Page 39 of 45 FirstFirst ... 30313233343536373839404142434445 LastLast
Results 571 to 585 of 664

Thread: The Impeachment, Trial and Acquittal of Donald John Trump

  1. #571
    Global Moderator
    Comrade Commissar
    TopHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Sep 03
    Posts
    17,081
    Explosive new documents reveal the lengths to which the Justice Department went to conceal the Pentagon's concerns about Trump's Ukraine aid freeze

    For weeks, officials at the Office of Management and Budget ignored warnings from the Department of Defense that placing a hold on a congressionally appropriated $391 million military-aid package to Ukraine violated the law, according to new unredacted emails obtained by Just Security and published Thursday.

    The emails between Defense Department and OMB officials were secured through a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act launched by the Center for Public Integrity. In December, a court ordered the federal government to turn over 300 pages of emails, many of which were heavily redacted.

    The unredacted emails published by Just Security revealed that between June and September — when the aid was ultimately released following an anonymous whistleblower's complaint — the Defense Department repeatedly asked the OMB why the military aid was being held up.

    Crucially, the department warned several times that continuing to withhold the aid violated the Impoundment Control Act, which stipulates that if the federal funds are not spent on their designated purpose within a certain period, they will be taken, or impounded, by the Treasury Department.

    In this case, the aid had to be released by September 30.

    Here's a timeline of what happened in the crucial days leading up to the aid's release:

    As The New York Times recently reported, an OMB aide, Robert Blair, learned on June 19 that Trump was questioning the delivery of the aid package, at which point Blair told Russell Vought, the acting head of the office, that "we need to hold it up."

    That day, another OMB official, Michael Duffey, emailed the acting Defense Department comptroller, Elaine McCusker, and copied Mark Sandy, an OMB official on national-security programs, to ask if she had "insight on this funding," according to the emails published by Just Security.

    After McCusker explained on June 25 which companies were producing the military equipment and said that only $7 million of the Pentagon's $250 million part of the package had been spent, Blair told Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on June 27 that they should "expect Congress to become unhinged" by withholding the aid.

    On July 25, Sandy officially froze the Ukraine aid. This was also the day Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the phone and asked him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

    Shortly after Trump's call, Duffey emailed several Pentagon officials and asked them to "please hold off on any additional DOD obligations of these funds." He requested that the recipients keep the directive "closely held to those who need to know" because of "the sensitive nature of the request."

    McCusker replied that day and asked whether the OMB had cleared the hold with the Defense Department's lawyers. This was the first sign of the Pentagon's concerns about the legality of withholding the aid. The Justice Department redacted McCusker's question.

    On July 26, John Rood, the head of policy at the Pentagon, emailed Defense Secretary Mark Esper a readout of a meeting in which top national-security officials voiced their "unanimous support" for sending the security assistance.

    On August 9, McCusker warned Sandy, Duffey, and other senior OMB officials that if the aid was not released soon, it might affect the "timely execution" of the program. "We hope it won't and will do all we can to execute once the policy decision is made, but can no longer make that declarative statement," she wrote.

    The DOJ redacted this warning from McCusker, which, notably, contradicted the OMB's talking points.

    On August 12, when it became clear that Trump would continue the aid freeze, McCusker emailed Duffey and asked him to include language in a footnote in a budgeting document to reflect the growing risk of withholding funding. The language was not included, and the request was redacted in the initial document release.

    The DOJ also redacted several emails from McCusker near the end of August raising additional legal questions about withholding the aid and the possibility that Trump's actions violated the Impoundment Control Act.

    In one noteworthy exchange on August 27 that was redacted, McCusker said the situation surrounding the aid freeze was "particularly difficult because OMB lawyers continue to consistently mischaracterize the process."

    Another redacted portion contained information about a draft letter from the defense secretary to a senior OMB official highlighting the divisions between the two agencies over the legality of freezing Ukraine's military aid.

    On August 28, after Politico publicly revealed the aid freeze, the OMB's general counsel, Mark Paoletta, sent around talking points including that "no action has been taken by OMB that would preclude the obligation of these funds before the end of the fiscal year."

