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Thread: Impeachment Inquiry of Donald John Trump

  1. #151
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    First I'm pretty sure McCarthy is an "R".

    Second, Ron Johnson is certifiable after his last interview. He has come down with Mad Trump Disease and is a lost cause. Can't tell if it is terminal as of yet although he has a 2022 election coming up.

    Speaking of elections I'm surprised Republican Senators, just elected in 2018 with six years to go, would be cowed themselves by Trump. He'll be long gone by the time their next election is up. Cruz being an example. How about it Lyin" Ted? I'm sure that name is still eating away at you inside and here is your chance to inflict some damage on him in retribution.

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    https://thehill.com/homenews/adminis...nese-president

    Trump reportedly told Xi during the conversation that he would stay quiet about protests in Hong Kong while the U.S. and China pursued trade negotiations.
    f*ck this guy.

    Isn't this how realpolitik has always worked though - You give me what I want, I ignore your misdeeds? We have plenty of examples in history from past US presidents, so Trump is not alone in this by any means. There are other concurrent examples too - the Saudis are merrily bombing Yemeni civilians to smithereens using American jets for example while the US makes Yuuuge arms deals with them.

    The Biden-Ukraine thing is different since Trump tried to use his position for straight personal political gain not in the national interest. Of course, in Trump's warped mind his personal interest IS the national interest.
    Last edited by Firestorm; 07 Oct 19, at 19:01.

  3. #153
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    Poll: a majority of Americans think House Democrats right to open Trump impeachment inquiry
    WASHINGTON – A majority of Americans think House Democrats were right to open an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, according to a Washington Post-Shar School poll published Tuesday.

    By a margin of 58-38%, respondents said Congress should have begun the impeachment inquiry. Forty-three percent were "strongly" in favor, while 29% were "strongly" opposed.

    Last month, congressional Democrats announced the probe in response to a whistleblower's complaint that alleged Trump leveraged military aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating Vice President Joe Biden, one of his chief Democratic rivals in the 2020 election.

    Sixty-two percent said asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, was inappropriate – 43% said it was "very inappropriate" and 17% said "somewhat inappropriate." Thirty-two percent felt it was appropriate.

    Fifty-eight percent thought it mattered that Trump held back military aid ahead of requesting the investigation – 38% said it mattered "a great deal" and 20% said it mattered "a good amount." Thirty-seven percent said that it mattered "not so much" or "not at all."

    About half of the respondents (49%) said Trump should be removed from office.

    The poll's results indicate a shift in public opinion toward impeachment since the whistleblower's allegations became public. In July, a Post-ABC News poll found that only 37% of Americans thought Democrats should begin impeachment proceedings, with 59% saying they should not. A Post-Shar School poll in April also found only 37% supported impeachment proceedings

    A USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll published Thursday found Americans support a vote by the House of Representatives to impeach President Donald Trump by a 45%-38% plurality. And by a margin of 44%-35%, those surveyed say the Senate, which would then be charged with holding a trial of the president, should convict Trump and remove him from office.

    The Washington Post-Shar School poll found Americans were about split on how Democrats have handled the issue, with 49% saying they approve and 44% saying they disapprove. Fifty-six percent said they disapproved of Republicans' response to the impeachment inquiry and 33% said they approved.

    Sixty-one percent said Democrats were "making a necessary stand against Trump’s actions." When asked if they were overreacting, 41% said yes, and 55% said no. Fifty percent said they were "distracting Congress from more important issues," while 46% said they were not.

    Six in ten said that Trump does not uphold adequate standards for ethics in government, while 35% said he does. When asked if Biden would uphold such standards if he became president, 47% said he would and 38% said he would not.

    The poll was conducted from Oct. 1-6 from among a sample of 1,007 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%
    _______________

    Tick-tock tick-tock....
    “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

  4. #154
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    Since this is part of the whole Trumpkin - Ukrainian coercion business that is the immediate cause of your ongoing impeachment inquiry I suppose it effects you as much as Ukraine so shall post this here. Now we hear Trumpkin moaning on about "corruption" and how it is somehow his personal responsibility to go after - even in Ukraine - if it involves a US citizen, most particularly of course if the polls show that particular US citizen, former Deputy President Biden, is likely to thrash the Orange Clown in the coming election. So no lesser person than Trumpkin's newest lawyer Rudy Giuliani was dispatched to Kyiv and Trump told Zelensky to speak to his personal lawyer, who just happened to be in Kyiv.

    Well what were they really upto?

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — As Rudy Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials last spring to investigate one of Donald Trump’s main political rivals, a group of individuals with ties to the president and his personal lawyer were also active in the former Soviet republic.

