Impeachment

Trump Is Getting Impeached Today. Should His Complaints About the Process Be Taken Seriously?

Many of the president's beefs are frivolous, but he is right that impeachment has been rushed.

|

Donald Trump's angry six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) offers both frivolous and plausible grounds for questioning his impeachment. Once you get past the bluster, bragging, idiosyncratic capitalization, and other Trump tics, it offers a useful summation of the reasons Republicans are so outraged by a process that Democrats portray as a straightforward fulfillment of their constitutional responsibilities.

Trump calls impeachment an "unconstitutional abuse of power," "an illegal, partisan attempted coup," an "election-nullification scheme," and an "attempt to undo the election of 2016." In practical terms, of course, Trump's removal from office through impeachment would not "undo the election," since his party would still control the White House, with Vice President Mike Pence, who was elected on the same ticket as Trump, taking over his position. That's not exactly a coup. What about the claim that impeachment is illegal and unconstitutional?

Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says the president "shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Article I, Section 2 says the House of Representatives "shall have the sole power of impeachment," while Section 3 says "the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments." Trump thinks the House does not have a good reason to impeach him, but that does not mean it lacks the constitutional authority to do so.

Trump claims "the Articles of Impeachment introduced by the House Judiciary Committee are not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence," because "they include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever." But while impeachable offenses can include criminal offenses, they also include abuses of power that betray the public trust but do not necessarily violate any particular statute. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, the lone Republican witness at the House Judiciary Committee's December 4 hearing on impeachment, made that point repeatedly during his testimony, which Trump cites when it supports his arguments. Trump's own lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has conceded that impeachable offenses are not necessarily illegal, citing a pre-emptive self-pardon as an example of conduct that "would just be unthinkable" and "would lead to probably an immediate impeachment," even though the Constitution imposes no limits on the president's pardon power.

The question, as framed by the articles of impeachment against Trump, is not whether he has broken the law but whether he has abused his powers in a way egregious enough to justify his removal. Turley, who harshly criticized the impeachment process as rushed and incomplete, worries that abuse-of-power allegations can be dangerously amorphous when detached from the elements required to prove a crime. He nevertheless concedes that "the use of military aid for a quid pro quo to investigate one's political opponent, if proven, can be an impeachable offense."

Trump does himself no favors by continuing to insist in his letter to Pelosi that his July 25 telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was "perfect" and that the reconstructed White House transcript of that call refutes the claims against him:

I said to President Zelensky: "I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it." I said do us a favor, not me, and our country, not a campaign. I then mentioned the Attorney General of the United States. Every time I talk with a foreign leader, I put America's interests first, just as I did with President Zelensky.

This parsing of us vs. me proves nothing, since us is ambiguous. It could refer, as Trump says, to the United States, or it could refer to Trump and his allies. Trump illustrated that ambiguity during the call by asking Zelenskiy to work with Giuliani, his personal lawyer, as well as Attorney General William Barr. The essence of the allegation against Trump is precisely that he framed a "favor" for him—a Ukrainian investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender to oppose him in next year's election—as a favor for the U.S. government, which was at that very moment withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine by presidential fiat.

Trump's request for that "favor" immediately followed Zelenskiy's expression of gratitude for U.S. aid and his mention of his government's plans to buy anti-tank missiles from the United States. The conjunction of those two issues gives rise to a fair inference that there was a connection between the investigation Trump sought and the assistance that Zelenskiy was counting on. As Turley noted, Trump's conversation with Zelenskiy "was anything but 'perfect' and his reference to the Bidens was highly inappropriate." That Trump still seems oblivious to that point is of a piece with his general lack of self-awareness, disregard for diplomatic norms, and inability to admit when he is wrong.

Trump emphasizes that Zelenskiy has said he did not feel "pressure" to comply with Trump's request, which is both highly implausible and completely understandable given Ukraine's dependence on U.S. support. Since Zelenskiy will be dealing with Trump at least until January 2021 and quite possibly for another four years after that, it is perfectly rational for him to worry about the risks of reinforcing the case for impeachment, especially if he views Trump as a mercurial president driven by personal motives. And although Trump claims Zelenskiy "has repeatedly declared that I did nothing wrong," Zelenskiy actually criticized Trump's hold on the military aid, saying, "If you're our strategic partner, then you can't go blocking anything for us. I think that's just about fairness. It's not about a quid pro quo." While Trump may read that as confirmation that he "did nothing wrong," it seems more like a plea from a desperate ally who does not want his country's relationship with the United States to be tangled up in domestic American politics.

In Trump's telling, Democrats latched onto his "totally appropriate" interaction with Zelenskiy as the latest excuse for doing something they had long wanted to do:

Nineteen minutes after I took the oath of office, the Washington Post published a story headlined, "The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun." Less than three months after my inauguration, Representative Maxine Waters stated, "I'm going to fight every day until he's impeached." House Democrats introduced the first impeachment resolution against me within months of my inauguration, for what will be regarded as one of our country's best decisions, the firing of James Comey (see Inspector General Reports)—who the world now knows is one of the dirtiest cops our Nation has ever seen. A ranting and raving Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, declared just hours after she was sworn into office, "We're gonna go in there and we're gonna impeach the motherf****r." Representative Al Green said in May, "I'm concerned that if we don't impeach this president, he will get re-elected." Again, you and your allies said, and did, all of these things long before you ever heard of President Zelensky or anything related to Ukraine.

While that history understandably reinforces the suspicion that Democrats are targeting Trump for purely partisan reasons, it is logically irrelevant to the merits of the allegations that actually led to his impeachment. There is a reason why Pelosi and other Democratic leaders resisted impeachment for so long but changed their minds after Trump's conduct vis-à-vis Ukraine came to light. If Trump did in fact abuse his presidential powers for personal gain by pressuring a foreign government to conduct an investigation aimed at discrediting a political rival (and there is compelling evidence that he did), that would be a clear betrayal of the public trust.

In defending himself against that charge, Trump complains, "I have been deprived of basic Constitutional Due Process," including "the right to present evidence, to have my own counsel present, to confront accusers, and to call and cross-examine witnesses." But those guarantees for defendants in criminal trials do not apply in the context of impeachment, and Trump has in any case rejected opportunities to present his side of the story in the House while refusing, based on a sweeping claim of executive privilege, to provide documents or consent to testimony by current or former administration officials. During his trial in the Senate, Trump could avail himself of all the rights he says he has been denied, depending on the rules that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) settles on. But McConnell, who says his approach will be dictated by what Trump wants, apparently plans to conduct a minimal trial without witnesses, leading to a quick and predetermined acquittal along party lines.

McConnell is right that he has no obligation to fill gaps in the case against Trump by calling witnesses, such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, whom the House decided not to subpoena in the hope of avoiding prolonged court battles over whether they could be compelled to testify. And Trump is right that charging him with obstruction of Congress seems premature, since the House did not bother to test his executive privilege claims in court, which could have resulted in orders requiring the testimony of Bolton et al. as well as the production of relevant documents.

At the same time, the assumption that such highly placed sources would have incriminating things to say is rather telling. The upshot of a hasty impeachment in the House and a hasty acquittal in the Senate is that the question of whether Trump committed "high crimes and misdemeanors" will never be fully considered.

Advertisement

NEXT: House-Passed Budget Deal Raises Age To Buy Cigarettes to 21

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Perhaps we should take Trump as seriously as we take the entire investigation, the Steele dossier and the FISA warrant.

    1. ITT, Screech shows up with a fake name to have a mantrum because he lost.

      1. Calling it a mantrum is very generous of you

    2. Yup. We should take nothing seriously about this process. No one else is, including Congress and the president.

  2. abuse-of-power allegations can be dangerously amorphous

    Yep. Brace yourself for a *lot* of abuse-of-power allegations, on both sides. 8-(

  3. THIS WHOLE COURT IS OUT OF ORDER!

    1. HAS THE WHOLE WORLD GONE CRAZY? AM I THE ONLY ONE AROUND HERE WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THE RULES. MARK IT ZERO!

      1. isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but I for one am not going to stand here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        1. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FUCK A STRANGER IN THE ASS.

