More reactions to my New York Times Op-Ed

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Since its publication on Thursday, my New York Times Op-Ed has continued to stimulate dialogue and discussion. It was also published in Saturday's print edition. This post will highlight a few of the responses.

First, Ross Douthat wrote an op-ed, titled "Trump's Best Defense It's that he wants to be L.B.J., not Mussolini. (But that's still a problem.)"

In a Times op-ed this week, the Josh Blackman of the South Texas College of Law Houston argued that this narrowing of the impeachment power reflects the difficulty of defining when politicized machinations shade into the abuse of power. Allowing that Trump is particularly crude about it, all presidents conflate their own political self-interest with the national interest — and so deciding when a president crosses the line and betrays his office is almost always a task best left up to the voters.

Both the strengths and limits of Blackman's argument are distilled in one of his historical examples: Lyndon Johnson's appointment of Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark's son Ramsey Clark as attorney general, part of a maneuver to induce Clark's resignation so that Johnson could then appoint the first African-American justice and consolidate African-American support.

This is a useful example because it's been apparent for a while that Trump doesn't want to be an American Mussolini so much as he wants to be a less legislatively minded L.B.J. — meaning that his conception of the presidency belongs to the middle of the 20th century, when a casual corruption was more commonplace, and presidents routinely used their powers to spy on political opponents (as L.B.J. did to Barry Goldwater) or undermine them, enable their private appetites (cough, J.F.K.) and cover up their scandals.

Second, Matt Ford wrote an essay for The New Republic, titled "The Best Defense of Donald Trump: A conservative legal scholar presents an exculpation of the president that's worth engaging."

But in this late hour, an exception has arrived in the form of Josh Blackman, a South Texas College of Law Houston professor. Blackman is a conservative legal scholar who has played a notable role in the legal battles surrounding the Affordable Care Act. He does not share Trump's most extreme legal stances on impeachment. Blackman acknowledges that an impeachable offense "need not be criminal," and he disagrees with Trumpworld's constant assertion that impeachment amounts to the overturning of an election. While senators may have no choice but to listen to Trump's lawyers, engaging with the strongest alternatives available is more productive for everyone else.

Matt raises a number of important points that I hope to respond to in due course.

Third, Jonathan Bernstein wrote an essay for Bloomberg Opinion.

What of the case made by law professor Josh Blackman in the New York Times on Thursday: that presidents often pursue policies in hopes of improving their political prospects? It is true, of course, that presidents consider domestic politics, including electoral politics, in everything they do. There's nothing wrong with that. Presidents should act to increase their influence, and that includes taking actions with their professional reputation and personal popularity in mind. . . .

Blackman's analysis is also wrong because it matters how a president uses policy for political advantage. Trump is accused of soliciting foreign election interference! Unlike maneuvering to get a Supreme Court justice to resign, or even deploying troops, Trump tried to get a foreign nation to influence an election. That's not just a likely violation of U.S. law; it's contrary to his oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Fourth, Laura Ingraham talked about my piece on her Fox News show:

Fifth, Ben Shapiro discussed my piece on his podcast. (Many, many law students in particular listen to Shapiro.)

Finally, Fox News analyst Gregg Jarrett flagged my article on Fox News's website, as well as his own blog.

In an excellent opinion column in The New York Times, Constitutional Law Professor Josh Blackman reiterated the Lincoln example and also cited the actions of President Lyndon Johnson in 1967 when he maneuvered to appoint Thurgood Marshall as the first African-American justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. This advanced civil rights enormously, while also burnishing Johnson's political standing.

As Blackman explained: "Politicians routinely promote their understanding of the general welfare, while, in the back of their minds, considering how those actions will affect their popularity. There is nothing corrupt about acting based on such competing and overlapping concerns. Yet the impeachment trial threatens to transform this well-understood aspect of politics into an impeachable offense."

And then President Trump retweeted Jarrett–the closest I've gotten (so far at least) to a presidential tweet.

On Friday morning, I noted that I would try to avoid checking my Twitter mentions. So far, so good. I think my new policy will be to post onto Twitter, but not check how people react. If there is something important you want to tell me, email me, don't @ me. And if there is some breaking news that you think I should be aware of, please email me as well.

 

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832

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  1. What Trump did was extortion. None of the many historical examples you cited involved extortion — let alone extortion of a foreign government to smear a political opponent.

    1. What’s the legal definition of extortion, and how did Trump commit it? FWIW, Zelinsky didn’t conduct an investigation, and they did receive the aid. So, what else?

      1. Federal law defines extortion as “the extraction of anything of value from another person by threatening or placing that person in fear of injury to any person or kidnapping of any person.”

        While it is true that Trump’s actions do not meet the technical definition of extortion, they do meet the newly-minted Dershowitz impeachment standard that “criminal like behavior akin to treason and bribery is required.”

        1. That’s one definition for one statute. There are others. See 18 U.S.C. § 875(d):

          “Whoever, with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

          (Emphasis added.)

          1. I’m uncertain Trump committed that crime either. I think that crime requires Trump to threaten Biden’s reputation unless (not if) he got we he wanted.

            1. Sorry to be pedantic, but are granted funds foreign commerce in and of itself? They may ne intended to purchase stuff eventuallyn butt then all money transfers ultimately are.

            2. Biden’s reputation is clearly not a thing of value.

          2. ““Whoever, with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.””

            Sounds like the House Managers slow walk of the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate …

      2. They stopped when they were caught.
        You bring a gun into a bank, hold up the teller, grab the $, but are stopped at the door by the guard. No crime?

        1. Delivering illegal weapons to Mexican Drug Lords that directly leads to the death of Federal La Enforcement Employees.
          No crime?

          1. Extortion? Using the power of the office of the President to directly harm a political opponent?

            1. Just how incompetent are the brain trust in the House that they decided they couldn’t charge Trump with extortion or bribery?

              I’ve seen overwhelmingly persuasive arguments here in the comments that they completely ignored.

              I can’t help but blame you directly for not making your arguments known directly to the House, maybe unfurl a banner in the House gallery during the vote, or camp out in Nadlers office. Don’t you realize what’s at stake here?

              YOU WERE THE ONE WITH THE UNREBUTTABLE LEGAL ARGUMENT AGAINST TRUMP, AND YOU DID NOTHING.

          2. The comparison is useful. When the last administration discovered the ongoing ATF Gunwalking program, did they react by saying that the program was “perfect”? Or did they testify to Congress, produce thousands of documents in response, and terminate the program?

      3. “Extortion” means whatever Trump’s enemies want it to mean.

      4. “FWIW, Zelinsky didn’t conduct an investigation, and they did receive the aid. So, what else?”

        Attempted extortion.

    2. An element of extortion is that the actor is attempting to get property. The Dems’ own characterization of the facts does not include such allegation.

      1. “An element of extortion is that the actor is attempting to get property”

        Or “something of value” It isn’t required to be a physical object.

        1. Why didn’t you tell Schiff and Nadler that when it mattered?

    3. What Trump was accused of and what he actually did may be two completely different things, but neither of them are “extortion”.

      1. So now we fall back on legalisms. By any common definition, what Trump did was “extortion”.

        If Trump threatened to assassinate Ukraine’s President if he didn’t make a public accusation against (say) Elizabeth Warren, that wouldn’t be “extortion”.

        If he threatened to murder Stormy Daniels if she brought charges against him, that wouldn’t be “extortion”.

        If he threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine unless their secret service assassinated every Democrat running for President, that wouldn’t be “extortion”.

        We can go back in history and play some more games.

        If in 1940 FDR said to Churchill, “Yes, I’ll give you the badly need lead-lease so that you can fight the Nazis who are bombing your cities, but only if you announce that you have found criminal wrongdoing by Wendell Wilkie when he was CEO of C & S Inc.”

        1. So now we fall back on legalisms.

          Well said. I can’t think of anything less appropriate to discuss on a legal blog.

          1. Legalisms are things that are like law but aren’t law. You’d expect participants on a legal blog to dismiss them immediately.

            1. Legalisms are things that are like law but aren’t law.

              Hmmm. OP’s appeal to substitute “any common definition” for the actual legal definition of extortion seems far more consistent with the classic dictionary definition of legalism than your peculiar and unsourced definition:

              legalism
              [ lee-guh-liz-uh m ]
              noun
              strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit.

              1. It’s odd that you find my “peculiar and unsourced” definition to be different in substance to the one you prefer.
                Are you attempting a demonstration?

        2. In any version of “extortion”, legal or colloquial, a critical element is the threat: If you don’t communicate a threat, then there can be no extortion.

          So, show us where the threat was communicated.

          1. Where was the threat in Vito Corleone’s polite request (communicated through Tom Hagen to Jack Woltz) that Johnny Fontane get the lead in the big movie?

            1. Was any one in the Godfather indited for extortion?

              1. IIRC no one was indicted for anything.

                1. Then they’re by definition innocent of all wrongdoing.

                  1. That’s how I read it.

            2. False equivalency

          2. Sondland communicated a threat twice: once in a meeting in Bolton’s office and once in Warsaw in early September.

        3. According to your definition; all prosecutors are extortionists, along with their investigators, for investigating crimes.

          BTW: VP Biden bragged about his extortion of Ukraine.

          1. “BTW: VP Biden bragged about his extortion of Ukraine.”

            So impeach him.

