidence no one is showing it. I watched most of the hearings and it was just a parade of professional bureaucrats complaining about Trump, most who never met the guy, and some conjecture about a whistleblower who was set up by Clinton lawyer. But hey who is counting.

        1. “If there was a mountain of evidence no one is showing it.”

          Scroll up.

          1. Nobody is disputing that there’s a mountain of allegations that Trump had bad motives for doing things Presidents are routinely permitted to do.

            1. They’re routinely permitted to violate the Impound Control Act?

              They’re routinely allowed to withhold appropriated taxpayer dollars in exchange for personal political benefits?

              They routinely request ‘public statements’ of investigations into their political rivals, without any intention of having any investigating done?

              They routinely reverse course on their illegal behavior only after learning that they’ve been caught?

              They routinely claim anyone and everyone who’s worked for them has ‘absolute immunity’ from testifying – not only about oversight, but about the crimes they’re being investigated for?

              I don’t think so, Brett.

              1. Yes it is called the purview of the executive branch. Funny how under Obama everything was just alright and OK. Get Trump in office and the “resistance” would want to impeach him for looking cross at Grossi Pelosi.

                1. Your understanding of the Constitution, and it’s limits on Executive power, are marginal at best.

                  Also, nobody cares about your complaints about Obama right now. One President’s alleged bad behavior (let’s face it, that’s the argument you’re really making) does not excuse the next.

                  Until such time the Constitution changes, every President should be held accountable for their crimes. Right now, that starts with Trump.

                  1. Equal protection is not a constitutional tenet.

                    1. It has been since 1868.

                2. ” Funny how under Obama everything was just alright and OK”

                  You might have been fine with it, but shockingly, not everyone was.

              2. “They’re routinely allowed to withhold appropriated taxpayer dollars in exchange for personal political benefits?”

                There’s that “allegations of bad motives” I was talking about.

                “Withhold appropriated taxpayer dollars”? Fact, but a routine action by Presidents. Look at, for instance, Biden threatening Ukraine’s money if they didn’t fire that prosecutor: Exactly “withholding appropriated taxpayer dollars”.

                “in exchange for persona political benefits”? Allegation of bad motive.

                1. The evidence of his bad motives is overwhelming, and consistent across literally EVERY witness, to which they have testified under penalty of perjury. It’s also in the transcript, as well as his public statements on television.

                  I suggest you look at the Impoundment Control Act. You are woefully uninformed, even for a Trumper. Amusingly, you ignored the rest of my comment.

                  And we all know why – you have no defense for his behavior, other than pretending it isn’t what it most certainly is.

                  1. It’s not “evidence” of bad motives, it’s “assertions” of bad motives. All it’s telling us is that the witnesses don’t like Trump. We could have guessed that.

                    You can’t be guilty of perjury for testifying that you think, assume, feel, that somebody did some act for bad reasons. You’re testifying to your own mental state, that’s generally a pretty safe topic.

                    I suppose testifying to hearsay is a little bit more risky, but not much more.

                    1. Yeah, these witnesses all don’t like Trump. That’s why they’ve (mostly) served for decades under administrations of both major political parties without ever once testifying about impeachable offenses until now.

                      Especially that Sondland guy. Can you believe he dislikes Trump so much that he gave him $1M for his inauguration fund? I sure wish that people disliked me that much.

                      You can stop now though. You’ve convinced me of your stupidity and willingness to ignore reality (and facts you can’t refute).

                2. ““Withhold appropriated taxpayer dollars”? Fact, but a routine action by Presidents. Look at, for instance, Biden […]”

                  Brett, do you need a refresher to remind you that we don’t have a President Biden, and never have?

            2. “Nobody is disputing that there’s a mountain of allegations that Trump had bad motives for doing things Presidents are routinely permitted to do.”

              Duh.
              But, for some reason, you’re disputing the mountain of allegations of things Presidents aren’t routinely permitted to do… that he’s admitted having done.