          1. WAS IT OVER WHEN THE GERMANS BOMBED PEARL HARBOR?!

            1. Huh, NO, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU…I’M NOT…WE’RE TALKING ABOUT UNCHECKED AGGRESSION HERE DUDE.

    2. That was Lindsey Graham during the Kavanaugh hearings.

    3. LT Schiff: ANSWER THE QUESTION! DID YOU ORDER THE CODE RED!

      COL Trump: Uh, no. No I did not.

      Lt Schiff: *!

      The rest of the country: MP’s, take LT Schiff into custody.

      1. Had President Trump not been elected, we would never have known just how evil and corrupt the Democrats in Congress really are!

        President Trump stands up for what’s best for all Americans and we should stand up for him!

        America First!

        1. I couldn’t agree more!

          Priority No. 1: remove Piglosi and her communist, corrupt cohorts from political office ASAP. Seek them out and destroy every last one of them. They’re a stinky, dark stain on what remains of our political system.

          America is always first!

    4. MY VERIZON PHONE IS OUT OF ORDER. THE VENDING MACHINE IN THE LOBBY IS OUT OF ORDER. THE PAGES OF THESE BRIEFS MY CLERK PREPARED FOR ME ARE OUT OF ORDER.

      1. YOU NEED ME AT THIS VENDING MACHINE.
        YOU WANT ME ON THIS PHONE.

        1. Did you order the Quid Pro Quo?!

          YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT I DID!!

    1. It appears as of 1150EST that the vote is H Resolution 767 to forward is:

      228-197 and 5 not voting.
      On Agreeing to the Resolution
      H.RES. 767

      1. It’s interesting that Gabbard chose not to vote. Probably the best thing she could have done on the off chance she somehow becomes the Democrat nominee.

  4. In practical terms, of course, Trump’s removal from office through impeachment would not “undo the election,” since his party would still control the White House, with Vice President Mike Pence, who was elected on the same ticket as Trump, taking over his position.

    This is really dumb.

    1. It is just insulting. Sullumn is loathsome.

      1. You should just go back to wingnut.com where the writes will tell you what you want to hear.

        1. Why do that when I have psychotic dumb asses like you who are forever telling me what such sites say?

          And you should lay off the child porn you degenerate.

          1. You’re the one bitching about libertarian writers here.

            1. They arent libertarian when they support unelected bureaucracy over elected government.

            2. I stole your name bitch.

              1. yeah I was all “where’s the other one?”

        2. “The writes ” lol. Stick to child porn.

    2. I was kinda surprised by that myself.

    3. Yeah, when was the last time somebody went to the polls to vote for VP?

      1. if Biden gets the nomination, the Dems will this year.

    4. It still doesn’t undo the election and it’s totally dumb to claim it does. Some Dems seem stupid enough to think it does. But Trump will still have been president for 3 years if he’s removed from office. The results of the 2016 election will stand. So in what sense does it undo the election? I could see characterizing it that way if it had happened in Feb. 2016. But there is nothing that is getting undone if Trump is removed.

      1. Remember, their entire 2016 campaign hinged on pointing snd Trump and screaming that he did all the things Hillary did.

        Then they spent the next three years pointing at Trump and screaming that he did all the things Obama did.

        Basic logic and reasoning doesn’t apply to these people anymore. They’ve gone full postmodernist. All that exists is their emotional reaction.

    5. So rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America.

    6. Not only stupid but a complete waste of time and taxpayers money. Which will most likely be deservedly reflected in the next elections.

      The Senate presently consists of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents. They’ll need a total of 67 votes for approval. They’ll need the 45 Demo-rats and the two independents, plus 20 of the Republicans to get it approved.

      Which is not likely going to happen, regardless of how many bribes, extorsions, blackmails, etc., occur.

  5. It’s hard to distinguish investigations from muck raking without a thorough understanding of who paid the Bidens and why.

    Why do the Democrats think an investigation into Biden would be so politically damaging as to serve as the basis for a bribery or extortion charge?

    1. Because conservatives would “Benghazi” it – meaning take a benign nontroversy and blow it up into a fake scandal.

      1. …like the Dems did here?

      2. Still going with the deaths of an ambassador because they denied security funding is a fake scandal. Going with lying straight to american faces about the origins of the attack being a never seen video to cover for your incompetence is just dandy. Going with locking up said filmmaker to make sure he gets blamed, no problem!

        You’re a fucking child raping idiot.

        1. And too stupid to protect his name, so he has to fake it.

      3. “…blow it up into a fake scandal.”

        I see you’re too stupid to know what “fake” means.

      4. But Barack Obama blaming a terrorist attack that his administration allowed to happen on YouTube as a flimsy pretext for rushing headlong with his corrupt administration’s obsession with controlling the internet and attacking free speech was a legitimate controversy.

        Unlike imaginary Russian hacking/colluding/obstruction/meddling memes. Or this impeachment show trial.

  6. it depends on what we mean when we say “we”

  7. What confuses me most is why the Democrats are pushing this when they know the Senate will acquit him, and it will just improve his chances for re-election; it will pump up his base for proving how pervasive the deep state is, while doing nothing for their own crowd. It will shift more fence sitters towards Trump than the print-and-spend socialist crowd.

    Makes no sense to me.

    1. That makes two of us. My best guess is that they feel that not impeaching Trump would be even worse because their derranged base would lose its mind. They are taking the best of a bad set of options here.

      The problem they have is that they convinced their base that they really had the goods on Trump and were going to impeach him and remove him from office. Their base really believed that. They believed the Russia hoax. A lot of them still do. And they absolutely believe that Trump will be removed from office and thrown in prison if only the Democrats would stand up and do it.

      So, when the whole thing turned out to be bullshit and no one outside the base wanted Trump impeached, the Democrats were screwed. If they impeach him, they turn off everyone to the right of their base. If they don’t, their base is completely devastated and demoralized.

      1. They are psychotic and still believe in their own importance.

        1. Luckily, less and less Americans are buying it and leaving the Party of slavery in droves.

          Its why poll numbers have not gone up for Democrat actions.

    2. They can’t drop it now so they’re pushing it onto the Senate so they can wipe their hands, hoping the Senate will sit on it long enough that those in purple districts can get enough time to distance themselves and be able to blame the Senate for any negatives.

      1. The problem with that plan is that the impeachment inquiry is going to continue. They are not going to drop it. They are just going to keep impeaching like the wagon train in the old TV show. They just keep wagon training. So, the public is never going to forget this and nothing is going to save those Democrats. They are fucked.

        1. The Democrat Party is in a death sprial and this is how Democrats are going to take us all with them.

          The Democrats were losing to free states so they started the Civil War. If they cannot have it, nobody can.

        2. Wonder what the odds would be on “First President to be Impeached Twice”. I’d take that bet.

          1. They’ve ready openly said it on television and in court that impeachment isnt done with this vote.

          2. More like “in perpetuity”. When Democrats said they can keep impeaching Trump no matter what the Senate does, they were laying out their plan like in Mein Kampf.

          3. So would I. Then lie about paying if I lost.

            1. Fuck off, you fake buttplug.

              1. Sorry loser, you know you’re the fake. This is mine now.

              2. So you’ve been busted once more and hope no one notices?
                Did you get tired of peddling kiddie porn and decide to show up again, turd?

                1. Yeah.

          4. I feel that there would be a lot of people leaving the Dems over that… and the next Democrat president would have a hell of a time trying to do his job facing the exact same thing

            1. You said it. The next Dem president will endure endless “inpeachments” during its term(s).

              1. No they won’t. The Dems will get the judiciary involved, who will claim the intent of Republicans is racist, so any impeachment proceedings against Democrats are automatically invalid.

          5. MP
            December.18.2019 at 3:50 pm
            Wonder what the odds would be on “First President to be Impeached Twice”. I’d take that bet.

            You’d better get really, really good odds, because I don’t think the Ds are going to retain the house (though their propensity for voter fraud gives them a chance)

      2. The narrative will be that Republicans in the Senate ignored clear evidence of Donald Trump’s crimes and put the interests of their party over the country. This will be trumpeted by every Democrat partisan and the entirety of the mainstream media (I know, I repeat myself). The Democrats will use this to drive get-out-the-vote efforts and beg for money in hopes of at least regaining a Senate majority in November, which would allow them to block Trump’s judicial nominees.

