Impeachment

Trump Abused His Power, but a Hasty Impeachment Will Undermine That Point

The gaps in the record invite the public to dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise.

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Despite all the speculation about statutes that Donald Trump might have violated in his dealings with Ukraine, the two articles of impeachment unveiled yesterday are conspicuously lacking in specific criminal allegations. Instead, the articles allege that the president abused his powers by pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit him politically and that he improperly obstructed a congressional investigation of that abuse. To my mind, there is compelling evidence that he did both of those things.

Unfortunately, the record is not as complete as it could have been, as George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out during his congressional testimony last week. The gaps in the case against Trump are big enough that his supporters can and will dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise without losing any sleep about the broader issues at stake.

There were sound legal reasons for not accusing Trump of statutorily defined crimes. The most recently floated possibility, bribery, would require showing that Trump solicited "anything of value" (in this case, an investigation of his political rival) "in return for…being influenced in the performance of any official act" (in this case, the release of congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine that Trump had blocked). Even assuming the quid pro quo that circumstantial evidence and testimony by current and former administration officials strongly suggest, it is not clear that the "major investigation into the Bidens" Trump wanted would qualify as "anything of value." Turley argues that "the release of unspecified findings from an official investigation at some unspecified date are not a 'thing of value' under any reasonable definition of the statute."

There is a similar problem with defining the "favor" that Trump sought from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as an illegal foreign campaign contribution. The relevant statute makes it a crime to solicit "a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value…in connection with a Federal, State, or local election" from a foreign national. The Federal Election Commission defines "thing of value" broadly: "'Anything of value' includes all 'in-kind contributions,' defined as 'the provision of any goods or services without charge or at a charge that is less than the usual and normal charge for such goods or services.'" But as Turley notes, Justice Department prosecutors who reviewed Trump's July 25 phone call with Zelenskiy "concluded that the call did not involve a request for a 'thing of value' under the federal law."

Furthermore, a felony charge under this statute requires that the contribution be worth at least $25,000, which would make it necessary to attach a dollar value to the speculative benefit that Trump's re-election campaign would receive from a Ukrainian investigation of the implausible allegation that Biden used his influence as vice president to protect his son. Finally, if dirt on Biden qualifies as a campaign contribution, so would compromising information about any candidate, which raises serious First Amendment issues.

Turley also considers the possibility of framing Trump's actions as extortion, which they certainly resemble as the term is commonly understood. "Extortion cases involve tangible property, not possible political advantage," he says in his summary of the case law. "The Biden investigation may have tangible political benefits, but it is not a form of property."

Turley, an expert on impeachment, emphasizes that "high crimes and misdemeanors" are not limited to statutory violations. "It is possible to establish a case for impeachment based on a non-criminal allegation of abuse of power," he says. "His [Trump's] call was anything but 'perfect' and his reference to the Bidens was highly inappropriate….The use of military aid for a quid pro quo to investigate one's political opponent, if proven, can be an impeachable offense." But Turley faults the House for rushing the process to meet a politically convenient goal of impeaching Trump by the end of this year.

"The House Intelligence Committee declared that it would not subpoena a host of witnesses who have direct knowledge of any quid pro quo," Turley says. "Instead, it [would] proceed on a record composed of a relatively small number of witnesses with largely second-hand knowledge." One can quibble with that characterization, since the record includes testimony about direct interactions between Trump and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, as well as between Sondland and Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who Sondland understood was acting as the president's agent. But it's true that the case for a quid pro quo is based mainly on inferences and indirect evidence.

The decision not to subpoena directly relevant witnesses such as Giuliani, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was based on a desire to avoid time-consuming court battles over whether they could be compelled to testify. But as Turley notes, rulings involving Trump's financial records and the testimony of former White House Counsel Don McGahn suggest that Congress would have won those battles. Turley argues that litigation over documents sought by Congress and the testimony of Giuliani et al. could have been expedited, as similar litigation was in the Watergate investigation. Once Trump was confronted by court orders requiring his cooperation with the Ukraine investigation, Turley suggests, Congress would have been on firmer ground in accusing him of obstruction.

"One can oppose President Trump's policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president," Turley says. "This is an exceptionally narrow impeachment resting on the thinnest possible evidentiary record."

I have little doubt, based on the existing record, that Trump did in fact abuse his powers to serve his personal interests. But Turley is right that Congress could and should have done more to rebut Trump's defenses: that his desire for an investigation of the Bidens was based on a legitimate concern about official corruption in Ukraine and that, in any case, it was not connected to the delivery of military aid. While that first claim strikes me as wildly implausible, there is enough doubt about the quid pro quo to satisfy Republicans, even if they privately agree that Trump's request was inappropriate.

"The question for the House remains whether it is seeking simply to secure an impeachment or actually trying to build a case for removal," Turley says. "If it is the latter, this is not the schedule or the process needed to build a viable case. The House should not assume that the Republican control of the Senate makes any serious effort at impeachment impractical or naïve. All four impeachment inquiries have occurred during rabid political periods. However, politicians can on occasion rise to the moment and choose principle over politics."

As the record stands, it is not likely to persuade anyone who was otherwise inclined to support Trump, meaning we will get a party-line impeachment in the House, followed by a party-line acquittal in the Senate. What should have been a debate about the limits of tolerable presidential behavior has instead become another bitter partisan squabble signifying nothing but reflexive allegiance to arbitrarily defined tribes. While impeachment is inherently a political process, it cannot properly function as a check on presidential power when the public believes it is driven by nothing but politics.

NEXT: More on Seattle Public Library "Considering" Whether to Cancel Meeting of Trans-Skeptical Feminist Group

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  1. “Investigating corruptuon is abuse of power” is so stupid that its hard to believe a self sufficient human being would utter it non-ironically.

    1. Had he actually investigated something, found nothing but punished Hunter Biden anyways, that would be an abuse of power. Just asking for an investigation is not an abuse, otherwise we have to say that every time the police investigate someone but find nothing they have abused their power.

      At this point they could find something legitimately impeachable and the general public would be in full blown “boy who cried wolf” mode and cease paying attention. If this attempt fails and Trump wins reelection he’s going to have carte blanche to do whatever the fuck he pleases because Congress will have lost any shred of credibility they still had.

      1. Trump could have opened a legitimate investigation through the Department of Justice, recused himself (and his personal attorney) from personal involvement. Again, it was the manner in which he pursued the investigation that is suspect.

        1. Only to clowns who think “Investigating corruptuon is abuse of power” makes sense.

          You lost. Eat it.

          1. It may be constructive for you to understand what the report actually contains. On the other hand ignorance is one of your coping skills. Be a big boy and try a little harder.

            1. Aww I UPSET YOU LOLOLO

              CRY MORE!!!

              1. “Sarah Palin’s Buttplug” has been hijacked by Tulpa-Satan-Mary-“Mary’s Period”-“.”-Doofus-DingBat-Moron, more handles than you can shake your dick at, in case no one has noticed! Identity theft? Tulpa-Satan doesn’t care! I would be surprised if genocide would bother this particular amoral and immoral low-life…

                GET A REAL LIFE, low-life scum trollbot!!!

                1. “GET A REAL LIFE”

                  Hihnronic.

          2. “You lost. Eat it.”

            You lost the culture war. And will continue to lose until you are replaced by your betters.

            Open wider, clinger.

        2. “Trump could have opened a legitimate investigation through the Department of Justice, recused himself (and his personal attorney) from personal involvement.”

          Why would he recuse himself? Do you know WHY people recuse themselves from investigations?

          And Sullum…you’re a clown. That is all.

          1. Recuse means to remove oneself from a legal proceeding because of a potential conflict of interest, or appearance of conflict of interest. Since Trump is a candidate in the 2020 Presidential race, and one of the people he wanted investigated, Joe Biden, is also a candidate in the 2020 Presidential race, there’s your conflict of interest.

            One would think his personal lawyer, Giuliani, would have advised him about potential conflict of interest, and even the possibility of impeachment. Instead, Giuliani may well have been the driver of the whole Ukraine mess.

            1. “there’s your conflict of interest.”

              No it isn’t.

              Now what.

              1. How in the world is their both being candidates running against each other not a conflict of interest?

                1. Theyre not running against esch other.

                  And you have to lie to deny it.

                  1. They are not running against each other?

                    1. Joe is the nomimee?

                      Then no, they are not.

                      You don’t like it, and you’ll TRY to get around it, but “potential opponent” isn’t “opponent” no matter how much shit you spew.

                    2. Biden hasnt one the nomination dumbass. By the same metric obama should have been impeached for crossfire hurricane. Not only did he not excuse himself, both his AG and deputy AG were in the loop per Horowitz.

                      You are really fucking ignorant.

                    3. There is no legal criteria for Biden to win the nomination for him to be an opponent in the Presidential race.

                      I have been involved in running campaigns and filing FEC paperwork. They have no concept of it mattering what party the candidate is from, whether they have won a nomination or not, or even if they are still actively running. A candidate in a race is a candidate in a race — they all have the same legal status.

                    4. “There is no legal criteria for Biden to win the nomination for him to be an opponent in the Presidential race.”

                      Which of course, is unresponsive, and unconvincing.

                      Everyone can see you acknowledge that Joe isn’t the nomimee, and are desperate to find any way you can make wjat he IS immune to investigation.

                      Jeff. Its why youre a joke.


                    5. There is no legal criteria for Biden to win the nomination for him to be an opponent in the Presidential race.

                      So, by this metric if someone has abused their power in office and this is discovered after the fact while running for office, no matter the probability of winning, is enough to immunize you from prosecution?

                      Interesting. This appears to track with Hillary Clinton’s experience with the DoJ and FBI. Odd that it doesn’t track with then-candidate Trump’s experience with the same departments.

                      Tell me, should Obama have been impeached for his DoJ and FBI investigating a Presidential campaign? He’s not in office anymore, so I guess it would need to be a criminal investigation?

                    6. Lol. Now mike pretends he worked with the FEC yet has refused to admit that information has never been ruled an in kind contribution. you cant make thos shit up.

                      And now neutral mike works with various political campaigns?!?

                      Fucking hilarious.

                      Mike you’ve outed yourself as a lying, ignorant, piece of shit.

                    7. Don’t forget, Mike also claims to be a lawyer even though he has admitted in the past that he’s misused basic terms of art in law. The irony is that he was called out on those points by people who never went to law school.

                      Weird, right?

                    8. This is the second time someone has said that I claimed to be a lawyer, even though I have never made any such claim.

                    9. Of course Biden is not the nominee. That is a simple fact.

                    10. Nobody is immune from investigation by virtue of being a candidate in the 2020 election. Trump pursued an investigation in an unorthodox way that exposed him to accusations of doing it for personal political gain.

                    11. Jason, political parties gain or lose ballot access, not their individual candidates. The Democratic Party is doing just fine with retaining its ballot access in all fifty states.

                    12. I distinctly recall you making the claim that you were a lawyer, although in fairness to you I’m not willing to take the time to track down such a comment so I’ll let that point fall for the time being.


                      Nobody is immune from investigation by virtue of being a candidate in the 2020 election. Trump pursued an investigation in an unorthodox way that exposed him to accusations of doing it for personal political gain.

                      If Trump had linked his request to a preferred outcome, say a guilty verdict, that would seem to be a different story yet I haven’t seen a single person make such a claim to date.

                      As long as there was a chance the outcome of that investigation was ‘innocent’ it isn’t so clear cut that it was purely designed to help Trump.

                      It seems fairly clear that a verdict of innocent in a theoretical Hunter Biden investigation would hurt Trump’s campaign since it could easily be spun as a political investigation at that point. Even if it wasn’t, that would be an easy talking point to craft.

                      Why then do we pretend it can only help Trump when demonstrably it has hurt him. If he wanted the Biden’s guilty, why then didn’t he request that they be found guilty?

                      The only logical reason I can think of is because Trump thought the Biden’s were in fact guilty, but I fail to see how his belief in Biden’s guilt would have influenced any theoretical investigation that would have occurred.

                      I can believe someone is guilty of murder and want them investigated for it, but that doesn’t mean they will be found guilty of murder after an investigation. It also would make me look like a damn fool in retrospect for wanting an investigation of murder after they’re found innocent.

                    13. I can be neutral and also run political campaigns.


                    14. I can be neutral and also run political campaigns.

                      I’d be curious for you to expound on that in a way that doesn’t include you whoring out your ethics to the highest bidder.

                    15. Mike Liarson
                      December.11.2019 at 6:13 pm
                      I can be neutral and also run political campaigns

                      Well, we know you’re not neutral. Your protestations otherwise have 0 credibility.
                      And judging by your performance here, no I don’t think you can run political campaigns. I’m fairly certain you’d lose even if your candidate was running unopposed


                    16. Which is beside the point. He can’t be an opponent without ballot access, and he can’t get ballot access without winning the nom. Which he hasn’t. So by definition he isn’t Trump’s opponent.

