Impeachment

Nancy Pelosi Calls for Articles of Impeachment, Citing Need To Curb Trump's Overreach, Abuse of Power

It's great to see Congress assert its role in checking the power of the executive branch. But is this too little, too late?

|

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has officially called for articles of impeachment to be drawn up against President Donald Trump, making him just the third chief executive to be thus called on the carpet. (Richard Nixon would have been the fourth, but he resigned before the House voted on articles of impeachment.)

In her brief remarks, Pelosi, who many Trump opponents had criticized for dragging her heels on impeachment, invoked the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution while saying that House hearings have established that the president abused the power of his office for personal gain and obstructed congressional investigations.

The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security, by withholding military aid and crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival….

His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our constitution. A separation of powers, three co-equal branches, each a check and balance on the other.

You can watch Pelosi's full statement below (she appears around the 30-minute mark):

For his part, Donald Trump prebutted the announcement with a pair of tweets calling for a "fast" and "fair" trial in the Senate:

This momentous occasion demands that we think outside of our partisan affiliations and the current hyperpolarized scene. Impeachment is always and everywhere a political act. As Gerald Ford, then a Republican congressman from Michigan, said in the years before Watergate brought down Richard Nixon, an impeachable offense is "whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers to be at a given moment in history."

So it's good to see Pelosi invoking the Constitution's call for a balance of powers among the branches of the federal government. There is no question that the executive branch has been too powerful for decades and it's long past due that Congress assert its role as what Sen. Mike Lee (R–Utah) has called the "first among the federal government's three co-equal branches." Not surprisingly, Lee and other Republicans seem less interested in reining the president when the White House is occupied by a fellow representative of the GOP.

But precisely because it is so fully a political act, impeachment is one of the worst ways to rebalance the branches of government. For all of the 21st century and much of the 20th, Congress has abdicated its role in all sorts of ways. It has not passed timely and balanced budgets; it has not insisted on a declaration of war before U.S. troops go into battle; it has given the executive branch carte blanche to create an unaccountable administrative state in which bureaucrats write and enforce their own rules.

Whether or not Donald Trump is removed from office—and whether or not he deserves to be—the impeachment process is likely to exacerbate partisanship and the worst sort of short-term thinking. In the current climate, results will be less about enduring structural reforms than how to get payback in the next election cycle. When George W. Bush was president and flouting any restraints on his power, the Democrats were up in arms—until Barack Obama was elected, and then the sides switched. For a brief, shining moment after Trump beat Hillary Clinton, liberals fretted that the executive power they lauded when Obama wielded it was a terrible, terrible thing. As they sniff victory in 2020, those concerns have once again faded.

There is a strong, principled, libertarian case that we don't impeach presidents as often as we should. In fact, Gene Healy of the Cato Institute made that argument in 2017 and will be making an expanded version of it in an upcoming issue of Reason. But that is not the case that is being made now by House Democrats.

Even as she invokes George Mason to defend impeachment—the founder asked "Shall any man be above justice?" while making the case to include a means of removing presidents who acted like kings—it's hard to believe that Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats aren't simply engaging in mere politics to remove an opponent who they fear will win reelection. For god's sake, some Democrats were talking about impeaching Trump before he even took office and Hillary Clinton still can't admit he won. Similarly, it's impossible not to accuse Republicans of bad faith when they rush to defend actions by Trump that they denounced under Obama. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) was the guy who famously said that his party's only legislative goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president (as with budget restraint, the GOP failed miserably).

Until congressional leaders can credibly show that they will enforce the same standards of behavior on their fellow party members, I think impeachment and similar actions will only pour gasoline on the dumpster fire that has been American politics for all of the 21st century. Rather than extinguishing the flames, it will turn up the heat. And those of us who stand outside of the lowest form of political tribalism will get burned.

NEXT: Pelosi Moves Forward With Impeachment; Rand Paul Wrong on Devin Nunes' Phone Records

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. When this fails I can’t wait for Reason to promote the impeachment of Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler.

    After all, this whole thing is a charade to overthrow an elected official for purely political reasons.

    cant fucking wait.

    1. When even a transcript and a the statement of the Ukrainian president himself don’t derail the DNC’s hearsay train, you know the fix is in.

      What disgusts me here with Reason’s coverage is the blanket support for innuendo and hearsay as evidence.

      1. That, and the absolute refusal to consider that maybe investigating Hunter Biden is a totally legitimate thing to ask for.

        I don’t doubt Trump did it for political reasons, but Hunter Biden’s situation stinks to the high heavens and there’s probably real corruption there worth investigating. If we don’t allow corruption investigations by political rivals we’ll never have any corruption investigations. Lord knows the Democrats wouldn’t investigate one of their own.

        1. Especially if we fire the guy doing the investigation.

          Which laughably is exactly what the Ukranians did with the guy investigating Burisma

          1. Biden also bragged, on camera, about being behind that; essentially having quid pro quo around that guy’s firing.

            I guess that’s only a problem when the orange man does it.

            1. That is really it. There really is no use trying to invoke double standards hypocrisy etc. because the only standard that matters is “Orange Man Bad”

              If somehow creepy feely Quid Pro Joe becomes president everything will just return to normal swampy

              1. here’s some swampy..
                one of the law professors that testified is employed by Michael Bloomberg. Yes, that’s correct. Feldman is employed by the media empire run by a 2020 political rival.

                1. Good for him. Neither of them appears to support the unfettered “right” to malign others with inappropriately deadpan “parody.” And in that regard, nothing is too little or too late, as long was we all agree to support the enhanced law-enforcement efforts undertaken by Bloomberg and his able team (perhaps not technically associated with him…) to silence our nation’s leading criminal “satirist.” See the documentation at:

                  https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      2. These allowances of hearsay, suspension of due process and the rule of law only apply to Trump or anyone associated with Trump.

        So Nick is a libertarian (maybe?) except when it comes to Trump .

        1. It’s part of the mean tweets exception.

        2. Evidently, Mr. Gillespie traded his libertarian credibility for clicks. A click whore.

    2. Who could ever have expected that politicians would be political?

      1. When someone quotes Ford on impeachment, you know that they don’t understand impeachment.

      2. If it were just politics.

        The scariest thing about this impeachment isn’t that it’s a power struggle between Congress and the Presidency, it’s not, because Congress doesn’t want to claw any power back.

        It’s a power struggle between the Bureaucracy and Trump, and the Democrats are the party of the Bureaucracy.

        Chuck Schumer laid it out for Trump before he was even inaugurated: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you”. Of course Congress already knew that, when Brennan’s CIA got caught hacking the Senate Intelligence committees servers when Feinstein was Chairman were there any consequences? No, maybe because they knew she was employing a Chinese spy, and she didn’t want it out before her reelection. Schumer is probably speaking from experience.

        1. Oh, please. The Republicans have their share of responsibility for building Federal bureaucracy.

          1. Keep your head firmly stuck up your own ass, mike.
            It’s where your progressive pleading belongs

    3. This article did not provide facts of Trump’s over reach. That is not how journalism works. If they are going to make an accusation, at least provide the facts or evidence. What is not stated here is that the US has a treat7y with Ukraine signed by Bill Clinton that both countries would assist each other in matters of corruption. That will be brought out in the senate hearing. The president of Ukraine has stated multiple times that there was no bribery, or quid pro quo, yet the Dems are still going forward. Why is that? When/if it gets to the senate, Schiff, Pelosi, Nadler, and all of the 2nd and 3rd hand knowledge witnesses will all be subpoenaed. They either show up or go to jail.

      1. “If they are going to make an accusation, at least provide the facts or evidence.”

        Their friends at WaPo said it, what more do you want? It’s not like they’re currently highlighting their “investigative journalism-ing” while asking us for money

    4. Except reason did support many times the impeachment of Obama.
      Memory sure is selective when playing the tribalism politics game.

  2. Using Nancy’s reasoning, we should impeach nearly every federal judge.

    1. Using Nancy’s logic, she should impeach herself.

      I for one am glad to see Democrats are finally on board with helping Trump win reelection this election season.

      We have not seen this kind of Democrat support for Trump being elected since 2016.

  3. In fact, Gene Healy of the Cato Institute made that argument in 2017 and will be making an expanded version of it in an upcoming issue of Reason. But that is not the case that is being made now by House Democrats.

    So after all these years of undeclared wars, drone strikes, assassination of American Citizens, the US of the IRS and DOJ to go after the President’s political enemies and the rest of the expansions and abuses of executive power that have occurred an in many cases documented by reason and CATO, suddenly in 2017, CATO decides that “hey you know we don’t impeach President’s enough”.

    You have to be fucking kidding me. You really do. For the first 16 years of the 21st Century, Reason and CATO never once thought Impeaching a President was a good idea, this despite two Presidents, one from each party, by Reason’ and CATO’s own assessment, spying on the American public, launching illegal wars, abusing the powers of the FBI and IRS for political purposes and a list of wrong doing too long to be fully listed here and never once did either call for the President’s impeachment. The fucking year Trump takes office and suddenly impeachment is this great thing.

    How do you sell out your integrity that badly? Does CATO and Reason pay that well? Is learning to code that hard?