    Their aims were profit, not politics. This circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at the top of Ukraine’s massive state gas company. Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.

    Their plan hit a snag after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lost his reelection bid to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose conversation with Trump about former Vice President Joe Biden is now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry of Trump.

    But the effort to install a friendlier management team at the helm of the gas company, Naftogaz, would soon be taken up with Ukraine’s new president by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whose slate of candidates included a fellow Texan who is one of Perry’s past political donors.

    It’s unclear if Perry’s attempts to replace board members at Naftogaz were coordinated with the Giuliani allies pushing for a similar outcome, and no one has alleged that there is criminal activity in any of these efforts. And it’s unclear what role, if any, Giuliani had in helping his clients push to get gas sales agreements with the state-owned company.

    But the affair shows how those with ties to Trump and his administration were pursuing business deals in Ukraine that went far beyond advancing the president’s personal political interests. It also raises questions about whether Trump allies were mixing business and politics just as Republicans were calling for a probe of Biden and his son Hunter, who served five years on the board of another Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.

    On Friday, Trump told a group of Republican lawmakers that it had been Perry who had prompted the phone call in which Trump asked Zelenskiy for a “favor” regarding Biden, according to a person familiar with Trump’s remarks.

    The person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to describe a closed conversation among GOP officials, recounted that Trump said it was Perry who asked him to make the July call to discuss “something about an LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant.” Trump’s remarks were first reported Saturday by the news site Axios.

    While it’s unclear whether Trump’s remark Friday referred specifically to the behind-the-scenes maneuvers this spring involving the multibillion-dollar state gas company, The Associated Press has interviewed four people with direct knowledge of the attempts to influence Naftogaz, and their accounts show Perry playing a key role in the effort. Three of the four spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. The fourth is an American businessman with close ties to the Ukrainian energy sector.
    https://www.apnews.com/d7440cffba4940f5b85cd3dfa3500fb2

    This is presumably why it is now said that Rick Perry urged Trumpkin to call Zelensky about 'gas issues' as Perry was in the loop regarding this Naftogaz pressuring. So while going after dirt ('the corruption!') of Biden as matter of almost sacred duty they were trying to line their pockets from Ukraine.

  5. #155
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    The Associated Press has interviewed four people with direct knowledge of the attempts to influence Naftogaz, and their accounts show [Rick] Perry playing a key role in the effort.
    Hm, I wonder when Perry will be resigning...Oh that would be NOW!

    And another one bites the dust.
    “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

  6. #156
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    Lindsey Graham Asks Giuliani to Testify in New GOP-Led Probe on Ukraine

    (Bloomberg) -- Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham reversed course Tuesday and announced he’ll open a Ukraine inquiry that would give President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, an opportunity to testify in a counter to the impeachment inquiry by House Democrats.

    Graham has previously said he would not open such an investigation, pushing instead for someone outside of politics at the Department of Justice to look at matters involving Ukraine, including Trump’s and Giuliani’s allegations about the actions of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

    “Given the House of Representatives’ behavior, it is time for the Senate to inquire about corruption and other improprieties involving Ukraine,” Graham said on Twitter, citing actions leading to the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor.

    “Therefore I will offer to Mr. Giuliani the opportunity to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to inform the committee of his concerns,” Graham, a Republican and close ally of Trump, said on Twitter.


    Graham’s counter-attack on the House’s impeachment inquiry came after days of pressure from top Trump allies including Donald Trump Jr. for Graham to act. It presents the Trump White House with a high-profile congressional forum to present its own narrative about unsubstantiated allegations about Biden, a potential challenger to Trump in 2020.

    But it also would put Giuliani on the record about his months-long public and private effort to push Ukraine’s government to launch a probe even as Trump himself was blocking military aid to Ukraine’s new government.

    Democrats Eager

    Democrats suggested they were eager to question Giuliani. A hearing with Giuliani potentially would turn the spotlight over to some of Biden’s competitors in the Democratic primary who sit on the Judiciary Committee -- Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar.

    In response to Graham’s proposal, Harris tweeted, “Good. I have questions.”

    California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on Judiciary, said in a statement she would “welcome the opportunity to question Rudy Giuliani under oath about his role in seeking the Ukrainian government’s assistance to investigate one of the president’s political rivals.”

    She said Democrats “have plenty of questions for Mr. Giuliani.”

    Giuliani hasn’t committed to testifying before Graham’s committee and suggested he was weighing whether the information he has falls under attorney-client privilege.

    “Very interested but need to review because of privilege issue,” he said in a text message.


    Graham accused House Democrats of conducting a one-sided investigation, but it’s not clear yet how extensive his probe will be.