    4. “What Trump did was extortion. ”

      Even if that is accurate, countries “extort” concessions from other countries all the time.

      While the House can impeach for anything it wants, you are describing everyday nation state behavior.

      1. By this definition, any contract negotiation constitutes “extortion.”

      2. Bob from Ohio : “Even if that is accurate, countries “extort” concessions from other countries all the time”

        Hell, it’s also probably true that countries extort concessions all the time for the private benefit of their supreme ruler – those concessions run thru sleazy private lawyers and low-grade thugs. The world is full of banana republics.

        But is that what we want for this country?

        1. So, now a liberal believes in American Exceptionalism.

          Trump is truly making things great again.

          1. Your strawman argument is blown to smithereens, so you respond with an embarrassingly unfunny quip.

            Not on top of your game today, are you Bob?

            1. I was amused by it, that’s what is important.

              1. I understand. These days a Trump supporter needs take what paltry pleasure he can – wherever he can find it.

    5. Whom did Trump extort?

      Which political opponent was he smearing?

      What was the nature of this smear?

  2. It seemed clear to me after watching the Trump defense on Saturday – mercifully short – that no one in the Ukraine government knew that aid was being withheld. The transcript shows no indications of knowledge, and the flurry of emails following the Politico revelations seem to me to prove no prior knowledge by the president of Ukraine.
    If you want to either bribe or threaten someone, it is necessary that they understand what is on offer.
    No extortion even indicated, much less proven.

    1. Get your eyes and ears checked.

      1. This was a point of confusion to me, so I searched it after the President’s defense team made its comments, and found this in the NYT:

        “Senior Ukrainian officials said they were blindsided over the summer when they heard the United States would withhold security assistance to the country.

        ‘It was a total surprise,’ said Pavlo A. Klimkin, who was Ukraine’s foreign minister in August when he learned of the Trump administration’s suspension of military aid by reading a news article.”

        https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/22/world/europe/ukraine-trump-military-aid.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top

        I’d assumed all along that, per the fairly cryptic and low-level emails mention in the hearings, the Ukrainian government had been aware for much longer (and I’d long thought that arguing against a quid-pro-quo was silly). But this seems like far better evidence than those emails, and unless we’re going to subpoena the Ukrainian government (which we’re not), the best evidence we’re likely to get. Of course, any quid-pro-quo would have to include notifying the Ukrainian government at levels that mattered of the quid.

        Is there something I’m missing? Some motivation (simpler than him having been part of some huge, misguided coverup attempt) for the Ukrainian foreign minister to lie about this specific thing (as opposed to the “pressure” thing, which went to heart of Trump’s motives and couldn’t have been proven factually false)? I’m honestly open. It just seems like a pretty solid argument at this point that the Ukrainians (or at least the ones relative to any QPQ) didn’t know.

        1. There’s this, I guess:

          https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/world/europe/ukraine-impeachment-military-aid.amp.html

          But it’s from a lower-level official and says only that it “ definitely mentioned there were some issues.” This seems consistent with both the emails mentioned in the hearings and the statement of the foreign minister that he learned of the hold through the media.

        2. Are you serious with this? Let’s restrict ourselves to just three points:

          (1) On 10July, weeks before the infamous phone call, two of Ukrainian President Zelenksy’s top aides, Andrey Yermak and Oleksandr Danylyuk, came to Washington to meet with top White House officials. One of their requests was a meeting between Trump & Zelensky. Multiple wittiness have testified Gordon Sondland told the Ukrainians they would get a meeting only if Zelensky publicly announced the investigations Trump wanted. Publicly was the key here; Sondland wanted a commitment from Zelensky in writing that he would do so. So what do you those aides told their president when back in Kiev? Incidentally, this is the meeting that prompted Bolton’s famous quote, “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up.”

          (2) In May 2019, Rudy Giuliani delivered a letter to President Zelensky requesting a meeting with the “knowledge and consent.” of Trump, and appearing as his representative. By this point Giuliani had been at his clumsy, blundering, bigfooting campaign for Biden dirt over a year, bouncing between many of the top figures in Ukrainian politics, including Shokin, Lutsenko, Poroshenko, and Firtash. Do you think this was some big secret to Zelensky? What would you guess he thought when Trump responded to his request for military aid by demanding a “favor” and directing Zelensky to talk to his personal attorney, Giuliani?

          (3) Former deputy foreign minister Olena Zerkal said Ukraine knew the aid was frozen within days. She told the New York Times she read a diplomatic cable from Ukrainian officials in Washington on 30July describing the freeze on aid and asked for a meeting with a senior aide to Zelensky to address it.

          She also said Zelensky wanted to avoid any comment on the issue to avoid complicating Ukraine’s critical relationship with the United States – and angering a president who would be in office at least one more year, maybe even five. You say : “Is there something I’m missing? Some motivation … for the Ukrainian foreign minister to lie..?”

          Well, yeah. You somehow missed one 500lb gorilla of a reason for Ukraine to attempt to stay clear of Trump’s dumpster-fire mess.

          1. All, 100% conjecture. In case you need help with that, conjecture is an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information.

            1. Only God has complete information.

            2. ThePublius : “All, 100% conjecture”

              Uh huh. Let’s suppose you’re actually there when Trump decides to shoot random strangers on Fifth Avenue :

              Interviewer : So you witnessed it all, ThePublius. Tell us about it…

              ThePublius : Well, I saw Trump pull out a handgun, heard a shot fired and then saw the victim fall to the ground with a bleeding stomach wound. But I didn’t actually see the bullet go from Trump’s gun to the victim, so it’s all 100% conjecture he shot him.

              Interviewer : Did Trump say anything?

              ThePublius : He shrieked, “Die like a dog.” but (proudly) you know he likes to say things to upset the Liberals…….

              Suffice it to say Right-Wing-World has invented an entirely new standard of evidence just to excuse Trump’s bungling misdeeds alone. I suspect we would empty the prisons if this new standard was applied to everyone, street corner crack dealer as well as rich white Republican cult figure…..

            3. ThePublius is right. We shouldn’t discuss conjecture. Let’s just have the American-side witnesses who could speak directly to what US foreign service personnel told the Ukrainians, and when. We can start with Bolton.

          2. Cite?
            … other than Vox or MSNBC?
            (Which, I guess might as well be God to the TDS suffering Proggies)

            1. preemptive ad hominem.

              Always a sign of a good argument.

            2. For (3), it was from Olena Zerkal’s testimony as reported by the NY Times on December 3, 2019 (Andrew Kramer). The article (with a link) is referenced in footnote 152 of the House’s Trial Memorandum for the Impeachment. That’s available here.

              1. (3) is irrelevant. Zerkal claims she knew about the hold on July 30, Zelensky says he didn’t know about it until after the Politico article on August 28. Zerkal never claims to have told Zelensky about the hold before that, she just assumes that he knew. She also has quit her job in protest and apparently has a grudge against Zelensky.

                1. Hilarious. Believe it or not, one of “arguments” Trump supporters make in his defense is using the favor of the United States government to extort personal gain for Trump is hunky-dory because (….wait for it…) Ukraine never realized they were facing extortion !!

                  Now that’s mind-boggling imbecilic right away, but things only get worse.

                  First, it is absolutely impossible Zelensky didn’t know he was being strong-armed. As I note above, neither Trump or his various hoodlums have been very subtle. They tried extortion over U.S. representation at Zelensky’s inauguration, they tried extortion over a Zelensky-Trump meeting, and Trump may as well have been Marlon Brando with cotton in his cheeks on the infamous phone call, His demand for a “favor” directly linked to Zelensky’s plea for aid was that damn obvious. You have to pretend Zelensky is a total fool to hold your pretend “belief” he didn’t know. Of course that says more about you and your dishonest hypocrisy than the Ukrainian leader.

                  Second, look what you’re reduced to !! Ukraine (somehow) “didn’t know”, but were still trading messages about the aid freeze between their Washington embassy and Kiev within five days of the call. Tell us : What is your “didn’t know” defense worth when it only covers three or four days?

                  Third, the bombed-out shell of your “didn’t know” nonsense still rests exclusively on Ukraine being unwilling to volunteer testimony against the sitting president of an ally they desperately need. I’m curious, donojack: You believe a lot of idiot drivelic, which I guess is a prerequisite for supporting President Dumpster-Fire. But can even you imagine the president of Ukraine stepping forward bright-eyed & bushy-tailed, to say, “Yes, Trump treated me as just someone to push around?” Can even you believe something so stupid?

                  If you can’t, then what the Hell are you yammering about ?!?

                2. Notice the insane special pleading here. All evidence that the Ukrainians were aware of the freeze (as anybody who has yet to receive promised money must necessarily be aware) is disregarded as “irrelevant” so long as there is some evidence (“Zelensky says”) that they didn’t know about it. Setting aside that what Zelensky says really is irrelevant–since the allegation against the President is that he attempted to withhold funds in order to have a foreign power announce an investigation damaging to the President’s political opponent, not that he successfully did–where there’s competing evidence, there’s a fact issue to be resolved by the trier. You wouldn’t say that one witnesses’s testimony rendered all other inconsistent testimony “irrelevant”, would you? And if that’s “irrelevant” only because you have determined that Zerkal “has a grudge against Zelensky”, you’re already arguing that all evidence that supports your theory is dispositive but any other evidence is not just unhelpful, but irrelevant.

