Impeachment

Is Impeaching Some "Normal" Politicians too High a Price to Pay for Getting Rid of Presidents who Abuse their Power?—A Rejoinder to Josh Blackman

Josh Blackman argues that the tradeoff isn't worth it. Here's why I disagree.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

In a thoughtful recent post, co-blogger Josh Blackman takes issue with part of my earlier post criticizing the "slippery slope" argument against impeaching presidents for abuse of power. In the original post, I made the point that:

In criminal cases, there is good reason to avoid conviction unless the charge against the accused is an offense clearly delineated by law, and guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The reason why is that the defendant stands to lose her liberty or property—or even her life. By contrast, the risk facing an impeached president is removal from a position of enormous power.

Unlike unjust deprivation of life, liberty, or property, removal from power doesn't violate anyone's human rights. When real human rights are at stake, it may make sense to allow ten guilty people to go free, in order to save even one innocent from conviction. When it comes to positions of power, almost the opposite is true: Removing ten "normal" politicians is more than justified if that is the only way to get rid of one who engages in grave abuses of power.

Josh does not agree:

Ilya thinks it is justified to remove "ten 'normal'" Presidents to "get rid of one who engages in grave abuses of power." In more than two centuries, we have had only 44 Presidents (45 if you count Cleveland twice). If Ilya's standard is correct, then it would have been appropriate to remove nearly a quarter of American Presidents. Every generation would have at least one convicted President. To get Trump, would it be worth it to remove the prior nine presidents:  Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama (well, exclude Nixon, and perhaps Clinton)? Ilya's "n guilty men" standard may make more sense for lower-ranking officials. Their removals do not alter the arc of history. But the President cannot be considered a "'normal' politician." Indeed, removing any one of these Presidents would have altered the Republic in ways I cannot fully articulate. I do not agree with Ilya that such an over-inclusive approach would be justified. Such avulsive changes would tear at the fabric of our country on a quadrennial basis.

There are several problems with Josh's argument. First, as he acknowledges, his approach has a "perverse consequence" in so far as "it would be easier to remove lower-level officers, whose powers may be relatively insignificant, but harder to remove the President, who personally wields 'the executive power.'"

This asymmetry isn't just perverse in consequentialist terms, it is also unconstitutional. The Impeachment Clause establishes a single  standard for removal for the "President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States." All can be ousted from power for committing "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Extensive historical evidence indicates that this standard covered serious noncriminal abuses of power, as well as violations of specific laws and statutes. For helpful summaries of the relevant evidence, see recent analyses by Gene Healy of the Cato Institute, prominent conservative legal scholar Michael Stokes Paulsen (here, here, and here), and Keith Whittington. The Framers could have easily created a special, separate standard to protect the President. But they obviously chose not do so.

Josh also ignores a crucial way in which removing presidents does not "alter the arc of history." As I noted in my original post, a removed president will almost always be succeeded by his or her own hand-picked vice president, who is a member of the same party and likely to be committed to a similar policy agenda on most issues. Removing the abusive president will likely put an end to whatever abuses led to impeachment, but would not lead to significantly divergent policies across the board.

Josh further ignores the dynamic effects of a strong norm of impeachment and removal for abuses of power. As also noted in my post, in that world presidents will live in greater fear of impeachment than they do now, and will be more likely to shy away from actions that could be considered abuses. Instead of more presidents actually being impeached and removed, we would likely see more presidents exercising preemptive self-restraint to avoid the risk of removal. That strikes me as a valuable constraint on power, especially in a world where the president wields enormous discretionary authority and often has strong incentives to overreach in order to advance his political interests and push through his party's agenda.

Of course, any such deterrent effect will be diminished by the fact that removal requires a 2/3 majority in the Senate, which will necessitate support from many senators from the president's own party. In practice, that will rarely be achieved. Therefore, Josh's fear that presidents are likely to be removed for "acting like a politician" is misplaced. Indeed, the supermajority requirement often shields even presidents who have committed very serious abuses of power and violations of the law. But the threat of impeachment for abuse of power can still create a useful marginal deterrent effect, even if a modest one.

