Impeachment

Impeachment Is Good for a Healthy Democracy. But What About for the U.S.?

Trump is impeachable, but the process might exacerbate political tensions without resolving anything.

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Donald Trump has almost certainly engaged in impeachable acts. Without getting into the wilder charges against the president, such as accusations of "treason," his dealings with the Ukrainian government demonstrate him misusing the powers of his office to get a foreign government to act against (also corrupt) political opponents.

But is yet another round of posturing for the television cameras with little hope of convicting and removing the president worth widening the yawning partisan chasm that divides Americans and turns the dysfunctional government into a weapon over which factions fight for control?

The answer to that question isn't clear.

As to impeachability, many legal experts agree that President Trump has overstepped the bounds of acceptable conduct.

"Impeachment has always been, first and foremost, a constitutional defense against executive misuse of power," writes University of Missouri Law Professor Frank O. Bowman III, author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump. "Mr. Trump's behavior is a classic example of abuse of presidential power for personal or political gain, and is therefore properly impeachable," he adds about the president's Ukraine dealings.

"An impeachable abuse of power can be based on a corrupt scheme that misuses powers that the President had been given to faithfully exercise," agrees the Berkeley School of Law's Orin S. Kerr, writing for the Volokh Conspiracy. "What Trump did strikes me as pretty much the scenario you would have described if someone had asked you, before the Trump presidency, what kind of Presidential acts are impeachable."

And that's exactly what the first of two articles of impeachment passed last week by the House Judiciary Committee specifies (the second cites obstruction of Congress):

Using the powers of his high office, President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election. He did so through a scheme or course of conduct that included soliciting the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage.

Officeholders aren't supposed to abuse the power of their office for personal gain, or to benefit themselves politically, or to punish their enemies.

If you're about to point out that abusing power is business as usual for government officials… well, you're right. Even if we just confine ourselves to abuses intended to benefit friends and punish enemies, we can point to the long-established role of the IRS as a political hit squad at the very least. We could also point to the FBI's long and unsavory history of meddling in politics on behalf of the powers-that-be.

Presidents generally get away with such abuses because they can—they have the political cover to turn the power of the state to their own ends. Repeated without consequences, corrupt conduct becomes normalized and contributes to the metastasizing power of the presidency at the hands of both Republicans and Democrats.

Some of my colleagues hope that Trump's vulnerability allows an opening to not just punish a misbehaving official, but to rein-in the presidency itself. By finally imposing a penalty for abusing the powers of the office, Congress might reassert some of its own surrendered authority and put clearer boundaries around the behavior of chief executives to come, they suggest.

That's an attractive argument in many ways, since it recognizes that getting rid of one politician doesn't solve the problems inherent in the office he holds. We just might be able to impose some limits on government as a whole by impeaching Trump and (although this is unlikely to happen) removing him from office. Or, we just may fan the flames of political warfare in a country that has turned elections and policy choices into a vindictive grudge match that's escalating toward an uncertain but nasty outcome.

A general perception of impeachment as mere inter-party brawling seems highly likely given the partisan divide over the issue. The general public is evenly divided with 45 percent favoring impeachment and 47 percent opposed in the latest CNN poll—but support for the effort coming from 77 percent of Democrats and only 5 percent of Republicans.

The process is almost certain to stop short of removal from office, since Republicans control the Senate and show little interest in deposing the head of their own party, no matter his flaws.

Impeachment, then, seems fated to exacerbate political tensions without resolving anything.

Does that mean abusive presidents should get free passes if their followers are sufficiently angry and the political climate is tense? That seems unjust and unwise—especially since the most dangerous politicians are often those with the most fanatical base. But lots of presidents have enjoyed free passes simply because their followers dominated the government. Larger considerations beyond the specific misdeeds of officials are inherent to efforts to remove them from office outside regularly scheduled elections.

"The impeachment of presidents is a political act, performed with one eye on history, but ultimately constrained only by the political norms, popular expectations, and factional alignments of the era in which a particular impeachment is attempted," Bowman noted in his book.

America's political culture, less than a year before a national election, is a hot mess. Its government is broken and a danger to the people. The country is presided over by a chief executive who not only abuses his power but flaunts his conduct. In doing so, he enjoys the support of a faction of the public equal in size to the one that despises him—and those factions hate each other. The impeachment process is one more reason for them to fight.

Reining-in not just this president, but the presidency itself, is a worthy and necessary goal. But it's not obvious that impeachment is the best way to solve the country's serious political ills.

NEXT: The Feds Get Permission To Seize Edward Snowden’s Book Profits

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  1. “Some of my colleagues hope that Trump’s vulnerability allows an opening to not just punish a misbehaving official, but to rein-in the presidency itself.”

    Nah, the Presidency itself is fine. The problem is, it’s currently occupied by a 3-decade Russian intelligence asset who opposes the Koch / Reason open borders agenda.

    When Democrats retake the White House next year, we’ll want a strong President who can act decisively and undo the enormous damage Drumpf has done to the country. And to Charles Koch’s net worth.

    #Impeach

    1. Do you always go to such lengths to justify the actions of lying assholes in the government? This is a libertarian comment board— not a place for Juche Dear Leader supporters like you. You should be over at Breitbart.com where there are lots of North Korean-in-spirit fellow travelers that you can pray to your man-God with.

      1. I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Did you? If not, you’re much more responsible for this Nazi Handmaid’s Tale regime than I am.

        BTW, I was calling for Drumpf’s impeachment before Clinton even made her concession speech.

