Russia Monitor: Not A Single Republican Witness Steps Forward To Defend The Indefensible Trump


“… yes, you have bribery here.”

Prof. Pamela Karlan, House Judiciary Impeachment hearing (12/4/19)


“It is fundamental to the definition of our national political community that foreign citizens do not have a constitutional right to participate in, and thus may be excluded from, activities of democratic self-government.”

Prof. Pamela Karlan quoting Justice Kavanaugh, adding “so correct”


“Because this is an abuse that cuts to the heart of democracy, you need to ask yourselves, if you don’t impeach a president who has done what this president has done … then what you’re saying is, it’s fine to go ahead and do this again,” Karlan said. “It’s your responsibility to make sure that all Americans get to vote in a free and fair election next November.”

Prof. Pamela Karlan, House Judiciary Impeachment hearing (12/4/19)


“Ultimately the reason the Constitution provided for impeachment was to anticipate a situation like the one that is before you today. If we cannot impeach a president who uses his power for personal advantage, we no longer live in a democracy, we live in a monarchy or a dictatorship.”

Prof. Noah Feldman, House Judiciary Impeachment hearing (12/4/19) 


“If what we’re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is…”

Prof. Noah Feldman, House Judiciary Impeachment hearing (12/4/19) 


“Trump lives by the 11th commandment… thou shalt not get caught!”

Philosopher Cornel West to CNN host Anderson Cooper

By Dan Peak
Commoner Call (12/5/19)

The first takeaway – there are no GOP witnesses defending Trump, any arguments against impeachment are about the soundness of the case against or the fear of damage to our democracy.

Another major contradiction – Trumpsters assert Trump is unassailable for all legal reasons but argue ‘no criminality’ in the most banal form – not in keeping with Constitutional definition of the construct of our government, Trump’s oath of office or the role of the president. They offer him as a monarch and argue no one saw him shoplift the pack of gum – two idiotic and polar opposite defenses.

The first five quotes above are representative of the case Dems are making for Impeachment of Trump for putting personal gain ahead of US foreign policy and of the ongoing excellence of conduct by Dems of the Impeachment process. These remarks were part of opening testimony from witnesses. (The 300-page Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report can be found here.)

Trumpsters put forward Prof. Jonathan Turley and for once, the Party of Trump did not sound like angry victims. That changed once Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) got his chance to rant as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. The Trumpster defense revolves around endless repetion of:  no crime’; no proof of a crime’; no impeachment without proof of a crime’; and no obstruction unless the Supreme Court says so. This last point is circular logic. The idea argued by Turley on one hand touts co-equal parts of government, but then subordinates Congress by deferring to Judiciary opinion – however long that might take. In other words, a defense is rewarded for complete obstruction. No investigation ‘should’ take place and no investigation ‘will’ take place unless SCOTUS agrees.

The Trumpster defense of ‘no crime worthy of impeachment’ breaks down in a similar way. Laws against bribery don’t specifically call out violations that can only be made by a president, like bribing a foreign government, and since not specifically defined it’s not illegal – and one shouldn’t interpret the Constitution to judge high crimes and misdemeanors.

Turley did raise an interesting question are we best served by a narrow and fast process? While I’m not sure where Turley was going with his line of commentary, is speed imperative or is it better to keep the pressure on Trump publicly and open ended?

But let’s switch gears.


Royal Republican Rule

Trumpsters say Trump can’t commit a crime because he’s president and even see a universality of innocence across the Party of Trump. The last two editions of the Russia Monitor have focused on Trump’s pardons and political embrace of war criminals, now Trump turns his focus back to Trumpster Congressmen.

Duncan Hunter is the second pro-Trump congressman to complain he’s the victim of a witch hunt — only to end up pleading guilty

Given today’s news cycle, Trump’s criticism of his then attorney general Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III is old news, going back to September 2018 but made current by new news and Trump actions. Here is the Trump 2018 tweet:

“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff.”

But fast-forward to this week, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has now pled guilty to a single charge of misuse of campaign funds. Hunter joins former Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) who resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to insider trading following his arrest in August 2018.

Hunter and Collins were the first two sitting members of Congress to rally behind Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Trumpster Rule of Law – don’t investigate or charge Trumpsters. More expansively, if there are investigations of Trump or Trumpsters non-cooperation is mandatory and there is no such thing as ‘obstruction’ since such investigations are all ‘witch hunts’.

Under this right wing logic, witch hunts and projections – whatever crimes Trumpsters broke can all be projected back on Dems – nary an instance of proof, but Party of Trump waxes on with conspiracies exonerating Russia and attacking Ukraine for supporting Clinton.

I have my doubts but is there anything to Sen. Lindsay Graham, a huge Trumpster, speaking out against Trumpster Ukraine conspiracy theory?

Lindsey Graham Breaks Ranks With Trump, Declares Ukraine Conspiracy Theory False

The sub-head says it all, for now: The senator and staunch Trump defender says he’s “1,000% confident” Russia, not Ukraine, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.


A few final angles for Dem facts and process compared to Trumpster conspiracies and projections…

(Link to story below to get larger version of image.)

First, here is MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s summary of the findings of the Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report. Take a quick look, it runs through ten bullet-points including:

  • ‘request for political favor’,
  • ‘moves career state department persons out of the way’,
  • ‘hand-picked agents’ (his operatives such as his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the two indicted associates),
  • ‘asks Ukraine president for a favor’,
  • And so forth through the Whistleblower blowing up Trump’s caper just before he pulls it off.

Hold Maddow’s summary up along side the list of one dozen Trump administration officials that he ordered to not cooperate, not honor subpoenas, not supply any documents. A few highlights that face their own legal exposure for their involvement in the crime include chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Sec. Energy Rick Perry and others from National Security Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, State Department.

Trumpsters and their contradiction of ‘Rule of Law’

Trumpsters have an ever expanding view of executive power but we know that is only for Trump. Imagine an expansive presidency that ignores potential crimes of loyalists – that’s what we’re seeing. Former convicted Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos wants a do-over, in spite of his guilty plea. Former convicted national security advisor Michael Flynn who pled guilty wants to delay sentencing because he hopes to be exonerated by Barr’s pending inspector general’s report, his personally directed re-do of Trump-Russia investigation.

But the recurring star of unethical Trumpster behavior is Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). Nunes gets his own clown car – as the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee used tax-payer dollars to personally join meetings in Europe with indicted associates to hunt for conspiracy dirt to defend Trump. Nunes is comically suing CNN for $435 million for what he calls a “demonstrably false hit piece” about trip to Europe.

Nunes is now additionally exposed by a new bombshell set of evidence from the Impeachment Inquiry Report revealing that Nunes was one of a handful of complicit Trumpsters taking phone calls from Giuliani on the eve of the former US Ukraine Ambassador being removed – eliminating a roadblock to the Trump-Giuliani criminal plan to blackmail Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky for political dirt on an opponent.

Nunes was a critical part of the criminal scheme.

Trumpsters have no shame as they see no evil, hear no evil, admit no evil – except as they project on Dems. As they now decry the risk to our democracy while they try to burn it to the ground.