I do agree with Josh's point that, under my approach a good many past presidents deserved impeachment and removal. That strikes me as a feature, not a bug. All too many past presidents have gotten away with horrific illegality and abuses of power, such as FDR's internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps, Woodrow Wilson's massive violations of civil liberties, and—most recently—Obama's starting two wars without congressional authorization, and Trump's cruel family separation and travel ban policies. Establishing stronger deterrents against these sorts of abuses could indeed, as Josh puts it, lead to "avulsive changes." Some relatively "normal" politicians might also suffer in the process, if they too get impeached. If so, I say let the avulsion begin!

It is also worth noting that Josh is wrong to suggest that Trump's actions amount to just acting "like a politician." Jonathan Adler explains some of the flaws in that characterization. In addition, Trump's withholding of military aid from Ukraine in order to pressure them to help his reelection campaign also violated both the Constitution and federal criminal law. The Democrats would have done well to emphasize these points far more than they have, though the articles of impeachment against Trump are drafted broadly enough to include them.

That said, I do not believe that impeachment can be the only or even the primary strategy for curbing abuses of presidential power. We need multiple safeguards. They should include more forceful assertion of congressional prerogatives, a crackdown on unconstitutional delegation of power to the executive, and stronger and less deferential judicial review of executive action, including in the areas of immigration and national security policy, where both Trump and past presidents have committed some of their worst abuses.

The latter is actually another area where Josh and I differ. In addition to favoring a narrow view of appropriate grounds for impeachment, he also supports very broad judicial deference to the president in a wide range of areas. Both of these positions are problematic. But, if adopted in combination, they are more dangerous than either would be alone, as the combination simultaneously disables multiple constraints on presidential power, preventing one from picking up the slack left over from the erosion of the others.

Josh is a former student of mine, and one of the nation's most impressive young legal scholars. Few legal academics have achieved so much so early in their careers. But he does, I think, sometimes go wrong on issues of executive power. Perhaps, as Mr. Miyagi  put it, there is "no such thing as bad student, only bad teacher."  If so, the ultimate fault here is mine. Maybe this post will help remedy it!

 

 

 

NEXT: Congress Passed a New North American Trade Pact but Failed To Limit Trump's Tariff Powers

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  1. Ilya – I appreciate your concern to remain intellectually consistent – however – where were you during the Obama administration which by any objective standard was far more egregious.
    Fast and furious
    IRS targeting
    Iran payments
    domestic spying
    presidential candidate spying
    Blackpanther election case
    Fisa abuse
    solyndra
    state department email
    crony capitism in the auto bailout

    1. Magnificent list of right-wing fever dreams there joe_dallas.

      All debunked, discredited or shown to be nothing but I am sure that doesn’t matter to you. You need to believe and I don’t want to deprive you of that. BTW you forgot Benghazi.

      What is particularly amusing is that the “state department email” thing has been the subject of a DoJ investigation for nearly two years. The Trump DoJ. Because of a Trump demand not because of any evidence. It was concluded last month: nothing there.

      But you keep believing, OK? (Unless you are just trolling in which case congrats you got me.)

      1. “All debunked, discredited or shown to be nothing but I am sure that doesn’t matter to you….”

        “Federal judge approves $3.5 million settlement in IRS tea party targeting”
        https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/4/irs-tea-party-targeting-35-million-settlement-appr/

        I’m not going to waste time on the remainder of your lies.

      2. “All debunked, discredited or shown to be nothing but I am sure that doesn’t matter to you. You need to believe and I don’t want to deprive you of that. ”

        You mayhave noticed I prefaced my comment “by any objective standard. ”

        appears your objectivity has fallen very short

      3. Better check your mechanics because your orbit is abnormal.

    2. “crony capitism in the auto bailout”
      As I recall, this illegally deprived bond-holders of their property, absent due process.

    3. Yeah, where was he? Why oh why has Prof. Somin been so reluctant to criticize the government?

      1. He called for Obama’s impeachment and removal? When?

    4. Which of these rose to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors”, as generally understood prior to the current proceedings?

      These all involve clear evidence of wrongdoing or maladministration by the Obama administration (as must be evident to all except those who are in serious denial). But what exactly could Obama himself be reasonably impeached for?

      The “recess” appointments move might have qualified if the courts had treated it as a political question and declined to do anything. But as it was, the courts put it all on hold and eventually ruled against it. So no harm done and no need to impeach.

      IRS targeting? It was a clear case of wrongdoing. But the case is clearest against Lois Lerner, and less clear against higher officials.

      Fast and Furious? A serious blunder and very embarrassing episode. But is it enough to impeach anyone?