                      In fact one might note that Biden is currently the opponent of Warren, Sanders, Booker, et. al. who are keeping news stories of Biden’s involvement in a potential scandal at the front of the news via accusations leveled at Trump.

                      That’s fine though, because candidates are legally able to involve foreign governments in elections as much as they want. They’re even allowed to use FISA courts as their own personal campaign research arms. As long as they hide the sources, they’re even legally allowed to use foreign money in their campaigns.

                      Nothing to see there though. Orange man bad. Slaps on the wrist have been distributed to the other side, and we’re going to put Orange Man in prison.

                      Definitely not partisan though. We can read thoughts.

                    17. I stopped claiming to be neutral, but you may well have missed it. So, I’ll repeat it. I’m not neutral in the sense that I think Trump is a reprehensible human being.

                      I am non-partisan. I don’t favor either of the major parties and I don’t care whether Trump is impeached or not.

                      I was a leader and involved in campaigns for the Libertarian Party. I am no longer a partisan supporter of the LP nor a member.

                    18. Jason, you seem to be arguing that Biden isn’t an opponent until after the primaries. That isn’t the way FEC regulations governing elections work, and it is also illogical: trying to dig up dirt on or solicit an embarrassing announcement about someone running in the opposing party’s primary is still trying to influence the outcome of the entire election.

                    19. “I stopped claiming to be neutral, but you may well have missed it.”

                      Nice of you to admit you were lying before.

                      “I was a leader and involved in campaigns for the Libertarian Party.”

                      Hihn?

                    20. They are not running against each other?

                      No. They’re not.

                      Right now, Joe Biden is running for the CHANCE to run against Trump.

                      He’s running against Warren and Sanders, and Booker, and Gabbard, and Butttigieg, and Steyer, and Bloomberg and whatever other Democrats and pretenders are running for the nomination.

                      The corruption investigation into Crowdstrike that Trump asked for and the investigation into Biden’s admitted quid pro quo criminality (because that’s not in question at all–that’s admitted factual information) would help Biden’s opponents–AND keep an admitted criminal from securing the Democratic nomination.

                      The only people helped by the investigation are Democrats.

                    21. Arguing that Biden is not running against Trump is ludicrous. If a major scandal were to come out and knock Biden out of the primary would that end his chances of running against Trump in the general election. Of course, it would.

                      It’s like arguing that the Yankees winning a series against the Dodgers doesn’t count unless it happens in the World Series.

                    22. The whole thing is a joke – as are you, mike

            2. “Recuse means to remove oneself from a legal proceeding because of a potential conflict of interest, or appearance of conflict of interest. Since Trump is a candidate in the 2020 Presidential race, and one of the people he wanted investigated, Joe Biden, is also a candidate in the 2020 Presidential race, there’s your conflict of interest.”

              No. POTENTIAL conflicts of interests aren’t conflicts of interest. As of now — much less months ago — Trump is not running against Biden. At all.

              Now Joe running Ukraine policy when his son was wildly profiting from it was a MASSIVE conflict of interest, but he didn’t see a need to recuse himself.

              1. I’m not sure what to say when someone claims that actual conflict of interest is required when the common standard is merely the *appearance* of conflict of interest.

                And before anyone says it, I agree that Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma does not pass the appearance of conflict of interest test.

                1. Using your logic, somebody could murder somebody and not be prosecuted as long as they were “running for President”.

                  1. Only if Trump specifically asked them to be investigated for murder.

                  2. How the heck did you get on the topic of murder. Even if we assume an equivalence between having a conflict of interest and murdering someone, you just jumped from talking about Trump being the suspect to Biden being the suspect.

                    1. Biden IS the suspect. Biden is the one who sold access.

                2. //And before anyone says it, I agree that Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma does not pass the appearance of conflict of interest test.//

                  But, you’re giving him a pass because Orange Mad Bad.

                3. And yet you spent megabytes worth of words defending the impeachment of Trump for asking for an investigation into something that should be investigated.

                  1. That was a reply to Mike Laurson

              2. By Mike’s rationale, the President would need to recuse himself from any case in which a political opponent of the President was being investigated for committing a crime. This is, of course, completely impractical and would place opponents of the President above the law. Not to mention that since all DOJ authority derives delegated presidential authority (even with special counsels), it’s functionally impossible for the President to recuse himself from a federal investigation without stepping down from office. The Attorney General or the FBI Director can recuse themselves…the President cannot.

                At most, he could choose not to have a direct role in the investigation, but he doesn’t have that anyway. The investigation is being run by Durham and Barr. Trump’s off doing presidential things.

                1. In Laursen’s world, which is the same world of inanity that chemjeff and Pod occupy, an incumbent President cannot do anything, ANYTHING, that could potentially create the impression in anyone’s mind that the act being undertaken could have positive political ramifications for the President’s reelection campaign. A President can’t even THINK about doing these things.

                  By that logic, if we can call it logic, Trump can quid pro quo all day long in his second term because he cannot be re-elected.

                  Glad we have it settled.

                2. Trump is a candidate in the 2020 Presidential race in addition to being the President. That does put limits on his Presidential powers that would not be there if her were not running for re-election.

                  1. Then the first term of any President essentially precludes any investigation of the opposite political party as it can only be construed as an abuse of power for political gain. All the other party has to say is they are planning to run against the incumbent, even if the President has yet to announce the intention of running for reelection.

                  2. //Trump is a candidate in the 2020 Presidential race in addition to being the President. That does put limits on his Presidential powers that would not be there if her were not running for re-election.//

                    And this is a completely ludicrous position. But, at least you conceded the logical consequence of your absurd reasoning. Henceforth, any President in their second term can openly extort foreign leaders to launch investigations into people. Not only are you in favor of impeaching Trump for something stupid and innocuous, you are also in favor of insulating second term Presidents from impeachment.

                    Good work, Jeff.

                3. The Power of the DoJ, and other Executive Branch agencies, do not derive from the President. He is the chief executive, but the Executive Branch has the power. Just like the Chief Justice is now where the power of the Supreme Court derives from.

                  1. Point out where in the Constitution the Department of Justice, Attorney General, or executive agencies are mentioned.

                    Actually, I’ll save you the time…they’re mentioned nowhere, because the Constitution did not create them. There is zero provision for them, and the ones that exist were created by law subordinate to the chief executive. All power in the executive branch is vested in the President. Therefore, any subordinate agencies in the executive branch created since the ratification of the Constitution derive their authority from presidential authority. Period.

                    Maybe you should brush up on basic civics before trying to wade into these debates.

            3. the entire entity of the DOJ is under Trumps direction any investigation by them could also be considered a conflict just like they are saying now about Barr investigations into the 2016 election. BTW its not a conflict for a President to ask a foreign leader to look into things criminal or otherwise

              1. Everything an elected official does will either help or hurt their next campaign.

              2. True, the Democrats might have tried to impeach if Trump had done an investigation via the DoJ. But they would have had less material to work with, especially if Trump scrupulously kept himself and his lawyer from any personal involvement in the case.

                He could have also framed a DoJ investigation more generally, perhaps suggesting investigation of Burisma but not naming either Biden in the request.

                1. He’s not even obligated to do that. The Constitution of the United States vests all power for enforcement of the laws in the chief executive. There is no alternative to that. It makes no provision for the DOJ or FBI or U.S. Marshal Service…those exist only as delegated presidential authority.

                  The President of the United States has zero obligation (or ability) to recuse himself from a criminal investigation conducted by any department or bureau of the executive branch because those units exist only via the President’s delegated authority. So if Creepy Joe Biden wins the nomination and then Trump opens a full blown criminal investigation into what Biden’s idiot son was up to in China and Ukraine and wherever else, it’s still not a conflict of interest, nor is it illegal so long as the President operates within the law. It just means that Creepy Joe is up shit creek because he was a crook who stupidly decided to brag about his criminal behavior in public and on video while running for elected office and tipped off the authorities (who happen to work for his opponent).

                  Life’s hard when you’re as stupid as Joe Biden.

                  1. True.
                    Hey- remember when special mikey was all in on “bribery”?
                    Looks like he forgot

                    1. I still think bribery is a legitimate thing to investigate. If he’s innocent he should have nothing to worry about.

                    2. You should write your representative

                    3. I was never all in on “bribery”. That was the Democrat’s dumbing down of a more precise statement of the accusations.

                2. “But they would have had less material to work with”

                  Less than “bureaucrats does not like his policy” and “He is an equal, not subservient, branch of government” which is what they ran with?

            4. The most hilarious thing is that everything Trump did is considered an impeachable offense by the DimWit-Crats ONLY because Biden is running for prez….But, shouldn’t the fact that he is running for Prez mean the whole country should know exactly what he did over in the Ukraine?…..And of course, Biden said yesterday, he will not testify in impeachment trial…After all the crimes he committed in the Ukraine, why would he want to?

              And as long as there will be a trial in the Senate, I hope the GOP has enough balls & brains to make sure all these crimes committed in the Ukraine by Obummy, Uncle Schmoe, HildaBeast & George Sorrows comes to light:

              https://www.wnd.com/2019/11/ukraine/

              1. This is a faith based impeachment at this point. The problem, however, is that millions of uncritical idiots already drank the Kool-Aid, asked for seconds, and now it has become painfully obvious they were duped, but it’s too late to backtrack and spit out the poison. So, instead, they ask for a third helping.

                Olympic level mental gymnastics.

                1. The problem, however, is that millions of uncritical idiots already drank the Kool-Aid, asked for seconds, and now it has become painfully obvious they were duped, but it’s too late to backtrack and spit out the poison. So, instead, they ask for a third helping.

                  Same as global warming, and most of the other Donkey obsessions.

            5. Speaking of people who didn’t get advice about a conflict of interest:
              https://www.zerohedge.com/political/biden-blames-staff-not-flagging-burisma-concerns-says-we-should-just-trust-hunter-and-not

              George Kent, the State Department official, testified that he raised it to you, and your staff.
              No, he didn’t say me. He did not say me.
              To your staff. To your staff, I stand corrected.
              I never, never heard that once at all.
              To your staff. And your staff told him he has no bandwidth for family matters.
              Well, my son was dying, so I guess that’s why he said it, because my son was on his deathbed. But that, that’s not the reason why — they should have told me. -NPR

              1. That was a really pathetic deflection from taking personal responsibility on Biden’s part.

                1. And if anyone knows about pathetic deflections, it’s you.

        3. Fucking a, Mike. You expect Dear Leader to take on the combined power of the Deep State in its own lair. What level of lawful good paladin do you think Dear Leader is anyway?

          1. Oh shit, Shreek has started the gibberish again, he does this when he knows he lost, it’s gonna get worse, watch him go full incoherent babbling.

          2. I know, Trump is just a powerless victim of the Deep State, but maybe he could have carved out a tiny beachhead with a few loyal people within the Federal executive branch.

            1. But remember… mikey boy is neutral.

              Why do all you dumbfucks try that card? You, jeff, palin. All the same. You’re 2 bolds away from being Hihn.

              1. You’re not the first to notice that.
                And I don’t think you’ll be the last

              2. I’ve told everyone time after time that I am not Jeff. We are, however, lovers. And our pillow talk is usually about Trump, so that’s probably why our comments sound so similar.

                1. No, it’s the NPC thing.
                  Same script

              3. Why do all you dumbfucks try that card?

                Try what card? The suggestion that Trump is a powerless victim of the Deep State?

                Gee, maybe it’s because it is the natural conclusion of the narrative that the right-wingers are pushing about Trump, that he had NO CHOICE but to use a shifty lawyer to jet around Europe engaging in shadow diplomacy to conduct the investigation he wanted. He couldn’t use the vast apparatus of the state to conduct a legit investigation, because the state is totally arrayed against him in a Deep State Conspiracy(tm).

                1. Jeff, you’re not up on the state-of-the-art Trump apologetics. Because Trump mentioned Barr’s name in the July 25th phone call that counts as involving the DoJ in the investigation. So, you see that makes Giuliani just a helpful assistant to the DoJ infighting international corruption.

        4. Sorry….I am calling bullshit on that = Trump could have opened a legitimate investigation through the Department of Justice, recused himself (and his personal attorney) from personal involvement.

          Mike, you want us to believe that if POTUS Trump went to his AG (Barr) and said, “Hey Bill. How are you today. You know, I’ve been thinking, can you open an investigation into Biden and his kid? It just looks horrible.” that you’d be Ok with that? C’mon Mike. You’re the ultimate non-partisan. That is what you tell us. So…

          Why don’t you detail what a legitimate investigation looks like? Tell us just how POTUS Trump should ask for that ‘legitimate’ investigation. I am looking for the precise verbiage you’d suggest.