              Clinton was impeached for lying about having sex with someone who wasn’t his wife. Trump was doing that on day one.

              1. Clinton was impeached for lying about having sex with someone who wasn’t his wife, under oath, in court. And other related acts of obstruction, such as suborning perjury from others. It’s news to me that Trump has committed perjury, as opposed to lying, which pretty much all politicians do as a matter of routine.

                1. Anything else irrelevant you’d like to add, or is this batch of irrelevancy all you wanted to go with?

  9. Next up – if the House impeaches the late Richard Nixon, can they get a court order to disinter Nixon’s body and put it in the defendant’s dock?

    1. Probably will be the next tortured headline on CNN trying to compare impeaching Trump to Nixon because the left has to draw comparisons to everything modern day back to their hay day in the 60’s and 70’s in order for boomers to still feel relevant.

      Then the media will ignore the latest violence against a Trump hat wearing dude in favor on a non-story “Black man walking down sidewalk magically harassed and tasered by police for no reason” story.

      And also fail to mention any of the sex scandals someone left of center are involved in like Sondland who seems to have used professional state department bureaucrats as his concubines, Bill Clinton’s latest, Biden’s ability to remember where he is at any given point in time, or the big DNC donor who had a problem with giving too much cocaine to male prostitutes, or just fail to report the all too convenient fact that Epstein didn’t commit suicide but oh well nothing to see here. Oh and how a major news agency won’t investigate Democrats because, well, just because, but Trump is fair game.

      Good times all around.

      1. “Then the media will ignore the latest violence against a Trump hat wearing dude”

        But darn it, they DO keep mentioning the latest violence BY a Trump-hat-wearing dude. Didn’t they get the message that there are fine people on both sides?

        Fine people.
        Both sides.
        Such a shame that some of them are murderers.

        1. Funny don’t see any real violence by hat wearing Trump supporters. I’ve seen some clear video of self defense when the police let antifa descend upon them unchecked. Sure you don’t have any right to police protection, but if the cops aren’t going to do their jobs, you can hardly blame some for engaging in self defense (which is probably a right under the Second Amendment).

          1. “Funny don’t see any real violence by hat wearing Trump supporters.”

            Guess those two dead people on the Portland train are really crisis actors, pretending to be dead just for the fun of it?

            1. That is one of the worst kind of straw men arguments ever perpetrated on these boards. You should be ashamed of yourself.

              The perp in that case was mentally ill and was never wearing a trump hat.

              1. Sorry, didn’t realize you were allowed to substitute your own facts for the actual facts. Yeah, I guess if you’re allowed to decide that the Trump fan who killed those people was “mentally ill” rather than “a Trump fan”, then that WOULD be different. But he was a Trump fan (not sure how “mentally ill” rules that out, anyway).

                Or is “facts you don’t find convenient” what you call “the worst kind of straw man argument”?

                1. He was not a “trump fan”. His beliefs were all across the border from some being “control the means of production” socialism to some which would be associated with being a “neo-nazi”.

                  Quit trying to justify a horrible strawman example.

                  1. I’m sorry the facts are not as you’d prefer. If you’re going to stay in your imagination, where the facts ARE as you wish, there’s no point in discussing them out here, in the real world.

        2. There are are murders on the left:
          Gavin Eugene Long
          Micah Xavier Johnson

          1. “There are are murders on the left:”

            Dimwit, there are murders in any group large enough. Well, maybe not among the “comatose”. But seriously, bad behavior among one group doesn’t excuse bad behavior among another. Most people learn this by about age ten.

  10. I don’t know what the House will do, but it’s a safe bet that several of the Conspirators will continue to chew the cud of TDS for the remainder of their professional careers. (And probably thereafter, if anyone in Sarasota will listen to them.)

