Impeachment

The Impeachment End Game, II

Senator Rand Paul, ostrich

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Sen. Rand Paul is quoted on the front page of the Washington Post [here] this morning:

"Look, no Republicans were for the inquiry to begin with so why would be under any sort of obligation to feel like we need to complete the work that we never even agreed should've been begun in the first place?"

What a weird principle he's working with! "I didn't agree that you should have undertaken that inquiry, so regardless of what you turned up I have no obligation to see that it reaches a fair result"?

How about this for an answer: Because the country will be well-served (what a concept!) if and when we all know, whichever way it turns out, whether our president used the power of his office to exchange financial aid for assistance in an upcoming political campaign?  Or:  Because whether or not you agreed that the inquiry should have been begun in the first place, it has turned up evidence that is at the very least consistent with a very troubling narrative involving presidential misconduct, and some of us, at least, want to find out if that is actually what happened?  Or: Because this is not a game of "Who's Better: The House or the Senate," and "Nyah, nyah nyah nyah nyah" is not an appropriate reaction to a serious constitutional crisis.

 

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  1. Respectfully, the quote and the representation of the quote are significantly mismatched.

    “[W]hy would be under any sort of obligation to feel like we need to complete the work that we never even agreed should’ve been begun in the first place” is a long way from “regardless of what you turned up I have no obligation to see that it reaches a fair result.”

    The entire premise of this post is flawed from the jump.

    1. Sounds like a pretty good interpretation to me.

      1. ‘I don’t need to do your job for you’ is not the same as ‘I don’t want a fair result.’

        It’s completely reasonable to take the position (though not the only reasonable position) that the House has done its investigation and that the Senate need only try the articles passed on the record they were passed.

        Nothing in Paul’s quoted comment would rule out reaching any particular result (including what the author presumes is a “fair result”) if the House had passed different articles, or taken the time to support the articles it passed with a more robust record.

        1. It’s completely reasonable to take the position (though not the only reasonable position) that the House has done its investigation and that the Senate need only try the articles passed on the record they were passed.

          This is not a “reasonable position” in the context of impeachment. Maybe you limit the scope of review in order to build a functional judicial appellate system, but that’s not what we’re doing here. We’re trying to determine whether the president should continue to serve in the office.

          Making legalistic arguments that you’re not obliged to acknowledge the significance of Trump’s obstruction, the alleged nature of his underlying offenses, and other evidence and facts that have surfaced outside of the House impeachment investigation – even though that’s all out there and well known – is precisely what David is calling it here – putting your head in the sand, and not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination.

          1. It is not on the Senate to complete the Houses investigation. Full stop. If the house rushed it is on them, not the senate. The house is free to do a new investigation and send more articles if they care to.

            1. It is on the Senate to be open to evidence. It’s a “trial,” you see.

              They are supposed to hear the case.

              1. They are open to evidence. You see, in a “trial” the prosecution is supposed to “present” the evidence they’ve already found. They “hear” the case that has been made. A case made during the investigation and discovery process.

                What is not supposed to happen is the prosecution says “Yeah, we did a crappy job with the investigation and discovery for this case, and rushed it forward way too fast. We don’t actually have enough evidence. So, you, the jury, should go out there and do the job we didn’t do, and go get evidence and witnesses we never bothered to get”.

                1. Give them eyes to see and ears to hear – but not for this group.

                  1. And….
                    Make the heart of this people coarse;
                    make their ears deaf
                    and close their eyes.

                2. Armchair Lawyer,

                  You are obviously not an actual lawyer.

                  First, this isn’t a civil or criminal trial in any normal sense, so the analogy is only informative, not determinative.

                  Second, that isn’t how either civil or criminal trials work.

                  For example, sometimes you don’t have access to a witness or they won’t answer your questions and it is deemed too expensive/burdensome/time-consuming to force them to cooperate during the investigation/discovery phase, but you often still want to forced them to testify at trial. This is the situation with Bolton, for example. Now, you may think it would have been better to make every effort to get some of his knowledge before the trial, but that’s just a strategy disagreement.

            2. If you’re going to venture an actual substantive comment to me – instead of the usual – maybe you could avoid simply demonstrating my point?

            3. It is not on the Senate to complete the Houses investigation. Full stop. If the house rushed it is on them, not the senate. The house is free to do a new investigation and send more articles if they care to.

              You are completely confused. The House’s job is not to “complete an investigation.” The House’s job is to decide whether there are sufficient grounds to impeach an officeholder.

              It is then on the Senate to try that officeholder. A trial does not involve merely reviewing the accusations that were previously made against someone; it involves listening to all relevant evidence and then evaluating it. Saying that a witness wasn’t deposed before a trial and therefore you’re going to refuse to allow that witness to testify at trial, or are going to refuse to listen to that witness, is not how trials work.

              1. You are completely confused.

                You have another massive screwup!

                The House’s job is not to “complete an investigation.” The House’s job is to decide whether there are sufficient grounds to impeach an officeholder.

                Which is WHY they conduct an investigation!!! The same reason law enforcement does investigations!!!
                Do you ass-ume they read tea leaves, or consult with psychics to read minds or …. sumpfing?

    2. Welcome to Reason

    3. I think Post pretty much conceded in his last post that Trump should be entitled to presenting a defense based on evidence of the Biden families corrupt dealings in Ukraine:
      “There are two competing narratives regarding this question: the “Fighting Corruption” narrative and the “Digging Up Dirt” narrative.”

      By conceding that it’s a material question of whether Trump’s motive was fighting corruption or digging up dirt, then of course Post is also conceding that Trump should be able to call witnesses showing his concern about the Bidens corrupt activities in Ukraine was real.

      1. “…Trump should be able to call witnesses showing his concern about the Bidens corrupt activities in Ukraine was real.”

        Yes, but witnesses who prove that Biden was in fact corrupt wouldn’t resolve the question of Trump’s motivations. The issue is not whether Biden is actually corrupt. It’s whether Trump was motivated by that corruption. It can be the case that Biden was corrupt and that Trump was motivated by digging up dirt. (Similarly, Biden could be wholly innocent of corruption, but that wouldn’t make Trump guilty of ill motive. He might have sincerely believed that Biden was corrupt, and his withholding was motivated by that sincere but incorrect subjective belief.)

        1. The entire impeachment process is politically motivated. Can we stop with this idiocy.

          1. Interesting that the resistance was calling for Trumps impeachment before he took office, some even calling for his impeachment if he was elected.

            While none of those individuals would have called for Hillary’s impeachment, even though her actions were most certainly impeachable offences. State department bribery/contributions to the Clinton Foundation/speaking fees paid to Bill, substantive security breaches with the home brew server, etc.

            1. Interesting that the resistance was calling for Trumps impeachment before he took office, some even calling for his impeachment if he was elected.

              This is an absurd, revisionist version of events. I can’t think of anything Trump did that would begin to count as “impeachable” until after the election, when he started to undermine Obama’s foreign policy by reaching out to the Russians with promises about removing sanctions.

              But, anyway, a more accurate version of events would be that the “resistance” squad of AOC, et al., didn’t get loud about impeachment until the 2018 elections, at which point Trump had done plenty of impeachable acts. Prior to then, most of the Pelosi gang was busy trying to deal with Trump – that’s when we got a crack at immigration reform, “Infrastructure Week,” etc. Even now they’re passing NAFTA 2.0 and saying kind things about the China deal. So this whole idea that the Democrats have been trying to impeach since day 1 is false. It’s just a lazy talking point Trump has been shouting.

            2. Interesting that the resistance was calling for Trumps impeachment before he took office, some even calling for his impeachment if he was elected.

              You’re mistaken; that’s not interesting at all.

          2. Trust me – everyone would appreciate if you’d do precisely that. You’re welcome to stop posting anytime.

        2. Well I think the facts and how to weigh them should be left up to the jury. And the of course American people.

          I think it’s very relevant, and don’t forget Schiff’s original allegation was that Trump was asking Zelensky to manufacture dirt. I think Trump deserves to clear his name, even if they might backed off that allegation in the actual articles, although I’m not clear how it could be an abuse of power if there is a legitimate case to investigate.

          1. And we Americans understand that manufacturing dirt is wrong, regardless of who does it or to whom it is done.

            But there is no evidence, not even probable cause, that Zelensky was asked to manufacture dirt.

            1. A press briefing that announces an investigation manufacturers the dirt that Biden is under criminal investigation.

              1. An announcement of an investigation is not dirt in any sense.

                Otherwise, the mere announcement of an investigation into Harvey Weinstein would be evidence of guilt.

                1. In the minds of many people, an investigation casts enough doubt to sway a vote.

                2. You are confusing dirt and evidence. Nobody said an announcement is evidence. But it’s dirt.

                  If you falsely claimed that someone was under investigation for a serious crime, you’d be defaming them, even though your false claim wouldn’t be “evidence” of anything.