    McCusker pushed back, writing: "I don't agree to the revised TPs — the last one is just not accurate from a financial execution standpoint, something we have been consistently conveying for a few weeks." Her response was initially redacted.

    As September came around, McCusker raised concerns about whether the Defense Department would be "adequately protected from what may happen as a result of the Ukraine obligation pause." She added, "I realize we need to continue to give the WH has much decision space as possible, but am concerned we have not officially documented the fact that we can not promise full execution at this point in the [fiscal year]."

    On September 9, Duffey sent McCusker a misleading email suggesting that if the president greenlighted the aid but the Pentagon was not able to obligate the funding, it would be on the Pentagon and not the OMB.

    McCusker responded: "You can't be serious. I am speechless."

    On September 11, after Congress became aware of a whistleblower's complaint accusing Trump of "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 election, Duffey emailed McCusker and said the president had lifted the hold on Ukraine's military aid.

    "Glad to have this behind us," he wrote.

    In response to Just Security's reporting, an OMB official denied that there were tensions between the Pentagon and the office. "There was agreement every step of the way between DOD and OMB lawyers, who were responsible for working out the details of the hold, in line with the President's priorities," the official told CNN.

    Trump's decision to withhold the aid, as well as other actions he and his allies took to pressure Ukraine to cave to his personal political demands, formed the basis of a congressional impeachment inquiry that began in September. On December 18, the House of Representatives impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
    __________
    “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. #572
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Sep 10
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    10,038
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    that was, and is, not Nancy Pelosi's calculus at all. her main concern is protecting House Dems, -not- electing the next President.
    Don't follow. If the dems are in the majority in the house what protection do they need ?

    again, if this was a political winner from the start, then the Dems would have started impeachment proceedings in January of 2019 prior to the Ukraine revelations.
    How could they do that when this Ukraine thing only came to light later in 2019 ? i thought Ukraine formed the basis with which to begin impeachment proceedings.

  3. #573
    Banned Contributor
    Join Date
    03 Aug 09
    Location
    Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Explosive new documents reveal the lengths to which the Justice Department went to conceal the Pentagon's concerns about Trump's Ukraine aid freeze

    For weeks, officials at the Office of Management and Budget ignored warnings from the Department of Defense that placing a hold on a congressionally appropriated $391 million military-aid package to Ukraine violated the law, according to new unredacted emails obtained by Just Security and published Thursday.

    The emails between Defense Department and OMB officials were secured through a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act launched by the Center for Public Integrity. In December, a court ordered the federal government to turn over 300 pages of emails, many of which were heavily redacted.

    The unredacted emails published by Just Security revealed that between June and September — when the aid was ultimately released following an anonymous whistleblower's complaint — the Defense Department repeatedly asked the OMB why the military aid was being held up.

    Crucially, the department warned several times that continuing to withhold the aid violated the Impoundment Control Act, which stipulates that if the federal funds are not spent on their designated purpose within a certain period, they will be taken, or impounded, by the Treasury Department.

    In this case, the aid had to be released by September 30.

    Here's a timeline of what happened in the crucial days leading up to the aid's release:

    As The New York Times recently reported, an OMB aide, Robert Blair, learned on June 19 that Trump was questioning the delivery of the aid package, at which point Blair told Russell Vought, the acting head of the office, that "we need to hold it up."

    That day, another OMB official, Michael Duffey, emailed the acting Defense Department comptroller, Elaine McCusker, and copied Mark Sandy, an OMB official on national-security programs, to ask if she had "insight on this funding," according to the emails published by Just Security.

    After McCusker explained on June 25 which companies were producing the military equipment and said that only $7 million of the Pentagon's $250 million part of the package had been spent, Blair told Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on June 27 that they should "expect Congress to become unhinged" by withholding the aid.

    On July 25, Sandy officially froze the Ukraine aid. This was also the day Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the phone and asked him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

    Shortly after Trump's call, Duffey emailed several Pentagon officials and asked them to "please hold off on any additional DOD obligations of these funds." He requested that the recipients keep the directive "closely held to those who need to know" because of "the sensitive nature of the request."