    1. And you’ll still be on your knees, begging to unzip Trump’s pants with your tongue.

    2. It took about 20 years for the liberals to get over Reagan beating Carter. They were really mad about that until Clinton got into office. But what the left and media did to Reagan pales in comparison to how they have treated Trump. And now that they took off the gloves, don’t expect any kind of civil treatment for the next D who is the White House. It is going to be full blown quiet civil war until the log jam breaks and the revolution becomes televised.

      1. Jimmy, get off the tribalism. It’s not safe.

        Since Hoover, Republicans have served up some okay presidents, and three duds. Democrats nicely tolerated Eisenhower, Ford, and H.W. Bush. They did nothing outlandish against W. Bush, dim as he was. Nixon, Reagan, and Trump got treatment they earned personally, not because Democrats launched tribal attacks to retaliate. Because people knew he was senile, Reagan did not get the impeachment he earned.

        Republicans need similar discernment. Anything else will spark a majoritarian backlash Republicans will regret provoking. If Republicans keep up the tribalism McConnell uses now, political institutions, norms, and expectations Republicans rely on will change to their disadvantage, starting with the Supreme Court.

        For quite a while, Republicans have been a minority party, bullying the majority, while fatuously relying on structural protections decreed by the Constitution. Those protections will last as long as the majority permits, and not longer. Remember, the majority are sovereign. Being sovereign means you get the government you want.

        Of course, you may number yourself among those hankering for a full-on challenge to the People’s sovereignty, settled by force. If so, recall that famous quote from Jefferson, about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It was the blood of people like you he had in mind.

        1. “Because people knew he was senile, Reagan did not get the impeachment he earned. ”

          Nah. Because he was hugely popular, Reagan did not get the impeachment he earned.

          1. Oh yeah forgot the universally known “Orange Man Bad” justifies anything rule…

      2. “It took about 20 years for the liberals to get over Reagan beating Carter. They were really mad about that until Clinton got into office”

        And the right has been fuming over Clinton winning ever since. (Whereas they welcomed Obama, and worked with him).

  11. “In theory, the House could enter into a permanent impeachment inquiry–keep searching for new evidence until it can make the case to convict the President.”

    How would this look different than what we have now?

  12. I believe that the Senate could cite the Alcee Hastings impeachment of 1989 to indicate that there’s always a workaround for double-jeopardy claims.

    Hastings was acquitted in a jury tryal but was impeached on the same basic facts – I think he was alleged to have lied in his jury trial, falsely claiming to be innocent.

    Which seems to be an excellent way to get around the picky technicality of double jeopardy. Put someone on trial who claims his innocence, once he’s acquitted try him again for lying when he said he was innocent, and so on ad infinitum.

    The Senate ignored the warnings of journalist James Kilpatrick (who shall we say was of a different political orientation than Hastings).

    https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1989-03-24-8903240324-story.html

    So never mind that the Constitution makes only one exception for double jeopardy where impeachment is concerned – an impeached person who is *convicted* can still be indicted. There’s no exception for acquitted persons, but apparently the Senate created one, so there’s that precedent we can work with.

    (Incidentally, Hastings is now in the House)

    1. “Which seems to be an excellent way to get around the picky technicality of double jeopardy.”

      Which technicality are you referring to? The technicality that impeachment doesn’t create any jeopardy, so it isn’t even single jeopardy, much less double?

      1. Hmm…I’m looking for your explanation of why the Founders created an exception to a non-existing principle by providing that those who are impeached *and convicted* can still be indicted.

        1. ….and of course you may very well have an explanation – after all, you’ll notice that I acknowledged the Hastings precedent and how the Senate found its way around double jeopardy. Maybe you can be as smart as a Senator, who knows.

          The point is that you simply expect people to take you at your word without your having to give any argument. As if you’re putting on your rubber gloves and reaching into your…capacious store of knowledge.

          1. “The point is that you simply expect people to take you at your word without your having to give any argument”

            Yes. Because it’s at the same time that simple, and that obvious. Being impeached (and convicted) results in no jeopardy. The only way you’d think otherwise would be if you didn’t understand what “jeopardy” means.