                  1. Nobody said an announcement is evidence. But it’s dirt.

                    whoooooooooooooosh!
                    That’s what he said …

                    The primary value of an “announcement” is …. proving you wrong! You’ve just admitted that Trump had no intention of seeking corruption … just a headline for TV ads, and to continue brainwashing his cult of Birthers.

                    Scary.

          2. Even if the allegation is “manufacture dirt” it is still the case that Biden’s actual corruption ducks the question. If the President believe Biden was innocent (but was wrong) and wanted Ukraine to manufacture dirt, the fact that some of the dirt the President wanted manufactured turned out to be true doesn’t absolve the President of the charge. The question would be whether the President wanted to make something he thought was untrue true, not whether the thing was actually untrue.

            This should be a simple allegation for the President to “clear his name”. He can testify that he did not ask for, nor did he intend, for a foreign leader to manufacture dirt. Like you, I think the American people are entitled to the facts. Yet only one of us appears curious as to why the person in the best position to clear his name, is neither clearing his name (under oath) nor letting others testify on his behalf.

            1. This should be a simple allegation for the President to “clear his name”. He can testify that he did not ask for, nor did he intend, for a foreign leader to manufacture dirt.

              From the greatest fucking liar on earth.

              He lied so shamelessly, to defend nazis and racists for launching mass violence and murder in Charlottesville .. but he wouldn’t lie to defend himself? Were you a Birther, even before Trump was?

          3. “…and don’t forget Schiff’s original allegation…”

            The President was impeached for the reasons set forth in the articles of impeachment, not “Schiff’s original allegation” whatever you think that is.

        3. It’s also possible that, when a cop pulls a black man over for doing 70 in a residential zone, he only did it because the guy was black.

          But it’s still the case that if you can prove he was doing 70 in a residential zone, very few people will take the claim seriously.

          1. Not a great analogy, but let’s work it into the present case. The cop is a constable. He did not witness the black man going 70 miles per hour, but is pretty sure it happened because his lawyer and friend told him that the black man sometimes drove over the speed limit. Coincidentally, the black man’s father was also running for the constable’s position. Initially, the cop claimed that he arrested the black man because neighboring cities had not been adequately funding intercity road repairs, and he thought the arrest necessary to get some money back into the maintenance kitty. But upon the accusation that the cop had maybe arrested the black man for ill motives, he announced that it was really because the black man was speeding, and he really cares about speeding. Despite this professed interest in speeding, dozens of white speeders had flown by the cop’s line of sight without arrest.

            Under these circumstances do you think “very few people [would] take the claim seriously”?

            1. Nice analogy. Puts into perspective the silliness of some of the arguments coming from Trump’s defenders. (To me, it’s weird that not a single one of them is bothered by the fact that all the first-hand witnesses have been blocked from testifying by Trump himself. But to their credit, not a single person on Earth has made the moronic claim that–when Trump says, “I’m blocking testimony only to avoid setting a bad precedent.”–Trump is being honest.

              It’s like if I were accused of robbing a bank, and I give the excuse that the charge is impossible, because at the time of the robbery I was taking a helicopter ride with my wife. But I manage to block the testimony of my wife, the pilot, the ground crew at the airport, the airport paperwork, the testimony of the air traffic controllers, etc etc.. Does all that obstruction *prove* that I did the robbery? No, of course not. But it is 100% consistent with what a bank robber would do, and is inconsistent with what an innocent person would do.

              1. On Wednesday, at Davos, Trump bragging about withholding evidence (against the law)

            2. More like the constable heard the Black man bragging that he drove down that street at 70 miles an hour and the constable asks that the security footage that covers that street be reviewed.

              If Joe wasn’t so full of himself and bragged about getting that prosecutor fired there would never have been a request for an investigation. Hunter’s business dealings would have been a campaign issue, but unlikely to trigger an investigation. Joe’s mouth however is the smoking gun.

      2. Precisely speaking, if the question is to Trump’s intent, you wouldn’t call the Bidens or even meaningfully talk about what’s gone on at Burisma. You would call the people who were privy to the decisionmaking behind the hold, etc. Which is just the same people the Democrats want to hear from.

        Put another way – suppose that Trump had no idea the Bidens’ activities in Ukraine were “corrupt,” and didn’t care. He merely wanted to dig up dirt on them. But they get called up in the course of the impeachment process and it comes out that they were corrupt, after all. Does that mean that Trump shouldn’t be impeached?

        1. So we are to ignore articles in politico and the ny pertaining to urna8inian corruption because you think trump has animus.

          It is amazing watching liberals seek to overturn 200 years of legal and political theory on a subjective belief in animus.

          1. So we are to ignore articles in politico and the ny pertaining to urna8inian corruption because you think trump has animus.

            These are not “articles pertaining to Ukrainian corruption.” These are articles repeating the same facts, which have been widely reported, having to do with Hunter’s position on Burisma’s board and his involvement with an investment deal in China. No actual corruption or crime is alleged in any of this coverage. There’s just the appearance of a conflict of interest and a history of corruption in Ukraine (including of the former prosecutor general, Shokin).

            But no, none of that “corruption” matters, if the question of impeachment ultimately centers on whether Trump abused his power in order to dig up political dirt. He basically drove a wedge between Ukraine and the US, weakening Ukraine against Russia, and for what? Because he wanted Ukraine to do more about “corruption”? Because he wanted an empty but politically damaging investigation of the Bidens? Or something else?

            Shouldn’t we figure that out?

            1. Except there is a very clear indication that corruption might exist. We cannot know for certain without an investigation. An investigation which has been repeatedly stymied.

              “Dig up dirt” is such a biased phrase. “Investigate potential criminal activity” is more accurate.

              If we agree that there is sufficient reason to investigate Biden, then Trump’s actions are justified, no matter his personal motives.

              1. Except there is a very clear indication that corruption might exist.

                What is this “very clear indication,” in your view?

                We cannot know for certain without an investigation. An investigation which has been repeatedly stymied.

                Hunter Biden was never under investigation, nor was Joe Biden’s efforts to have Shokin removed.

                One of Burisma’s shareholders was investigated for money laundering. Investigating oligarchs like that is precisely what Ukraine should be doing, and is part of what Zelensky campaigned to do. We don’t have any reason to believe that the campaign is flagging, other than Zelensky’s relative inexperience and the fact that he is (now) less well-positioned in his efforts to counter Russia than he was when he was elected. Meanwhile we’re sending mob goons to trail our own ambassadors. Which Ukraine is now investigating. Talk about corruption!

                If we agree that there is sufficient reason to investigate Biden, then Trump’s actions are justified, no matter his personal motives.

                Yeah, I get it – Trumptards care about the ends, not the means. It doesn’t matter if Trump broke a bunch of laws to do it!

                But no, there isn’t sufficient reason to investigate Biden, and no, there being sufficient reason to investigate Biden isn’t enough to exonerate Trump. You and I both know that Trump doesn’t give a shit about corruption, or even Biden’s corruption, except insofar as exposing it or pretending to expose it helps his campaign. And in order to get that help, he put American national security at risk. That’s impeachable.

              2. Gee. If only the United States has an agency capable of investigating possible corruption by Americans, sort of a “Bureau of Investigation,” you might call it.

                Then the President could just get them to investigate, instead of having to pressure foreign leaders.

                1. Not to mention the deafening silence from the various committees in the Senate who could have (and still can, at any time) started an investigation into Hunter Biden, Hunter/Joe + Ukraine, Hunter + China, etc etc. I wonder why all the Republicans (who have already whored their integrity re Trump) have made a conscious and deliberate decision to not do this? If a single person in the administration had the balls to face the press, those sorts of questions could be answered. But, given the population of gutless worms currently working in the White House, I’m not holding my breath.

                2. Gee. If only the United States has an agency capable of investigating possible corruption by Americans, sort of a “Bureau of Investigation,” you might call it.

                  Then the President could just get them to investigate, instead of having to pressure foreign leaders.

                  Do you mean the same FBI that was corrupt, and actions of the current director indicate the FBI is still corrupt? That FBI?

                  1. Shades of No True Scotsman. Or “Heads I Win; Tails You Lose.” Or something else that’s through the Looking Glass.

                  2. I think he means the FBI that has been led by Republicans since the day it was created and has exhibited political favoritism toward Democrats and liberals as much and as often as that point would suggest.

                3. The FBI has no jurisdiction in Ukraine, the proper protocol if the US becomes aware of corruption involving an American in a foreign jurisdiction that may violate foreign and US law is to ask that jurisdiction to investigate.

                  Exactly the same situation if a Ukraine thinks a Ukrainian national is laundering money in the US violating both countries laws, we wouldn’t allow them to send over the Ukrainian national police to investigate, we would expect them to request the FBI to do any U.S. investigation. They might send over a liasion officer who would have no police power here, but that’s it.

                  What an absurd notion of U.S. transnational supremacy.

                  1. the proper protocol if the US becomes aware of corruption involving an American in a foreign jurisdiction that may violate foreign and US law is to ask that jurisdiction to investigate

                    Perhaps, the Justice Department can make the request. Or the State Department? Or even Congress? But, not the president’s personal attorney.

