US House of Representatives to file impeachment charges

Fox News: Pelosi calls for articles of impeachment against Trump: ‘No choice but to act’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that Democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump, declaring that the president’s conduct “leaves us no choice but to act.”

The announcement comes after a heated House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday featuring four law professors — most of them Democrat-invited witnesses who presented arguments for impeachment. Pelosi claimed the facts are now “uncontested” that Trump “abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security” by allegedly using aid as leverage to seek an investigation of the Bidens from Ukraine.

“Today, I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Pelosi stated during her brief address, referring to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

“The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” she said. Claiming America’s democracy is at stake, she said: “The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.”

The White House swiftly hit back, with Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeting the Democrats “should be ashamed.”

Trump “has done nothing but lead our country – resulting in a booming economy, more jobs & a stronger military, to name just a few of his major accomplishments. We look forward to a fair trial in the Senate,” she tweeted.

Of course Trump has had a say as well.

Trump himself accused Pelosi’s party of trying to impeach him over “NOTHING” and warned that it could set a dangerous precedent.

“This will mean that the beyond important and seldom used act of Impeachment will be used routinely to attack future Presidents. That is not what our Founders had in mind,” he tweeted.

That’s ridiculous, but ridiculous is normal from Trump.

Fox News: Trump threatens to call Bidens, Schiff, Pelosi to testify as speaker moves ahead with impeachment

President Trump on Thursday challenged House Democrats to impeach him “fast” and ship the process over to the Senate, where he threatened to seek testimony from top Democrats including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The president’s tweets followed an hourslong hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, in what set the stage for the next phase of the Democratic-led House impeachment inquiry, with majority-invited law professors making the case that the president did abuse the office of the presidency by asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens while withholding aid. But the sole witness called by Republicans argued the contrary — he said the legal case to impeach Trump was “woefully inadequate” and even “dangerous.”

Funny Trump insisting who should testify when he has told members of his administration not to comply with subpoenas.

Fox News: Judge Nap: Ignoring congressional subpoena is obstruction and an impeachable offense

Following George Washington University law scholar Jonathan Turley’s testimony at Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano disagreed with his stated argument that President Trump had the authority to disregard a subpoena issued by Congress.

“He can’t. That’s what Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were charged with. … You don’t have to comply with it, you have to challenge it or comply with it. Ignoring it is obstruction of Congress,” Napolitano told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, refuting Turley’s point that Trump was justified in commanding members of the administration not to comply.

Napolitano went on to say, “Congress doesn’t need the court’s permission to serve a subpoena and it doesn’t need the courts’ help in enforcing the subpoena. The courts have nothing to do with it, Congress makes the determination. We gave you the subpoena, you’re resisting us, that’s an impeachable offense. The House has voted that three times.”

Republicans and Democrats sparred as a panel of constitutional scholars kicked off a sharply partisan debate over whether to recommend President Trump’s impeachment.

With the decision to impeach to be made by the Democrat led House of representatives, and the trial to be held in the Republican led Senate, this can’t avoid being highly politicised.

And this is being played out in front of an increasingly polarised public. Many people think that Trump is the pits as a president, while others think either he is the best president ever (including Trump himself), or at least better than Clinton (not a great claim), or he should be excused all his faults and appalling behaviour because he is getting things done. Every president gets some things done, but they are as much judged on the damage they do as the good they do.

Trump consistently remains one of the least approved of presidents in recent decades, currently 41.8% approve, 53.3% disapprove on https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/ (which also shows comparisons to past presidents).

There is a closer margin on impeachment, currently on 47.8% support, 44% don’t support. Theoretically something as serious as impeachment shouldn’t be a popularity contest, but it is very political, and with elections coming up next year what the public (voters) think may play an important part in the proceedings.

It is seen to be a political risk for Democrats to push forward with impeachment, but it also keeps some of Trump’s significant negative traits in the spotlight.

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31 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th December 2019

    The. Dems problem is that Republicans get to script the Senate showdown. That can’t end well for them.