    “We’ll hear from Giuliani and then determine what, if any additional witnesses need to be called,” said Graham spokeswoman Taylor Reidy.

    Democrats leading the House impeachment inquiry are focusing on whether Trump threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine and other considerations including a meeting unless the government investigated Biden’s actions regarding Ukraine when he was in office.

    Until now, Graham had deferred to the Senate Intelligence Committee led by Republican Chairman Richard Burr and top Democrat Mark Warner, who have been quietly conducting their own probe into a whistle-blower complaint about Trump’s Ukraine actions entirely behind closed doors. Graham had also told reporters he would not investigate the Bidens, saying that would effectively shut down the Senate on other matters.

    A spokesman for Biden, Andrew Bates, said in a statement that “bringing forward noted conspiracist and liar Rudy Giuliani would further discredit the reputation of the Senate Judiciary Committee under Senator Graham.”

    Graham’s decision came just hours after the State Department blocked U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland from appearing before the three House panels leading the investigation. The Democratic chairmen of the committees said they would subpoena Sondland for his testimony as well as communications from his personal devices that have been turned over to the State Department.

    Giuliani is at the center of the storm over Trump’s attempt to pry damaging information about Biden out of Ukraine. House Democrats have subpoenaed Giuliani for documents he referred to in TV interviews regarding his communications with associates in Kiev and in the State Department.

    Giuliani, a former mayor of New York City, has made claims that Biden as vice president used leverage to force out Ukraine’s then-top prosecutor Viktor Shokin to protect from prosecution his son Hunter Biden, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holding.

    Ukraine’s former president, Petro Poroshenko, has said that Biden never asked him to open or close any criminal cases, adding to the list of Ukrainian officials saying they saw him do nothing improper involving his son.

    Biden has said he called for the prosecutor’s ouster to foster more anti-corruption probes, and Ukrainian officials have said Hunter Biden was not under investigation. Shokin was broadly considered ineffectual by Western nations, accused of corruption by his deputy, and removed in 2016 under pressure from European nations and the Obama administration, as well as some Republican senators.

    Trump, in his July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, had recommended that Zelenskiy contact Giuliani for guidance on allegations regarding Biden and his son.

    Trump and Giuliani also have suggested that Ukraine was involved in interfering in the 2016 election as they’ve sought to undermine the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election meddling, an allegation Ukrainian officials have rejected.
    _________________________________

    Yeah, let's put in Giuliani on the record, sworn to tell the truth, and see what happens. This ought to be good for a laugh.

    Of course, Rudy has to check with his owner first, to see if it's ok...citing "attorney-client privilege".
    Which is interesting because he was acting on behalf the President, not a private citizen, and Rudy is not a government official. So does attorney-client privilege still apply here?

    I wonder how Graham and the GOP will react if (when?) Trump refuses to allow Giuliani to testify under oath....After all, it's not just Republican softball questions that Rudy will be subject to.

    And the plot thickens lol.
    “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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    I would think it interesting to see the reasons given should Giuliani agree - or be given permission to speak his conspiracy theories - to Graham's Committee but then refused/was refused permission to testify before Schiffs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    I would think it interesting to see the reasons given should Giuliani agree - or be given permission to speak his conspiracy theories - to Graham's Committee but then refused/was refused permission to testify before Schiffs.
    Oh that's easy: If Rudy appears before the Senate, no matter the outcome, Trump will claim exoneration (just as he falsely did with the Mueller Report) and say there's no reason for Rudy to appear before a second (House) committee. Senate Republicans will no doubt agree and continue to assist the White House in their non-stop obstruction of justice.

    For that twisted "reason" alone, Trump should shove Rudy before the Senate first thing tomorrow morning. Like I said, it won't matter if Rudy lies through his teeth, perjures himself and then self-incriminates the living shit out of himself seconds later (or Trump for that matter). Trump will still claim total exoneration, Trump's supporters will lap it up, and the House will be left empty-handed.

    It's pretty remarkable how easy it is to subvert the Constitution, democracy and governmental processes.
    “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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    Trump-Sondland phone call on Ukraine talking points emerges as key to impeachment probe

    As the standoff intensified Tuesday between House Democrats and President Trump over evidence sought for the impeachment inquiry, attention turned to a crucial phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, about the president’s efforts to coerce Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden.

    Two news organizations have now confirmed a New York Times report about a phone call between Trump and Sondland on Sept. 9, apparently giving Sondland talking points on the issue, which was the impetus for the investigation by the House Intelligence Committee.

    Last week Kurt Volker, former American special envoy to Ukraine, provided testimony and text messages showing senior U.S. diplomats both coordinating and simultaneously expressing concern about Trump’s withholding of military assistance to Ukraine unless the country’s new president agreed to help dig up political dirt on Biden.