                4. Oh, the FBI? The very same FBI that was just excoriated by the IG and upbraided by the FISA Court? That bureau?

              3. Except there is a very clear indication that corruption might exist. We cannot know for certain without an investigation. An investigation which has been repeatedly stymied.

                Stymied by whom?

          2. Are we to ignore the sheer coincidence that in a country filled with corruption, the specific “investigation” the President asked a foreign leader about happened to involve the son of a political opponent? And that the President wasn’t that other corrupt companies were performing investigations as a precondition for aid?

            1. NO investigation was demanded, which is part of the smoking gun. The only demand was that an investigation be ANNOUNCED. Trump had no interest in an actual investigation. None.

              An announcement would add to his unbroken list of lies and slander, for ONLY political ads … and further brainwashing his eagerly manipulated base.

              Disagree if you must. But without stating any other realistic/sane reason to ask for only an announcement, you’d fail. Bigly.

          3. Hey, Jesse, Trump may not have animus to Ukraine, but he NEEDS the bat-shit crazy conspiracy theories that it was UKRAINE that hacked the DNC … even crazier, that Hillary’s server is in Ukraine!!!! … to sustain the bullshit that his election was a LANDSLIDE … of 39,000 voters, in THREE states combined!

            How much influence did Russia, Wikileaks and Comey need … to swing 39,000 voters??? (lol)

        2. If he wamted to dig up dirt, there us nothing wrong with that.

          1. Great. I’ll put you down in the “proto-fascist” column then. I’m sure the paramilitaries will leave you alone when the putsch comes.

            1. That’s some awesome name-calling. Too bad you guys can never grow up enough to leave that stuff behind and say thoughtful things instead.

              1. I’ve left “thoughtful [comments]” up and down this thread. Here, I’m just responding to Michael’s apparent endorsement of the president abusing his power (and undermining American interests) in order to promote his own political agenda.

                As long as we’re debating what the evidence shows, the process of impeachment, etc., we can at least be said to share an interest in upholding the American republic and might be able to find some common ground. When Trump supporters shift (as they are shifting) to embracing corruption of the most blatant kind, in order to serve their narrow “pwn libtard” agenda, without considering how this very kind of corruption destroys democracies, we can no longer engage in a shared conversation. There are only those of us who want to continue the American experiment, and those who view it as at an end.

          2. I think the idea is that it is beneath the office of the President to use the considerable power of that position to withhold billions in aid to get a foreign country to dig up dirt on a political opponent. If the President, using his own money, was paying a firm to provide oppo research on a political opponent, that would be pretty innocuous.

            1. It’s hardly worse than using the FBI and CIA to try to derail a presidency on specious grounds.

              After that, I’m willing to overlook almost everything from Trump and do anything I can to support his reelection. If the Democrats would join in to sincerely root out the corruption in the FBI, FISA courts and CIA then I may be able to relax my belief that inflexible support of Trump is vital to the survival of our democracy.

              1. Thank you for your confession. I hope you one day find the peace you so desperately yearn for.

          3. I agree. But it is wrong to condition military aid to digging up dirt on a political opponent. And it is even more wrong to co-opt official government power by having your personal attorney condition military aid to digging up dirt on a political opponent.

            1. It’s even more wrong to condition aid on firing a prosecutor that is investigating the company that is paying your son for protection against investigations.

              1. No, it’s not even more wrong. Also, that didn’t happen, and we know it didn’t happen, and you know it didn’t happen, and Trump knows it didn’t happen. And Trump doesn’t care about it if it did happen, except insofar as it helps him win in 2020 to say that it happened..

      3. Of course this is why Trump produced all those documents showing the Biden corruption and offered Mulvaney and Pompeo and Giuliani and Parnas and Pence and his other witnesses to testify in the House. There has been no such contention by the president or his Epstein-Barr lawyers because he and they chose not to participate and offered no evidence or documents or witnesses to the House. The “Biden corruption” meme exists only on Fox News. If you don’t participate in the litigation you don’t get to show up at trial with evidence you didn’t disclose in discovery.

        1. That is demonstrably untrue. The Biden corruption story is also popular at Breitbart, Instapundit, FreeRepublic, Stormfront, RedState, and the Volokh Conspiracy,

        2. Of course this is why Trump produced all those documents showing the Biden corruption

          Not even one, brainwashed liar.

          1. He was being sarcastic.
            Which should be blatantly obvious to even a semi-informed reader, with an IQ above 50.

    4. Wonder how david would think about this from a normal criminal procedure prospective. The cops handed the D.A. a case he thought was insufficient from the outset. Is the d.a. now obligated to pursue it or can he use his judgement when it reaches his turn in the process.

      1. If you really want to think of it in those terms, although an Impeachment is only vaguely like a criminal prosecution, you would think of it more as the DA obtained an indictment and in preparing for trial, the DAdeveloped additional information as to the charge. In a typical criminal case, this would involve a superseding indictment in most jurisdictions, something that is quite routine.

        1. It’s actually like the DA was too busy to develop his case so he’s asking the jury to go look up everything on the internet to decide the case.

          1. No. More like the DA wants to develop the case and the jury says they don’t want to hear it. The jury (the Senate) is only being asked to allow the witnesses to testify, not to do any work to develop the case itself.

      2. The analogy to a criminal case would be if the judge felt fairly certain, either that the prosecutor hasn’t brought enough evidence to prove his case, or that the facts as charged do not constitute a crime. In either case the judge would be entirely justified in dismissing the case without bothering with a trial. And maybe sanctioning the prosecutor for wasting his time.

        1. The analogy would be dismissing the case before allowing the prosecutor to put on evidence based on the inadequacy of the evidence put before the grand jury. That isn’t allowed.

        2. The analogy to a criminal case would be if the judge felt fairly certain, either that the prosecutor hasn’t brought enough evidence to prove his case, or that the facts as charged do not constitute a crime. In either case the judge would be entirely justified in dismissing the case without bothering with a trial. And maybe sanctioning the prosecutor for wasting his time.

          Well, no. A judge does not dismiss for lack of enough evidence “without bothering with a trial.” The trial is where the evidence is first presented. The judge can’t tell whether there’s sufficient evidence until the trial is over. (Well, until the prosecution has rested, anyway.)

      3. Really the analogy here is a system where the jury decides what witnesses they want to hear rather than judge or the prosecutors or defense.

        I would imagine lots jury trials would take strikingly different turns if the jurors ran the trials rather than the court insiders leading them by the nose.

        Wild card witnesses, jury nullification, boring procedural witnesses shut down, and a vote on the verdict anytime they felt like it.

      4. If “david” refers to David Post, then he would think — though he’s far too polite to say it, though this David is not — that you’re a complete moron. You’ve been told over and over again that you don’t have the first damn clue what you’re talking about, but you’re not even smart enough to listen to the people smarter than you telling you this.

        Yes, the DA is obligated to pursue it, which is of course not mutually exclusive from “using his judgment.” The DA does not say, “Well, sorry. I know there are other witnesses but the police did not talk to them so it’s not my problem; I’m not going to do their job for them.”

        For at least two reasons. First, because “It’s not my job” is completely wrong on its own terms. You simply do not understand the nature or role of a trial. Witnesses and evidence continue to be developed at every stage of a case, from investigation through indictment through trial.

        Second, because even if it weren’t formally the DA’s job, he’s not in an adversarial role with law enforcement. (“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups…”) The DA’s role isn’t to spite the cops because they didn’t do a thorough enough job for his liking.

    5. First time reading one of Mr. Post’s submissions?

    6. Another kissass Trumpster humiliates himself.
      Hysterically, kkoshkin, beleebs that Rand wants a never-ending trial!

      And that “Why would be under any sort of obligation “ … does not mean … “I have no obligation … HUH

      The logic is elementary. One might say that “to complete the work” is not the same as “no obligation to ( reach a fair result.” …. But ONLY if one believes that Rand said the trial should never end (be completed).

      Lest we forget Rand’s base, and Ron’s is almost identical to Trump’s, the alt-right.

      And Rand says he says no obligation to be fair … when he must swear an oath to be fair.

      Make no mistake what kkoshkin said. If HE was a juror, swore an oath to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” … he’d feel no obligation to … be truthful!!

      Welcome to Trump’s base.

  2. This Post’s post was flawed? Or was Post himself flawed?

    1. I am waiting for Bob from Ohio to chime in: Worst Post Ever… 🙂

      1. You ruined our bet. My friends have a running pool on Post posts, where we guess when Bob will chime in with his usual whine. Now, we have to take this thread ‘off the betting board.’ Boo. 🙁

        1. Sorry about that, santamonica11. You should have let me in on that and I would have remained silent. 🙂

  3. What you’re really getting at, and you’re not clear about, is that the House wants the Senate to call witnesses that the House didn’t bother to see through about. That’s not the Senate’s job.