    1. Reason won’t hit its fundraising goal for a reason.

      If Trump had started more wars, Reason would be less inclined to impeach him. I mean, they never once called for Obama’s impeachment…

      1. Not a single time.

        reason is a joke and they wont get a cent from me.

        1. I donated once, because I figure I get that much entertainment from the comments. But the leftism from the writers is becoming stifling (not even laughable), and they’re based in kalifornia, so no more $$$ while they are party of the problem.

      2. Not even when he ordered the assassinatin of a US citizen (albeit a grade A asshole) without due process.

        1. I was trying to reply to the comment about Reason never calling for Obama’s impeachment.

    2. You know, it was only after Obama was elected that I really understood the damage that Bush had been causing for years. I’ll happily admit that Obama, a person I truly loathed, led me to reinterpret a person I had defended too often.

      Cato was a reliable anti-government set. If it took until Trump for them to realize that we should impeach every president, I’m fine with that. At least they are being even handed about it. And while we are at it, let’s impeach every member of Congress and the Senate. Maybe a couple SCOTUS Judges too.

      1. They are not being even handed about it. If a Democrat is elected in 2020 or 2024, their position will change. There is nothing about their history that suggests this is a heartfelt change of opinion.

        Even by their own standards, Trump is guilty of things nowhere near as bad as the things they accused Bush and Obama of. Moreover, their sudden change of heart came with Trump’s election before he had ever done anything. They are phonies.

        1. My read of the 2017 article was that it was a reaction to all of the calls for impeachment. Everyone was suddenly talking about impeachment, and so this specific author said, “Yes…and…we should be impeaching everyone much more.” They didn’t suddenly find impeachment necessary, they were specifically calling out the people who only now are interested in impeachment, saying “Where the fuck were you guys over the last 20 years??”

          1. Yea they kinda of did just find it.

            You are not claiming that Reason is in any way shape or form consistent in regards to libertarian stuff are you?

            They are consistent in their “Orange Man Bad” meme though.

            1. But reason did called for Obama’s impeachment… Many times.

              Now, to test yourself if your position is partisan or not, just swap the names in the article, and explore if you feel the same.

                1. I started visiting 2 years ago, so it’s possible I missed it.
                  Would like to see those articles

          2. It does call for Trump’s impeachment. And as far as the “where have you guys been for 20 years” claim, that would be a valid one except that CATO had never called for impeachment either. They are just as guilty as the people they are criticizing.

          3. //As Charles Fried, Reagan’s solicitor general, observed, “there are no lines for him…no notion of, this is inappropriate, this is indecent, this is unpresidential.” If the standard is “unacceptable risk of injury to the republic,” such behavior just may be impeachable. An impeachment on those grounds wouldn’t just remove a bad president from office; it would set a precedent that might keep future leaders in line.//

            If this is Healy’s ultimate conclusion, I don’t see why it wise or libertarian. Perhaps I am going out on a limb, but this seems like an endorsement of the principle that boorishness and a bad attitude alone are sufficient predicates for impeachment provided some loose argument can be made these personal characteristics are an “injury to the republic,” whatever that means.

            //As it happens, there’s precedent for impeaching a president for bizarre behavior and “conduct unbecoming” in his public communications.//

            So, impeachment over mean tweets? Really?

            1. Reason continues to confuse the short bus for the gifted kids.

            2. I just saw you wrote this in the Jonah Goldberg thread. Since that thread is dead, let me just say this is a great quip.

              Smoking weed and grumbling about parking tickets doesn’t make you a libertarian.

              Bravo.

              1. 🙂

      2. At least they are being even handed about it

        No they aren’t. They want Trump impeached because their sole source of financial support is Chuckie Koch and Chuckie Koch hates Trump. They have absolutely no principles and have never called for the impeachment of any other president at any time in the organization’s history.

      3. I’d be OK with impeaching everyone. It would keep them all busy and out of our hair.

        1. While complete chaos might seem appealing, there are actually some government functions that some of us Americans want the federal government to perform.

          National defense and border security are two functions.

          The problem is we dont have a tiny and limited federal government not that Presidents serve 4 or 8 years.

          Look at motive for Democrats trying to set an impeachment precedent for the best President in over 80 years. This is a desperation move because the Democrat Party is dying in national politics.

          1. Many oriole here think things would be wonderful with no border security whatsoever.

    3. Reason seemed to support impeachment of George W Bush over undeclared wars here.

      1. Broken link.

          1. Even that is not an endorsement. It just matter of factly reports someone else demanding impeachment and concludes

            Right or wrong, that a relative mainstream insider like Bamford has come to these conclusions is significant.

          2. Oh, you mean where the quote someone who thinks bush should have been impeached based on the debunked theory that he lied to get into the iraq war and that clinton was only impeached because he lied and not because he actually perjured himself?

            Yeah, that works.

    4. CATO called for impeaching Obama over drone strikes here.

      1. Nat Hentoff anyway. Some publications only allow commentary that basically follows the Narrative.

        Some allow some dissent.

      2. Hentoff was a guest columnist. He never worked for CATO. So, they published one article in 16 years calling for impeachment over drone strikes written by a guy who didn’t even work there.

        Not seeing how that helps your case but okay.

        1. Mthe equivalent for Reason would be if the only article they published on impeaching Trump was one by Sheldon Richman.

          And I’m surprised they stopped publishing his bullshit. Did he praise a trump for being less hawkish than his predecessors or something?

    5. Reason defends the idea of expanding impeachments here, well before Donald Trump.

      1. I’m not convinced that any of President Obama’s recent scandal eruptions constitute an “impeachable moment.”

        That’s a full-throated endorsement.

      2. Yes it does. But it also says

        I’m not convinced that any of President Obama’s recent scandal eruptions constitute an “impeachable moment.” But surely something’s gone wrong with our constitutional culture when opinion leaders treat the very invocation of the “I-word” as akin to screaming obscenities in a church.

        So whatever Heely thought the standard should be expanded to include, it still didn’t include the things Obama did which were much more significant than anything Trump is accused of.

        In 2012, Healy is all about having more impeachments but not really for Obama and starting illegal wars. In 2017, Healy suddenly is ready to impeach Trump for saying mean things on Twitter.

        That link proves my point better than the links I gave do. Thanks.

    6. What in the flying fuck are you talking about? How are Trumphumpers this universally stupid?

      1. Strong argument there

      2. “What in the flying fuck are you talking about?”
        No, what in the flying fuck are you talking about?

        “How are Trumphumpers”
        “Trumphumpers”

        Oh dear, it’s retarded.

  4. Wow…Three law professors testify for 8 hours, and that is all it took to convince the Speaker of the House that we need to undo the results of an election. Remarkable.

    My question to the Speaker is why wait until Xmas? I mean, Hannukah starts 12/20. Hell, why not call the vote for this Saturday 12/7, Pearl Harbor day. Certainly seems apropos since this impeachment is like a sneak attack on truth, reason and logic.

    1. And at least one of them says that this impeachment attempt is stupid and wrong.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcoc6Y4Iusc&feature=emb_logo

    2. My question to the Speaker is why wait until Xmas?

      Indeed, do it this afternoon. Every second Trump remains in power our democracy is being further irreparably damaged.

    3. Did you watch her announcement?
      I’ve seen cartel hostages that looked more enthusiastic.
      She knows it’s a loser but can’t figure a way out

      1. I mean, what do you think is going to happen if by some miracle, she wins? Do you really think the half of the country that supports Trump will be ok with it? That they’ll take it lying down, or hell, that they’ll accept the election results of anything that puts a democrat in charge? This is how you get JFK’d. If the laws don’t matter anymore, then there’s no reason to submit to them.

        1. I think there is a hare brained scheme to spring some “new” accusation in the Senate.

    4. A process that started in August (four months ago) is a “sneak attack”?

      1. Last August? It started the the morning after the November 2016 election.

        1. Even earlier. The first known impeachment articles go back to April or May of 2016.

      2. A sneak attack on truth, reason and logic….yes Escher. Shabbat Shalom.

  5. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security, by withholding military aid… every. single. time. he opens his mouth about NATO.

    1. I wonder what their thoughts are of Obama who, despite Congress passing legislation for military aid to Ukraine, declined to send ANY. Ever.

      1. “In declining to send that aid, he abused his power at the expense of our national security, but not for his own personal political benefit. So totes OK.”

        1. Well, yes, that is “totes OK.” What you’ve paraphrased is a difference of opinion, not an impeachable offence.

          1. Wait, absolutely refusing to do your job is totes OK to you, but doing your job is impeachable if a Democrat gets targeted for legitimate possible wrongdoing that also possibly aids you?

            1. Yes, I was replying to Rich who seems to think that “at the expense of our national security,” is some sort of objective measure when – as he and the Democrats use the term – it really only means “did something of which we disapprove.”

              If you were responding to me then I’m sorry but I don’t follow the point you were making.

    2. Barrack Obama was caught on a hot mic telling the Russian Foreign Minister to hold off on demanding anything until after his re-election when he would have “more flexibility”.

      At the time he was roundly criticized for lying to the public. But no one as far as I know ever said he “abused his power” whatever that means. Yet, by the standard being applied here, he should have been impeached.

      1. “abused his power” whatever that means.

        Obviously it means political onanism.