    McCusker replied that day and asked whether the OMB had cleared the hold with the Defense Department's lawyers. This was the first sign of the Pentagon's concerns about the legality of withholding the aid. The Justice Department redacted McCusker's question.

    On July 26, John Rood, the head of policy at the Pentagon, emailed Defense Secretary Mark Esper a readout of a meeting in which top national-security officials voiced their "unanimous support" for sending the security assistance.

    On August 9, McCusker warned Sandy, Duffey, and other senior OMB officials that if the aid was not released soon, it might affect the "timely execution" of the program. "We hope it won't and will do all we can to execute once the policy decision is made, but can no longer make that declarative statement," she wrote.

    The DOJ redacted this warning from McCusker, which, notably, contradicted the OMB's talking points.

    On August 12, when it became clear that Trump would continue the aid freeze, McCusker emailed Duffey and asked him to include language in a footnote in a budgeting document to reflect the growing risk of withholding funding. The language was not included, and the request was redacted in the initial document release.

    The DOJ also redacted several emails from McCusker near the end of August raising additional legal questions about withholding the aid and the possibility that Trump's actions violated the Impoundment Control Act.

    In one noteworthy exchange on August 27 that was redacted, McCusker said the situation surrounding the aid freeze was "particularly difficult because OMB lawyers continue to consistently mischaracterize the process."

    Another redacted portion contained information about a draft letter from the defense secretary to a senior OMB official highlighting the divisions between the two agencies over the legality of freezing Ukraine's military aid.

    On August 28, after Politico publicly revealed the aid freeze, the OMB's general counsel, Mark Paoletta, sent around talking points including that "no action has been taken by OMB that would preclude the obligation of these funds before the end of the fiscal year."

    McCusker pushed back, writing: "I don't agree to the revised TPs — the last one is just not accurate from a financial execution standpoint, something we have been consistently conveying for a few weeks." Her response was initially redacted.

    As September came around, McCusker raised concerns about whether the Defense Department would be "adequately protected from what may happen as a result of the Ukraine obligation pause." She added, "I realize we need to continue to give the WH has much decision space as possible, but am concerned we have not officially documented the fact that we can not promise full execution at this point in the [fiscal year]."

    On September 9, Duffey sent McCusker a misleading email suggesting that if the president greenlighted the aid but the Pentagon was not able to obligate the funding, it would be on the Pentagon and not the OMB.

    McCusker responded: "You can't be serious. I am speechless."

    On September 11, after Congress became aware of a whistleblower's complaint accusing Trump of "using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 election, Duffey emailed McCusker and said the president had lifted the hold on Ukraine's military aid.

    "Glad to have this behind us," he wrote.

    In response to Just Security's reporting, an OMB official denied that there were tensions between the Pentagon and the office. "There was agreement every step of the way between DOD and OMB lawyers, who were responsible for working out the details of the hold, in line with the President's priorities," the official told CNN.

    Trump's decision to withhold the aid, as well as other actions he and his allies took to pressure Ukraine to cave to his personal political demands, formed the basis of a congressional impeachment inquiry that began in September. On December 18, the House of Representatives impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
    __________
    Why this media article is talking about the justice department? The article is using DOJ as if it took Suo Motu action to establish some technicality that is allegedly an offence done by MOB. DOJ only directed to release unredacted e-mails following a private lawsuit by some NGO. Interdepartmental correspondences and queries raising concerns on different issues must be a norm (not published by this media outlet) but given sensationalist headlines here it seems.

    Is it the new Post-truth confidence-building on Quid Pro Quo after pro democrat media's crib about it being not the right case?

    The aid was released before 30th September. Where is the breach of the Law?
    Last edited by ambidex; 03 Jan 20, at 06:02.

  4. #574
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 Mar 10
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,655
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    monash,

    my point is that impeachment has already been used as a political weapon regarding something that is of far less concern to United States prosperity and security. that backfired, as Newt Gingrich found out to his chagrin.

    the idea that "everyone will use impeachment every time from now on" is not a particularly compelling one because the parties will still need to consider the political costs for doing so. if the GOP wants to re-do 1998 with a new Dem President, then let them have the joy of it.
    astralis, while I agree with your reasoning I still think the evidence is pretty clear that there has been a significant increase in partisanship and a corresponding fall the willingness or ability of either side to achieve political/legislative compromises in the decades since the Clinton Presidency.