    Among those text messages was a conversation between Sondland and Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine. On Sept. 9, Taylor and Sondland were texting about the withholding of aid.

    “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” wrote Taylor.

    Nearly five hours later, Sondland responded with a formal-sounding statement that could be seen as attempting to cover for any potential illicit behavior from the White House and ends communication via text.

    “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions,” wrote Sondland. “The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.”


    On Tuesday, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal reported that during the five hours between texts, Sondland was in phone contact with Trump. The New York Times also reported the conversation last week. Sondland is not a career diplomat but a businessman, the founder and chairman of the Provenance chain of hotels, and a Republican donor who contributed $1 million to the Trump inauguration before his appointment.

    Sondland flew from Brussels to Washington for a Tuesday morning deposition before three House committees, but in a post-midnight phone call to his lawyer, the State Department instructed him not to testify.

    The White House has signaled that it intends not to cooperate with the impeachment investigation, setting up another standoff with Congress. Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday that he “can’t imagine” anyone from the administration appearing in front of the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry panel.

    Democrats, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, have said they view the White House’s actions as obstruction and will subpoena Sondland and documents related to the investigation. Sondland and Taylor were using WhatsApp on their personal phones as opposed to encrypted government devices, calling into question their compliance with record regulations.

    “The American people have the right to know if the president is acting in their interests, in the nation’s interests with an eye toward our national security, and not in his narrow personal, political interests,” said Schiff. “By preventing us from hearing from this witness and obtaining these documents, the president and secretary of state are taking actions that prevent us from getting the facts needed to protect the nation’s security.”

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she agrees that Trump’s efforts to block Sondland from testifying represent obstruction.

    “It is an abuse of power for him to act in this way,” Pelosi said. “And that is one of the reasons we have an impeachment inquiry.”

    On Twitter, Trump suggested he made the decision to block Sondland’s testimony.

    “I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public to see,” Trump tweeted.

    The president highlighted a text message from Sondland, released by House Democrats last week, in which the ambassador asserted there were “no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” Trump incorrectly referred to the message as a tweet.

    “Importantly, Ambassador Sondland’s tweet, which few report, stated, ‘I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind,’” the president wrote on Twitter. “That says it ALL!”

    The House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry was triggered by a whistleblower’s complaint against Trump over his order to withhold U.S. military aid to Ukraine unless the country’s new president agreed to investigate a political opponent, Biden, and his son Hunter, who served until earlier this year on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

    The White House released a memo summarizing Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a document Trump had defended as “perfect.” The memo led to Pelosi’s announcement late last month of a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.

    Since then, a flurry of developments has given added impetus to the impeachment probe. Those include a report that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among those who listened in on Trump’s July 25 call, and the news that Trump also pressured Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for information that could help discredit former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

    Then, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn last week, Trump called on China to investigate the Bidens because “nobody has any doubt that they weren’t crooked.” He has yet to provide evidence of wrongdoing. The solicitation of assistance from a foreign country in a U.S. election is a campaign finance violation.
    ______________________

    The Trump playbook is in full swing. "I'd love to, but..." is Trump-speak for "Never in a million years and even the thought "X" enrages me".
    “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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    White House Tells Democrats It Will Not Cooperate With Impeachment Inquiry
    WASHINGTON — The White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, sent a letter Tuesday afternoon to House Democrats calling the impeachment inquiry into President Trump “constitutionally invalid” and indicating that the White House would not cooperate with the congressional committees pursuing it.

    “President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your unconstitutional inquiry,” the letter said.

    The letter echoed comments that lawyers for President Trump made to Yahoo News earlier in the day saying that administration officials may stop cooperating with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry because they believe it is “absurd.”

    The comments came in the hours after U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was ordered by the State Department to skip a deposition that was part of the impeachment inquiry being led by Democrats on three House committees. Sondland is a central figure in text messages that Democrats have described as proof that Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

    The Democrats are set to depose several witnesses linked to the president. They have also requested records from the State Department, White House and vice president’s office in addition to subpoenaing documents from one of the president’s personal lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, and some of his associates.

    In a phone call with Yahoo News, Jay Sekulow, another one of Trump’s attorneys, suggested the decision to block Sondland from testifying could be the beginning of a larger showdown, with other officials not complying with requests for testimony or documents.

    “It’s the White House’s call, but I think it’s fair to say that the irregularities in the investigation have caused everyone, including the White House ... including the president’s counsel ... to take a deep look at this and that’s what we’re doing,” Sekulow said.