        1. They have zero chance at regaining a Senate majority in 2020. I don’t think even they are delusional enough to think otherwise.

          1. There are 23 Team R Senators and 12 Team D Senators up for re-election in 2020. I would not say zero. In fact, there is a higher likelihood that Team R will lose the Senate, unless Team R gets their fucking act together.

        2. That’s exactly the way I see it.

        3. They’ll just do what the Regressive Left has always done; they’ll scream that the system didn’t completely break and rebuild itself to suit their current claims because MILLYUHNAIRS AND BILLYUHNAIRS! MILLYUHNAIRS AND BILLYUHNAIRS! MILLYUHNAIRS AND BILLYUHNAIRS! MILLYUHNAIRS AND BILLYUHNAIRS! MILLYUHNAIRS AND BILLYUHNAIRS! MILLYUHNAIRS AND BILLYUHNAIRS! MILLYUHNAIRS AND BILLYUHNAIRS!

    3. The Senate will acquit of course, but I don’t think you can take it as a given that this will help Trump’s re-election chances. None of it seems to be moving public opinion or enthusiasm in one direction or another so far, I don’t see any reason to expect that will change. The vast majority of people already have their minds made up about the guy.

      I do agree though that a more thorough and drawn-out investigation would benefit the Democrats. There is value to fighting for witness subpoenas in court, and there’s a strong likelihood they’d end up uncovering more evidence of crimes since this guy can’t walk ten feet without stepping on his own dick. From a political perspective, it would also keep Trump under a cloud of suspicion and pending impeachment articles well into the campaign season for 2020.

      1. Poll after poll shows the public has largely tuned it out. At this point it seems to be mostly about inventing a lie they can tell themselves after they lose.

      2. USAToday’s latest polling shows Trump leading all four of the top democratic possible nominees.
        Gallup shows that Trump’s approval rating has increased by 6 points since impeachment began and over half the country disapproves of the impeachment (6 points ahead of those who approve).

      3. Also, gambling odds are now even money or nearly even money Trump is re-elected.

      4. “there’s a strong likelihood they’d end up uncovering more evidence of crimes since this guy can’t walk ten feet without stepping on his own dick.”

        Rhayder says, pretending 3+ years of unbound investigation, and attempted frame ups, that haven’t found anything didn’t happen.
        I am, at times, amazed by some people’s sheer stupidity

    4. A properly tried impeachment will enlighten those who are paying attention and inform their voting behavior even if Trump is acquitted.

    5. They don’t think it will help his re-election. They hate him, so they beleive showcasing his behavior is a winning issue. This is all about extending his reputation as impulsive and assertive into a perception of him as selfish to the point of unthinking corruption and dangerous to diplomacy.

      I think they are wrong, but that’s the idea.

    6. The plan is to just leave it hanging out there with no resolution as
      another endless and free point to keep it in the forefront of the news cycle.

  8. Obstruction of Congress isn’t a crime. It is called the separation of powers. Part of the President’s job is to obstruct Congress. Yet, Sullumn being perhaps reason’s dumbest writer (Dalmia at least has the excuse of being a lunatic), treats it as an actual offense.

    The worst and most dishonest part of this article is how Sullumn takes Turley, who gave a brilliant and compelling statement to Congress, so out of context and dishonestly portrays his testimony.

    Turley made it clear that the actions Trump is accused of taking cannot be considered impeachable. And to do so is to basically turn the country into the late Roman Republic where political differences become criminal. Sulumn completely ignores that.

    I don’t understand how someone can make a living lying. And that is what Sulumn and those like him do. I guess that is why they seem to always turn out to be broken, sad people, whenever their character or private lives are revealed. Lying for a living has some fairly nasty second order effects on one’s personality.

    1. John, don’t focus on what are and what are not crimes here. Impeachments are not criminal proceedings. They’re basically a complicated vote of no-confidence.

      It literally doesn’t matter if you’ve committed a crime or not. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve committed a real impropriety. What matters is, do enough people want you gone that they’ll provide cover for each other? If yes, then you’re impeached. If no, then you’re not.

      1. As a practical matter, it can work that way. But, it is not supposed to work that way. The Constitution says “high crimes and misdemeanors” not “whatever the hell they want”. It is true that Congress can impeach a president and even remove him from office for spurious reasons and there isn’t really any remedy for that outside of the next election. There not being a remedy, however, doesn’t make it any more legal or any less a violation of the Constitution.

        1. Actually it is supposed to work exactly that way.

          https://twitter.com/justinamash/status/1205555514702258181

          What did the Framers mean by “high Crimes and Misdemeanors”? “High” denotes high office. They were not describing statutory misdeeds but rather “those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust”

          Bold mine. Amash is quoting Hamilton from Federalist #65 there.

          1. Amash is misquoting Hamilton. True, it didn’t always mean a specified crime. There could be cases where the guy just refuses to do his statutory duty or just doesn’t show up to work that are also contemplated by impeachment. But that doesn’t mean that it was meant to cover everything. The words were put there for a reason.

            Amash is as he seems to always be these days lying his fucking ass off. Hamilton is rolling in his grave over the way Amash is twisting his words.

            1. OK, if it’s a misquote, then what is the correct Hamilton quote? Also Amash isn’t claiming that it covers “everything” – he’s claiming that it covers “those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust”.

              I’d say leveraging international relationships for his own personal political gain meets that standard pretty easily. It’s fine if you disagree with me but this isn’t a question of Dems impeaching for “whatever the hell they want”.

              1. those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust”.

                That is what Hamilton said. The problem is that nothing Trump did meets that standard. What personal gain? Investigating Biden’s corruption? The US bullies other nations to cooperate with criminal investigations all of the time. They use aid to get nations to do all kinds of things. That is called diplomacy. Asking the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden was the President’s duty. What was he supposed to do, let Biden get away with bribery? And don’t tell me he should have had the AG do it. Biden doesn’t hold office. He is no different than any other American. There is nothing wrong with Trump asking them to look into it especially since Biden had bullied them into not looking into it when he was VP.,

                It is unclear all of the cases that Hamilton meant for that to cover. But it sure as hell doesn’t include the President conducting normal diplomacy. And to call that anything but diplomacy is to make it crime for any Republican to investigate a Democrat.
                Amash is a dishonest piece of shit here.

                1. What personal gain?

                  The political benefit of having his most likely general election opponent connected to a corruption investigation. And actually the witnesses have made it clear that it was really the announcement of an investigation that Trump truly valued, more so than the investigation itself. He was angling for newspaper headlines that made his opponent look bad, pure and simple.

                  They use aid to get nations to do all kinds of things. That is called diplomacy.

                  Yes, to get nations to do things that benefit the United States of America. Not to do things that personally benefit the current President politically. Trump’s own interests (or any President’s own interests) are not the same thing as the actual nation’s interests.

                  1. The political benefit of having his most likely general election opponent connected to a corruption investigation.

                    Biden wasn’t even running for office. If this had occurred after he won the nomination, you might have a point. But this occurred before Biden even announced. So your claim makes no sense. Is it illegal to investigate someone who might run for office? That is bullshit and you know it.

                    Yes, to get nations to do things that benefit the United States of America.

                    So finding out if Joe Biden was selling out the country via his son doesn’t benefit the country? I am pretty sure enforcing the law is part of the President’s job. In the end all you have here is the same tired bullshit that it is illegal for a Republican to investigate any Democrat.

                    1. What do you mean, Biden wasn’t even running for office? During July 2019 he was the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for President. (He still leads national polls.)

                      You are showing yourself capable of telling whatever lies suit Trump´s partisan purposes.

                  2. By your definition the Mueller and Impeachment are also personal gains for whoever the democrat candidate is, and therefore should be impeached.

                    You do realize that the discussion on Buriama started on 2016 in The Hill, Politico, WaPo, and even the NYT? You’re literally arguing making a known issue in the pages of the media to a country that is involved is a personal gain and only a personal gain.

                    You cant be honest with that argument.