    Those same issues also change the risk/benefit equation of going for impeachment. First it becomes less likely the 'true believers' on either side will criticize or abandon their party if it proposes impeachment. Secondly since you have non-compulsory voting disaffected swing voters have the option of giving up in disgust.

    Of course it could go the other way as you predict and make the middle ground angry - after all you know your own electorate better than I do. That said I still think this current impeachment process ups the risk of weaponizing the process, if only because both parties are very good at crunching polling numbers so if the downside to impeachment starts looking less risky from now on?
    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

  5. #575
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    14,016
    DE,

    Don't follow. If the dems are in the majority in the house what protection do they need ?
    Pelosi is thinking ahead to 2020 and beyond. she knows impeachment will energize the GOP base, and her recent House majority was built because Dems took seats in GOP-leaning districts.

    How could they do that when this Ukraine thing only came to light later in 2019 ? i thought Ukraine formed the basis with which to begin impeachment proceedings.
    doesn't matter in the context of my current argument. IF impeachment was done purely for Democratic political gain, then -any- number of reasons other than Ukraine would have sufficed for impeachment.
    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

  6. #576
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    14,016
    monash,

    astralis, while I agree with your reasoning I still think the evidence is pretty clear that there has been a significant increase in partisanship and a corresponding fall the willingness or ability of either side to achieve political/legislative compromises in the decades since the Clinton Presidency.
    i think it's better to say that the Clinton impeachment was a symptom of the underlying issue of politicization rather than the cause. Gingrich thought he could make political hay out of it.


    Those same issues also change the risk/benefit equation of going for impeachment. First it becomes less likely the 'true believers' on either side will criticize or abandon their party if it proposes impeachment. Secondly since you have non-compulsory voting disaffected swing voters have the option of giving up in disgust.
    agreed, that is what Pelosi feared (and fears) throughout this impeachment process.

    Of course it could go the other way as you predict and make the middle ground angry - after all you know your own electorate better than I do. That said I still think this current impeachment process ups the risk of weaponizing the process, if only because both parties are very good at crunching polling numbers so if the downside to impeachment starts looking less risky from now on?
    there is that risk, although (obviously from my POV) in this case the egregiousness of Trump's actions -justify- impeachment. if his actions don't justify it, then i'm not sure what actions by a President would.

    bottom-line, though, the underlying issue needs to be addressed, and not the symptom. take away the political incentives for mindless partisanship and these issues will fade.
    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

  7. #577
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    5,474
    Quote Originally Posted by ambidex View Post
    The aid was released before 30th September. Where is the breach of the Law?
    It was not released before Trumpkin tried to get a bogus investigation opened in Ukraine in return for releasing the voted aid.

  8. #578
    Global Moderator
    Comrade Commissar
    TopHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Sep 03
    Posts
    17,081
    Quote Originally Posted by ambidex View Post

    The aid was released before 30th September. Where is the breach of the Law?
    The breach of the Law occurred the moment Trump blocked the aid for the purpose of personal political gain in the first place. He had no authority to do so, as funds approved by release by Congress are governed by the Impoundment Control Act

    There's your breach of the Law.
    “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

  9. #579
    Banned Contributor
    Join Date
    03 Aug 09
    Location
    Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    It was not released before Trumpkin tried to get a bogus investigation opened in Ukraine in return for releasing the voted aid.
    Which investigation? When did it happen?

  10. #580
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    5,474
    So Guiliani, Parnas and Fruman with $1.5m were just 'on holiday' in Ukraine like the Muscovite troops?

  11. #581
    Global Moderator
    Comrade Commissar
    TopHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Sep 03
    Posts
    17,081
    Quote Originally Posted by ambidex View Post
    Which investigation? When did it happen?
    That's exactly the point. Notice how she said It was not released before Trumpkin tried to get a bogus investigation opened in Ukraine in return for releasing the voted aid. ?