    Asked about whether he meant the president’s legal team is considering refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, Sekulow replied: “I can’t be more particular ... it’s not just refusing to cooperate. I would put it more in the context of exercising appropriate constitutional privileges.”

    Sekulow also discussed Cipollone’s letter to House Democrats and said it would detail alleged “irregularities” in the inquiry. Cipollone and the White House did not respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople for the Democrats on the three committees leading the inquiry also did not respond.

    Cipollone’s letter, which was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chairmen of the three committees, argued the inquiry is partisan and a violation of due process. In it, Cipollone said there was “no wrongdoing” in Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, which took place on July 25. Cipollone also argued the inquiry lacked the “appropriate procedures” including “at a minimum” the right for the president and his lawyers to “see all evidence,” “call witnesses” and “cross examine all witnesses.”

    “Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” Cipollone wrote
    .

    Sekulow’s comments to Yahoo News came shortly after he appeared on his live daily broadcast and suggested officials would not be willing to testify.

    “You’re darn right ambassadors aren’t going to be testifying because the charade has been exposed for what it is — a charade,” Sekulow said on the show.

    “This kind of cooperation” was “basically coming to an end” due to “the way that these witnesses are being treated,” Sekulow said.

    Among other issues Sekulow outlined with the impeachment inquiry, he accused the House of not respecting executive privilege. He also noted the House does “not recognize attorney-client privilege.”

    “This is a charade taking place in the House of Representatives. There’s no due process ... there is nothing done with any structure,” Sekulow said.

    Trump’s attorneys have also expressed concerns about the fact that the two whistleblowers who have filed complaints about Trump’s Ukraine call are anonymous.

    “That presents a serious issue. If they’re going to base an article of impeachment based on two whistleblowers that cannot be cross-examined, or interviewed, or testify, I think that borders on the absurd,” Sekulow said in the phone call with Yahoo News.

    The anonymous complaints were filed in accordance with whistleblower protection laws that are designed to protect government employees who raise concerns about potential misconduct from retaliation.

    If officials refuse to comply with requests from House Democrats for testimony or documents, it will set the stage for an intense legal showdown where Democrats would need to issue subpoenas and potentially find people who decline to comply in contempt. After Sondland was blocked from testifying, the three Democratic committee chairs leading the inquiry issued a statement that declared, “We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry.”

    For his part, Giuliani, the president’s lawyer who has been subpoenaed for documents, said the Democrats would “make fools out of themselves” if they tried to hold him or others in contempt. Giuliani also echoed criticism of the inquiry, which he compared to the midcentury Red Scare by dubbing it “worse than Joe McCarthy.”

    On his show, Sekulow made clear that Trump and his legal team are readying for a battle.

    “We are not going to allow these inquiries, as they’re calling them, to turn into a destruction of the U.S. Constitution,” Sekulow said. “We’re fighting back, so is the White House. Enough is enough.”
    __________________

    A full-on middle finger to the Constitution. Trump and his sewer are going big, I'll give them that much.

    I do believe that a LOT of people are going to get hit with charges of Obstruction of Justice (which is merely a "process" crime of course, and therefore of little importance /s)

    Now we find out which judges believe in the rule of law and accountability for everyone, including the President.
    “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

  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post

    On his show, Sekulow made clear that Trump and his legal team are readying for a battle.

    “We are not going to allow these inquiries, as they’re calling them, to turn into a destruction of the U.S. Constitution,” Sekulow said. “We’re fighting back, so is the White House. Enough is enough.”
    __________________

    A full-on middle finger to the Constitution. Trump and his sewer are going big, I'll give them that much.

    I do believe that a LOT of people are going to get hit with charges of Obstruction of Justice (which is merely a "process" crime of course, and therefore of little importance /s)

    Now we find out which judges believe in the rule of law and accountability for everyone, including the President.
    Wow, that was fast. I must have been asleep when the Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional.

    Typical Trump playbook from ages ago, stall, stall, stall until the cows come home which means after the November 2020 election.

    If I recall correctly neither Nixon or Clinton were able to put off the request for documents once a subpoena was issued. Both released the information within days.

    Am I not correct that this Supreme Court case pretty much describes what needs to happen: United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974)

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    First I'm pretty sure McCarthy is an "R".

    Second, Ron Johnson is certifiable after his last interview. He has come down with Mad Trump Disease and is a lost cause. Can't tell if it is terminal as of yet although he has a 2022 election coming up.

