Impeachment

Intel Committee Lawyers Went Toe to Toe in Latest Impeachment Hearing

Steve Castor and Daniel Goldman seem to disagree on most everything.

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The House Judiciary Committee convened another impeachment hearing on Monday that was heavy on the partisan fireworks and light on new information.

The witnesses before the committee were Steve Castor, counsel for the Republicans, and Daniel Goldman, counsel for the Democrats. Both men traded their seats on the bench for seats at the witness table to testify on the evidence for and against impeaching President Donald Trump based on allegations that he improperly leveraged the power of his office to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rivals. The two men and the committee members who questioned them hashed and rehashed the testimony that's been provided to the committee by previous witnesses and offered canned rebuttals.

If you have not watched the impeachment hearings, here is where we stand: Trump is the subject of an impeachment inquiry over allegations that he kept from Ukraine $391 million in security assistance and a desired White House meeting in exchange for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy publicly announcing probes into Burisma Holdings—an energy company where former Vice President Joe Biden's son sat on the board—and a highly criticized theory that Ukraine carried out widespread election interference to benefit 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Democrats are pursuing the inquiry "because they disagree with his policies," Castor said Monday, casting the process as nothing more than a politically motivated sham. It's "baloney," he testified. The GOP counsel also maintained that Trump's skepticism of Ukraine was justified and that his desired probes into Burisma and Ukrainian election interference were acceptable diplomatic asks.

"There were certainly individuals in many other countries who had harsh words for both of the candidates," Dr. Fiona Hill testified in November, describing Ukrainian interference as a "fictional narrative" that serves Russian interests. The evidence of Ukrainian influence in U.S. politics consists of an op-ed, written by a Ukrainian government official, critical of Trump's position on Crimea; and an effort by some Ukrainians to disperse unflattering documents about Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, who worked for pro-Russian political interests in Ukraine before joining Trump's campaign.  

Unsurprisingly, Goldman sought to counter Castor's talking points, telling the committee that "President Trump's persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security." Goldman also disputed criticisms that the recently released call records were inappropriate, telling investigators that the documents only confirm that calls and texts were exchanged but do not actually show the contents of the conversations.

The two men disagreed on even the most basic questions. Did Trump seek an investigation into the Bidens? Goldman said yes, Castor said no. (The rough transcript released by the White House shows Trump mentioning both Joe and Hunter Biden.) Is there enough evidence to proceed? Goldman said it is "overwhelming," Castor said there is "no direct evidence whatsoever." Castor also criticized the committee's reliance on the testimony of Gordon Sondland, Trump's ambassador to the European Union, who told investigators in November that there was a well-understood quid pro quo in exchange for the White House meeting.

Indeed, the two men not even agree on whether Biden is a frontrunner in the 2020 election. "It's too early," Castor said.

Republicans lodged procedural objections at the hearing's outset, with what appeared to be an intent to delay the hearing by calling constant points of order and insisting on roll calls. Republicans asked Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D–New York) to schedule another hearing driven by the minority and if he would agree to strike testimony Republicans found demeaned the president's character. Republicans also questioned whether the witnesses had been correctly sworn in. 

The hearing comes two days after the Democratic majority released a report outlining a constitutional basis for potential articles of impeachment, invoking the country's founding and appealing to tenets of limited government. "Impeachment is the Constitution's final answer to a President who mistakes himself for a monarch," the report says. 

"A president who perverts his role as chief diplomat to serve private rather than public ends has unquestionably engaged in 'high crimes and misdemeanors'— especially if he invited, rather than opposed, foreign interference in our politics," it concludes.

NEXT: This Week Is a Crucial Final Exam Capping the Second Year of Trump's Trade Wars

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  1. ::yawn::

    The next hearing should be: “Trump or Schiff? Who’s got the bigger dick? Experts, lawyers weigh in.”

    That, I’d watch.

  2. >>Both men traded their seats on the bench for seats at the witness table to testify

    Kangaroo States of America?


  3. The hearing comes two days after the Democratic majority released a report outlining a constitutional basis for potential articles of impeachment, invoking the country’s founding and appealing to tenets of limited government. “Impeachment is the Constitution’s final answer to a President who mistakes himself for a monarch,” the report says.

    *ahem*

    So the Democrats would have been in favor of impeaching Obama? Last I checked, DACA is exactly the kind of thing a monarch does.

