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Thread: Impeachment Inquiry of Donald John Trump

  1. #181
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    Pentagon Chief Vows To Cooperate With Impeachment Probe

    Washington (AFP) - US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday the Pentagon would cooperate with the congressional impeachment inquiry -- in an apparent break with President Donald Trump's policy to thwart the probe.

    Esper said his department would try to comply with a subpoena from House Democrats seeking records relating to the withholding of US military aid to Ukraine.
    "We will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress," Esper said on CBS's Face The Nation.
    His reassurance came days after the White House announced it would not cooperate with the Democratic-led House of Representatives, calling its impeachment push illegitimate and unconstitutional.

    Democrats are seeking information related to Trump pressing his Ukrainian counterpart to uncover dirt on 2020 US presidential contender Joe Biden -- and the alleged conditioning of military aid on that favor.
    Democrats slapped subpoenas Monday on the Pentagon and White House, demanding documents tied to Trump's withholding of almost $400 million desperately needed by Kiev in its conflict with Russia over Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

    Esper told Fox News Sunday that administration officials and Trump himself may place restrictions on the release of documents demanded by the subpoena.
    "I don't know the status of what that document preparation is. I don't know what restrictions they will have internally," Esper said.
    "The White House has a say on the release of documents as well. There are a number of things that play into this."


    Democrats obtained a string of text messages between US diplomats that showed the Trump administration's effort to pressure Ukraine into investigating Biden and his son Hunter, and that some diplomats in the text chain expressed concern that such actions were inappropriate.

    - 'Absolutely illegal' -

    On Tuesday, Trump's White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent senior Democrats an eight-page letter declaring the inquiry illegitimate. The letter has been rejected by experts as having little legal basis.

    The Democrats' subpoenas focus in part is on Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
    A released rough transcript of the call shows the two leaders discussed Zelensky's desire to receive the military aid, followed by Trump responding that "I would like you to do us a favor though," and then bringing up Biden.

    Esper was asked by Fox News if Trump had explained why he held up the aid, against the guidance of the Pentagon, and replied: "I have nothing to share with you on this."
    Details of the call emerged last month in an explosive whistleblower complaint by an unidentified intelligence official.

    The scandal is unusual in that the substantive misconduct -- Trump soliciting an investigation of a potential 2020 election rival from a foreign country -- is acknowledged by both sides.
    At dispute is whether the phone call constituted a crime or an impeachable offense.

    Federal Election Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub has declined to discuss the specifics of Trump's case.
    But she told MSNBC earlier this month that "the law is pretty clear... It is absolutely illegal for anyone to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with any election in the United States."

    Sunday's morning talk shows, in a repeat of last week, were notable for the absence of key administration officials willing to publicly defend Trump's actions.
    Former Ohio governor John Kasich told CNN's State of the Union however that his fellow Republicans needed to "look in the mirror" and speak out on the Ukraine call.
    "Figure out how you want to be remembered later... There's nothing wrong with telling the truth and sharing your real feelings," he said.

    ______________________

    They'll cooperate...right up until Trump orders them not to. Then we'll see how much the DoD wants to be involved in Trump's systematic Obstruction of Justice.
    “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

  2. #182
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    I have a question for 'cousins' across the pond: Is it better for the Orange Turnip to be impeached and possibly later prosecuted or to vote him out of office?

    My view is that impeachment and prosecution is preferable as the law must be seen to be done - to all. I called for impeachment long ago as you have the fact that you - with Muscovite help - elected narcissistic numbskull deeply in hoc to Moscow. The law should give him the justice that is required before someone has to do a Ceausescu court on him. I wonder which our US members think preferable and why?

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    I have a question for 'cousins' across the pond: Is it better for the Orange Turnip to be impeached and possibly later prosecuted or to vote him out of office?

    My view is that impeachment and prosecution is preferable as the law must be seen to be done - to all. I called for impeachment long ago as you have the fact that you - with Muscovite help - elected narcissistic numbskull deeply in hoc to Moscow. The law should give him the justice that is required before someone has to do a Ceausescu court on him. I wonder which our US members think preferable and why?
    That's...complicated.

    For me, personally, I would love to see him suffer another loss at the hands of the American people in the voting booths.
    Another clear repudiation of Trumpism is what this country needs to show itself and the world that we do accept the insanity of this man.

    On the other hand, the rule of law says that this man should face the legal consequences for his actions and that of his crime family.
    Even "merely" being impeached like a common criminal will demonstrate to this man (and his supporters) that his attempt to co-opt and suborn the Executive Branch and the Office of the Presidency to his own corrupt and vile whims has failed.

    For those Trump supporters complaining that the American people should be the ones to vote on Trump's fate next year or that the House needs to, or should, vote on an impeachment inquiry, there are these inconvenient facts:

    First, If the Constitution intended the sobering action of impeachment to rest on polling Americans, it would have stated this, by making them vote on it. It does not.

    Instead, the Constitution states that the impeachment is to be decided by the House of Representatives on the basis of whether or not the Representatives conclude the president, or any other federal officer, has committed acts of "treason, bribery or other high crimes* and misdemeanors."

