Are You Ready for IMPEACHMENT?

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With the Senate’s Impeachment Trial of “donald john trump” beginning tomorrow, here’s some light reading to prepare yourselves regarding each team’s basic arguments, should you wish.

Okay, it’s not really “light reading” – well, the trump team’s “Answer” to the House impeachment managers’ “Trial Memorandum” was “light reading” as far as substance and credibility go. It’s also literally light in weight: at a mere six pages, maybe an ounce?, vs the weightier (in all aspects) 110-page House Trial Memorandum.

Since I haven’t actually read the House’s tome, let’s start with the trump team’s “Answer.”

“Ridiculous” is the best way to describe it, starting with its heading:

IN PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE UNITED STATES SENATE

ANSWER OF PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP

Seriously, they won’t even use the word “impeachment” in the heading, as if not saying it means it didn’t happen.

The opening paragraph repeats the tired arguments that the Dems have been trying to impeach trump since his inauguration, and trying to “overturn” his election:

The Articles of Impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous on the right of the American people to freely choose their President.  This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election – now just months away.  The highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began the day he was inaugurated, and continues to this day.

It has already been argued by smarter people than me that, if an election were to be “overturned” (and the second paragraph also mentions “nullifying an election”), then the candidate who lost would become the winner, and all of the current president’s actions would automatically be null and void.  This idea is just as impossible as it sounds, and no one except an idiot would believe it.  Therefore, trump’s minions all subscribe to this notion.

The trump team’s arguments continue by stating that Article 1 of the Impeachment doesn’t indicate any “crime or violation of law whatsoever”, and claims that “At all times, the President has faithfully and effectively executed the duties of his Office on behalf of the American people.” At this point, they go into the so-called “perfect call” to Zelenskyy, trying to push that the call was about corruption and about other countries “not carrying their fair share.”

Here’s the fun part (and from this and other details included in trump team’s arguments, you can see why many say that trump had direct input or wrote some of this himself):

…the transcripts of the April 21 call and the July 25 call disprove what the Article alleges.  When the House Democrats realized this, Mr. Schiff created a fraudulent version of the July 25 call and read it to the American people at a congressional hearing, without disclosing that he was simply making it all up.”

Anyone who watched the first impeachment hearing knows that Chairman Schiff both preceded and followed his ‘mob’ parody of trump’s call with a disclaimer stating that he was paraphrasing.  Conservatives simply don’t get ‘irony’, ‘sarcasm’ or ‘satire’.

In trump team’s argument against Article 2 of the Impeachment, regarding obstruction of Congress, they state, in part:

…the notion that President Trump obstructed Congress is absurd.  President trump acted with extraordinary and unprecedented transparency by declassifying and releasing the transcript of the July 25 call that is at the heart of this matter. [emphasis theirs]

This is an out-and-out lie.  The actual “transcript” is still hidden in the ultra-secret server (gee, I can’t imagine why) and all we have seen is the call memo, which is damning enough.

Here’s one part that I really don’t get:

Following the President’s disclosure of the July 25 call transcript[sic], House Democrats issued a series of unconstitutional subpoenas for documents and testimony.  They issued their subpoenas without a congressional vote, and, therefore, without constitutional authority.

Huh?  AFAIK, a congressional committee doesn’t need a full vote of the House in order to issue subpoenas.  I have no idea whose ass this came out of, but it smells pretty bad to me.

You can read the rest of the trump team’s arguments and see for yourself how pathetic and, indeed, ignorant they sound.

Now the House’s “Trial Memorandum”: as I said, I haven’t read it yet, but here’s a brief synopsis from Raw Story.:

The document divides the argument by the House of Representatives into three points.

“The Senate should convict President Trump of abuse of power,” is the first section.

“The Senate should convict President Trump of obstruction of Congress,” is the second section.

“The Senate should immediately remove President Trump from office to prevent further abuses,” is the third section.

Raw Story also includes the outlines for the House’s arguments regarding each point.  If you’re like me, and watched or otherwise kept up with the impeachment hearings, their arguments should be familiar to you.

I’ll stop here in order for there to be time to read more of the details.

And while I was finishing up this thread, the House Impeachment Managers issued their own response to the trump team’s “Answer.” I should have waited a little longer!

Edit:  For reference, here’s White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s “fuck you” letter to Gerry Nadler.  I think he used trump’s Sharpie to sign it:

THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD – FEEL FREE TO COMMENT THROUGHOUT THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL.

27 thoughts on “Are You Ready for IMPEACHMENT?

  1. I’m watching some of the ‘pre-game’ coverage – at this point several Dems are berating McConnell’s “Organizing Resolution” aka ‘rules of the road.’ I can’t imagine Justice Roberts will be happy about 12-hour days, starting at 1:00pm, on top of his regular SCOTUS duties.

    I don’t plan to “live-blog” the entire impeachment trial (I can’t sit at the computer that long), I just wanted a dedicated thread where anyone can comment on the proceedings or add your thoughts in general as the trial progresses.

  2. Well, so far I’ve only shouted at the teevee twice, and haven’t thrown anything, either.

    They’re currently in a short break. Schumer introduced one amendment to Mitch’s rules, requesting various and sundry documents. Then, the House managers and trump’s team each got time to ‘debate’ about that, and they Senate just voted to table the motion. Chuck immediately introduced another rules amendment for other documents; after his motion was read, the recess was called. So I expect more ‘debate’, probably lasting an hour or so (that’s about how long the first ‘debate was.)

    Pat Cipollone and some other trump lawyer each lied – in front of god and everyone – about the House’s hearings that took place in the SCIF, saying that Rs were not allowed in, which is demonstrably a lie.