                  However, if you think exculpatory evidence settles the matter, it will be simple for the President to show up and testify under oath about what he intended, why, and when. He can say, definitively, that he never directed any underlings to condition meetings on an announcement of an investigation of Biden. He can say that he never intentionally withheld the aid in the first place, but that it was just slow because of bureaucracy, or something.

                  1. When someone whose credibility you have no reason to suspect says that the didn’t know of something until such and such a time it is reasonable to believe him unless something comes up to contradict it. So I believe Zelensky when he says he didn’t know about the hold until September 1 or thereabouts.

                    You and grb maintain that he had to know much earlier because, well because he just did. No evidence indicating that he did but you know it anyway. You know that everybody knew. How? Well you do advance a novel view of it I must say: “as anybody who has yet to receive promised money must necessarily be aware)”. You expect to receive money on the 30th of the month and you haven’t received it by the 15th so you know that there is a hold on it? Okay.

                    And you refer to my “insane pleading.”

            3. For 2), the May 10, 2019 letter is out there. No one denies that it was written by Rudy Giuliani (though the President did throw Rudy under the bus by saying he didn’t know Rudy sent it). It was part of the Lev Parnas document dump. Scroll to the middle of that NPR page and the first set of released documents is available. The Rudy letter is about 4/5ths of the way down.

              1. This is also irrelevant. Giuliani’s letter to Zelensky was an introduction and a proposal for a meeting to apprise Z of the fact that they believed that he was surrounded by people who were not acting in his best interests. Nothing in the letter suggests that G was going to bring up anything about the Bidens .

                1. donojack : “Giuliani’s letter to Zelensky was an introduction and a proposal for a meeting to apprise Z of the fact that they believed that he was surrounded by people who were not acting in his best interests. Nothing in the letter suggests that G was going to bring up anything about the Bidens”

                  Do you even believe your own BS? Giuliani spent over a year bouncing around the political elite of Ukraine begging for dirt on Biden – like a damn pinball, one figure to another figure, to the next. As I note above, this includes (but is not limited to) figures such as Shokin, Lutsenko, Poroshenko, and Firtash. Strangely enough, Rudy’s wheeling&dealings were with the MOST corrupt figures in Ukraine, which is odd given the angelic good intentions you claim he had. (of course no takes anything you say seriously, donojack).

                  Yet even given month after month of Rudy’s clumsy machinations for Biden dirt, you still pretend Zelensky couldn’t have known Giuliani’s aim. Who do you think you’ll fooling with this crap, donojack?

                  1. grb,

                    Let’s start with the letter shall we? It’s obvious that Giuliani had never met Zelensky. In the Parnas docs there is back and forth about being concerned that Z’s advisers are working against his interests. G expresses that concern to Z in the letter and proposes to meet with him to discuss it. That’s the letter, the rest is coming from your fevered brain.

                    Now let’s discuss Zerkal: She didn’t learn of the aid hold until five days after the phone call. If this is even true why didn’t she tell Zelensky? She says she didn’t and why would she lie about it, she’s out of the government at this point. So if everyone is so in the know about this and had been from as far back as you claim why aren’t they saying so?

                    If Rudy was in Ukraine looking for dirt (evidence of corruption) on the Bidens, what of it? There is plenty of evidence of corruption there for anyone who isn’t willfully blind to it. Your side offers conclusory statements about the Bidens’ innocence, and offer risible excuses for the behavior and circumstances. I hear that Hunter is a rock star and when that starts to seem ridiculous even to your side he becomes a sober man of business acumen. And you say no one takes me seriously.

                    I notice that as you start to veer away from the bare facts your descriptions get more and more lurid, pretending that you know what these people knew and what they were thinking. You don’t know any more than the rest of us who have taken the time to look at it.

                    Also I notice that you have never responded to the article I have posted about Shokin seizing Zlochevsky’s assets just before Biden got him fired. No one has come forward to dispute its authenticity, and if it is genuine then that is strong evidence of Biden selling protection to Zlochevsky.

                    1. A direct quote from the link above on Zerkal :

                      “Ms. Zerkal says she became aware of the hold by July 30, a few days after Mr. Trump’s phone call with Mr. Zelensky.

                      She said she read a diplomatic cable from Ukrainian officials in Washington about the hold and asked for a meeting with a senior aide to Mr. Zelensky to discuss it on July 30. The cable had been sent the previous week, she said, but she could not confirm the precise date it had been transmitted.”

                      How you read that and pretend Zerkal was some central figure in a conspiracy to keep Zelensky in the dark is beyond all understanding. Zerkal was central to absolutely nothing. She was a second tier official; hers was just one desk the messages crossed on the way to Zelensky. Within two or three days of the infamous phone call, the Ukrainian embassy in Washington was discussing the aid freeze with their government in Kiev. Yet you pretend this was kept hidden from their president. Why? For what reason?

                      The answer is this : You’re desperate for anything to lessen the charge of extortion against Trump, even if your “anything” is a transparent absurdity. I bet you hide under the bed when Bolton testifies…..

                      As for Biden, what corruption? It’s another question you have no answer for. Burisma went on a spree buying respectability. They bought an ex-president of Poland for their board, Aleksander Kwasniewski. They bought a respected Wall Street name for their board chairman, Alan Apter. They brought in a new executive team and hired establishment big-name international firms to audit their reserves and financial results. And at the same time they did all this, they also gave a board position to little Hunter Biden. In the world of international business, doling out board positions for celebrity, prestige, or a person’s last name isn’t even unusual, much less “corrupt”. It’s also nowhere near illegal. If you have any fact to suggest anything beyond this, why not provide it? We’re all ears….. All I hear is “Hunter didn’t know anything about energy markets”. Guess what : Neither did Aleksander Kwasniewski. He was a name bought for the corporate masthead. So was Hunter Biden.

                      And if your “case” against Hunter is nonexistent, your case against Joe Biden is childish easy to disprove – and conclusively disprove. Biden pressured for Shokin’s ouster. Here’s why:

                      (1) Obama ordered it, and that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden

                      (2) It was State Department policy, and that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden

                      (3) It was a publicly-announced clearly-defined U.S. policy objective that Shokin should be fired, and that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden.

                      (4) It was backed-up by other U.S. officials, such as our Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. He gave a speech on 24Sept15 in Odessa accusing Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General of obstructing efforts to combat corruption and shielding its own employees from graft investigations. Guess what? That had nothing to do with Hunter Biden

                      (5) It was the same objective as the European Union, and that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden

                      (6) It backed up similar sanctions by the World Bank, and that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden

                      (7) It was in conjunction with simultaneous pressure from the International Monetary Fund, and that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden.

                      (8) It followed policy aims of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, and that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden

                      (9) It was backed by a bi-partisan consensus of Congress, with Republican Senators signing a letter calling for Shokin firing. This is one more thing that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden.

                      (9) It also was cheered by every anti-corruption group in Ukraine itself. There were street protests in the capital solely to demand the prosecutor be fired. After it finally happened, the Kiev Post called Shokin one of the hated figures in all of Ukraine. More stuff that had nothing to do with Hunter Biden

                      Whatever clown-like nonsense you choose to believe, donojack, your Shokin Fantasy is a nonstarter today, will be a nonstarter tomorrow, next month, next year, next decade.

                      As long as facts trumps lies, your fantasy ain’t going nowhere…….

                    2. What grb said, with a couple of points:

                      1) There was also testimony in the House that there were emails from the very same day of the phone call from the Ukrainians asking why their aid was being held up.

                      2) grb concedes too much when (s)he concedes that Hunter Biden didn’t have any expertise with energy markets. Biden didn’t need to; that wasn’t his role at the company.

                      3) No, Shokin did not seize Zlochevsky’s assets just before Biden got him fired. First, the timeline is false. Biden called for Shokin’s ouster months before the firing, not at the time of the firing. Second, the legal freeze on Zlochevsky’s assets was from a year earlier. Said freeze had temporarily expired because of Shokin’s inaction; it was then reinstated after a public outcry.

                    3. grb,

                      Has it ever occurred to you that Shokin could have been utterly corrupt and still out to get Zlochevsky? After all Ukraine has been run by a bunch of gangsters since anyone can remember. So calls for his firing from all the so-called reputable whoevers that you so tediously catalog doesn’t negate the fact that Shokin went after Zlochevsky.

                      Everything David says about the Shokin seizure of Zlochevsky’s assets is false. The fact that Biden called for Shokin’s firing before the seizure is irrelevant. Zlochevsky put Hunter on the board of Burisma in 2014 because he knew he needed protection. Biden had to apply the screws to Ukraine to fire Shokin in March because they seized his assets in February. This is undisputed despite David’s bafflegab.

                      I find it amusing that you people are so invested in defending obvious corruption, and yet you hold yourselves up as people with such high standards and fine principles. You keep saying why hasn’t Trump called for an FBI investigation of Biden? Why aren’t you calling for one? Let’s clear the air and exonerate him since you are so certain that he’s innocent.

                    4. Has it ever occurred to you that Shokin could have been utterly corrupt and still out to get Zlochevsky?

                      Of course he “could have been.” But he wasn’t out to get Zlochevsky. The exact opposite: he let Zlochevksy spirit $23 million in allegedly ill-gotten gains out of the UK. The UK had seized the money, and then asked, nay begged, the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to help them make a money laundering case against the guy. Instead of providing evidence to the UK that the money was illicit, Shokin provided a letter to Zlochevksy saying that the money was legit, that Zlochevsky hadn’t embezzled it. So the UK’s freeze on the money was lifted, and Zlochevksy shifted the money to the haven of Cyprus.