                    1. John can´t be honest with any argument.

                  3. “”He was angling for newspaper headlines that made his opponent look bad, pure and simple.””

                    That’s the purpose of the impeachment.

                    Hamilton may have had a low bar for impeachment. Under his view, all past presidents and probably all of Congress deserve it. Politics is a big pig pen. The problem is Trump is of the same family of pigs so the pigs have no problem calling out his misdeeds despite their own hypocrisy. That’s why Obama can use executive privilege and it’s OK, but if Trump uses it, it becomes an impeachable offense.

                    1. Should say Trump is NOT of the same family of pigs

                  4. If a political opponent has committed crimes, those crimes need to be investigated. By the executive. If the executive benefits from prosecuting the crimes of his opponent, your position is the executive should defer, leaving the criminal free?

          2. Please dont fucking cite TDS victim Amash. You may want to read the other discourse about impeachment instead of one fucking line out of many that semi fits into your narrative.

            1. If reason is pushing some person as Libertarian, 9/10 they are bad news.

              Beto, Hillary, Obama, McMullin, Romney, McCain, Amash….

              Amash has a decent House record of “nay” but he is retarded to support Articles of Impeachment.

              1. You’re the GOP bootlick that claimed Penn Jilette was no libertarian. You belong at Wingnut.com with John and Jesse.

                1. Poor child porn lover. Worse than Pod and Jeff.

          3. Y’all must remember too. Initially there were very few federal crimes. Like almost none.

            Impeaching a government official for some crime besides treason, bribery, or the very few felonies would have been far more difficult than now when we have thousands of federal felonies and misdemeanors.

            1. The existence of a federal penal code has nothing to do with it. As you yourself acknowledged, that code did not exist at the time of the framing. So it’s ludicrous to believe that the framers had that penal code in mind when they wrote about “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

          4. everyone’s still searching for a crime or misdemeanor.

      2. It actually does matter if crimes were committed here.

        The Constitution literally says The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors..

        While Congress gets to decide what exactly constitutes bribery, misdemeanors, or other high crimes- these all involve criminal activity. Treason is defined in the US Constitution which takes that out of Congress’ hands.

        116th Congress will be historically judged harshly for this.

      3. Agammamon
        December.18.2019 at 3:32 pm
        “John, don’t focus on what are and what are not crimes here. Impeachments are not criminal proceedings. They’re basically a complicated vote of no-confidence.”

        Nope. We do not have a parliamentarian government.

  9. Nothing about the House of Representatives, Senate, President, or impeachment should be taken seriously.

    1. Same-same…but different.

  10. Should His Complaints About the Process Be Taken Seriously?

    You meant the process that was made up as it went along, was designed to prevent the accused from having a chance to rebut ‘evidence’, and then handed off the impeachment to the Senate – expecting the Senate to continue the necessary investigation (because there was no evidence of wrongdoing that stuck) even though the process says that the House investigates and the Senate hears the case? Like that’s literally the only written rule in the whole Constitution about impeachment and they wouldn’t even follow that.

    1. It’s like the prosecution being mad that a court dismissed a case that they presented no actual evidence in favor of their claim.

    2. This idea that Trump has been prevented from telling his side of the story is laughable. He’s done everything in his power to actively prohibit direct witnesses from testifying, and to prevent access to relevant documents by investigators. It’s not that he is being prevented from telling his side, it’s that he is choosing not to.

      And of course he has the right to choose to remain silent, but his defenders can’t use that choice as evidence that he’s being silenced.

      1. Why did they allow that drug dealer to use his constitutional rights! That proves his guilt! You’re a fucking joke.

        1. It doesn’t prove his guilt of course, but taking the fifth does prove that the drug dealer had the opportunity to speak in his own defense and chose not to. He can’t take the fifth and also complain that he’s being silenced.

          Agammom claimed that the process “was designed to prevent the accused from having a chance to rebut ‘evidence’”. That’s very clearly not the case. The accused is choosing not to rebut, which is within his rights but is not at all the same thing.

          1. If the drug dealer was prevented from calling witnesses in his own defense and prevented from questioning witnesses against him in a full and fair manner such that there were entire areas of inquiry off limits, would the drug dealer taking the 5th and not testifying himself make that okay?

            You are normally not this dumb. Why are you allowing your hatred of Trump to make you this way?

            1. The drug dealer would not be given the opportunity to question any witnesses during his indictment, which is the analog to House impeachment. He would of course be given those opportunities during his actual trial, which is analogous to the Senate trial on the impeachment articles. Trump will have every right to question whomever he wants in the Senate trial.

              1. If the indictment was achieved through warrants for evidence where the prosecutors openly LIED to courts…what then?

              2. House is not an indictment. And moreover, if the process is completely absurd and makes no effort to find the truth, then what reason is there to take it seriously? There is none. The only people who are are people like you who will believe anything as long as it is couched in Orange Man Bad.

                The bottom line here is no one supports this and it is a fucking disgrace. It is such a disgrace that it has greatly improved Trump’s chances of re-election. So you and everyone else who supports this farce can go fuck yourselves and enjoy four more years of Trump. Thank you for your service to his re-election campaign.

              3. If you had any actual knowledge of impeachment and its process, you would know the House is supposed to be the fact finding entity. It is not the indictment entity. They are supposed to allow for both the prosecution and defense. The senate is not the defense entity.

                You are completely ignorant to how the process was intended to work.

            2. Trump was expressly invited to present witnesses with exculpatory evidence to the Judiciary Committee. His refusal do do so is a silence that speaks loudly.

              Trump actively prevented witnesses with personal knowledge from testifying before the Intelligence Committee. That leads to the fair inference that their testimony would have been inculpatory. Here´s hoping that Chief Justice Roberts will not abide that kind of interference and that we will hear from Mulvaney, Bolton and others during the Senate trial.

          2. “It doesn’t prove his guilt of course, but taking the fifth does prove that the drug dealer had the opportunity to speak in his own defense and chose not to. He can’t take the fifth and also complain that he’s being silenced.”

            Trump and multiple people in his admin have had their Fourth Amendment rights violated wholesale during this investigation. ALL evidence is tainted from the get go.

            1. Hell, nunes, solomon and others also had their rights violated.

            2. Where is there a Fourth Amendment violation here? Please be specific.

              I don´t think that amendment covers what you seem to think it does.

          3. He’s not taking the fifth, another lie! He is refusing to cooperate with a kangaroo court. I don’t see the whistleblower or Schiff up there explaining their tete a tete.

      2. This idea that Trump has been prevented from telling his side of the story is laughable. He’s done everything in his power to actively prohibit direct witnesses from testifying, and to prevent access to relevant documents by investigators. It’s not that he is being prevented from telling his side, it’s that he is choosing not to.

        The Democrats refused to allow the Republicans to direct exam these witnesses or allow free questioning of them. Also, they also refused to let the Republicans call their own witnesses.

        Yet, you claim that because the few witnesses who work for Trump said “No we are not testifying under such conditions” that means Trump refused to tell his side of the story? That seems to be what you are saying here. Do you understand how stupid and dishonest that sounds?

      3. “This idea that Trump has been prevented from telling his side of the story is laughable. He’s done everything in his power to actively prohibit direct witnesses from testifying,”

        This is where we learn that the executive is not SUBSERVIENT to the Congress. Congress, historically, has been quite snippy when the DoJ arrests Congresspeople for corruption in the Capital as well.

        “It’s not that he is being prevented from telling his side, it’s that he is choosing not to.”

        Could Republicans call ANY witnesses that Schiff did not approve?

        No?

        then, NO, your point is false.

      4. He hasn’t been allowed access to rebut testimony.

  11. Poor Sullum.

    5 more years of Trump is gonna take a real toll on reason staff.

  12. “I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.” I said do us a favor, not me, and our country, not a campaign.
    . . .
    This parsing of us vs. me proves nothing, since us is ambiguous. It could refer, as Trump says, to the United States, or it could refer to Trump and his allies.

    Only if you ignore the very next sentence.

  13. FFS, Sullum, take a break. This is the second steaming pile of orange-man-bad drivel you’ve cranked out today.

    Get away from the office; come back after New Year’s day, um… of about 2029.