          1. Mike has to ignore literally every investigation that has been opened since trump was elected. They’ve asked Barr to step down quite a few times. Anytime Barr or Durham breathe Democrats call the investigation illegitimate and ask him to recuse himself. Mike is just stupid and following the democrat narrative.

            1. Jesse….I am a fair man. I figure Mike will just answer the questions. Let’s see what happens.

              1. Have you not met him before? He posted the wrong whistelblower laws for a week before I had to correct him with the IC whistleblower guidelines. He has for weeks claimed information is an in kind contribution despite links showing no court has ever upheld that. He will repeat lies on Sondlands opening statement even after you quote Sondlands direct responses under questioning.

                Mike is a useless waste of space.

                1. You have never provided links on either of those topics.

                  1. Jesse has no links. He read it on Breitbart and that’s good enough for him.

                    1. Keep throwing that tantrum. It’s a great look.

                      Yes, Jesse has provided those links before.

                    2. Thanks for coming to my defense again buddy.

                    3. Stop talking to yourself.

                    4. LMAO

                      This twat actually thanks himself.

                  2. Why would he bother engaging that way with you, a known liar? Its not his job to appease you.

                    1. He might want to provide the links to convince other readers what he is claiming to be true actually is true.

                2. Well Jesse, the jury came back. Mike Laursen never did manage to answer my question. Ha! Why am I not surprised.

                  1. My answer is directly below this comment. You’re looking at the wrong place in the comments threading.

                    1. No Mike, you did not answer the question.

                      Why don’t you detail what a legitimate investigation looks like? Tell us just how POTUS Trump should ask for that ‘legitimate’ investigation. I am looking for the precise verbiage you’d suggest.

          2. I would have been OK with it, if he then stayed out of trying to influence the results after launching the investigation.

            Yes, the Democrats would not have been OK with it, but again if Trump kept his hands off of it what could they do about it but complain?

            1. Nobody gives a damn what you’re ok or not ok with.

        5. What the fuck Mikey boy. I’ve told you this already yet you seem to choose to remain ignorant. On the transcript he asks the Ukraine to work with Barr who had already opened an investigation into the origins of the 2016 election, which included Ukraine. Why do you keep pushing your ignorant bullshit?

          1. And I answered that before. That was literally the only time Trump ever did anything close to involving Barr in the case. Barr made a statement that he was never involved in Ukraine investigations in any way other than this one mention of his name on the phone call.

            1. Totally unbiased he says.

        6. How many times must it be repeated to you that trump literally told zelensky he would put him in contact with attorney general barr? It’s literally in the transcript.

          1. Barr, and, bizarrely, Trump’s personal attorney.

            1. Which is histotially common but you’re stupid so yeah

              I guess jeffmike thinks bizarre is a synonym for perfectly normal because his mom has been telling him that his whole life.

        7. “Again, it was the manner in which he pursued the investigation that is suspect.”

          Yep, investigation not to Mike’s preferences.
          Impeachable offense right there!

        8. “Trump could have opened a legitimate investigation through the Department of Justice, ”

          The same Department of Justice that was spying on his campaign and tried to frame him for collusion with the Russians? That Department of Justice?

          At some point, if the Senate starts regarding non-judicial nominations as worthy of acting on, Trump may actually get enough control over the DoJ that he actually has cause to trust them with anything that has the slightest possibility of harming the Democrats. We’re certainly not there yet.

          1. Maybe Trump should take that up with his own party, which controls the Senate.

        9. How is the DoJ going to investigate things that happened behind the scenes in Ukraine? They don’t have subpoena power over there.

          1. Also, how would strong-arming a sovereign nation into cooperating with your police investigators not be an abuse of power. A genuine abuse of the ‘we can bomb the shit out of you and there’s nothing you can do about it’ power?

            1. Why do you assume strong-arming?

          2. The DoJ is capable of reaching out to a foreign nation to ask for assistance in an investigation.

        10. No it’s not. The Only reason to care about the “process and “ is because Trump.

          Stop pretending to care about the process.

        11. Mike. If nothing else has come from the past several weeks, it’s that Trump does not trust the DOJ, and that lack of trust is at least partially justified.

          If you engage someone who is knowingly dishonest, you can at least trust them to act in their own self-interest.

        12. No, it isn’t. You just don’t like it because they might find something. Which the DOJ wouldn’t, as they are swamp creatures.

        13. “…opened a legitimate investigation through the Department of Justice”
          You mean like having them talk to the Attorney General?
          I could have sworn that was one of the things he said for Zelynsky to do in this informal conversation.

    2. That would be a stupid thing to say, but who whom are you quoting?

      1. “Suck my dick Jeffmike”

        That’s a quote from me.

        “Never deign to speak to one of your betters like me again Jeffmike”

        There’s another.

        1. You could cut paste the comments from Jeff in the early morning thread, change the name to mike, and paste then here and nobody would notice.

          1. The fact that he engages in jovial colloquy with his own sock is the most hilarious part about it.

    3. Pelosi literally admitted the impeachment was an abuse of power today. Direct quote. “Speed? It’s been going on 22 months—two and a half years, actually.”

      1. And some D Congress people have already indicated they intend to impeach him again.
        Hilarious as they assume both a loss in the senate and in the general election, though I guess they believe they might retain the house

    4. Exactly what I thought reading your endless insistences of exactly that during the Obama admin’s rampant corruption, Buttplug.

    5. I think the expression which no one seems to get is:
      ‘Conflict of Interest’
      not
      ‘Abuse of Power’
      But that’s doesn’t sound much like a high crime to me.

  2. Denying that Trump abuses power is just TDS. Every politician, hell every bureaucrat, abuses power.

    You may as well claim Trump never speeds, or never stole an office pen.

    1. One might say the President (all modern presidents) merely use the power we’ve given them.

    2. I love how you tried to counter me and jist endes up looking dumber SQRLSY LOLOLOL

    3. your definition and Jake’s are in different solar systems

  3. According to the Democrats, any investigation of a political opponent is an abuse of power.

    Therefore, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, due to investigating their political opponent, Donald Trump, are also guilty of abuse of power and must be impeached and removed from office.

    1. Again, it was the manner in which Trump pursued the investigation, not the investigation per se.

      1. We heard your lie the first 1000 times jeffmike.

      2. Zelensky has said there is no basis to open an investigation of Biden or Crowdstrike. The investigations were completely manufactured bs.

        1. So you believe Zelensky NOW?

          AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

          MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MIND LOLOLOL

          AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHHHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAAHHAHAHAAH

          HE BELEIVES HIM NOW AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAH

          1. I don’t have to believe Zelensky to know those investigations are bs you weird creature.

            1. AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHJA

              NOW HE DOESNT BELIEVE HIM AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAH

              AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

              AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHJAAJAHHAHAJAHAHJAJ

            2. “I’ll believe the Ukrainian president when he says the things that I want him to say, but I won’t believe him when he contradicts my narrative” – t. Pod

              Do you realize what a colossal fraud you’ve just said you are?

        2. If there’s one thing we know from the Mueller investigation: we always have to wait for the investigation.

        3. The same Zelensky that was said Trump didn’t demand an investigation in return for aid?

      3. “”Again, it was the manner in which Trump pursued the investigation, not the investigation per se.””

        Isn’t the abuse of power article about the investigation per se?
        Would the dems see it any less of an issue if he asked the DOJ to investigate?

        1. Had he done that, it would be an abuse of power for Trump meddling in DoJ affairs.

          You aren’t getting it, orange man is bad, the details are unimportant.

          1. “Had he done that, it would be an abuse of power for Trump meddling in DoJ affairs”

            You don’t think Trump hasn’t meddled with Barr in investigations? Of course Trump has interfered. Mfer had to fire Sessions to get someone who would listen to his corrupt scheming. God damn y’all are fucked. Can’t even see this snake.

            1. I dunno, he hasn’t called him his wingman yet

              1. Barr thought some “Uranium Clinton” fever dream was real. That dude has Fox News brain rot.

                1. What were his thoughts on believing Zelensky?

                  And did he change them immediately like you did?

                2. Speaking of brain rot, you want those 17 instances of FBI fuckups listed for you yet?

                  1. Cry me a fucking river you naive mfer. Cops have been serving up shitty warrants since forever. I hope the FBI changes its practices but I’m not holding my breath. If we get meaningful FISA or any warrant reform out of this I will be happily surprised. But that peripheral issue of FBI practices doesnt mean they didn’t have good reason to see if Trump’s campaign was colluding. And the FBI held back by the way. They didn’t even surveil Manafort and that mfer was colluding. It’s a shitshow I’ll admit as usual.

                    1. “But that peripheral issue of FBI practices doesnt mean they didn’t have good reason to see if Trump’s campaign was colluding.”

                      Um, that’s actually exactly what it means…

                    2. How come you keep changing socks anyway “Pod”?
                      Are you trying to make it seem like there are a multitude of authoritarian leftists hanging out in the comments? If that’s the case you should change up your writing style a bit for each sock.

                    3. You’re literally the masked crying man meme.

                      Now, you want those 17 instances or not, you useless cumdrop?

                    4. //And the FBI held back by the way.//

                      So, fabricating evidence and lying to a court that rubber stamps warrants in any event is “holding back”?

                      Jesus fuck, I’d hate to see what your idea of the FBI fucking people over looks like.

                      I guess you are right, they didn’t just fucking shoot Trump in the head, so yea … I suppose they “held back.”

                      What a retard.

                    5. Pod, I’m not really interested in anything you have to say. You are a combination of delusional and dishonest. You will never stop until our constitution, and our republic are gone and replaced with some kind of Soviet style system where your progressive oaks are in control.

                      I’m only interested in waiting for the moment when you go too far, and push too hard. Then we can say we’re…….. provoked…….. and you and your friends will go away in short order.

                      So please, keep pushing.

                    6. If they had good reason and were holding back, why would they have had to make all those “mistakes”, that only went in one direction?
                      What are the odds…?

            2. That’s the joke, you thick headed prick.

              If Trump interacts with the DoJ at all your ilk will get the torches and pitchforks out again. He has no moves to make that you wouldn’t criticize and try to impeach him over. Y’all were screaming about impeachment before he even took office.

              I didn’t vote for him last time around and I won’t be voting for him in 2020 either. I’ve got no horse in the race but Jesus tapdancing Christ your side has fucking lost it.

              1. Trump doesn’t get to manufacture investigations particularly of his political opponents. I’m so sorry. It’s one of the reason Obama kept the Republican Comey as FBI Director. Space is good. If you’re too close it fucks up the investigations. Barr’s investigations are tainted by Trump. You’re going to learn that. Barr has said all kinds of crazy shit about Trump’s political opponents. He’s the last mfer with credibility to accuse FBI agents of having bias.

                1. Except we have the report showing their bias.

                  1. You have bias. Barr has bias. We all have bias. The question isn’t whether you have bias it’s whether the bias is affecting your actions. (We went over this distinction already during the Comey stuff you might recall because none of this shit from the IG is news to me. Maybe the details are new to me but the issue if bias is not new.

                    In this instance the mistakes are helping Trump. No one fucking knew Page had been FISAed when it was happening. It didn’t matter one way or another whether the warrant issued and was renewed because no one knew (now obviously that matters to Page but it’s not relevant otherwise) except and this is huge, now those mistakes are being used by Trump and company to confuse and coverup their scandalous actions. These mistakes were never useful for the investigation.

                    1. Pod, clearly the bias did affect their actions. That is the point. We had three different teams, totaling maybe two dozen people in the FBI who were involved in lying to the court to obtain FISA warrants to spy on a presidential campaign. They lied to the court. At least a dozen times. That is pretty damned bad. I don’t care what Team you’re on…you don’t lie to the court.

                      Now look, I really don’t care what party is in office, but we can’t have a situation where a decision is made to spy on a presidential campaign by the FBI without either (preferably both) a sitting AG and POTUS making that call. FFS, something that sensitive should absolutely be decided at that level, period. I am frankly amazed it was not escalated up to them (Lynch, Obama).

                    2. Yea, I’m confident it was escalated up to Lynch and Obama.
                      Indeed, I’m confident they directed it.
                      I am not confident that it will be proven through any official paper trail though

                2. But obama does get to manufacture an investigation? Did you miss the whole report dropped monday dumbfuck? The one that has made you a crying child the last 2 days?