    There was no investigation and Trump didn't give a shit about corruption. All he wanted was Ukraine to publicly announce the words Biden, Clinton and Investigation.
    “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

  12. #582
    Global Moderator
    Comrade Commissar
    TopHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Sep 03
    Posts
    17,081
    White House Refuses to Release 20 Emails About Ukraine Aid Freeze

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration disclosed on Friday that there were 20 emails between a top aide to President Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff and a colleague at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget discussing the freeze of a congressionally mandated military aid package for Ukraine.

    But in response to a court order that it swiftly process those pages in response to a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, lawsuit filed by The New York Times, the Office of Management and Budget delivered a terse letter saying it would not turn over any of the 40 pages of emails — not even with redactions.

    “All 20 documents are being withheld in full,” wrote Dionne Hardy, the office’s Freedom of Information Act officer.

    The Times’ information act request sought email messages between Robert Blair, a top aide to Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and Michael Duffey, an official in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget who was in charge of handling the process for releasing $391 million in weapons and security assistance Congress had appropriated to help Ukraine resist Russian aggression.

    In her letter, Hardy cited exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act for correspondence involving the president’s staff and internal policy deliberations, suggesting that the disclosure of this material would “inhibit the frank and candid exchange of views that is necessary for effective government decision-making.”

    David McCraw, a lawyer for The Times, said the newspaper would challenge the blanket withholding of the documents and would ask the judge overseeing the lawsuit, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, to approve an expedited schedule for briefs and arguments given the urgent public interest in learning more about the dispute.

    The heart of the accusation against Trump is that he abused his official powers, including withholding a promised White House meeting and congressionally mandated military aid, in an attempt to coerce Ukraine’s president into announcing investigations that could deliver personal political benefits to Trump.

    In October, the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee had also subpoenaed the Office of Management and Budget for all Ukraine-related documents, but the White House refused to produce them. It also instructed several key current and former officials with inside knowledge of the episode not to testify.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, has portrayed Blair and Duffey as two of the four key witnesses he believes the Senate should call in Trump’s impeachment trial, along with Mulvaney and John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, has expressed opposition to calling witnesses and again criticized the House investigation on Friday.

    The Trump administration’s move to withhold all the emails in full — not even disclosing the dates they were sent, or the shape of paragraphs covered by black lines — is a step beyond its heavy censorship of a related set of emails it released in response to another Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Center for Public Integrity.

    The documents released to the center consisted of about 300 pages of emails between the Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon about the Ukraine aid package. While the officially released version was heavily redacted — and the center is contesting the censorship in further litigation — the visible portions showed, among other things, that Pentagon officials had worried that holding the funds could be an illegal impoundment.

    A report Thursday by the legal policy website Just Security added fuel to the controversy by revealing what was under some, but not all, of the deletions. The website said it had been shown some of the emails in unredacted form, including an Aug. 30 message from Duffey to a Pentagon budget official stating that there was “clear direction from POTUS” — an acronym referring to the president of the United States — “to continue to hold” the Ukraine military aid.

    The Times separately reported this week that Blair warned Mulvaney to “expect Congress to become unhinged” if the White House went ahead with the hold on the aid.

    Earlier Friday, Schumer went to the Senate floor to praise the reporting by The Times, the Center for Public Integrity and Just Security as an additional reason for the Senate, as part of Trump’s trial, to seek documents and testimony that the White House had blocked impeachment investigators from obtaining.

    “What constituted clear direction?” Schumer asked. “Did he get an order from the president, or did someone like Mr. Mulvaney get an order from the president passed on to Mr. Duffey? Was there discussion among officials about covering up for the president in delay of military assistance? These are questions that can only be answered by examination of the documentary evidence and by the testimony of key Trump administration officials under oath in a Senate trial.”

    At least four collections of emails have now been released, or shared with reporters, detailing correspondence between White House officials and their counterparts at the Office of Management and Budget or the Defense Department.