      The wiretapping of political opponents on pretextual grounds should be impeachable (and convictable) based on what we know now, but there was nowhere near enough information while Obama was in office.

      1. “Fast and Furious? A serious blunder and very embarrassing episode. ”

        Obama was, at the time, trying to argue that US gun stores had to be more tightly regulated, and the line he was putting out was that US gun stores were a major source of Mexican drug cartel weapons.

        While Fast and Furious was utterly useless for it’s stated purpose due to not bothering to follow the guns, (The Bush administration had tried something similar except that they DID try to trace the guns, and abandoned it when they realized they were losing track of too many of them.) it was very well suited to generating the illusion that the cartels were arming themselves from US sources.

        So, no, it wasn’t a blunder. It was a very despicable PR scheme to promote gun control by getting people killed with US guns.

        1. Another nefarious plot uncovered by Brett.

          Where do you find the time?

        2. OK. But was it worth impeaching Obama over? I’d say no.

          1. I agree it wasn’t worth impeaching Obama over it however it was far more egregious than Trump’s actions.

    5. google is your friend – you should use it before resorting to whataboutism.

      https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3063406

    6. Don’t forget assassinating a US citizen by drone strike outside a combat zone.

      1. That was bad. But Trump ordered a raid that killed Nawar al-Awlaki soooooo he’s not exactly innocent on the getting US citizens killed front.

        1. Collateral damage is different than targeting.

    7. Prof Somin did call out the Obama administration on most of those scandals at one point or another. At least, the scandals that matched his own areas of interest and expertise.

      In fairness, he did not call for impeachment – but if he had, it would have been fairly pointless given the understandings of the time. Now that the understandings have (apparently) changed, he is being consistent in arguing that Obama should also have been impeached under the same standard.

    8. “Any objective standard” as defined by Joe_dallas.

      What a joke.

      Just as an example, is “state department email” should have led to Obama’s impeachment (a ridiculous notion, but go with it) what about Trump’s repeated use of insecure cell phones? The President letting Russia listen in on his phone calls seems dangerous.

  2. This may be an academic discussion, but I find it disconcerting that we have witnessed an extreme abuse of power has been assumed, and is not being debated.

    That, after all, is the key point.

    To give an example that I think we all agree on. Andrew Jackson should have been impeached for the Trail of Tears. Even presuming it was stopped before people died (ignoring the thousands of murder charges), he clearly, willfully violated a Supreme Court order. That is abuse of power worthy of impeachment.

    In this case, Trump made a request to investigate Burisma, a company that was widely suspected of corruption at all levels of both government and media. He also withheld aid for less than a week, long before he was required to send it. If he refused to send it, he could have notified Congress with valid reasons. However, that notice would not have been required for months. As far as I am aware, no one in Ukraine even knew that anything was being held back and there was no implication that it was contingent on their actions at any point.

    I do not see how this can be interpreted as an abuse of power. If this is an abuse of power, then practically every action a president can take is an abuse of power.

    1. In this case, Trump made a request to investigate Burisma, a company that was widely suspected of corruption at all levels of both government and media. He also withheld aid for less than a week, long before he was required to send it. If he refused to send it, he could have notified Congress with valid reasons. However, that notice would not have been required for months. As far as I am aware, no one in Ukraine even knew that anything was being held back and there was no implication that it was contingent on their actions at any point.

      Most if not all of those facts are made up, starting with the fact that he asked for an (announcement of an) investigation of the Bidens, not Burisma.

      Aid was not withheld for “less than a week”; you might want to invest in a calendar. And while if he had valid reasons he could have notified Congress, he failed to do so, and that notice was overdue. But he didn’t notify Congress because he didn’t have valid reasons.

      Ukraine did in fact know that things were being held back, and they were both implicitly and explicitly told that it was contingent on their actions. (Hint: the call isn’t the only act in Trump’s conspiracy.)

      1. Most if not all of those facts are made up, starting with the fact that he asked for an (announcement of an) investigation of the Bidens, not Burisma.

        Suppose he did.

        How is that worse than indicting Rick Perry for abuse of power?

        1. I don’t know. Is it worse? Maybe it’s not. What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

          1. He just reached in his bag, grabbed something, and didn’t bother to see what it was.

    2. I think you are a little confused, Jackson did not violate any Supreme Court rulings, the Indian Removal act of 1830 was never litigated in the Supreme Court.