    1. They have to get as many articles in to get some of that sweet donation money before AB5 kicks in and they all need to get some coding lessons.

      1. Or it is working as click bait to get people riled up and posting to message boards. Gotta drive revenue somehow.

  14. What a joke. Reasons concerns are not that the impeachment is illegitimate and contrived, but that it is “rushed”.

    Donate today!

    1. “We didn’t conduct a proper show trial” seems to be reason’s position on this. How courageous of them.

      1. John, altogether now…THIS IS THE LIBERTARIAN MOMENT!!!

        1. +1000

  15. “Trump emphasizes that Zelenskiy has said he did not feel “pressure” to comply with Trump’s request, which is both highly implausible and completely understandable given Ukraine’s dependence on U.S. support.”

    Lol. What the fucking hell. Sullum, you’re a fucking joke.

    1. He is a moron. Jokes are at least clever.

    2. We give money to Ukraine and the president says no pressure for quid pro quo. =can’t trust them

      We give money to the EU and they wanted Burisma’s prosecutor fired for corruption. =totally trust them

      Can’t keep up with Reason’s reasoning.

  16. As much as we in libertarian-land would like to declare that every politician is guilty of abuse of power and should be removed, to side with the worst abusers in their effort to remove the only obstacle to their abuse does not advance libertarian ideals.

  17. Wow is this the same kind of compelling evidence that had democrats believing in the Kavanaugh accusations? You know, the politically expedient evidence-free kind?

    1. I cannot think of a single Reason writer who did not describe Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh as being “credible”.

      Literally none of them thought claims that had zero factual basis behind them were less than credible.

  18. Are these the same Democrats who sat by idly while their Supreme Leader Barack Obama was carpet-bombing innocent civilians with drone strikes in a country in which Congress never declared war? No impeachment to see there. Move along.

    1. This. This is an impeachable offense and they should have impeached Trump for it if they gave a damn about anything they are righteously posturing over.

      1. Agreed, as a Progressive Marxist I think Democrats should have impeached Trump for Obama’s crimes.

        1. Drone strikes continue.

          1. So they didn’t impeach Obama but you think they should impeach Trump for it (and he hasn’t killed any American citizen without a trial and the number of strikes is down)? Can you explain the logic behind your snark?

  19. Trump’s extortion attempt certainly falls into the “high crimes” area. Maybe one day he will join Roger Stone, Cohen, Manafort and the other Trump Trash in federal prison.

    The best thing for the Dotard is to resign and let Preacher Pence pardon him.

    1. LOL. I really enjoy the fact that you retards are so easily manipulated that you believe that. Trump is going to win re-election and end up the most powerful second term President since FDR. And thought of you stupid retards believing all that you hear and raging impotently at that is so pleasant. You really deserve all of the sorrow you suffer and then some.

      No go away and go back to your child porn, you disgusting moron.

      1. Like that Romney win you guaranteed back in 2012?

        You don’t know shit.

        1. I should have bet you it’s not like I would have paid off if I lost. It was a freeroll.

        2. And Hillary was going to win by a landslide. You predicted that for months. You just shit talking points. You are the dumbest most dishonest person on earth.

          1. It helps that I don’t pay off when I lose.

      2. Do the Republicans have any candidates down-ticket to bring about that strongest second term since FDR?

        The democrats really don’t give a rip how popular Trump is outside of democrat circles. And if he cannot deliver the house and senate, they’ll just keep doing the same thing. Between Comey, Mueller and the house investigations, they managed to hamstring Trump his entire first term. No reason they can’t just keep doing it, should they retain those committee chairmanships.

        1. If Trump wins re-election, he will likely take the House with him. Trump will then be re-elected and have a Republican Congress that will have been largely purged of the Never Trump right that caused him so many issues in his first term.

          He will be the 800 lb gorilla of American politics at that point. The country will have rejected his impeachment and the Democrats will be in the wilderness.

          How can you possibly see the Democrats holding the House if Trump wins? The only reason they took the house was they won in a bunch of Trump voting districts on the promise they would reasonable. Do you think those freshman reps stand any chance at all of winning re-election after they accomplish nothing in two years except voting to impeach Trump?

          The country is growing very tired of this nonsense. They do not want a Congress that spends its entire life trying to impeach the President. One way or the other it will put a stop to it. It will either vote Trump out of office, or it will reelect Trump and kick the people trying to impeach him out of the majority in the House.

          1. I think the Dems think they have a couple of hole cards. First, ballot harvesting and other fakery at the ballot box, assisted by thousands of public-sector union members. Second, an attack on the Electoral College will probably be attempted. I see no other way they can be so confident, other than be completely delusional.

        2. This is Trump hamstrung?

          Record market, record employment, illegal immigration down, SJW foolishness being dismantled, regulations being repealed.

          Gods help us if we can nuke the dems.

    2. Also, saying this as a Progressive-Marxist, I think Obama was the worst President ever. This has nothing to do with the fact that he was black and from Kenya, which are definitely negatives. It’s because he didn’t line everyone right of Bernie up against the wall where they belong.

      1. Wtf who are you? You are evil.

        1. I am. Very. Just ask around about me by name.

        2. That’s Fake Buttplug.

          Tulpa finally went berserk.

          1. Sorry I cry about Tulpa lot since I lost my name by stupidly sockpuppeting and leaving it unprotected.

            1. Turd is never so honest.

          2. He spent the last weeks of what remained of his lucidity bitching about other people using different handles.

            I hope his padded room is comfortable. I mean, it has pads right?

      2. Now you’re just being gratuitous.

    3. “…Dotard…”

      Why do proggy ‘tards spend half their lives coming up with nick-names which embarrass 1st-grade kids?
      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. You win the thread for least self aware comment.

        1. He’s pretty consistent on “ignoramus.”

    4. AS if there was extortion. There was no such thing and the democrats failing to put it in the articles proves it. What they did put was clutching at straws at best since it identified zero crimes. They failed to even cite a single government code.
      The reason they failed to try and be more aggressive in such citing and defining of any crimes were they feared Trumps ability to expand what the witness list might look like.
      Dragging Hillary, Brennan, Comey and the like into it is what they feared most. I find it hysterically funny that you could not figure that out.

  20. man no one fucking cares.

    Breathlessly following capital hill inside-baseball politics is what people do when they feel they are too sophisticated to watch daytime soap operas.

    the senate is going to turn around and acquit anyway. It’s all a dog and pony show that, funny enough, benefits Trump. Unreal.

    1. If it benefits Trump then why did he have an insane, illiterate meltdown?

        1. Feeling deep shame, embarrassment, and worry about the permanent decline of the American project is getting trolled?

          Can someone who’s not the president do that job?

  21. ‘being rushed’ is irrelevant. Being the end result of a fishing expedition is not.

  22. The Reason staff has a NY/Washington understanding of the investigations of Trump and the impeachment that sometimes defies my understanding. Maybe you guys can explain it…

    Here’s an example from the Reason-adjacent “Fifth Column” podcast. They were discussing the impeachment and the IG report and the question of “spying” was raised.

    Many in the press and the democrats have been calling this a lie from Trump that the IG report dispelled. On the 5th Column podcast, Michael Moynihan was asked about it and he called the notion that the Trump campaign was spied on ridiculous. He just outright rejected all of it.

    Now, in the world that I live in, if you tap my phones, you are spying on me. Sending someone to attempt to ingratiate themselves under false pretenses and report inside information would count as spying. If you send multiple agents and surrogates to gain confidence, plant information and to attempt to entrap my people for process crimes by handing off retainers for service on the way to the airport.. I would definitely call that spying.

    But Moynihan rejected that completely. Just ridiculous.

    The foundation seems to be that “The IG report says they had a legal predicate for their actions, and they had search warrants from the FISA courts for the wiretaps”.

    I don’t get it. Why does that make spying into not spying? Sure, the FBI says they use the word surveillance. So? Those are synonyms.

    So how is calling spying “spying” a lie? And why the heck is the media not only reporting it that way, but seemingly actually believing it.

    1. I wish I could help, but I have the same problem with a lot of issues:
      How do you call a fishing expedition an “investigation”?
      How is manufacturing evidence to spy on a POTUS candidate just a “mistake”?
      How is this theater seen as anything other than a partisan clown show?