      2. Exactly right, John. By the standard some here are pushing all policy disagreements are grounds for impeachment. “That approach we dislike harms our country’s X… therefore impeach!”

        This is all because the left have no notion of loyal opposition.

        1. Totalitarians don’t do opposition

        2. Democrats have no loyalty. They hate America and everything it stands for. The only thing America is good for is a platform for transformative Marxism. Which is what Obama meant when he said he wanted to fundamentally change America, and why his wife said she was never proud of her country prior to his election.

          The modern democrat party is largely comprised of Marxist traitors. Nothing is too depraved for them. They’re even starting to openly lay out justification for pedophilia and cannibalism.

          Their growing boldness at attempting coups proves so every ugly things have to happen to deal with them.

          1. HEAR, HEAR!

  6. I’m glad that congress is finally stepping in to stop his selfish, self-centered, politically motivated abuse of power.

    The last three years of selfless, patriotic residence, discredit, and pressure to remove the president are finally paying off.

  7. “It’s great to see Congress assert its role in checking the power of the executive branch. But is this too little, too late?”

    WTF? This impeachment farce is too little to late and is to be applauded as an appropriate check of executive power?

    What bizarro world am I living in?

    1. Well, de Rugy had a piece this morning about how the upcoming continuing resolution was an opportunity for Congress to bipartisanally pass spending cuts so I’m guessing somebody over there spiked the cocktails with LSD is as good an explanation for the delusions as anything.

  8. Here is Reason contributor Steve Chapman talking about the infamous “I will have more flexibility” Obama remark to the Russians.

    https://reason.com/2012/04/02/fraudulent-fears-of-a-second-term/

    Oddly, he wasn’t bothered by this incredible abuse of power.

    1. Here is the reason staff talking about the remark after the 2012 election. Oddly, no mention that it was an abuse of power.

      https://reason.com/2012/11/07/russian-leaders-congratulate-obama-on-se/

      1. What is the argument that this ‘hot mic’ comment constitutes an abuse of power?

        1. It is using his power as president for domestic political benefit. The argument is Trump can’t use the power of the Presidency if it benefits him polically. Here, Obama is using his powers as President to convince the public he was tough on the Russians for his own political benefit and not that of the country.

          It is the same thing. You are no doubt too dishonest and stupid to understand that but it is. Reason and CATO are tying to criminalize foreign policy.

          The whole idea of something “being an abuse of power” yet not illegal is a non sequitur. If it is legal, the President has the authority to do it and it by definition not an abuse. Something that is legal cannot be an abuse. Saying it is an abuse without also saying it is a crime is just an admission that there is nothing wrong with it other than that the speaker doesn’t like it.

          1. Something that is legal cannot be an abuse. Saying it is an abuse without also saying it is a crime is just an admission that there is nothing wrong with it other than that the speaker doesn’t like it.

            See also “tax loopholes” (legally avoiding paying taxes because the law has specifically been provisioned for it) and “oil subsidies” (legally depreciating assets in the exact same way that every other similarly situated corporation is entitled to under the US tax code).

            1. It is such an Orwellian term. What makes something an “abuse of power” if not the law? How in the world can that term ever be clearly or reasonably defined without reference to a law?

              1. Morality and ethics.

                1. There’s a morality and ethics guide on foreign relations for domestic gains? Especially applied to a situation where the suggested abuse of power is predicated on an analogous abuse of power?

                  Sounds like an “I’m just making shit up and calling it morals to claim the high ground.” situation to me.

                2. Government enforced morality and ethics is remotely libertarian?

                  Or, are you saying that everything immoral should also be illegal?

                3. If morality and ethics are a factor in abuse of power, then all deMocrats should be removed from every appointed or elected position they hold.

          2. //The whole idea of something “being an abuse of power” yet not illegal is a non sequitur.//

            Precisely.

          3. The whole idea of something “being an abuse of power” yet not illegal is a non sequitur.

            Oh come on. As I mentioned before, if a manager “asked a favor” of his subordinate to wash his car and mow his lawn, that manager would be abusing his power, even though it wouldn’t be illegal (provided that the “favor” wasn’t on company time). Because he is taking advantage of the power differential in the workplace to obtain a personal benefit that is unrelated to workplace-related duties.

            Suppose a professor asked one of his students out on a date. Would that be an abuse of power? It wouldn’t be illegal.

            There can be plenty of things that are legal but yet are an abuse of power. They generally revolve around power differentials.

            1. Or quid pro quos such as ignoring violent drug groups linked to hamas in order to get your signature agreement paving a way to an iranian nuke while giving them over 100BB. Or sub-rosa deals with foreign governments to help out your campaign (cf. Obama/medvedev)

              But that’s different because they care for the poor just like you.

              1. Pedo Jeffy even cares for child molesters in foreign countries having a tough time. So much so that he wants to bring them all here to rape our children.

            2. Oh come on. As I mentioned before, if a manager “asked a favor” of his subordinate to wash his car and mow his lawn, that manager would be abusing his power, even though it wouldn’t be illegal (provided that the “favor” wasn’t on company time).

              That manager would only be guilty of an abuse of power if the terms of the person’s employment said they were not supposed to do personal favors for their managers. Suppose I ran a business and decided that I wanted my managers to concentrate on their jobs and therefore put in the terms of employment that my lower level employees had to take care of personal tasks for them. Indeed, this happens at law firms all of the time. Law firms want their lawyers to never leave the office and pay secretaries and admins to do all kinds of personal chores for the attorney’s.

              So, the example you give is an abuse of power, provided it violates some rule against doing it. Or in other words, in this context without violating a law, there is no abuse of power.

              1. That manager would only be guilty of an abuse of power if the terms of the person’s employment said they were not supposed to do personal favors for their managers.

                Well, yes. Which is why I wrote in my very next sentence:

                Because he is taking advantage of the power differential in the workplace to obtain a personal benefit that is unrelated to workplace-related duties.

                If the employment contract required the employee to perform these tasks, then they are “workplace-related duties”. But if not, then they’re not, and it’s an abuse of the manager’s power.

                1. chem…in your manager example, the conduct you describe IS illegal. I don’t see how it applies to impeachment.

            3. Jeff is now claiming secretaries are unethical because Jeff is fucking stupid.

              Employment laws do in fact describe job taking and protections against various tasks outside of a job description. Youd know this if you ever held a fucking job dumbfuck.

              1. Jeff is now claiming secretaries are unethical

                Why are you lying about me, Jesse?

                1. Pedo Jeffy, you’re just some dumb Toronto university student who probably has never worked a day in his life.

            4. It is infantilizing to insist that an employee is incapable of saying, “No can do,” if he or she cannot do the favor or has no desire to do the favor for his or her boss.

              Properly understood, asking for a favor actually surrenders a portion of the manager’s power precisely by giving the employee the option of saying, “no,” (in a situation where the employee could have otherwise been rightfully ordered to comply) or, “yes,” (in a situation where the employee was not obligated and now holds the manager in his debt).

              Premising “abuse of power” on “power differentials” may be all the rage in Marxist circles but it is logically a nonsense. Actually power differentials are the only thing that allows power to function.

          4. No, they’re trying to criminalize foreign policy that they don’t like. That’s how laws work, isn’t it? You only have to follow the ones you like?

        2. That it is exactly the same thing Trump is being accused of right now. If it wasn’t abuse of power then, it isn’t abuse of power now.

        3. The fact that you had to ask is amazingly stupid.

        4. Comments like this is why we perpetually pester you about being a closeted leftist.

          If you cannot even bother to try to speculate how Obama’s promise to be more flexible with the Russians until after his reelection is troubling, or an abuse of power, then you are being deliberately and willfully blind to the implications.

          That is not the stance a neutral observer would take.

          And, yet, here you are again, commenting solely to defend leftist excesses and improprieties from scrutiny.

          But yea, totally “down-the-middle-hate-both-sides” all day long.

          1. This is the same guy who was willing to convict because he thought trump was “capable” of committing a crime.

            21st century has out orwelled orwell.

          2. It doesn’t take much of brain to understand the meaning of having more flexibility after an election. Obama didn’t want to be accused of being soft on Russia because not so long along if you recall the Democrats were the ones cautioning against taking an aggressive posture towards Putin. They were wrong in retrospect and they’re paying for it.

          3. I honestly don’t see how it is an “abuse of power”, at least not in the same context as what Trump is alleged to have been doing. And it has nothing to do with Obama saying it, I don’t think any president saying what he said would have been abusing power. And yes that includes Trump. What is the favor he is asking? For more time to complete negotiations on some missile defense issues. He’s not asking a favor of “hey, could you investigate Mitt Romney’s kids” or “hey, could you investigate to see if you have that RNC server in your basement”. He’s not asking the Russians for a favor to help him win the election, he’s asking them for a favor to defer some issues IF he does win the next election. I think the analogy between this case, and what Trump did, is very strained.

            1. You’re the one who continues to ignore a ukranian court found cause of 2016 election meddling. You ignore 3 democratic senators telling Ukraine in a letter they will withhold funds unless they help vs Manafort. You ignore Obama’s cash payment to iran before they would sign the agreement. You ignore various cash deals to get other countries to take Gitmo prisoners off our hands. And I could go on and on. All were in pursuit of obama political goals. Full stop. Yet you’re too fucking stupid to recognize it.

