ChrisWeigant.com

Pelosi Should Force Republicans To Vote On Presidential Ethics Bills

[ Posted Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 – 16:57 UTC ]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is sure getting a lot of advice from the punditocracy right now. Mostly, over the last few days, this has focused on the question of whether she should or should not hold an impeachment inquiry vote on the House floor. I'm going to ignore that issue today (perhaps to be revisited in a later column) because I feel there are other strategy ideas worth exploring, as the Democrats chart their course through the choppy waters of impeachment.

The first bit of advice I'd give to both her and all other Democrats being interviewed on television is to push back -- with scornful laughter, for full effect -- on all of Trump's current bugaboos. Here's how I would go about doing so:

"I've seen the president calling for various members of Congress to be impeached on Twitter recently, including a senator from his own party who dared to disagree with him. Many have pointed out that disagreeing with the president is not an impeachable offense, but I'd like to point out something even more basic: members of Congress cannot be impeached, period. They can indeed be expelled from Congress, but each chamber polices its own. The House has rules to kick a member out, as does the Senate. Neither process is called impeachment, however. So I'd like to suggest that Donald Trump take 15 minutes or so out of his busy "executive time" schedule to actually read the Constitution -- since it is clear that he has never previously done so."

This theme deserves hitting from multiple directions, in fact:

"The White House's response to the impeachment inquiry was so pathetic a first-year law student could eviscerate the legal idiocy it contains. They call impeachment "unconstitutional," which is a real head-scratcher, since impeachment is right there in the Constitution itself. It is, by definition, constitutional, because it is part of the Constitution. Which the White House lawyers -- like Trump -- might have known, if they had ever actually read the Constitution."

And just one more, for good measure:

"Trump has been loudly complaining that he isn't being given the opportunity to face his accusers or cross-examine them. This is because a House impeachment inquiry is not a trial. It just isn't. It is akin to a grand jury deciding whether to indict or not -- and grand juries never give the accused a chance to cross-examine witnesses against them. If the House does impeach, then there will indeed be a trial -- in the Senate, as the Constitution dictates. That is when Donald Trump will get the chance to present his defense. Not now. Because that is not the way the process works, which Trump and his lawyers would know, if they had ever actually read the Constitution."

Schooling Trump on such basic issues is fun, of course, but it doesn't constitute a full strategy to counter his flooding the media zone on an hourly basis. Trump is the master of distraction, after all, and he's even blatantly attempting a Wag The Dog situation with Turkey and the Syrian Kurds right now in an effort to shift the spotlight from his own impending impeachment. This certainly won't be the last attempt to distract everyone from his own wrongdoing.

Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats need to have their own plan to keep the conversation focused on Trump's complete lack of ethics. Fortunately, there's an easy way to do so.

Pelosi should counter the efforts to force an impeachment vote with a few votes of her own. As speaker, she has the power to move bills directly to a full House vote, and she should announce that because of the emergency nature of what Trump is doing, she is forced to move on a whole package of ethics reform bills. Republicans think they're being politically astute in their efforts to force an impeachment vote, because then they figure they'll run on the issue in House districts next year. This may or may not work out as they planned, but setting all of that aside, Pelosi should counter with a few forced votes of her own.

None of these bills, of course, will mention Donald Trump at all. They don't need to, at this point. Democrats can make the case that Republicans need to be put on the record as to whether they support all the underlying actions that Trump is taking or has taken. Take Trump out of the equation, and simply ask: "Should presidents -- any president -- be allowed to do this?" Where laws prohibiting these things already exist, write the bills to beef up the penalties for doing so. Here's a quick list off the top of my head of possible bills Democrats should be forcing Republicans to vote on, right now:

 

No Collusion With Foreign Governments Act

Explicitly ban, in no uncertain language, any attempt to get a foreign government to help out in any way with an American presidential election. Call it what it is, in fact: treason. Lay out stiff penalties for even attempting to do so.

 

Anti-Nepotism Act

Ban all wives and children of sitting presidents and vice presidents from any occupation -- or receiving money in any possible way -- that might create a conflict of interest. This would, of course, include running any companies owned by the president or vice president. If the Republicans are so offended by Hunter Biden, why haven't Democrats shifted this focus to Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Junior? It's a pretty easy case to make, after all.

