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Thread: Impeachment Inquiry of Donald John Trump

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    Impeachment Inquiry of Donald John Trump

    Trump impeachment probe: Pelosi announces official inquiry

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that Democrats were moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

    "The actions of the Trump presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the president's betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections," Pelosi said. "Therefore, today I'm announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry."

    Nancy Pelosi quotes Thomas Paine: "The times have found us."

    "The times have found us today. Not to place us ourselves in the same category of greatness as our founders—but to place us in the urgency of protecting and defending our Constitution."

    Trump tweeted as soon as Pelosi finished, saying, "They never even saw the transcript of the call," referring to the call he had with Ukraine's president that is the focus of the latest impeachment controversy.

    The fast-moving developments came amid new questions about whether Trump had made aid to Ukraine contingent on Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky agreeing to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

    Trump, who had said previously he was concerned about sending aid to Ukraine because of corruption he alleged there, gave a new explanation Tuesday, saying he had ordered the aid frozen -- before the call -- because he was unhappy with how much European countries were contributing to Ukraine.

    Pelosi said the Trump administration blocking the whistleblower complaint from being sent to Congress was a "violation of the law" and said Trump calling on a foreign leader to interfere in a U.S. election was "a breach of his constitutional responsibilities."

    "The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution," Pelosi said. "The president must be held accountable."
    _________

    And so it begins. Where will it end? If the impeachment probe recommends it, then the House will vote on it and Trump will almost certainly be impeached.

    Of course, the trial in Senate will be a farce unless something drastic is revealed that threatens their own reelection.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    The walls are crumbling on a wannabe Putin. Long may rest in prison.

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    Senate Unanimously Passes Measure Urging Release Of Ukraine Whistleblower Complaint

    The Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a non-binding resolution calling on the Trump administration to release a complaint by a whistleblower from the intelligence community concerning President Donald Trump’s conduct with a foreign leader.

    The measure, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), expresses the sense of the Senate that the complaint, which the intelligence community’s inspector general deemed of “urgent concern,” ought to be provided to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

    The lack of any GOP objections to the resolution ― a single senator could have sidelined it ― was an unexpected development on a day where calls for impeachment swelled in both the House and Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who himself often blocks such Democratic unanimous consent requests, panned the effort in a speech as a “made-for-TV moment,” but did not object to the resolution.

    Since news of the whistleblower’s complaint surfaced last week, the administration has rebuffed demands by Democratic lawmakers that it be released. The whistleblower reportedly expressed concerns that, in a July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump pressed him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and Biden’s son, Hunter. But the complaint also reportedly covers other presidential conduct not related to the Ukraine matter.

    Trump, while confirming he urged the probe, has denied speculation that his comments to the Ukraine leader carried with them the explicit or implicit threat that U.S. military aid to the country could be withheld if the Biden investigation was not undertaken.

    Trump announced Tuesday he has authorized the release on Wednesday of a “complete, fully declassified and unredacted” transcript of his phone conversation with the Ukrainian president. But Democrats said that isn’t enough.

    “We need the complaint,” Schumer said at the Capitol. And he questioned whether the entire transcript of Trump’s conversation will be declassified “or just some” of it.


    Many Democrats say even if Trump did not carry out an explicit quid pro quo concerning the aid to Ukraine, his request that a foreign government conduct a probe that could help his reelection chances is grounds for impeachment by itself. They also maintain the Trump administration is in violation of whistleblower law, which requires the complaint to be transmitted to Congress.

    McConnell had said Monday that Senate Democrats were attempting to “politicize” the issue. He offered no broader defense of Trump, however.

    The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to receive a closed-door briefing from the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, about the complaint on Thursday, according to Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the panel. It’s not clear, however, whether Atkinson will be bringing the complaint with him.

