Impeachment

Did Trump Just Admit To Withholding Material From the Impeachment Process? 

As Rep. Justin Amash notes, the second article of impeachment charges the president with obstructing Congress by refusing to provide documents and testimony.

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One of the notable characteristics of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is that there is little dispute about the underlying charges. 

The first of two articles of impeachment, for instance, charges President Trump with seeking to "pressure the Government of Ukraine" to help him gain a personal political advantage over a likely political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. "Trump engaged in this scheme or course of conduct for corrupt purposes in pursuit of personal political benefit."

We know this for a variety of reasons: because of the transcript of a key phone call that Trump had with Ukranian President Zelenskyy; because of recently released government documents showing that government officials were concerned about the legality of delaying the aid funds; because of a Government Accountability Office report laying out a detailed timeline of the delay and finding that it was illegal—and, of course, because both Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, have said as much. "I have news for everybody," Mulvaney said last year, when discussing the legality of withholding the funds. "Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy."  

Also, because Trump himself asked China and Ukraine to investigate Biden while standing in front of news cameras on the White House lawn

That covers the first article of impeachment. This week, Trump all but admitted to the second, which charges that he obstructed Congress by withholding documents and testimony during the House impeachment proceedings. 

The second article says Trump undermined the Constitution by seeking "to arrogate to himself the right to determine the propriety, scope, and nature of an impeachment inquiry into his own conduct, as well as the unilateral prerogative to deny any and all information to the House of Representatives in the exercise of its 'sole Power of Impeachment.'"

Yesterday, when asked about the Senate impeachment trial, Trump appeared to admit to doing exactly that.

As Justin Amash, an independent congressman from Michigan who recently defected from the Republican party after saying that Trump had committed impeachable offenses, noted on Twitter, Trump appeared to be bragging about obstructing Congress: 

The White House has since denied that this was a reference to withholding documents, saying he only meant that the evidence was on his side. But it is hard to believe that shortly after an extended Senate argument about whether the impeachment trial rules would allow new evidence and testimony, Trump was merely speaking generally about his defense. 

Trump has been charged with withholding relevant information in a way that undermines Congress' power to investigate him for the purposes of impeachment; his statement yesterday looks very much like an admission that he withheld relevant information in a way that undermines Congress' power to investigate him for the purposes of impeachment. 

That may or may not be cause for removal. Probably the best defense of Trump, or at least the most honest one, is that the charges are essentially accurate, but do not warrant being forced out of office. Politics and personal gain inevitably seep into presidential decision making, this argument goes, and even bad presidential decisions do not necessarily justify removal. Or, as Mulvaney put it: Get over it. 

Still, it is telling that Trump and his allies have all but admitted to the basic charges against him, and that the best defense of Trump involves admitting his guilt. 

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  1. wow man share your drugs.

    1. I tried to read this one.
      I really tried.
      But after just a few sentences, the stupid was way too much.

      1. It is really fucking stupid. Bonus, he reps Amashs comments in it too.

        1. Yep. 100% agreed. He acts like a weasel.

          1. Wrong reply; my bad.

      2. Have you tried Hooked-On-Phonics?

        1. Why? It didn’t work for you.

    2. Yay, a Suderman article! Time to read some serious prevarication.
      And he quotes Amash! Woohoo! That means attention whoring too!

    3. By sharing a joint with the Ukraine’s libertarian president, The Don broke “the” law. But it’s a funny world where Suderman is angst-ridden over insufficient foreign entanglements.

      1. It’s not the quantity he’s concerned with, but the qualities.

        Biden Omerta.

    4. That was my thought: He’s literally lost his mind. Flat out delusional, it’s not even worth engaging with.

      1. You’re insane.

    5. Wherever the chips eventually fall, Trump cannot be “guilty” of the first charge because it is not a charge. Legal charges must state with particularity what conduct is challenged and why it violates the law. “Abuse of power” does neither and is the equivalent of “maladministration,” the standard the Convention of 1787 specifically rejected.

  2. Why the dickens is anybody expected to help their prosecutor? In criminal trials, governments holds too damned many cards, and it’s only fair they share their evidence, and any contrary evidence, with the defense. No one expects the defense to share incriminating evidence with the prosecution.

    Yes, this is not a criminal trial. But the prosecution is even more partisan than local DA. Why does anyone expect Trump to help his prosecutors?

    1. The prosecutor is required to disclose all evidence, especially exculpatory evidence. Also, a malevolent could accuse a President, then make discovery requests encompassing all executive actions. That goes beyond legislative oversight.
      I’ve had to litigate this issue at the state level. Nixon may have given executive privilege a bad name, but it is still vital.

      1. “Nixon may have given executive privilege a bad name, but it is still vital.”

        The motto of Libertarians For Government Secrecy And Surveillance.

        1. Poor Hicklib doesn’t understand there are 3 co-equal branches of government.

          1. That’s the least of things he isn’t capable of understanding.

          2. Rebels are the same hicks

        2. “The motto of Libertarians For Government Secrecy And Surveillance”

          No, that would be you Regressive shits who suddenly want to cry about surveillance and abuses of power now that Obama is out of office and safely exempt from accountability for illegally spying on everyone in the country and trying to use illegal wiretapping to rig the 2016 in favor of the party he drove into unelectability with his authoritarian corruption.

          So suck some more Mullah cock, Hihn.