            1. Since it’s you, simple and self-evident probably aren’t enough, granted.
              Here’s the deal. Even if impeached and convicted, placing Mr. Trump in jeopardy of imprisonment requires an entirely different proceeding, one that follows all the ordinary rules of crimimnal procedure. THAT proceeding produces jeopardy, but impeachment (and conviction in the Senate) does not.

              1. Where to start? How about with the fact that your observations are irrelevant.

                Once again, if you and the Senate in the Hastings trial are right, maybe that’s true. Maybe you *are* as smart as a Senator.

                Of course, there’s the text of the Constitution:

                “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

                I’ll leave it to you to Google the phrase “expressio unius est exclusio alterius” and to attempt to understand why that phrase is relevant to the above passage.

                While you’re figuring it out, I’ll note that if the Framers had wanted to allow for the re-prosecution of people who had been impeached and *acquitted,* they could have drawn up language to that effect.

                And more to the point for the present post, here is the claim we’re dealing with:

                “In theory, the House could enter into a permanent impeachment inquiry–keep searching for new evidence until it can make the case to convict the President.”

                If this means they can violate double-jeopardy, then of course you (and the Senate in Hastings’ case) might be on board. But multiple impeachments on the same charge, *in the same tribunal,* don’t relate the activities of the regular courts.

                1. “‘In theory, the House could enter into a permanent impeachment inquiry–keep searching for new evidence until it can make the case to convict the President.’

                  If this means they can violate double-jeopardy…”

                  It doesn’t mean they can violate double-jeopardy. Because (duh) being impeached doesn’t even create single jeopardy.

                  Somehow, you keep adding 0 jeopardy to 0 jeopardy and coming away with an answer of 2 jeopardies. That was stupid when you did it the first time, and it is doubly so when you choose to continue to do so.

                  To get to double jeopardy, you first have to get to single jeopardy, which impeachment DOES NOT CREATE. Is that too complicated for you?

                  1. You don’t have the facts or the law on your side, so you’re simply pounding the table.

                    You seem to think it was an oversight on the part of the Framers to add the words “or acquitted” to “the party convicted.”

                    And I see you didn’t Google the phrase “expressio unius est exclusio alterius” – it’s a Latin phrase meaning that there are rock collections more intelligent than you are.

                    1. oversight on the part of the Framers *not* to add

                    2. …but I’ll still admit you’re as smart as a Senator.

                    3. “You don’t have the facts or the law on your side, so you’re simply pounding the table.”

                      You’re using this adage incorrectly. It isn’t the one you’re supposed to use when you’re the one insisting on being stupid.

                      “I’ll still admit you’re as smart as a Senator.”

                      You’re not.

                    4. As I expect you know Eddy, impeachment isn’t criminal. Double jeopardy doesn’t apply.

                      And if you’re calling JP dumb, you’re also calling the OP dumb: After all, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not control the impeachment process. (Ditto for the Sixth Amendment.) </i<

                    5. Have you tried Google yet?

                      Suppose I compared you to a Senator. Now suppose I compared you to an imbecile. But I repeat myself.

                    6. “As I expect you know Eddy, impeachment isn’t criminal.”

                      Even if that were so, you’d at least have to call it a hybrid or quasi-criminal proceeding.

                      “Double jeopardy doesn’t apply.”

                      Then why did the Framers establish an *exception* to double jeopardy in the case of persons *convicted* in the Senate (but no such exception for people *acquitted* by the Senate)?

                      “After all, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not control the impeachment process. (Ditto for the Sixth Amendment.)”

                      Those provisions weren’t in the original Constitution, yet the Framers put in a limited exception from double-jeopardy principles in the case of impeachment. An exception, just to be clear, which applied to *convicted* persons, not *acquitted* persons.

                      So they made an *exception* to the rule of double jeopardy, but didn’t recognize the rule itself?

                      “And if you’re calling JP dumb, you’re also calling the OP dumb: ”

                      No, because the OP tries to argue for its position instead of insisting you take their word for it.

