The Republicans, predictably, have decided to choose their party over their country, and the damage control and lying have begun.
By Tom Nichols
The Atlantic (9/21/19)
The president of the United States reportedly sought the help of a foreign government against an American citizen who might challenge him for his office. This is the single most important revelation in a scoop by The Wall Street Journal, and if it is true, then President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office immediately.
Until now, there was room for reasonable disagreement over impeachment as both a matter of politics and a matter of tactics. The Mueller report revealed despicably unpatriotic behavior by Trump and his minions, but it did not trigger a political judgment with a majority of Americans that it warranted impeachment. The Democrats, for their part, remained unwilling to risk their new majority in Congress on a move destined to fail in a Republican-controlled Senate.
Now, however, we face an entirely new situation. In a call to the new president of Ukraine, Trump reportedly attempted to pressure the leader of a sovereign state into conducting an investigation—a witch hunt, one might call it—of a U.S. citizen, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden.
As the Ukrainian Interior Ministry official Anton Gerashchenko told the Daily Beast when asked about the president’s apparent requests, “Clearly, Trump is now looking for kompromat to discredit his opponent Biden, to take revenge for his friend Paul Manafort, who is serving seven years in prison.”
If this in itself is not impeachable, then the concept has no meaning. Trump’s grubby commandeering of the presidency’s fearsome and nearly uncheckable powers in foreign policy for his own ends is a gross abuse of power and an affront both to our constitutional order and to the integrity of our elections.
The story may even be worse than we know. …
(Commoner Call illustration by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to ww.thecommonercall.org )
Reiterating Call For Impeachment, Warren Accuses Congress Of Complicity In Trump’s Continued Abuses
“If impeachment isn’t for this, why is impeachment in the constitution?”
By Julia Conley
Common Dreams (9/21/19)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused the U.S. Congress of complicity in President Donald Trump’s continued abuse of power late Friday, after reports surfaced of his alleged attempts to solicit foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election, and reiterated her demand that Democrats use their majority in the House to pursue impeachment.
Warren’s tweeted statement came hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s opposition to a Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016.
Warren wrote that House Democrats should have promptly pursued impeachment after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Trump’s campaign, which outlined a number of instances in which the president obstructed justice during Mueller’s investigation—similar to the actions that led Congress to draft articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1974.
“By failing to act, Congress is complicit in Trump’s latest attempt to solicit foreign interference to aid him in U.S. elections,” Warren said. “Do your constitutional duty and impeach the president.”
The Massachusetts Democrat and presidential candidate first demanded that Congress begin impeachment proceedings after reading the Mueller Report in April.
The House Judiciary Committee, which called former Trump campaign official Corey Lewandowski to testify earlier this week, has said it is in the midst of an impeachment inquiry. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declined to classify the proceedings as such, and Democrats have drawn criticism for progressing slowly toward holding the president accountable for alleged obstruction of justice.
The reports of Trump’s communications with Ukraine came days after the Washington Post reported that a whistleblower in the intelligence community revealed a “promise” the president made to Ukrainian officials. In comments to the press on Friday afternoon, Trump said, “It doesn’t matter what I discuss” with foreign officials and called his conversation with Zelensky “totally appropriate.”
“A president is sitting in the Oval Office, right now, who continues to commit crimes,” Warren tweeted. “He continues because he knows his Justice Department won’t act and believes Congress won’t either. Today’s news confirmed he thinks he’s above the law. If we do nothing, he’ll be right.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the possibility of impeaching Trump, calling the whistleblower’s report “alarming” and saying the White House is “breaking the law” by not allowing the director of national security to forward the complaint to Congress—but adding only that laws must be passed to prevent future presidents from behaving as Trump has.
“I do think that we will have to pass some laws that will have clarity for future presidents,” Pelosi told NPR. “A president should be indicted, if he’s committed a wrongdoing—any president.”
Pelosi drew rebukes from legislators and on social media for her continued reluctance.
“She’s still holding back,” [a] lawmaker told The Daily Beast. “If impeachment isn’t for this, why is impeachment in the constitution?”
“In 1974, Democrats and Republicans united in support of impeachment not out of mutual contempt for Nixon but mutual respect for the rule of law,” Warren tweeted. “Congress refused to be complicit in future law-breaking by Nixon or other presidents. It’s time for this Congress to step up and act.”
Warren won praise for her call to Congress.
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- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Democrats’ Refusal To Impeach Trump Is A ‘National Scandal’ — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday, calling the Democratic Party’s reluctance to impeach President Donald Trump a “national scandal.” “At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior ― it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted late Saturday. … Read the Rest and 1+-Minute Video
- Nancy Pelosi And The End Of Democracy — “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that despite reports President Donald Trump may have attempted to have Ukraine interfere in the 2020 presidential election, she still does not support impeachment proceedings. Instead, she suggested that laws ought to be passed to make clear when and how a sitting president could be indicted once Trump is no longer in office. Many Democrats, including presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Julián Castro, called for Congress to begin the impeachment process after a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump engaged in an improper conversation with a foreign leader was made public last week. But the speaker’s statements show that it will take more than allegations of election meddling to join those in her party pushing for impeachment, and make clear her focus is on protecting — and expanding — Democrats’ majority in the House of Representatives, which depends on protecting seats the party won in districts Trump carried in 2016.”: Link to 18-Minute Video
Democrats Are Losing The Messaging War On Impeachment: Link to 10-Minute Video
Pelosi Warns Withheld Whistleblower Report Could Mean ‘New Chapter Of Lawlessness’
By Amy Russo
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is now calling for the release of a whistleblower report allegedly flagging President Donald Trump’s requests for election help from Ukraine, warning that keeping it from Congress could usher in “a grave new chapter of lawlessness.”
In a letter to colleagues Sunday, Pelosi made clear that she expects Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to turn over the report when he appears before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
“The Administration’s blocking of Acting DNI Maguire from providing Congress with the whistleblower complaint calls upon him to violate the federal statute, which unequivocally states that the DNI ‘shall’ provide Congress this information,” Pelosi wrote. “The Administration is endangering our national security and having a chilling effect on any future whistleblower who sees wrongdoing.”
On Friday, The Washington Post reported that the White House legal counsel’s office has pushed for the complaint to be hidden from Congress. …