          1. You are the regressive shit and stuck in groundhog day.

    2. It appears that, in the “logic” of the Democratic Party, if you suspect corruption you can’t speak up if it concerns your political opponent.

    3. What the demoncraps have claimed is “obstruction of Congress” by the executive branch not turning over what they are demanding, despite having a legitimate reason for not doing so, seems like an expectation of a reverse Brady.
      Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that established that the prosecution must turn over all evidence that might exonerate the defendant to the defense.
      It doesn’t work in the opposite direction and a defendant’s failure to do so isn’t obstruction.

      1. Nobody can be compelled to give evidence against themselves. But if your average defendant contacted witnesses and told them not to talk to the FBI, he would be prosecuted for obstruction of justice. So your analogy to Brady is a little off-target.

    4. Why does anyone expect Trump to help his prosecutors?

      Because that’s his job. He swore an oath to see that all laws are faithfully enforced — even the ones he doesn’t like.

      Because he is the President. The Chief Executive is cloaked in immense power. If he put the entire power of his office behind the effort, he could stymie any investigation. If the Presidency is not to be a dictatorship, any president who obstructs investigation must ipso facto be removed.

      Or did you mean literally why does anyone expect Trump to help his prosecutors? Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect Donald Trump, of all people, to uphold the law and serve his country, but if so, he should be removed just for that.

      1. And when did the judiciary tell Trump to turn over anything?

      2. So, what Malvolio is saying is, Trump should have just got Comey to declare him exempt from the law, or, at the very least, cleared himself Holder/Obama style.

  3. Walls closing in.

    1. THIS COLUMN cracked the case! Trump is finished now for sure! And just think of the journalism awards Peter will win when the world realizes HE did it!

      1. Trump, with his inherited cash, will be fine.

        It’s his deplorable base that will continue to be routed in the culture war and crushed by the American economic sifting.

        1. You too will be assimilated in the new order, friend. Even though you are pretending to be me, you are one of the clingers who will be reeducated by your betters.

        2. You use such important words. Is there room for me to pray at your altar?

        3. As ever, Hihn, you misspelled C-L-I-N-T-O-N.

  4. Okay. TDS is real. I’m convinced now.

    1. The Coronavirus has nothing on this debilitating mental disorder known as TDS. Especially at Reason headquarters, the home of the Professional Fake Libertarian.

    2. People who disagree with us have a mental disease! In fact, they are not even truly human!

      1. You say that about me all the time.

        Oh yeah… That’s different.

        1. No, I still believe you are human.

          1. Having your hypocrisy ground into your idiot face left you blubbering lololol

  5. So-called crimes like obstruction of congress are all based upon the motive for unspecified criminal actions.

    They should be rejected and replaced with actual crimes involving actual criminal actions.

  6. Why’d they stop at 2 articles? Why not charge him with being too tan, wearing a red tie, and having small hands?

    1. 150.1 (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (2.2), when an accused is charged with ORANGE MAN BAD under section 151 or 152 or subsection 153(1), 160(3) or 173(2).

      1. Funniest thing I’ve read all day

  7. One of the notable characteristics of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is that there is little dispute about the underlying charges.

    Sure, if we ignore everything up to the moment they pivoted to the Ukraine narrative.

    Remember, young kids, the impeachment talks began in November of 2016.

    1. I don’t Suderman very well, but isn’t that what the trial in the Senate is all about? Charges being disputed?

      The charges sure are disputed in the national media. That must be totally different.

      1. The dispute on the articles is largely about motive on the first, and whether executive privilege is a valid concept if Trump asserts it (since it apparently was valid under Obama).

  8. When did a court order Trump to turn over these documents?

    1. Tomorrow, if at all.

    2. House asked for more information, Trump refused. Dems didn’t want to wait months into the election year to get the courts involved.

      Personally, I think that was a bad move. If nothing else, it would be nice to reaffirm that we have checks and balances. Congress has the right to investigate the president. Trump doesn’t seem to agree.

      FYI- Supreme court’s decision to release the Nixon tapes was unanimous.

      1. The oversight right is not unlimited, especially at the office of the president. This myth needs to stop.

        1. +1. Co-equal branches.

          1. Right. What we have now is not co-equal.
            Congress approved money for Ukraine, Trump halted it.
            Congress approved money for the military, Trump took it to spend on his wall.
            Congress has authority to investigate the president. He shouldn’t be allowed to withhold everything and prevent everyone from testifying. (otherwise, congresses power to investigate is meaningless.)

            Clinton let people testify, handed over information, and he himself testified. Congress complained he still wasn’t cooperating enough.

            1. Aw, poor Big_B, are you still whining and living in a fantasy world ’cause you and that hag lost? Aw, poor, poor Big_B!
              Hint, you pathetic piece of shit, GROW UP. And please, do the world a favor; fuck off and die.

              1. Nice.
                Such a clear, precise and mature rebuttal about the branches of government. You must have been on the debate team.

                1. Well, B, you literally have yet to make an argument that isn’t, “WAAAHHH ANYONE WHO DOESN’T THINK DEMS ARE ABOVE THE LAW IS A BIG POO POO HEAD”.

            2. “Clinton lied under oath! He cooperated!”

              Shut the fuck up, you lying sack of shit.

        2. Of course it’s not unlimited, but congress has the authority to investigate, and that’s meaningless without access to any information.