      Worcester v Georgia where Jackson made his famous remark about them enforcing their own decision was against the State of Georgia and neither the US or Jackson were parties. His remark was in the context that he wasn’t going to call out US troops to confront Georgia’s militia to enforce the judgement. I’m not sure Jackson had a legal obligation to enforce that judgement, especially if he would have to actually go to war to do it, at a time when Georgia might have had more military resources than the Federal Government at their disposal.

      Of course none of that condones the Trail of Tears, but it would be hard for Congress to impeach Jackson for implementing their Indian Removal Act.

  3. Josh Blackman has much the better of this argument, it seems to me.

    As a practical matter, no president will be convicted and removed, barring a major bipartisan consensus. Presidents might temper their actions for fear of being impeached, even if there is no realistic prospect of removal. But even that depends on impeachment of a president being rare, and it is now in danger of becoming routine.

    With the precedent set by this case, how will the next Democratic President be treated by a Republican House? It seems very likely that there will be pressure on the House to impeach on any serious allegations or disagreements, of which there were several during the Obama presidency. All that is necessary is that the allegations should be more serious than the ones in this case. And the ones in this case seem very small beans.

    Re appointed officers, I don’t agree that applying a different standard is unconstitutional. The House has sole power of impeachment, but there is no mandate that it has to be used. In effect, the House may (not shall) impeach, and the Senate may (not shall) convict. As a practical matter, the necessary consensus might be much easier to achieve for a minor appointed official than for the president. Nothing unconstitutional about that.

    1. With the precedent set by this case, how will the next Democratic President be treated by a Republican House?

      It is mindboggling to me that after the treatment of Bill Clinton, any Republican can make this argument with a straight face. (n.b., I supported the impeachment of Clinton.)

      1. No need to go back to Clinton. Remember the birthers!

      2. There is a steady erosion of the standards expected for determining “high crimes and misdemeanors”. That’s based in part on tit-for-tat. The Thomas hearings lead to the Clinton impeachment, which leads to Trump, which in turn leads to whoever is next.

        Will presidents be able to assert executive privilege any more without being impeached? The second article here seems to be an assertion that presidents have no such privilege.

        1. Again: Trump did not assert executive privilege. He asserted blanket immunity, saying that his guys didn’t even have to show up and assert executive privilege.

          1. Does he have blanket immunity? If it’s in dispute, take it to court.

            1. This. Have people forgotten this is in the context of the House claiming they can do whatever they want and normal rules of investigation don’t apply?

      3. It shouldn’t boggle your mind: At least Clinton unambiguously committed real crimes.

    2. That’s my concern: If impeachment becomes substantially more common in the absence of convictions, impeachment loses its sting.

      1. Here’s one scenario: what happens if this House impeaches Trump again? Various court filings have said they are continuing to investigate.

        The House has the right to do so. But I predict that the Senate would react by downgrading the spectacle. Perhaps refer it all to a committee to make a recommendation, as has been done for impeachments of minor officials? The Senate process we’re seeing is appropriate for serious charges, not the sort of vexatious articles that have been submitted.

  4. Say what?

  5. Well let’s try think about it for a second logically, because I admit impeaching presidents at the drop of a hat does sound like an attractive proposition.

    However you have to concede that we’ve been doing it Josh’s way for over 200 years now, never impeached a president or even sent them to jail after they were out. And it would be hard to imagine how things could have turned out better than they have. Not that everything is perfect, but really we are mostly looking at a best case scenario even looking around the world at other countries that may have it just as good or almost as good. Italy isn’t that far behind us despite changing governments at least annually, a little behind Mississippi out poorest state, but even that isn’t a fair alternative outcome because we did have to send troops there to kind of get things back on track. England is generally as stable as we are and has benefitted similarly.

    So as attractive as Illya’s idea is I’d say let’s keep with what even the harshest critic would fairmindedly have to admit has worked pretty damn well, unless they have some counter examples they can point to. Until of course it demonstrably stops working and we really do get a presidential dictator who is literally Hitler, or Stalin and not just a strange Orange Man who is exceedingly lucky.

    1. You mean the “harshest critic” who flips between “this is perfect, everything is great!” and “civil war is right around the corner, the system is corrupt and everything is terrible!” based on who’s in the White House?

    2. > And it would be hard to imagine how things could have turned out better than they have.