                  1. One point here…Obama, as chief executive, had the legal authority to call for an investigation of Donald Trump’s campaign based on the information provided to him. He had full legal authority to call for an investigation just because he didn’t like Trump (even though it would be unseemly). His underlings didn’t have the authority to break laws carrying out his directive to investigate. That’s why Obama is probably not personally liable for anything in this investigation unless they find actual evidence of him ordering people to break the law, but Comey and Brennan and Rosenstein may be.

                    It’s the same token by which Trump is fully allowed by law to request or even order an investigation of Joe Biden. He just can’t order his people to break laws in order to conduct that investigation (e.g. the fraudulent FISA warrants that Comey signed)…and there is zero indication that he did so.

                    1. I completely agree with this.
                      BUT, Trump’s authority to order investigations stops with the domestic law enforcement agencies.

                    2. No, it does not, because the President is also authorized by the Constitution to set foreign policy and to enforce laws when they apply to American interests overseas. That includes investigating the possible participation of American citizens in foreign corruption, under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He is also authorized to request support from and coordinate operations with foreign law enforcement and governmental entities (such as Interpol, for example) to assist in these investigations.

                      Not only that, but thanks to laws passed during the Bush administration to combat sex trafficking, the President has full authority to investigate, arrest, and prosecute American citizens for crimes committed overseas in violation of our laws. Cooperation with foreign law enforcement is inherent to that.

                      The President did literally nothing wrong by requesting the Ukrainians investigate Joe Biden for Biden’s very public remarks about getting the prosecutor fired who was investigating the company his son worked for. He would, in fact, have been negligent in his responsibilities for not investigating. Whether Joe Biden is his political opponent or not is irrelevant…Biden created probable cause for such an investigation with his comments, and even if he hadn’t said anything, it would still be fully legal for President Trump to investigate why such large sums were being paid by a Ukrainian company to the son of a man who was handling U.S. foreign policy on Ukraine.

                3. //Trump doesn’t get to manufacture investigations particularly of his political opponents//

                  Now it’s “manufacturing” investigations? You’re dumber than the Bidens.

            3. “”You don’t think Trump hasn’t meddled with Barr in investigations?””

              Making shit up.

              1. Are you kidding me? Trump has directly attacked the FBI agents who now find themselves the subject of Barr’s investigation. Trump has been demanding a politicized justice. He had to fire Sessions because Sessions wasn’t playing ball. Barr is playing ball.

                1. That doesn’t support the shit you made up.

                2. Are you kidding me? Trump has directly attacked the FBI agents who now find themselves the subject of Barr’s investigation.

                  Considering the 17 times they omitted or fabricated evidence to get a FISA warrant based on something that is looking increasingly like it actually was a 4chan prank, it’s not hard to see why.

          2. “You aren’t getting it, orange man is bad, the details are unimportant.”

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

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

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

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

            All Hail to THE Pussy Grabber in Chief!!!

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

            Orange Man Bad-Ass Pussy-Grabber all right!

            1. Fuck Mary, did you hit your head again?

              1. Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

                So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

                Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

                Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

                Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

                At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

                Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com .

                Thank You! -Reason Staff

                1. Fuck off Mary.

        2. Anyone has the ability to call the DOJ and point them in the direction of a crime. Trump tried to manufacture a full blown investigation using a foreign govt and foreign aid. That’s the problem. Crowdstrike is a fucking joke. Call the FBI and tell them about Crowdstrike. Lol. And That Biden crap falls apart immediately upon inspection. Biden’s son never under investigation. Biden never stopped investigations. He helped fire a crook. That’s it.

          1. “”Trump tried to manufacture a full blown investigation using a foreign govt and foreign aid””

            Asking for a favor is now manufacturing a full blown investigation.
            Yet you wonder why people don’t take you seriously.

            1. The asking for a favor was one part of a larger campaign. Giuliani, Sondland and Mulvaney were all putting pressure and demanding the investigations.

              1. And the Illuminati.

                Cant forget them.

              2. Democrats utilized 13 different foreign governments in the Mueller investigation dumbfuck.

                1. The Mueller investigation was conducted by Trump’s DOJ. The Democrats had no authority over it. Your brain is trash. I’m sorry.

          2. Call the FBI and tell them about Crowdstrike.

            Why? It’s not like they’d actually conduct a competent investigation regardless. LOL.

            1. So, we look to Rudy Giuliani for competency?

        3. Democrats would have still tried to make it an issue, but they’d have a harder time doing anything about it — like impeaching him.

          1. Impeaching is a political process. Being the anti-trump fever that exists, I doubt it would have mattered.

            You said it was not the investigation per se but it is because he would have received the value either way. Value being an investigation of Hunter. The dems would have claimed Trump was using the DOJ, FBI, Chris Steele, or whoever to Trump’s benefit.

            1. Perhaps. If they tried to go beyond complaining about it, and tried to impeach him for using the DOJ (or whatever), they’d have less material to work with. Especially, if he scrupulously stayed out of the investigation, and didn’t tweet about it or talk about it in campaign rallies.

              It was certainly not a better plan, if Trump wanted to avoid appearance of impropriety, to ask for an investigation as a favor in a phone call, referring Zelensky to his personal attorney.

              Regardless, either way, the Senate isn’t going to remove Trump from office, so he will win in the end.

              1. They have no material except opinions and hearsay as it is dummy.

                1. The trial hasn’t happened yet.

              2. Why the hell should Trump expend any effort trying to avoid the appearance of impropriety, when he’s faced with an opposition that regards his continuing to breath as improper?

                1. Why the hell should Trump expend any effort trying to avoid the appearance of impropriety, when he’s faced with an opposition that regards his continuing to breath as improper?

                  Maybe it’s because, it’s the right thing to do, regardless of what Democrats do or do not say?

                  Maybe Trump shouldn’t bother refraining from shooting people on Fifth Avenue, because Democrats will accuse him of murder regardless if he does or does not. Sound good to you?

                  1. No actually it sounds like Trump broke your brain.

                    It takes an especially ignorant, blinkered naive idiot to think against daily evidence that avoiding impropriety will stop you progs from doing anything bitch.

                    1. Pedo Jeffy is a special kinda of idiot. So of course he loves democrats. Too bad for him he’s a Canadian and can’t be one of them.

                2. Honestly, Trump doesn’t need to behave with with propriety at all in office. It’s not like the Senate is going to remove him from office or the Democrats are going to run an effective 2020 campaign against him.

                  He’s going to win the war, even if he’s losing this House impeachment battle.

                  1. Of course he loses in the House. He isn’t allowed to put on a defense, and Pelosi and Schiff have rigged the process so republicans are barely allowed to participate.

                  2. You think Trump’s losing this battle?

                    Hahahahahahaha
                    Hahahahahahahahahaha

          2. Democrats would have still tried to make it an issue, but they’d have a harder time doing anything about it — like impeaching him.

            Sullum even admits that the articles of impeachment are incredibly broad and weak, so that hardly makes your case.

            1. It’s not my case. I don’t care whether Trump is impeached or not.

              If Pelosi were taking my advice, she’d issue a censure and drop the whole matter as quickly as possible.

        4. The first impeachment article starts with, “Using the powers of his high office, President Trump…” That is not about the investigation per se, it is where they accuse Trump of abuse of power.

    2. Awww.

      1. I got your name bitch.

  4. Reason has gone beyond discrediting themselves in regards to this witch-hunt in my eyes. I think Reason needs to hire a chiropractor for their staff after all the bending over backward they have done to try to convince me how absolutely nefarious all of this is. I would expect a Libertarian publication to discuss that situations like this is why we need limited government; why we need more transparency in government; why we should not be Nation building in places such as Ukraine (which is exactly what the Obama administration was doing via Clinton); why are we giving millions and millions of our tax dollars to countries such as Ukraine when we in fact have our own money worries and an rapidly escalating national debt. These are the issues I expect from Reason, but all I get is Orange Man bad. And you have the audacity to ask me for a donation. HA!

    1. Maybe discuss the shit that is coming out of the Horowitz report and today’s hearings?

      1. I’m looking forward to some coverage of it later…

        1. Oh shit now the “Leave Reason A” loners are gonna cry at you.

        2. Just now:

          Sen. Crapo (what a name): “But if someone were to characterize what you are telling us to be that you’re telling us there is no bias here, that’s not what you’re telling us?”

          Horowitz: “That is not, as to the, operations of these FISA’s what I’m telling you.”

          I’m sure Reason will go back and correct this from their previous reporting.

          1. Barr is clearly biased. If bias disqualifies a mfer then Trump, Barr and Durham should not be anywhere near oversight on these questions.

            1. Barr was unbiased enough to get confirmed.

              1. Barr is looking for scapegoats on direct orders from Trump. Barr’s investigations are tainted by that. You better believe Barr’s DOJ will be the subject investigations.

                  1. I like watching shreek lose his shit like that

                1. You better believe Barr’s DOJ will be the subject investigations.

                  Not after the majority of the people demanding the investigation end up getting charged with corruption because it turned out they were getting rich off foreign bribery too.

                  You seem to think you’re operating in a world where the Democrats are innocent victims of a vindictive dictator. They’re not…they’re criminals who are panicking because they were corrupt, they were open about it, and the figured Clinton would win so there’s no way they could be caught. Once Trump wins re-election, he can just start investigations on most of the ringleaders and destroy them…because they’re actually crooks and they were actually taking bribes and they weren’t smart enough to cover their tracks. 🙂

            2. Go eat more tide pods you dishonest bitch.

          2. Horowitz wasn’t saying there was no bias. He absolutely found bias.

            Here’s what he said of Priestap’s decision to open the investigation: “we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision.

            We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence (A phrase that appears dozens of times in the report) that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations. ”

            IOW, nobody was stupid enough to put down in writing that they were doing things because of bias. There were no signed confessions. And apparently, barring a signed confession, Horowitz wasn’t going to conclude bias drove any decision, no matter how obvious bias was, or how otherwise inexplicable the decision was.

            1. So, Horowitz said there was no bias, but he didn’t really MEAN there was no bias, so we still get to operate under the assumption that the FBI was biased, amirite?

              1. But Horowitz didn’t say there was no bias. What the hell, Chemjeff.

                1. You have to ask?

              2. Brett explained thoroughly and you still refuse to admit reality, as if words don’t have meanings.
                Horowitz said he didn’t find 2 specific types of evidence: testimonial or documentary.
                He never said he didn’t find evidence absent those qualifiers.
                But, of course, jeff will ignore this.
                Because jeff is psychotic, and reality cannot be tolerated

                1. He didn’t find it, therefore you may continue to assume it exists. Got it.

                  1. Ok.
                    For the sake of discussion.

                    What did he find then?

    2. “…but all I get is Orange Man bad.”

      “Orange Man Bad” as a summary from conservatives, of page after page after page, detail after detail, testimony upon testimony, of HOW and WHY Orange Man is a lying hypocritical narcissistic and corrupt, self-centered weasel, who is ruining the good reputation (for years if not decades) of the USA, internationally, shows the utter contempt that conservatives hold the rest of us in! “Here, dummy, I can summarize ALL of the encyclopedic knowledge that has been gathered concerning Der TrumpfenFuhrer, so that YOU (dumbshit) will NOT have to trouble your pretty little head, studying all that boring stuff! It just amounts to Orange Man Bad, end of story!”

      Don’t study medicine or boring medical texts… I will summarize it for you! “The human body is made of icky puss and smegma, slimy blood and mucus, and icky poop!”

      Law summary: “He or she who habeas the corpus, must take proper care of it.”

      Computers? Stop studying, you fool! “Learn to code; garbage in, garbage out; just be logical!”

      Electrical Hardware Engineering? “Don’t stick your diode in an anode! Sparks is as sparks does!”

      And then conservatives and other Trumptatorship worshippers and ignorance worshippers have the NERVE to say, “We need more SKILLED AND TALENTED immigrants and fewer ignorant ones coming into the USA!”!

      1. Fuck off Mary.

        1. “Dear Abby” is a personal friend of mine. She gets some VERY strange letters! For my amusement, she forwards some of them to me from time to time. Here is a relevant one:

          Dear Abby, Dear Abby,
          My life is a mess,
          Even Bill Clinton won’t stain my dress,
          I whinny seductively for the horses,
          They tell me my picnic is short a few courses,
          My real name is Mary Stack,
          NO ONE wants my hairy crack!
          On disability, I live all alone,
          Spend desperate nights by the phone,
          I found a man named Richard Decker,
          But he won’t give me his hairy pecker!
          Decker’s pecker is reserved for farm beasts,
          I am beastly, yes! But my crack’s full of yeasts!