        1. Ah, yes!…..H. Rob ‘Em Clinton, one of the great Libertarians in American Political history!!!!

      2. What kind of special retard argues with a parody?

        1. De Oppresso Liber/Tony.

        2. Q: “What kind of special retard argues with a parody?”.

          A: The Progtard kind.

        3. One that understands how the other side thinks?

          1. This whole conversation appears to have gone completely over your head.

  2. It looks like someone at Reason finally got around to reading the polling data before they wrote their column, instead of regurgitating the latest op-eds from the NYT and the WaPo.

    Contra Trump, what the Democrats have done to this point to ghost point is constitutional. But it was incredibly unwise and destructive, and I’m glad the libertarians have started to figure this out.

    1. what the Democrats have done to this point to ghost point is constitutional.

      Well, except for the whole creating a pretext to spy on the Republican nominee’s campaign.

      Oh, and “unmasking” US citizens that were wiretapped…. for political gain.

      And taking classified information from a counterintelligence investigation and spreading it around the government to be leaked to the media after the inauguration with the expressed intent of kneecapping the incoming administration and providing a pretext for an independent council investigation.

      Oh, and I’m not so sure about the congress getting a bunch of phone records of private citizens without a warrant from a court.

      But other than that…. sure. I mean, of the stuff we know about. There could be other stuff too.

      1. I was addressing the process of impeachment specifically, not the clown show that led up to it.

        The House can impeach the president for any reason that 218 members wish to use. But as Reason’s staff is beginning to realize, just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it.

    2. ” But it was incredibly unwise and destructive”

      I don’t think the Democrats have much choice in the matter, given their feelings about Trump and their duty to the constitution. Unwise? Maybe, but even a second term for Trump might be best for the party, giving the opposition ‘enough rope’ and breathing space for a purge or Clintonites or the Democratic Socialists, as the case may be. Destructive? Maybe destruction is the best alternative, and unavoidable, too. Have you ever tried to stop chickens when they decide to come home to roost?

      1. “I don’t think”

        Agreed.

          1. Yes, getting some oxygen to your mind will definitely help you think.

            See? I made your life a little better already.

  3. Republican who were in the House during the Clinton impeachment – based on a conviction for perjury, an actual crime with proof and all that stuff – would have told the Democrats that this was a bad road to go down. Clinton was disbarred, but that is all. He could still get $500,000 for a speech during Ms. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, though.

    1. Whatever the outcome of the impeachment, Trump will still be able to earn money. Probably more than all the commenters here put together. And Trump will never be disbarred, if that makes any difference. What Trump did was to attempt to shake down the Ukrainians. Bad enough, and that his attempt failed only adds incompetence to criminality.

      1. And yet you cant point to any evidence other than opinion and hearsay that a shakedown happened. Cant even get the victim to admit it.

        Odd.

        1. Put the fucker under oath and sweat it out of him. Our police do this every day.

          1. EVERYONE ELSE BUT DEMOCRATS AND THEIR APPARATCHIKS ARE LYING!!!

            1. Don’t kid yourself, chump. They all lie.

      2. “Shake down the Ukrainians”?

        How do you “shake down” someone with your own money? I once got mugged by someone who took money from his own wallet and told me I couldn’t have it, at knife point!

        Haha. God damn man, this is so retarded.

        1. “How do you “shake down” someone with your own money?”

          Good question. It was certainly an ill-conceived caper, and it’s not surprising that it ended in failure.

  4. his dealings with the Ukrainian government demonstrate him misusing the powers of his office to get a foreign government to act against (also corrupt) political opponents.

    Good to know. Run for office and you are immune from corruption investigations.

    Old Russian saying updated
    There is no truth in Izvestiya and there is no information in Pravda and there is no prichina in Reason. .

    1. If this impeachment stupidity teaches the world anything, it’s that even obviously exonerating evidence can be Rorschached into proof of guilt by one’s enemies, because there are plenty of stupid people who desperately want it that way.

    2. Izvestiya means news, Pravda means truth.. but yeah not much reasoning in Reason.

    3. There is no news in Izvestiya and no truth in Pravda.
      izvestiya = news
      pravda = truth

      1. The original saying had the definitions crossed
        izvestiya /= truth
        pravda /= news

        1. To be clear the original Russian saying would translate as “There is no news in Truth and no truth in the News.”

          1. It’s a bunch of aspies bro, idioms are hard for them.

            1. Colloquial metaphors for the win!

    4. This completely confuses me.

      Is anyone actually claiming that the executive branch does not have the power or right to investigate corruption by executive branch employees? Does this only apply to political officials?

      Because that sure seems to be the claim. Despite using the words “abuse of power” to describe Trump’s actions and “debunked” to describe claims against Biden, it is absolutely clear that Burisma was attempting to bribe a US official. It is also clear that the US official took actions that are much more arguably “for personal gain” than any actions taken by Trump.

      What is the foundation for saying that the executive branch has no right to investigate millions of dollars in payoffs to the family of a high ranking official?

      1. ” it is absolutely clear that Burisma was attempting to bribe a US official”

        Has anyone been charged in this case?

        “What is the foundation for saying that the executive branch has no right to investigate millions of dollars in payoffs to the family of a high ranking official?”

        Isn’t that the province of the FBI? The president and his staff have no competence in law enforcement or investigation.