                      Biden had to apply the screws to Ukraine to fire Shokin in March

                      No. When Biden went there and said that the U.S. was going to hold up the loan guarantees unless Shokin was fired, that was the previous December. Not March. (You may have been misled because Biden embellished the story when he told it in order to make it more dramatic. He did indeed go to Ukraine and publicly demand that they fire Shokin, but Shokin wasn’t fired until months later, not six hours later.)

                      Zlochevsky put Hunter on the board of Burisma in 2014 because he knew he needed protection.

                      That may have been Zlochevksy’s reasoning — though it is entirely speculation on your part, since he hasn’t said that — but if so, it was a spectacular failure. The U.S. put tremendous pressure on Ukraine over the next two years to crack down on corruption, including Zlochevsky’s. The U.S. ambassador was making public speeches there demanding prosecutions.

                    5. Replying to David Nieporent @ 6:43 am

                      Relationships in corrupt gangster-infested places can be very “fluid.” Someone doesn’t get as big a cut of the take as they think is due and so forth. That said some facts are not in dispute:

                      Shokin was fired on March 29, 2016. Whenever Biden was there doesn’t alter this fact. Biden did precipitate the firing by withholding the loan guarantee until Shokin was canned. The guarantee was not released until Poroshenko had Shokin’s replacement on board in June, 2016.

                      Unless the linked article is fraudulent Zlochevsky’s assets were seized on February 14, 2016. Shokin is named as the person who directed the seizure. You have correctly spoken about being able to draw inferences from circumstantial evidence. The juxtaposition of these events creates, in my mind at least, a strong inference that Biden was selling protection and that Z got it, regardless of any subsequent troubles he encountered.

                2. You’re not the queen of relevancy. Someone asked for a citation. I provided it. You’re irrelevant to that conversation.

            4. For 1), it was in Taylor’s testimony. Although the testimony was reported on by virtually every major outlet, here’s a nice recap from the Post.

              1. Thank you. I started to do the same, but admit I’ve become weary of doing detailed research for people who don’t give a damn about the facts

                1. You pick out a few “facts” and then weave conjecture all around them. All of your three points describe things that are innocuous and irrelevant to the charges against Trump.

              2. Also irrelevant. No one has disputed that the meeting at the WH was conditioned on announcing the investigation. There is nothing here about conditioning the aid on same. All there is is Sondland’s “presumptions.”

                1. No, the didn’t hold up the military aid to Ukraine to try to get an announcement of an investigation of a political rival at all. They decided to hold up the aid because they saw a country that needed it desperately to keep Putin ou…. uh, oh.

          3. I find it hilarious that you are all relitigating charges the House abandoned.

            To paraphrase my favorite secretary of defense: ‘You go to trial with the counts you have charged not the counts you wish you would have charged’.

            1. You’re confused. Please see the first article of impeachment.

  3. Twitter is a cultural shit-hole filled with peacocking egomaniacs and morons.

    1. Nooo, it’s as the name implies, full of twits with attention spans of 140 to 280 characters.

  4. Blackman’s analysis is also wrong because it matters how a president uses policy for political advantage. Trump is accused of soliciting foreign election interference! Unlike maneuvering to get a Supreme Court justice to resign, or even deploying troops, Trump tried to get a foreign nation to influence an election.

    Is this guy serious? It’s ok to send troops into battle for your personal political advantage, potentially putting thousands of lives at risk, but not to pressure a foreign country to investigate your political rival? Sounds like someone has TDS.

    1. At first, the “deploying troops” comment struck me the same way. However, I am guessing he meant to say that is almost always the case there is a legitimate reason to deploy troops. In contrast, there is almost always no legitimate reason to solicit foreign interference in an election.

      And yes, I realize the conclusion that Trump solicited foreign interference in an election begs the question as to whether he was draining the swamp or soliciting interference. That is, the heart of Blackman’s argument is presidents have mixed motives and we will head down a slippery slope if impeach Trump for his mixed motive. I am unpersuaded by this argument because of the overwhelming evidence in this case for a corrupt motive. And if you aren’t convinced, let’s get Mulvaney and others to testify to bolster the case.

      1. You are making a different point than he is. Acc. to you, the only issue is motivation, regardless of what the President does, foreign or domestic.

        1. I am saying it is much more likely there is a legitimate motivation in deploying troops.

          1. Keep in mind that “deploying troops” doesn’t necessarily imply “overseas”. Consider the effect if the President chooses to, say, empty a base that is in the state whose Senators are particularly obstructive to the President’s policy preferences. No troops on the base puts a lot of economic pressure on all the businesses just off-base that serves (or at least, used to serve) the troops on that base.
            And, of course, there are occasionally times when a President might want to deploy troops to a state… but some of them are more likely to have residents who object to having federal troops operating within the state.

            1. Ike deploying the 101 Airborne to enforce Brown was certainly for his personal political advantage.

              1. I had the deployment of troops to enforce desegregation in mind, yes. I don’t imagine Ike’s popularity in the South rose much after that, despite the fact that he was 100% on the right side.

      2. “Deploying troops”

        If we really want to go down this road…. Obama’s deployal of extra troops to Afghanistan war almost certainly done just to help Obama’s reelection prospects, and to make him “look tough”. The real world prospects there were minimal, given the forces Obama deployed. And the cost was major, both in lives and dollars. Few people appreciate how much Obama really spent in Afghanistan, for what was minimal effect.

        So for soliciting foreign interference in an election…point to 2016, and the loads of foreign agents who worked to help “investigate” the Trump campaign. From Brits, to Ukranians, to Australians, to Maltese. Apparently, this was all peachy.

        1. Not, it wasn’t peachy. But, it wasn’t being done by an incumbent using the powers of the office as leverage.

        2. “So for soliciting foreign interference in an election…point to 2016, and the loads of foreign agents who worked to help “investigate” the Trump campaign. From Brits, to Ukranians, to Australians, to Maltese. Apparently, this was all peachy.”

          This is the difference between performing an investigation, and announcing an investigation. Remember all those times the Obama administration announced that they were investigating Trump’s possible ties to foreign powers that were helping him in the election? No? That’s because they were actually trying to find out what the foreign powers were doing, rather than alter the outcome of the election.

      3. Yet this isn’t the first time Trump has pushed on corruption issues or held up foreign aid to other countries. Not to mention that Biden was one of 20 (?) opponents at the time or the simple fact that VP Biden admitted (bragged) about extorting Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating the corrupt Burisma. Then you have the Ukraine court cases involving the prosecutor, that took over after VP Biden’s extortion, being convicted for corruption; as well as interference in US elections.

      4. At first, the “deploying troops” comment struck me the same way. However, I am guessing he meant to say that is almost always the case there is a legitimate reason to deploy troops. In contrast, there is almost always no legitimate reason to solicit foreign interference in an election.

        What is the nature of this interference in the election?

  5. meaning that his conception of the presidency belongs to the middle of the 20th century, when a casual corruption was more commonplace, and presidents routinely used their powers to spy on political opponents (as L.B.J. did to Barry Goldwater) or undermine them, enable their private appetites (cough, J.F.K.) and cover up their scandals.

    This guy seems to have been sleeping during the Obama Administration. Which was in the 21st century last time I checked.

    1. I was about to make the same point. Holy cow! Talk about deliberate obtuseness. How can you say that with a straight face, ignoring exactly those things being committed by Obama, and none by Trump?

      1. They still do not believe Candidate Trump was spied upon by Obama’s administration nor President Trump spied upon by Deep State plotters and Obama holdovers.

        1. They are not conspiracy theorists. They also don’t buy the big pedophile ring in the basement of a pizza restaurant, either.

          1. Spy Court Admits FISA Warrants Against Carter Page Were ‘Not Valid’

            1. … and that proves that pedophiles operated out of a pizza restaurant basement?

            2. That is false. The FISA court did not “admit” anything. (Courts do not “admit” things; they either rule or they don’t rule.) The FISA court reported that Barr’s DOJ said that it would no longer argue that the last two of the four Carter Page warrants were justified. Even if any of that were a legal determination, which it isn’t, the initial warrant, and the first renewal, remain.

          2. The pizza shop thing is a red herring, and neither Trump nor all but a few looney supporters of his believed it or had anything to do with it.

            1. “The pizza shop thing is a red herring”

              Yeah. That’s why believing in conspiracy theories is foolish. They lack relation to reality.

      2. Help me. Which political opponents did lame duck President Obama spy on? Which “private appetites” did you have in mind re: President Obama?

  6. “Blackman’s analysis is also wrong because it matters how a president uses policy for political advantage. Trump is accused of soliciting foreign election interference!”

    Captcrisis comment – “What Trump did was extortion. None of the many historical examples you cited involved extortion — let alone extortion of a foreign government to smear a political opponent.”

    The problem / catch22 with both the aforementioned arguments – is that –
    A) Any investigation of the corruption is inherently going to create a personal benefit, especially if the corruption involves a political opponent.
    B) Therefore any pressure to investigate corruption is off limits, especially of the corrupt party[ies] are political opponents – thereby making political opponents immune from investigation.
    Granted, Trump could have accomplished the same thing without the perception of a bad motive.