          So Dear Abby, that’s just a poetic summary… You can read about the Love of my Life, Richard Decker, here:
          https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/11/farmers-kept-refusing-let-him-have-sex-with-their-animals-so-he-sought-revenge-authorities-say/#comments-wrapper
          Farmers kept refusing to let him have sex with their animals. So he sought revenge, authorities say.
          Decker the hairy pecker told me a summary of his story as below:
          Decker: “Can I have sex with your horse?”
          Farmer: “Lemme go ask the horse.”
          Pause…
          Farmer: “My horse says ‘neigh’!”
          And THAT was straight from the horse’s mouth! I’m not horsin’ around, here, no mare!

          So Decker the hairy pecker told me that, apparently never even realizing just HOW DEEPLY it hurt me, that he was all interested in farm beasts, while totally ignoring MEEE!!

          So I thought maybe I could at least liven up my lonely-heart social life, by refining my common interests that I share with Richard Decker… I, too, like to have sex with horses!

          But Dear Abby, the horses ALL keep on saying “neigh” to my whinnying sexual advances!
          Some tell me that my whinnying is too whiny… Abby, I don’t know how to fix it!

          Dear Abby, please don’t tell me “get therapy”… I can’t afford it on my disability check!

          Now, along with my crack full of yeasts… I am developing anorexia! Some are calling me a “quarter pounder with cheese”, but they are NOT interested at ALL, in eating me!!! They will NOT snack on my crack!

          What will I DO, Dear Abby?!?!?

          -Desperately Seeking Horses, Men, or ANYTHING, in Fort Worth,
          Yours Truly,
          Mary Stack / Tulpa / Mary’s Period / “.” / Satan

    3. Reason’s crazy insistence on the msm narrative on impeachment is the reason I didn’t donate to the webathon this year. Their coverage is badly thought through and contains almost no libertarian analysis. The libertarian party got reason’s donation this year instead.

  5. “According to the Democrats, any investigation of a political opponent is an abuse of power.”

    No just investigations of them is a problem. The Horowitz shit show is amazing. So we’re worried that Trump asked Ukraine to investigate the corrupt Biden’s ?

    But the FBI can just illegally surveil (psst don’t call it spying) opposition opponents

    1. It’s OK because the FBI meant well and that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

      1. Were the right Top Men on the investigation? I’d feel a lot better knowing we had Top Men on it.

        1. You mean like Tony’s tricks?

      2. It’s not even they meant well. Horowitz was clear today that he didnt find evidence. But he sure as hell cant explain why they vociferously kept up the investigation despite any and all evidence found being exculpatory. horowitz was much clearer today.

        Basically his report states the DoJ has no bar to actually open an investigation, but the FBI and DOJ failed to limit or stop the investigation each and every step where evidence stated nothing happened.

        The testimony was devastating to democrats today.

        But the Mike and Jeff’s (I repeat myself) of the world only read that very first statement on the blow bar at Vox, and think everything was on the up and up.

  6. It’s the endless CNN flavored hit pieces like this that inspire me to donate to Reason.

    1. It is the endless CNN flavored hit pieces like this that inspire me to unsubscribe from Reason.

    2. reason writers suck, so they get no money from me.

  7. Trump has said enough. Mulvaney has said enough. Giuliani has said enough. Sondland has told us enough. There’s very little mystery here. If these individuals have anything else to say then they should say it. But they have said enough way more you might get in a typical scandal.

    1. Nice to see you resigned yourself to the L youve been eating for months now.

    2. You’re still lying about Sondlands testimony? Holy fuck you’re dumb.

  8. Here’s a former FBI agent (now a professor) talking about the absurdity of the impeachment. He also reminds the viewers that there were members of the house who wanted to impeach Trump before he was inaugurated

  9. Dem lawyer talks about “estensitive evidence” against Trump. James Dore on point.

    1. He claims that Donald Trump withheld $391 in assistance. Three hundred, ninety one dollars. Full stop. Guy can’t even talk good.

      1. We are dwelling on unimportant mistatements?

        1. JFC…

        2. The impeachment process has been an unimportant misstatement.

        3. Covfefe

        4. Like the repeated misstatements that no part of the Steele Dossier was used to obtain FISA warrants … until we learned that it was the ENTIRE basis?

          Funny how misstatements work, Jeff.

          1. I’m not Jeff, and I’ve always been critical of the Russia probe. You’re not going to find me defending the FBI or agreeing it was exonerated by the recent report.

            1. You realize people can read your prior comments, right?

  10. The gaps in the record invite the public to dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise.

    Jacob, what exactly do you think we need to convince these Trumpian dead-Enders? A fucking semen stain on a blue dress. I mean, Jesus Christ, his culpability and crimes are available for all to see. You think his cult are susceptible to reason and explanation?!? Fuck man, I haven’t seen any evidence of that!

    1. Hi shreek, the mockery of your “pod” account got you to bust out your other sockpuppet I see.

      1. I’m actually Tony, fake buttplug. You know that handle thieves get their hands boiled in acid in Hell, right?

        1. Awww Shreek is upset because he got caught socking and lost his handle lolololl

          “You know that handle thieves get their hands boiled in acid in Hell, right?”

          I know that crying like a bitch like you did there is making me laugh at you lolololol

    2. his culpability and crimes are available for all to see

      Ok, but if you know why you’re being laughed at, why complain instead of stopping?

    3. It’s not just the gaps in the record that invite the public to dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise, it’s things like that semen stain on a blue dress – proof that Clinton had committed perjury in a lawsuit alleging serial sexual harassment that got shrugged off – that invite the public to no longer give a shit about impeachment because the rule of law is dead and you’d better grab what you can while you can because The Purge is upon us.

  11. “The gaps in the record invite the public to dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise.”

    Correction: “Impeachment is a purely partisan exercise”

  12. “The gaps in the case against Trump are big enough that his supporters can and will dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise without losing any sleep about the broader issues at stake.”

    The bipartisan vote authorizing this will….oh, wait.

  13. Turley, an expert on impeachment, emphasizes that “high crimes and misdemeanors” are not limited to statutory violations. “It is possible to establish a case for impeachment based on a non-criminal allegation of abuse of power,” he says.

    Absolutely. This has been agreed upon for a while. However, hell hath no fury like an elected president being bounced out of office by the losers.

  14. This entire impeachment debacle has been an exercise in self-abuse.

    1. Go on…

  15. Team D is set upon impeaching POTUS Trump. Very well, hold the vote. Get it over with, already. The Senate trial will probably be very short, maybe a week or two. My guess is that there won’t be any witnesses called. It would not surprise me if Senator McConnell knows exactly what the vote count is on Team R going in. If you have 51 ‘No’ votes, why wait? Hell, he might just have two quick votes and the trial is over.

    Bottom Line: The Senate will not remove POTUS Trump.

    This will ultimately be settled at the ballot box in November 2020. Considering the FISA report [and Durham’s criminal investigations], I can safely say there will be a lot of people who are going to be unusually motivated to vote.

    1. Actually I get the impression that the senate trial will be dragged out as long as possible to keep the sitting Dem senators that are running off the campaign trail. And generate some attack ad audio bites.

      1. exactly teh dems want to get this farce over so everyone will forget about it election time while the republicans should stretch it out need to bring forth real witness. but we can’t rely on the GOP so there is that

      2. I thought that way too, initially. No, I think McConnell wants this over so all of Team R makes the argument out on the campaign that you need a unified House and Senate to work with POTUS Trump, and not wasting time and money on impeachment bullshit. If the trial ends quickly with acquittals, it just reinforces that.

        The FISA report and Durham criminal investigations will do the rest.

        In the meantime, more judges get confirmed.

        1. Actually, I think they’ll have a trial…if only because they know that if they subpoena Joe and Hunter Biden and start forcing them to answer questions about Burisma under oath, they can really put all the Democrats who’ve spent the last couple of months defending him in a bind.

          I think Trump’s second term is going to get brutal for the leftists, both in Congress and the civil service…especially after everything that they’re finding out about what the FBI and CIA doing. And so they’re going to make the Dems look as bad as possible on a national stage so they can flip as many seats as they can in 2020, so the Dems have fewer defenders in Congress and fewer people to stand in the way of Trump’s commie purge.

          1. I listened to some of the testimony today (FISA report). I cannot believe what I heard. It was mind-blowing. Nobody seemed to have command judgment. You’d think that at least ONE of the two dozen FBI employees would stop and say, “You know, we’re doing surveillance on a presidential candidates campaign. Do you think maybe we ought to go to the AG on this one?” How on earth does that happen?

            You know what really struck me the most? The outlook and mentality that I saw Colonel Vindman exhibit during his testimony is exactly the same as the mentality of the FBI employees described in the FISA report. Scary AF.

            1. So they’re either liars to oversight and should be fired, or they’re morally defective and should be fired.

    2. If Senator McConnell lets the trial go long, it will only be because he smells blood in the water. This was what Speaker Pelosi always knew and feared. She let the Leftists push her into a corner and hoped the investigations would bring out a smoking gun. Instead, we got a sort of, might be a crime, that Trump sort of, might have been guilty of. It’s a bad situation for the Democrats and it’s why Pelosi suddenly decided to end things quickly in the House. Furthermore, they can’t get support for impeachment over 50% and that’s a bad sign.

      1. The more they campaign for impeachment in public, the more people turn against impeachment

      2. Germane to your fine points, McConnell will also be wary of rushing through the trial; doing so could invite accusations of blatant favoritism and a disregard for the constitutional process. He’s unlikely to make those mistakes.

        Moreover, time is on Trump’s side, strategically. It is the democrats and Pelosi who now must dance under the sword of Damocles. Paybacks are indeed a bitch. They have played their hand, gone all-in, and failed to come home with the bacon. They’ve induced-at best-a collective yawn amidst the body-politic.

        So Trump can now begin to flex his political muscle, if he hasn’t already begun. His counter-attack will be fierce and forever; if you’re going to shoot at the king, you best not miss ( or whatever the phrase is.)

        But miss they did; and no, it’s not enough to wet the pants of your media stooges. What follows will be your “blood in the water” denouement.

        First, Horowitz ( the IG) is gutting aloud the FBI-Comey and his apparatchik in particular and the FISA warrant machinations in general. Not a moment too soon.

        Secondly, the GOP led senate soon gets its bite of the apple. That should get seriously ugly and vicious. You don’t need me to tell you how senators on a moral crusade and in political heat can scream ad nauseam.

        Finally, the Durham report lurks like “some ghoul in a late-night horror movie…” {Scalia: Lamb’s Chapel}. Come late spring, maybe summer 2020 it will it get released. Indictments and criminal prosecutions of Intel/Justice officials will emerge.

        About then, if not sooner, the death knell of the left in terms of any 2020 serious political victories will have rung. Therein, the left’s dream of impeachment success beyond polemic will have shape-shifted into a nightmare of self-imposed castration.

    3. Actually the US Senate needs a 2/3 majority for removal. 67 Senators.

      Trump wont be removed from office and then he will go on to win reelection.

    4. There have been reported that McConnell wants to make the Senate trial as short and sweet as possible, but Trump wants to draw it out and use it to turn the tables on Biden. We shall see how it goes.

  16. “I have little doubt, based on the existing record, that Trump did, in fact, abuse his powers to serve his personal interests.”

    Oh, no, this means the American people made a horrible mistake by not electing Hillary!

    1. Trump is far more fun and useful for those of us who are instructed by a kind of go-fuck-yourself attitude about the government and the military-industrial complex. I mean, really, you want to be ruled by these shitheads? Why?

      1. Dont you have 100 million people to liquidate again?

        1. There’s a sale on Soylant green?

      2. I have no interest in being ruled. The ones with the greatest interest in ruling me are likely to be in the anti-Trump camp.

        Trump, the ex-Democrat and populist, is hardly my ideal of a “ruler.” But then, nobody is.

        Why should I vote against King Log, only to get King Stork instead?

        1. You can always vote against both King Log and King Stork.

          1. As far as 3rd parties are concerned, the deck is more stacked than Dolly Parton.

            The choice of 3rd parties is often fairly grim – Johnson/Weld come to mind.

            Plus the two wings of the duopoly are not equivalent. The Republicans are often indifferent to good principles – the Dems are consistently, actively, hostile to them.

            I’d love ranked-choice voting, so I could rank my preferred not-Democrat candidates, and that way the Reps would know I was their second choice.

    2. Well you have to admit, the Clintons have never been accused of abusing their powers to serve their personal interests. Never!

    3. Totally solid logic there, as long as you make sure to exclude the middle!

  17. It’s amazing how hungry we all are for President Pence.

    1. I hear ya. I appreciate irony so if it comes down to a choice between the country being run by a crime boss vs a pilgrim i’ll Go with the former. Vhat a country! Just remember veterans: you put your life on the line so this plutocrat liar can take a big dump of diarrhea all over the Constitution and the government. Thank you for your service.