        1. Has anyone been charged in this case?

          You mean by the corrupt FBI and DOJ under the Obama administration? No. But I suspect you may see it in Trump’s second term, once he has to stop playing nice for the sake of re-election. He’s put an AG in who seems very eager to put people in prison for things they figured nobody in the White House would ever investigate or prosecute.

          “What is the foundation for saying that the executive branch has no right to investigate millions of dollars in payoffs to the family of a high ranking official?”

          The Constitution is the governing document and makes no reference to the FBI. That’s because a) it didn’t exist when the Constitution was written and b) the Constitution vests all law enforcement authority in the President of the United States. That portion of the Constitution was not amended or repealed…the FBI has authority that exists only as delegated presidential authority.

          The President is actually, by definition, the chief law enforcement officer and is completely free to direct the FBI on who to investigate…whether he had a background in law enforcement or not. It is, in fact, a responsibility of the office and he would be negligent if he had not investigated Joe Biden after Biden’s public remarks.

          Maybe you should do more study on the Constitution before wading into a discussion like this.

          1. “You mean by the corrupt FBI and DOJ under the Obama administration?”

            By anyone. If Trump wasn’t serious about draining the swamp, and continues to turn a blind eye to the corruption in the agencies under his purview, he deserves whatever’s coming his way.

            “and he would be negligent if he had not investigated Joe Biden after Biden’s public remarks.”

            Did Trump investigate Joe Biden after his remarks? I’m not sure he did. The whistle blower indicates no Trump investigation, but rather an unsuccessful attempt to shake down the Ukrainians.

        2. “Has anyone been charged in this case?”

          I’ll take non-sequiturs for 1000 Alex.

          “Isn’t that the province of the FBI?”

          Nope.

          1. So Trump’s ‘investigation’ of Biden resulted in no charges against him or anyone else.

        3. That’s a non argument.

          There is zero chance that Barisma was not trying to buy influence. Zero. Nobody is even pretending otherwise. They have a board completely comprised of people who have very close connections to very high office in western countries. There is only one reason for this, and it isn’t to get their input on the direction of the company. They are also paying handsomly for the service.

          That’s pretty damning… but it doesn’t mean Joe did anything wrong. (people keep arguing about junior. As far as I know, his son can take any job he wants – even a job lobbying for the Russians directly. So I don’t know why the deflection on to junior)

          Still, if Democrats are complaining about diplomats or US government employees staying at Trump hotels, they really cannot pretend that this is all fine. It is way, way, way more directly corrupting than a night at a hotel at market rates.

          The question is…. did Burisma get what they were paying for? That’s a lot harder. It is really rare to make that stick. But we do know that he bragged loudly about taking a spur-of-the-moment action to use his power as the US vice president to get a prosecutor fired … and we know that this was to the benefit of Burisma. We just don’t know why Joe did it.

          Now, he lied through his teeth when first asked about it, saying he didn’t even know that his son had a job in Ukraine. We’ve all seen the subsequently published photo of him playing golf with Burisma officials and his son. So that certainly argues for a guilty conscience.

          And then there’s “the president and his staff have no competence in law enforcement”. Well, that’s likely true of Trump… he has kept his competence in most things well hidden from me. But that isn’t the question. All federal law enforcement comes under the heading of “executive branch”…. which means under the President.

          1. Certainly, Zelensky as the President of the Ukraine and the other leaders of Ukraine know as much or more about the issues involving Ukraine, as the fact witnesses in the impeachment hearings. All of the expert witnesses knew that Trump’s “investigations” could not provide actual factual evidence that the Ukraine Government interfered in the 2016 election and/or Trump’s assertion that the Democratic Party Server is in the Ukraine; because the Ukraine Government never interfered in the 2016 election.

            If Zelensky had not absolutely known for sure that the Ukraine Government never interfered in the 2016 election, then the first time that any one representing the US Government asked for the investigations, the answer by Zelensky and the others in the Ukraine Government, would have been “yes sir” and Zelensky could have easily delivered to a Trump the same or similar documents as the Republicans in the Intelligence Committee hearings had. In Ukraine as was the case in almost every country in the world, editorials, some by government officials and legislators, and other articles were published unfavorable to Trump.

            Zelensky was reluctant to even announce the investigations, let alone hand Trump some articles that could please Trump, because he did not want to in anyway seem to give credence to Trump’s false claim, because the Ukraine Government never interfered in the 2016 election.

            Likewise, Zelensky, as every did honest person that looked into the facts, knew that VP Biden’s efforts in removing a corrupt Ukrainian could not have helped his son in any possible way.
            The Republican legislators’ behavior in the current impeachment proceedings should not be compared to the Republican legislators of the Watergate Nixon era. Rather, a much better comparison is the similarity with the all-white jury that acquitted the killers of 14-year old Emmett Till in 1955 Mississippi. The killers made no attempt to conceal their identities from the multiple witnesses and the killers sold their story of exactly how they had lynched Emmett Till to Look Magazine for $40,000.

            The Republican Senate today is even worse than the Emmett till court In 1955 Mississippi. The prosecutors were allowed to call whatever witnesses and present any evidence they wanted.

            Trump famously said “I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any votes”. That has now been replaced by “Trump could be caught handing America’s top military secrets to Russia and still not have any Republican votes for impeachment”.

            Whatever evidence and proof of criminal acts that Mueller or Schiff could have come up with, it is certain that such evidence and proof could not be as powerful an indication of wrongdoing as the evidence in the public record that Bret Kavanaugh was lying in the senate hearings relating to his confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice.