          The president does not have unlimited authority to restrict the power of congress either. THAT myth needs to stop. Trump said he wouldn’t cooperate with aannnnnyyyything before the house even asked started their investigation. Executive privilege allows him to withhold in maters of national security, not withhold everything.

          1. “Of course it’s not unlimited, but congress has the authority to investigate, and that’s meaningless without access to any information.”

            Three years of a fishing expedition, and shitbags like this claim congress had no access to information.
            There must be TDS victims in worse shape than you; let us know if you find one.

          2. And the SCOTUS says what he can withhold.

          3. Take it to court. That is how it works. The House chose not to.

          4. Wow. Nice strawman. Nobody is asking for an unbounded executive here. But you actually are advocating for legislative supremacy.

      2. There is nothing for the courts to do. These are three co-equal branches of the federal government here. It’s the President versus Congress, and Congress gets the final say. Suppose Congress goes to SCOTUS and cries that the president won’t give them what they want. Ok, suppose SCOTUS agrees and the President decides to ignore SCOTUS because he says SCOTUS is exceeding its authority under the constitution. Then what? There’s nobody left to appeal to! SCOTUS can’t arrest the President. What’s left is for Congress to impeach the president or not, which is where we started at.

        I’m not even slightly impressed with anything the tie-dyed Warren court decided.

        1. OK, so the president is really just a king and can do whatever he wants. It’s official. No more co-equal branches of the government, the swamp king can just override any decision in the other branches?

          I hope you are seriously not ok with that. How about if Obama did it?

          1. Big_B
            January.23.2020 at 10:25 pm
            “OK, so the president is really just a king and can do whatever he wants….”
            OK, so there are fucking lefty ignoramuses stupid enough to claim this as an ‘argument’.

            “I hope you are seriously not ok with that. How about if Obama did it?”
            He did, and far worse, but TDS victims are incapable of recognizing facts.
            Fuck off and die.

            1. haha. Obama said Holder couldn’t testify and SELECTIVELY denied congress access to some specific info.

              That’s a lot different than saying that congress had no right to talk to anyone or have any information at all.

              I was responding to James Polk. He was the one suggesting that Trump could do whatever he wanted. I’d say that’s crazy, wouldn’t you?
              Nice insults though.

              1. So you actually are ignoring the fact that trump.has turned over more than obama actually did because you are stuck ok a hyperbolic statement he made. He fuckikg released the transcript. He has allowed hundreds of interviews and turned over tens of thousands of documents to Mueller. This included direct discussions of executive privilege. Obama actually dod refuse to turn over actual DOJ work product, not deliberative product in fast and furious.

                Your ignorance is unbounded.

              2. “haha. Obama said Holder couldn’t testify and SELECTIVELY denied congress access to some specific info.

                That’s a lot different than saying that congress had no right to talk to anyone or have any information at all”

                So, your entire pathetic fucking argument is literally, “Obama brazenly and demonstrably violating the law is not as big a deal as false accusations”. Brilliant:

          2. What is the federal government under Obama funding the ACA state exchanges that the states refused to fund?

            What is DACA?

          3. And hes gone full Pod.

          4. “I hope you are seriously not ok with that. How about if Obama did it?”

            What, specifically? If Obama acted like a fucking dictator and did whatever he wanted for eight years? If Obama illegally spied on whoever he wanted, denied and supplied aid based on how beneficial it was to his Mullah friends in Iran? If Obama committed treason for Iran, started 7 illegal wars to aid Iran’s terrorists? If Obama spent every day of his administration attacking the Constitution? Allowing terrorist strikes to hit embassies so could attack free speech? Handing guns to cartels to murder Americans with so he could attack the Second Amendment? Using the IRS to illegally target and attack his critics? Illegally jailing whistleblowers? Depriving 25 million Americans of pre-existing healthcare in order to financially crush them under an extremely illegal “penaltax”?

            We know exactly what would happen. We have eight years+ of precedence; the Democrats goosestepped themselves into a fit behind their little tinpot dictator, proclaimed that anyone who paid attention to his illegalities and corruption was “Literally Hitler” while astroturfing and aggrandizing riots by violent Communist psychopaths, got caught redhanded rigging the 2016 election, and then further responded to THAT by proclaiming anyone who noticed was even MORE “LITERALLY HITLER!!!111”, and astroturfing even MORE Communist psychopaths to attack non-Dems, free speech and attempt to murder people in their homes. And all the while, the Democrats continue to vow allegiance to the gay-hurling, rape-judiciating Islamofascist caliphate of Iran over America.

            “How about if Obama did it”, indeed. How about if Democrats had to actually accept and deal sith Obama/Clinton’s acts, instead of projecting them onto everyone else?

    3. “When did a court order Trump to turn over these documents?”

      About the time the GAO appointed themselves as the DOJ.

    4. Trump blocked courts through appeal. Michael Ejaculation

  9. I thought Betteridge’s law was well understood at Reason. I guess not.

    Every Suderman article I read seems noticeably more moronic than the last. I thought he had just had TDS. Maybe it’s actually BSE.

    1. “Betteridge’s law was well understood at Reason”

      Thanks for that, I had no idea what Betteridge’s Law was. So this article wasn’t a complete waste of time.

      Through the Looking Glass played straight makes more sense than their coverage of these proceedings. How disappointing.

  10. Jesus fucking Christ. Really? Reason beclowns itself once again. It is really sad for a long time reader to see how low this publication has fallen.