    2. The only reason this is a thing is because Trump said the word “spying” and his sycophants are buttering up his as by repeating the stupid bullshit. It’s the emperor with no clothes in real life, only thank god he has clothes.

      The question is why are you doing such ridiculous propagandistic semantic Trump butt buttering?

      The point is they didn’t do anything illegal or wrong. Trump needed to be investigated.

      1. you should check out the IG report sometime

        1. Tony is lucky to read a coloring book. No way would he actually read the report. And even if he did, he would refuse to understand it.

        2. You should check it out too and not Redstate.com’s summation of it.

          1. We got a regular gay peewee herman over here.

            1. The IG report does not do what Trump cultists think it does.

              What an interesting way to go through life, completely unmoored to facts, supplied with face noises by partisan propagandists. I bet as many people have gone through that as have been free!

              1. So what does it do? It lays out what are described as multiple cases of severe misconduct, including falsifying records to obtain a warrant.

      2. For the love of God Tony. Do you even bother?

        https://www.fisc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/MIsc%2019%2002%20191217.pdf

        I’m not even American and I show more concern and care more for what’s going on than you seem to.

        If it were a Democrat who did what he’s alleged to have done I’m almost certain they wouldn’t give a shit. Better yet, if Obama was subjected to back to back dubious spectacles (and there was ‘compelling evidence’ to borrow from Sullum he could have been so) as Trump, I wonder how strong the protests in the streets would have been.

        1. Yes, I bother. The IG report does not vindicate Trump, does not trash the FBI and its investigations, or whatever you think it does. It finds some flaws that were 100% ripe for FOX News cherrypicking.

          Obama would have been impeached on Day 2 if he spent his first day doing what Trump does on any typical Trump day. Benghazi was more investigated than Trump’s extortion, and that was committed by terrorists, not the president.

          1. Hm. Yet, the Obama administration denied it was terrorists at first and pinned it on some poor sucker (who they threw in prison despite the lie) and his video.

            1. Clutch your pearls tighter. Like getting the facts wrong in the immediate aftermath is practically treason. You’re such a goddamn sucker.

              (They didn’t get the facts wrong though.)

              1. They didn’t?

          2. Nah. I think the GOP just didn’t have the same messianic zeal and energy the Dems have.

      3. did you miss the question?

        They are saying Trump lied when he called all of the wire taps, foreign agents and people actually wearing wires “spying”. They say the IG report proves this is a lie.

        That makes no sense.

        And then you come along and say it is propagandist semantics? The semantics is saying that a spy is not a spy if you have a warrant. That simply is not true under any definition of the word spy that I have ever heard.

        And as your final point…. I is highly debatable whether “they didn’t do anything illegal” is true. We know for sure that in at least a couple of instances their filings with the FISA court were in fact illegal. Whether they will be charged with perjury or whatever other crimes might apply is an open question, but it is indisputable after the IG report that they broke the law. Changing an email to mean the opposite of what it originally said and filing that with the court is not legal. It is in fact highly illegal. And it isn’t a mistake (as in oops). It is an “on purpose”.

        And wrong? Good lord, son, the entire thing was wrong. The IG says as much. The only thing he vindicated them on was that they had a basis for each of their actions. The standard for this was “they said that this was the reason, and that is an acceptable reason”. That is an extremely low bar. And they still only made that bar because he made some giant leaps of logic that he covered under the heading of “I cannot read minds”.

        Finally, there never was a single bit of evidence that “Trump needed to be investigated”. In fact, that would prove that the whole thing was a sham. They never claimed they were investigating Trump. They claimed they were investigating attempts by the Russians to infiltrate the Trump campaign. This was based on some very sketchy dot-connecting that may have even been planted by the government in the first place. But they claimed that they were protecting the Trump campaign and the political process from foreign interference. That was the predicate. Not “Trump needed to be investigated”. That was what they were doing… but they make all sorts of fantastical twists and turns to claim that they had no interest in investigating Trump and were only following the counterintelligence investigation where it lead.

        Your entire post is untethered from reality.

  23. dude you’re delusional.

  24. Trump calls impeachment an “unconstitutional abuse of power,” “an illegal, partisan attempted coup,” an “election-nullification scheme,” and an “attempt to undo the election of 2016.”

    NOT ‘impeachment”.

    THIS impeachment.

    This one.

    You’ve begun with a lie, tell me, Jacob, are you proud of yourself?

  25. Amash up.
    Horrible voice. How the fuck did he get elected.
    Babbling.
    He is bombing.
    Aaaaaaaaaand he’s all in with the Leftists.
    What a joke.

  26. This should have been investigated and witnessed questioned by the FBI but we live in country where the rule of law doesn’t apply to a president.

    1. You are correct but not in the way you think. But you’re doing great. Carry on.

    2. Questioned by the FBI that works for the Justice Department, which is under the jurisdiction of the President? Explain the logic of that statement?

  27. Lol. Amash was fucking embarrassing too. This is the guy reason is holding as the great libertarian hope?

    1. As opposed to those of you who hold Trump up as the great libertarian hope?

      1. Please cite me saying that. Do you make shit up because you’re ignorant or you’re fucking stupid? Hes been more libertarian than the last 4 presidents. That doesn’t make him the hope.

        But I can tell you this, 3 post offices named Amash has done nothing for libertarianism and is now fulfilling the corruption of the IC to decide who elected officials are.

        1. Is it the massively exploded debt, the caging of innocent children, the killing of more civilians in foreign wars than Obama ever did, the bashing of minority cultures and religions, or the extravagant abuse of power and declaration that he can do anything he wants that makes him the most libertarian president?

          1. Trump is the first president since Carter to not initiate sending troops to a foreign country.

            The “caging of innocent children” was happening under Obama as per a 2014 expose from Business Insider. You didn’t give one rats ass about it then.

            1. But now I do. Do U?

              1. Yes, because Obama had a D after his name and so you forgave him. But Trump has an R after his, so everything he does is evil in your view.

          2. “”the caging of innocent children”‘

            The saddest thing about that is no one cared when Obama was doing it. People are just using it as political leverage against Trump. It’s not about the what, but about the who. People will forget about the children again once a dem is elected president.

            We care more about politics than those children. If that’s not true, all of congress should stop what they are doing and pass some legislation to fix it.

            1. Obama did a bad thing. Trump made it much, much worse, which, if I recall, is precisely the most important campaign promise he made.

              Most libertarian president ever was the claim.

          3. Someone’s gotta keep SPB away from those kids.

        2. Meh. I hope every president gets impeached going forward. It’s entertaining to watch you partisans lose your shit. Not to mention this type of political theater keeps lawmakers from focusing on ways to whittle away our rights.

  28. Many of the president’s beefs are frivolous, but he is right that impeachment has been rushed.

    Rushed is certainly a word one might use to describe it. There are several qualifiers I’d add after that. But I’ll say it’s a good, 100,000′ take.

  29. Trump’s last lawyer swore under oath that Trump had committed crimes and nothing fucking happened. His latest one, Giuliani, is telling us, albeit in a different way, that Trump has committed crimes. I have never in my fucking life seen a lawyer accuse their client of committing crimes and nothing come on it. It’s insanity.

    1. Please, stay on the anger stage of grief. Far more amusing.

      1. It’s hard bro. My life is so good.

        1. Keep telling yourself that lol.

    2. I have never in my life seen someone so gullible and willing to believe anything the way you are. It really is insanity. But like I told shreek, the fact that you believe this shit will make Trump winning re-election that much more pleasurable for those of us who are not insane.

      1. You’re the one counting chickens. Trump has destroyed the Republican party you just don’t realize it yet.

        1. The Republican party holds more elected offices today than almost any time since reconstruction. It also holds a majority all but one or two of the federal circuits and the Supreme Court. The small Democratic majority in the House is literally the only place that the Democrats have any power outside of the single party blue states.

          Republicans are thriving under Trump. Again, how do you believe this bullshit.

      2. Why would Trump winning re-election be pleasurable for a libertarian? At best I’ll feel slightly less troubled, but only if the Democrats keep at least one chamber of Congress.