            Once Ford’s account included three people she said were there AND his calendar had them all at Tim Gaudette’s house on July 1, 1982, AND Ford’s description of the interior of Gaudette’s house in Rockville, MD exactly matches that of the actual house, which still exists: the only way that Kavanaugh was not lying is either: Ford somehow obtained access to his 1982 diary/calendar, or Ford has a time machine or Ford stalked Kavanaugh in 1982 and planned for this if he was nominated to the Supreme Court…”
            https://seekingalpha.com/article/4216597

            1. “For God’s sake, don’t let anyone investigate Crowdstrike!” There, nicely edited to your true meaning. You’re welcome.

          2. “That’s a non argument. ”

            You got that right. I was asking questions which you seemingly want to avoid addressing.

            Thanks for your otherwise considered response. What I want to know is has the FBI investigated Biden or son with any crime? Or has Trump investigated Biden or son with any crime, independently of the FBI?

            “Now, he lied through his teeth when first asked about it,”

            Politicians often lie, and it’s not illegal in most cases.

        4. The FBI is part of the executive, not an independent agency. And we just had a ficking IG report about their malfeasance. Unreal.

          1. Lefty progs are good at ignoring things that don’t fit their narrative.

          2. What was the result of the FBI investigation into Biden and son? What was the result of the Trump investigation into the FBI?

        5. Provenance, not province.

          Sad

          1. Stupid lefties make me laugh.

          2. Sadder still. Province is the correct word. Provenance means origin or chain of custody. Province means an area of special knowledge or responsibility. ie Federal criminal investigations are the province of the FBI. Happy now?

      2. I don’t pretend to be an expert in corruption or to have even been following the impeachment proceedings beyond a surface-level awareness, but to me, it seems relevant that he didn’t just ask Zelendesky to investigate the Bidens – he asked Zelendesky to make a public announcement that he was opening an investigation into the Bidens. The latter seems more obviously an attempt to gain a domestic political advantage.

  5. >>America’s political culture, less than a year before a national election, is a hot mess.

    struggling to imagine what your alternative is. lockstep?

  6. Shoter too shilly “we’re going to lose bigly”

  7. It’s interesting to watch Reason writers slowly come up with a way to oppose the impeachment without acknowledging they let peer pressure and their TDS get the better of them.

    1. Is the article itself an example of this rationalizing? Because the first paragraph is full TDS.

  8. They should impeach Trump. They should impeach every future president who is elected until presidents stop exceeding their Constitutional limits. They won’t, of course, but they should. This is simply partisan politics, and a way to go after Trump, not to limit presidential power. If Hillary had won, they wouldn’t be trying to impeach her.
    It’s too bad we can’t retroactively impeach former presidents for their abuses of power, too, but we just *might* learn from our history instead of glossing over it.

    1. If you were going to impeach Trump for those reasons, you wouldn’t pick this set of charges.

      There’s loads of “unconstitutional” in the budget… but you probably can’t impeach for that.

      We do have the military actions in the “war on terror” that are arguably not properly authorized by congress…. but are also arguably authorized under the Bush era authorization that was overly broad.

      There’s Syria… more of an Obama thing, but Trump has taken some actions.

      There’s got to be a bunch more…. I just can’t think of them off the top of my head. And they are probably all things that the Clinton democrats and the NeverTrump Republicans would totally agree with.

    2. “It’s too bad we can’t retroactively impeach former presidents for their abuses of power, too, but we just *might* learn from our history instead of glossing over it.”

      We can’t impeach them but we can remove their names and images from towns, cities, streets, coins etc. Americans have shown themselves very adept when it comes to removing offensive statues from public places. The vile Andrew Jackson is ripe for such an ‘impeachment.’

      1. It’s super funny that you care about that shit so much that you think others do too.

  9. the process might will exacerbate political tensions without resolving anything.

    FTFY

  10. Impeachment is great for democracy. It should be done more often.

    But when you do it, it better be for a damn good reason other than sour grapes over losing an election that nearly everyone thought your side was going to win. If Hillary hadn’t infected the Dems with Russophobia to cover up her utter and complete failure to not be a fake-ass, urbanite-sniffing hag, they might have had a legitimate shot to beat Trump in 2020, even with the good economy.

    1. Please spare us your bs about “if only Trump’s administration hadn’t appointed Mueller to investigate Trump’s campaign” then Democrats would have a better shot at 2020. I’m glad you mfers think 2020 is in the bag. Good because Democrats don’t and we’re going to fight like hell to beat this crazy mfer.

      1. Pod
        December.18.2019 at 2:16 pm
        “Please spare us your bs…”

        Spare us your lies, misdirections, straw-grasping and the rest of it, you bag of shit.
        Fuck off and die.

        1. You’re projecting as usual. You might want to talk to a therapist about your feelings.

          1. “I’m glad you mfers think 2020 is in the bag. Good because Democrats don’t and we’re going to fight like hell to beat this crazy mfer.”

            “You’re projecting as usual. You might want to talk to a therapist about your feelings.”

            You first crybaby.

          2. Pod
            December.18.2019 at 2:25 pm
            “You’re projecting as usual….”

            Stuff your adolescent ‘analysis’ up your ass; fuck off and die.

      2. I have no doubt they are going to fight like hell. And he is once again going to hand them their asses. Democrats seem incapable of admitting their mistakes much less learning from them. Yet, somehow they are convinced it is Trump who is crazy even though they are a living example of Einstein’s theory of insanity.