    Further, Rand Paul has stated that if the House gets witnesses, so does Trump’s defense. Maybe on a 1 for 1 basis. It would be a mess for everybody involved, as no one would look good with Hunter and Joe Biden’s corruption on full display, along with the so-called whistleblower and Adam Schiff having to testify on his coordination with him and the media. And Democrats are salivating on the idea that Bolton will be upset at Trump and stab him in the back.

    It’s all kinda wishful thinking that this thing won’t be short and uneventful thing, like Clinton’s impeachment.

    1. is that the House wants the Senate to call witnesses that the House didn’t bother to see through about.

      Several issues with this.

      First, Team Trump successfully blocked witnesses they wanted to call. How many months does it take to pursue a successful court challenge to compel a witness to appear and they might not anyway? McCabe? Bolton? So if they “bothered” there would be no way to write up Articles before 2021 or so.

      Second, Time is of the essence. There is actually little doubt about what Trump did and as Schiff and others have pointed out repeatedly he will continue doing it unless he is stopped. After all Team Trump’s defense is what he did is not illegal to begin with. Both chambers of congress should not tolerate election corruption no matter who is doing it for the benefit of whom.

      Third, new evidence is turning up in real time. Again, the House could have continued to hold hearings throughout 2020 to enhance what we know already, but how is the public interest served by suppressing new evidence?

      1. Orbital…..hang on a sec.

        In the Clinton impeachment, there was a very well developed evidentary and testimonial record. In the Nixon non-impeachment, the House had taken the time to go through the Courts. In both cases, the POTUS asserted executive privilege, and the Courts said: Um….nope. That was not done here, and it was a deliberate choice by the House not to do so. They will own the consequence.

        If time was of the essence, then why did the Speaker wait for three weeks to transmit the articles? I mean, if it is important and I think we can agree that impeachment is important, why not transmit them the same day they were voted upon? Frankly, I would have demanded canceling the winter recess by Congress to have the trial ASAP to resolve this serious matter. The Speaker will own the consequence.

        Let’s hear the arguments. Then decide where to go from there.

        1. In both cases, the POTUS asserted executive privilege, and the Courts said: Um….nope. That was not done here, and it was a deliberate choice by the House not to do so.

          Sigh. Once again: Trump didn’t assert executive privilege. He asserted immunity.

          This is a legal distinction, and you don’t understand it.

          1. Sigh. You’re making a distinction without a difference. Whether it is immunity or privilege, the House made a deliberate choice not to litigate. Clearly, this escaped you, for whatever reason.

      2. So why hold a trial at all? He’s obviously guilty of repeated crimes, both those in the impeachment resolution and others he’s continually committing (at least that’s what you imply by “continue doing it”).

        The “continue to do it” view also implies that without impeachment Ukraine is somehow going to steal the US election, manufacturing a Trump win, even when we’re all aware of and looking for election interference. It amazes me how much power a relatively minor nation which is under siege by a much more powerful neighbor holds over the United States.

        Are Democrats really concerned with keeping the next election honest? The more I hear about the future damage Ukraine can do the more I wonder whether the corruption conspiracy theories might have some truth behind them.

      3. “First, Team Trump successfully blocked witnesses they wanted to call.”

        He successfully blocked the witnesses because the House didn’t bother litigating the matter. If they’d actually wanted to hear from them, they could have gotten expedited review.

        But if they’d lost the litigation, it would have gotten in the way of the “obstruction of justice” charge, I guess.

        1. the House didn’t bother litigating the matter

          It seems Trump judges, including on SCOTUS, are pretty good at slow-walking cases involving Trump.

          Don’t want anything embarrassing to come out before November, you see.

          1. Like the Fifth Circuit on Obamacare: “Yes, we agree, but are you really, really sure…?”, back on remand. And then it’ll come back up and never make it to SCOTUS before the election.

          2. You don’t get to excuse it on the basis that the courts wouldn’t have held up their end, if you don’t even try to go to the courts.

            1. Sure you do, if it’s entirely predictable. Besides, then you and the other Trumpists would be yelping about how we have to wait for the courts, no matter how long they take.

          3. I thought there were no Clinton judges, Obama judges, Bush judges or Trump judges. Just Federal judges. What is this slow walking you are talking about?

        2. He successfully blocked the witnesses because the House didn’t bother litigating the matter. If they’d actually wanted to hear from them, they could have gotten expedited review.

          This is the “stop hitting yourself” argument. “You didn’t force me not to do what I did, so it’s really your fault I did it.”

      4. So now we are back to the crying over claims of executive privilege and the apparent belief the house was for some reason barred from proceeding subpoenas through the court.

        You dont have a serious argument.

    2. What you’re really getting at, and you’re not clear about, is that the House wants the Senate to call witnesses that the House didn’t bother to see through about.

      Do you Trump stooges really have such short-term memories? Do you think the rest of us fail to remember what you were all saying, back when the House was actually trying to investigate this? It was all, waste of time this, and, hurry up already that. You couldn’t wait to get it all over with.

      And I’m sure that, had the House actually gone to court for every subpoena and dragged out the investigation through the 2020 election, you’d be complaining about how the Democrats are doing it only to keep the heat on Trump – the same way the Republicans did, with Hillary and the Benghazi investigation.

      Never mind that all of this nonsense about going through the courts is only because Trump wasn’t cooperating with Congress, to begin with. You seem to think that the president is totally within his rights not only to abuse the power of the office but to assert countless, spurious claims of “privilege” and “privilege to privilege”, not to protect the office or our national interests, but himself. Why should Congress have to sue, in order to understand why congressionally-appropriate money for Ukraine was held at his say-so, apparently in violation of the law? Why should they have to sue, in order to understand whether the whistleblower complaint had any merit?

      Suing to enforce a subpoena is not normal. It’s what you do in order to get around an official’s contempt for regular oversight.

      1. Obama claimed executive privilege. Now the standard is different? Seeking judicial review is now impeachable? Or only until President Trump leaves office in 5 years?

        1. Once more: Trump. Did. Not. Claim. Executive. Privilege. He. Claimed. Immunity.

          1. (Moreover, he did not seek judicial review. He argued that it was improper to seek judicial review, that the courts should not get involved.)

            1. Congress is not the boss of the Executive. The executive is under no compulsion to cede to the demands of Congress. They have Art I sec I powers of oversight. Those are not limitless. Disputes (fast and furious) are adjudicated by Art III SCOTUS…IF one of the other two parties bring it to them. Congress never attempted to enforce their subpoenas. That’s on Congress.

      2. And I’m sure that, had the House actually gone to court for every subpoena and dragged out the investigation through the 2020 election, you’d be complaining about how the Democrats are doing it only to keep the heat on Trump – the same way the Republicans did, with Hillary and the Benghazi investigation.

        Not to mention that even if the House had done what Trumpkins claim that the House should’ve done, and gotten so much testimony that even the Fox & Friends hosts were saying, “Yeah, Trump’s guilty,” Trumpkins would be saying, “Well, it’s just too close to the election to vote to remove him from office; we should just let the people decide.”

    3. Witnesses at trial have to have relevance to the case presented. As was explained by David, what difference would it make if Biden was or was not involved in improper activity if the goal of Trump’s intervention, the essential charge, is that he used the threat of withholding funds to get dirt on Biden to benefit his campaign and it had nothing to do with a real investigation of Biden.

      And, if it makes no difference, then Biden’s testimony is irrelevant.

      Or are you suggesting that a Defendant can call anyone they want in a criminal case regardless of what they have to do with the case just because the Prosecutor gets to call witnesses too. That is hardly the way the law works.

      1. How would dirt on Bidem benefit his campaign?

      2. Actually yes. If Trump had sufficient cause to push for an investigation of corruption, then his actions can’t be abuse of power.

        It is that simple. To be frank. If there was probable cause for an investigation, there is no law against what Trump did. If it was unwise, then that is a matter for voters, not an impeachment.

        Therefore, Trump’s defense is obvious. Prosecute Biden. Show his action was justified and therefore not abuse of power.

        1. That’s his obvious defense, and that’s why in the end they won’t have witnesses. Because the obvious response of the Democrats will be to declare war on the GOP and start pulling out all the evidence they have of corruption by Republican Senators.

          Neither party likes the way that war ends, so neither will risk starting it.

        2. Actually yes. If Trump had sufficient cause to push for an investigation of corruption, then his actions can’t be abuse of power.

          It is that simple.

          Simple is one word for it. Wrong is another.

          The mayor of a small town orders the police chief to follow his election opponent 24/7, and give the opponent a citation every single time he violates any traffic law, no matter how small. He orders the code enforcement officer to stand watch outside the opponent’s house 24/7, and give the opponent a citation for anything he can find, such as the lawn being 1/4″ too high or failing to separate recyclables or having a cracked sidewalk. He offers each person a 10% increase in his department’s budget if the chief does this.

          Is this abuse of office? Yes. And, “I told them only to give out tickets for actual traffic offenses / code violations” would not make it legitimate. (Even if that claim were credible, which it would likely not be, since telling a corrupt person to harass one’s opponent is likely to be interpreted as a wink and a nod to make stuff up.)