  30. Do liberals understand if they all use the same adjective solemn to describe today, it is proof they were coached to do so?

    1. To be fair, the Republicans perfected it while Obama was Pres. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

      1. ? Really?

        To be fair?

        I know politics leads to motivated reasoning… but that’s nuts.

  31. If any of you wondering why the Russian crime boss who was financing Trump’s scheming in Ukraine and under indictment here hasn’t been extradited by Barr?

    1. Because the US and the Russians don’t have an extradition treaty, which was pointed out when Mueller stupidly indicted Russian citizens that he knew were never going to be tried?

      1. The guy is in Austria.

        1. Looks to me like he lives inside your head. I am sure there is some Russian who lives in Atlanta but he likely bears no resemblance to the one that inhabits your head.

            1. “Tied to Trump campaign advisor” means Donald Trump instructed Firtash to meddle in the election or make corrupt deals in other countries?

              “It wasn’t for us to judge whether Mr. Firtash was guilty, but only whether the extradition is allowed,” Judge Leo Levnaic-Iwanski said in the ruling on the U.S. request Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported. “This decision only means that another country will make a decision whether he is guilty.”

              Guiliani says he had never met Firtash. He may have used certain documents from his legal team. The Times article you linked (published in October) states that Shokin was fired for his “lax approach to corruption” while neglecting to mention that Joe Biden threatened to cut aid if he wasn’t fired. Ukraine cut him so they can keep getting the money, and they told Shokin as such.

              Are you under some illusion that Guiliani and his associates weren’t under surveillance? Or that no one involved in some collusion between Guiliani and whoever would have tried to blow the whistle? Give me a break. The democrats paid for the Steele Dossier and the Ukrainian embassy directed journalists looking or dirt on Trump-Russia connection to the right places. They’ve done what they accuse Guliani of doing.

              You and your democrat friends have no proof that Trump abused his power only for his own benefit. Seriously, name one piece of evidence that would definitely convict him in a court of law. Impeachment is a political process, but if you can’t prove wrongdoing at a certain level, why should the GOP vote to remove him? We didn’t remove a president who actually lied under oath.

  32. Is ‘compelling evidence’ hard evidence though?

  33. Zelensky did not know the aid was being withheld at the time of the call. No condition was set in exchange for any favors. One of his aides who apparently had first hand knowledge of the call recently confirmed that no one involved in the call ever thought there was QPQ.

    Zelensky’s expression of gratitude could be just diplomatic gesture. Trump actually gave them military aid, while Obama didn’t. His criticism of the aid being withheld came well after the call. None of it is persuasive evidence of any abuse of power. It’s PURE speculation.

    Does the constitution forbid presidents from asking foreign nations to investigate someone would could their political rival, in any circumstance? A president can be impeached even if he didn’t commit a crime, but a minimum the democrats had to prove that he asked for an investigation just to benefit himself. If he made that request because he bought into some conspiracy theory about Ukraine hacking, that’s an error in judgment, but it’s not an impeachable offense.

    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”.

      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. “The Republican Senate today is even worse than the Emmett till court In 1955 Mississippi.”

        You’re an idiot.

      2. Under what possible theory do you assert that removing the prosecutor could not have helped Biden’s son in any way? There are two very obvious reasons that Burisma could have wanted him gone.

        First, he had two open investigations into the company. Despite protestations to the contrary, even the “nuh-uh there were no investigations” narrative also includes the new prosecutor promptly wrapping up the two investigations with small fines. So those claims actually debunk themselves, despite claims to the contrary.

        Anyway… first, there’s the investigations. He might have been on to something they were doing. Getting rid of him would certainly help Burisma, and would be a way for Junior to earn his paycheck.

        Second… the guy could have been completely corrupt. And those investigations might have been completely corrupt. And Burisma could have been the object of a shakedown by such a corrupt official. Then Biden using US aid as a threat to get rid of him would be in the service of justice…. but it still would help Burisma, and therefore Junior.

        Claiming that it could not help junior is just an obvious and very transparent attempt to sell shit for shinola.

  34. Democrats don’t understand economics. I stand by Trump.

    1. You’re standing by low interest rates and trillion dollar deficits. This is what I mean when I say the Republican party is gone.

      1. It’s true, the Democrats have no one to fight against now that everyone agrees.

  35. WTF happened to Reason? It’s truly a trash outlet now.

    1. So true. Neoliberals should side with populists. Everyone knows that.

      1. Derp.

  36. “Trump’s own lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has conceded that impeachable offenses are not necessarily illegal, citing a pre-emptive self-pardon as an example of conduct that “would just be unthinkable” and “would lead to probably an immediate impeachment,” even though the Constitution imposes no limits on the president’s pardon power.”

    Do you even hear yourself? By the same token, doesn’t it stand to reason there are limits on the house’s ability to use impeachment as a pure politics play even though the constitution imposes no limit on their impeachment power???? A little internal consistency would be appreciated!

  37. If Trump were to raise a private army, that might be grounds for impeachment, regardless of the legalities.

    If Trump were to ignore an order of the Supreme Court, that might be grounds for impeachment.

    Other than such things, there needs to be a crime involved.

  38. Well, all you commie libs out there, best lube up, cuz November’s comin’ atcha like a goddamned freight train. We’re takin’ back the ENTIRE Congress, and Trump will nominate TWO MORE SCOTUS picks, making the SC 7-2, effectively destroying the Democrat Party for the next 50 years. THAT is what this is ALL about: The Supreme Court. The Dems want to protect their precious Holy Writ: ABORTION.

  39. The impeachment process has been rushed? It has been in the plan since his election and before his swearing in. His term is almost up. It is the Democrats last gasp.

  40. You cannot claim “rushed impeachment” when Trump will NOT testify, when he will not allow his counsel to testify, when he will not allow anyone in the executive branch to testify and those who have testified from his office chose to defy Trump’s order. Investigations don’t last very long when the investigators are not allowed to see a lot of the evidence. Despite that, enough evidence is there to impeach. When you stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot someone in the face, you don’t need to spend a lot of time digging for evidence.

    1. They have had impeachment investigations ongoing since before he took office. He has complied with requests from the FBI and a dozen different committees for 3 years. They found nothing. They even tried to gin up fake process crimes… and still got no traction.

      Over that time the house has offered up articles of impeachment 4 times. The house leadership even proudly bragged that they voted them down – with less than half of their caucus voting for impeachment all the prior times. The house leadership claims that this shows how totally super seriously they are taking it.

      What it really shows is that they’ve been throwing spaghetti against the wall since before he took office hoping something would stick. That’s a big reason that nobody takes them seriously.

      And exerting executive privilege is like a presidential right of passage. One that Trump has done much, much less than his predecessor. But the House ran out of time and ran out of steam. Pelosi wants this off their plate. She knows it is a loser.

  41. Yes absolutely, the process has been rushed. However, if I were a Democrat Congressperson (thank God I’m not), the process makes perfect sense. Nothing will change if John Bolton testifies six months from now (by court order), except that the President can drag out his never-ending mud-wrestling match into the general election season. Get done with this. The President’s own transcript is sufficiently damning. His obvious indifference to the Russia-Ukraine strategic situation is appalling. Is Nancy Pelosi acting a little like the fabled version of Pontius Pilot? A little bit. But, I would do the same thing. If this clown car drives deep into 2020, it will be the Senate Republicans driving it.

  42. Trump should be impeached immediately at his show trial.
    Then he should be marched off to the gulag along with his family and shot to show the kind of mercy the socialists have in mind for him like they had in mind for the Romanov family.
    Then the enlightened socialists like Comrade Bernie, Pelosi, Al Green (love your songs, Mr. Green!), Pelosi and AOC will finally usher in the highly anticipated socialist slave state we all so dream about.
    As the kind, merciful and understanding Cuban socialist Ernest “Che” Guevera said, “The executions will continue!
    The executions will continue!
    The executions will continue!”

    1. So, the only alternative to Che Guevara is Donald Trump. No, one is a dead, formerly-crazy person and the other is a crazy person who still breathes. As staunchly anti-communist as I am, the useless show of this Presidency has nothing to do with left vs. right. The United States of America has a President who is an embarrassment.