      3. Please spare us your bs about anything related to politics. You already got humiliated by Mueller Claus and this impeachment circus has actually increased Trump’s odds of getting re-elected.

        If you had any dignity at all, you would neck yourself out of sheer embarrassment.

        1. He’s such a retard he’d probably fail at that too.

      4. Your only chance is Tulsi. Too bad the DNC would prefer her Arkancided. Good luck with…Butta-wha?

    2. “Take some responsibility”!

      Tyler Durden. Fight club.

      Haha.

  11. Given that Democrat members of the Hoyse have said to the effect that if they do not impeach Trump, he may be re-elected and that they have been trying to find a rationale to bring an impeachment bill against Trump, this whole exercise has been an effort by the Democrat’s to use their power to kneecap an a political opponent

    1. Election interference!

    2. Yeah, their argument kinda falls flat because of that.

      And it isn’t like that is conjecture. They have been openly bragging about how they were going to impeach him since before he took office and did a single thing. And they’ve come up with dozens of reasons for their impeachment investigations over the years – supporting the notion that the entirety of their motivation is for their own political gain.

      1. And other instances, like the one committee’s attempt to stretch the meaning of their authority to investigate tax law in order to justify subpoening Trump’s tax records. It is surreal that that is the thing the Dems think they should nail him on..

        1. Yeah… that is pretty much 100% exactly an abuse of power for political gain. They didn’t even have a pretext of some alleged irregularity in the tax record. They just wanted some dirt.

      2. Facts don’t matter when your harvesting ballots and bypassing the electoral college.

      3. True that.
        Only this time the demoncraps did what they expected Mueller to do and twisted the reality of what happened into such a bundle of lies that they can say, with a straight face, that we just have to do this. We have no choice.
        Of course their supporters have shared their desire to rid the country of President Trump since before he took office. They don’t really believe these lies, either but will stick with their fellow travelers, so that the move to socialism, that Trump has headed off, for the time being, can continue on to the fundamental transformation of the country.
        Big question is: are there enough of the dumbed-down electorate to do that, yet?

  12. The real lesson here, nearly universally ignored, regards the reasons the US judicial system usually forbids fishing expeditions, unless you have the temerity to keep an anointed one from her turn at being elected.
    I’ll venture to say that, assuming this can be construed as an impeachable offense, there isn’t a president since at least FDR who could possibly have avoided impeachment after a similar 3-year fishing expedition into there every act.

    1. Awww. When did Obama go to a foreign government and ask them to look into the Romneys, you poor thing.

      1. Obama would never do that, of course. Just like he’d never put kids in cages.

        #IMissObama

        1. Awww… you poor thing. Obama isn’t President now, you whittle cutie. Do you justify this President’s manifest douchebaggery and lies by pointing to something Obama did? Awww… that’s so sweet to see how much in love you and Dear Leader are. Sooo cute.

          1. Obama never used the IRS to go after his political enemies, never had the FBI and CIA conspire to obtain a FISA warrant on the Republican Presidential nominee and never had the BATF run guns to Mexican drug gangs in hope their use in crimes could be used to justify gun control. Nope, he never had a single scandal or misuse of power.

            1. Dont forget use the CIA to spy on Congress so he could see pro Israel arguments they were making to help counter them an interfere in Israeli elections.

          2. “Awww… you poor thing. Obama isn’t President now, you whittle cutie”

            I love that DOL/Tony knows he’s lost and has to resort to this.

            1. It was bonus funny because he brought up Obama, then resorted to that sophomoric nonsense when it fell absolutely flat.

          3. Special retard arguing with a parody again. You really are very dumb.

      2. “Awww. When did Obama go to a foreign government and ask them to look into the Romneys, you poor thing.”

        Awww. When did fucking lefty ignoramuses address reality instead of some strawman, you pathetic piece of shit?
        Hey, scumbag, did you pay your mortgage yet?

  13. “As to impeachability, many legal experts agree that President Trump has overstepped the bounds of acceptable conduct.”

    And many disagree. But you couldnt bother to find one for some reason.

    1. I’m surprised ENB didn’t write that because whores are her beat.

    2. So ‘legal experts’ agree. Isn’t this one of those logical fallacies?

      1. It’s an appeal to some authority. Ignore other authority.

  14. I see the TDS brigade is back declaring that investigations into corruption is corruption if done by Trump (but really all Republicans). Come back when you have evidence of such beyond your entrails divination and presumptions.

    Fuck you and the swamp culture you are supporting. If I wanted leftist drivel i’d read Vox or slate.

    1. Vox and Slate are fine websites. But Reason is even better because it covers most of the things they do — while also arguing for a minimum wage of $0.00 / hour.

      1. Progressive Fascists like OpenBordersLiberal-tarian can’t even count to zero but they don’t let that stop them from trying to tell (and coerce and force) everyone else how to live their lives.

  15. Awww… you poor things. Someone accused Daddy of being a bad man and now everyone here wants a Billie. Awww… so cute…

    1. You’re still terrible at this.

    2. “Awww… you poor things”

      Ahahahha DOL/Tony IS STILL DONG IT AHAHAHAHAH

    3. “Awww… you poor things. Someone accused Daddy of being a bad man and now everyone here wants a Billie. Awww… so cute…”

      Aww, you pathetic piece if shit. Did you pay your mortgage yet, or are you hoping that by hanging out with honest people, someone might mistake you for other than the scumbag you are?

  16. Last Thursday, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R–KY, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he plans to directly coordinate the Senate impeachment trial with Donald Trump’s White House defense: “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can.”