    1. DACA is even more permanent than congressional legislation and even more permanent than SUPERPRECEDENTS you racist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. I dunno, did Obama ever issue a blanket order to executive staff to not comply with congressional oversight subpoena’s? Or get caught inviting foreign governments to cheat US elections several times over?

      On the use of executive orders, a la DACA, Trump is on track to out do Obama on number of executive orders.

      1. “ I dunno, did Obama ever issue a blanket order to executive staff to not comply with congressional oversight subpoena’s?”

        Like when his AG was in contempt of Congress for not giving information about when they gave a bunch of guns to Mexican drug cartels?

        No no, I’m sure that’s definitely better.

        Fuck of shitlib.

      2. “Or get caught inviting foreign governments to cheat US elections several times over?”

        You probably don’t want to go there…

      3. Yes you fucking retard. Multiple times.

        “”The Obama White House’s claim that David Simas, the director of its political office, is absolutely immune from testifying before Congress is a sweeping assertion that a federal court has already rejected,” Issa said in a statement released Tuesday night, before Eggleston’s final letter that said Simas would not appear. He argued that a federal court found in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers — a case brought by congressional Democrats in 2008 – that the idea of absolute immunity of White House officials from congressional subpoenas was “unprecedented.””

        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/top-obama-aide-defies-house-oversight-subpoena/

            1. I sometimes get the feeling that Little Jeffy likes looking stupid.

  4. This has been a real bad look for the Ds.
    Somehow, they manage to make their case look worse and worse with every hearing

    1. Perhaps they should just say it was badly mishandled and move on.

      1. If only they could get a report out saying they were incompetent but not biased, then they could even claim victory

  5. “The rough transcript released by the White House shows Trump mentioning both Joe and Hunter Biden”

    Ok, and? What are your thoughts? That doesn’t add much clarity by itself.

  6. I’ll go with the one who brought his shit in a Whole Foods grocery bag. Briefcases are for liars.

  7. Impeachment is authorized for (1) treason, (2) bribery, (3) high crimes, and (4) misdemeanors.

    Treason does not apply, and bribery has been ruled out by the Dems, even though it was in play last week.

    Leaving high crimes (aka felonies) and misdemeanors. I am not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV, but are not all federal felonies and misdemeanors set out in federal criminal law?

    If so, I would think that the articles of impeachment should consist of the list of laws that Trump is alleged to have violated, along with a description of the evidence for each such violation.

    So far that’s not what’s happening here. Can someone clear this up for me?

    1. “” I would think that the articles of impeachment should consist of the list of laws that Trump is alleged to have violated, along with a description of the evidence for each such violation.””

      Perhaps that’s why they haven’t voted for articles of impeachment yet.

    2. “Impeachment is authorized for (1) treason, (2) bribery, (3) high crimes, and (4) misdemeanors.”

      None of which are clearly defined in terms of criminal action.
      That should be enough for anyone to question these “crimes” until better defined.

    3. iMpeAChMEnT Is PoLItiCAl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. 1. “high crimes” do not equal “felonies”.
      2. “high crimes and misdemeanors” as a phrase is a term of art that does not actually line up with anything in criminal law.

      To really understand the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors”, you need to go to the sources that the Founders would have used. A number of legal historians have done exactly that. Those historians come to the near-unanimous conclusion that the Founders knew exactly what that phrase meant and that it did not merely mean “things that violate the law”. Despite that consensus, the historians reach wildly different conclusions about what qualifies as a “high crime or misdemeanor” today.

      Personally, I would look to the notes of the debate between George Mason and James Madison over whether “and maladministration” should have been added to the allowable reasons for impeachment. It wasn’t but the arguments they made during the debate are telling about what they intended for the rest of the clause.


      1. Despite that consensus, the historians reach wildly different conclusions about what qualifies as a “high crime or misdemeanor” today.

        It means whatever ‘the people’ think it means, in essence, which is one of many reasons why people talk about it being a political process.

        Treason and bribery, though, are relatively well defined and past Presidents have easily done things far simpler to prove as ‘treason’ without being impeached so…it’s hard to give more weight to the less stringently defined aspect.

        Bribery in the case of elected officials shouldn’t really be defined so broadly as to catch up every politician in the U.S. either though, which seems to be the Democrats plan. Amusing, ultimately, to watch a party cut off it’s own nose to spite it’s face.

        If renting a room in a Presidents hotel is an emolument, then so too is selling a memoir in Russia. Pretty sure past Presidents have sold books in foreign nations fairly routinely, even while in office, so this is super hard to take seriously yet it was in recent memory an argument to impeach a President.