    Speaking of elections I'm surprised Republican Senators, just elected in 2018 with six years to go, would be cowed themselves by Trump. He'll be long gone by the time their next election is up. Cruz being an example. How about it Lyin" Ted? I'm sure that name is still eating away at you inside and here is your chance to inflict some damage on him in retribution.
    He is, indeed.
    corrected.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  13. #163
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    It Took A Long Time For Republicans To Abandon Nixon
    On July 23, 1974, Rep. Lawrence Hogan, Sr., a Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, bought airtime on TV networks across his home state of Maryland. He had a big announcement to share: Hogan was the first Republican on the House Judiciary Committee to publicly say he would vote to impeach Nixon. It was just over two weeks before Nixon would announce his resignation, and the Judiciary Committee was poised to approve three articles of impeachment against the president — except nobody knew that yet.

    Today, as another impeachment drama unfolds, it’s easy to see Republicans like Hogan, who were willing to break ranks with their party, as a fundamental difference between Watergate and today. And it’s true that Republicans are currently staying in President Trump’s corner. But while we tend to focus on the bipartisan rebellion that led to Nixon’s resignation, it’s also worth understanding how public opinion and the party eventually turned against the president.

    Support for impeachment had grown slowly over the course of 1974, but there still wasn’t an overwhelming public consensus behind it until right before Nixon left office in early August. And Republican support for Nixon had remained mostly strong, even in the face of a scandal that consumed his second term. As the truth about the scope of Nixon’s misconduct emerged, though, impeachment became increasingly popular and the president lost even his most fervent defenders in Congress. Of course, there are many differences between the Nixon impeachment and the Democrats’ current inquiry, which is still in its early stages, and each impeachment investigation will unfold differently. But as today’s Republicans are scrutinized for signs that they might turn on Trump, it’s important to remember that even in Watergate, it took more than a year of investigation — and a lot of evidence against Nixon — to reach the point where Republicans like Hogan were voting for impeachment.

    Impeachment wasn’t popular until right before Nixon resigned
    When the House of Representatives voted in February 1974 to give the House Judiciary Committee subpoena power to investigate Nixon, it did not have the weight of public opinion behind it. According to a poll conducted by Gallup just days before the vote, only 38 percent of Americans were in favor of impeachment. And although a solid majority of Americans did eventually come to support impeachment, that moment didn’t arrive until quite late in the game.

    But this didn’t mean the public wasn’t souring on Nixon as the Watergate scandal unfolded. After winning a sweeping victory in the 1972 election, the president began his second term with an approval rating around 60 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight’s tracker of presidential approval. Then that spring saw a stunning 30-point drop in Nixon’s support starting around when one of the people charged with breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters confessed to a judge that he and the other conspirators had been pressured to stay silent.

    Support for Nixon continued to plunge throughout the long summer of 1973, while former White House lawyer John Dean testified in Senate hearings that the president had been involved in a cover-up of the burglary and a White House aide confirmed in closed-door testimony that Nixon had set up a secret White House taping system. And by the time of October’s Saturday Night Massacre — where Nixon ordered the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had been demanding those tapes, and the closing of the special prosecutor’s investigation — his approval rating had plunged to 27 percent, which is about where it stayed until Nixon resigned.

    As Nixon’s approval ratings fell, support for impeachment was rising more gradually, reaching solid majority support by early August 1974. That was right in the midst of the crucial two-week period when the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to turn over the White House tapes, the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve three articles of impeachment and Nixon released the transcript of what became known as the “smoking gun” tape, which showed that he had helped orchestrate the cover-up. His support among his allies (who had included some conservative southern Democrats as well as Republicans) had already started to erode significantly, but it was the “smoking gun” tape that finally forced his resignation on August 8, before the House could vote on impeachment. At that point, the public was clearly behind impeachment, although a significant minority of Americans — including most Republicans — still didn’t think Nixon should be removed from office.

    Most Republicans in Congress took a long time to break with Nixon
    So why did it take most Republicans so long to break with Nixon? There was a growing bipartisan sense of alarm about his actions, especially in the wake of the Saturday Night Massacre, as a handful of Republicans in Congress called for Nixon’s resignation. Even some party leaders and staunch Nixon defenders, like Sen. Barry Goldwater, criticized the president’s handling of the scandal, although their rebukes still fell short of calling for impeachment. The House’s vote to formally open an impeachment inquiry in February 1974 was almost unanimous.

    Republicans generally saw the inquiry as legitimate, but that didn’t mean they had lost faith in Nixon. “Many remained vocal in support of the president, saying he was innocent,” said Timothy Naftali, a presidential historian at New York University and the former director of the Nixon presidential library. “Others were more judicious, waiting for the evidence to come out.”

    Eventually, several of the more moderate Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, including Hogan, were convinced by the evidence against Nixon and voted for at least one of the articles of impeachment in July 1974. As the chart below shows, three of the articles of impeachment passed with varying levels of support from Republicans and conservative Democrats, although a significant number of conservative Republicans remained in Nixon’s camp. The final two articles of impeachment, which centered on the secret bombing of Cambodia that began in 1969 and charges of tax fraud against Nixon, were not approved.