    4. I would prefer to see calling of witnesses left up to the litigating attorneys — let the House managers call whom they will and let the President´s defense team call whom they will in response. That will provide more of a search for truth than truncating the witness lists arbitrarily.

    5. What you’re really getting at, and you’re not clear about, is that the House wants the Senate to call witnesses that the House didn’t bother to see through about. That’s not the Senate’s job.

      Yes. It. Is.

  4. “so regardless of what you turned up”

    Well, if they’d actually turned up anything, you’d have a point.

    As it is, all they did was decide in advance that they WERE going to impeach, go looking for an excuse, and just keep lowering how good an excuse it had to be until they found something that didn’t even persuade all of the House Democrats.

    1. Yeah, no evidence of anything untoward with the Trump admin and the Ukraine. Nothing at all.

      At this point, that’s kind of a laugh line, no?

      1. I didn’t see anything criminal in the allegation. And it certainly seems less egregious than what Madison did in the Henry affair, paying 1,400,000 (adjusted to 2020 dollars) to a former British spy for dirt on his Federalist rivals.

        “In buying sight unseen, in February, 1812, the worthless Henry letters at the cost of a badly needed frigate in order to expose the supposed intrigues of the New England Federalists, Madison and Secretary of State Monroe looked like fools as well as knaves.”
        – Richard W Leopold, The Growth of American Foreign Policy: A History (1962) p. 63.

        But nobody proposed impeachment.

        1. I don’t think it matters what the Federalists did (or didn’t do) in 1812, but the appropriate counterfactual would involve a Federalist majority in the House in 1812, which wasn’t the case.

      2. We don’t impeach Presidents over “untoward”. EVERY President does things that the opposing party thinks are “untoward”. Obama shipped over a billion dollars in small, unmarked bills to a state sponsor of terrorism, and didn’t get impeached. And that was a lot more than “untoward”.

        Until now the precedent has been that you had to accuse a President of being complicit in serious crimes to impeach them. Not think something they did was a bit sketchy.

        1. Brett, you said ‘Well, if they’d actually turned up anything, you’d have a point.’

          Now you’re saying ‘they found stuff, but it was normal levels of badness that other Presidents do’ which is not a great argument in general, and also moves the goalposts.

          1. Obviously by “anything” I didn’t mean a ticket for double parking. I meant something serious, of a nature that would justify impeachment of any President.

            I came right out and said it: They went looking for an excuse to impeach, and just kept lowering the threshold for what was an acceptable excuse until they finally settled on something they couldn’t even get all their own members to agree was a reasonable cause for impeachment.

            They had to lower the threshold so low that every President in living memory would have qualified to be impeached.

            1. Yeah we know all about how your telepath finds huge amounts of animus on the left, and nefarious liberal agendas everywhere.

        2. Obama shipped over a billion dollars in small, unmarked bills to a state sponsor of terrorism,

          Oh, drop it. It’s bullshit and you know it. How many more old chestnuts are you going to try out here? Clinton’s emails? Uranium One?

        3. We don’t impeach Presidents over “untoward”. EVERY President does things that the opposing party thinks are “untoward”. Obama shipped over a billion dollars in small, unmarked bills to a state sponsor of terrorism, and didn’t get impeached. And that was a lot more than “untoward”.

          Your facts are made up, but they also miss the point. We do not impeach presidents for doing things that we disagree with. We impeach them for acting with corrupt motive.
          Whatever the wisdom of Obama’s acts towards Iran, and I think that wisdom is slight, nobody thinks Obama was doing it for his private benefit rather than the country’s.

      3. Every post you make is laughed at. No evidence was actually presented under testimony outside of opinion and hearsay.

        1. What could you possibly know about what was presented, given that your eyes and ears are firmly obstructed by your anus?

          A few hours outside of your brown safety-hole and you’d be forced to take notice of the consistent testimony and documents which demonstrate beyond any doubt that Trump did exactly what is alleged.

          For fuck’s sake, the GAO just came out and said he broke the law. But yeah, no ‘evidence’ at all from inside your fecal abode.

        2. I mean, we also have documents. More and more as time goes on.
          But there was first-hand testimony as well.

      4. Yes it is.

        It’s just amazing.

  5. Rand Paul is simply signaling that the fix is in no matter what evidence is presented. They will vote acquit.

    So why bother digging up more evidence? Waste of time.

    1. Well stated, game time is over.

      The old conventions when we pretended that liberal hacks should be listened to politely, and there questions patiently answered are over.

  6. Professor Post, perhaps you’d like to answer this question: Why are the Team R Senators obligated to complete the work that they never even agreed should’ve been begun in the first place?

    I mean, nothing in the articles of impeachment allege a violation of any law. As a constitutional matter, the Senate has sole authority to try impeachment. There will not be a vote to dismiss. They are holding a trial (which I believe they should absolutely do).

    Your objection here seems premature, given we have not even heard arguments from the House managers, nor the rebuttal from the POTUS’ legal counsel.

    1. You are mixing up legal obligation and civic obligation.

      Legally, Rand can say ‘F all liberals; I think Trump should dissolve Congress with extreme prejudice.’ Might raise a few civic flags though.

      1. We get it. just like with rep al green you believe the civic obligation is to remove trump no matter what.

        1. That’s a pretty bad strawman, Jesse.

      2. I mean let’s be fair here. The house trial was not run fairly. Schiff still hasnt released all testimony transcripts. Yet you call for civics..

        1. …do you know what civics means? It’s not the same as civility.

          1. If it means anything then it doesn’t mean implementing special rules to convict one man that will then be discarded and never used again.

            1. Good thing that’s not what the OP is advocating for, then.

        2. The House doesn’t conduct a trial. It determines whether there’s sufficient cause for the Senate to conduct one.

      3. Actually Sarcastr0, I’d like an answer to the question I posed, not the question you made up and answered.

        Better yet if the Professor Post speaks for himself. He made the assertion, and now I have challenged him directly to explain it.

        1. The premise of your question is wrong.

          Post is talking about civic obligation. You are talking about legal obligation.

          You cannot object to the OP based on a different standard than it is using.

          1. No Sarcastr0, I am talking about both. And I am using Professor Post’s exact quotation with one edit to change it from a negative to a positive.

            Maybe you’d like to answer the question I posed. Try again. 🙂

            1. Above, the only obligation you speak of is a legal one.

              If you want to argue there is no civic obligation to look into something half the country and the other branch of Congress thinks is worth looking into, make the argument.

              Thus far you haven’t done so.

              1. Sarcastr0….I am the guy who literally said, “They are holding a trial (which I believe they should absolutely do).”

                The House will present their case. The Senate will judge.

                Regardless, this will be settled in November at the ballot box.

    2. Perhaps because a fair-minded person would conclude that if Trump is guilty as charged he should be removed, and getting to the truth (one way or the other) is of such high importance that we shouldn’t acquit based on an incomplete case when a case which might better answer the question is available.

      1. Josh R….Thank you for answering directly. Believe it or not, I don’t disagree with the sentiment….namely, the matter is so important that we need to know what is true and what is not. I think I am uneasy with the venue.

        Tell me though, isn’t that a one time rule change you advocate? Meaning, if the Senate has sole power to try, you seem to want to say, “Yeah, but we need to examine this other stuff regardless of whether you agree to or not”.

        1. At least as it relates to the president, I think it ought not be a one-time rule change.

      2. As long as we ignore due process, and other constitutional constraints. You understand impeachment is a political proccess, not legal? You do understand in less than 10 months, the people can make the decission to remove the President…using the political process? All the power rests with the people. The slim majority in the House of Representatives should not be attempting to usurp the power of the people to carry out their desire to gain power, for their own selfish interests.

        1. As long as we ignore due process, and other constitutional constraints. You understand impeachment is a political proccess, not legal?

          You understand that you’ve managed to contradict each other in two sentences, right?

          You do understand in less than 10 months, the people can make the decission to remove the President…using the political process?

          So what? You’re saying that if the president does something that makes it appropriate to remove him, everyone should ignore it if he does it with a year remaining in his administration?

          (Note that in fact he did these things starting almost a year ago, in roughly March 2019. But it took about 6 months for his acts to be initially revealed, and 3 more months for them to be investigated enough for impeachment to happen. And even at that, Republicans are whining that it was “rushed.”)

          All the power rests with the people. The slim majority in the House of Representatives should not be attempting to usurp the power of the people to carry out their desire to gain power, for their own selfish interests.

          First, it isn’t a slim majority. Second the Constitution expressly requires only a simple majority to impeach, so it would be odd to suggest a larger majority is needed. Third, the people expressly delegated to the House the power to decide whether to impeach the president, so the House cannot be “usurping” anything by using that power. And if the people are not happy with the House’s act, they are free to vote for new representatives in less than 10 months.