    1. This is worse than when they pushed trumps article 2 comments where he was talking about appointment powers and they extended to saying trump was sayin he was a king.

  11. One of the notable characteristics of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is that there is little dispute about the underlying charges.
    The very fact that you wrote that statement is evidence of your TDS.
    We can all have different opinions. But, we aren’t all entitled to different facts. The statement you made is demonstrably untrue.
    If there is little dispute about the underlying charges, then Trump (and/or his legal team) has admitted that they withheld Congressionally allocated funds to Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden for the sole purpose of providing personal, political gain for Trump.

    What color is the sky in your world?????

    We know this for a variety of reasons: because of the transcript of a key phone call that Trump had with Ukranian President Zelenskyy; because of recently released government documents showing that government officials were concerned about the legality of delaying the aid funds; because of a Government Accountability Office report laying out a detailed timeline of the delay and finding that it was illegal—and, of course, because both Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, have said as much. “I have news for everybody,” Mulvaney said last year, when discussing the legality of withholding the funds. “Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy.”
    Serious question, are you off your meds? The “key transcript” definitively shows that Trump DIDN’T pressure Zelenskyy and there was no mention of the funds. And Zelenskyy didn’t even know the funds were delayed in the first place. He has publicly stated he didn’t feel pressure.
    The government officials were career State Dept hacks that simply didn’t like Trump having a different approach to foreign policy then they wanted. I mean how dare POTUS try to direct foreign policy instead of leaving it up to the Top Men who know what they are doing? All of the documents relay OPINIONS.
    The GAO is an arm of CONGRESS. It is NOT truly independent. And the GAO report didn’t show ANY connection to Trump. Only that the OMB violated the law. And GAO is NOT the definitive answer on whether federal law was violated anyway.
    Your reference to Giuliani is from a NYT article that has NOTHING to do with the money. And are you seriously going to argue that POTUS doesn’t have the constitutional authority to conduct foreign policy? And the link for Mulvaney was also taken from a NYT article in which it is fairly clear that Mulvaney’s original comments were misconstrued. He initially was saying that it is fairly routine to temporarily hold up money for countries while looking at corruption. He initially never said that Trump was holding up money specifically for Biden’s investigation. As a matter fact, Mulvaney stated it wasn’t about Biden at all in his initial statement.

    Also, because Trump himself asked China and Ukraine to investigate Biden while standing in front of news cameras on the White House lawn.
    SO FUCKING WHAT? FFS, POTUS asks other countries to do things all of the fucking time. And it usually has some potential political benefit (OR HE WOULDN’T BE DOING IT). But nothing you wrote here demonstrates in any way that there was a “quid pro quo”, and certainly nothing even approaching some sort of impeachment worthy “abuse of power”.

    1. this ^ column is better.

    2. If this was a libertarian magazine the articles would read like Odinson’s comment.

      1. Maybe so, but only the primitive-minded can fail to realize that objectivity is biased. You wouldn’t want girl-bullier Ted Cruz grilling you about unbiasedness now, would you?

        1. Is it white widow? Maui wowie? Gorilla cookie? NY diesel?

          Come on man, what are you on?

          1. Pot doesn’t do that.

          2. I’m selling Hank Phillips decoder rings on ETSY, if anyone is interested.

            It’s a niche market, to be sure.

    3. Funny. The things you call facts sound like opinions to me!

      “The “key transcript” definitively shows that Trump DIDN’T pressure Zelenskyy and there was no mention of the funds.”
      Not how I read it. He asked for a favor. There WAS mention of funds.

      “The government officials were career State Dept hacks that simply didn’t like Trump having a different approach to foreign policy then they wanted.” – Opinion and an ad hominem attack at that.

    4. “The government officials were career State Dept hacks that simply didn’t like Trump having a different approach to foreign policy then they wanted.”

      Yes, the government officials had the crazy notion that President Trump should follow the law (the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974).

      Luckily for Donald Trump, he doesn’t have to follow the law. His party backs him even if he flouts the law.

  12. Biggest. Scandal. In. World. History.

    #ImpeachAndRemove

    1. Yes, it is.

      Unfortunately, we can’t impeach the entire House Democrat Caucus, but we can and likely will remove the a lot of the vile scum this November.

      And then we can encourage the scum that supports them to exercise the marvelous opportunities presented by exercising their open borders demands in their emigration to other countries.

  13. Since Trump’s claiming Executive Privilege, the answer seems pretty obvious. The real question is why was this article written? Did the author get a bad case of writer’s block and rushed to submit something, anything, and in the end, nothing.

  14. “Still, it is telling that Trump and his allies have all but admitted to the basic charges against him, and that the best defense of Trump involves admitting his guilt.”
    Citation missing. I’m not aware that Trump or his allies have admitted his guilt your convoluted logic notwithstanding.

  15. One of the notable characteristics of dumbf*ck bullsh1t artists is claiming there is little dispute about issues that are controversial to the point of potentially triggering a civil war.

    After that bit of sheer, abject, mind numbing stupidity, I stopped reading.

    1. Opposing points of view are conspiracy theories that have been debunked. No one knows by whom or when the debunking occurred but it is known.

    2. Dispute what?

      Trumps own version of the transcripts ( not the real ones ) include him asking for a favor… to investigate Biden.

      That’s asking another country to interfere in our election, right? Who is even disputing that? Trump keeps asking us to read the transcripts.