    The Jury is coordinating with the Defense? Doesn’t sound like a real trial. Of course the pro-Trump side will say “it’s fair to do this because it’s a witch trial etc. etc.”. However, it’s a very bad precedent. You can always say everything is a witch trial when it’s your side being prosecuted.

    If impeachment is meaningless, and no curbs are put on executive power by Congress (for example in the case of moving funds around from army engineering corps to the wall or performing acts of war), we might as well call it a 4-year monarchy rather than a presidency.

    1. ^ Really thought he was getting a pony in that pile of shit

    2. An impeachment that concerns political differences and doesn’t involve any actual crimes is meaningless. Why you think that has anything to do with executive power is a mystery known only to you.

    3. Did somebody actually buy that dumbass talking point? Or is this just shilling?

      Because I didn’t think anyone was that stupid.

      1. “Because I didn’t think anyone was that stupid.”

        Michael Hihn would like to have a word with you.

    4. “Doesn’t sound like a real trial.”

      Democrats every day “impeachment isn’t a court of law”

    5. The Jury is coordinating with the Defense? Doesn’t sound like a real trial.

      The Democrats already made it pretty clear that it’s not. The Republicans are just treating it with the level of dignity it deserves.

    6. “If impeachment is meaningless, and no curbs are put on executive power by Congress (for example in the case of moving funds around from army engineering corps to the wall or performing acts of war), we might as well call it a 4-year monarchy rather than a presidency.”

      When impeachment is purely a partisan response to a lost election, as it is here, it IS meaningless.
      Try to keep up instead of posting drivel.

  17. Awww.

    1. AHAHAHAAHAH HE LOST SO BAD HE’S SPEECH LESS AHHAAHAHAHHAAH

  18. Pelosi wearing all black, declaring today a somber day… cant stop laughing. The sad fact is the dumbfuck liberals actually fall for this melodrama.

    1. Pelosi thinks symbolism actually matters. Her hypocrisy is higher, deeper and heavier than any other politician in Congress.

    2. It is a somber day. Pelosi is a lot of things but she is not completely stupid. She knows this whole thing has blown up in their faces and that voting for impeachment is going to end the Democratic majority in the House. She has a lot to be sad about today.

      1. She started the super-cereal impeachment proceedings off by “reminding everyone of the words of the Pledge of Allegiance”. She then proceeded to recite the pledge, hand over heart.

        I actually LOL’d.

        Her, Trump, Schumer, Schiff, etc. all seem like over-the top characters from a c-level sitcom. They are absolute caricatures.

        1. Yet the media take Pelosi, schiff, and Schumer seriously.

          1. Well, they pretend to in public at least, because it advances their causes

          2. So the big story yesterday was Schumer’s letter to McConnell. They covered it credulously as a very serious attempt at bipartisanship and getting the proper procedures for justice. Today lead with that.

            This morning – The exact same thing. Not one mention of McConnell’s response. Just a credulous examination of Schumer’s attempt to wrest control of the Senate process out of his hands. They had several experts on – 2 days in a row – to explain how it is totally unconstitutional and a violation of their oath to ever talk to Trump about impeachment. They even parroted the ludicrous “the senate never spoke with the white house during Clinton’ s impeachment” talking point.

        2. did they say the under god part?

  19. Every President is “impeachable” but this is the second time (Andrew Johnson being the first) that one party has tried to impeach the President simply because they despise him and his policies. No laws have been violated and the articles of impeachment prove it since they do not state any codified law President Trump has violated.

    1. I don’t even think they despise Trump’s policies… except maybe border enforcement. Mostly he’s governed like the former democrat populist republican he presents as…

      But they really, really hate that he beat their beloved Clinton while acting like an ass.

  20. Sometimes I wonder about why I don’t just join the Libertarian party and then I read something like this or hear on the Reason podcast how we should be impeaching presidents all the time as if that is a viable way to run a government. Then I remember that many Libertarians just want to burn it all down. Fuck it and damn the consequences.
    If Libertarians ever actually came to power they’d be tripping over their ideals and implode before they could get through the first line of their agenda. That would actually be more effective than impeachments all the time because maybe it would teach Libertarians how the real world works. How’s that presidential candidate search coming along?
    You think Trump committed impeachable offenses? How in the hell does a president NOT get impeached when he has the entire intelligence community fabricating evidence and bringing false charges? How about when he has the majority of the media colluding with the intelligence community and democrats?
    Jesus Christ, you guys are like the Russian Provisional government stupidly ignoring the danger all around you because you don’t have the balls to acknowledge the growing danger.

    1. Be a libertarian–refuse to join the Libertarian Party.

      The LP succumbed to Conquest’s Second Law long ago.

      Actual libertarians tend to vote selectively Republican or abstain

      LP members vote directly or indirectly for the most statist candidate running.

  21. THE… LOVE…HERE…FOR…DEAR…LEADER… NEEDS…A…BOOK…FROM…HARLEQUIN…ROMANCE. SO FUCKING HOT!

    1. Cry more.

    2. Your scumbag tears are delicious.

  22. Trump is impeachable

    Is he though?

    He’s not committed treason, nor bribery, nor a crime–high OR low, nor a misdemeanor.

    He’s done nothing, based on the wording to warrant it.

    But wait, you leftist bastards say, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ is a term without meaning, and impeachment is a political process, they can mean whatever we want them to mean!

    So there!

    They can?

    Really?