      Wait, what? You think we live in the best of all possible worlds?

      1. Well, I haven’t read enough science fiction to say definitively it’s the best of all possible world’s. But let’s see, we are world leaders in just about every technology. American inventions have led world progress with the petroleum industry, telegraph and telephone, computers to the highest living standards for the most people ever. The world is the most peaceful it’s ever been, plagues pretty much eliminated. Vigorous world wide commerce all led by our economic engine.

        And I think one of the primary reasons that we’ve led such remarkable world progress is that we’ve had a remarkably stable democracy that is very reluctant to remove our leaders other than by election.

        Ilya somehow simultaneously thinks that coming to America is the only hope for the world’s poor, but there is no need to maintain the stability that makes America so attractive.

        1. If there are no borders, why not roll into corrupt countries and end their dictatorships and make them new states? Certainly their people want it. Only the corrupts ones don’t, but that carries zero ethical weight.

  6. There are no “normal” politicians.

    They are all extreme egomaniacs.

  7. I tend to agree, actually, with the general thrust of Ilya Somin’s argument against the “slippery slope” argument against impeachment.

    If there are 2/3 votes in the Senate to convict and remove a duly elected president, when the next election is always just the blink of an eye away in the big picture, then let them do it and reap whatever consequences result.

    The idea that Trump should be impeached and removed on the basis of any kind of historical standard is laughable on its face. Somin practically admits as much here, with respect to the standard he proposes. I would disagree with Somin, though, that Trump should be impeached and removed, even under some totally new theoretical ideal standard that departs from history, for the conduct in question. Perhaps some other actions common to nearly every administration for over a century, involving basic and longstanding constitutional violations of federalism for example, would qualify.

    The more important point to me, is that the election, impeachment, or removal of a President shouldn’t matter as much as it does, because the federal government shouldn’t have 90% of the power that it does.

    1. I’d be happy to let the Senate reap the consequences, if in any congress, an impeachment occurs (conviction or no), All senator’s terms expire, and they must stand for reelection.

  8. When impeachment becomes overtly partisan, as it has now, it also becomes meaningless. Future Presidents may even come to see impeachment as a badge of honor because its a sign her/his enemies hate him. In fact, Trump may use impeachment as a badge of honor because the right hates Pelosi, Schumer, AOC, etc so much. It certainly has helped his fundraising.

    BTW, the main reason ” to avoid conviction unless the charge against the accused is an offense clearly delineated by law, and guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt” is because if its not clearly delineated, it will be overturned: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_v._United_States

    And with politicians, this amounts to vindication.

    1. McDonnell is a federal criminal case, and the standards articulated have nothing to with impeachment. Judicial review of impeachments is governed by Nixon v. US, in which SCOTUS held that whether someone was properly “tried by the Senate” was not non-reviewable political question. The “sole power to try all impeachments” means what it says.

      1. Was a political question and therefore not reviewable.

  9. Maybe the problem isn’t with the scope of impeachment powers per se, but with the entire model of the presidential system.

    1. Lefties aren’t getting what they want, therefore the system is broken.

      1. No. Presidential systems just tend to create overpowered Presidents that devolve into authoritarian states with unaccountable executives. The particular ideology of the President or legislature doesn’t matter much. Latin America is filled with examples of both right-wing and left-wing Presidential governments devolving into authoritarian regimes.

        1. Since the US is arguable the oldest and largest presidential system but has not (yet) devolved into an authoritarian state, I think your argument that it is a fundamental failure of the presidential system is weak.

          I will, however, look to a deeper root cause – the size and scope of government. The incentive towards authoritarianism only works if the government has significant authority in the first place. If government were restricted to the few constitutionally-mandated responsibilities, those seeking power would go other places. We only care now because we have let the stakes get too high.

  10. Deciding you can undo voters’ choices arbitrarily with selectively applied double standards will indeed result in “too high a price”. So yes.

    Voters choosing leaders and rule of law isn’t something we should give up just now. Glad I could clear that up.

    1. The people impeaching the President, and trying the impeachment, were elected too. The power of impeachment was reserved by the people (i.e., the voters). Denying the right of impeachment is a denial of voters’ power over their own political systems.

      1. It’s not denied.

        I think we can look forward to more incidents of impeachment as a political stunt like this. Maybe every year.

