“It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry.
— U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta of the District of Columbia ruling against Trump’s attempt to withhold financial records (5/20/19)
“High Crimes and Misdemeanors… does not require corresponding statutory charges…the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.”
— Rep Justin Amash (R-MI) tweet explaining legal basis for supporting impeachment (5/20/19)
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (5/23/19)
The Democrats’ Heroes Journey
Trump committed a range of crimes and has lied repeatedly and shielded himself from legal recourse with the help of others. Trump does this while in the White House, has done this while running his campaign and over decades running his business. Trump claims exoneration and even maddeningly accuses his accusers of treason. Trump’s lifetime of lies and crimes cuts to the heart of his character, a struggle for recognition and validation while reconciling himself to fear, and with it some form of demagoguery, as the highest order of emotional connection he can achieve.
The Democrats’ response to Trump’s authoritarian acts is frustratingly slow and on the surface lacks cohesion. Many daily demand impeachment. Rightfully so; but while lacking the clarion cry of IMPEACHMENT, that’s exactly where we are. We are marching to the battle and right now we’re in the ‘grab everything you’ll need’ mode; there is no coming back once committed and we are already committed.
The Republican response is to fight every Democratic initiative to educate the public and get to real truth of Trump criminality – lie, obstruct, withhold, delay, accuse, attack, distort…
The discussion of impeaching Trump doesn’t even capture the worst risks to our well-being. While writing this a WaPo headline has Trump ending a White House meeting with Dem leadership over an infrastructure plan unless they stop investigating and questioning him. What’s next, Trump threatening to attack Iran if Dems won’t stop investigations?
In a quizzical moment worthy of note, Trump goes to the Rose Garden for a press conference to whine about being so maligned by Pelosi et al and sporting a new catch-phrase, “I don’t do cover ups” (as in, Nixon’s famous declaration: “I am not a crook”). Trump then proceeds to spill the beans and admit that Donnie Jr. lied to Congress and did in fact call his father after his June 2016 Trump Tower Russians meeting. But back to our journey…
WHY is IMPEACHMENT so Damn Slow and Confusing?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leaving space for all to opine. Build the groundswell, both in Congress and with the public. There is a time limit, a point where ‘leaving space’ causes more people to stand down than stand up.
The last several weeks have been a cluster of frustration with Trump and his lawyer Attorney General William Barr throwing up daily roadblocks including no-shows for testimony even when the subject is under subpoena. Democrats shake their fists and cry foul, panels of pundits opine and decry, angry citizens bang tables for and against Impeachment while the planet burns, sabers are rattled, grifting Trumpsters grift, cultists practice getting over on libtards and every other Democrat runs for President.
In the face of insanity and inanity we demand clarity around Impeachment.
We go forward with only one point of clarity, only one guarantee – whether we Do bring impeachment or Don’t bring impeachment, the Do or Don’t will be the weapon used in history to disparage Democrats for perpetuity should they screw up the 2020 election.
Life is simple. Democrats only need to bring Impeachment, win the 2020 election, saving democracy and having a chance to SAVE OUR PLANET.
The Heroes Journey for Democrats. We’d better get this right.
Trump is losing every court battle
Trump says trade wars are easy to win and warns China that he always wins. In truth Trump is showing that trade wars are not easy and while Trump reinvents winning like his style of playing golf, the people that are losing are farmers and the rest of us. If China finds new sources for soy, can farmers ever regain those buyers? Beware — everything with Trump is about reelection and some of the people he hurts the most, like farmers, may well still support him.
In the battles core to Impeachment Trump has lost every court battle to date. This just in late Wednesday: He’s lost another battle with a federal judge ruling Deutsche Bank and Capital One can hand over the Trump’s financial records.
Yes, AG Barr set a standard of being a no-show for a Congressional hearing followed by former White House counsel Don McGahn as a no-show on Tuesday morning. But courts are already ruling against Trump/Barr. How will all of this turn out as so many challenges wind through so many courts? Constitutional law expert Lawrence Tribe told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell that the Supreme Court will unanimously enforce subpoenas, citing Judge Metha’s ruling quoted above.