      “I stopped reading…” I suppose that’s what you do anytime you read something you don’t agree with?

      1. You’re the new Pod I see. Hope you do better than he did.

        1. Same as the old Pod

      2. Little one, I don’t have enough time to waste reading the drivel every half a$$ed BS artist posts on the internet.

        And this is as much of my time as you’ll ever get.

  16. All the other comments about the underlying charges and the lack of a court order to turn over testimony and docs being withheld under executive privilege….

    Does it occur to anyone besides me that Trump misspeaks a lot and the quote could just as easily be interpreted as meaning ‘we have the evidence, they don’t have the evidence?’

    1. This^^. Trump often says what he wants rather than policy, and often exaggerates, which gets called lies. This is what the phrase “take him seriously, not literally” means.

  17. I think Suderman has gone full OBL. There is literally no other explanation.

    1. If Pod and Jeffrey had a baby that baby would be smarter than Suderman.

      1. Unfortunately, we can surmise from the links he’s posted, that Jeff may have had a baby or two, now and then.

        1. I think he had a baby while he was writing this.

      2. That baby would be delivered from Pedo Jeffy’s asshole, and he would make it his mission to make that child available to child molester illegals. Who have every right to be here, according to him.

  18. But it is hard to believe that shortly after an extended Senate argument about whether the impeachment trial rules would allow new evidence and testimony, Trump was merely speaking generally about his defense.

    That is hard to believe. If you’ve been in a coma for the past 3 years.

  19. Come the fuck on. He is talking about the material under exec privilege, such as Bolton’s testimony. This isnt nefarious. How pathetic can this get?

  20. If his call was so ‘perfect’, why not release the real transcripts instead of locking them in vault?

    Why not let someone testify on his behalf and tell the people how perfect it was?

    Either one would make Trump look great and the democrats look stupid.

    I guess he doesn’t want to make the dems looks stupid. Yep, it all makes perfect sense. #SwampKing2020

    1. That is the real transcript dumbshit. They dont take verbatim transcripts as they are done through translator. How fucking stupid are you Democrats?

      1. White house copy is called a “memorandum” NOT a transcript. It says it right on the top of the page.

        From Merium websters twitter:
        ‘Transcript’: a typed copy of dictated or recorded material

        ‘Memorandum’: an informal report or message

        The real transcript is locked away and we wont get to see it. Thanks for the insult though.

        1. My god you have the literal reading comprehension of a child. They dont have word for word transcripts of calls. This is literally how they record the calls between world leaders. A word for word verbatim transcript does not exist you fucking idiot.

          1. It’s like trying to reason with Pedo Jeffy.

          1. OK Jesse what about just the sound recording of the call? Why was that never released? I’ve been wondering where that is since Day 1.

            1. And you have proof a recording exists based on what? Imagination? They generally dont record conversations of the president.

              Are you liberals so pathetic you’re now resorting to making up evidence?

            2. “OK Jesse what about just the sound recording of the call? Why was that never released?”

              For the same reason an original film of Christ’s crucifixion wasn’t released.
              Think hard now; we’ll give you all the time you need. And we know it will be lot; TDS is a terrible disease.

      2. Link may not work, but this is to the actual Memorandum released from the white house.

        https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf

      3. At the bottom of the document:

        “CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation.· (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a
        discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty
        “Officers and-NSC policy staff assigned t_o listen.and memorialize the conversation in written form

        1. You posted 3 things and didn’t realize this is the normal way calls are recorded with foreign leaders?!? Of course it isnt verbatim, I just fucking told you why it wasn’t. This is a completely normal record of the call.

          1. Talk about reading comprehension. I never said it was word for word. Trump did.

            The released ‘transcript’ memorandum is not complete. It’s always refereed to as a rough copy. Clearly information was left out.
            This is from Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump%E2%80%93Ukraine_scandal#Communications_with_Ukrainian_officials

            “On October 2, Trump falsely asserted that the publicly released memorandum was “an exact word-for-word transcript of the conversation”. Analysts noted that its use of ellipses to denote omitted material was uncommon for government transcripts, and that it was surprisingly brief for a thirty-minute conversation, even allowing for the time delays due to the use of an interpreter.[168] During his October 29 testimony, European Affairs Lt. Col Alexander Vindman said the memorandum of the call released by the White House omitted crucial words and phrases,”

            Maybe we should have more witnesses talk about what was really said or see the original paperwork?
            Good times. Thanks for all the insults.

            1. OH! OH!
              This fucking lefty ignoramus is citing Wiki as a SOURCE!
              Fuck off and die.

              1. haha… Wiki has this thing called references.
                At least you have your insults.

                1. When you beclown yourself, as you have done, insults are what is appropriate.

                2. You’ve never actually clicked on wiki references. A huge percentage of them are broken.

            2. Information was left out, and Big_Bullshit just happens to KNOW that information is the smoking gun that convicts Trump.

            3. This is beyond stupid. Are you a high school freshman?

  21. W, why aren’t all you libertarians hating Trump like the socialists told you to do?

    This is almost as frustrating as all those Christians who support Trump instead of the party that openly hates Christianity.

    1. All the left has to do to get Christian votes is to pretend that they don’t want to gas them, just for the election season.
      But they can’t even do that.

      1. What tha?????

        This is all news to me. All the democratic candidates are Christian. Most all dems anywhere in the government are Christians.