    The Trump administration’s unwillingness to release the complaint to Congress has spurred additional calls for impeachment among Democrats in both the House and Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly now has decided that an impeachment inquiry will be launched. Link
    _____________

    Did NOT see that one coming. It's meaningless in the sense that it's non-binding but the fact that not a single GOP Senator blocked it is rather astounding. Even Turtle McShitface offered only a (barely) faint defense of Trump.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    Does Donald Trump Want to Be Impeached?
    Four reasons the president might welcome articles of impeachment.
    When it comes to determining when it makes sense to impeach a president, congressional Democrats are working with 200 words in the Constitution, three significant historical precedents, the fervor of impeachment advocates, the anxieties of swing-state members of Congress and all the polling data that a modern political party can buy.

    None of this, unfortunately, tells them what to do when the president in question actually wants them to impeach him.

    That Donald Trump actually wants to be impeached is an argument that Ben Domenech, the publisher of The Federalist, has been making for some time — that the president isn’t stumbling backward toward impeachment, but is actually eager for the fight.

    In his email newsletter Monday morning, Domenech cited the last few days of Ukraine-related agitation as vindication, arguing that the circus atmosphere of congressional hearings, scenes of Joe Biden talking about corruption instead of health care or the economy, and wavering House Democrats getting forced into an impeachment vote by their angry colleagues and constituents are all exactly what Trump wants.

    For my own part I think wants is probably an overstatement, since it implies a strategic purpose, a permanent intention and a stable mental state, none of which should be assumed when analyzing the president of the United States. But let’s go this far with Domenech: A president who escapes unscathed from an investigation into his campaign’s collusion with a foreign government and then the day after Robert Mueller’s testimony is on the phone jawboning a foreign government to help out his presidential campaign — does that president seem like a man who’s particularly worried about being impeached? Who’s terribly concerned with avoiding having articles filed, a Senate trial, the works? I would say … not.

    And why might Trump be so unconcerned? Maybe, as impeachment advocates insist, he just thinks Democrats are too gutless to defend the Constitution, too weak to oppose his lawlessness. But it’s also possible (and yes, now I’m going to assume his rationality, having just warned against that, sorry) that he might see four upsides to impeachment, four gifts to his presidency and perhaps his post-presidency that an impeachment and a trial might bring.

    First, if the Democrats impeach him they will be doing something unpopular instead of something popular. Maybe the polls showing impeachment’s unpopularity will alter as the Ukraine story develops. Maybe public hearings will deliver a series of blows that persuades the large anti-Trump, anti-impeachment constituency that his expedited removal from office is desirable or necessary. But the current shape of public opinion is the boring, basic reason that Trump seems to want to be impeached more than Nancy Pelosi wants to impeach him: The Democratic agenda is more popular than the Republican agenda (whatever that is), the likely Democratic nominees are all more popular than Trump, and so anything that puts the Democrats on the wrong side of public opinion may look better, through Trump’s eyes, than the status quo.

    Second, Trump is happy to pit his overt abuses of power against the soft corruption of his foes. This is an aspect of Trumpism that the president’s critics find particularly infuriating — the way he attacks his rivals for being corrupt swamp creatures while being so much more nakedly compromised himself. But whether the subject is the Clinton Foundation’s influence-peddling or now the Biden family’s variation on that theme, Trump has always sold himself as the candidate of a more honest form of graft — presenting his open cynicism as preferable to carefully legal self-dealing, exquisitely laundered self-enrichment, the spirit of “hey, it’s totally normal for the vice president’s son to get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Ukrainians or the Chinese so long as every disclosure form gets filled out and his dad doesn’t talk to him about the business.”

    In fact this sort of elite seaminess is bad, but what Trump offers isn’t preferable: Hypocrisy is better than naked vice, soft corruption is better than the more open sort, and what the president appears to have done in leaning on the Ukrainian government is much worse than Hunter Biden’s overseas arrangements. But no one should be surprised that some voters in our age of mistrust and fragmentation and despair prefer the honest graft — some in Trump’s base, and also some in the ranks of the alienated and aggrieved middle, the peculiar Obama-Trump constituency.

    Indeed, history is replete with “boss”-style politicians who got away with corruption because they were seen as the rough, effective alternative to a smug, hypocritical elite. Trump’s crucial political weakness is that unlike those bosses, he hasn’t delivered that much to many of his voters. But that may make him all the more eager to return to the politics of comparative corruption, to have the argument again about whether he’s more ethically challenged than the swamp. He may not win it, but at least he’s playing a part that he knows well.