  11. Is Impeaching Some “Normal” Politicians too High a Price to Pay for Getting Rid of Presidents who Abuse their Power?

    Not too high at all. In fact, it’s a great idea. We should throw out more corrupt executives and politicians, not less.

    We should also add in some radical transparency measures so that these guys can’t cover-up what they’re doing so easily.

    1. I agree totally, we should drain the swamp. Trump 2020.

      1. All you’re missing is a fishy link, and you’d be indistinguishable from a bot.

      2. Not for nothing, but draining swamps has a lot of negative ecological consequences.

  12. I think you are dead right here Ilya. The limitless power and protections afforded to the president is the core of America’s problems. Not only will presidents be more accountable if their abuses are acted on, but there will be collateral effects on Congress. Our legislators should be more accountable to policy so that people can hold their congressmen to their votes.

  13. The real solution is reduce the power of the federal government so we don’t care who’s in charge so much. More frequent impeachment just becomes a case of who can get away with abuse and who can’t. The fundamental abuse is the government has too much power. Everything else is consequent to that.

  14. “I do agree with Josh’s point that, under my approach a good many past presidents deserved impeachment and removal. That strikes me as a feature, not a bug. All too many past presidents have gotten away with horrific illegality and abuses of power, such as FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps, Woodrow Wilson’s massive violations of civil liberties, and—most recently—Obama’s starting two wars without congressional authorization, and Trump’s cruel family separation and travel ban policies.”

    You know, when you put it that way Trump doesn’t actually sound like a particularly bad president. That’s the problem with this argument. Maybe we would be better off shifting to a standard where we always impeach every president whenever they do something that abuses power. But that hasn’t been the standard in the past and, by historical standards using the examples you, yourself, have just outlined, Trump is far less deserving of removal than, say, FDR or Obama. If we’re going to move towards an “impeach more” approach to the presidency, we should probably decide to make an example of someone who starts an illegal war or throws Americans into internment camps instead of a president who threatens not to spend money that congress wanted to spend, then spends it the way congress mandated after all.

    1. And we know that’s all he did because his White House has been so transparent and he’s cooperated fully with all investigations.

  15. I do agree with Josh’s point that, under my approach a good many past presidents deserved impeachment and removal. That strikes me as a feature, not a bug.”

    Well, fine: Change the practice. Prospectively. Changing it now for actions that have already occurred, and never before would have been viewed as impeachable, is in effect changing the “law” retroactively.

    Put the NEXT President on notice that lax enforcement is over.

  16. “By contrast, the risk facing an impeached president is removal from a position of enormous power.”

    That isn’t the salient risk. The harm that is risked is the harm to the millions of people who voted for the person.

    1. Exactly. Long before the Ukraine affair (If you will), the Democrats were trying to prevent Trump from assuming the office and, after he did, to have him removed. You only need one hand to count the number of comments that mention the voters, and they are not mentioned at all by Mr. Somin. I didn’t vote for Trump, and would have preferred any other Republican candidate, but he certainly was the better choice compared to HRC, and is less of a threat to the Constitutional order than several of the current Democratic candidates.

  17. Ilya said: “Trump’s withholding of military aid from Ukraine in order to pressure them to help his reelection campaign also violated both the Constitution and federal criminal law”.

    Investigating corruption and doing it well will certainly be a feather in any president’s cap and therefore aid in his reelection.

    Is investigation corruption, per se, an impeachable offense and a violation of the Constitution? No.

    Is withholding military aid while seeking assurances that past corruption will be investigated and steps taken to prevent it in future itself an impeachable offense? No.

    I doubt very much that Ilya would disagree with either of the two above Q/A. So what he seems to be saying is that Investigating corruption is the right thing, but Trump did it for the wrong reason.

    Has Ilya convinced himself that he can see into minds of others and that he “knows” their one true motivation?

    1. That would be a much better argument if there were any evidence that President Trump was actually investigating corruption. Can you provide some?

      1. Says the guy who “knows” what the president was thinking when asking for the investigations.

        How do you “know” what you claim to “know” -it is one assumption on top of another.

        The Dems’ entire argument boils down to: Trump couldn’t possibly have had the public interest in mind. IOW, he is guilty because Dems say so.

  18. Abuse of power is an opinion, not a crime. If power was abused to the level of a crime, charge the President with a crime!

  19. This blog would be a lot better if the posters were prohibited from parroting DNC talking points.

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