    So, we are all expected to believe that the founders of this nation, the writers and framers of the Constitution, included a passage whereby a simple majority in the House and a two-thirds majority in the Senate can abrogate the will of the voters at any time just because?

    Does that make any sense to you? Yes, I’m aware that you’re leftists, so you and ‘sense’ have merely a passing acquaintance, but the rest of us…the majority shall I say, don’t suffer from your shortcomings.

    And now you pull out ‘thinkers’ to help justify the ludicrous position you’ve taken.

    It is to laugh.

    1. “So, we are all expected to believe that the founders of this nation, the writers and framers of the Constitution, included a passage whereby a simple majority in the House and a two-thirds majority in the Senate can abrogate the will of the voters at any time just because?”

      You and your fellow voters gave the green light on impeachment when you elected a majority Democrats to the house last year.

      1. Now do the Senate.

        1. It’s the House that impeaches, as god intended.

          1. Now avoid doing the Senate again.

          2. That’s trueman:

            mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
            “Spouting nonsense is an end in itself.”

            He seems to view such a pile of shit as some sort of sophisticated argument rather than the base sophistry it is.

      2. Except that the Democrats ran promising not to impeach Trump. Go find a single Democrat who won in a swing district or a Trump voting district who didn’t promise not to do so.

        The voters voted for no such thing. The Democrats lied and will be punished badly for this in the next election.

        1. And there is their version of the trap. Because several of them explicitly did run on “Impeach Trump”. Maxine Waters is the headliner, but there were plenty of others.

          In order to keep those constituents happy, they have to throw the purple district representatives under the bus.

          1. Some are diving under the bus willingly, like the CIA chick from Michigan who has so much “integrity”

        2. That’s trueman:

          mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
          “Spouting nonsense is an end in itself.”

          He seems to view such a pile of shit as some sort of sophisticated argument rather than the base sophistry it is.

        3. “Except that the Democrats ran promising not to impeach Trump.”

          And you believed them?! Thank the good lord voters have more sense than you do.

          “The Democrats lied and will be punished badly for this in the next election.”

          Then you should find another outlet to your incessant hand wringing.

          1. “And you believed them?!”

            AHAHAHAHHHAAHAH OMFG HE LOSES FOREVER AHAHAHAHAHHA

            1. AAHAHAHAHAH “I’M A SNAKE BITCH” AHAHAHAH THATS WHAT HE WENT WITH AHAHAHAHAAHAJ

              1. AAHAHAHAHAHHA THEY WERE ONLY LYING THEN NOT NOW

                AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH

                1. This is a suitable outlet for your incessant hand wringing.

          2. mtrueman
            December.18.2019 at 3:43 pm
            ““Except that the Democrats ran promising not to impeach Trump.”
            And you believed them?! Thank the good lord voters have more sense than you do.”
            —————————————–
            That’s trueman:

            mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
            “Spouting nonsense is an end in itself.”

            He seems to view such a pile of shit as some sort of sophisticated argument rather than the base sophistry it is.

            1. If you voted Democrat on the strength of their ‘promise’ not to impeach Trump, you’re a bigger fool than most here.

      3. As usual, you fail to understand.

        I’m saying that this self-serving definition of ‘impeachment’ is wrong.

        Here is where we’ve gone off the rails.

        1. It’s a single process in parts.
        The House investigates and decides to charge. The Senate tries and acquits or passes sentence

        The sentence may be censure or removal.

        This is impeachment.

        A person is NOT impeached if they are acquitted.

        2. It requires some recognizable criminality. Like committing perjury when you’re on trial for sexual harassment. You shouldn’t be able to even investigate a person because they’re ‘doing what they were elected to do following the ideals of their party’ (what’s being called ‘abuse of power’)

        That’s what I’m saying.

        1. You’re engaging trueman as if s/he were a sentient being.

        2. “That’s what I’m saying.”

          That’s what Trump is saying. If you have anything original to add, go for it. Partisanship is for bores, chumps and true believers.

  23. This is an ugly precedent for the democrats. I don’t think they have thought this one through, just like they didn’t think through their “nuclear option” on judicial appointments.

    Where does this end? Sure, they think they can weaken Trump or another republican nominee by impeaching him – thereby winning the White House.

    But even if it totally works… he gets tossed out in 3 months and the republicans turn to Pence in desperation…. now what? So you get 4 years.

    The demographics of the nation are such that the Democrats have the inside track on the presidency. But republicans have an advantage in the senate.

    Surely they know that at some point this is likely to produce a Democrat in the white house with a republican house and a 2/3 republican senate. Then what?

    If republicans decide to follow this precedent, They’ll toss every democrat right out of office. Talk about a constitutional crisis!!

    Of course, they are counting on the Republicans to be more conservative than that. They are counting on them to back down after the damage is done by the democrats.

    But how’s that working out for them in the Supreme Court?

    1. If Democrats and their followers had foresight and discipline they’d be Republicans.

    2. Supreme Court? Hell, how’s that working for them in the lower courts? Cocaine Mitch has been a busy bee in filling all the vacant seats that Obama couldn’t be bothered to fill; he’s even managed to flip the Second Circuit.

      I mean, fucking hell–Reid clears the road for you to get seats filled, and you don’t follow through?

      1. They figured they had at least 8 more years to lock up that permanent majority.

      2. Whatever else one can say about him, you’ve gotta give cocaine Mitch credit for doing his job and doing it well

  24. OFFS!
    Just got an image of the hag 2nd-class standing there with her hand over her heart, reciting the pledge of allegiance, as if this entire act were other than a partisan clown-show.
    No, Pelosi, your bullshit has nothing to do with the Constitution other than you finding a way to use it to punish your opponent.