    Some of the Republican defense of Nixon probably boiled down to party loyalty, according to Jeffrey Engel, a presidential historian at Southern Methodist University. “For a long time, they just weren’t going to pull the trigger on a duly elected president from their own party,” he said. Republicans also faced pressure from a small but powerful group of activists who were vehemently opposed to Nixon’s impeachment and were aggressively lobbying their representatives not to abandon him. “Increasingly, [Republican leadership] thought it would be better for the party if Nixon could be persuaded to go,” said Mark Nevin, a history professor at Ohio University Lancaster who has studied Republican support for Nixon at the end of his presidency. “But nobody wanted to be the one who pushed him out.”

    It also took a while for all of the evidence to emerge, and ultimately, the scope of Nixon’s wrongdoing helped convince some of the Judiciary Committee Republicans to break ranks, in spite of pressure from leadership to maintain a united front in support of Nixon. “It wasn’t a single act that moved them — it was the pattern of corruption by the president,” Naftali said. Nixon’s support was crumbling by the time the Judiciary Committee voted on impeachment, but he didn’t lose the full support of his party until the “smoking gun” tape clearly implicated him in the Watergate cover-up, at which point he lost even the Republicans on the committee who had voted against impeachment. Two days after the transcript of the tape became public, Goldwater led a delegation to the White House to tell Nixon it was over.

    It’s hard to imagine what such a “smoking gun” would look like today, in part because the Democrats’ investigations are still in the information-gathering stage, but it does seem that we haven’t arrived there yet. One important difference between the Nixon era and today: Trump hasn’t really denied the allegations against him, while several historians told me that many Republicans probably believed Nixon was telling the truth about his lack of involvement in the cover-up. The shock of discovering just how much Nixon had misled them was also an important factor.

    “It was an enormous betrayal for some of Nixon’s allies when they realized that he had been lying the whole time,” Engel said. “Because it meant they had been lying too.”

    Partisanship can be a powerful barrier to impeachment
    One of the oft-cited lessons of Watergate is that impeaching a president requires a bipartisan effort. And in the end, it did. Republicans voted with Democrats to subpoena Nixon and to approve the articles of impeachment, which was a significant political risk. But focusing only on that part of the saga doesn’t account for how strongly many Republicans defended their president throughout most of the investigation. “The Nixon case shows that seemingly intractable partisan disagreement over impeachment can give way if the president’s conduct is bad enough and the proof of it is clear enough,” said Joshua Matz, a constitutional lawyer and the co-author of “To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment.” “But it also shows that this is a high barrier, and it didn’t happen until awfully late in the process.”

    At several points, according to Nevin’s research, Goldwater and other prominent Republicans considered pushing Nixon to resign, but instead continued to defend him because they were afraid of a backlash from his supporters. “Some Republicans were actually relieved when the tape came out because it was so obviously obstruction that you couldn’t come to any other conclusion,” Nevin said. “It freed them from having to make what would have been a very difficult decision.”

    Today some Republicans may be facing a similar dilemma: Do they ignore party allegiance and turn on the president, or double down on party loyalty?

    One complicating factor here is that if Republicans were to abandon Trump, history does not suggest that Trump loyalists would easily forgive them for joining the Democrats’ impeachment effort. Even though most Americans did eventually support removing Nixon from office, Republican voters were mostly not part of that consensus. Days before he resigned, a Gallup poll found that only 31 percent of Republicans thought Nixon should no longer be president. And some of those supporters deeply resented their representatives for their role in ousting Nixon, which may even have contributed to the Democratic landslide in the 1974 midterm elections.

    Of course, looking back on what happened in Watergate can’t tell us whether Trump will survive this particular scandal. Some Republicans have started to criticize Trump’s behavior, but none have taken the momentous step of supporting an impeachment inquiry. So Trump’s removal certainly doesn’t seem likely now. But if nothing else, history offers a good reminder about how challenging it is to predict the future. After all, until a few weeks before his resignation, Nixon’s fate wasn’t a foregone conclusion either. Link
    __________________

    So it took over a year of investigation before Republicans were persuaded to remove Nixon from office...which goes a long way toward explaining Trump's systematic stonewalling and obstruction of justice: He needs to run out the clock and hope that reelection and a GOP takeover of the House will save him for another 4 years.