      1. Please dont enslave the population and send them to gulags.

        1. Is that what your last crush did when you asked her on a date?

  18. I care not a whit that Jacob Sullum’s mind thinks Trump pressured Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit him politically. Never mind that Trump would benefit – the whole of the USA benefits from investigation of the Biden family affairs in Ukraine, AND in China. The Bidens benefitted financially AND politically from what Joe did as vice president; at least until congress lost control of their attempts to unseat president Trump.

  19. I don’t even read the articles, just want to see some actual interesting analysis from the commentariat. Even some of the “bad guys”.
    I wonder how many of you are paid for this….

    1. Mike and Jeff, while I consider them to be pains in the ass, do sometimes even things out and remain skeptical and sometimes play dumb like a staffer bringing in clicks would be.

      Pod says the dumbest shit by far, but he also makes clicks happen so who knows.

    2. There’s an awful lot of Team Red bootlickers around here.

      If you want to know what Jesse’s arguments will be tomorrow, just read Breitbart today.

      1. Well, you’re a Team Blue ass eater who pretend he’s neutral. If I want to know what you’re going to say, I read Salon first.

        1. I don’t pretend I’m neutral. I loathe both Team Blue and Team Red, but that doesn’t mean I’m neutral. At least I’m not a communist though. That would be really weird. Wouldn’t you say?

          1. “I loathe Team Blue”

            Tip: BJ’s and carrying water aren’t the best way to let someone know you hate them.

          2. Just an international collectivist who spouts oppression narratives

          3. //I loathe both Team Blue//

            Lie of the fucking century and you’ve got yourself all tuned to a stupid meme about me being a communist.

            This is why people abuse you Jeff.

            You’re about as neutral as the FBI.

            No, we don’t have a confession from you but when you’re hobby is gargling every Team Blue talking point like Listerine, the shit you spit out is obvious to everyone.

            1. If what you think I”m saying are “Team Blue talking points” then you live too deep in a right-wing media bubble, and/or you think anything that isn’t carrying water for Team Red automatically qualifies as “Team Blue talking points”.

              And I didn’t say I’m neutral. I’m not neutral. I have strong opinions about lots of things.

              a stupid meme about me being a communist.

              Remember this quote?

              Your private property is on lease from the government

              Or this one?
              You seem perfectly fine with asserting your right to deny strangers entry into your home, but seem to think that denying strangers passage across the border is denying them their liberty because your “private” property interests are different than that of the state. But, there is no meaningful difference because the state acts on behalf of the people to, among other things, protect private property interests.

              You clearly don’t seem to like actual private property rights all that much. Only the state has any REAL property rights, all the rest of us are just “leasing” property from the state.

              1. Again, jeff is so fucking stupid that he cant tell the difference between not liking something and recognizing the actual state of it. I’ve never seen anyone worse than jeffmike when it comes to intentionally misrepresenting what people say.

                  1. You just wish you were as smart as my lover Jeff.

                1. Thank heavens we have Tulpa here to stick up for communists.

                  1. The only communists here are you and Laursen, and that idiot Pod.

      2. Haha Haha. Dumbass jeff got beat down earlier and now is crying like a lil bitch.

        Sorry that your shareblue talking points are so easy to debunk dumbass.

        1. Oh look at you. Juvenile taunts and point scoring are all you seem to know. Oh, and quoting right-wing blogs as if they were authoritative sources. If you think I’m quoting ShareBlue talking points then you are deeper into the Team Red media bubble than I thought possible. “Everyone who disagrees with Sean Hannity is just a left-wing shill! It is known!”

          1. Lol
            Mirror, mirror on the wall…

          2. At some point, imbecility reaches a threshold where reasonable discussion is impossible and shaming is the only recourse. Judging by most of the commentators here, you crossed that line harder than you crossed your eyes you dishonest fucking imbecile.

          3. “chemjeff radical individualist
            December.11.2019 at 6:40 pm
            Oh look at you. Juvenile taunts”

            “chemjeff radical individualist
            December.11.2019 at 4:45 pm
            There’s an awful lot of Team Red bootlickers”

            Lololol you INSIST on making a fool of yourself lolololol

  20. I love the fact that we just had report drop and a hearing on some of the most awful abuses of power from the FBI to the point that everyone should be very concerned. Yet, here at Reason, we are once again talking about Trump’s innocuous phone call with Zelensky like it was the end of the world. The priorities here are just tragic.

    1. To provide an excuse for that is literally why Pelosi announced the impeachment charges when she did.

  21. It is better to be impeached

  22. “But I still say that mofo is guilty!”

  23. What’s so terrible about this is how Dear Leader Will now be counted among the 3 other Presidents to be impeached— Johnson, a slaver apologist; Nixon, a criminal; and Clinton, a philandering douche. And now Dear Leader. So sad. I mean all Dear Leader did to earn that kind of company is sexually harass enough women so that we’ve lost count and probably rape a child. Big whoop.

    1. Pleaae dont line all the women, children and non working age men up against the wall and shoot them again.

    2. He’ll be the first one that gets a prison sentence after he leaves office. He’s very special.

    3. Nixon resigned before he was impeached.

    4. LeaveTrumpAloneLibertarian
      December.11.2019 at 4:35 pm
      “What’s so terrible about this is how Dear Leader Will now be counted among the 3 other Presidents to be impeached— Johnson, a slaver apologist; Nixon, a criminal; and Clinton, a philandering douche….”

      From a fucking lefty ignoramus who can’t seem to pay his mortgage.

    5. “Nixon was impeached”

      Lol. Fuck history, amirite?

  24. “We have no evidence, but we still believe.”

    The new definition of Reason, is Faith.

  25. So asking for an investigation into criminal acts of another American running for president is now an abuse of power. Doesn’t that mean that Congress is abusing its power by investigating an American president who is also running for president

    1. Oh it’s ok as long as you don’t ask foreigners for help.

    2. Trump apologists understand at some level this is an oversimplification that avoids thinking about everything questionable about how Trump went about investigating Biden, but they repeat it like a mantra hoping the questionable behavior will be wished away.

      1. //how Trump went about investigating Biden//

        The process, not the investigation.

        This argument is beyond retarded. You’re such a lying jackass.

    3. Bingo! You state the blaring double standard.

      Sad to see Sullum “finds it wildly implausible” that Trump’s “desire for an investigation of the Bidens was based on a legitimate concern about official corruption in Ukraine.” This unfortunately shows the effects of TDS on Sullum (get well soon Jacob – sincerely you’ve an excellent mind) in several ways.

      First, isn’t the type of corruption of which the Bidens are accused the kind of thing libertarians are against and are illegal? Surely Sullum has read that a) Biden urged the Ukrainians to invest in gas with Americans, b) Hunter was hired by Burisma which had been found guilty of tax evasion and paid extra taxes to avoid criminal prosecutions, c) Hunter had no experience and was paid huge sums, d) Joe’s on video bragging about getting the prosecutor investigating Burisma fired or he’d withhold US foreign aid? Sullum writes that Biden wanted “to protect his son” not “a large financial kickback to his son in return for US taxpayer money”. How can Sullum fail to see this if not for TDS?

      Similarly Sullum also writes of “official corruption in Ukraine” not “US government corruption in Ukraine”. It’s an indication of cognitive dissonance of accepting the fact that Trump is doing his duty of investigating crimes by Americans. It’s easier to think of Trump improperly investigating Ukrainian corruption. And Sullum writes of Trump “benefiting him[self]” with a “favor” of “anything of value” and acting in his “personal interests” as if this is a bad thing, not distinguishing if it’s in the country’s interest which usually coincides with an ethical and honest president’s interests.

      It’s the president’s job to ask foreign leaders for cooperation (for Barr as he said) when investigating things that happened in their country

      Further, no one would have know about this investigation and it wouldn’t have affected the election assuming Biden is innocent because Trump wouldn’t leak it – Vindman did it in cahoots with Shiff (an illegal leak of the existence of an investigation – just like they did for the investigation of Trump). I wouldn’t be surprised Vindman and others were involved as accomplices (or just didn’t report it) in US corruption in Ukraine, and trying to get rid of Trump so they aren’t caught.

  26. I’m sorry, but “Your entitled plutocrat abused his office against my entitled plutocrat!” isn’t very compelling.

    I assume Joe Biden isn’t the victim of boss rape, is he?

    1. The victim? No, not the victim.

  27. The gaps in the case against Trump are big enough that his supporters can and will dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise without losing any sleep about the broader issues at stake.

    So even though there are big gaps in the evidence, Sullum has already made up his mind and dismisses anybody who disagrees with him as a “Trump supporter” who doesn’t want to see the truth because of their partisanship. In reality, it’s Sullum who is blinded by his preconceived notions and who is joining the Democrats in a call for conviction even though evidence is lacking.

    The actual facts of the case are that Joe Biden clearly had a conflict of interest and that Hunter Biden was involved in conduct that would be illegal under US law for any foreign official. The fact is that Trump and the American people had, and continue to have, a compelling interest to have this investigated, and that Joe Biden’s conduct as VP should raise serious doubts with voters whether he’d be up to the job of presidency. The fact is that there is no evidence that Trump intended, let alone implemented, any link between Ukraine aid and any investigation, and that even if he had, it would have been OK.

    The fact is that the Democrats, like Sullum, just want Trump impeached and are grasping at straws to justify that.

    I didn’t vote for Trump and I turn off the TV when he comes on because I can’t stand him. But this kind of abuse of power by the Democrats and idiocy by corporate media (including Reason) makes it easy to vote for him next time, because bad as Trump is, he’s still way better than the alternatives.

    1. Well said, sir.

    2. Agreed. It’s unfortunate that this type of sensible response will get labelled as “Republican boot licking” from the Pod’s and ChemJeff’s of the world.

    3. The fun really starts when Trump loses the protection of that office. Don’t you want to see what happens when he gets indicted? Do the Secret Service agents have to guard Trump in prison?

      1. Since Obama has yet to be investigated for the abuses committed while he was in office, such as the report listing FISA abuses by the FBI while he was in office against an opposing party candidate, it tends to reduce one’s confidence that Trump will be any different in that regard.

        1. Obama had nothing to do with the FISA fuck ups. The FBI dude guy who was in charge of the people who are accused of not providing updated and complete information (that shit isn’t settled by the way. We need to hear the other side of that story. The IG isn’t God) was cleared by the IG in that report.

          By contrast Trump has his filthy crooked fingers all over Barr’s investigation of retribution.

          1. *Little crooked filthy fingers


          2. Obama had nothing to do with the FISA fuck ups.

            So, in your view, no one thought to mention the investigation into an opposing party candidate’s campaign to the current head of their organization? Curious. If the executive branch under Trump did something similar, you’d impeach him even if he made the same claim. In fact, that’s what you’re advocating for right now today.

            Odd how the Obama administration had no clue what law enforcement was doing on their watch. Was he incompetent after all?

          3. Pod
            December.11.2019 at 5:50 pm
            “Obama had nothing to do with the FISA fuck ups….”

            Our 5-YO here is fond of ‘plausible deniability’ and tries to sell it to folks he hopes are as imbecilic as himself.

            1. It’s possible Obama didn’t know, I can acknowledge that, but if he didn’t it means he hired a bunch of people that went around him to accomplish their own goals within his administration. In such an instance he was either a complete idiot or actively malicious.

              No surprise that people like Pod want to paint Obama as an idiot in retrospect.

          4. “Obama had nothing to do with the FISA fuck ups.”

            Of course he did. And he was involved in misusing the information and abusing the process for political purposes.

            And even if he didn’t, it would have been a dereliction of duty.

          5. Obama had nothing to do with the FISA fuck ups. The FBI dude guy who was in charge of the people who are accused of not providing updated and complete information (that shit isn’t settled by the way.

            Nah….Obama only appointed Comey as FBI Director. Obama exercised bad judgment putting Comey into that position. This shit happened on Obama’s watch. But no…Obama had nothing to do with FISA fuck ups at all, LOL.

      2. “…Don’t you want to see what happens when he gets indicted?…”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UeaYuWRVHM

      3. What are you taking about? So far, Democrats haven’t been able to come up with a single credible accusation of criminal misconduct against Trump, despite four years of investigating and spying on the man.

    4. Hunter Biden was involved in conduct that would be illegal under US law for any foreign official.

      What law did he break?

      1. “Abuse of power”

    5. The fact is that there is no evidence that Trump intended, let alone implemented, any link between Ukraine aid and any investigation, and that even if he had, it would have been OK.

      LOL that is the very definition of quid pro quo.

      1. LOL.

        You lost.

        Go lol yourself into a suicide and do everyone a favor.