    Seems the main point of their hearings is to give the House something to do while it didn’t want to do anything

    And while the House did nothing the Senate has been busy appointing judges.

    Reply
    • Sadly, you are correct. But only in one respect.

      Where the Republicans once impeached Bill Clinton for attempting to conceal a consensual blowjob, they are now flailing in all directions to defend Trump’s far more profound violations of his oath of office. And as the Senate majority they’ll sweep Trump’s abuse of power under the carpet as if it were of no account.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  6th December 2019

        That just leaves the American voter..the ultimate arbitrator. And the American people are only interested in one thing – the economy. Same here.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  6th December 2019

        “Where the Republicans once impeached Bill Clinton for attempting to conceal a consensual blowjob,”

        Bill Clinton was impeached for exactly the same crime that Rodger Stone committed. Rodger Stone is likely to go to jail for the rest of his life, why didn’t Bill?

        Reply
        • You might also argue that driving at 1km over the speed limit is exactly the same as driving at 100km over the limit – both are speeding. But that would be silly. Much like the false equivalence between Bill Clinton and Roger Stone.

          Seriously, if you sentenced every man who lied about getting a consensual blow-job to life imprisonment then the streets would be empty.😉

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  6th December 2019

            Only because I live in the country.

            Reply
          • Pink David

             /  6th December 2019

            “You might also argue that driving at 1km over the speed limit is exactly the same as driving at 100km over the limit – both are speeding.”

            When the crime is simply speeding, both are identical. You are arguing that some peoples breaking of this law matters less than others people’s breaking this law.

            “Seriously, if you sentenced every man who lied about getting a consensual blow-job to life imprisonment then the streets would be emp”

            There is no law against lying about a blow job. The law is about lying to congress.

            Reply
        • Blazer

           /  7th December 2019

          a non consensual one…could be painful.

          Reply
      • Pink David

         /  6th December 2019

        “And as the Senate majority they’ll sweep Trump’s abuse of power under the carpet as if it were of no account.”

        You cannot even define what law was broken, just a vague and meaningless ‘abuse of power’. The election next year is going to be entertaining.

        Reply
        • The law doesn’t have to be broken for impeachment.

          The Constitution limits grounds of impeachment to “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. The precise meaning of the phrase “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined in the Constitution itself.

          The notion that only criminal conduct can constitute sufficient grounds for impeachment does not comport with either the views of the founders or with historical practice.

          Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 65, described impeachable offenses as arising from “the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”

          Such offenses were “political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.” According to this reasoning, impeachable conduct could include behavior that violates an official’s duty to the country, even if such conduct is not necessarily a prosecutable offense. Indeed, in the past both houses of Congress have given the phrase “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” a broad reading, finding that impeachable offenses need not be limited to criminal conduct

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_the_United_States

          Reply
        • 1. Impeachment doesn’t require the impeached person commit an actual crime.

          2. Trump has demonstrably abused the powers of office to obtain personal electoral advantage.

          As for the process of impeachment itself, Law Professor (and Republican witness yesterday) Jonathan Turley once wrote that impeachment was an essential check on Presidential power:

          “The accusatory function of the House is essential to maintain a certain deterrence on presidential misconduct. Assuming the impeachment process is a check and balance, any limiting threshold test must not be endorsed without considerable care and caution. Narrowing the scope of impeachable offenses can correspondingly expand the scope of permissible presidential conduct.”

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  6th December 2019

            “Trump has demonstrably abused the powers of office to obtain personal electoral advantage.

            If this is your standard, doesn’t it also now apply to Peter Schiff? He has very clearly abused the powers of his office for personal electoral advantage.

            Does it also now apply to Joe Biden, who also, clearly, abused his powers of office for financial advantage for his family.

            No one is above the law. All these abuses of power must be investigated and prosecuted.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  6th December 2019

            Trump wasn’t trying to get an electoral advantage at all. Simply pursuing the national interest in trying to ensure the Democrats selected a clean candidate to oppose him.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  6th December 2019

              Heck, why aren’t I his lawyer?

            • duperez

               /  6th December 2019

              If you go over there to be his lawyer, have another viewing of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ get your brain taken out, and practise getting down on your knees and licking. 😎

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  6th December 2019

              You might be right that is the reason, dups. Besides, how would I have any time to walk the dogs and wind up G? I think Trump’s lawyer is a full-time job.

            • Thanks for pushing the Russian narrative Alan. We were fresh out of that crap around here.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th December 2019

              Have you had your eyesight checked lately, Ishmael?

      • FarmerPete

         /  6th December 2019

        Actually both republicans and democrats impeached Clinton, not because of the blowjob, but because Clinton committed perjury. Big difference.

        Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th December 2019

    Democrats announce they hate Trump. The nation survives the shock.

    Reply
  3. Nothing the GOP has said about the impeachment hearing witnesses, their testimony, the rules and circumstances, can change these facts:

    Though Trump’s “perfect call” memo isn’t the word-for-word transcription the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine’s President Zelensky, the content not omitted or redacted in the published telephone conference memo was damning enough, as was the evidence given by witnesses during the intelligence committee hearings.

    The GOP wants the public to forget that Trump asked for a favour.

    The GOP wants people to forget that 18 USC 201 Bribery says no public official may demand or ask for anything of value for personal use, and Trump specifically mentions Biden during the call, making this about his personal re-election campaign.

    The GOP wants people to forget that 52 USC 30121 Contributions (campaign finance) says no candidate may solicit anything of value from a foreign national.

    The GOP wants people to forget Trump used his office for the purposes of campaign work — while not a Hatch Act violation, certainly an abuse of office.

    The GOP wants people to forget that Trump removed former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch after assassinating her character — not merely removing her at his discretion as executive, but an unlawful retaliatory firing — also implying during the July 25 call that she would be harassed or persecuted in some way even though she had already been recalled from her position as Ambassador to Ukraine.

    And the GOP wants want you to forget that Trump intimidated witnesses even as they testified before Congress, a violation of 18 USC 1512.

    But facts are stubborn things and in this case, the facts are simple, straightforward, inescapable as presented during the hearings to date and in published government documents. Trump bribed Ukraine’s Zelensky, violated campaign finance law, tampered with witnesses, and abused his office.

    We don’t even need to look at his extortion (18 USC 872) or weigh whether he committed Honest Services Fraud (18 USC 1346), or his role in obstruction of proceedings (18 USC 1505) and contempt of Congress (2 USC 192 – preventing witnesses from testifying or withholding evidence), or conspiracy to defraud the United States by agreeing to commit any of the above acts with Rudy Giuliani and/or others (18 USC 371).

    Can a POTUS–any POTUS–hijack $391 million worth of US taxpayer money to buy (evidently) $391 million worth of opposition research from a foreign power to be used in a US election to smear that POTUS’ political opponent(s)?

    Would that be an impeachable offense if any other POTUS did it? Obama? Clinton?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  7th December 2019

      You forget that the Democrats and Republicans are engaged in civil warfare since Trump’s election and particularly since Democrats won the House. Voters haven’t.

      Reply
      • I haven’t forgotten that Alan. Nor the reason why there is a battle going on as you will glean from my other comments this morning. And by the looks of Trump approval ratings in the battleground states, the voters are also well aware:

        Ohio -5
        Pennsylvania -7 = under water
        Iowa -13 = under water
        Minnesota -13 = under water
        Wisconsin -14 = under water
        Michigan -14 = under water

        Since Trump took office, his net approval in all 50 states has decreased by double digit percentage points. Most American voters are not fools.

        Reply
  4. To those who claim President Trump is concerned about corruption.

    You keep saying POTUS was concerned about corruption. But he didn’t bring it up once during his calls with the Ukrainian President. Instead he talked about investigating the Bidens.

    You keep saying POTUS was concerned about corruption. But he has repeatedly tried to cut the very aid programs focused on fighting corruption in Ukraine

    You keep saying that Trump was concerned about corruption. His own administration certified back in May that Ukraine had met all necessary anti-corruption requirements as well as other benchmarks prescribed by US law and necessary for the funding to be release, but instead Trump withheld funding to Ukraine and conditioned its release on Zelensky announcing an investigation into the Bidens.

    You keep saying POTUS was concerned about corruption. But he only started talk about corruption in Ukraine in October, after the White House learned about the whistleblower.

    You keep saying POTUS was concerned about corruption. But he has absolved American oil-and-gas companies from disclosing under-the-table payments to dictators overseeing nations like Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

    You keep saying POTUS was concerned about corruption. But he hasn’t instructed Ambassador William Taylor and his team to send a de archer about corruption to Ukrainian officials at the Ministry of Justice or in Zelensky’s office. Nor has he made a request under America’s MLAT (mutual legal aid treaty) with Ukraine to gather evidence in Ukraine for a criminal investigation. Nor has Trump made any made any investigatory request of China under the MLAA (mutual legal assistance agreement) America has with China.

    There is nothing sincere in Trump’s so-called concern about corruption. Nothing.

    One test of sincerity, for instance, is whether you target corruption wherever it exists, or only in countries where it suits your interests. Trump flunked this test. Volker, during his Oct. 3 testimony, was asked whether he had ever heard Trump express “concerns about corruption in any other country besides Ukraine.” He said no. Sondland, during his Oct. 17 deposition, was asked whether he knew of “any aid being withheld to the other 28 countries in your portfolio under President Trump in 2018 or 2019.” He said he didn’t.

    Another test is whether you call politicians corrupt when they’re actually corrupt, or only when they do something you don’t like. Again, Trump flunked the test. Sondland couldn’t recall any attempt by Trump to withhold aid from Ukraine last year, when Poroshenko’s government was plagued by corruption. By contrast, Taylor testified that Zelensky, who took office this year, “appointed reformist ministers,” opened an anti-corruption court, abolished lawmakers’ immunity to prosecution, and “supported long-stalled anti-corruption legislation.” On May 23, Sondland and other US officials personally told Trump about Zelensky’s anti-corruption initiatives. An American president who cared about corruption would have been moved by that presentation. But Trump wasn’t. “He didn’t want to hear about it,” Sondland testified.

    A third test of his “concern about corruption” that Trump has failed is his cozying up to foreign leaders who are facing real allegations of corruption. Trump has routinely praised Putin, who has been linked to a clandestine network of corruption exposed in the Panama Papers. And he has routinely supported Netanyahu, who has been indicted for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

    Nothing about Trump’s claim he is concerned about corruption is supported by evidence. Indeed, the only known interference in the US election from Ukraine in 2016 came in the form of $2.4M in payments from the Party of Regions to Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager working for “free.”

    ————-

    Speaking of corruption, yesterday Rudy Giuliani met in Kyiv with an MP formerly from Ukraine’s Party of the Regions. Andrii Derkach is the name of the MP. He’s been pushing the “Ukrainian interference” line for a while…. Notably Derkach is the son of a high-ranking KGB officer(a former corrupt SBU chief under Kuchma), deeply involved in criminal and pro-Russian activity. He hoped to become a KGB officer himself before USSR collapsed.

    Another of Rudy’s “sources” is Oleksandr Onyshchenko, who had close ties to Ukraine’s former president before fleeing the country to avoid embezzlement allegations. Onyshchenko was arrested earlier this week by German authorities at the request of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau and Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. Onyshchenko fled from Ukraine after embezzling $64 million from a subsidiary of Naftogaz. His disproven allegations about Burisma are part and parcel of the Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation campaign to undermine the Ukrainian government as it tries to strengthen ties with the West. Onyshchenko has been angling for a visa to travel to the US for upwards of a year, to avoid facing the embezzlement charges and what better quid-pro-quo than to buy a visa by dealing in conspiracy theories that Trump can use in 2020.

    ————-

    Ukraine had a revolution to remove corrupt people and pro-Kremlin assets like Poroshenko, Derkach, and Onyshchenko from power. Now it’s America’s turn.

    Reply

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