              1. Wow that’s quite a gish you’ve galloped there.

                1. Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014. Obama did jack shit about it, since he was pressing his “Russian reset” for years (with Hillary tagging along for press tours). If Crimea had occurred in 2012, Obama would have been in a very inconvenient spot. There would have been pressure to respond in an aggressive way. The lack of a response would have damaged Obama chances for a reelection. After the election, he would be more flexible. And, he was.

                  At around the same time, Hillary was cashing in from the Clinton Foundation’s dealing with Russia:

                  https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

                  Obama gets reelected. Clinton completes all her deals.Russia takes Crimea.

                  Nothing to see, I suppose.

                2. Gosh Pedo Jeffy, you have no real response when confronted with facts. Next time this all comes up, you will pretend like none of it ever was and repeat your discredited bullshit yet again.

                  This, and your enthusiasm for child rape, are among the reasons you are universally hated.

            2. //He’s not asking the Russians for a favor to help him win the election.//

              Neither was Trump.

              “But wait! That’s different!”

            3. chem….Obama made that ill-considered remark in the context of on-going missile defense negotiations with Russia. Obama then proceeded to pull missiles out of Poland/Romania, which you can argue was detrimental to US security interests.

              I don’t think Obama’s flexibility comment was impeachable.

              OTOH, POTUS Obama trading the Taliban Five for Bergdahl was impeachable IMHO, because congressional notification provisions of the relevant law were explicitly and deliberately violated.

  9. If Trump had a lick of sense he’d say his dealings with Ukraine were merely a kinetic military action. “No boots on the ground, no wrong-doing can be found” is how one eminent Constitutional scholar put it, I think.

  10. >>>This momentous occasion demands that we think outside of our partisan affiliations and the current hyperpolarized scene.

    cute you think this is a thing.

  11. It says a lot that I look forward to Nick’s articles these days. Back in the day, his “Pox on Both Houses” attitude drove me batty, because it always seemed to be an attempt to blunt criticism of the left by blowing up some what-about-ism.

    His articles haven’t changed, but the rest of Reason has. The constant drum beat of Vox-worthy articles that report Dem talking points like they are noted facts, and dismiss republican talking points as controversial assertions. ENB, Binion and Solum really need to sit back and breathe- maybe read their articles a couple times before posting.

    1. Impeaching the President for the lawful use of his office in a farce proceeding that doesn’t result in his removal and in fact makes him more popular with his base and with independents is not checking executive power. It is in fact expanding it. If Trump ever does do something worthy of Impeachment, his chances of surviving it are greatly increased by Congress disgracing itself and debasing the use of the power like this.

      1. I agree. We should be talking about impeaching Trump over falsely using #NationalSecurity to push his own protectionism through tariffs that were never passed by Congress. An actual abuse of power.

        It would be much easier to prove that Chinese manufactured Christmas lights aren’t vital to national security than he-said she-said quid-pro-quo.

        1. I agree. We should be talking about impeaching Trump over falsely using #NationalSecurity to push his own protectionism through tariffs that were never passed by Congress. An actual abuse of power.

          No its not. He has the power to do that. You just don’t like it. Your example is only slightly less idiotic than the current one.

          1. It’s like all these people testifying that a Trump acted improperly by not listening to them and setting his own foreign policy. Which is laughable as foreign policy is what the sitting resident says it is. Not what some bureaucrat thinks

            1. Foreign policy is what the President and Congress decide together. The President is not a king or emperor. A good example of this is that when Congress authorizes a military aid package, the President is supposed to make a good faith effort to deliver it.

              1. No, much of foreign policy is at the discretion of the president. He doesn’t have to clear everything through Congress. And some disgruntled deep state functionary is not the arbiter of any of this.

                Hopefully this educated you so your commentary improves.

          2. He has the power only under certain circumstances, among those is National Security, and his executive orders have invoked national security as justification. Maybe you think that the entire list of goods that Trump has taxed imports from China on are vital national security interests, but it’s on Trump and his administration to prove that. They haven’t as far as I’m concerned.

            Look, I’m not saying we should necessarily impeach or remove Trump from office for anything, even tariffs. I’m saying that if impeachment is a valid check on abuse of power, that Trump’s tariffs at least seem like they could be a valid abuse of power. It would be worth having oversight and hearings on this from Congress. If we want to talk about removal of a President, let’s focus on those actual abuses of power, not just the ones that have Team Blue scrambling because one of their own can potentially take political damage over.

        2. Holy shit leo. Interactions with foreign government is literally in the domain of the executive. How are you so wrong on this? Presidents have always had the power to allow tariffs.

          1. The power to allow? Haha.

            Trump is raising tariffs, not allowing them. That is a delegated power to Congress and Congress alone. If these tariffs are so necessary and popular, then put them to Congress and do it the right way. Don’t tell me it’s vital to national security for Trump to achieve his policy goals. That is literally the definition of abuse of power.

        3. Leo, I have news for you. Get pissed at Congress for the tariffs. Why? They expressly delegated their powers to the Executive.

          That is one reason why I am now interested in SCOTUS non-delegation cases that will be argued in the not so distant future. In particular, I’d like to read Gorsuch’s reasoning.

    2. if they wrote shit we agreed with everyone wouldn’t call them names all day … half my fun

  12. When congress finally has the balls to put to a vote actual legislation (as opposed to proxy laws via regulation enacted by an administrative beauracracy) and is willing to face the consequences from their constituents, I will finally think they are actually doing their job.

    Until then, they are just a bunch of pussies avoiding a public record to be held accountable to.

  13. As much as I dislike Trump, I am finding it difficult, when looking at the last six Presidents, to identify one (excepting, perhaps, H. W. Bush), who didn’t abuse the power of their office.

    But, it’s a political side-show, anyway. And, nought in the way of any actual change will come of it, sadly. It is painfully apparent that Congress, and a good deal of the American public, really seem to want a king, and not a president. As far as Pelosi and her fellow Dems, well, she just doesn’t like her current “king.”

    1. (excepting, perhaps, H. W. Bush)

      He was head spook at the CIA during Operation Condor, invaded Panama on flimsy pretenses and invaded Iraq at the request of the House of Saud.

      1. somewhat invaded Iraq and signed the New Taxes bill

      2. Yeppers. I just KNEW I had forgotten that. So, six for six?

      3. “”invaded Iraq at the request of the House of Saud.””

        We kicked Iraq out of Kuwait after Iraq invaded. Iraq started that war.

    2. AlbertP….The fact is, every single POTUS has abused their office at least once. All 45 of them. The question is whether the abuse warrants removal from office, and undoing an election. That is pretty extreme.

      Nothing I have heard/see/read to date warrants that extreme a solution.

      1. Good point. Let us start a list:
        George Washington – Whiskey tax/rebellion

        1. John Adams: Aliens Act, Sedition Act

        2. Adams signed Alien Enemies Law.
          Jefferson-Louisiana Purchase.

      2. I am not disagreeing with you, and I doubt any historical search by me would turn up anything to disagree with you. That being said, the bar is really low right now, and it seems that the Pres can get away with anything. And I am not convinced that the charges against Trump are anything more than grandstanding, but I would not be surprised, either, if there was substance there. On the other hand, we have at least one Pres this century who included the assassination of American citizens as withing his jurisdiction.

        1. As Americans, I would love to have an extended, adult conversation with what we think should be the limits of Congressional and Executive power (to say nothing of Judicial overreach). But we have not fallen far enough to hit rock bottom yet. I also know this is a conversation long overdue.

          1. Long, long, LONG overdue. But, when we keep re-electing 90%+ of our congressional representatives, why should they be inclined to change their interpretation of their actual responsibilities?

            1. AlbertP…that is actually no longer the case. We have had significant Congressional turnover in 2016, 2018. I think 2020 will see more of the same.

              I look at 2020 with a somewhat different lens. The Team that does well in the 2020 elections (federal, state) will be the team drawing the congressional maps based on the census.

              1. I hope you are correct!

      3. It’s not undoing an election. Nothing about this could put Hillary in office. If Trump gets ousted, then Mike Pence becomes president. The dude that won the electoral college along with Trump. That’s what happens.

        1. They’ve already floated the idea of impeaching Pence as well as a “co-conspirator” to the non-existent crimes for which they are attempting to impeach Trump.

          So yes, they’re attempting to undo the election.

      4. It’s not just every president, but most likely every politician.

    3. Libertarians like their royal decrees as much as anyone.

      1. Respect my individual libertah!

        1. More like bake that cake authoritay! Or fund that welfare program authoritay! But whatever lets you sleep at night.

      2. Since when? Don’t confuse libertarians with fauxtarian Trumpistas.

    4. H.W. didn’t relinquish his prior roles before becoming VP/Pres. That was against the rules.

  14. //There is a strong, principled, libertarian case that we don’t impeach presidents as often as we should. In fact, Gene Healy of the Cato Institute made that argument in 2017 and will be making an expanded version of it in an upcoming issue of Reason. //

    Really? Healy’s argument is, more or less from my reading, that impeachment should be resorted to over policy differences and mean, illogical tweets.

    How is removing a duly elected President from power over trifling matters a libertarian argument?