                    7. If anyone were entitled to take a table-thumping, fundamentalist attitude, it would be the ones saying impeachment *is* a criminal procedure. After all doesn’t Article III clearly say “The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury”?

                      But not being a fundamentalist, I shan’t avail myself of this advantage, since it’s possible that the Founders reversed course by adopting the Sixth Amendment – without an impeachment exception, though without any intention of changing impeachment procedure.

                      But then you’d have to admit that the issue is at least complicated, and you’d realize you need to have an explanation ready for the textual language which goes against your position, just as the fundamentalist has to have an explanation ready for the polygamist passages in the Bible.

                    8. “Even if that were so, you’d at least have to call it a hybrid or quasi-criminal proceeding.”

                      No, you don’t.

                      “Then why did the Framers establish an *exception* to double jeopardy in the case of persons *convicted* in the Senate”

                      Because they didn’t.

                      “the Framers put in a limited exception from double-jeopardy principles in the case of impeachment.”

                      Except that they did not.

                      Here’s the deal. Cite some Constitutional text that precludes multiple impeachment. While we’re waiting for that to happen, this text from Article I, Section 2, controls. “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

                      See what that says? “sole power”. Not “sole power, except when…” sole power, no exceptions.

                    9. “then you’d have to admit that the issue is at least complicated, ”

                      It’s not, despite your inability to understand it. You’ve invented and tried to apply an exception that doesn’t exist, despite being told it doesn’t exist. Then you keep scrambling to cover your mistake rather than admit you were (so obviously) wrong.

                    10. It’s easier to talk to a fundamentalist railing about what the Bible CLEARLY STATES than to reason with someone who sees no ambiguity in the impeachment clauses of the Constitution.

                      Saying “no it doesn’t” isn’t an argument, it’s a tantrum.

                    11. “cover your mistake”

                      lol get off it

                    12. And here’s a challenge for *you* –

                      find a precedent in federal impeachments, state impeachments, or impeachments from England, which illustrates your OBVIOUSLY TRUE position. That is, that someone who’s acquitted can be re-impeached on the same charges.

                      You can even look in all the Commonwealth countries. There may be some precedents in there to surprise me.

                      I would presume that some impeachment trial has discovered this OMG SO OBVIOUS pro-double-jeopardy principle.

                    13. “find a precedent in federal impeachments, state impeachments, or impeachments from England”

                      The Constitutional text cedes sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives. It does not cede that power to federal courts, state courts, nor England. You’re grasping at straws, and there aren’t any straws to grasp.

                    14. ““The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

                      “See what that says? “sole power”.”

                      You mean the Chamber of Commerce of Omaha, Nebraska can’t impeach anyone, only the House can do so?

                      You’ve certainly refuted the pro-impeachment faction in the Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Good work!

                    15. “You’re grasping at straws, and there aren’t any straws to grasp.”

                      So you mean to say you can’t find a *single* precedent supporting the position you’ve taken on a legal blog?

                      Your arguments so far have been a combination of “nuh-uh” and “you suck.”

                      Pounding the table.

                      Just to return to one of the many, many points you’ve ignored, how do you account for this part of the text: “The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury”?

                    16. Here’s a hint, Eddy… when you’re looking for precedents regarding the US Constitution in judicial opinions from Commonwealth countries, that’s a pretty good sign that your argument has gone off the rails, and not just gone off the rails, but also fallen off the bridge, and been fully submerged.

                    17. No, I asked you to find a *single* precedent from *anywhere* – federal state, or for that matter anywhere else – which backed up your fundamentalist position.

                      If you had a precedent you would have produced it by now.

                      So you got nothing.

                    18. “So you got nothing.”

                      Exactly. Impeachment produces 0 jeopardies. Nothing.

                    19. You’re not exactly an advanced thinker, are you?

                      Repeating assertions continuously, without responding to any information which tells against your case and which at the very least requires an explanation…quite remarkable.