    These exchanges show growing tension between the White House and the Pentagon as Defense Department officials questioned if they would be able to spend all of the military aid before the deadline on Sept. 30.
    _________

    And the Trump Administration continues to violate the law. A court orders them to release documents in accordance with the FOIA and the Trump Administration continues to say "Fuck off, we're above the law!"

    Surfgun, if you're still interested in precedents, here's a few for you right here.
    “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

  13. #583
    Global Moderator
    Comrade Commissar
    TopHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Sep 03
    Posts
    17,081
    Bolton Willing To Testify In impeachment Trial If Subpoenaed

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Former White House national security adviser John Bolton said Monday that he is “prepared to testify” if he is subpoenaed by the Senate in its impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, a surprise statement that bolstered Democrats in their push for new witnesses.

    Bolton, who left the White House in September, said that he has weighed the issues of executive privilege and that after “careful consideration and study” decided that he would comply with any Senate subpoena.

    “If the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify," he said in a statement.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly expressed resistance to calling new witnesses in the upcoming trial, though Democrats are pressing to hear from Bolton and others who did not appear before the House in its impeachment inquiry.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stalled the transmission of House-passed articles of impeachment against Trump in a bid for that witness testimony. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has proposed calling several witnesses, including Bolton and Mulvaney, but McConnell has so far rejected Schumer's terms.

    It is uncertain when Pelosi will eventually send the articles to the Senate. If she decides to do so in the coming days, a trial could start as soon as this week.

    In a tweet Monday, Pelosi did not address the timing. But she said Trump and McConnell have “run out of excuses” for not calling witnesses or producing documents Trump has blocked.

    It's unclear whether Bolton's testimony would hurt or help the president. The two clashed while he was in the White House and offered differing versions of whether he resigned or was fired when he left office in September.

    If Bolton were to appear, his testimony would give Congress and the public a highly anticipated, first-hand account from a Trump senior adviser who was present for key moments that have been described by others.

    He’d almost certainly be asked, for instance, about a comment he was reported to have made to another White House adviser that he did not want to be “part of whatever drug deal” European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney were “cooking up" as Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democrats.


    That pressure, as Trump was withholding security aid to Ukraine, was at the heart of the inquiry in the House, which voted to impeach Trump on Dec. 18.

    Schumer said in a statement after Bolton’s announcement that “momentum for uncovering the truth in a Senate trial continues.”

    He said that it is “now up to four Senate Republicans to support bringing in Mr. Bolton” and the other witnesses he has proposed. Republicans hold the Senate with a 53-seat majority, and Democrats would have to find four Republicans to vote with them to support a subpoena.

    If any Republican opposes the subpoenas Democrats have proposed, Schumer said, “they would make absolutely clear they are participating in a cover up.”

    McConnell has repeatedly called for a swift trial, with a possible final vote after opening arguments.

    “We can’t hold a trial without the articles,” McConnell tweeted in the hours before Bolton's statement. “The Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that. So, for now, we are content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate while House Democrats continue to flounder. For now.”

    Bolton’s willingness to testify averts a potential legal standoff over whether close aides to the president can be forced to appear before Congress. Trump and his lawyers have claimed that those aides should not have to testify, arguing that they have special immunity, or executive privilege, not to.

    The issue remains undecided in the courts now that a federal judge dismissed last week a lawsuit from Bolton’s former deputy, Charles Kupperman, who had asked the court whether he had to comply with a House subpoena or follow a White House orders that he not testify. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon dismissed the case as moot, noting that the House had withdrawn its subpoena for Kupperman and had said that it didn’t plan to reissue one.

    The case had been closely watched for the repercussions it carried for Bolton’s testimony.

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff signaled in a tweet that he will not call Bolton again in the House, writing that “the Senate must allow testimony from him, Mulvaney and others.”

    Schiff had invited Bolton to testify in the inquiry but had not subpoenaed him, saying he didn't want the impeachment case to languish in courts. Instead, the House voted to impeach Trump for obstruction of Congress.

    The Associated Press reported in November that Bolton is writing a book and has a deal with the publisher Simon & Schuster, according to three publishing officials with knowledge of the situation. Two said the deal was worth $2 million. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.

    Trump tweeted Monday morning that the impeachment “hoax” must “end quickly.”