    1. Oh it is better than that. Look at this little tidbit

      When Trump does something to spark cries of “this is not normal,” the behavior in question often involves his Twitter feed. The first calls to impeach Trump over a tweet came up in March, when the president charged, apparently without evidence, that Obama had his “wires tapped” in Trump Tower.

      The tweet was an “abuse of power,” “harmful to democracy,” and potentially impeachable, Harvard Law’s Noah Feldman proclaimed: “He’s threatening somebody with the possibility of prosecution.” Laurence Tribe, of all people, agreed. Murder may have been a hard case, but slander? Easy call. Trump’s charge qualified “as an impeachable offense whether via tweet or not.”

      Trump abused his office and is unfit to hold it because he said the FBI was listening to his phones in Trump Tower. That claim hasn’t exactly aged well.

      1. Healy’s original argument is bonkers. Gillespie calling it a strong, libertarian argument is even more bonkers.

        I just can’t take this shit seriously anymore.

        1. Gillespie stopped being a serious person a very long time ago if he ever was one. The guy just isn’t very bright.

          1. //In 1996, Gillespie received his Ph.D. in English literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also holds an M.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing from Temple University and a B.A. in English and Psychology from Rutgers University.//

            At least he is good at creative writing. The problem is he seems to believe his own drivel.

            1. He is an English major. That means he never learned how to think or write with any precision. I spent three years in law school watching English majors flail about over simple things because they had never been taught out to think in a rational and disciplined way.

              1. I had the same experience. They believed that writing “creatively” would translate to writing persuasively. But they routinely produced garbled nonsense that jumped to conclusions without any supporting arguments. Lots of big words. Lots of flowery language. Lots of C students. They got better over time, but that curve him them all very hard in the first two semesters.

                1. Sounds like most lawyers I know.

                  1. Those English majors I am talking about eventually passed the bar.

                2. Geraje Guzba and John

                  I hold a Master’s in English Lit, with an emphasis on medieval literature and linguistics. And I agree with you.

                  One of my favorite people in the world, after earning honors double-majoring in English and Criminal Justice, had a heck of time her first semester at GW Law. But, she learned quick and earned her law degree and JD in short order.

                  As for myself, I “transitioned” easily to the “real world” of technical grant writing. But then, translating Kafka, and studying folks from Occam to Heidegger does take some discipline.

                  1. To be fair, I was a philosophy major, with a minor in English Literature. More than a few of my philosophy courses required the use of formal logic. Syllogisms were second hand. The transition to legal writing was not so difficult and quickly became my best subject. Civil procedure, on the other hand … I’d rather not speak about it.

                    1. Yeah, I hear you there. Someone once told me that all philosophers are a footnote to Socrates, Excepting Nietzsche. There is some truth to that. But then, Socrates set the bar pretty high. The reason I chose English as a major it that, basically, anything ever written is “fair game:” from Gilgamesh to South Park.

                  2. If you were reading Kafka and Heidegger, you were doing philosophy as much as literature. Like all generalizations, there are exceptions. But not every or even most English majors do such rigorous things.

                    1. You are correct in that.

    2. Impeachment does not remove a President from power. You’re getting a little hysterical here.

      1. It claims it to be necessary. Otherwise what is the point of doing it?

        1. Trump can’t pardon himself for the crimes he’s committed in this scheme if he’s impeached.

          1. Only if he is removed from office you moron.

          2. Why would someone need a pardon from an indictment?

  15. I’m so proud I voted in 2018 and contributed to the #BlueWave that returned Pelosi to the Speaker position. Along with AOC, she’s one of the best allies we Koch / Reason libertarians have in Congress.

    #Impeach
    #LibertariansForPelosi

  16. Why do I not care?

    Whether its Antifa in the early part of this century or the KKK in the early part of the last one, masked goon squads beating the shit out of Democratic Party enemies while Dem politicians turn a blind eye is just how Dems roll.

    They believe, for the first time in human history, the intellectual elite and the moral elite are one and the same – them. Healthcare, housing, education, etc are all “fundamental human rights”, meaning big govt spending is a fundamental human right, so the left’s total political victory is a fundamental human right. When Dem party goon squads beat the shit out of their opponents, they are exercising their fundamental human right to maintain power, and protecting your fundamental human right to be ruled by them and protected from your own greed and stupidity by them.

    They say they represent “the 99%”. They will never get 99% of the vote. The Saddam Husseins of the world claim to win 99% of the vote. “The 99%” means they represent you whether you like it or not. You are represented when they get the total power that is their fundamental human right, and only they are moral enough and smart enough to exercise.

    Hate speech isn’t free speech. Dissent from their beliefs is hate speech. Bernie and Warren supporters are all for making dissenting speech illegal, for our own good.

    Corruption? Haiti and the Clinton Foundation? Nothing compared to the pure evil of denying humanity their fundamental right to Socialism. Ignore the petty corruption of the left.

    Stand up to a repressive Socialist govt? Good luck when you are totally dependent on that govt to feed your kids.

    If we lack the power to stop the govt from being Socialist, we also lack the power to stop it from being abusive and corrupt. Their ideology is that their moral superiority is all the protection we need.

    Why do I not care about Hunter Biden being investigated? The Dems have an ideology that is perfect for maintaining a corrupt repressive dictatorship. That’s what I care about. Reason does not.

    1. They are above the law; you are below the law. First Amendment? Laws against using disaster relief funds for Chelsea’s wedding? Both to be ignored as they might stand in the way of the left getting what is their fundamental human right to obtain. All that exists exists to empower them. Art? Popular culture? Education? Sports? All must be enlisted in the cause – you cannot be allowed to escape their views. Totalitarian? Yep, “the personal is the political” is as politically totalitarian as it comes.

      We are to be ruled by unionized government employees. We lower the voting age to 16, public school teachers make voting a class assignment, they pressure the kids to make the ‘right’ votes, and harvest the ballots. If a kid votes the wrong way, well, oops, that ballot gets ‘lost’. Govt unions now control a swing voting block.

      If that fails, the govt has signed deals with the govt for govt pensions, legally requiring the high taxes to be paid to govt employees. That financial power will be used to ‘guide’ the market into actions govt employees favor. You think that is an abuse of that spending authority? Tough, you are legally forbidden to take that money and power from the govt. The govt signed a deal with itself obligating you to give them that money and power.

      Taxation without representation? Yep. Tough shit. They are entitled to money and power. It is your fundamental human right for them to have it.

      1. Glad to have you back today.

      2. Correct.

        There will be blood.

        The only question: whose?

        1. Someone else’s.

          So what happens is, this guy falls off right on his face, hits his head, and I thought he died. And you know what I did? I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s disgusting,’ and I turned away,” said Trump. “I couldn’t, you know, he was right in front of me and I turned away. I didn’t want to touch him… he’s bleeding all over the place, I felt terrible. You know, beautiful marble floor, didn’t look like it. It changed color. Became very red. And you have this poor guy, 80 years old, laying on the floor unconscious, and all the rich people are turning away. ‘Oh my God! This is terrible! This is disgusting!’ and you know, they’re turning away. Nobody wants to help the guy. His wife is screaming—she’s sitting right next to him, and she’s screaming.”

          Beautiful marble floor.

          Brave brave Sir Robin. There were some marines there took care of it. “I’m not good for medical. In other words, if you cut your finger and there’s blood pouring out, I’m gone,” D. Trump

          1. Maybe yours?

  17. I’ll bet $50 that this impeachment process will be a real nail biter right up to the end.

    1. Just wait until the Senate Republicans start dishing out dirt on selected Dems.

      1. We’re be waiting for three years.

  18. Serious question: Isn’t anyone running for political office doing so for xir own personal gain?

    1. They all are. That’s what I find laughable about the claim. The day you are sworn in you are looking to do things that will help you get reelected.

      1. Agreed, it is especially laughable that the Democrats are trying to twist the events around a phonecall between POTUS and Zelensky into some sort of bribery conspiracy while one of their candidates for the Presidency openly touts for votes by promising to pay Americans $1,000 per month in cash.

  19. To bad a Democrat will never be president again.

    It would have be fun to watch reason rail against a GOP controlled House and Senate impeaching some Democrat President for no reason because the precedent is set.

  20. “If our base will screech, we must impeach!”

  21. The facts are uncontested.

    This word: methinks it does not mean what she thinks it means.

  22. The basis, the tone, the theme, the simplism, the misplaced ideals, and the scope of this article are so poor it is almost comical at this point.

  23. So it’s good to see Pelosi invoking the Constitution’s call for a balance of powers among the branches of the federal government.”
    She is not looking fora balance of power she is looking to steel the power from a duly elected president and make it entirely her own. the Impeachment process as it is being used is giving to much power to the representative branch that can be used by them over every president. for now on we will be a nation run by congress and all presidents will be figure heads only

    1. I’m curious to see if somehow someway they remove Trump they don’t then sick the clown show on Pence?

      I’ve had this discussion with libtards who seriously think the get Trump then Pence and then Nancy is prez is their scenario.

      1. there are already talks of links to Pence os your idea is valid and you are not alone in it

      2. //I’ve had this discussion with libtards who seriously think the get Trump then Pence and then Nancy is prez is their scenario.//

        Then, of course, impeach Nancy for leading a farcical impeachment of the President and Vice President because she was clearly doing it for her “personal political purposes.”