Do subpoenas and threats of subpoenas by the Dem House make a difference? The jury is out, but one 11th hour victory has AG Barr agreeing to provide the House Intelligence Committee with “12 categories of counterintelligence and foreign intelligence material from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of election interference by Russia”.
There is one battle still being waged – getting special counsel Robert Mueller to appear before Congress. There are a variety of articles on the ongoing conversation but the net story is the Mueller is reluctant to testify in a public hearing as he does not want to ‘appear political’. His reluctance allows Barr the opportunity to continue to distort Mueller’s findings.
Added credit goes to Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), the first Republican to call for impeachment. Not only did he put forward an excellent and succinct summary for why to impeach, but two days later he followed with a explanation about the distortions that underpin Trump’s defense. He rightfully clarifies a point the pundits regularly miss – Mueller DID find underlying crimes (not to a standard of conspiracy). Barr and others dismiss obstruction for lack of an underlying crime but Amash points out there were crimes, but also obstruction does NOT require proof of underlying crimes and nor could Trump have known the conclusions of Mueller’s investigation while underway. Lastly, high Crimes and Misdemeanors does not require statutory charges, only “conduct that violates the public trust”.
Michigan went to Trump by about 10,000 votes. Might Amash move that needle enough?
Impeachment In All But Name
GOP political strategist and never-Trumper Rick Wilson supports what he calls, Pelosi’s go-slow camp, or IIABN: Impeachment in All but Name.
We are in the fight. Voices will be raised; it will get ugly. What’s ‘fair’ will expose wide swaths of credulity for anyone paying attention.
The problem with corruption in our democracy is so much of it is legal. The scales of justice are tipped in favor of money as a legitimate amplifier for influence. Consider how the Republican National Committee (RNC) paid the law firm that now employs former White House counsel and Dem hearing no-show Don McGahn $2 million for…? Jones Day received “the largest RNC payment to the firm recorded in recent years” … just last month.
We have been here before
We operate with an attitude that politics are worse now than ever. Not true, there has been worse and we’ve been in a situation much like this before.
Trump’s legal defense before Judge Metha was compared to an equally flawed appeal made by one of the other worst presidents in US history, James Buchanan.
Wisconsin pundit, founder of The Bulwark and never-Trumper Charles Sykes writes:
“As it turns out, the investigation that so upset Buchanan uncovered massive corruption, and the fallout was dramatic. : “By uncovering corrupt White House acts, Buchanan’s congressional opponents dismantled his authority and paved the way for a member of their own party to win the presidency during the next election.””
Sykes quotes notes from historian Jasmin Bath: “…the report exposed extensive corruption that took place during his presidency: bribery, the disfranchisement of some voters in federal elections, abuses of printing contracts, subsidies for partisan presses from public accounts. The list went on and on…”
Sound familiar? Does this remind you of Amash’s “conduct that violates the public trust”?
Not so long after Buchanan’s presidency we also went through impeachment of President Andrew Johnson – the vote failed in the Senate by one vote. Johnson became president following the assassination of President Lincoln and attempted to undo all the positive intent of Reconstruction following the conclusion of the Civil War. Impeachment failed, but President Grant was then elected and was fully committed to Lincoln’s legacy of Reconstruction including Grant’s leadership to pass the 15th Amendment granting voting rights to blacks. Support for Reconstruction went out the door with Grant and we still face many of the same less than fully resolved struggles – but while impeachment failed, the track of history with Grant’s election and Johnson’s failure to be nominated was positive.
2020 elections and history may not agree on the outcome of this latest instance of impeachment but I will stand with history and work for the 2020 outcome.
Not impeaching Trump is not an option. As Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) says, “if we don’t confront Trump, he’ll grow more lawless.” And, “the rule of law is meant to constrain the behavior of those in power”. Trump unchallenged will only be worse and he feels unconstrained and unchallenged.
We are on the right side of history – impeach Trump, successful of not.
And, then — of course — win the 2020 election. It may well be our last chance to save our planet.