        Thats some real conspiracy theory craziness you guys are talking. How bout some references where the party platform is Christian hate and gasing? That’s some serious fake news you’ve been smokin.

        1. You must not be familiar with the pro-life movement

        2. “All the democratic candidates are Christian.”

          Bernie too? Has anyone explained this to him???

  22. 30 years ago there was no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia, and today there is no reason at Reason.

    1. The curious task of Reason has become to demonstrate how little they really know about what they imagine Trump has designed.

  23. “But it is hard to believe that shortly after an extended Senate argument about whether the impeachment trial rules would allow new evidence and testimony, Trump was merely speaking generally about his defense. ”

    Not for clingers, who are naturally credulous and belligerently ignorant enough to believe that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim, fairy tales are true, Mexico would pay for a wall, and Trump was going to rework economic fundamentals to enable slack-jawed white losers to prosper economically at the expense of the skilled, educated Americans they resent.

    1. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Kirkland isn’t Tucker Carlson’s parody account.

      1. By handing him these talking points, it’s clear his handlers think he’s an idiot.

      2. It’s easy to see s/he’s an asshole bigot.

  24. This is fucking retarded. Enough said. I can’t read this rag anymore. Everyday these morons outdo themselves in a race to the bottom. “Retarded” doesn’t even quite cut it anymore since the retarded typically know their limitations and are distressed by them. These retards do not. No limits. Full retard. Every day.

    “Reason”

    1. Dont read the rag, skip to comments.

      1. “Dont read the rag, skip to comments.”

        What Jesse wrote. I still learn useful things in the comments here.

  25. I started reading the article thinking Suderman might have improved in the 3 years since I read one of his articles. I couldn’t get past the first sentence…

    I think since he’s actually gotten worse. I’m now fully convinced that reading any of his musings is a complete waste of time.

    Pete, I say this with the all the compassion I can muster, you have a problem.

  26. Clearly the president and his clinger base do not understand truth or justice. But they will come to understand reality in the new order. Their betters are waiting to take power back and reeducate you.

  27. Wow Suderman. It would be quite human for a progressive, as yourself, to share your drugs with someone (me) who has not much $$ ! !

  28. “One of the notable characteristics of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is that there is little dispute about the underlying charges. ”

    No, there is little dispute that you are fucking moron.

    1. Remember, these are the guys who believe that anthropogenic global warming is a proven fact rather than a very poorly supported hypothesis.

  29. As Rep. Justin Amash notes, the second article of impeachment charges the president with obstructing Congress by refusing to provide documents and testimony.

    Suderman, several years ago Reason got a subpoena demanding the information Reason Magazine had on me. Did you guys just hand it over? No. You notified me with the intent to allow me to challenge the subpoena. Should Reason have been charged with obstruction?

    No. Because part of the challenge process would be determining if the demand was legitimate.

    Trump not turning over documents demanded by Congress is not automatically obstruction – Congress isn’t a court and even a court’s fact-finding power is limited.

    1. Or how about this?

      https://reason.com/2017/05/05/brickbat-legal-document/

      Here’s a prosecutor sending out documents purporting to be legitimate subpoenas but are not. Should these people have just complied and then tried to see if they could get justice later?

      1. Were the defendants orange?

  30. “Still, it is telling that Trump and his allies have all but admitted to the basic charges against him, and that the best defense of Trump involves admitting his guilt. “

    Would it upset you if Trump challenged the charges or actually defended himself? It’s a fairly new concept, I admit, that’s only been around for hundreds of years.

    1. Try a couple of thousand going back to Rome.

      1. Romans got it from the Greeks

  31. All I know all this utter banana republic horseshit theater is cutting into my indulgence: Court TV.

  32. Obstruction of “justice” is the most idiotic charge when it comes to congress. First you have a constitutional right against self incrimination. Second if there is no evidence of guilt of a real crime by definition you can be obstructing. It is the ultimate “free card” for the govt to lock someone up who challenges the system.

    the founding fathers thought very little of this “charge.”

  33. “That may or may not be cause for removal. Probably the best defense of Trump, or at least the most honest one, is that the charges are essentially accurate, but do not warrant being forced out of office.’

    Essentially?

    Wtf, Peter?

    1. “Essentially.”

      New burden of proof standard:

      1) beyond reasonable doubt;
      2) preponderance of evidence;
      3) Essentially accurate ( per Reason.)
      Lmfao

    2. That’s Suderman’s idea of a compromise position.

      Otherwise known as heads he wins, tails you lose.

      1. Although, I now understand Reason’s new found respect for George Will, it’s pretty much his signature rhetorical crutch.

  34. I skipped straight to the comments, and I couldn’t believe it was as stupid as you said.

    So I read it.

    Wow, was that a dumb take. @Suderman, this is just embarrassing.

    1. Oh what I’d give for the commenters of years past to be around in the Age of Orange Man Bad.

      This place would be rocking.

  35. Also, because Trump himself asked China and Ukraine to investigate Biden while standing in front of news cameras on the White House lawn.

    Which is proof of just how much Trump believes himself to be above the law.

    Or, or…..hear me out here, because Trump doesn’t believe there’s anything wrong with asking foreign countries to investigate rumors of corruption by American citizens. He’s not blatantly breaking the law, it just doesn’t occur to him to think there might be any law there for him to be breaking.

    And, as a long-established legal point, if there’s no intent to break the law, no reasonable prosecutor would pursue a case.