        Then keep going until Ben Carson is President.

        1. U.S. Presidential line of succession

          Nice! Ben Carson is 13th in line.

          1. Where’s the hag?

            1. With any luck, in a ditch somewhere.

          2. Ironically that line of succession created by Congress is probably unconstitutional as the constitution demands officers, generally relegated to solely the executive.

      3. Lefties have been living on fantasies for a long time.

        Recently it was that Hillary would beat Trump. Then it was Trump would be taken down via Mueller or some other nonsense.

        Now its Trump will be removed by the GOP controlled Senate and then Pence will be kicked out too. Pelosi becoming President.

        All these fantasies ignore one simple reality. For that strategy to work, you have to ignore American patriots murdering every last politician involved in that coup and resetting the USA back to a tiny and limited government.

        1. Dead to rights, 1789!

        2. Most people when they think “I’m gonna get shot if I do that, aren’t I?” will take some time to consider if what they were planning on doing is right or wrong.

          Democrats have that thought and the conclusion is that they simply need to remove the possibility of being shot.

        3. Does anyone actually think there’s a chance to Pelosi ends up president? If Trump is removed, Pence becomes president and appoints his own VP. If Pence is impeached, that VP becomes president, and appoints a new VP.

          It takes at least two dead bodies to make Pelosi the president.

      4. “”’ve had this discussion with libtards who seriously think the get Trump then Pence and then Nancy is prez is their scenario.”‘

        They have no problem with Pelosi using the impeachment process for her personal gain.

        If they didn’t have double standards, they would have no standard at all.

      5. If that actually happened, the Democrats would be violently overthrown.

  24. I guess the 3 idiot professors are what convinced Nick. That was his last straw?

    And he’s begging for money at the same time. Good luck with that.

    Coming here cold you literally would have to consider it might be a satire site.

    Babylon Bee an actual satire site is almost always closer to the truth and also very amusing.

  25. This would not be an issue if the House and Presidency were controlled by the same party. Both Republicans and Democrats are perfectly fine with Executive “abuse” as long as *they* get to do it. This is why we need structural obstacles to this kind of thing, which is what impeachment is. We can never rely on the “right” people being in charge.

    1. While Republicans can be asinine in office, Democrats and Republicans are not alike.

      No every Republican supports Trump but few support this Democrat strategy of trying to impeach a President for no reason.

      Supporting this strategy would allow precedent for them being removed because…. no good reasons.

  26. Pelosi projects,

    “The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security, by withholding military aid and crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival….
    His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our constitution. A separation of powers, three co-equal branches, each a check and balance on the other”

    The time for that was 2010, and you raging hypocrite.

  27. Nick actually wrote “strong, principled case.” That’s hilarious coming from this progressive rag.

    Reason is pro-censorship
    Pro-process crimes
    Pro-fishing expeditions
    Pro-star chambers

    There is nothing principled here.

    1. I have not noticed that.

    2. Reason has turned into the late 90s Conservative Moral Majority that impeached Bill Clinton.

      If Reason is libertarianism, then I’m not a libertarian.

      1. I have, through exhaustive research, determined there is no such thing as a true libertarian. Well, excepting myself of course.

  28. This impeachment is less about the abstract separation of powers and more about confronting specific criminal scheme taking place to undermine the election in 2020. Elections are how we decide these political questions like separation of powers and the like but we can’t do that if one party is cheating, committing crimes and colluding foreign govts to rig these elections.

    1. This impeachment is less about the abstract separation of powers and more about confronting specific criminal scheme taking place to undermine the election in 2020.

      Showing Joe Biden to be a crook is a “criminal scheme to undermine the elections of 2020. Take your meds dumb ass.

      1. You haven’t shown shit. Trump fucked himself again for nothing.

        1. That is why we are going to investigate. Your claim is that even investigating is an evil plot to undermine the election.

          1. Hilarious. Sean Hannity tell you that? Just like Hillary is going to prison? Comey? Has anything you’ve claimed will happen taken place? You’re defending Donald Trump. It’s pathetic John. You’re a know nothing fucking loser.

            1. So you have nothing coherent or rational to say. You should work on that.

              1. Pod sure is a dumb bitch. Typical of progtards. They revel in their ignorance.

    2. Funny how they still don’t have any actual crimes unlike in 98 when democrats agreed that clinton had perjured himself.

      But facts and reality are ever optional.

      1. That’s because they believed that lying about sex is not an impeachable offense. That was 1998 now given #metoo I think they would find having sex is an impeachable act.

        1. So, not just full of shit and immoral but completely unprincipled as well?

      2. Trump and Giuliani were using mob money to advance their crooked scheme to pressure Ukraine into announcing “investigations”. Barr is protecting Trump for now but that ends in 2021.

        1. That is the funniest most incoherent thing that has been posted on here since the days of Herc.

          1. Giuliani, Parnas and Furman were working for some Ukrainian Russian mobsters. They were using his money to finance some of their scheming in Ukraine. It’s news to you because you’re a fucking idiot.

            1. You may be irrational and stupid, but you do have a vivid imagination. If it wasn’t combined with such a poor grasp of reality, you would have that going for you.

              1. Such stupidity is often amusing; look how it made turd bearable.

            2. This is good stuff, pod!

              1. Isn’t orogtard fan fiction entertaining? I wonder what the synopsis for chapter 2 will look like.

        2. “” were using mob money”‘

          Got a link for that?

    3. Pod
      December.5.2019 at 2:09 pm
      “This impeachment is less about the abstract separation of powers and more about confronting specific criminal scheme taking place to undermine the election in 2020….”

      You.
      Are.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

    4. This impeachment is less about the abstract separation of powers and more about confronting specific criminal scheme taking place to undermine the election in 2020.

      If you have any evidence of a “criminal scheme”, you should tell Schiff about it; he has been unable to find it.

      1. Or those alleged naked photos of Trump.

        1. I like the heavily accented Russian phrasing better
          “Naked Trump”

  29. Thank you so much for this informative blog.

  30. If only the Troglodyte from Trinity did that years ago with Obama, instead of cheering it on, we would not be discussing this.

  31. This momentous occasion demands that we think outside of our partisan affiliations and the current hyperpolarized scene.

    Bwa ha ha ha!!!

  32. Merely asking a foreign government to investigate your political rival is impeachable in my book. It’s ‘dirty pool.’
    If this ‘investigation’ was really in the Nation’s interest, why didn’t Trump publicly announce that he had asked the FBI to work with Ukraine?

    Because he knew it was wrong.

    1. “Merely asking a foreign government to investigate your political rival is impeachable in my book. It’s ‘dirty pool.’”

      Posting a statement like that is enough to prove you’re a fucking ignoramus in my book. It’s ‘abysmally stupid’.

    2. Yeh….riiiiiight.

    3. Yeah, it’s generally a good idea to publicly inform criminals that you’re getting ready to begin an investigation into their activities before you actually start investigating.

      Do you actually have two brain cells you can rub together? Maybe something interesting will happen.

      1. Giuliani and Trump have made many public statements calling Biden and Hillary Clinton corrupt long before the alleged Ukraine quid pro quo. They were already thoroughly tipped off.

    4. Why would he have trusted the FBI?

      They let Hillary walk on mishandling classified information. Comey’s announcement that Hillary’s Email investigation influenced an election (so Hillary says). There are texts messages that showed some FBI agents involved in the investigation of him hated him. They were involved with the Steele dossier. To name a few.

      I wouldn’t trust those guys to help walk someone’s grandmother across the street.

      1. If Trump did not have control over the FBI during his own term as President seems like that’s a much bigger problem he would want to worry about than Hunter Biden.

    5. Merely asking a foreign government to investigate your political rival is impeachable in my book. It’s ‘dirty pool.’

      Well, would you like Obama thrown in prison then? Because that’s exactly what the Obama administration did to Trump.

      On top of that, Biden wasn’t even his political rival yet. In fact, of all the people running, Biden would have been Trump’s preferred opponent. Pelosi and Schiff pretty much killed Biden’s presidential ambitions.

      If this ‘investigation’ was really in the Nation’s interest, why didn’t Trump publicly announce that he had asked the FBI to work with Ukraine?

      Because a public announcement prior to concrete evidence of wrongdoing would have been a political act intended to harm Biden. A quiet investigation, on the other hand, was the proper thing to do and would have only hurt Biden if Biden had actually been guilty of misconduct.

      1. “”On top of that, Biden wasn’t even his political rival yet.””

        I don’t know. The DNC may have the fix in already.

      2. Biden is Trump’s political opponent, as is everyone running in the 2020 Presidential race. They all have FEC-registered campaigns.

        1. “Biden is Trump’s political opponent, as is everyone running in the 2020 Presidential race. They all have FEC-registered campaigns.”

          So if Jimmy Hoffa registered and a D presidential candidate, he’s immune from investigation?
          That’s some catch you got there, Mike, that catch 22.

          1. I think Jimmy Hoffa isn’t alive anymore, so his running for anything might prompt some investigations right there.

          2. You have been following my comments in the impeachment for weeks now. You know that it is not my position that anyone is immune from investigation and I have explained why that is so. You are being deliberately obtuse about it.