    1. Excellent point. I agree. In the extreme, all a corrupt official would have to do ti be immune from investigation would be to declare his candidacy against Trump!

      1. No need to lie about this. If a case were referred to, say, the FBI, or to the Justice Dept in general, it would be seen as (a) possibly politically motivated, and (b) fine, in the sense of following all the proper procedural steps.

        Trump went to a foreign country, and TRIED TO HIDE IT!!! That is behavior completely consistent with someone doing something unethical, and completely inconsistent with someone doing something he thinks is legally fine. Why does this not bother Trumps supporters with (pro-)TDS?

        1. “Trump went to a foreign country, and TRIED TO HIDE IT!!! ”

          Its not easy to hide something when there are 20+ people on the phone call

        2. Right…

          As Joe said, hard to hide with 20+ people on a phone call. Not to mention that Trump also told Zelensky that any info found should go to the AG. Said AG already investigating several issues/irregularities in the 2016 election.

          It is truly sad how many people believe the same people, like Schiff, who lied for three years about having evidence of the Russian Collusion Delusion. Only to find out he was punked by pranksters. Now they once again believe he has evidence.

          I would be LMAO if it weren’t so pitiful.

        3. He didn’t try to hide anything, there was a room full of people, and when it became an issue he declassified the transcript.

          1. Well, except for the still-classified part, anyway.

        4. if he “tried to hide it” why did so many people know about it?

          1. He’s not that good at doing things and keeping them secret. Heck, that sentence could have ended after the word “things”.

    2. “Granted, Trump could have accomplished the same thing without the perception of a bad motive.”

      I don’t see how; He literally can’t draw a breath without the perception of a bad motive.

      1. There’s a reason for that. You just have to look at the things he’s said and done over his entire career. He’s not a good person, so it’s pretty obvious why people assume he doesn’t have good motives. I mean if he wanted to escape that perception, he should have tried much harder at redeeming his character.

        1. He’s not a candidate for sainthood, perhaps, but by the normal standards of politicians he’s hardly anything unusual.

          1. Actually, he is pretty unusual.

            Sure, politicians lie sometimes, but the breadth of Trump’s lies surpass anything heretofore seen.

            By which I mean he lies all the time, reflexively, about everything, even about things that don’t matter at all.

            Which lies you of course parrot dutifully.

            This is the scummiest, most loathsome, disgusting individual who has ever been President, and probably in the top ten of anyone who has ever held national office.

            1. The Trump lying thing is a false narrative promulgated and promoted by the Trump opposition. You are a fool to buy into it.

              1. Publius, Trump is right now back-pedaling furiously over the discovery that he lied about not knowing the indicted Lev Parnas. Whose legal problems include multiple instances of alleged foreign election interference, likely using Russian-sourced money. Problem for Trump is, he was recorded dining privately with Parnas and a few others, while discussing Ukraine policy. Other similar recordings have already been turned over, but not yet discussed in public.

                In the context of this impeachment, that was a huge lie. If Trump were anyone else—which is to say someone not actually famous for lying, or not normally supported in his lies by a majority in the U.S. Senate—that disclosure—that Trump has been a working associate of Parnas, and lied about it—by itself, would have brought Trump to the brink of losing his office.

                As I have mentioned to a few others commenting in support of Trump, I cannot believe you have actually been following the live coverage of the impeachment hearings, and the related news. Things Trump supporters are saying in this thread strongly indicate that few if any of them have been attentive to events as they unfolded. Many seem to rely solely on the deliberate deceptions and evasions served up by the likes of Fox News and right-wing radio. At some point that habit begins to make the folks who do it seem out of touch, even gullible.

              2. They maintain lists of thousands of “lies”. Unless you’re drunk on the Koolaid, reading them is hilarious, because most of them have to do with matters of opinion, or things where he’s objectively right, but the NYT doesn’t like the implications.

                For example, in one of the “lies”, the NYT quotes Trump as saying, “We’ve taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn’t vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don’t know anything about them and you have no papers? How do you vet them? You can’t.”

                According to the NYT, this is a “lie” because, there’s a vetting process, that can take up to two years. They totally refuse to engage with the fact that we’re letting some of these people in without being able to complete the process, because their home countries can’t/won’t do their end of the process!

                1. He’s a liar and it isn’t seriously disputed. You pick one instance, because there isn’t enough time in the world to provide all the counterexamples of him being a dishonest person. John Miller. John Baron. Where was Fred Trump born? The noise from windmills causes cancer. Hurricane Dorian forecast.

              3. OK, this is really hilarious: They’ve still got his claim that the Obama administration was spying on his campaign listed as a lie!

                1. “They’ve still got his claim that the Obama administration was spying on his campaign listed as a lie!”

                  Because it is.

                  1. At last an actual lie shows up, and you’re the one telling it. They used a collection of smears commissioned by the Clinton campaign to get FISA warrants to wiretap Trump’s campaign. And had to lie to the FISA court, by omission AND commission, to get those warrants.

                    They knew, even as they sought the warrants, that the predicate for obtaining them was a steaming heap. And they deliberately concealed that from the court.

                    By any reasonable definition, the Obama administration WAS spying on his campaign.

                    1. “At last an actual lie shows up, and you’re the one telling it.”
                      And every one of them will keep telling it. They even tell each other that the IG report was a big win for them.

                    2. Not surprised they continue to believe the lies. After all, these are the same people that still believe Schiff had evidence of the Russian Collusion Delusion instead of him being punked and it’s recorded. Just like they ignore VP Biden bragging about extorting Ukraine to fire a prosecutor.

                    3. At last an actual lie shows up, and you’re the one telling it. They used a collection of smears commissioned by the Clinton campaign to get FISA warrants to wiretap Trump’s campaign.

                      And by “Trump’s campaign,” you mean one guy, who wasn’t even working on Trump’s campaign by the time they got a warrant for him.

                  2. Pollock’s comment – ““They’ve still got his claim that the Obama administration was spying on his campaign listed as a lie!”

                    “Because it is.” ”

                    Pollock – The spying is very well documented in the FISA filings with tidbits sprinkled through out the Mueller report along with the Horowitz IG report.

                    1. “The spying is very well documented in the FISA filings with tidbits sprinkled through out the Mueller report along with the Horowitz IG report.”

                      Assuming you use a meaning for “spying” that is quite generous to Mr. Trump.
                      For comparison, may I suggest the Watergate break-in? Now, that was some spying. Listening in while you talk to foreigners on the phone? The NSA literally does that to EVERYBODY.

                  3. A FISA warrant authorizes spying.

                    An illegally granted FISA warrant authorizes illegal spying.

                    1. “A FISA warrant authorizes spying.”

                      A FISA warrant authorizes surveillance. It’s right there in the name, the S in FISA is for “surveillance”, not “spying”. strictly speaking, it’s actually counterspying.

              4. “The Trump lying thing is a false narrative promulgated and promoted by the Trump opposition.”

                This is one of Trump’s lies, parroted dutifully by the faithful.

                1. Well I will certainly admit not everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth is the gospel truth, but 98% of his “lies” are about inconsequential bullshit.

                  Give me an example of a lie Trump has told as consequencial, deliberate, mendacious, or repeated as “If you like your doctor, then you can keep your doctor.” Or “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

                  1. Trump is addicted to braggadocio, and I find it offensive even if he’s mostly lying about things that don’t matter. But it isn’t the lies that offend the political establishment, its the promises he made that he turns out not to have been lying about. The truthful promises that they demand only be spoken as lies.

                  2. “98% of his “lies” are about inconsequential bullshit.”

                    True enough, because he just can’t stop doing it, no matter how inconsequential the topic, nor how easily they are shown to be false. “Oh, did I say the weather service said a hurricane was going to hit Alabama, and the weather service actually didn’t say that? Here, just hand me a sharpie…now they did!”

              5. The Trump lying thing is a false narrative promulgated and promoted by the Trump opposition.

                Bullshit. The man can’t open his mouth without lying. You’re a gullible moron.

              6. “ The Trump lying thing is a false narrative promulgated and promoted by the Trump opposition. You are a fool to buy into it.”
                -ThePublius

                Let the above quote eliminate any remaining benefit of the doubt given to ThePublius in these discussions.

          2. “He’s not a candidate for sainthood, perhaps, but by the normal standards of politicians he’s hardly anything unusual.”

            … and you trust the motivations of standard politicians reflexively, right?

            1. No, I merely think that it’s inappropriate to start impeaching Presidents for ordinary levels of misconduct without first warning them that the rules have changed.

              And fully anticipate that, the next time there’s a Democrat or establishment Republican in the White House, we’ll find the rules have been changed back. Because they’re only being changed to have an excuse for getting rid of Trump, not because there’s been a sudden awakening of morality in Washington.

              1. “I merely think that it’s inappropriate to start impeaching Presidents for ordinary levels of misconduct”

                So, Presidential misconduct is OK in your book?

                “And fully anticipate that, the next time there’s a Democrat or establishment Republican in the White House, we’ll find the rules have been changed back.”

                Not a fucking chance. The next chance the R’s get to impeach a D Prez, the gloves will be off. They will have learned nothing from impeaching Clinton.

          3. If you agree that he’s a piece of shit stop telling us to stop presuming he’s a piece of shit. You presume that people who disagree with you are pieces of shit constantly. Stop with the act.