    1. It’s fine to ask foreigners to investigate americans, see Manafort, page, flynn, etc.

      Just not Democrats

      1. Yep! The Dems major talking point about investigating Biden as a way to influence 2020 excludes what Biden may have done. Its as if they are saying the only reason what Trump did was criminal is because Biden is running for president. Given the info that has come out about the Steele dossier and FISA abuse, had Killary won in 2016, would Dems support her impeachment? Speaking of Page, Flynn and Papadapolous, what constitutes opening an investigation? Working in Russia(while being a CIA Asset)? A conversation in a bar? Stating “no not really” during an FBI interview/perjury trap?

      2. “Just not Democrats”

        And especially not ones where the appearance of impropriety is supernova level.

  36. The straws you’re grasping at are about a mile out of reach.

  37. The house already had the opportunity to more vigorously pursue witnesses in the house impeachment. They also could have let the GOP call their witnesses. They didn’t once Trump put up resistance as he was allowed to do, much as Clinton did in the last impeachment. That guy had to relent because the prosecutor was appointed for that case.

    To call this “obstruction of justice” is stupid. Mueller already interviewed Mcgahn and essentially decided that it wasn’t enough to prove obstruction, whatever his personal misgivings. We don’t ever have to take Amash seriously again.

    The fun fact is that Reason writers have essentially approved of campus kangaroo courts. The victim says sex was consensual and time stamped text exchanges prove the defendant’s innocence, but the school admin can still expel the guy if they can characterize the sex as demeaning to women or something. No crime need be proven there, because it’s not a real court.

    Things got so bad there that the courts eventually said accused students must be given some due process protection. But surely impeachments at congress won’t devolve into that kind of mess.

    1. The fun fact is that Reason writers have essentially approved of campus kangaroo courts. The victim says sex was consensual and time stamped text exchanges prove the defendant’s innocence, but the school admin can still expel the guy if they can characterize the sex as demeaning to women or something. No crime need be proven there, because it’s not a real court.

      Here is the thing.

      Obama threatened to withhold federal funding to colleges unless they set up these kangaroo courts.

      And he did this to gain additional support from feminists and anti-rape activists in the upcoming 2012 election campaign.

      So we have an example of federal funds, appropriated by Congress, being withhheld by Obama for personal gain.

      And the Democrats defended that.

  38. Holy sheet, Batman. This opinion piece goes off the rails in the second paragraph and degenerates from there. I guess journalistic standards are another thing that died after the good old days.

    1. Pimps get flagged.

  39. I don’t see how Reason is going to make it through 2020. It is getting so, so bad – these articles induce headaches. Their staff cannot possibly submit these articles for public consumption in an honest effort to encourage rational debate; i.e., they must be trolling.

    “it is telling that Trump and his allies have all but admitted to the basic charges against him, and that the best defense of Trump involves admitting his guilt.”

    Yes! It is telling that this is all a destructive and utter waste of time, beyond of course interfering with Durham’s forthcoming report and the 2020 election.

    1. Koch brother and soros money will last for some time. It’s getting cheaper and cheaper to pay journos

      1. It’s a job with all the disrespect of used car salesmen, and lawyers, but without the earning power.

        What kind of loser gets a J school degree anymore?

        1. The 9nes who failed put of their first 3 picks of majors.

          1. The thing is, I don’t think Suderman’s off base here, as a reflection of what the chattering classes actually think about this case. It looks like lunacy to you and me, but I’ve little doubt that articles like this are what the nation’s self-styled intellectual class actually thinks. They aren’t trolling.

            Which is absolutely terrifying.

  40. I’m not going to bother reading all of the comments here, so what I’m about to say most assuredly repeats something others have said, but come on?

    What an absolute crock! I know Trump has a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth, but there is no way that anyone can conceivably assert that they know what material he was referring to. It could be the evidence he is withholding, it could be the arguments they plan to make. This whole article is gibberish and Justin Amash rightly deserves the fate he is so richly going to receive when he is voted out of office.

    Jesus H Christ on a popsicle stick!

  41. Politicians do political things for political reasons

  42. Is it an abuse of power for Nancy Pelosi to investigate Trump for political gain?

    1. Or the four Senators who are also candidates for POTUS voting on his impeachment?

      Sure seems like a gross conflict of interest. Their refusal to recuse themselves is also an abuse of power.

  43. Trump has bragged that he could shoot someone on 5th Ave and get away with it because his supporters are sub-moron, boot-licking WWE fans.

    Should anyone be surprised that all the Republicans in the Congress and Senate are just as stupid and corrupt? I used to be a proud member of the party, but it doesn’t really exist since they ceded omnipotent power to the Apricot Moron.

    1. “Trump has bragged that he could shoot someone on 5th Ave and get away with it because his supporters are sub-moron, boot-licking WWE fans.”

      Fucking lefty ignoramuses have whined about losing since 11/9/16. You’d hope one or two would have grown up by now. You’d be wrong.

  44. I’m glad that after dunking on this clown for the past year everyone else has come aboard as to what an obvious hack the guy is. Reading this comment thread has truly been an enjoyable experience, so I at least have to thank Suderman for that.

    I fucking love this. Keep the clown show rolling. Honk honk.