  7. So far as I remember “troubling” is only applying to technocrats’ ideas on how to govern. There hasn’t been a threshold crossed the public would consider breaking a law. This “impeachment” proceeding is ultimately the Senate selling the public that Trump has done something clearly illegal and stinky enough that he can’t be in office another minute. This “troubling” evidence from the GAO is just an opinion on whether the DOD has super authority over the OMB in issuing funds to a foreign government. The sticking point is whether the President can detect fraud and put a hold on the money until that is disproven or proven. From my understanding there is a requirement that “the Government of Ukraine has taken substantial actions to make defense institutional reforms for the purposes of decreasing corruption (and) increasing accountability.”

    1. Clearly illegal is not required. Has never been required.

      The GAO opinion is a separate issue, but does underscore the abuse of power that is part of why Trump is unfit.

      1. The GAO also found Obama violated the law when he spent funds expressly forbidden by Congress to repatriate terrorists from Gitmo.

        I know he did it too isn’t an iron clad defense, but nobody sneezed when the GAO said Obama broke the law and nobody proposed impeachment.

        What the House passed was basically The Trump rules.

        1. Breaking the law is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for impeachment. Approximately half the country believes the President should be impeached.

          1. Because we’ve reached the point where half the country thinks not being a Democrats is sufficient reason to impeach. Democrats were talking about impeaching Trump before he even took office! Within weeks of his inauguration, a strong majority of Democrats wanted him impeached, and according to polls, didn’t care if a cause for impeaching him could be identified.

            All that’s happened here is that Democrats have finally reached the point where they think they’re the only people allowed to hold office.

            1. Half the country aren’t Dems though.

            2. “Because we’ve reached the point where half the country…”

              In March 2019 it was ~ 36% support, 55% opposed. It was about 40%/50% the day before the impeachment inquiry. And now it’s ~50%/46%. Something happened in the meantime that convinced a lot of people that the President had done something wrong enough to impeach. I mean, ~12% of Republicans, today, support impeachment.

            3. Democrats were talking about impeaching Trump before he even took office! Within weeks of his inauguration, a strong majority of Democrats wanted him impeached, and according to polls, didn’t care if a cause for impeaching him could be identified.

              Literally all of these facts are made up.

          2. And half the country is a long way from the super majority the founders spoke of when debating the power to impeach. If (that’s a big if) half the country wants to remove the president, they have the power to make that happen.

      2. “Unfit,” “untoward,” “questionable” are terms used a lot here which are not crimes.

        If the House felt there was new evidence to consider, they could have resumed their proceedings and drawn new articles to send to the Senate. They had plenty of time since they obviously sat on things for weeks.

        Please explain why it’s not in the public interest to investigate Biden’s involvement. I didn’t realize while running for office Biden is granted universal immunity. After all, the Trump campaign definitely didn’t get that immunity.

        1. Because Biden wasn’t involved. And because Trump didn’t request an investigation, only an announcement.

          And because the way Trump did it was through his personal attorney and a foreign country using funds that were no this to use that way.

          1. You keep going with he didn’t request an investigation. You know it’s not true, but here is the quote again:

            “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

            1. Please give the entire quote. I get editing for brevity, but there is piece of the full quote that is missing.

              1. If you’re talking about the ellipses, those are directly from the memo of the “transcript”.

                According to Sondland’s testimony, the President requested an announcement prior to the meeting. It was not required that there be an actual investigation to facilitate the meeting, just an announcement of it.

                1. Read Soundlands testimony.
                  Soundland inferred the desires of the President. When Soundland asked the President directly, The President, refuted that inference, and said only that he desired Ukraine to do the right thing.
                  (or, your impressive mind reading skills are showing again)

                  1. Come on.

                    Sondland saw the requirements and the order directly.

                    He never asked the President anything. Instead, after the jig was up the President called him and said he wanted nothing. You know, like innocent people do.

          2. Presidents have used private envoys to conduct foreign affairs since Washington

      3. Illegal is not required yet was present in all prior impeachments… odd..

        The GAO issue isnt even an issue at all. If it was youd be concerned of the 5 opinions they submitted under obama for breaking the law. They arent a judicial entity.

        1. There is caselaw, Jesse. This is accepted; don’t be dumb.

        2. Here is a list of impeachments. Not all involve criminal conduct. As an example, George English was impeached under five articles for:

          1. Tyranny and oppression, and abuse of the powers of his office.
          2. Partiality and favoritism, particularly to Charles B. Thomas, his referee in bankruptcy, to whom he was “under great obligation financial and otherwise.”
          3. Improper and unlawful conduct in connection with a “bankruptcy ring” operating in his district.
          4. Manipulation of bankruptcy and other funds, in conjunction with his referee in bankruptcy, for the pecuniary benefit of the referee, himself and his son.
          5. A general course of conduct constituting misbehavior and misdemeanor in office.

  8. The constitutional crisis is the absolute, unconditional, refusal of the democrats to accept the results of the 2016 Presidential election.

    1. Yep. No facts have come out since then. Not at all.

      1. Hey. You said something truthful.

      2. That’s why you didn’t specify any and you’re just insinuating that there are some. Actually listing them makes you sound lame and unserious.

  9. A great many things have happened in the past three years that I never thought I would live to see, and one of them is that I never thought I would see the day when members of Congress didn’t care about the institutional problem of allowing the executive to decide which Congressional investigations to cooperate with. Whatever one things of the Ukraine issue, for a president to say that he’s simply not going to comply with subpoenas that he doesn’t feel like complying with is an attack on constitutional governance, and ought to be grounds for swift removal all by itself.

    1. There is a remedy here that has been used in the past, successfully. You go to Court and have the third branch adjudicate the matter.

      1. Congress has the right to choose its remedy. Plus, in the past, presidents who didn’t comply with subpoenas and forbade witnesses to testify at least came up with a legal rationale for not doing so. Even if the rationale was complete bullshit, at least they came up with one. Trump, on the other hand, is simply saying he won’t comply because he doesn’t want to. That’s precisely the kind of attack on constitutional governance that shouldn’t be tolerated.

        1. No it doesn’t. Congress’s remedy has always been essentially the same: Withholding appropriations of funds. The Constitution revolves around the theory that denying the executive funds is the most powerful power any of the 3 branches has.

          1. Congress has the right to choose its remedy. This time it chose impeachment.

            1. True, and I have a right to call them a bunch of ninnies and vote against anyone who supports this nonsense.

              The precedent has been clear since the Jefferson administration. You need actual criminal conduct to impeach an official. Disagreement is not sufficient.

              1. No such precedent has ever existed.

        2. Trump had no legal obligation to respond, or make witnesses available, because no legitimate subpoenas were ever issued. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. If the House had issued valid subpoenas, then the White House could have invoked Executive Privilege in court, and the courts could have determined whether the assertion was legitimate (very likely given that it involved a Presidential phone call involving the President’s plenary Article II power to conduct foreign policy), whether the subpoena was sufficient under the House’s A1S2 impeachment power (the phone call was not subject to Congress’s A1S1 Oversight power), and whether the impeachment inquiry was sufficient to justify the subpoena. And if it had gotten to a court determining whether the President’s statement was responsive. But since the House never issued a racially legitimate subpoena, the President had no legal duty to file a legal relevant response.

          1. Absolutely none of what you just wrote is accurate. That’s impressive, even for a Trumper. The regular Trumpers occasionally sprinkle in actual facts.

            What an overachiever you are!

          1. The Obama administration went to the trouble of coming up with a national security justification, unlike Trump’s “I just don’t want to.”

            1. Of course, the House could not be bothered to take Trump to court….

    2. Look up Holder and Obama’s cooperation with the Fast and Furious, pretty much identical lack of cooperation, and on less grounds because it was DOJ documents they wanted, not testimony from Presidential staff.

      Congress did the right thing, went to court and won. Now in the meantime they did vote Holder was in Contempt of Congress, but Holders Justice department declined to prosecute.

      I’m not sure why it’s ok for Obama to go to the courts, even when it’s an obvious delaying tactic, and an impeachable offense for Trump.

      1. Except that Trump was never given a chance to defend his actions in denying House demands in court – because the House never attempted to enforce their “subpoenas” in court, presumably either because they knew that they didn’t have the Article I power to do so, their “subpoenas” never cited a legal necessity to respond (and thus were never valid subpoenas), or availing themselves of the court system would take too long and throw off their timing.

        1. Congress has the right to choose its remedy.

          1. And the Senate has the right to decide the House is off its rocker.

    3. Congress didn’t care because they didn’t go to the courts. Do they not teach civics anymore?

      1. Congress has the right to choose its remedy.

        1. And now it’s the Senate’s turn to weigh in. And as you bewail the Senate’s aquittal just remember:

          Congress has the right to choose it’s remedy.

          1. LOL…that was funny.

    4. There has long been tension between Congress and the Presidency as to their ability to force the President to do their will. Over the last two hundred plus years, the system developed was for the President to deny Congress what they wanted of him and his Executive Branch. If they can’t agree, Congress then issues a subpoena. If the President refuses, the Judiciary is then requested by Congress to step in and enforce their subpoena. At that point, the President may interpose defenses, such as claiming Executive Privilege. And the courts determine whether those defenses are valid.