        You can’t make that kind of thing up.

        1. Amusing to watch a Democrat chairman who personally and repeatedly asked someone who he thought was a Russian FSB agent for dirt on Trump opine that Trump asking a Ukrainian president to look into what are fairly credible allegations of corruption on the part of a US official is treasonous and subversive to the US Constitution. Heck, he even claimed that saying “Russia can get those emails” was an attack on democracy and impeachable…. again, all while being on tape asking what he thought was a Russian agent for dirt on Trump.

          You really can’t make this stuff up.

    5. “but are not all federal felonies and misdemeanors set out in federal criminal law?” When the constitution was written there was no federal criminal code. They would have relied on common law definitions.

    6. I’m not sure that’s what “high crimes and misdemeanors” means in this context. But the way it has been explained to me seems awfully vague. Maybe you are right. Clinton was impeached more or less over perjury.

    7. Bribery is not out, at all.

      Saudis renting up whole floors of his hotels before they request a meeting with him is not coincidental. Nor is Trump doing a 180 on protecting Syrian Kurds after he gets a brief call from Erdogan. “Shame if something happened to Istanbul Towers…I would you to do us a favor though…”

      1. Poor Little Jeffy. Fucking pathetic hack.

      2. So, you believe Obama should have been impeached over his book sales in Russia?

        Weird point of view, but ok.

      3. It is such a losing case that Schiff and Nadler both refused to try it you ignorant fuck.

  8. “”Indeed, the two men not even agree on whether Biden is a frontrunner in the 2020 election. “It’s too early,” Castor said.””

    They should just ask the DNC. They already know.

    1. The more important question would be who out of the 24 candidates for the Democratic nomination was a ”””””front-runner””””” 6 months ago when this actually happened. At the time Uncle Kreepy was drowning in his latest hair-sniffing and tit-grabbing scandal.

    2. The more important question would be who out of the 24 candidates for the Democratic nomination was a ”””””front-runner””””” 6 months ago when this actually happened. At the time Uncle Kreepy was drowning in his latest hair-sniffing and sweater-grabbing scandal.

  9. Opposing lawyers disagree. News at 11.

    But only one has to prove their case.

  10. Ugh. I actually listened to some of that. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only answer is a hydrogen bomb in the middle of DC while congress is in session and the president’s in the whitehouse. I think we’d probably figure it out and do OK if the federal government were obliterated.

    1. We wouldn’t have time to figure anything out. The military would take over immediately.

  11. LMFAO!!! Holy Heck that’s ripe, “potential articles of impeachment, invoking the country’s founding and appealing to tenets of limited government

    Right?? because the Democrats are certainly the party for a “Limited Government” and preserving “America’s Founding” and the “Constitution”…. LMAO.

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  13. “Steve Castor and Daniel Goldman seem to disagree on most everything.”

    No… they didn’t disagree at all. They were not witnesses. They have no special knowledge, or even expertise.

    They were put up there to argue from a position of authority for their partisan side. And then they stacked the deck by allowing the Democrat partisan interrogate the Republican partisan (but not the reverse), thereby damaging the Republican’s position of authority.

    It was a sophomoric sales tactic, nothing more. Covering it as anything other than a sophomoric sales tactic is dishonest and playing right in to the hands of people who are trying to manipulate the public about something that is extremely serious.

    Any right thinking libertarian should deride and ridicule that entire episode for the pathetic trick that it was. “Testimony” from the two political teams’ lawyers… give me a break!

  14. “Impeachment is the Constitution’s final answer to a President who mistakes himself for a monarch,” the report says.

    This is how you know they are knowingly full of crap. They have been calling Trump a dictator since before he took office.

    Trump is a buffoon, but you cannot even make a coherent argument that his is even like a dictator. He certainly has not done anything approaching Obama’s levels of “elections have consequences”, go your own way, refusing to work across the isle or even with his own party, “I have a pen and a phone” version of the executive.
    He invited millions of underage illegal immigrants to sneak into the country – without even bothering to attempt an immigration reform bill in congress. He bombed and brought down a sovereign nation, without a declaration of war, without consulting congress under the war powers act… without even so much as a pretty speech. The guy maintained a secret kill list, for crying out loud.

    And they are running around calling this orange monkey a dictator? That’s nuts!

    1. In the land of cowardly eunuch politicians, anyone with an intact pair of cajones appears to be a dictator.

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