    Regarding Republicans that vote to impeach or convict, it will likely all boil down to public opinion (stay tuned)

    On a historical note: It's ironic that the Article of Impeachment regarding Nixon's tax fraud, for which he was guilty as hell (his tax lawyer went to prison), was not approved.
    “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

  14. #164
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    Two Weeks In, Impeachment Is Becoming More Popular

    It’s been a little over two weeks since Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into President Trump and two damning documents were released that highlight Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

    In response to this, we launched an impeachment polling tracker to track how much support impeaching the president had among the public — and whether new revelations in this unfolding saga would change their minds. And based on polls released on or before Sept. 19 (before the Ukraine story broke open), support for impeachment initially sat at 40.1 percent, and opposition was at 51.0 percent. But that began to change after we learned more about the scandal. And now, as of Wednesday, Oct. 9, the polling consensus is clear: Impeachment has gone from fairly unpopular to a near-majority opinion.

    According to our average, 48.8 percent of people support impeachment, while only 43.6 percent don’t support it.1 That’s an increase even from last week, when the share of people who supported and opposed impeachment were roughly the same. What’s changed? Early this week, we got a couple new, high-quality polls that showed a majority of Americans in favor of an impeachment inquiry. Most notably, a Washington Post-Schar School poll found that 58 percent of Americans agreed with the House’s decision to start an impeachment inquiry, and only 38 percent disagreed with it. And an Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP poll found that 55 percent approved of the House’s decision and 44 percent disapproved.

    Going forward, I’ll be watching whether the — dare we say it — popularity of impeachment (support now outweighs opposition by 5.2 percentage points) is sustainable. One thing to keep in mind is that both of those polls asked a relatively mild version of the impeachment question — e.g., “Do you approve or disapprove [of] Congress’s decision to open an impeachment inquiry on President Trump?” as opposed to something like, “Do you believe President Trump should be impeached and removed from office?” And both pollsters did find better numbers for Trump when they asked questions like if respondents supported removal from office — 49 percent said they did in the Washington Post-Schar School poll, while IBD/TIPP found that those who are following the Ukraine story were divided on the question of whether Trump’s actions rise to the level of an impeachable offense (50 percent yes; 46 percent no)
    An additional development to watch is whether rising support for impeachment reflects anything more than the Democratic rank and file coalescing around its party’s now-stated pro-impeachment position — more than four-fifths of Democrats are now behind it. But our tracker also finds that support for impeachment is rising among independents and Republicans, too:

    From Sept. 19 to Oct. 9, backing for impeachment among Democrats has increased by 11.2 points (from 71.6 percent support to 82.8 percent support). But backing has also increased among independents by 9.6 points (from 33.9 percent to 43.5 percent). Even some Republicans have had a change of heart: Their support for impeachment has increased by 4.1 points, from 9.7 percent to 13.8 percent.

    This is obviously not great for Trump: Independent voters could, in theory, decide his 2020 reelection fate. And the fact that some Republicans are also moving in favor of impeachment is worrisome for him, too. Although the absolute number of Republicans who support impeachment (13.8 percent) is still quite small, it is notable that they haven’t proved totally immovable in the face of events.

    Of course, it’s not a given that rising support for impeachment will result in future political difficulties for the president either; keep an eye on measures like his approval rating and the generic congressional ballot, too. Things could also change in the coming weeks, as new developments in this story emerge — but as things sit now, almost half of the country now thinks the president should be subject to impeachment. That’s pretty remarkable. Link
    _______________________

    When the polls consistently hit 50% approval, week after week, and keep edging up, I think we'll start seeing more and more "interesting" events occuring.
    “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

  15. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    This is obviously not great for Trump: Independent voters could, in theory, decide his 2020 reelection fate. And the fact that some Republicans are also moving in favor of impeachment is worrisome for him, too. Although the absolute number of Republicans who support impeachment (13.8 percent) is still quite small, it is notable that they haven’t proved totally immovable in the face of events.

    Of course, it’s not a given that rising support for impeachment will result in future political difficulties for the president either; keep an eye on measures like his approval rating and the generic congressional ballot, too. Things could also change in the coming weeks, as new developments in this story emerge — but as things sit now, almost half of the country now thinks the president should be subject to impeachment. That’s pretty remarkable. Link
    _______________________

    When the polls consistently hit 50% approval, week after week, and keep edging up, I think we'll start seeing more and more "interesting" events occuring.
    It would seem to me that what independents are doing is extremely critical here. The states he won to turn the election he just barely won and those people were all independents who turned it. Many said they voted for Trump because either they didn't like HRC at all (she was too well known by then) or why not simply take a chance.

    Well now they know Trump like they knew HRC. He is better that HRC still? Democrats don't have a stirring slate but they also don't have a polarizing HRC running either. As for the ones who said let's take a chance will they say my chance vote was a wise one or say what the hell was I thinking?

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