      3. Quiet investigation? Trump was pushing for a public announcement of an investigation by Zelensky.

        1. “Quiet investigation? Trump was pushing for a public announcement of an investigation by Zelensky.”

          Well, Mike doesn’t like any public announcement that Biden’s corruption should be aired! That’s an impeachable offense right there!
          Thanks for the sum-up Mike. It’s exactly as expected.

          1. NOYB2 wrote: “Because a public announcement prior to concrete evidence of wrongdoing would have been a political act intended to harm Biden. A quiet investigation, on the other hand, was the proper thing to do and would have only hurt Biden if Biden had actually been guilty of misconduct.”

            Does his analysis make sense to you? Do you think he is accurate when he characterizes Trump as seeking a quiet investigation? Is it Trump’s style to be quiet of discrete about anything he does?

          2. Is it Giuliani’s style to be sure quiet and discrete about his activities?

            Hint: Giuliani, right now, in the middle of the House impeaching Trump, is over in Ukraine.

    6. He did publicly announce it. Barr was already looking into thr 2016 election. Trump even told the Ukranian president to talk to Barr.

      Are you ignorant or just fucking stupid?

      1. Barr’s lawyer made a statement that nobody ever talked to Barr about any investigation of Burisma.

      2. The only involvement of Barr in the entire Ukraine matter was Trump’s mentioning him in the July 25th call. Curiously, Trump never tried to establish an investigation of Burisma starting at the normal, legitimate starting point of going to the Attorney General to open a case.

        1. “Curiously, Trump never tried to establish an investigation of Burisma starting at the normal, legitimate starting point of going to the Attorney General to open a case.”

          Impeach him since Mike doesn’t like the way he established an investigation!
          Thanks for the sum-up Mike. It’s exactly as expected.

          1. Ugh, my comment got dropped. Will repeat it…

            I’m not impeaching Trump. If the Democrats were to ask me, I’d advise them it’s a dumb political move to impeach Trump over a matter which keeps Hunter Biden’s name in the news, and when the Senate will never remove Trump, anyway.

            But it’s the very heart of the case that Trump pursued an investigation using military aid as leverage and using his personal attorney as the point man. If the allegations are true, it was clearly abuse of his office for personal political gain. Thus, clear wrongdoing on Trump’s part and a “high crime and misdemeanor”.

            1. Agree with the first paragraph (this is a dumb move, the Senate will not remove from office). The problem with your second paragraph is that it is all based on subjective interpretation of a call (which we can all read the transcript) and subsequent actions.

              IF POTUS Trump used military aid as leverage…well, there are multiple interpretations of his actions ranging from benign to malign. And that is the crux of the matter. And it is precisely why the Senate will not remove him from office.

              1. Hypothetically, if the Senate trial proves Trump did use military aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine to investigate Burisma and CloudStrike, would you agree that his doing so was an abuse of the powers of his office?

                1. Nope
                  And it’s Crowdstrike

  33. for his own personal political benefit

    Is not every decision made by a politician intended to help them politically. This accusation makes no sense. Never mind all the other bs.

    Anyway, I am glad they are doing this. It should be fun to watch. *grabs popcorn*

  34. “Pelosi, who many Trump opponents had criticized for dragging her heels on impeachment, invoked the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution…”

    Did she wrap herself in the flag as well?

    1. She probably destroyed it like Homer did the Sacred Hallowed Parchment.

      Or simply wiped her ass with it.

      Ewww!

    2. When asked of she hated Trump she scolded the reporter and said she was a catholic and therefore hated nobody.

  35. It’s not a question of ‘too little, too late’. It’s a question of if this comes from a principled stance.

    The answer is it isn’t.


  36. it’s hard to believe that Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats aren’t simply engaging in mere politics to remove an opponent who they fear will win reelection. For god’s sake, some Democrats were talking about impeaching Trump before he even took office and Hillary Clinton still can’t admit he won. Similarly, it’s impossible not to accuse Republicans of bad faith when they rush to defend actions by Trump that they denounced under Obama. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) was the guy who famously said that his party’s only legislative goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president (as with budget restraint, the GOP failed miserably).

    One of those things is notably not like the other. I don’t recall Mitch endlessly talking about impeaching Obama before he even took his oath of office.

    If you goal was to make Republicans look like lesser bastards than the Democrats, you have succeeded.

    Not that I necessarily disagree about Republicans rushing to defend Trump, but given the opposition parties stated desire to impeach him before even one investigation was conducted it seems there are pretty good reasons to doubt their narrative.

    1. Especially since they can’t even recant their previous allegations. I would take the Ds much more seriously if they admitted that they were sorry for jumping the gun and pursuing false narratives about Russia.

      1. Pelosi in her impeachment announcement, said it’s still about Russia

        1. I’m pretty sure she literally said “it’s not about Ukraine, it’s about russia”

          …so what was the past 3 weeks for then?

          1. “”…so what was the past 3 weeks for then?”‘

            To taint the jury pool in the court of public opinion with a bunch of hearsay and displays of irrelevance.

            3 weeks hate?

    2. Not that I necessarily disagree about Republicans rushing to defend Trump,

      I don’t think they “rushed” to defend Trump. Lots of Republicans hated Trump when he was elected and were foaming at the mouth for a couple of years. But a lot of Republican Never Trumpers have come around for three reasons: because Trump is fairly popular, because, surprisingly, Trump’s policies are fairly moderate despite his rhetoric, and because the Democrats are completely out of control and insane.

      Pelosi did more to unify the Republican party than any Republican ever.

      1. More than anything, she made it politically impossible for a R to turn on Trump now
        (Kinda a summary of your 3 points together)

  37. One of the main important pieces of the Democrats’ case is the delay of the promised military aid. Does anyone know if this type of aid is delayed for other countries, and what the normal process for releasing funds is? For example, is the Ukraine aid timeline a complete outlier, or is it part of a pattern comparable to what happens with other countries? I’m surprised nobody addressed this yet.

    1. It was also delayed for Lebanon.

    2. The aid is delayed all the time. Schiff finally released the transcript from the OMB testimony, forget his name, who stated the delay had been put on all aid such as to Lebanon. That there wss nothing unusual about it the aid under trump has often been delayed to see if other countries are also aiding the recipient. It was normal. He listed half a dozen countries who had money delayed the same year.

      1. In fact, Sandy said it was highly unusual for a major aid package to be held up for weeks without lots of communication about why it was being held up.

        1. “In fact, Sandy said it was highly unusual for a major aid package to be held up for weeks without lots of communication about why it was being held up.”

          Impeach him since somebody said something was highly unusual!
          Thanks for the sum-up Mike. It’s exactly as expected.

          1. I didn’t say he should be impeached because it was unusual. I was countering JesseAz’s dismissive narrative that the OMB said the hold was normal. In Mark Sandy’s testimony he clearly says the hold was unusual.

            1. “I didn’t say he should be impeached because it was unusual. I was countering JesseAz’s dismissive narrative that the OMB said the hold was normal. In Mark Sandy’s testimony he clearly says the hold was unusual.”

              Which, of course is important since hint – hint, nudge – nudge? Got it.
              You’re just an omniscient, neutral observer, trying to help the rest of us see things they way a really neutral guy would, if only we……….
              That turnip truck? Most of us didn’t fall off of it yesterday; consider yourself busted.

    3. The best source for answers to your questions is to read Mark Sandy’s testimony.

      1. You mean Sandy’s OBSERVATIONS and OPINIONS? I certainly wouldn’t assume because he says something is so, that it must be.

  38. OT: Joe Biden threw away his chance at Iowa and indeed the nomination today, with his ‘bucket of deplorables’ -worthy rant at a town hall gatherer who said he thought Joe was too old, and he questioned Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian gas job. Joe called him a ‘damned liar’ , and challenged the man (who was 2 years older than him) to a pushup contest. When the man said ‘i’m not voting for you’, Joe snarled back ‘i don’t want your vote; you’re too old to vote for me.’ Remember this is the day that Uncle Joe jumped the shark.

    1. What is it with this dude and push up contests?

    2. Holy crap! Just watched the clip. That was really bad.

      Not all that of topic.

    3. Biden has already jumped an ocean full of sharks. He also said a of creepy things about how he liked children to fondle him and bounce on his lap.

      Which reminds of of those classic SNL skits where Buck Henry is babysitting his nieces.

  39. This isn’t a problem of the left and the right pulling apart. The Republicans are still the same befuddled, out of touch, inept, slightly corrupt, mildly authoritarian guys they have always been. It’s the Democrats that have fully embraced socialism, new monetary theory, world domination, authoritarianism, technocracy, and racial segregation. Until Democrats moderate, US politics won’t return to some semblance of normal, and neither should it.

  40. It’s great to see Congress wasting their time and diminishing their standing with the voting public even further. The Senate will vote to keep Trump in office regardless, so the entire thing is just political posturing. Better that than trying to pass new regulations or taxes though.

  41. imilarly, it’s impossible not to accuse Republicans of bad faith when they rush to defend actions by Trump that they denounced under Obama. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) was the guy who famously said that his party’s only legislative goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president (as with budget restraint, the GOP failed miserably).