 

Presidential Divestment Act

All incoming presidents must completely divest their financial holdings or put them in a true blind trust, period. No cutesy arrangements with your children, either. Explicitly define what constitutes an allowable blind trust.

 

Emolument Definition Act

Put some teeth in the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Define the term explicitly, and completely ban any president or vice president from profiting in any way from foreign payments, period.

 

Whistleblower Protection Act

Increase whatever penalties already exist for either exposing, seeking to expose, threatening, retaliating, or even hinting at doing so to any federal whistleblower who has followed the proper guidelines and made his or her complaint through the proper channels. Lay out in detail how such whistleblowers will be protected if called upon to testify before any congressional committee, including all steps that can be taken to preserve their anonymity.

 

Presidential Indictment Act

Directly challenge that Watergate-era Department of Justice memo which states that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. State clearly that presidents can indeed be indicted, for any crimes either committed before they became president or for crimes committed while in office that do not rise to the level of impeachment. The memo in question has never been tested in court, so Congress pre-emptively passing a law of this type would force the issue, no matter what the courts eventually decide.

 

All of these, obviously, would be targeted directly at Donald Trump (and his family). But none of them would say so. Democrats could take the high road here very easily, and put Republicans in a very tough spot:

"Up until a few years ago, American presidents had a certain level of ethical behavior that they voluntarily lived up to, for the good of the country. Donald Trump ignored all of this, of course. But none of the bills we're proposing even mentions Trump by name -- this is not about voting to punish the current president for his actions, but rather about drawing clear ethical lines in the sand for all future presidents. Never again will there be any doubt about what is allowable and what is not, period. We are not asking Republicans to vote to condemn Trump, we are instead calling on them to stand up for the level of ethical behavior we expect from all future presidents and vice presidents. They're making all kinds of noise about Hunter Biden, so why not vote to ban any such future entanglements? Or do they condone it from Trump's children while condemning Biden's child? Does the Republican Party truly believe that a sitting president should be able to solicit dirt on their political opponent from foreign governments during a re-election campaign, or should that be illegal? Is Trump's call to Ukraine going to be the new standard for allowable presidential behavior or not? Again -- none of these measures would affect what Trump has already done, because the Constitution bans ex post facto laws. Instead, what we seek to do is to enact very specific ethics rules that all future presidents -- from any party -- must adhere to."

Republicans think they're going to force Democrats to take a very contentious vote by pushing the idea of a full House impeachment inquiry vote. This is nothing new, really, as both parties (both the ins and the outs) have always tried to force politically-risky votes, to use as future campaign fodder. So why shouldn't Democrats strongly fight back on the same battlefield?

Right now, most Republicans really don't want to answer the basic underlying questions that the Trump/Ukraine call raised: Should this be allowable or not? Is this the way American elections should happen or not? They always seek to distract or evade when asked these underlying questions. But putting a whole slew of ethics reform bills on the floor would force the issue in a way nothing else really could. Republicans would have to go on the record either supporting the idea of forcing a president to follow basic ethical guidelines while in office, or they would have to defend voting against such ideas to the voters. And such votes could indeed be used rather effectively against them in upcoming House campaigns. "Congressman Smith actually voted to allow foreign governments to line the pockets of American presidents! Vote Democratic!" -- the ads would just write themselves, really.

I know both Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have a lot on their plate right now. But a big argument they've been making is that they can indeed proceed with impeachment while still "getting other things done." They should prove this immediately by moving a series of ethics reform bills directly to the House floor, which spell out in no uncertain terms how unacceptable what Trump has been doing and has been accused of doing truly are. Each of these bills would be resoundingly approved by the American public at large, it goes without saying. So force Republicans to vote on them!

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

108 Comments on “Pelosi Should Force Republicans To Vote On Presidential Ethics Bills”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So I'd like to suggest that Donald Trump take 15 minutes or so out of his busy "executive time" schedule to actually read the Constitution -- since it is clear that he has never previously done so."

    But, Chris, let's get real here - why would President Trump want to read the constitution?

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Good points all.

  3. [3] 
    Paula wrote:

    [1] EM: Those comments aren't aimed at Blotus, who doesn't care about the Constitution, they're aimed at Americans at large, and media, etc. It's about setting persuasive narratives.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, I get it, now ...