      But in this case, legally binding subpoenas were never issued. Read them for yourself. There was never cited a legally binding requirement for responding. Instead of threatening to take the President or the requested witnesses to court, the threat was to find That Trump was obstructing Congress. The courts were never mentioned in order to enforce the fake subpoenas, nor were they ever involved.

      Remember, we are talking Separation of Powers here. Congress has never had the power to demand whatever it wants of the Executive branch, under our Constitution. It has to justify their demands through one of their Article I powers. And the Article III courts duty here is to arbitrate the conflicting Congress’ Article I and President’s Article II powers.

      1. Note what the House has done here. For over two centuries, the courts have had the responsibility of determining whether Congress’s demands legally override the Executive’s defenses. This time though, The House bypassed that and went straight from its demands to impeachment, without giving the President his day in court, so that he can defend himself through assertion of his Article II powers.

        It is highly questionable whether Congress had Article I power to make the demands it made. It’s A1S1 Oversight power was inapplicable, because Oversight is based on its legislative power, and the Presidency was not created by legislation, but rather by the same Constitution that created Congress. To simplify, Congress has Oversight power over the departments and agencies they created, but not over the White House or the President himself. And there are serious questions about the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry/investigation. Was the original inquiry, approved by an agreement by Pelosi, Nader, and Schiff, sufficiently justified to override Executive Privilege? Was the lack of any actual High Crimes and Misdemeanors disqualifying? Or their refusal to provide the President any Due Process, or greatly limiting the minority’s questioning of witnesses, as well as denying them the ability to call their own witnesses disqualifying?

        Notice how circular their second article of impeachment is – it is for the President essentially refusing to accede to House demands that the House likely never had a legitimate reason to expect the President to accede to, because they likely lacked the Article I power to make the demands. They are essentially impeaching Trump for refusing to comply with demands that they likely did not have The Constitutional power to make. That means that they are abrogating the power of the Judiciary to determine what Congress is entitled to from the Executive Branch. And that means that there is no effective limit on this power.

        1. Most of what you said is bullshit, but you are almost correct that there is no limit on the impeachment power. The constitution vests the sole power of impeachment in the House. Not the executive, not the judiciary. Neither one has any say in the matter.

          (But there’s always a limit, and that limit is that the members of the House are answerable to the public in November. If the public feels that the House abused its power in impeaching the president — polls do not suggest that it does feel that way — the public can pick new members of Congress.)

  10. A concern has been expressed that what was done by the House constitutes a new and significantly lowered standard for impeachment, one that will result over time with impeachment becoming an ordinary political tool wielded with regularity by the majority party in the House. Unless one is prepared to embrace this lowered standard, I believe the only proper response by the Senate is to send this back to the House with a summary dismissal and a clear message that similar future efforts, if any, will likewise be summarily dismissed. Anything less, such as the author here seeks, rewards the House by lending credence to the process it employed.

    1. Love the passive voice.

      Let the GOP try and impeach the next Dem President using the argument that the standard is now lower. Lets see how that plays politically.

      1. If the current Senate acts like the one adult in the room and summarily dismisses what the House majority has done, we should not see a repeat in the future, no matter which party is in the majority.

      2. Actually if Congress wanted to lower the standard for impeachment and actually make a real point over this is to have impeached Mulvaney as OMB director.

        Just as I thought Holder should have been impeached over Fast and Furious and that cover-up.

        If Congress was really serious about starting to clean up the balance of power between themselves and the executive branch that would be the path to take.

        But they started talking about impeachment before Trump even took the oath of office, so this isn’t really about reining in the presidency.

        1. The inchoate ‘they’ doing a lot of work here.

          The set has expanded quite a bit since 2017, based on new events and facts.

          Denying that is ridiculous.

  11. >”Nyah, nyah nyah nyah nyah” is not an appropriate reaction to a serious constitutional crisis.

    I guess it’s a good thing that no one, including Paul, has said that.

    Good Lord, this is stupid, even for a David Post article.

    1. Also good that the constitution is not in crisis. Not so good that so many people so close to power lack seriousness and perspective.

    2. Yeah, I think Rand has run out of fucks to give, if it wasn’t when TDS’d Hodginson was trying to murder 20 GOP Congressmen, it was when was recovering from broke ribs and pneumonia from his TDS’d neighbor.

      But actually Rand is one of the few Congressmen who will actually speak up about a serious constitutional issue. When the Dems were stuttering about Soleimani’s execution, afraid to say it was bad, but hand wringing over the consequences so they could blame Trump for the retaliation, Rand spoke up and said it was wrong and we shouldn’t be there. I disagree with Paul about that, but I respect his courage and his convictions, and his repeated willingness to buck Trump on what really is a serious constitutional issue, as opposed to Post’s pet peeves.

  12. Should a president be impeached for illegal acts found unconstitutional by a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court? Doesn’t that benefit him personally by advancing his goals?
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/court-obama-appointments-are-unconstitutional/

    The bar should be set equally for all but clearly depends on your party.

    1. “Ilya Shapiro, a constitutional scholar with the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of its “Supreme Court Review,” has been tracking the number of unanimous decisions against the Obama administration.

      According to Shapiro, President Bill Clinton’s administration lost 31 Supreme Court cases unanimously during his eight years in office. President George W. Bush’s administration lost 30.

      Obama has bested both of their records by nearly 50 percent: 44 unanimous losses.”

      To be fair I did a search on 9-0 cases against Trump, but I came up with nothing. I know 3 years isn’t a lot of time compared to 8, but since he’s literally Hitler, I expected at least a few. Imran there has to be some, but it certainly isn’t a thing like it was for Obama.

      1. What are you even trying to argue with this cockamamie metric?

  13. No new information will change the opinion of anti-Trump people. There will always be a new story about how some secret conversation must have happened that proves Trump is a witch.

  14. Like many libertarians, David Post is trying a little too hard to show he come down on republicans too. What’s the argument? The president cannot pressure a country to investigate corruption if it involves a potential rival? Make that argument convincing and I’m with you, Post.

  15. I agree with Sen. Rand Paul, disagree with Post. The American people have heard enough of this wild goose chase. They’re tired of it and want a resolution. The sooner the Senate votes this idiocy down, the better.

    And after all, how does Prof. Post conceive of 67 votes in the Senate to remove President Trump from office. To anyone else with any common sense it is inconceivable. Foolish even, to consider it.

    Call a vote and have done with it. We have serious business to do, not chase windmills with idiots like Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi. And David Post.

    1. Which American people? The large number (educated, modern, successful, decent) who favor impeachment, or the downscale bigots, disaffected clingers, and half-educated rubes who constitute the Trump base?

      1. People who favor impeachment are dishonest hacks.

        Jack Marshall, Jonathan Turley, Alan M. Dershowitz, and Christopher Charles Morton oppose impeachment.

        They are all decent.

        They are all educated.

        They are all modern.

        They are all successful.

        You are the disaffected clinger and the downscale bigot.

        You people will have to learn how to code after November 2020, as Chris pointed out.

  16. I am sure that David Post and the rest will most vigorously affirm that Obama should have been impeached seven times. Acknowledging, of course, that’s all water under the bridge now.

    Seven Times the GAO Found the Obama Administration Violated Federal Law

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/01/16/seven-times-the-gao-found-the-obama-administration-violated-federal-law/

  17. WaPo in 2014: GAO Ruling Against Obama Nothing More Than ‘Political Talking Point’

    WaPo in 2020: GAO ruling against Trump ‘severely rebukes Trump’s Ukraine ploy’, justifies impeachment

    https://freebeacon.com/issues/wapo-in-2014-gao-ruling-against-obama-nothing-more-than-political-talking-point/

    1. Double standards.

      Why am I not surprised?

  18. 2020 elections are going to be epic.

  19. As a guy with definite libertarian leanings, I find it dumbfounding, extremely disappointing, and frankly disgraceful that so many libertarian types like Post are lined up with the left on this sham impeachment when the truly egregious corruption in all of this clearly emanates from the Democrats. It seems to me that way too many of the sort of people I typically count on to be most reasonable have their good judgment ridiculously clouded by an emotional and reflexive dislike of Trump.

    Yes, he is an a-hole, and yes, there was a clear conflict of interests trying to have the Bidens investigated, but you have to read his mind to ascertain that he only cared about damaging the Bidens for his political gain.

    Further, I think a more feasible explanation of his motivation is that he really does think the Bidens and the Democrats more broadly are corrupt, and he would like to see them exposed for it after years of him being the target of their corruption. Yes that is self interested, but it also aligns with the public interest, and it is not rooted simply in shady political maneuvering- it is rooted in a desire for justice.

    It is the left that truly threatens our constitution, not Trump and I wish libertarians would wake up.

    1. You’ve got it right.

      3 yr witch hunt and Obama spied on Trump. But don’t even mention so much as looking into 50-year politician Biden!!