    3. A) Any investigation of the corruption is inherently going to create a personal benefit, especially if the corruption involves a political opponent.

      Not a secret investigation. Which is why Trump asked for the exact opposite: a public announcement.

      1. Y’all keep claiming their was a demand for a public announcement yet you have no evidence to support said claim. All you have is accusations, opinions, and water cooler gossip. Hell, not one of their so-called witnesses had heard or seen evidence that Trump demanded a public announcement. Even butt-hurt Yovanovitch and butt-hurt LTC Vindman admitted that Trump never said it.

        1. Y’all keep claiming their was a demand for a public announcement yet you have no evidence to support said claim.

          The evidence that he was only looking for a public announcement is plausible but not definitive. The evidence that he was looking for a public announcement is overwhelming.

          1. David,
            Nice point. I wonder how many pro-Trumpers have overlooked this, rather obvious, point?

    4. “A) Any investigation of the corruption is inherently going to create a personal benefit, especially if the corruption involves a political opponent.”

      True. But… the way it’s conducted can be either designed to find out who’s doing what to whom, and when, or it can be designed to alter the outcome of the election. This is not even close to the first one.

      “B) Therefore any pressure to investigate corruption is off limits, especially of the corrupt party[ies] are political opponents – thereby making political opponents immune from investigation.”

      See, for example, the Trump-fans’ insistence that Trump was investigated for ties to foreign governments IN ORDER TO ALTER THE RESULTS OF THE 2016 ELECTION. Except, Comey didn’t talk about investigating the Trump campaign before the election, he talked about investigating the Clinton campaign’s email servers before the election.

  7. Laura Ingraham, Ben Shapiro, Gregg Jarrett.

    You’re seriously bragging about getting these people’s approval?

    1. Who else is going to approve of a pro-Trump defense? You think shifty Sam, I am good friends with Ed Buck, Schiff is going to all the sudden change his mind?

      1. “Who else is going to approve of a pro-Trump defense?”

        Umm. Maybe telling on yourself there.

    2. A guy without a social life can’t be picky about his synthetic relationships.

      1. And this hear right, hear, folks, is why it is not worth trying to win the “hearts and minds” of anyone on the left. Not worth your time.

        1. Jimmy,
          What does that sentence mean, in English? [genuine question]

        2. Never mind. On second look, it’s obvious that you mixed up ‘here’ and “hear.” It makes sense, once you adjust for the poor grammar. [1,000,000th post of annoyance at a lack of edit button at Reason.]

    3. This right here, when he had to justify Shapiro I laughed.

  8. Don’t bother to even attempt to engage in a discussion with liberals. They are too stupid to absorb anything involving facts or logic. You are, to them, nothing but a white supremacist nazi who supports a dictator. Nothing is going to change their mind.

    Same thing about twatter. It is just full of frogs that go repeat the same old lame liberal talking points. Delete your account and use your newfound free time to do something productive.

    And now queue the standard liberal response to this. Kuckland will post something about right wingers being bigots while he makes fun of religious people in the same sentence and Sarcastrated will do about the same.

    1. Odd that those most upset by Trumps call for investigation of the corruption seem totally unfazed by the corruption.

      1. The left thrives on corruption. That is what fuels the Democrat machine in just about every urban area. Without the public payroll what would career politicians, unions, and the DNC do to get votes? That is other then keep minorities on the plantation…

        1. For you and other people who use that “plantation” thing…do you think people of color and minorities are stupid? I mean you must if you think that the vast majority of black voters are enslaved within a party and are not making a completely rational choice of which party better represents their interests.

          1. Minority unemployment rate during the last 3 years vs the previous 8 years.

            Minority income during the last 3 years vs the previous 8 years.

            Minority unemployment rate and income after clinton signed the republican “ending welfare as we know it” law.

            Rational choice or continuing to enslave minorities ont he plantation?

            1. Has it ever occurred to you that there are other important things they care about? Maybe healthcare policy? Or education policy? Foreign policy?Housing? Discrimination? Policing?

              And again if you think minorities are “enslaved” that means you think they are stupid and lack agency. If that’s the kind of people who support Republicans, then it’s no wonder a lot of minorities don’t.

            2. You’re assuming that the occupant of the White House has any kind of measurable effect on these.

              The economy imploded on W’s watch… because of a law signed by Clinton. Aha! So Clinton should get the blame. For the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. No, wait…

              1. I thought the global economy imploded in 2008 because of a law signed by Jimmy Carter?!? You guys need to get your story straight! 😉

                1. I don’t know what TF you’re talking about. Clinton signed Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

        2. Stomp your foot some more

        3. Ahhhhh he said unions

        4. Jimmy,
          You are correct but you do realize Trump excelled in the very environment you are saying is inherently corrupt?? So in socialist societies schemers get ahead while productive people that can’t scheme don’t get ahead. So the productive people’s talents are squandered in socialist societies. Bernie and Ilhan Omar are classic schemers.

          1. Hate the game, not the player.

            1. I don’t see why these are mutually exclusive.

    2. “Don’t bother to even attempt to engage in a discussion with liberals. They are too stupid to absorb anything involving facts or logic.”

      Such a lack of self-awareness on display here.

  9. Trump obviously committed an impeachable offense.

    Generally law school professors are high IQ people that for some reason don’t want to build rockets. So a law school professor is someone with a high IQ whose brain was molded into an argument making machine in which cognitive dissonance has been eliminated by other high IQ people who have been through the process. So basically we have an entire industry of cushy jobs for high IQ Americans to produce work of questionable societal value. So my next project for these professors is to actually prove they add value to our society and that their big brains are put to better use working at a law school than working at NASA.

    Furthermore, does the very fact it takes a high IQ to come up with an argument undermine that very argument?? I mean why can’t a regular person come up with the reason why Trump’s actions don’t amount to an impeachable offense?? I just think lawful behavior should have an easy explanation that doesn’t require a big brain to make sense of.

    1. I’ll take a shot at this. It’s rare historically to see procedures that effectively balance truth-selling with the protection of individual rights, particularly those of the innocent. And it takes a lot of smarts and experience to see and argue the nuances of that balance; The simple arguments are often the ones that have had appeal historically (e.g., if he’s innocent, why doesn’t he just speak up and prove it?) but proven unfair and ineffective. High-IQ individuals with experience and education in the area are for that reason valuable. And having such individuals test and argue against one another in contexts like this one (and in courts of law and law journals) is itself part of a process most likely to ensure that an appropriate balance is achieved. Doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of nonsense projected as part of the process. But the process and nuances where I see value to society, and why I sometimes think the arguments seem complex. Of course, I may be myopically justifying my own pointless existence.

      1. Most of the students at a t14 law school fall in to two general categories. First you have the people with IQs around 130 that are type A that are very hard working and detail oriented. These people dream of making partner at a prestigious law firm or dream of working in the Executive Branch like a James Baker or Jack Lew. These people are mostly d bags but they are very important to our society and help keep everything running smoothly.

        The other category of person at a t14 law school are the geniuses that aspire to be a federal judge or law school professor. This is the group of people who I am not quite sure our society is maximizing their value. So my favorite example is the fact Eugene Volokh was cited several times in Scalia’s Heller opinion. So conservatives like to say that the 2A is very easy to understand and its meaning is straightforward. So if the 2A is so straightforward…why was it necessary to cite the law review articles of a guy with a 206 IQ that wrote the articles over 200 years after the amendment was ratified?? You would think anyone with a 120 IQ could write a convincing law review article about the meaning of the 2A…but instead it took a guy with an off the charts IQ?!? Furthermore, should we really be going by a Constitution that needs a guy with a 206 IQ to be alive in order to interpret it?? There really is no guarantee that a guy with a 206 IQ will even be alive at any given time in human history.

        I just think the people with the big brains should be designing space ships instead studying an over 200 year old document or defending a clown that got lucky and won a presidential election.

        1. “These people are mostly d bags but they are very important to our society and help keep everything running smoothly.”

          They get paid to apply sand to the gears, and then remove some of it as the gears engage. The gears that don’t pay for the removal service still get the application, and jam. This creates the appearance of a necessary service, but it is the profession itself creating the necessity.

          I won’t say that lawyers don’t do anything useful, some of them, but the demand for lawyers is vastly inflated by the damage the lawyers themselves are doing.

  10. And for those you who think liberals are reasonable people, keep in mind that Bernie, the current lead for the Dem nomination, thinks of you.

    That is you are a nazi that needs to be put into a gulag for re-education. Think this belief is isolated to this one Bernie Bro? Talk to a few more and see for yourself.

    https://pluralist.com/project-veritas-bernie-video/

    1. You and Hillary agree about something!!

    2. And for those you who think liberals are reasonable people, keep in mind that Bernie, the current lead for the Dem nomination, thinks of you.

      Bernie Sanders is not the current leader for the Democratic nomination. Do you ever tell the truth about anything?

      1. Also not a quote from Bernie.

        What a melodramatic drama queen that guy is.

      2. So Bernie is currently no leading the polls in Iowa? Must be that fake news CNN is reporting then.

        1. “So Bernie is currently no leading the polls in Iowa?”

          Is Bernie running to be President of Iowa?

          1. Funny how reductionist a Bernie apologist will get when one of his supporters advocates threatening throwing people into a bona fide concentration camp but will cry foul from the top of every light post if Trump doesn’t denounce every single media announced “hate” crime.