    Article I, Section 2 states, “The House of Representatives shall … have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

    Article I, Section 5, states, “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings..." (*See below)

    In short, the Constitution confers no authority on a president to demand that the House set the rules of impeachment to his liking.

    There is no constitutional requirement that the full House vote a resolution to start a formal impeachment inquiry before committees of the House begin gathering evidence of impeachable conduct.
    The Constitution’s provisions on impeachment are clear, giving to the House the full authority over impeachment and the rules for conducting it.



    *The House rules for those proceedings are:

    Individual Members of the House can introduce impeachment resolutions like ordinary bills, or the House could initiate proceedings by passing a resolution authorizing an inquiry. The Committee on the Judiciary ordinarily has jurisdiction over impeachments, but special committees investigated charges before the Judiciary Committee was created in 1813. The committee then chooses whether to pursue articles of impeachment against the accused official and report them to the full House. If the articles are adopted (by simple majority vote), the House appoints Members by resolution to manage the ensuing Senate trial on its behalf. These managers act as prosecutors in the Senate and are usually members of the Judiciary Committee. The number of managers has varied across impeachment trials but has traditionally been an odd number. The partisan composition of managers has also varied depending on the nature of the impeachment, but the managers, by definition, always support the House’s impeachment action. https://history.house.gov/Institutio...t/Impeachment/
    The rules do NOT state they have to vote to make the inquiry. They vote after they see the evidence if they should impeach or not.
    “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. #184
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    Trump's Stonewalling Could Speed Up Impeachment

    President Trump’s lack of cooperation with the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is likely to speed up the process, rather than slow it down, Democratic aides told Yahoo News.

    Democrats already believe they have enough evidence to impeach Trump, in the form of a whistleblower complaint and a partial transcript of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic rival for the presidency, and his son Hunter.

    “This isn’t complicated,” said one House Democratic leadership aide.

    While Democrats have not ruled out a legal strategy seeking to compel the White House to release documents or allow government employees to speak to congressional investigators, they do not see that as a likely path in the near term, multiple Democratic congressional aides have told Yahoo News.

    The impeachment inquiry in the House, then, is an exercise to gather as much additional information as possible before sending articles of impeachment out of the Judiciary Committee to the full House for a vote, likely in December, the aides have said.

    For example, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, agreed Friday to testify next week before the three House committees conducting the depositions for the impeachment inquiry: Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight. He had originally been blocked by the State Department from doing so.

    But Sondland indicated in his letter to the committees that he could not hand over relevant documents and copies of text messages that had been requested by committee staff. “Ambassador Sondland does not control the disposition of his documents,” Sondland’s attorney said in a statement.

    That is the kind of information that could be pursued through the courts, but Democratic staff already have copies of text messages provided to them by Kurt Volker, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, that show Sondland offering another diplomat reassurances that Trump had not offered any quid pro quo to the Ukrainians in exchange for investigating Biden.

    NBC News has reported that before Sondland sent those texts denying a quid pro quo, he spoke by phone to Trump directly.

    Trump’s White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, sent a blistering letter to Democrats Tuesday refusing to cooperate with their impeachment inquiry, saying that the process “violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process.”

    Speculation in the press immediately moved to whether the Democrats might seek redress through the courts in a process that could end up at the Supreme Court.

    But none of the committee chairmen have made any comments about litigation, an aide pointed out. And multiple interviews with knowledgeable Democratic aides revealed that there’s not much appetite for slowing down the process this way.

    Democrats don’t feel desperate for more information, so a lack of cooperation almost certainly won’t prevent Democrats from holding a vote in the full House sometime in December, as one knowledgeable source said is most likely.

    Trump’s stonewalling might give the White House some days when Democrats are not able to fill the news cycle with new developments, creating a vacuum that Republicans can fill with their own spin. But so far, there has been no shortage of news.

    For example, on Thursday, Democrats issued a subpoena to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the same day that two men associated with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani — and suspected of helping Giuliani and Trump in a scheme to pressure the Ukrainians — were arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia as they prepared to board a one-way flight to Germany.

    And on Friday, Marie Yovanovitch, who was recalled from her position as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine earlier this year, testified behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, despite the administration’s refusal to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. Yovanovitch, according to a copy of her statement obtained by the New York Times, blasted her removal as the result of “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”
    _____

    Article of Impeachment #1 against Richard Nixon: Obstruction of Justice

    Anybody want to guess what the first article of impeachment against Donald Trump is going to be?
    “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

  5. #185
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    Speaking merely as an outside observer I would rather see him removed at an election. The reason is practical - I want Trump supporters to see their man, his ideas & behaviours repudiated by tens of millions of their fellow citizens at an election. Granted, even then some of them won't accept it, but it will be a much more decisive way to start the process of undoing the damage.

    While impeachment is indeed a Constitutionally appointed way to remove a President, a far larger percentage of his supporters will simply never accept that it is legitimate and no amount of lectures on the topic will change that. Removal via impeachment risks entrenching the divisions of Trumpism in a far more widespread and lasting manner than an electoral defeat.

    Let the House drag all his dirty laundry out in to the light and vote to impeach him. Then let the nation see how Senate Republicans respond. Force the GOP to stand behind him on the bridge of the ship as it goes down.


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