    Third, an impeachment battle would give Trump a last chance to solidify his hold on the souls and reputations of his possible Republican successors. To understand what I mean, consider Jonathan V. Last’s explanation of why so few Republican elected officials are likely to break with Trump, no matter how Nixonian his straits become:

    One of the reasons Republicans were able to pressure Nixon to resign was that they knew Nixon cared about the institution of the Republican Party.

    Another reason is that they knew that Nixon would go away and keep quiet in a self-imposed exile after his presidency. He wasn’t going to spend his winter years taking shots at [Charles] Wiggins and Goldwater and Ford on Twitter 15 times a day.

    Neither of those assumptions are operable with Trump.

    This doesn’t just explain why Trump thinks he can survive an impeachment fight; it also explains why he might relish it. He knows that he could well lose the next election, but there’s no reason a mere general-election defeat will prevent him from wielding power over the Republican Party, via Twitter and other means, for many years to come. And what better way to consolidate that power (or at least the feeling of that power) in the last year of his administration than seeing all his would-be successors, all the bright younger men of the Senate especially, come down and kiss the ring one last time?

    Come on down, Marco Rubio! Step right up, Ben Sasse! Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, the history books are watching: Tell us one more time, just one more time, how completely Donald Trump the Great owns your vote, your principles, your honor!

    Which brings us to the last reason Trump might kind of like to be impeached: Because the circus is the part of politics that he fundamentally enjoys. Throughout the Mueller investigation my Twitter feed was alight with liberal and NeverTrump fantasies about how Trump must be bed-wetting, flop-sweat terrified by the tough G-man’s investigation. And maybe at times he was. But I’m pretty sure that when he ranted on Twitter about the “Twelve Angry Democrats” and “WITCH HUNT” and “NO COLLUSION,” he was more engaged, more alive, more fully his full self than at any point during the legislative battles over tax reform or Obamacare repeal.

    And Robert Mueller’s was a legal investigation, with the power to actually put people in Trump’s inner circle in prison. A merely political trial, where the worst-case scenario is a political martyrdom that Sean Hannity will sing of ever after, seems to offer Trump a much lower-stress variation on that experience. Why, the nicknames for the impeachment managers alone will be a Trumpian banquet, a veritable feast!

    None of this, I should stress, adds up to an airtight argument that the Democrats should not impeach. Nine months ago I made a case against impeachment, and many of the arguments in that essay might apply to this case — depending on how far it turns out Trump went in pressuring Ukraine. But politics is a contact sport, a field for combat as well as for maneuver, and just because someone wants a fight doesn’t mean that you should never, ever give him one. The dictum about wrestling a pig (you get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it) doesn’t hold up if the pig keeps punching you; the dictum that it’s better to beat Trump at the polls than lose a Senate vote probably doesn’t hold up if you talk yourself into looking permanently supine in the face of indubitable corruption.

    Much of the Trump era has consisted of politicians of both parties waiting for someone else to give Trump a knockout blow. So there’s something to be said, at the level of spiritedness if not necessarily strategy, for House Democrats to take a swing themselves.

    But my ultimate guess is that none of this matters quite as much as some impeachment arguers suppose. An impeachment effort could be both foredoomed and unlikely to influence the 2020 outcome all that much, so Nancy Pelosi might be wise to forestall one but also find herself with few regrets if one gets forced on her.

    The nature of the Trump era is that yuge events recede far more rapidly than anyone expects. So it might be with impeachment: Have the vote or don’t have it, we’ll be arguing about something completely different by the time Americans are going to the polls. Link
    _______________
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    Democracy (In)Action

    Senate GOP vows to quash impeachment articles

    BY ALEXANDER BOLTON - 09/24/19 06:25 PM EDT

    https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/...hment-articles
    “Senate Republicans are vowing to quickly quash any articles of impeachment that pass the House and warn that Democrats will feel a political backlash if they go forward and impeach President Trump.”

    Number of minutes of actual impeachment investigation completed: zero.
    Number of prosecution witnesses called: zero.
    Number of defense witnesses called: zero.
    Credibility of GOPer-controlled Senate verdict: zero.