      2. Yes.
        And it would be fine.
        You really have difficulty understanding things

        1. Really now.
          So is there any “favor” that Trump could have requested of Zelensky, that would have been within Zelensky’s power to grant, that in your mind would have been ‘out of bounds’? Any at all?

          Because if the answer is “no”, then you’ve just embraced the President As Emperor theory of foreign policy.

          But if the answer is “yes”, I’d really like to know what it is, and why.

          But I predict instead your answer will be something like “fuck you”

          1. //So is there any “favor” that Trump could have requested of Zelensky, that would have been within Zelensky’s power to grant, that in your mind would have been ‘out of bounds’? Any at all?//

            A blowjob. A rimjob. A handjob. Anal. Fucking Zelensky’s wife. Asking Zelensky to watch while Trump fucks his wife. The list is literally endless.

            Trump is not an Emperor.

            1. Okay then. So please explain why, in your mind, those requests would be illegitimate uses of the President’s power.

              1. Because getting a blowjob is not in the national interest.

                Hmmm …. where have we heard that before?

          2. Write down bar jokes as if they were reports of foreign agents showing that each of his next election competitors was involved in various corrupt actions so he could use it to get a FISA, the contents of which he would then release to friendly media to smear his opponents as stooges of a foreign power.

            I think that’s a good start, though if he outsourced that request to Giuliani there’s precedent that’s ok.

          3. US presidents have very broad powers to commit acts against foreigners on foreign soil that would be highly illegal in the US. For example, pretty much every US presidents has had people killed abroad.

            The limits on this are political: if the Congressional oversight committees don’t like it, they can put a stop to it, publicly censure, and/or impeach. So, Democrats legitimately can try to impeach, the Senate can legitimately decide to acquit, and voters will be the final arbiters of the fate of representatives, senators, and the president. That’s how “limits of power” work in the US.

            As it looks now, the Democrats overreached and tried to remove the president for actions that most US voters either don’t give a f*ck about or believe were justified to begin with, and it seems likely that Democrats, rather than Trump or Republicans, will have to pay the political price for that. Welcome to the real world.

      3. LOL that is the very definition of quid pro quo.

        Yes, and it would also be perfectly legal and appropriate. The idea that presidents can’t engage in quid-pro-quo with foreign leaders, even for “personal political gain” is utterly absurd. Just about every president in the 20th century has done exactly that without being impeached for it, for the simple reason that it would be impossible to govern if Congress could impeach presidents over this.

        I don’t know what’s more disturbing: the fact that Democrats thought they could get away with this crap, or that there are morons like you who actually believe it.

    6. The weirdest part of this whole thing is how blatantly the dems are abusing their powers of office to gain an advantage in the upcoming election by (repeatedly) investing their chief political rival -the exact behavior they’re accusing trump of- and nobody is talking about it. It’s surreal, the hypocrisy of the left and silence about it on the right, I don’t get it.

  28. “…there is enough doubt about the quid pro quo to satisfy Republicans…”

    Sigh. It’s this type of illogical non-sense that gives Sullum and the rest of the reason staff, along with the MSM, zero credibility. The only proof we need is that NO investigation has occurred. It’s not doubt at all. It’s 100% verifiable proof!!! Proof that there was no quid pro quo and proof that TDS is rampant within the MSM.

    1. I just love the argument from libertarians that there is clearly reasonable doubt, but such doubt should just be ignored.

      1. And to clarify, I should have put “libertarians” in quotes.

        1. Don’t worry, Sullum, Welch, Dalmia and Boehm aren’t libertarians, they just work here.

          Gillespie on the other hand, plays one on TV.

      2. I’m not sure Sullum is saying there is reasonable doubt about the quid pro quo, just enough for the Republicans to be satisfied. What Sullum ignores is there was no investigations, thus no quid pro quo.

        This isn’t rocket science. Dems claim that Trump withheld the money until an investigation was launched. Yet, money was given to Ukraine and not investigation happened. Thus, no quid pro quo occurred.

        Now, if they want to claim that even asking for an investigation was somehow criminal and/or misconduct, they would need to prove that. (With real proof, not just hearsay.) You don’t need to support Trump to still believe that Hunter Biden’s cushy job in Ukraine seems questionable at best, and an abuse of power by the Obama administration at worst.

        1. I would say Sullum is dodging the question on doubt. But there is either reasonable doubt or unreasonable doubt. His choice though to not call it unreasonable doubt is telling. He doesn’t want to make that leap. Thus, at this stage he appears to concede that doubt that Repubs hold is reasonable, or a least potentially so.

          Otherwise, I agree with the rest of what you said.


        2. You don’t need to support Trump to still believe that Hunter Biden’s cushy job in Ukraine seems questionable at best, and an abuse of power by the Obama administration at worst.

          In fact, plenty of people on the left are forced to acknowledge that the Biden’s have the appearance of people who should be investigated even while they talk about impeachment of Trump out of the other side of their face.

          Democrats have done more damage to Biden’s candidacy than Trump has at this point, simply by virtue of keeping this damaging story at the forefront of the news for months without meaningful investigation.

          Like I’ve been saying for weeks now, they’re cutting off their own noses to spite their face.

        3. Hunter Biden’s cushy job in Ukraine seems questionable at best, and an abuse of power by the Obama administration at worst.

          How would Burisma hiring Hunter Biden be an abuse of power by the Obama administration?


          1. How would Burisma hiring Hunter Biden be an abuse of power by the Obama administration?

            I think the fact that you can’t even theorize about any potential problem there says a lot more about you than you’d care to normally reveal.

            1. I didn’t ask about “potential problems”. I can see potential problems. I don’t see how it is an abuse of power by the *Obama* administration. What role did Obama supposedly have in getting Hunter Biden hired?

              1. Question: Under who’s administration did Joe Biden serve as Vice President, and from where does the Vice President obtain any power they might have in foreign policy?

                The answer should give you some idea, shouldn’t it?

                Although I note that you failed to notice any difference between the “Obama Administration” and “Obama” as an individual actor, so really your reading comprehension can be said to be the problem here.

                1. Claiming that it was an “abuse of power”, either by Obama himself or his administration, that Burisma hired Hunter Biden, suggests that it was within the power of the administration in the first place to permit or prevent the hiring from taking place. Is this in fact the case?

          2. //How would Burisma hiring Hunter Biden be an abuse of power by the Obama administration?//

            Because ….. Biden ….. is ….. part …… of the fucking administration.

            This is why people abuse you, Jeff.

            This is why.

            1. Because ….. Biden ….. is ….. part …… of the fucking administration.

              HUNTER Biden was not. JOE Biden was.
              How or why was it Obama’s fault if Burisma hired Hunter Biden?

              1. Conservatards think that the POTUS is the mind-controlling dictator of everyone in the entire galaxy, and that this is all good and well, except if the POTUS does NOT belong to the “R” tribe! So… OFF COURSE everything that Burisma did, was controlled by Obama!

              2. //HUNTER Biden was not. JOE Biden was.
                How or why was it Obama’s fault if Burisma hired Hunter Biden?//

                Because the Vice President is his fucking father, idiot.

          3. The hiring isn’t an abuse of power by the Obama administration. The fact that Joe Biden continued operating in Ukraine afterwards is a conflict of interest, and the fact that he had the Ukrainian investigator fired is likely an abuse of power on his part.

            That is, after Hunter Biden got hired by Ukraine and China, Joe Biden’s only legitimate course of action would have been to recuse himself from any actions in those countries (or resign altogether).

          4. Joe Biden was part of the Obama administration. After his son was hired by Burisma and China, Joe Biden should have recused himself from any political activities in those countries and/or resigned altogether. Instead, he chose to take actions that were favorable to the financial interests of his son. That was the abuse of power.

        4. Shorter version: if someone attempts a misdeed, but get caught before pulling it off, they did nothing wrong.

  29. Donald Trump is like a disease. Sometimes you die. Sometimes you get inoculated. We’ll see how it goes. We got our Democratic House. Fingers crossed.

    1. Pod
      December.11.2019 at 5:55 pm
      “Donald Trump is like a disease…”

      You are a fucking lefty ignoramus.

    2. You’re defending the crooks and frauds in the Democratic Party? Seriously?

      The Democrats will pay for the crap they have done over the past decade. In spades. People are tired and angry.

    3. If he’s a disease, what the heck are the race hustling, hysterical ideologues in the Democrat party?

      Try and see the big picture please. Pay close attention to the zeitgeist.

  30. “The gaps in the record invite the public to dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise.”

    Not to mention that the Ds have been on a fishing expedition since 1/18/17.
    Certainly doesn’t say “partisan” there, does it?

    1. Awww…

      1. How trenchant…
        Pay your mortgage yet, scumbag?

  31. Sullum must be pretty discouraged at not being able to beat a mystical prohibitionist in a debate on whether to send cops to kill, rob and imprison people over plant leaves. Joining a looter witchhunt is not going to make that go away. “Abuse” brings to mind Tim Leary telling an interviewer how appalled he was that folks saw fit to “abuse” perfectly good drugs. As an exercise in hairsplitting and creative semantics why not inquire into The Don’s possible self-abuse? Jacob could sidestep what is converging on the communists democrats shooting themselves in the head and splattering unwary bystanders with the product. In 1999 3rd-party Trump courted anti-Castro Cubans in Miami and Today’s Dem infiltrators cannot let go of that. Why not instead start boning up on the economic calamities caused by looter prohibitionism so as to win the next debate?

    1. Can I give you a tip Hank?
      Learn to properly space your comments so that they don’t look like a wall of text, and you’ll have a lot more engagement.

  32. “Trump was just trying to expose corruption in Ukraine.”

    Sure, that is why the only alleged instance of corruption that he brought up during the phone call was that of Biden. No other instances, just Biden. Pure coincidence, I’m sure. You’d have to give Trump a massive benefit of the doubt in order to believe that Trump was the good cop in all this just trying to uncover the nefarious ne’er-do-wells.

    Why should anyone, PARTICULARLY libertarians who are suspicious of state power, be giving the president the benefit of the doubt?

    And besides, if you’re going to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, then why shouldn’t the same standard be used for Joe Biden? Perhaps he demanded that Shokin be fired purely because he was the clean unblemished loyal public servant simply executing the carefully considered foreign policy aims of the United States in order to rid Ukraine of a corrupt prosecutor which had nothing to do with his son Hunter or any other particular personal consideration.

    Does that sound too hard to swallow? Good, because it should. Because that’s kinda like how it sounds when the Republican bootlickers here are giving Trump the benefit of the doubt about why we should treat his call like the pure saintly expression of the popular will in uncovering dastardly Biden corruption.

    Either give them both the benefit of the doubt, or give them both an intrusive investigation. Giving one the benefit of the doubt, but not the other, just signals tribal bullshit.

    1. //Why should anyone, PARTICULARLY libertarians who are suspicious of state power, be giving the president the benefit of the doubt?//

      Because not giving Trump the benefit of the doubt means you have to believe Biden.

      It is pretty simple.

      1. Because not giving Trump the benefit of the doubt means you have to believe Biden.

        Only if you’re a tribalist moron who can’t handle more than two possible sides to an issue.

        It is entirely possible to believe that Biden did not act in good faith, AND that Trump did not act in good faith either. Did that cross your mind?

        1. //It is entirely possible to believe that Biden did not act in good faith, AND that Trump did not act in good faith either. Did that cross your mind?//

          No, it is not possible. If Biden was not acting in good faith, then investigating him is legitimate. It cannot be both.

      2. It’s not possible that Joe Biden pulled strings to get his deadbeat son a cushy job that maybe kicked back some cash Joe’s way and got a prosecutor fired to protect his son AND Trump withheld military aid to extort Zelensky into making a public announcement of an investigation to embarrass the Bidens. Not saying any of it has been proven, but both aren’t POSSIBLE?

        It’s not possible that Burisma gave Hunter a position just to have his dad’s name associated with their company AND Trump is a selfless fighter of corruption who only encouraged Ukraine to investigate with no quid pro quo. That’s not POSSIBLE, either?

        1. “That’s not POSSIBLE, either?”

          It is possible, but NOT probable (on the latter half), when one is as blatantly self-interested as Trump clearly is.


    2. Sure, that is why the only alleged instance of corruption that he brought up during the phone call was that of Biden. No other instances, just Biden.

      In some fairness, Joe Biden was the only person who was Vice President at the time. Normally, we’d at least consider the possibility that a family member (like your son) having direct ties to something their politician relative is in nominal control of suspicious.

      You yourself find some of Trump’s children guilty of all kinds of things due to their connection to Trump. Odd, then, you’re unable to extrapolate that as being suspicious to any other politician.

      I’m sure it’s due to your deeply held views on neutrality and impartiality. Right?