      1. I’ll have some of whatever you’re huffing.

        1. Okay??? I yield to your precise and cogent point, junior.

          1. Actually, your point was the cogent point.

            There is a big chunk of the democrat caucus who want to impeach Trump simply because they are upset over losing in 2016. They also have a “we need to get them back for impeaching Clinton” axe to grind.

            But the rank and file voter… most of the “get rid of Trump” sentiment there is entirely motivated by “Ick, he is gross!”. I know, I live with one of those voters. She latches on to every anti-Trump meme, however stupid, with a passion. She finds him personally repugnant, and therefor any allegations against him are de-facto true.

            For these people, Trump as president is humiliating.

  43. If direct witnesses to Trump’s actual words, such as Bolton and Mulvaney had been allowed to testify in the House hearings, there might be some possible reason to not allow witnesses in the Senate “trial”, now it is simply a cover-up.

    Best way to really tear the country apart: run a clearly unfair trial in the Senate that is obviously a cover-up, where the Democrats can justly say that crucial evidence was suppressed thus the “trial” was a cover-up..

    Because of John Bolton’s positions as US Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Adviser, the Ukrainians reached out to him and asked him if he could convince Trump to release the security assistance that was held up. Bolton said he would see what he could do. When Bolton spoke to Trump about it, Trump told Bolton to tell the Ukrainians that the only they will ever get the security assistance is after Zelensky announces on CNN that Ukraine is investigating the Bidens and the Crowd Strike theory that the Democrats hacked themselves and the server is in Ukraine.

    Bolton, who is definitely not a radical leftist democrat, also has ample documentation that proves the Ukrainians were very well aware and concerned that Trump was holding up the security assistance, and that Trump’s reason for doing so was solely to force Zelensky to announce on CNN that Ukraine is investigating the Bidens and the Crowd Strike theory.

    That would be completely consistent with what all the witnesses in the Intelligence committee hearings said. Is that all true? If so, that would put to rest any questions regarding whether the Ukrainians knew the aid was cutoff and what Trump’s motives were. The Senate Republicans want to make sure we never know.

    Trump and McConnell are now doing exactly what they did when Trump said it was the Senate that prevented the FBI from interviewing the witnesses who had evidence that Bret Kavanaugh was lying in the hearings for his confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice. And McConnell said it was up to the White House. Net result 40 people who tried to give information to the FBI were never spoken to.

    Now Trump says it is up to the Senate to have witnesses in the trial and McConnell said it was up to the White House. Net result no witnesses.

    1. That’s just silly.

      The house had every opportunity to call witnesses. Trump asserted executive privilege. The Democrats in the house disagreed. All they had to do was try to enforce a subpoena. They chose not to. Instead, they called it obstruction and they have been squalling about it all day for the last several days as the death of democracy and a dictatorship.

      Now you are going to say that the Republicans should take up that fight on their behalf? A fight that they do not believe in and do not support in any way?

      Why on earth would you twist your brain into that pretzel? The house could have easily taken this to court and won or lost there – and then it would be up to Trump to defy the courts and congress… or not.

      But they didn’t want Trump running out the clock on them. They know they have a stone cold loser on their hands, and they sure don’t want all of their presidential candidates stuck in this circus instead of campaigning and raising money.

      I really can’t believe anyone is actually falling for this idiotic talking point version of reality. Under no circumstances does it make sense for the senate to try to make the case for the house when they house didn’t even bother trying to make the case. In fact, they really looked to punt on those witnesses just so they could add an article to their fig leaf.

      1. I agree. If the House really wanted to get Trump they should have enforced their subpoenas. That they didn’t suggests they really do not want to remove Trump from power (or they really don’t believe he did what they say he did). Either way, it’s all posture to collect votes.

  44. A bunch of assholes using bullshit to impeach an asshole whose whole presidency is bullshit.

    We’re fucked because our other choice was that warmonger corporatist c-word, so we were double fucked.

    Every time I think this shithole country has hit bottom, I have to give it credit, it finds a way to set the bar even lower.

    Enjoy the demise of your empire, and just pray these imbeciles running the show don’t resort to using nuclear weapons when the shit really starts hitting the fan. Unfortunately, I think we are seeing in full view that they are petty, morally bankrupt, and assinine to do it. (And that is not the purview of one party or the other; all the red-blue debate centers on is what shade of feces you get to eat…because they will both make all of us eat shit so they can act out politician-god-complex.)

    How anyone can vociferously defend one side or the other of these assholes is something I will never understand. If these are the best our country has to offer as “leadership” it is no wonder we are going down the tubes.

  45. ”and there is compelling evidence that he did’

    No, there isn’t. The evidence presented would not be enough to convict in a court of law, and probably not even win a lawsuit. Most of it would not be allowed since it was not first hand. The actual documentary evidence (the phone transcript) is an example of an inappropriate handling of a conflict of interest, not exactly an abuse of power. I can easily come up with alternative explanations to Trump’s guilt which are not too far-fetched (although I would agree that some level of guilt seems more likely that not). But if you were a jury member would you send someone to jail based on the evidence presented?

    1) absent documentary evidence, you would have at least one person (and probably more) directly testify to the chain the command of the quid pro quo.
    2) you would also have to prove motive (that you might think the motive is obvious, that is not evidence at least not strong evidence).

    The fact that additional testimony is assumed to be bad for Trump is suspicious, yes, but suspicion is not evidence.

    As far as the claim that an act doesn’t have to be a crime to be impeachable, well yes in theory, but all of the examples I’ve ever seen are extreme, and in no way similar to the accusations. (like the self pardon described here).

    1. Yes, compelling evidence and wishful thinking are not the same!

  46. Pelosi was against the Impeachment until she was warned the Afghanistan Papers were coming out, which make her an accessory to war crimes. This was all just a diversion from the 800 pound elephant in the room. Try to find a crime or misdemeanor called “abuse of power”. It was rushed because the Pelosi/ Clinton thugs knew it would dominate the press if they didn’t divert people.
    My suspicion is that since Democrats can’t run on their record this will fail and the DNC will move on to part 2.
    Another impeachment investigation. It isn’t meant to be won, it is only meant to smear the President and divert the press from Afghanistan. So once the Senate stops it they will impeach again.
    They can’t say the Obama Afghanistan surge is what we need more of, they can’t say they were correct to refuse to send in the feds over cop shootings that resulted in riots almost every month of Obama’s presidency (there hasn’t been a riot in 3 years since Trump started sending the feds) or that thousands of people are moving to their cities because they aren’t. To clear the path for Hillary to be “drafted” at the Convention they will keep up the smear campaigns. They have nothing else. They knew they couldn’t impeach Trump, but they could smear him day in and day out.
    The British not trusting our polls and media did their own poll and discovered that after billions in movies, TV and media attacks Trump leads all Democrats. He has not lost one percentage point from the election. Even with 24/7 attacks, the DNC has failed.
    They are out of ideas. They really believe this time Hillary will win. We are headed for a national one party government and that is not good but is preferable to beating a dead horse over and over.

  47. A person, purporting to be a journalist wrote this? All one has to do is look at the articles of impeachment to know that Trumps complaint is valid.
    The constitution requires high crimes and misdemeanors, bribery, treason be the basis for an impeachment, yet not a single crime is identified or cited in the body of that missive. No government codes to define any allegation, no reference to any statutory authority and certainly no reference to what the constitution requires and the best question this author can come up with is whether Trumps complaints should be taken seriously?
    And it gets worse. The second article identifies an allegation of an action that Trump has yet to take! The matter of witnesses and documents being withheld from congress is still winding its way through the courts so if Trump prevails that article is moot and if Trump does not prevail but complys, the article is moot.
    All of this and the writer of this offers no such insight or analysys?
    Are talented writers really that hard to find or is it simply that cheap shots on Trump are the only journalistic discourse allowed?

  48. This article was written by a liberal Democrat and is biased as hell. That would be fine if he just admitted it. But while he mocks Trump for his outrage at the process in the House, I bet he jumps up to defend the claims of Schumer in the Senate. Sorry guy but the American people see this for what it is. A rancid pile of bovine manure.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.