            1. You seem to be shouting at things that aren’t actually real.

      3. “This week, for the first time, the progressive senator from Vermont emerged in first place in a national CNN poll, showing him 3 points ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, though within the margin of error. ”

        As of 1/25, source: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/1/23/21054937/bernie-sanders-path-2020-democratic-nomination-explained

        Don’t you ever tell the truth about anything?

        1. I guess we’ll add statistics to the list of things you don’t understand. If he finished in first place in one poll, he is not the leader. If he finished in first place within the margin of error in one poll, he is most certainly not the leader.

  11. Trump’s highest duty is the protection of American against foreign threats..if a foreign country has potential blackmail on a major party presidential candidate does he/she not have the duty to investigate. At least that is what Obama/Biden/Clinton thought in 2016….

    As for constitutional lawyers and even SC justices…not that impressed given the decisions they have made over the years…

    1. So you think Obama took the initiative to investigate Trump in 2016??

    2. if a foreign country has potential blackmail on a major party presidential candidate does he/she not have the duty to investigate.

      Perhaps. So why didn’t Trump investigate?

      1. What makes you think the AG wasn’t investigating?
        Protocol dictates that if you want an investigation in a foreign country then usually the two Heads of State will discuss said investigation and coordinate who will work it. Just as Trump asked Zelensky to investigate and named the AG as the POC for any information found in said investigation.

        I know you’re not that ignorant David so why do you continue to believe the projection from the Progressives over the facts?

        1. On the one hand, one reason to doubt that the AG was investigating Joe and Hunter Biden is because he told reporters that he had not asked the DoJ to do so. On the other hand, President Trump is a notorious and compulsive liar, so it probably isn’t evidence.

        2. What makes you think the AG wasn’t investigating?

          Because Barr and the DOJ and Trump all said so.

          Protocol dictates that if you want an investigation in a foreign country then usually the two Heads of State will discuss said investigation and coordinate who will work it.

          No. Completely wrong. Heads of state do not discuss investigations (unless perhaps it’s of something like a military attack). Law enforcement does. It isn’t governed by abstract “protocol” but by an actual treaty, and the MLAT between the U.S. and Ukraine actually spells out quite specifically who discusses it: the Attorney General of the U.S., and his counterpart in the Ukraine.

    3. “Trump’s highest duty is the protection of American against foreign threats..if a foreign country has potential blackmail on a major party presidential candidate does he/she not have the duty to investigate.”

      Sure. We have a whole federal department whose job is running investigations.

      1. And the President who was subjected to one on specious grounds has no reason to think they can be trusted.

        You can have a “Resistance”, or you can demand the President trust the bureaucracy, but you don’t get to do both.

        1. ” the President who was subjected to one on specious grounds has no reason to think they can be trusted.”

          So, you’re saying that even he can’t trust the Trump administration?

          1. I’m saying that a good deal of the Executive branch is still the Obama administration, and will be until he’s replaced a lot more people.

            1. So now you’re saying Trump is incompetent at hiring? Because he used to have this TV show…

        2. Not to mention that President Trump was discussing an investigation with a foreign Head of State, President Zelensky, and also said all information should go to the US Attorney General.

          1. That’s not at all what he said. He told Zelensky to talk to his personal lawyer, Rudy.

            He did mention the AG also, but what he said was that he would have Barr call Zelensky. But he never did, for obvious reasons: because Barr wasn’t involved in any Biden investigation, and because as hackish as Barr is, even Barr would have raised a red flag if Trump had said, “Go talk to the Ukrainian government about investigating my opponent.”

        3. In this bizarre world, the President’s inability to perform ordinary corruption investigations domestically is touted as a defense against impeachment.

  12. I think the theory that Blackman is suggesting is basically a privilege argument. I.e., presidents are privileged to mix policy and political gain.
    But he also recognizes, as one must, that there are limits to the privilege, so what we are talking about is a qualified privilege. In defamation, “actual malice” is required. In other torts, a qualified privilege fails when the action is unrelated to the interests for which the privilege is granted.
    In this case, Blackman’s proposed privilege fails because the goal of giving credence to the “crowdstrike” theory is unrelated to any interest of the United States. If only the Biden investigation was involved, the professor would have a better case. But the U.S. has no interest in misidentifying its attackers, or amplifying a Russian propaganda campaign. Unless Blackman can make a reasonable argument that Trump did not push the crowdstrike investigation announcement with at least reckless disregard for its truth or falsity, his proposed qualified privilege is this case fails. Actual malice is demonstrated, and that is what eliminates Blackman’s slippery slope, exactly as a qualified privilege is designed to do. The alternative of course, is a slippery slope in the other direction, endorsing abuse of power.

    1. In this case, Blackman’s proposed privilege fails because the goal of giving credence to the “crowdstrike” theory is unrelated to any interest of the United States. If only the Biden investigation was involved, the professor would have a better case. But the U.S. has no interest in misidentifying its attackers, or amplifying a Russian propaganda campaign.

      Also, the Crowdstrike idea is loopy. If Trump honestly believed it, he’s mentally unfit for the presidency even if he was well-intentioned.

      1. One of the talents Mr. Trump doesn’t have and doesn’t value is the ability to absorb information and make a carefully-reasoned decision.

        1. He’s doing a lot better than you, James!

          1. Perhaps I shouldn’t be President, either, then. Or did you have something real to add?

            1. Oh, like your comment, that I replied to, was “real?” Ha!

              1. Yes. Do you need it explained for you in shorter words?

      2. “Also, the Crowdstrike idea is loopy. If Trump honestly believed it, he’s mentally unfit for the presidency even if he was well-intentioned.”
        Was siccing the massive surveillance power of the US government on Carter Page and the Trump Campaign Loopy? That was shepherded through the Fisa Courts by the Obama Administration.

        1. You seem remarkably bad at staying on subject. What you said goes against the IG report, but more importantly, it has nothing to do with Crowdstrike.

          Answer the thing you’re replying to, don’t bring in ancillary BS.

      3. I’ll go with the notion that the server reference was loopy but Crowdstrike not so much. While in the scheme of things trivial it was an effort by the DNC to both enhance the Russia hacking narrative and to cover its embarrassment that the hacking was done by one of its own who happened to be a secret Bernie Bro.

        As far as the President being unfit for saying dumb things I’ll get on board when you show me that he doesn’t know many states we have.

      4. Loopy or not, Crowdstrike occurred during the 2016 election and has nothing to do with the 2020 election. Same for VP Biden’s bragging about his extortion of Ukraine occurring before the 2016 election not the 2020 election.

        Yet, you Progressive Ignorati continue to believe that this was about one of twenty potential opponents in the 2020 election.

        1. Obviously, it was just part of a carefully-constructed effort to root out corruption in Ukraine, because, after all, President Trump did promise to “drain the swampski”. It’s just that he can’t talk about all the other pieces of the puzzle, because they’re about to bear fruit, and he doesn’t want to tip his hand to the forces of evil.

    2. Assuming you are correct for the sake of argument that Blackman’s logic fails because investigating Crowdstrike has no legitimate motive, I don’t think pressuring Ukraine to investigate Crowdstrike is an impeachable offense because spinning the narrative of the prior election doesn’t sufficiently corrupt the proper operation of government. In contrast, trying to steal the next election does.

      1. I think I’d agree with that, but again, one has to be mentally challenged and delusional to be raising the Crowdstrike theory, and I think those attributes are grounds for removal of a president. Perhaps under the 25th amendment rather than impeachment.

  13. “And then President Trump retweeted Jarrett–the closest I’ve gotten (so far at least) to a presidential tweet.”

    Not bad. That’s probably the second closest of any of the bloggers on the VC.

  14. And then President Trump retweeted Jarrett–the closest I’ve gotten (so far at least) to a presidential tweet.

    So this is a great ambition of yours – to be mentioned approvingly, or retweeted, by Donald Trump?

    1. Given his series of posts; was there any real doubt about this. To be followed by a judicial appointment by Trump in his second term. (I think these are what commonly occur in a Trumpian law professor’s wet dream.)

  15. “No pressure.” Read the transcript!

    1. You can surely find the truth by reading the transcript that is admittedly edited!

      1. LOL,

        What was filed is what was agreed to by multiple individuals who transcribe the call.

        What a dope

        1. What a dope, indeed.

  16. What advice does Professor Blackman have to give Republicans in the Senate—who seem to be angling toward conclusive action to end impeachment without a trial. Professor Blackman, do you join the senators in supposing that the end of this impeachment will put an end to Trump’s troubles, and bolster Republicans?

    That seems tantamount to supposing there will be no political future. I understand why senators who are under political pressure might choose such a foolish assumption as their best alternative. But what of others, without similar self-interest at stake?

    If you avoid presenting evidence, does that make the evidence go away, or does it only mean it will come out later? To take an extreme example, if it comes out later that Trump has let himself be blackmailed, for instance, or colluded with thugs who were actually planning violence against a U.S. ambassador? Would that be better or worse for Republicans who lent their names to sweeping out of sight all the evidence which might have put a stop to it? Why support the notion of Trump’s innocence, instead of supporting the notion that Trump’s innocence is justifiably in question? Why not demand a trial, instead of offering evidence pre-empting excuses?