    2. The standard as always been, for the GOP, if there is an allegation then there will be an investigation.

      The ridiculous October Surprise investigation, the Plane affair, where Libby was exonerated over the leak but still convicted, and Russigate, where no evidence was needed to start the investigation because it was a setup from the beginning.

  20. The back-and-forth has not changed a bit, but only grown stale.

    If the nation is as divided as the commenters on this thread, then any result based on the premises argued here will leave the nation bitterly at odds, for a very long time. What can clear the air, and instead deliver a result to put this event to rest for the present, and leave the final judgment to history?

    Isn’t it clear? Let Trump call whomever he wants to make his defense: the Whistle-blower, both Bidens, Adam Schiff, James Comey—whatever and whomever makes the Trump case as thoroughly as Trump’s most impassioned defenders desire. And let the same rule apply to the Democrats.

    On both sides, whomever gets a subpoena shows up, or gets locked up, or heavily fined. All the required documents get produced. If doing this wrecks Biden’s presidential bid, too bad. If Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate are seriously hampered in their campaigns, too bad.

    This has become serious business for the nation, with potential costs far higher even than putting Trump’s presidency at stake. It is time for everyone doing the accusing, and for everyone doing the judging, and for all the witnesses, and for Trump himself, to be put in the same room together with the truth, so the nation can see and weigh accurately. Judge whether to revile the accusers. Judge whether to condemn the defenders. Judge whether to remove Trump from office.

    But with whatever outcome, to do so on the basis of shared, visible, sworn, evidence. Visible truth is the only recourse to put this crisis to rest, and to keep it from rolling on and on as an everlasting national emergency.

    On both sides, who agrees? Who disagrees?

    1. I don’t think this frivolous impeachment is going to matter much in a few short months, and I don’t particularly care who the witness are and so on.

      The nation is not as divided as the commenters on this thread or anything on the internet might lead you to believe. Not even close.

      Nonetheless there are naturally great divides in a large nation of 330 million people, and there are people bitterly at odds. What is the answer? Why not agree to disagree? Let government Affairs be handled on the local and state level. Perhaps in the course of human events it sometimes becomes necessary to dissolve political bands.

      1. M L, I suspect the tone of your comment would be different if you were certain Trump would be removed from office. If not, congratulations for cool-headed detachment. But try at least to imagine what is going on in the heads of folks who are more caught-up, intellectually and emotionally. Their reactions will have long-lasting implications for the nation’s politics, few of them good.

        By the way, I might join you in supposing that dissolution of the nation is a possible way out of unresolvable political difficulties, and thus a possible long-term consequence. But along what boundaries?

        The division of the Northeast from the ex-confederate states seems the easiest of the new distinctions (with Virginia maybe sticking with the Union this time, or dividing again within itself. I’m guessing that economically the neo-confederates would take a hit. Maybe you could divide off New Orleans, and give it a few years as a southern-style Singapore, before it sinks out of sight beneath the waves.

        California could go its own way, perhaps taking Oregon and Washington along, while also picking up Hawaii and Nevada. Those ties are already established.

        But what of everything else? Idaho and Utah might make a tidy little country, and maybe an economically viable one. They share a Mormon heritage, and a love of guns. Yosemite Sam could become their Uncle Sam.

        After that, why not do it by river drainages? A Missouri river nation might become North America’s Ukraine, for better or worse. Maybe those folks would decide later to join with western Canada, eh?

        The rest of the Mississippi drainage north of the old confederacy could be a thing, reaching east to far-western New York and Pennsylvania, and largely encompassing West Virginia. You might need to chop off the southern parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and give them to the new confederacy, which would also include Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri. Mitch McConnell could become what he seems to aspire to—the new Jefferson Davis.

        After that, maybe the Great Lakes states would want their own identity, with Chicago as their capital.

        Arizona and New Mexico might be a fit for each other, but not a particularly good one. It might seem more natural to return them both to Mexico. And let Alaska go on its own.

        1. “I suspect the tone of your comment would be different if you were certain Trump would be removed from office.”

          You’re correct. I would be a bit more concerned if I thought that what I view as a frivolous impeachment was going to result in the removal of a duly elected President. I am sure Democrats have a few surprises left up their sleeve but I imagine it’s more of the same. Also, many establishment Republicans would love to remove or at least undermine Trump if they could, those that hated Trump from the start and many of whom have always been liars in my view as they pay lip service to things like stopping illegal immigration while at the same time pushing amnesty and de facto open borders for the big business lobby.

          You raise many good questions and surely there are a host of issues with any potential “dissolution of the nation.” In my mind, the main goal is simply getting to a point where we begin to understand history, which leads to actually using our brains to evaluate things in a way that is grounded, yet “zero-based” if you will, and free of the voluminous assumptions, misunderstandings, and propaganda that completely crowd out clear thinking today. I will say that the States are political entities that already exist, with borders that already exist. I don’t see why any new carving up of territory would ever need to be implicated. Moreover, I would think the States may like to keep their free interstate commerce, and even their common national defense. So if the federal government were dissolved, perhaps there could be articles of some sort providing for this arrangement, a sort of confederation if you will.

    2. Your premise ignores the very core of 3 equal branches of govt. Just because one house of congress has a slim majority, does not give them free reign to impose their will. Remember, President Trump is innocent, and no evidence exists that would allow the govt to invade his privacy. The phone call at the center of this debate should never have been public. Absent corrupt govt agents, violating their sworn duties, none of use would be here.
      The constitution hobbles govt actors for circumstances just like this.

    3. Lathrop, I will answer you honestly, without rancor or being a smartass.

      What you advocate is a Circus Maximus (credit to BearOdinson for the term). As I understand your comment, you’d put everyone into the proverbial bear pit, and whatever emerges…that is it. In theory, I agree with you 100%. I just don’t trust the actors in this drama on either side.

      You do realize that the scenario you outline will absolutely tear this Republic apart. This is not a case where the trial will be ‘one and done’. You cannot put toothpaste back in the tube, you cannot ‘unsay’ was has been said, you cannot ‘undo’ what has been done. My point: This will reverberate for many, many years in ways we cannot predict (or manage). We will have ‘tit for tat’ for decades.

      Our Republic was profoundly affected by the Johnson impeachment of 1868. It affected the course of Reconstruction, among other things. It took the better part of a century to really resolve the issues coming out of the Civil War.

      We are staring into the abyss, Lathrop. We have so much to lose here, and we are doing it to ourselves. It is heartbreaking to watch this, knowing that the right thing to do is to get the POTUS and Congressional leaders into a locked room, and have them talk it out like adults. We used to actually do that not so long ago. But instead, we have this process that is tearing us apart.

      Not a good place to be in. I don’t think a bear pit will help.

      1. Commenter_XY, it is because I don’t trust any of the actors that I advocate truth as the alternative, to adjudicate among them. I tend not to trust folks who insist the cost of truth is too high, or that the nation can’t handle the truth.

        1. Lathrop, we are in 100% agreement about not trusting any of the actors in this drama. We are also in agreement that the truth, whatever that is and I think that varies by beholder, should be placed before the public. We the people will render judgment in November 2020 at the ballot box.

          Thanks for taking the time to answer.

  21. Impeachment is a sham. We all know this. The only thing Trump did was make a phone call. The Dems would impeach him because they don’t like his hair cut. What a laughing stock.

    1. Open wider, Jimmy.

      Or not.

      At this point, your comfort as your betters continue to shove progress down your bigoted wingnut throat is not much reason for concern.

      1. Yeah, just look how his betters won that lawsuit against Oberlin College.

        1. What relevant facts would additional evidence tend to prove or disprove? Setting aside the merits of the articles, they seem to raise legal rather than a factual issues (nobody really disagrees about what happened, they just disagree about whether it’s impeachable). So, the purpose of additional evidence would be solely political or to support potential additional articles based on separate (or at most related) conduct – something a regular court likely wouldn’t allow. Anyway, that’s how I interpreted Paul’s comments and why my reaction to them was nothing like Post’s.

  22. What relevant facts would additional evidence tend to prove or disprove? Setting aside the merits of the articles, they seem to raise legal rather than a factual issues (nobody really disagrees about what happened, they just disagree about whether it’s impeachable). So, the purpose of additional evidence would be solely political or to support potential additional articles based on separate (or at most related) conduct – something a regular court likely wouldn’t allow. Anyway, that’s how I interpreted Paul’s comments and why my reaction to them was nothing like Post’s.

  23. Or how about “Since the people in the House impeaching the President didn’t call more witnesses they must be happy with their case. If they weren’t they should have called more witnesses. It’s not our job to provide the evidence for the impeachment. It’s our job to decide whether to convict or acquit.”

    1. It doesn’t get any less dumb the 175th time it’s said.

      1. Sneering a denial is not a defense, About as mindless as yelling “FAKE NEWS” when you’ve been exposed.

        P.S. Now tell us why the Senate called witnesses against Clinton.
        So we can all stop laughing!

        1. I’d keep laughing anyhow.

  24. Lest we forget. Rand’s base (and his father’s) is largely the same as Trump’s … the alt-right authoritarian statists.

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