    Stay classy, GOPers.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Senate GOP vows to quash impeachment articles

    Stay classy, GOPers.
    Eh, to be expected. A knee-jerk response to any threat to their Orange God Emperor.

    Let's see if the full whistleblower's complaint (not merely the transcript) is released by the Trump "Administration" or not.
    Even the GOP-controlled Congress thinks it should be. Trump's reaction to that will be telling.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    And so it begins. Where will it end? If the impeachment probe recommends it, then the House will vote on it and Trump will almost certainly be impeached.

    Of course, the trial in Senate will be a farce unless something drastic is revealed that threatens their own reelection.
    Another damp squib in four years time when he is at the end of his second term ?

    So what is the deal here ?

    The opposition has no hope of defeating him in the next election that they have to remove him from the competition. They learnt some new tricks after the 2004 loss.

    How many red herrings have there been. Russian collusion. Now this.

    Obama had to deal with the Birthers thing.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 25 Sep 19, at 13:29.

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    DE,

    The opposition has no hope of defeating him in the next election that they have to remove him from the competition. They learnt some new tricks after the 2004 loss.
    eh...that's literally the opposite of what Dems are thinking.

    IE, the reason why Pelosi held back the impeachment dam was so long was because she felt that impeachment would just fire up the GOP base, kill the chances of moderate Dem House members, and in the end be purely symbolic because it wouldn't go through the Senate.

    multiple things have now changed both on the governance side and the politics side, which influenced Pelosi's calculus. what hasn't changed is the understanding that the GOP Senate will not move to convict.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    So we end up with a Clinton like result. Impeached by the house, not the senate. He completes his term and possibly wins another.

    or does being impeached by the house prevent him from running for office again ?

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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Impeachment procedings against Bill Clinton began Oct 8, 1998, ... nearly two years into his second term of office.
    America has never reelected a president after impeachment proceedings began (but, only three examples).
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

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    And so the idea is to commence proceedings before the elections begin and then he has lost by default.

    Slow clap

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    So we end up with a Clinton like result. Impeached by the house, not the senate. He completes his term and possibly wins another.
    that is the highest probability option, pending a significant number of Senate GOP defections.

    or does being impeached by the house prevent him from running for office again ?
    no, it does not prevent him from running for office, or winning, again.

    the process, however, does impose costs on him. there are some benefits it gives him, too, but it remains to be seen which is the greater.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Why is it that ever since Clinton there has been some movement to oust every sitting president since ?

    Definitely an improvement from shooting the guy but c'mon...

    Is four years so long to wait or is there a fear that if you don't get rid of him chances are good he and his corrupt cronies will get him a second term. Not many presidents end with a single terms. Most had two

    The problem with this imposing of costs is it takes way from what he was put in office to do.

    How much time does he have when he has to constantly watch his back. Ridiculous.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 25 Sep 19, at 20:20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Why is it that ever since Clinton there has been some movement to oust every sitting president since ?

    Definitely an improvement from shooting the guy but c'mon...

    Is four years so long to wait or is there a fear that if you don't get rid of him chances are good he and his corrupt cronies will get him a second term. Not many presidents end with a single terms. Most had two

    The problem with this imposing of costs is it takes way from what he was put in office to do.

    How much time does he have when he has to constantly watch his back. Ridiculous.
    Are you really that inured to, or comfortable with, systemic and blatant corruption by public officials?

    Yes, how dare Donald Trump have to "watch his back" because of the multiple violations of his oath of office.


    Jesus fucking Christ....
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Are you really that inured to, or comfortable with, systemic and blatant corruption by public officials?

    Yes, how dare Donald Trump have to "watch his back" because of the multiple violations of his oath of office.


    Jesus fucking Christ....
    did you miss the part about every president since clinton ? so its not just the donald then is it.

    This balatant corruption of officials i got a earful of when Obama was in office thanks to his Chicago connections. Nobody quite does it as good as Chicago apparently.

    It's as if once the commies went away you turned in on yourselves.

    THAT is where i'm going here.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 25 Sep 19, at 21:08.

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