    1. It’s pretty obvious that the acquittal will just prompt more impeachment hearings. That’s regardless of whether there are witnesses heard from. The Democrats have pretty much come out and said that they’re just going to keep impeaching him over and over, until he’s either convicted or leaves office. Or, of course, until they lose their House majority.

      If you’re going to claim there was no evidence presented, what were the House managers doing with their 3 days?

      I would prefer that they call witnesses. Not just prosecution witnesses, of course, as the Democrats have advocated. Defense witnesses, too. Michael Atkinson would be interesting to hear from, for instance. I’ve already explained my reasoning for why this was always unlikely to happen; Trump’s interests and those of the GOP establishment are quite divergent in this regard.

      But, yes, prosecution witnesses would be good, too. In the Senate they’d be subject to cross examination, and Schiff wouldn’t be able to shut down lines of questioning, the way he could in the House.

      1. The Democrats have pretty much come out and said that

        Ukrainians: we want this.
        Trump: In exchange for a favor first.
        Brett: No QPQ! How could anyone think that was a QPQ? He didn’t use the exact words QPQ!

        Democrats: We’ve never impeached Trump before, but he finally did something bad enough to justify impeachment.
        Brett: They’ve pretty much come out and said that they’ll impeach him over and over.

        1. The Dems got a House majority in January of 2019. The Mueller report belly-flopped in April so that was a bit of a setback, but by September they were under a full head of steam. Hard to see how they could have done it much quicker.

          1. Make up your mind. Is it a purely partisan phony hoax, in which case they could have done it in January of last year, or is it based on actual events?

    2. Of course if you are sane you end the impeachment. There are zero grounds for it as was pointed out very easily in under two hours Saturday AM.

      1. Man, I miss the days when lawyers, law professors, and law students would post here. Reading the comments from people who never have been closer to the law than watching old “Law & Order” episodes is painful.
        I guess “if you are sane” is shorthand for “if you are a whore who happens to be a cowardly whore, and if you’re afraid of a trial with relevant witnesses and relevant testimony . . .”. Sigh.

    3. A couple of points:

      1. If the evidence is politically potent, nothing stops Democrats from presenting it to the electorate. My reading is that swing voters don’t care, but if they do, then maybe it will swing some votes. (And the flip side is also true- the American public- who you are always telling us are sovereign- have the absolute right to not care. They are under no obligation to adopt Adam Schiff’s political theories.)

      2. If something worse comes out, there’s no res judicata in impeachments. The Democrats can investigate again, impeach again if they have the votes, and/or go to the American public and try to persuade them to care and to vote on whatever they fine.

      1. Trump is at near record [for him] job approval so the politics seems to help him so far. It solidified his base and independents are seemingly indifferent. I guess time will tell, 9 months to the election.

        1. I mean, Bob’s crazy, but whatever. Trump’s at near record lows for him for job approval, support for impeachment is higher than ever, and most respondents think he did what he’s accused of.

          1. He’s at almost 50%, which suggests that there’s something wrong with almost 50% of the adult population.

  17. This is the fourth post from Prof. Blackman about his New York Times piece.

    The VC’ers might rail against the “mainstream liberal media”, but they sure get tickled when they’re allowed to post a prominent op-ed there.

    1. Yes, this is getting as tedious as the impeachment itself.

      1. Hold on. This one’s not quite dead yet.

    2. Cut him some slack. Getting a chance to interact with people in the first-tier mainstream, after a lifetime of nipping at those ankles from the fringe, must be heady stuff for a movement conservative!

  18. They, the D’s, are not stopping. They will continue to make ridiculous assertions or just try and twist action Trump is legally allowed to make as impeachable. I’m waiting for a virtual Avenatti or Swetnick to emerge.

    I don’t think it works and the D candidates have possibly the worst platform I’ve ever seen.

    It it doesn’t we’ll have 4 more years of this unless the Rs take back tho house.

    BUT the result is gridlock and things are just humming along fine during our present gridlock.

  19. I love how the chief neocon warmonger, John Bolton, is now next up to bat in a long line morons stepping up to smear the Pres.

    This one appears to be of the profit motive variety and the ideological motive variety, rather than the being coerced by politically motivated prosecutors variety.

    1. “Chief neocon warmonger . . . moron . . . smear the Pres . . . profit motive”

      The stable genius hired him, you bigoted rube.

      1. A dumb move and objectionable hire by Trump, in my opinion (you bigoted rube). I don’t know why he hired him, but I can sure see why he fired him.

        1. Why hire him? Because Trump, unquestionable, does NOT hire the best. He hires people he thinks will be loyal to him, and that loyalty should trump loyalty to the Constitution. You think Gen. Flynn was one of the best? His daughter? Jared Kushner? Atty Gen. Barr??!?? I think we are ending up (and certainly will end up, if Trump wins in November) with some version of the Peter Principle. Trump will continue to stack his administration with lickspittles. Some may end up being good. But that will be a happy accident . . . given the choice of someone highly qualified but possibly independent and with integrity, versus someone slavishly loyal to Trump, there is little doubt which way he’ll go.

          Conservatives used to care about having really qualified people in government. But, once they whored their integrity to suckle at Trump’s teat, that seems to have vanished. Only in re to Trump and Trump’s administration? Or will this be the new normal? Time will tell, I guess.

          1. Relatively few people are willing to work for or associate with Donald Trump. This has been true throughout his campaign and presidency.

            His administration and campaign is a collection of scantily credentialed sycophants, dredged-from-the-bottom fringe players, industry-suckling mercenaries with no genuine interest in government, discredited malcontents, and similar losers who wouldn’t be considered by any other administration, Republican or Democratic. Most qualified, educated, accomplished, reputable people recognize that being tarred by Trump would and should constitute career death. The half-credible people, such as Cohn bailed relatively quickly. Trump works with unqualified family members and the shambling likes of Lewandowski, Manafort, Sanders, Mnuchin, DeVos, White, and Ross because he can’t get anyone else and they work with him because no one else would have them.

            Except Hope Hicks. She was just in it for the office boy toy carousel.

          2. “Why hire him? Because Trump, unquestionable, does NOT hire the best.”

            John Bolton was an extremely well-qualified appointment in the eyes of the Washington establishment. What should have disqualified him, in my view, is not a question of what is usually meant by “qualifications,” but is a question of his policy views, which I find repugnant. But again the Washington establishment generally aligns with him there as well.

            AG Barr is fantastic. Flynn may have been ok, as far as I know, but he was mugged by Comey his thugs, who all should be in jail. Kushner is worthless.

            “Conservatives used to care about having really qualified people in government.”

            Depends what you mean by qualified, but as someone once said, I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard University faculty.

            1. “John Bolton was an extremely well-qualified appointment in the eyes of the Washington establishment.”

              Well, the Republican half of it, maybe.

        2. “A dumb move and objectionable hire by Trump”

          Yeah. There’s been a few of those.

  20. If we held a race between Bolton and Trump to see which of the two first tells their story under oath, who do you think would win?

  21. What I would say about all this is this:

    In an ideal world, Presidents, and politicians, would absolutely not shape public policy to try and win the next election. For instance, we wouldn’t have political gerrymandering to benefit one’s own party, we wouldn’t have vote suppression where you try to get the other guy’s votes not to count, whether it is of racial minorities or military absentee ballots, Presidents wouldn’t set up their official events as quasi-campaign events where they go to swing states, Senators who want to run for President wouldn’t vote for corn subsidies in Iowa they don’t believe in, etc.

    In other words, I agree with the Democrats that government SHOULDN’T run that way.

    But in the real world, it does. And we have to acknowledge the real world before we all get our knickers in a twist over “OMG, it’s so horrible, he used policy levers to try and get reelected”. In the real world, you can argue that the way the Administration did it might be somewhat unique (although Blackman has some good examples of similar things happening in the past), but if you are offended on principle, I am sorry, you don’t understand politics. Let me tell you what happened in Cook County in 1960…..

    1. ? So what happened in Cook County, if captured on tape and evidence made public, would be o.k. with you?

      1. It’s not “OK”.

        But unless there was a bipartisan demand, I wouldn’t impeach JFK over it.

        1. So if it’s ok with the Presidents party then it’s not impeachable?

          (Not that what you cited was a real example. 1) It didn’t happen. 2) JFK was not President at the time.)

  22. Now comes the fawning over John Bolton, such moral integrity to sell a book . . . . . Brave and Stunning! It’s amusing but we’ve seen this movie quite a few times now.

    1. I, too, look forward to all this fawning you prophesy.

      1. It will come in torrents, if and when Bolton joins the attack on Trump or speaks out beyond this leak from an anonymous official on what his draft supposedly says. First inklings are here.

        WaPo op-ed: Trump has finally met his match

        “In John Bolton, President Trump has finally met his counterpunching match. . . .”

        1. OMG. Such obsequious fawning…

  23. Regardless of which side of this debate you’re on, I think you must admit that the Democratic case is incredibly weak and poorly prepared, and the defense is eviscerating it in the Senate.

    Reminds me of the ineptness of those who prosecuted O.J., except that I believe O.J. was guilty.

    1. No, really don’t have to admit that at all. The Democratic case as to Article I is not as good as it could be, but that’s because of Article II: Trump has been obstructing. But it’s still very strong.

      The defense, on the other hand, is fooling only really dumb people. They’ve got no legal or factual arguments, and are forced to stick with discredited claims because Trump won’t let them make better arguments.

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