    “It is a con game by the Dems to help with the Election!," Trump tweeted.

    ___
    He's either (finally) considered the inevitability of Trump throwing him under the bus, or he knows that the Senate will never allow him to be subpoenaed in the first place.

    Still such a mystery why McConnell is so adamant about keeping people like Bolton, Mulvaney, Giuliani etc from testifying in Trump's defense. I mean, Trump's totally innocent, right? Why not marshal every resource possible to prove it publicly beyond a shadow of a doubt? God knows it would make the Dems look utterly stupid and the political capital from that would be priceless. So what's the hold-up here Mitch?
    “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. #584
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
    Join Date
    06 Nov 09
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,946
    Motion to dismiss, due to prosecutorial inaction.
    https://www.theblaze.com/news/gop-re...chment-inquiry

  15. #585
    Global Moderator
    Comrade Commissar
    TopHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Sep 03
    Posts
    17,081
    Nancy Pelosi To Send Articles Of Impeachment To The Senate Next Week

    WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Friday that the House will move to send the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate next week, signaling an end to a weekslong standoff with Senate Republicans over the rules governing the impeachment trial.

    In a letter to colleagues, Pelosi said she had instructed House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to “be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate.” Pelosi added that she would be consulting with her caucus at a Tuesday meeting “on how we proceed further,” but the letter is a clear sign of her backing down from demands about the Senate trial.

    The two articles, which center on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, charge Trump with using the power of his office to further his political ambitions and block congressional investigations.

    Although the House votes making Trump the third president in American history to be impeached occurred on Dec. 18, Pelosi said afterward that she would not send the articles to the Senate until she knew more about how the trial would be conducted in the Republican-controlled chamber.

    She has urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to allow new witnesses to testify and new documentation to be introduced at trial and to make the rules of that trial public before it starts. But McConnell, a staunch Trump ally, refused. The Kentucky Republican has been dismissive of the impeachment charges and has all but promised the acquittal of the president.

    Pelosi said at a Thursday press conference that she never planned on holding the articles indefinitely. The speaker also defended the delay when asked whether it could potentially allow Trump to continue his Ukraine dealings, saying the House was acting “strategically.”

    “We need to see the arena in which we are sending our managers. Is that too much to ask?” she said at that press conference, referring to the group of House members who will make the case for removing the president from office before the Senate. It is not yet known who will be selected.

    She continued: “We are proud of our defense of the Constitution of the United States. We are concerned that the senators will not be able to live up to the oath they must take to hold an impartial trial.”

    McConnell has said on national television that there would be “total coordination” with the White House in the trial, disturbing even some in his own party. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another staunch Trump ally, also drew criticism with public comments that he would not even try to be a “fair juror” in the president’s trial.

    Indications that Pelosi’s fellow Democrats were breaking with her resolve to hold off sending the articles arose in recent days as several Senate Democrats appeared eager to move the proceedings along. Those Democrats argued that while Pelosi’s gambit had focused the public’s attention on their efforts to make sure witnesses are heard at trial, it was time to move forward while continuing to press for witness testimony during the proceedings. To subpoena their desired witnesses, Democrats will need to convince at least four Republican senators to vote with them.

    To oust Trump from the Oval Office, two-thirds of the Senate would need to vote in favor of doing so. Given GOP control of the chamber, its votes on the impeachment articles are widely expected to fall far short of the required total.
    _______________

    Aaaaaaand cue the sham trial lol

    Unless of course 4 GOP Senators find their balls and decide that a trial needs, you know, witnesses.
    “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

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 2 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 2 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. The Cult of Donald Trump
    By TopHatter in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 100
    Last Post: 12 Feb 20,, 18:51
  2. Donald Trump rallies infiltrated by paid Hillary Clinton operatives
    By Parihaka in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 08 Nov 16,, 15:21
  3. Donald Trump Tells Friends He Will Run for President, Report Says
    By Julie in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 02 Mar 11,, 20:01
  4. Donald Trump Has Disappointed Me
    By THL in forum International Economy
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 09 Jan 07,, 21:11

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •