Trump impeachment trial begins

The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began in the Senate on Thursday (US time).

The lead up to this has been highly partisan, with Democrats promoting the trial and Republicans publicly judging in advance – with a majority they seem likely to acquit the president.

Before the trial began McConnell makes case for Trump acquittal ahead of trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday ripped House Democrats and made the case for the upper chamber acquitting President Trump as he waits for the articles of impeachment to be transmitted.

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, did not directly call for senators to vote to acquit Trump but argued that senators cannot follow the House’s lead and agree that the president deserves to be impeached and ultimately removed from office.

“Speaker Pelosi and the House have taken our nation down a dangerous road.

Others claim that Trump is leading the US down a dangerous road.

If the Senate blesses this unprecedented and dangerous House process by agreeing that an incomplete case and subjective basis are enough to impeach a president, we will almost guarantee the impeachment of every future president,” McConnell said.

Meanwhile more has been happening – White House hold on Ukraine aid violated federal law, congressional watchdog says

The White House violated federal law in its hold on security aid to Ukraine last year, according to a decision by a congressional watchdog released on Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan agency that reports to Congress, found the Trump administration violated a law that governs how the White House disburses money approved by Congress.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the decision states. “OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act.”

Not surprisingly:

The White House quickly rebutted the charge, criticizing the agency’s decision as an “overreach” and an attempt to insert itself into the “media’s controversy of the day.”

“We disagree with GAO’s opinion,” said OMB spokeswoman Rachel Semmel. “OMB uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the President’s priorities and with the law.”

Lev Parnas: “President Trump knew exactly what was going on”

Lev Parnas, an associate of President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, said Wednesday night the president was fully aware of what he and associate Igor Fruman were doing in Ukraine. Parnas made the comments during an interview with Rachel Maddow, in which he also leveled allegations against Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General William Barr.

“President Trump knew exactly what was going on,” Parnas said. “He was aware of all of my movements. He- I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president.”

He also stated that Trump was lying when he said he didn’t know Parnas or Fruman. “He lied,” Parnas said.

In the interview, Parnas alleged that he was given specific instructions by Giuliani to inform Ukrainian government officials that the United States would withhold aid unless the Ukrainian government announced it was opening an investigation into the the Bidens.

“It wasn’t just military aid. It was all aid,” Parnas said. He also claimed that Giuliani told Ukrainian officials that Parnas was there as a representative of both himself and Mr. Trump, and that Ukrainian officials understood he was speaking on behalf of Mr. Trump.

Giuliani denied that claim while the interview was airing.

Parnas and Fruman are accused of helping Giuliani in his attempts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine.

Parnas, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen, and Fruman, originally from Belarus, were arrested on campaign finance charges at Dulles International Airport in October.

Ukraine has announced a criminal investigation – but not into Joe Biden: Ukraine Investigates Reports of Surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch

The police in Ukraine have opened a criminal investigation into whether allies of President Trump had the United States ambassador to the country under surveillance while she was stationed in Kyiv, the Ukrainian government said on Thursday.

Democrats in the House of Representative on Tuesday revealed text messages to and from Lev Parnas — an associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer — pointing to surveillance of the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, just before Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate was scheduled to begin.

Also on Thursday, Ukraine said it had asked the F.B.I. for help investigating the reported penetration of Burisma’s computer systems by hackers working for Russian intelligence.

As part of the pressure campaign against Ukraine, Mr. Trump’s allies were trying to have Ms. Yovanovitch, who was seen as an impediment, removed from her post. Mr. Trump recalled her last spring.

Last March, an exchange between Mr. Parnas and another man, Robert F. Hyde, indicated that Mr. Hyde was in contact with people who were watching Ms. Yovanovitch.

“They are willing to help if we/you would like a price,” one message from Mr. Hyde read.

Mr. Parnas said in a televised interview on Wednesday that he had not taken Mr. Hyde’s offer seriously.

Mr. Hyde told the Sinclair Broadcasting host Eric Bolling in a television interview on Wednesday that he was “absolutely not” monitoring Ms. Yovanovitch. He said he was under the influence of alcohol when he sent his messages to Mr. Parnas.

“It was just colorful, we were playing — I thought we were playing,” Mr. Hyde said.

An odd sort of thing to be ‘playing’ about.

The Internal Affairs Ministry of Ukraine said in a statement released on Thursday that the country “cannot ignore such illegal activities” on its territory. “After analyzing these materials, the National Police of Ukraine upon their publication started criminal proceedings,” the statement read.

“Our goal is to investigate whether there were any violations of Ukrainian and international laws,” the ministry added. “Or maybe it was just bravado and fake conversation between two U.S. citizens.”

There may have been a lot of bravado and fake conversation going on, but the holding back of aid wasn’t fake.

It’s hard to see anything good or definitive coming out of the trial. Both sides will probably try to claim some sort of victory.

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74 Comments

  1. Patzcuaro

     /  17th January 2020

    On a lighter note it appears that cattle are more fairly represented than people in the Senate.

    The 20 states with the lowest population have 33.5 million people and 35 million cattle all represented by 40 senators. Each senator represents approximately 1 million people and 1 million cattle.

    The rest of the states (30) have 293 million people and 60 million cattle represented by 60 senators. Each senator represents approximately 5 million people and 1 million cattle.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/16/are-cows-better-represented-senate-than-people/

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  17th January 2020

      It was never meant for the Senators to represent voters at all, as they were to be elected by the states legislatures.
      What really throws the numbers is that the electoral college votes for each state is based on both the numbers of congress and senators. Remove the 2 votes for each state representing their senators and then you have each state more fairly represented in the college. The default number is 1 congress member no matter the population, but that only affects a few states.
      After the census they allocate 1 member of congress for each state and then allocate the remaining numbers by each states population ( its one of those methods like the way we allocate list seats)

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  17th January 2020

        It seems to me that the Electoral College disenfranchises voters, and I can’t understand why this is legal.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  21st January 2020

          The Constitution was intended to protect smaller states from being overpowered by the big states. The separation of powers between executive, state and federal governments was regarded as essential to preserving freedoms. The big states would dominate Congress and if they controlled the President as well would have complete control.

          At least that’s as I understand it.

          Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  18th January 2020

        Unfortunately they use the first past the post method to elect the House which allows the individual State Legislatures to gerrymander the Congresional Districts to their parties advantage.
        The Republicans are notorious for this but have just lost control of Virginia after their gerrymander was knocked down by the courts couple with the the State trending Democrat.

        Reply
  2. As the White House responds to the Parnas interview by saying he’s under indictment & unreliable, remember that the Democrats didn’t choose this witness, it was the president who chose him.

    Remember too that as the White House responds to the Parnas interview by saying he’s under indictment & unreliable, it’s the president who is impeached and notorious for his compulsive lying.

    Parnas isn’t saying anything that Ambassador Sondland didn’t say. Except Parnas has notes and electronic communications to back it up.

    Reply
    • Then there’s Bill Barr, eyeball deep in the same conspiracy…

      Reply
    • And Devin Nunes who consistently denied knowing Parnas, yet overnight awkwardly admits to meetings with him…

      … the same Devin Nunes who was ranking member of the Intelligence Committee running the impeachment trial, a guy at the middle of the case about which narrative he shaped from the very beginning of that hearing…

      At least we now know why Desperate Devin acted nuts during the impeachment hearings.

      Reply
    • Parnas has been criminally indicted and his account must be vetted. But that’s the whole point—his account must be vetted.

      Parnas has too many receipts in the way of texts and handwritten notes not to be taken seriously, which is exactly why GOP senators are fumbling about looking for refuge from the facts.

      Reply
  3. An overnight raid by the FBI on the home and business of Connecticut Republican congressional candidate and Parnas co-conspirator Robert Hyde.

    The Parnas document trail shows that Hyde was working with Parnas to track Marie Yovanovitch, whom Giuliani was trying to oust as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine… good to see the FBI are draining this swamp-thing

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/16/politics/fbi-robert-hyde/index.html

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  17th January 2020

      The parts of the Parnas interview when he talked about Hyde was funny. He had Hyde as drunk all the time. All the time. As a pre-election rap it wasn’t so good. 🥃🍷🍸🍾🍹

      Reply
  4. Slate writer Elliot Hannon on the documented evidence handed over by Parnas to congressional investigators:

    “The conversations aren’t pretty, largely because they show a hapless crew of half-wits conniving in profoundly unsophisticated ways—ways that would ultimately get them caught—but they also show, with remarkable clarity, just how the Trump administration launders conspiracy, lies, and innuendo that it believes will further its interests.

    In one illustrative instance, it starts with setting up an interview for Ukraine’s top prosecutor at the time, Yuriy Lutsenko, with a sympathetic journalist (John Solomon) at an outlet of dubious repute (the Hill). Among several different lines of disinformation, the whole Trump crew begins pushing the idea that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that somehow did the election meddling in 2016. Parnas and Giuliani are, in particular, looking to remove the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Obama appointee Marie Yovanovitch, as a favor to Lutsenko. In return for Yovanovitch’s ouster, Lutsenko has promised the pair dirt on the Bidens.”

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/01/parnas-ukraine-docs-trump-launders-lies-conservative-media.html

    Reply
  5. duperez

     /  17th January 2020

    I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the next moves is to award the Congressional Medal of Honour to Rudy Giuliani. Focus on that before the “perfect calls, probably among the nicest calls I’ve ever made …” 🙂

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  17th January 2020

      Not that medal, ( actually called medal of Honour), theres laws about who is eligible.
      However the ‘Presidential medal of Freedom’ is open slather at Trumps choice
      As is typical now in US , a ‘lapel pin’ version is available

      Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  17th January 2020

    MrT needs to be advised/reminded, that POTUS is not CEO (or King) of USA inc. OR even the world.. another fascist dictator in 1930s also had these delusions ! :/

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  17th January 2020

      It’s maddening when people call him the Leader of the Free World (or leader of any ( ) world) He’s the leader of the US, God help them, not the rest of us.

      Yes, he does seem to forget that he’s not the owner of the country so can’t make unilateral decisions.

      He can’t have read the Ozymandias poem.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  17th January 2020

        ai tautoko to whakaaro.. kitty C.

        I listened to the speech by Nancy P. (speaker).. she alluded to the same thing; MrT is also bound by the law & there is nothing that sez ‘he can do as he likes (as potus) or break any/every law, without consequences’ (paraphrased).. else he will be IMPEACHED or even booted out.. we shall see 🙂 😀

        btw: maybe folks should watch footage of other fascist dictators (1930s & more recent DPRK.. nnm) they may notice similar body language & demeanor :/

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  17th January 2020

          If it was his company, he could do what he liked in it, it would be no one’s business. But it isn’t. I cannot understand why people would elect a president who’d never been in politics in any way. Imagine even a PM who’d never been an MP or even on a Council. it’s insane.

          Did Nancy P refer to Ozymandias ? He can’t stand her; possibly because she’s a woman in a powerful position, and he comes across as a misogynist. I mean a genuine one, not in the watered down way it’s used now. His disgusting way of talking about women’s bodies is very revealing.

          Reply
  7. Republican logic allows us to arrive at the following conclusions:

    – in the cases of Obama, Hillary, and the Bidens, lack of any evidence proves their guilt,

    – in the case of Trump, the massive amount of evidence against him proves his innocence.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  17th January 2020

      Ah ! Now I see ! 🙂

      Reply
      • Ironically as Jennifer Rubin observes: “Hillary Clinton has a unique distinction: She has been exonerated twice after extensive federal investigations, the latest entirely unjustified and the result of a politicized Justice Department.”

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/12/hillary-clinton-most-exonerated-politician-ever/

        Looking back further, there was Whitewater, travelgate, Vince Foster, Benghazi, Benghazi Benghazi, emails twice in 2016 alone, Uranium One several times, and on and on. Baseless investigation after baseless investigation, all coming up with nothing.

        Yet we still hear the puerile Trumper chants of ‘Crooked Hillary’ and ‘Lock her up’. So much for representative government, and taking a political “loss” without threatening to shoot or jail people one disagrees with.

        Reply
  8. Zedd

     /  17th January 2020

    Just watched MrT (on AlJz) ‘answering’ the impeachment allegations: (paraphrased) ‘Its all a con-job’ & “I dont know the people who are making these claims’ (even though there are pictures of the main guy, with him & Guiliani)

    Perhaps MrT needs to be reminded of the saying, that ends with:
    ‘….BUT you cant fool ALL the people.. ALL the time’ as he really seems to think, he can ?!

    then again. who is the bigger FOOL.. the fool or the one(s) who follow him..
    ‘corky’ over to you ? 😀

    Reply
  9. Incidentally, this is what John Dowd, former counsel for the President, wrote to Congress:

    “ Be advised that Messrs. Parnas and Fruman assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman have also been represented by Mr. Giuliani in connection with their personal and business affairs. They also assisted Joseph DiGenova and Victoria Toensing in their law practice. Thus, certain information you seek in your September 30, 2019, letter is protected by the attorney-client, attorney work product and other privileges.”

    Once that letter was sent, under penalty of prosecution for false statements to Congress, it became fact: Parnas and Fruman do work for Rudy Giuliani in the service of the President of the United States covered by privilege, Rudy does work for them covered by privilege, and they also do work for Joseph Di Genova and Victoria Toensing about this matter that is covered by privilege.

    And because the government arrested Parnas, there’ll be a damned good chain of custody on the notes, photos, videos, etc., proving he didn’t make them more recently to get out of legal trouble.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th January 2020

      A simple question for you, Ishmael. If a president thinks the opposition party may elect a presidential candidate who has been directly involved in corription in a foreign country should he pressure that country to investigate or not?

      Reply
      • Trump singled out the Biden family for investigation, in the absence of firm evidence, not because some dispassionate process happened to alight on the Bidens, or even because corruption in Ukraine is high on Trump’s priority list, but because Joe Biden is polling the best against Trump among all the 2020 candidates. If Biden weren’t a political enemy, this would not be happening.

        Asking a foreign country to investigate an American, when there is no domestic criminal investigation into him, is a non-starter. America has domestic law enforcement avenues for that. But there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden and no criminal investigation into his activities.

        The Ukraine-dirt-on-Bidens conspiracy was disproven well before Trump applied political pressure on Ukraine to serve the purpose of his own re-election campaign.

        Here are some links to help you better understand the context and timeline of Trumps sham call for an investigation into the Bidens:
        https://www.justsecurity.org/66271/timeline-trump-giuliani-bidens-and-ukrainegate/
        https://www.justsecurity.org/66101/trump-and-giulianis-quest-for-fake-ukraine-dirt-on-biden-an-explainer/
        https://theintercept.com/2019/05/10/rumors-joe-biden-scandal-ukraine-absolute-nonsense-reformer-says/

        and an excellent piece by James Risen:
        https://theintercept.com/2019/09/25/i-wrote-about-the-bidens-and-ukraine-years-ago-then-the-right-wing-spin-machine-turned-the-story-upside-down

        ————

        Because you are unaware of how governments ought to go about investigating corruption in foreign countries, I’ll move on to answer your question:

        If Trump were really, legitimately focused on rooting out corruption in Ukraine, however—whether at companies like Burisma, which employed Hunter Biden, or within the government—there are U.S. government processes for doing so, when there is a credible case. Here’s what they are:

        Step 1: Stop cutting State Department anti-corruption funding
        There is an entire State Department bureau—the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL)—focused on law enforcement efforts overseas, including investigating corruption. INL is headquartered in Washington, but it has experts serving at many U.S. missions overseas. The officials at INL work with their foreign diplomatic counterparts—some willing and some less so—as well as non-governmental organizations and law enforcement agencies at the local, national and international level to support foreign governments’ efforts to build sound institutions by sharing best practices, training and giving grants. In Ukraine, that work has included supporting the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. INL and its partners can investigate and report on corruption and even take actions to punish it, like barring entry to the United States for certain foreigners.

        Strangely, while Trump has a new-found interest in fighting “corruption”—at least that associated with his political rivals—his administration has requested less money for INL, not more. In fiscal year 2019, the bureau was granted US$5 million, but State requested $3 million for fiscal year 2020. If the president were really concerned about corruption in Ukraine, he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should have requested more resources for INL work there.

        STEP 2: Alert the Ukraine ambassador, and let him deal with it
        If Trump and Pompeo really wanted to police corruption in Ukraine, they would have first alerted the acting U.S. ambassador there to specific concerns, like Ukrainian executives laundering money or a Ukrainian official misusing his or her position (such as the former prosecutor general mentioned in Trump’s phone call). Ambassadors can’t interfere in a corruption investigation or direct that one be opened, but they can pass information along to experts at the embassy—including INL experts and Department of Justice personnel.

        Those U.S. law enforcement professionals in the foreign country could see if there were a basis for them to open a criminal investigation based on that concern, and U.S. anti-corruption experts there could review suspect activity and decide how best to address them with the relevant Ukrainian officials. If there were law enforcement concerns about an American’s involvement, DOJ could coordinate on that with Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice.

        For instance, the chargé d’affaires in Kiev, Ambassador William Taylor, and his team could have sent a “demarche”—an official statement of U.S. policy with respect to a corrupt activity or individual—to Ukrainian officials at the Ministry of Justice or in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office and try to sort out ways to address them. EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland and former special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker were aware of these official channels for addressing corruption because that’s what they do.

        STEP 3. Request cooperation (officially)
        Trump and his team have another tool at their disposal to investigate corruption in Ukraine related to an ongoing criminal case: the United States’ Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the country. MLATs are international agreements that establish a formal process for one country to gather evidence in another country for a criminal investigation.

        If there were an actual U.S. government investigation into alleged criminal activity by Americans in Ukraine, or foreigners suspected of violating U.S. laws, a request for cooperation could have been made through a formal process that’s run by DOJ’s Office of International Affairs. Once MLAT requests are vetted by the DOJ, they are transmitted to a foreign country’s “central authority”—in this case, Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice. If granted in the foreign country, this arrangement could allow the DOJ to obtain documents, locate people, take testimony, request searches and seizures, freeze assets and more. If the United States were actually pursuing criminal investigations into corruption in Ukraine, U.S. officials would have made a request under our MLAT for cooperation.

        The United States even has a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement (MLAA) with China, the country that Trump called on last year to investigate Biden, after the whistleblower complaint was made public. The Chinese of course refused.

        There is no shortage of official options when it comes to cooperation on criminal matters and fighting corruption with a foreign country—whether it be with the Ukrainians or the Chinese or anyone else. If the president actually cared about addressing corruption in Ukraine more broadly, he would ensure that experts like INL staffers at the State Department have the resources they need to do their jobs. The fact that Giuliani was his answer suggests that something very different is going on here.

        On the subject of Giuliani, he wrote to Ukraine president Zelenskyy and specifically stated that he represented Trump in a personal capacity. This confirms that Giuliani was working for Trump the individual to subvert the U.S. election process, rather than the office of POTUS concerned about corruption.

        Instead of all of the above, what Trump embarked upon was an illegal and covert withholding of military aid to Ukraine: illegal because when the aid was signed off by Congress it became law (but was illegally withheld – see the Government Accountability Office report released last week); covert because there was clearly a Trump administration effort to conceal the illegal withholding. That was compounded by a conspiracy to subvert the operations of the state department to personally benefit Trump’s re-election campaign.
        ———

        Are you really going to sit here and pretend that Trump has any real interest in rooting out corruption, when he owes every bit of good fortune he has ever had (up to and including the presidency) to it?

        No-one believes Donald Trump actually cares about rooting out corruption in Ukraine, or anywhere, given that he has a documented love of corruption, having forged close ties with Russia and Saudi Arabia while bristling at relations with places like Canada and Germany. “Corrupt” is simply a label he applies to his political opponents, be it Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, or the Democratic Party at large. As E.U. ambassador Gordon Sondland told lawmakers, Trump didn’t even care if the Burisma investigation actually got underway or was completed, only that President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly announced that his country was inve stigating the Bidens and the company whose board Hunter Biden sat on, in an obvious attempt to drag down the former vice president. If Ukraine wanted to carry on with actual systemic corruption, then fine by Trump!

        As it happens, last week Trump got a Ukraine investigation… ironically it’s into the possibility that U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was covertly surveilled for/byTrump donors and Giuliani associates Robert Hyde and Lev Parnas, surveillance that was conducted evidently with Trump’s full knowledge.

        Also ironically, unlike the evidence-free conspiracy against the Bidens, there is a mountain of evidence – ranging from administration testimony, letters, emails, notes, text messages, photos, and videos, all the way through to Lev Parnas, the smoking goon – that indicates Trump will be a 2020 presidential candidate who has been directly involved in corruption in a foreign country.

        But, of course as I said above, the pro-Trump perspective is that:
        – in the cases of Obama, Hillary, and the Bidens, lack of any evidence proves their guilt,
        – in the case of Trump, the massive amount of evidence against him proves his innocence

        ————

        Finally, it was only a fortnight ago that Trump ordered the extra-judicial assassination of a highly ranked Iranian government official in a third country, because he (Trump) conveniently “thought” that there was an imminent threat to the United States. Trump’s administration has trotted out an embarrassingly inconsistent series of changing justifications ever since. Every day brings a new excuse for a war crime.

        In Trump’s world, there is no such thing as international law. Just as he sees the U.S. Constitution as a pesky document not worth respecting, his view of the U.S. on the world stage is based on imperial hubris and brute force. He is not the first president to recklessly endanger lives through military might, and he will sadly not be the last.

        But in trying to understand his recent actions on Iran, one thing is clear: Trump killed Soleimani because he could, because he wanted to reassert American military dominance, and because he thinks it can help his chances of reelection.

        Just like he singled out the Biden family for investigation.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  19th January 2020

          Good God, that was the longest non-answer in history.

          How about a yes or a no. We don’t need a month of Lefty talking points.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  19th January 2020

            As President he CANT use the funds of the government to do republican party work for him as the candidate
            The US has quite strict laws and rules about separating election stuff and government stuff. I think you cant even use government offices ( a lot of top officials are political appointees) to hit on donors for money.
            If Trump cant run a fundraiser for his re- election in the Whitehouse , he certainly cant play footsie with congress appropriated money to another country for political purposes.
            You know he has no interest in corruption in the Ukraine, but in Trumps mind they were getting something for nothing and he wanted something that benefited him in return . he always does.
            Please , you are smarter than that to run the silly idea about preventing corruption etc
            If Trump had a better lawyer than Guiliani, perhaps his previous beak, the now convicted Michael Cohen to do his standard ‘trump deal’ , and pay someone in Ukraine directly from his own or his $400 mill campaign fund. You can buy anybody in Ukraine relatively cheaply

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th January 2020

              Except it wasn’t Republican party work. It was to save the Democrats and possibly the American people electing a crook without knowing it.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th January 2020

              The real joke of course is that the Democrats have been using massive amounts of government funds and offices to do Democratic Party work.

            • Blazer

               /  19th January 2020

              ‘ and possibly the American people electing a crook without knowing it.’

              as opposed to electing one again and knowing it!
              All done in the best(vicarious)taste ..eh Al!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th January 2020

              Everyone knows Trump warts and all, B. What you see is what you got. Now let’s see Biden under the same spotlight.

          • Don’t blame me Alan if you are unable to understand a straightforward exxplanation of the process for how governments ought to go about investigating corruption in foreign countries.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  21st January 2020

              I wasn’t. I was blaming you for not answering a simple question but instead launching into an obfuscatory bluster.

            • Alan, I wear your pathetic ad hom attacks as a medal of honor.

              When you have nothing substantive to say you resort to ad homs. It’s clear that you have nothing substantive to say about how governments ought to go about investigating corruption in foreign countries, other than “if Trump did it then it’s fine; if Obama did it then it’s a hanging offence.”

              And you have the temerity to whine about the ‘loony left’ – you’re all trousers and no substance.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  21st January 2020

              You do know what ad hominem means, do you Ishmael?

              Because there was nothing ad hominem in my comment unlike yours to which it responded.

    • You are really bad at this… but pathetic cult is still cult.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th January 2020

        Swamp hates being drained. Thinks everyone sees it their way. Thinks they have a divine right to other people’s money. Thinks stupidity is wonderful and should be perpetuated forever at any cost.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  18th January 2020

        So you agree America’s foreign policy of appeasement, protectionism and subsidised allied defence spending is still the way to go?

        I cringed when I read this article because I know under a new president it will be business as usual. Can you imagine Bernie Sanders going against the status quo should he become the president?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  18th January 2020

          Of course the supremely virtuous moral Left will be engaged in endless wars because they can always find foreign enemies and it is their life’s work. Whereas amoral people like Trump think it is a waste of time, money and lives.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  19th January 2020

            Once again ,can you provide any evidence to support your premise Al?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th January 2020

              The WaPo article on Trump vs Pentagon chiefs and the Left’s presumptions about who was right.

          • duperez

             /  21st January 2020

            I don’t think Trump thinks war is a waste of time, money and lives. If there’s something he could gain from it he’d be in boots and all. (I’m sure there’d be a way all that real estate could be turned into armament factories. Or making money having others think it possible.)
            Trouble is with all the workforce building the wall, getting the hands needed might be a problem.🙂

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  21st January 2020

              Really? I think the evidence refutes that. He has used minimal force, maximum words.

  10. Patzcuaro

     /  19th January 2020

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  19th January 2020

      Since Ishmael doesn’t seem keen on answering my question, I’ll try you, Patz:

      A simple question for you, Patz. If a president thinks the opposition party may elect a presidential candidate who has been directly involved in corruption in a foreign country should he pressure that country to investigate or not?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  19th January 2020

        Plenty of ‘pressure’ could have been done. But Trump did it illegally in withholding funds that wasnt in the ‘Presidents budget’ but a directly allocated by Congress ( they have ultimate spending authority). The naked partisanship is just an added ‘outrage icing’ on the top.
        The problem with all those Ukraine things bubbling under the surface ( the servers etc) they werent true , but Trump knew an ‘official investigation’ was all he needed .
        The impeachment is what he gets in return…him under investigation ..again. Clearly hes not the the most stable genius he thinks he is ( unlike you he really does believe all the gumpf he spouts)

        Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  19th January 2020

        My view, is that if there was evidence that Joe Biden did anything wrong, it should have been investigated through the approprite official channel. Having Rudi Giuliani charging around Ukraine is not the appropriate channel.

        If Trump wants to get reelected he should focus on his day job. Unfortunately Trump was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, then bullied his way through life and is temperamental unfit to be President. On top of that he has limited knowledge of the geography and history of the world, which combined with a short attention span, means Trump is unable to absorb official briefings, instead latching onto anything spewing out from Hannity and Carlson on Fox News that suits him.

        Unfortunately Jeb Bush ran in the 2016 Republican Primaries which I think deterred other candidates and opened a path for Trump. The Democrats then put up a tarnished Clinton who failed to motivate the Democrats, end result Trump. Trump is a product of too many Bushs and Clintons.

        It would have been better if Biden had stayed out of the 2020 Democratic Primary, especially given the optics around his son and Burisma and it seems pointless running for one term.
        The US government should be supporting Ukraine as it grows as a nation, unfortunately the Russians have something compromising on Trump.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  19th January 2020

          I don’t see any more official channel than president to president considering the corruption in question also involved a politically-engineered sacking of a prosecutor.

          Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  19th January 2020

            Yes but it wasn’t just a President to President channel, all sorts of other characters were involved. Plus a prudent President wanting an investigation of a political opponent would have wanted to put a little distance between himself and the investigation. It all comes back to Trump not being a fit and proper person to be President.

            Reply
  11. Patzcuaro

     /  19th January 2020
    Reply
  12. Patzcuaro

     /  19th January 2020

    Reply
  13. Duker

     /  19th January 2020

    A newish statirical web site like The Onion , but its a conservative/christian perspective

    https://babylonbee.com/news/senate-asks-pelosi-if-she-can-send-over-copy-of-impeachment-articles-not-covered-in-wine-stains

    Reply
  14. Here’s a helpful article on how the gaslighting right in America has tried – and succeeded in – muddying the waters over issues such as so-called corruption in Ukraine by flooding a compliant media with misinformation. It would be too much to hope that the Trumpers here take note and make an effort to understand but I’m putting it up anyway…

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/1/16/20991816/impeachment-trial-trump-bannon-misinformation

    Reply
  15. Patzcuaro

     /  19th January 2020
    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  20th January 2020

      Didn’t they also say that Hillary had a 99% chance of winning the 2016 election?

      Reply
      • Patzcuaro

         /  20th January 2020

        Quite possibly, she did win the popular vote by a couple of points but lost out in the rust belt by taking those states for granted. One assumes that 538 have taken that on board.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  20th January 2020

          What did she get for winning the popular vote?

          Reply
          • Patzcuaro

             /  21st January 2020

            Nothing but long term the US will have problems if the popular vote and the electoral college diverge.

            Reply
  16. Duker

     /  19th January 2020

    Trumps lawyers formal reply to the charges in the impeaqchment is pure bombast and political theatre
    “The president’s lawyers did not deny any of the core facts underlying Democrats’ charges, conceding what considerable evidence and testimony in the House has shown: that he withheld $391 million in aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine and asked the country’s president to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden.”

    The second charge is that he covered up his crime by preventing Congress from doing a full investigation and subpoena witnesses

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  19th January 2020

      As I pointed out, he was doing the Democrats and the nation a public service.

      Reply

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