    It’s quite possible. Republicans have come to realize that Trump’s policies are those of a moderate Republican and that they can live with them even if they don’t agree with each and every one, of not for any other reason than because Trump’s policies have fairly widespread support among voters.

    And they realize that if a Democratic socialist wins, it will destroy this country.

    1. Trump is trying to collect even more executive power than his predecessors. Executive power is a snowball rolling downhill. At some point it will crush you no matter what side of the aisle you stand on.

        1. They cant. They just know trump is an authoritarian. Ask sparky and his ilk.

          1. Besides which, that’s irrelevant to the question of impeachment. That refers to issues where Congress should re-establish primacy.

        2. For one thing, he has tried to expand executive privilege to bar White House staff and ex-staff from testifying.

          1. Like when Holder refused to testify before the senate?

            1. Sure. You’re changing the subject, but sure, the Obama administration tried to expand Presidential privileges and powers, just like pretty much every administration in recent decades.

      1. What new executive power is Trump trying to collect? Pretty much everything he’s done has had some statute that authorized him to do it. I get that people who disagree with his policies may not like how he’s chosing to exercise those powers but AFAICT he’s not exactly pushing to claim any new ones.

  42. “”And they realize that if a Democratic socialist wins, it will destroy this country.””

    I don’t agree with that. Much of what the DSA want is dead letter in Congress. The stuff polls well until you add the you gotta pay for it.

    In a way I would like to see Bernie win just to hear his fans’ cries of disappointment when nothing gets done.

  43. Nancy Pelosi calls for articles of impeachment. Unfortunately, nobody could understand what she was saying.

  44. Consider the hypocrisy of the Progressives demanding that Trump be ousted for the perceived corrupt act of seeking an investigation into a Progressive’s admitted corruption.

    Little did Al Capone know that if he had only announced himself a Democratic candidate for POTUS, he would have been immune from prosecution.

    1. It’s not seeking an investigation, it’s the way he went about it.

      1. “It’s not seeking an investigation, it’s the way he went about it.”

        Impeach him because Mike doesn’t like the way he went about it!
        Thanks for the sum-up Mike. It’s exactly as expected.

        1. It’s the exact heart of the impeachment allegations. I’m not the one impeaching him for it. As I’ve said many times, I think the Democrats are making a stupid politicla move by impeaching Trump.

          1. So, passive-aggressive?
            You support the reasons, ridiculous as they are, but not the intent?

            1. I’m starting to see that inability to understand nuanced thought and support for Trump go hand in hand.

              Their reasoning is strong. If Trump held up aid to extort Ukraine into digging up dirt on his opponent it was clear wrongdoing. It was a clear “high crime and misdemeanor”.

              However, impeachment is bad political strategy on he Democrat’s part. It’s going to boost Trump’s popularity in the end, and sink Joe Biden’s campaign.

              1. Biden wasn’t going to be the nominee anyway. He was already struggling, and clearly doesn’t have the endurance for it.

                1. You may be right. His temper tantrum at the town hall when confronted about Hunter was dreadful. I’m surprised his campaign staff hasn’t practiced a canned talking point for Biden to use, but maybe it’s a touchy subject for his campaign staff to bring up.

                  If I were Biden, I’d want the impeachment to be dropped, or at least emphasize accusations other than Burisma-related.

      2. You know, you and others have said the same thing. It wasn’t the investigation, but how he went about it. Enlighten us. Please.

        What was the ‘right’ way to go about it. You tell us, Mike.

        1. Open an investigation with the FBI or Department of Justice. Recuse himself from direct involvement. Certainly, instruct his personal attorney to stay out of Ukraine matters.

          Might have been a good idea to end his association with Giuliani and distance himself from him when Giuliani’s association with Parnas and Fruman, and past activities in Ukraine started cropping up in the news.

  45. On the other hand, after the impeachment of Andrew Johnson and the near-impeachment of Nixon, Congress soon followed up with laws that left long-lasting constraints on the power of the executive, so perhaps we’ll get treated to that as well.

  46. “As Gerald Ford, then a Republican congressman from Michigan, said in the years before Watergate brought down Richard Nixon, an impeachable offense is “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers to be at a given moment in history.””

    And that’s why we have the Senate to check the House – because of attitudes like Ford’s.

    Indeed, it requires 2/3 of the Senate to convict, which except in fairly rare circumstances means that the case has to be compelling enough to convince more than the true-believers of a single party.

    1. Gerald Ford was not wrong when he made the comment. It was very much on point, and pragmatic. It wasn’t his attitude, it was his observation.

      As a side note, I think Ford really has not gotten his due. His actions in the aftermath of Watergate to help restore our national equilibrium were nothing less than heroic. I think history will be extremely kind to him. It should be.

      1. I agree, Ford was making an observation and he’s quite correct – there’s no constitutional requirement for an actual crime to be committed or that a “misdemeanor” even be related to the performance of the officer’s job. It really does come down to (a) what a majority of members of the House are willing to vote for as an article of impeachment and whether that’s also (b) what two-thirds of the Senate are willing to vote for removal. The check on the House or the Senate abusing the impeachment process really comes down to elections so it’s up to the electorate to hold them accountable. And if they’re not willing to – well, a wise man once said that people get the kind of government that they deserve.

  47. Hey Nick! Decent analysis!

    I saw the click-bait-ish headline and I was a bit concerned about where you were going, but the actual piece is pretty good.

    Anyone who believes Pelosi when she claims that they have to impeach Trump because asking Ukraine for help exposing the corrupt acts of a democrat is an ”existential threat to democracy” is severely deranged by their partisan blinders. This is true entirely independently of your opinion of Trump as a president or the particulars of this case. There is zero chance that even Pelosi believes that nonsense.

    I’ll tell you what is an existential threat to the republic though…. a series of leaders who have relied almost exclusively on stoking team-based animosity in order to gain power. That sort of simple-minded leadership can never help the republic and will always harm the republic. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have anyone at any level who is capable of breaking that cycle.

    1. We, the Americans people, need to break the cycle by not siding with Team Blue or Team Red, and holding politicians to higher standards of conduct.

      1. Mike Laursen
        December.5.2019 at 10:48 pm
        “We, the Americans people, need to break the cycle by not siding with Team Blue or Team Red, and holding politicians to higher standards of conduct.”

        See, there’s an impeachable offense right there! Mike doesn’t like people disagreeing with him!
        Thanks for the sum-up Mike. It’s exactly as expected.

        1. It doesn’t work unless “we the people” hold our guy accountable. Holding the other guy accountable kinda is a symptom of the problem. Unless Maxine Waters’ constituents hold her accountable, it doesn’t work.

          Of course, that’s where the hard part is. If you are a partisan, you see perfectly ordinary political disagreements in terms of the other side being hyper-partisan and feeling that they need to be held accountable for that. This is a deeply rooted human instinct. I’m not sure how to defeat it. Absent a pressing need felt by all Americans and a charismatic leader who is determined to break through, I don’t see it happening.

          1. Actually, let me correct that. It would probably take an urgent national need plus two extremely charismatic leaders who are determined to break through.

            1. You may be right. Personally, I think the best hope is a non-political movement that mocks traditional Red-Blue politics and promotes civil society and civility. Think something like the Velvet Revolution.

  48. If Nixon would have been the 4th to be impeached, then Trump cannot be the 3rd. That math does not add up. In fact Nixon would have been the 2nd. Instead Clinton was 2nd and Trump will be 3rd.

    1. Democrats only care that Clinton got re-elected, and that Trump will get thrown in the dungeon for stealing Hil’s second chance after Obama did the first time.

  49. Miss McMansion Nancy and even Rich White Suburb NIMBY Swallwell both said it is to save the election (from the Don winning again).

  50. This is perhaps the most unreasoned article ever published by “reason”. Seriously, who is this Gillespie character? He thinks the democrats’ partisan witch hunt is a counterbalance to “executive overreach” – and tacitly admits there isn’t actually a high crime or misdemeanor – without explaining exactly what “overreach” Tump has committed. While railing against “executive” overreach he seems unaware that that the entire democrat party policy portfolio is predicated on government control of EVERY aspect of life.

    1. “Seriously, who is this Gillespie character?”

      The irony here is that Gillespie is as close to a “voice of Reason” as one can get.

  51. Pelosi’s impeachment process is real abuse of power.

    Impeach Pelosi,

  52. Where the heck is the equality? Obama should have had a turn in the impeachment parade. The entire government should be impeachable.

  53. Donald Trump rightfully should have been in prison before he even ran for president. He committed many crimes in his lifetime against both individuals and institutions. What galls me the most was that he cheated on his taxes via fraud and manipulative devices. Because of him and other high net worth individuals little people like myself subsidize the revenue collections. The feckless IRS audits little people at a higher rate than the 1%ers. If the audit rate on the 1%ers were 25%, billions of dollars of additional revenue would flow into the Treasury.

    Donald Trump was a criminal long before he ran for office. He has always maintained that he is above the law even now as president. I would have have no problem with him being impeached on day one. Additionally, Trump is character devoid, a low life who should have no role in governing and being the moral leader of the nation. Prison is where he belongs!

    I have no pity for those of little character who support a man of no character.

    1. Totes rational

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.