    • Republicans attended every meeting, they’re part of the panel.

      They’re throwing everything at the House and hoping something will stick. The longer this goes on, the better. The American people are seeing just how complicit the senate, and the lawyers are in continuing to blatantly lie and cover up, at all costs.

        • In one of Marcia Blackburn’s tweets attacking Lt. Col. Vindman, she referred to “our greatest enemy, Russia.”

          I have to wonder, how do R senators who REALLY DO believe that Russia is our greatest enemy reconcile that with their devotion to Putin’s Puppet? Is it only the R senators who might not have been on the receiving end of NRA-laundered Russian money who still believe Russia is our greatest enemy?

  3. At least they wrapped up early enough last night, I could get some analysis before I turned in. I can’t sit through hours of speechifying, I need the cliff notes, and my usual sources during the day all just play the hearing, once it starts.

    • I’ve been watching the whole thing, and only dozed off for a few minutes a couple of times. One of the benefits of being unemployed/retired.

      The first full day was the best, as the House Managers took turns laying out the timeline of the events, including phone call records, texts, videos of House testimony, etc. Very logical, fairly easy to follow if one watched the hearings – and if not, still very clear and compelling.

      It DID get repetitive, but, as Schiff outlined the first day, he wanted to a) lay out the events and evidence, then b) overlay their articles of impeachment on top of that evidence, then c) overlay the history of impeachment and the Constitution on top of the first two layers. So yes, there was a lot of repetition, but it all drove the points home.

  4. Goddammit! I was up so late that my alarm didn’t wake me up, and Wayne couldn’t wake me up, so I missed today’s “defense.”

    But apparently today the WH went ahead with their “process” arguments, i.e., the House Committees didn’t have the power to issue subpoenas, blah blah blah. They continued to lie about Ukraine feeling “no pressure” from trump: https://www.rawstory.com/2020/01/trump-lawyer-purpura-busted-by-msnbc-for-lying-on-the-senate-floor-during-impeachment-trial/

    I wonder, is Roberts going to do anything about the defense lies, and their incorrect, invalid complaints.

    • Rick Wilson has been scathingly funny insulting trump and his enablers.

      And this brouhaha with Joy Reid and Rick Wilson, David Jolley, and some guy whose name I can’t recall, all had a whack at R lying-head Steve Cortes got out of hand several times, but Wilson and Jolley were worth listening to:

      Leaks of info from Bolton’s new book are confirming the Ukraine extortion, so tomorrow should be interesting in the Senate
      Bolton’s lawyer sent the WH a manuscript of his book, to be checked for any possible redaction(s). The WH has been sitting on this for nearly a month, and of course Mitch McConnell – spit – is ‘coordinating with the WH lawyers’ throughout the trial.

  5. Right now Ken Starr is arguing that ‘Presidential impeachment’ is now being used as a weapon – he actually quoted an op-ed by…PEGGY FUCKING NOONAN.

    He says that the Senate should return our country to where impeachment was a last resort. I still want to know WTF Starr might think is an actual impeachable offense. Also says a crime MUST be present, says that the constitution says so. He’s fucking insane.

    Ooh, “mysterious term” “High crimes and misdemeaners” MEANS CRIME AGAINST ESTABLISHED LAW. But there was no “established” law when the Framers discussed impeachment. I don’t know who Starr thinks is going to believe this.

  6. I don’t know if or how I can watch the rest of these proceedings. Watching truth and democracy die under the accepting watch of the Chief “Justice” of the Supreme Court is draining my spirit of any hope for this country.

    The WH “defense” team has lied throughout, provable lies that, in a different court setting, would have been struck down as such. Having two (at least) of the WH lawyers being actively involved in the Ukraine scheme should cause a mistrial, but I doubt if Schiff will go as far as to ask for one. And with the WH blocking every key witness and every pertinent document, for no GOOD reason, has turned this into not a miscarriage of justice, but a third-term abortion of justice.

  7. So, if there are ‘inconsistencies’ in the count in Iowa, is this the first of many shenanigans to try to keep Bernie from winning by too much?

    • The “establishment” Dems in charge simply do NOT want Bernie as our candidate. These Iowa caucuses are confusing enough as it is, but now with the delays concerning those “inconsistencies”, they’re certainly making this look hinky.

      We watched way more coverage of the Iowa shitshow than any human being should, so I had Wayne put on an episode of “Warehouse13”, one of our favorite SyFy shows. (Saul Rubinek, a great character actor, starred in it.) It was nice to take a break. 🙂

  8. Bernie and Budgie finish Iowa in a virtual tie, yet Budgie gets two more delegates. This happened a few times in 2016 too.

  9. The Republicans have a lawsuit headed to SCOTUS to overturn the ACA, but the court may let it slide into next year, so it doesn’t negatively affect the 2020 elections. I think CJ Roberts intends to overturn the entire law when they finally rule on it. All these corporate Democrats advocating to resuscitate the ACA will look like fools once that happens. That’s Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar, among the presidential candidates.

  10. Does anybody remember when Jim DeMint got reelected in South Carolina? How, in the Democratic primary, an unknown black guy with an obscenity charge hanging over his head ‘defeated’ a well known state politician DeMint was afraid to face, in an anti-incumbent election?

    If the South Carolina Republicans want Trump to face Bernie, this could just as easily happen again. History may not repeat itself but it does sometimes rhyme…

  11. OK, now I’ve seen everything. A WaPo/ABC News poll asked of Democratic leaning voters, about Bernie Sanders’ ideology. 17% said too liberal. OK, I can buy that, and 62% said about right, so that’s acceptable too. It’s the 16% who said he’s Too Conservative? Really? There’s 16% of dem voters who want more?

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