  25. Watching this impeachment proceeding drove home another observation….

    Holy crap, our elected officials are older than heck! Pelosi looks like she’s 100, McConnell looks like they picked him up in the lunchroom of the retirement home. Trump is a vigorous 70-something… but how long is that gonna last? Bernie? Acts like he’s a Boca retiree haranguing the HOA about people’s door mats being too plush.

    Between President, Speaker, Senate Majority, Majority and Minority leaders in the house and senate… is this the oldest leadership group ever? I mean, by definition they are always gonna skew pretty old. But dang… this group is ancient.

  26. I’m just bugged that Jerry and all the others are being held over the fire to extract from them credence for this hogwash about Trump.

  27. It’s all the rage. I got impeached by my neighbors yesterday and I plan to impeach my cat tonight.

    #prayforfluffy

  28. Impeachment is good because it brings Congressional hypocrisy and dishonesty into the public eye. The more that politicians display such behavior, the more they destroy the credibility of politics. That’s good if you love freedom.

  29. Isn’t it wonderful that the next election will erase all doubt regarding Russian influence? I mean…its absolutely KNOWN by some that it happened in 2016, otherwise Trump would never have won (ignoring the fact that Clinton was Putin’s pick). Now, knowing that it happened before, the stalwart defenders of American Democracy will be on Red Alert (pun intended), ready to root out and expose any hint of Russian interference in 2020.
    We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Progressive wing of the Democratic party: otherwise, who among us would have known that Russia’s foreign policy included meddling in US elections.

    PLUS, because of the Progressives reputed love of the principles of fairness and equality, we wouldn’t be enjoying this impeachment process.

    1. “(ignoring the fact that Clinton was Putin’s pick)”

      I doubt that the Russians really care that much about who occupies the White House. Politicians come and go, and are a fickle, distracted, untrustworthy bunch for the short period they are in office. Russians have bigger fish to fry. Like the pipeline deal with Germany. A truly big fish that met with bi-partisan opposition in the US for quite some time now. Germany is no longer a US captive, but ‘a captive to Russia’ according to Trump.

      As for Russian interference with US elections, that’s certainly going to continue. They have a cheap, easy way to suppress the vote and erode public confidence in election integrity. It’s a no-brainer.

      1. The Russian collusion is a proven canard and senselessly clinging to it is infantile. Even assuming it existed, it’s efficacy is great enough to determine the election? Please, that is asinine to the nth.

        1. I don’t think the Russians tried to determine the election. I don’t think the Russians really care about who occupies the White House as American politicians are essentially interchangeable. They care about things like pipelines and undermining American confidence in America’s institutions.

  30. “Some of my colleagues hope that Trump’s vulnerability allows an opening to not just punish a misbehaving official, but to rein-in the presidency itself. By finally imposing a penalty for abusing the powers of the office, Congress might reassert some of its own surrendered authority and put clearer boundaries around the behavior of chief executives to come, they suggest.”

    And they be naive. Let’s be real. This was done for no other reason because they hate the guy and can’t seem to get past the 2016 loss.

    If it were any other person they wouldn’t bat an eye. Worse, if you think they’re gonna accept the standard set, you’re doubly naive.

    As I’ve noted elsewhere, they went after him with Mueller where the accusations shifted and changed more often than a porn star switches partners. They had nothing because the whole thing was predicated on a lie – the Steele Dossier.

    Then they decided to try their magic tricks – insert Bullwinkle voice here- with Ukraine where their standard of proof came from a less than honest FBI as we know with FISA.

    And even there, we see Democrat shenanigans, like in Russia, waiting to be called out on – ie the Bidens.

    There’s a lot going on here (including possibly a calculus to lay doubt in the electorate for 2020) and it’s way above Trump’s pay grade.

    In my humble opinion? They didn’t need to do this and further deepen the divide. They could have just said, ‘hey man, we’ll get him at the ballot box in 2020.’

    But with the hams and sauces representing the DNC, maybe they figured let’s go for impeachment and maybe the witch whose turn it was will run.

    And spare us this is ‘good for democracy’. Not in this case and in the context of Orange Man Bad.

    This was pure politics and no principles.

    1. “They didn’t need to do this and further deepen the divide. ”

      There’s a lot to be said for deepening the divide. You can start by reading the collected works of V. I. Lenin, a politician who built a career and seized power by deepening the divide.

  31. But it’s not obvious that impeachment is the best way to solve the country’s serious political ills.

    Not obvious? Are you serious, Tuccille? Today is a day of national shame, disgrace and dishonor. What on earth were you thinking when you wrote this? Were you trying to understate what has happened here? As an American, I literally cannot believe how far we have fallen. Today I mourn for our Republic, because we will never be same again.

  32. Lamest article I have read all week. If the democrats had an actual crime before them, rest assured they would have done so. The idiot democrats, if they vote on the articles of impeachment as they are, will NOT have charged Trump with ANY criminal act. Look at them yourself, not a single government code defining a crime has been cited.
    It gets worse though. In article 2 they actually propose to charge Trump with a crime he may or may not commit in the future. The matter of failure to provide congress with subpoenaed witnesses or documents is before the courts pending a ruling. If Trump wins in court, Article 2 is moot, if he loses and then complies the Article is moot.

  33. “Healthy democracy”? Since when is might makes right, healthy?

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