      And just to point it out, Hunter Biden was getting a lot of cash. No one seriously believes it wasn’t due solely to his last name, either. While that might not be illegal, it is certainly suspicious and deserves investigation to determine legality. This shouldn’t be a question if you’re at all impartial.

      And yes, the same damn thing can be said of Trump. That said, detractors of Trump would be well served by noticing that Biden wasn’t exactly an obvious good actor here which easily serves to undercut their arguments of moral superiority.

      1. I never said I was “neutral and impartial”. I don’t know where this nonsense came from. Probably from the same nonsense place where it was claimed I am a Canadian.

        While that might not be illegal, it is certainly suspicious and deserves investigation to determine legality.

        Okay, then if we’re going to use the standard of “not illegal, but suspicious” to decide if people in power deserve to be investigated, then I’m ALL ON BOARD that train. I want people in power to be held to a higher standard than merely “not breaking the law”. I have said the same thing about Obama, about Biden, about Hillary, about Kavanaugh, and also about Trump. Do you agree? Because if we’re going to do this, it has to be a standard applied to everyone in power.

        1. //I never said I was “neutral and impartial”. I don’t know where this nonsense came from.//

          The amount of times you’ve insisted you’re not Team Blue or Team Red are too numerous to count.

          You’re not fooling anybody, moron.

      2. “ While that might not be illegal, it is certainly suspicious and deserves investigation to determine legality.”

        Maybe. Not sure I agree.

        First of all, without having to do any investigation, it is clearly unethical. If Americans had any sense they would not consider voting for Biden after hearing about it. (For other reasons, they shouldn’t want to vote for Trump, either.

        Second, I’m not sure it is worth it in terms of the likelihood of the investigation turning up anything. Not saying Hunter or Joe are innocent, but instead saying how likely is it the investigation would succeed in uncovering the goods.

    3. Yes, Trump was pursuing his own interest. Why would that bother libertarians in the slightest? It’s exactly what we expect everyone to do, whether in politics or business. It’s the whole reason for wanting the government weak, because we know any powers the government has will be used that way.

      We’re not the dumbfucks who dream of a mythical unbiased philosopher-king to reorder society perfectly and centrally plan the economy so everything’s “fair”. We know that’s a failure to deal with reality. It’s why we dismiss the sort of idiot who says, “Trump should have gone to the FBI”, because we know that there’s is no agency of angels to handle this sort of thing, and there cannot be, either.

      So, yeah, Trump was pursuing his own interest in asking that Biden be investigated. Now, what, exactly, is your problem with that?

      1. Sure, libertarians tend to recognize that the larger the state, the larger the temptation for individuals to pervert the state and twist it to serve their own parochial interests and not those of the people whom it is nominally supposed to serve. Therefore libertarians want to reduce the state, and therefore reduce the opportunities for such corruption, because that corruption is a BAD thing, not a good thing.

        That few people are capable of resisting such temptation does not make the corruption more palatable or praiseworthy.

        Trump should have gone to the FBI, or have found some other legitimate means to conduct his investigation, not because the FBI are full of angels, but because it would have added credence to his claims that he was legitimately “just trying to fight corruption”. Instead, his secret backchannel shenanigans lend credence to the idea that he was trying to HIDE what he was doing, that he knew it was wrong and he didn’t want to get caught.

        1. Trump should have gone to the FBI

          The OIG just releases a report indicating that they lied or falsified documentation 17 times on a FISA warrant request, ALL of them happening to work against Trump, and this galaxy-brain actually argues that Trump should have gone to the very office that got snookered by an oppo research report based on salacious gossip.

          1. or have found some other legitimate means to conduct his investigation

            You skipped over that part.

            In what universe is it considered legitimate to send one’s personal lawyer to work on behalf of the US government?

    4. “Trump was just trying to expose corruption in Ukraine.”

      That’s a strawman. Trump was trying to get to the meddling of Ukraine in the 2016 election and the possible involvement of his political opponents, which affected him directly. He was also trying to investigate a potentially corrupt former VP and presidential candidate, not because he feared the doddering old fool, but because corrupt former VPs shouldn’t become presidents without their corruption at least being known to voters.

      So, yes, these investigations would have benefited Trump politically if they had turned up what Trump suspected. And they would have benefited the American people too.

      What’s the problem?

  33. I’m all for reigning in the power of the modern presidency. But you can’t dock the president for creating an implied power (spending when it comes to an enumerated power about representing the United States in all foreign power negotiations) as if “oh no, stealing a power of Congress!” when we all know that Congress HAS GIVEN AWAY its other important power of lawmaking to administrative agencies (rule-making) and the president (executive orders). Complain about implied powers??? Then complain about them all. This isn’t Trump’s fault. Just like with his excuse re: taxes that he took advantage of tax law because he could, as a president, taking advantage of implied powers because he can is being a smart person. Don’t like it? Reign in implied powers. Reign in the necessary and proper clause. Reign it ALL in. Oh, but then you couldn’t meet the goals of the libertarian (never met a law I didn’t like) and progressive (never met a law I didn’t like ) folks sitting on the left and right of sir communism. Now that just wouldn’t do.

  34. “The gaps in the record invite the public to dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise.”

    Democrats know it’s a purely partisan exercise, and embrace it wholeheartedly.

  35. If the leftists controlling the House had a leg to stand on, regarding quid pro quo, they would have triggered it for the impeachment. However, they haven’t and have, instead, triggered a couple of made up offenses. It will take many decades for the leftists (Democrats) to regain the limited power they now exercise, after this debacle. Most Americans enjoy the benefits of Trump’s work, and shall vote for him, in a landslide.

  36. The gaps in the record invite the public to dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise.

    Sullum, Congress is *recessing for the holidays*. Because this oh-so-important proceeding – needed to safeguard the future of the republic – is a partisan exercise.

  37. Instead, the articles allege that the president abused his powers by pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit him politically and that he improperly obstructed a congressional investigation of that abuse.

    1. Why would it matter if the investigation have helped him politically? Is it an abuse of power for any official to request a third party investigation from anyone else if it would benefit them politically?
    2. No court had ever ruled on the proprietiy of Trump’s alleged obstruction.

    1. Question #1 is glossing over the extortion part of the accusation. The extortion was the abuse of power.

      1. Even if it had happened, withholding military aid isn’t extortion.

  38. The House of Representatives does not have the moral rectitude to impeach Trump. There are less than five decent people in the House and I can think of only two or three. The rest are corrupt and all have violated their oaths to defend the Constitution. The few decent House members are less decent for associating with the others.

    Likewise, the Senate, with only one decent human being, is not morally fit to judge Trump, nor anyone else. All other are the moral equivalent of Charles Manson, having supported bloody wars that have killed or maimed millions all over the MENA (and Ukraine) – for NOTHING. 100s still dying every month in Iraq. You cannot do things like that and be a judge.

    So forget impeachment. Trump’s enemies are far more evil than he.

  39. The Democrats undermined any legitimate impeachment by calling for Trump’s impeachment before he was even sworn into office. Then by throwing any and every accusation until one stuck. Now even a legitimate reason looks like a partisan conspiracy.
    And don’t forget, Clinton was also guilty (of lying to congress) and was impeached, but not convicted because his party held the Senate. Impeachment even at it’s best if still a partisan political process.

  40. “The gaps in the record invite the public to dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise.”

    Its not gaps in the record, its the fact that the whole thing is being driven solely by one party (the Demorats) that makes people dismiss it as a purely partisan exercise.

  41. Hogwash!

    “Using the powers of his high office, President Trump Solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election.

    This is false. Trump never discussed the 2020 election with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, nor did he ask them to interfere in our politics. That is simply Democrats’ spin, based on the complaint of the so-called “whistleblower,” which was disproved by the release of the actual transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky. Trump asked Ukraine to look into its widely-reported interference in the 2016 election, and to look into the circumstances in which then-Vice President Joe Biden demanded, on pain of losing $1 billion in loan guarantees, that Ukraine fire a prosecutor who had jurisdiction over a dormant investigation of a corrupt Ukrainian company, Burisma, on which Biden’s son, Hunter, served as a well-compensated board member. Democrats demanded Ukraine cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s supposed “collusion” with Russia in 2018. By their own new definition, that would qualify as pressuring Ukraine to interfere in U.S. politics.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/10/pollak-line-by-line-debunking-democrats-articles-of-impeachment-against-trump/

  42. “This is false. Trump never discussed the 2020 election with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, nor did he ask them to interfere in our politics.”

    Wow, first sentence of his argument, he uses the familiar Trump apologist tool of being deliberately obtuse to mis-characterize what the article of impeachment says. It doesn’t accuse Trump of *discussing* the 2020 election with Zelensky.

    1. Lol
      Keep going, mike.
      Your name is already ruined at this point

  43. “that his desire for an investigation of the Bidens was based on a legitimate concern about official corruption in Ukraine and that, in any case, it was not connected to the delivery of military aid. While that first claim strikes me as wildly implausible…”

    Could it have been both? The President is a deal maker and the best deals are win-win. Investigating Ukraine corruption would be in the national interest as we were giving them aid, exposing Ukraine’s involvement in the 2016 election provides him ammunition against the accusations of being a Russian…whatever and is in the national interest (we investigated Russia, why not?), exposing Biden would give Pres. Trump vindication for the Obama admin surveillance of his campaign and as an added bonus take down Biden’s campaign hopes (Biden doesn’t look good in this and it would not be a stretch if the DOJ were to investigate based on sworn affidavit from Shokin).
    So, win-win. Both the USA and Trump are benefited and as long as there is evidence of an intent to benefit the USA on the request for an investigation, then there is no wrong doing and obviously no abuse of power for personal benefit.
    So, in order for you to get to “wildly implausible” you have to know what was Trump’s intent and the only peek you have to this is the testimony of a bunch of people that never received any indication directly from Trump on his intent.

    1. Yes. I totally agree with you.

  44. “The gaps in the case against Trump are big enough that his supporters can and will dismiss impeachment as a purely partisan exercise without losing any sleep about the broader issues at stake.”

    Lolwut? I’m not a trump supporter. I didn’t vote for him and I won’t vote for him, but only the most dyed in the wool dems could possibly believe this impeachment is anything *but* partisan hackery……

    Just read your own article, your argument is literally “they were justified in bringing amorphous political charges because after the investigation they still had no evidence of actual statutory violations”. If the investigation turned up no evidence, that’s a reason NOT to proceed with impeachment, not to proceed in any way possible.

    1. There were many statutory violations detailed in the Mueller report, but the Mueller report concluded that it was DOJ policy not to indict a president (they put a lot of other people in prison though).

      What a perfectly circular situation for a president!

      The constitution is law too. The House can impeach him for whatever they damn well please, if you want to get to realism for a second. They’re being extremely generous by limiting the counts to two. I’d have impeached him for being a demented vulgar self-dealing corrupt rapist being blackmailed by one of our chief global opponents and about a hundred other things, but I guess that’s why I’m not in public office.

      1. ‘ I’d have impeached him for being a demented vulgar self-dealing corrupt rapist‘ would you impeach Bill for the same?

        1. He was impeached, remember.

          Also, I don’t know why I have to explain this, but the fact that Hitler existed doesn’t make everything Trump does OK.

  45. Republicans will never do anything but be led around by the nuts by the most ignorant slack-jawed cunts in the country they gerrymandered into being their voters.

    Is impeachment too fast or too slow? It seems to change by the hour.

  46. This is the second time someone has said that I claimed to be a lawyer, even though I have never made any such claim.
    زوج درمانی قطعی

  47. Even the president of Ukraine said there was no pressure.

  48. If you haven’t wanted to abuse your power, you’re not a member of Congress.

  49. It took six months for a federal judge to rule that Don McGahn must comply with a congressional subpoena to testify. Of course the Trump admin is appealing this all the way up to the Supreme Court, probably adding another half year to get the very same ruling.

    Trump is doing this with everything, not for any legitimate reason, but to just obstruct and delay. If the House Dems were to wait until the courts rule on every witness Trump will obstruct all the way up to the Supreme Court, it could take years to compel all the witnesses to testify.

    There are no legitimate claims of executive privilege here, Trump is just playing the game he has played his entire life – abusing the court system to get what he wants. The House had no choice but to proceed as they have, and Trump should be impeached for obstructing the House’s constitutionally mandated powers.

    1. You see the game being played, yet you seem to think Trump is the only one playing it. How do you explain the continuing pushes for impeachment knowing that without bipartisanship there is no chance for success?

      If it’s a benefit to Trump for an investigation to be underway on Biden, then obviously it benefits Democrats as well. Just the fact that Trump is constantly under a cloud of investigation no matter how ill founded is enough for them.

      A really clear cut case of abuse of congressional power.

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