    1. How anyone could have watched the game Suderman played with Obamacare and not see all this coming escapes me.

  45. Dear Mr. Suderman,
    Your reporting is barely juvenile. You “evidently” forgot to check two things: 1.) The 1999 “Treaty with Ukraine on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters” actually and clearly authorizes the very questions Trump asked Zelenski…, REGARDLESS whether his intent was to personally benefit or not. There is no such qualifier in the treaty. And unless they violate a U.S. citizen’s rights, international treaties supersede and have greater effect than any U.S. Code. 2.) When Trump says we have the “material” he means it in terms of the legal definition, i.e., MATERIAL. adj. relevant and significant. In a lawsuit, “material evidence” is distinguished from totally irrelevant or of such minor importance that the court will either ignore it, rule it immaterial if objected to, or not allow lengthy testimony upon such a matter. Did you skip Journalism 101?

  46. Obstruction of congress? What is that? It seems that a lot of people think the House has more power than it actually does, including the House itself. The House chose not to use the courts to get what they wanted from the executive branch, but rather tried to demand the executive branch just fold. The abuse of power, if anything, was from the House itself. This whole impeachment is an *attempt* to exert power that the constitution does not grant the House.

    The senate should censure the House for failing to provide coherent articles of impeachment. They are basically trying to impeach the president for exerting the powers vested to the Executive branch. For all the examples of “power” being exerted by presidents throughout history, they have chosen to make the argument that this one is especially egregious in the sort of power he used when he attempted to get foreign help in investigating a corrupt politician? If they were to succeed at impeaching the president with their argument, there would be no Executive branch anymore, as it would be just a puppet of congress. Ultimately, though, I don’t even believe they think they are on the right side of the constitution, they just think that they might benefit politically come this November election. Hopefully, American citizens will see the travesty that this impeachment is and we will see the “Progressives” limping out of 2020. Perhaps a bad day for socialism, but a great day for Americans.

    1. Exactly!! Separation of Powers is now “Abuse of Power” and “Obstruction of Congress”. I can imagine a scenario in the future where the president vetoes a congressional bill and is impeached for “Obstruction of Congress”.

  47. So many incel losers shitposting in favor of TraitorRapistNazi. You bozos are a permanent shitstain on the libertarian movement. The statists have you to thank for ruining a potentially potent challenge to big government. But at least you small-dicked losers get to reassure yourselves with your whiteness

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  50. Reason reaches peak stupid.

    It’s not illegal.

    Obama withheld info on Fast and Furious. And the President should not have to kowtow to Congress anyway,

    1. You think it’s peak, but just wait til… later today.

      1. Wait until Trump’s people are the ones speaking.

        Every word they utter will be the TEOTWAWKI/Apocalyptamageddon/DarkNightofFascism

  51. I think my computer(s) have all been hacked. Every time I click on a Reason article, one from Vox comes up.

  52. When I first heard that line from Trump, I’ll admit my knee-jerk reaction was the same as Suderman’s. Did he just admit to obstruction? Then I remembered that there are different definitions of the word “material”. It took like 5 seconds.

    1. There is reason, then there is conviction.

      Suderman has conviction, just not the kind that he wants Trump to have.

  53. Here’s a real observation that people need to be asking about; is Schiff the whistleblower?

    Think about it. He was always an extremist, early supporter of the impeachment train, all the previous attempts with Mueller failed, and then all of a sudden, he leaks info to WaPo about a whistleblower with insider info and lies about how much he knew about it himself. Now he’s leading the impeachment, he won’t allow the whistleblower to testify, we’re suspiciously supposed to believe it’s some no-name fall guy that nobody can confirm even exists despite how leaky DC is…why does Schiff obsess about the whistleblower not testifying? Why is he so afraid of that subject? Why does he keep deflecting to obviously frivolous and baseless charges? Someone needs to investigate Schiff ASAP.

    1. I think the original “whistleblower” is Mr. Vinland, who leaked the info to Eric Ciaramella( the supposed “whistleblower”) who teamed up with Schiff to create this phony impeachment trial. What they didn’t count on was Trump releasing the transcript. That’s why Schiff did a 180 on the “whistleblower” testifying before congress, he would have had to perjure himself to keep the lie going.

      1. Yep. 100% agreed. He acts like a weasel.

  54. Amash trashed his career on the democrats political theatre. I guess he is buying the BS that Schiff fabricated with his accomplice the so called whistleblower.
    Can we get an article from Reason about good candidates that can win in the house and senate and actually influence Libertarian policies?
    Right now Trump judicial nominees, tax and regulation cuts are the most Libertarian policies of my lifetime and he is no Libertarian.

  55. Would they impeach Trump for vetoing a bill?

    Seems to me that the entire system of US government is design so that the branches all “obstruct” the others in various ways and that this charge is bullshit.

  56. The writer is an uneducated fuckhead idiot. If you are accused of a crime, do you have to help the prosecutor by giving him testimony and your private paperwork. Read the law you bagle chomping queer.

    1. So you’re saying if you were accused of something and witnesses and documents existed which exonerated you, you would refuse to present them in your trial? That makes no sense.

      Trump’s people knew all about his perfect call, they would have been the perfect witnesses to exonerate him perfectly! Their perfect testimony would have perfectly demolished the Dem’s impeachment! So strange Trump refused to allow them to testify, don’t you think?

  57. Yes, he did. The emperor wears no clothes. Fuck those who deny reality, you’re traitors.

  58. Hate to say it, but the just-concluded opening statements from the defense have convinced me that this article is pure wishful thinking. We don’t, actually, know anything of the sort.

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