                    20. Eddy, you’ve started talking to yourself.

                    21. I know you are, but what am I?

                      And all this, simply because you couldn’t understand a simple legal phrase (“expression unius” etc.) nor find any precedents of any kind to support a legal theory you advanced on a legal blog.

                    22. ” simply because you couldn’t understand a simple legal phrase”

                      Your simple legal phrase doesn’t have an application here, but you don’t want to hear that.

                      Meanwhile, your problem comes from not understanding what “double jeopardy” means, and that one’s in English.

                    23. “nor find any precedents of any kind to support a legal theory you advanced”

                      Since you need it in Latin, res ipsa loquitur.

                    24. Beware of snake-oil salesmen who say that their preferred interpretation of ambiguous language in the Constitution is not only correct, but that there is no possible reasonable way to read it otherwise.

                      While it doesn’t directly cover my challenge, if Pollock were smarter he’d have cited the Alcee Hastings trial in 1989. While that case didn’t involve a previous acquittal in the Senate, it did involve an acquittal by a jury, so Pollock could have reasoned by analogy to say that the precedent was close enough for government work, and met my challenge.

                      Of course, I pre-empted that argument by discussing, and criticizing, the decision in the Hastings trial, and linked to some arguments against the result.

                      In any case, if these impeachment trials aren’t governed by normal trial rules, then would it even be possible to invoke these trials as precedents?

                    25. “While it doesn’t directly cover my challenge”

                      You forgot to offer a challenge.

                      “would it even be possible to invoke these trials as precedents?”

                      I addressed this in my very first posting on this article.

                    26. “You forgot to offer a challenge.”

                      Eddy
                      November.30.2019 at 6:37 pm

                      And here’s a challenge for *you* –

                      find a precedent in federal impeachments, state impeachments, or impeachments from England, which illustrates your OBVIOUSLY TRUE position. That is, that someone who’s acquitted can be re-impeached on the same charges.

                      You can even look in all the Commonwealth countries. There may be some precedents in there to surprise me.

                      I would presume that some impeachment trial has discovered this OMG SO OBVIOUS pro-double-jeopardy principle.

                    27. “And here’s a challenge for *you* –”

                      So, I answered your “challenge”, but you never bothered to address mine.All you did was complain about being corrected, without ever answering.
                      I call that no challenge at all.

                    28. …and I didn’t “complain about being corrected.” I said you were dumber than a rock collection and no smarter than a Senator.

                  2. I cited the relevant text, whereas you didn’t find a single precedent. I had to do even that part for you.

  13. “how do you account for this part of the text: ‘The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury’?”

    By pointing out to the dim that the President can be impeached for committing crimes? By pointing out to the exceedingly dim that if the President is impeached for committing crimes, the impeachment trial is conducted by the Senate? By pointing out that both “dim” and “exceedingly dim”, as used here, refer to you, Eddy?

    1. Are you naturally this stupid, or just when you’ve been overcome by TDS?

      1. Time and again, you’ve shown you’re simply too dumb to notice what you’re missing (besides basic intelligence that is).

        You don’t realize the implications when there’s an exception in a law, for those cases not covered by the exception.

        In fact, a volume could be written about the points you’ve missed. It would fill a constitutional law textbook.

        1. “You don’t realize the implications when there’s an exception in a law, for those cases not covered by the exception.”

          If there was an exception, which there is not.

          Intelligent people don’t have to care about the implications of things the exceedingly dim make up.

          1. The Bible-thumping preacher on the corner with his sandwich board going on about the wickedness of the Illuminati, is more coherent, and more responsive to evidence, than you are.

            1. And you’re not responsive to logic at all. I win.

      2. Apparently, I’m just naturally this smarter than you are. Why do you bring up TDS? Do you feel it excuses your (lack of) performance?

        1. You can tell the smart people because they’re the ones clamorously insisting that they’re “this smarter than you.”

          1. I’m sorry it bothers you.

            Well, not really.

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