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula, do you think the House should have a vote on the impeachment inquiry?

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I take some issue with the Anti-Nepotism Act, for two reasons.

    There are already ethic rules and regulations and Vice President Biden followed every single one of them while president Trump has not, number one; and, number two, shouldn't competence out-weigh false nepotism concerns? I mean wasn't Attorney General Robert Kennedy one of the best AG's the US ever had? Different situation, I know, but any new anti-nepotism act would surely be about working in government, too, right?

    Just talking about such an Act casts unwarranted dispersions on Senator Biden. And, yes, I am extremely sensitive on this. Which should really go without saying. But, still ...

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Explicitly ban, in no uncertain language, any attempt to get a foreign government to help out in any way with an American presidential election. Call it what it is, in fact: treason. Lay out stiff penalties for even attempting to do so.

    This would be called treason?

    Okay, I must be really confused about what 'treason' entails. Wouldn't the US have to be at war with the interfering foreign government?

    I've noticed that Democrats have a slight tendency to get over their skis.

  8. [8] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Shocking - absolutely shocking!

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    keep all defibrillators on hand.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    where?

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [8]

    If only you'd get the quote right, that would have been the first logical place to tap it out. :(

  12. [12] 
    Kick wrote:

    Great ideas, CW.

    While they're at it, Democrats should propose the
    "Tax Return Uniform Mandatory Production Act"
    whereby any/all candidate(s) running for the office
    of the presidency of the United States must henceforth
    produce a minimum of 10 years of tax returns.

    None of these bills, of course, will mention Donald Trump at all.

    Oops. :)

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very nice.

  14. [14] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Kick [12],

    Very nice. They should require every federal candidate running for office to pass the same basic background check that a cleaning lady or gardener at the Capitol Building has to pass.. it would keep a lot of folks out of the races!

  15. [15] 
    dsws wrote:

    [5] of the previous thread:
    Do you think that Democrats should make available the alleged "whistle blower" for questioning and cross-examination?

    There are statutes about whistleblower protection. I don't know what they say. Whatever it is, Congress should follow it in this case.

    Do you feel that Democrats should actually have an impeachment vote before the White House cooperates with their witch hunt....er.. investigation?

    No. Congressional oversight of the executive branch is covered by the "necessary and proper" clause, and there are laws about it. Congress can issue subpoenas. Its subpoena power has been upheld in court. I'm not aware of any reason for an impeachment inquiry to be an exception.

    As you know, I think the House shouldn't impeach, because I think the Senate will run the trial without regard for precedent, not allowing the House to fulfill its role as prosecution, and running a trial of Joe Biden instead of the guy who will actually have been impeached.

    Do you think that, without the two afore actions by the Democrats, this impeachment is not a legitimate impeachment?

    There is no impeachment yet. There is an inquiry. The House is gathering information that they need in order to decide whether to impeach. Gathering information first and then voting is generally the right order to do things in. Gathering information about which way to vote only after the vote has already been taken on a bill, resolution, committee referral, rules change, or whatever, i.e. only after it's too late for the information to do any good, is generally not the right order to do things in.

    As for whether it takes a vote of the full House to decide to gather information, the answer is no. Committees do the detail work on ordinary bills. They gather information to work out the details. Then the full House votes. That makes sense. Even if it didn't make sense, the Constitution says that each house gets to choose its own rules and procedures. If the House says that committees do their thing first, then that's how it goes in the House. If the House says that the full House votes on whether a bill addressing a particular set of issues should be drafted in committee first, and then the committees do their thing, then that's how it goes in the House. Likewise with the Senate and its own rules: the Senate gets no say over the rules and procedures of the House, and the House gets no say over the rules and procedures of the Senate.

    [36] of the previous thread:
    ...stop posting so much..."
    To that, I ask....
    What's in it for me?

    As I said, if there were less of your posts (fewer too, but it's total quantity of text that matters most, not how many chunks it's broken into) then I would be more likely to read them instead of scrolling past. I suspect the same is true of others.

    [41] of the previous thread:
    no one has ever said Biden's going to be the nominee … and I do mean EVER!

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Biden's going to be the nominee.

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    From your lips to God's ears, as they say.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can't believe they haven't already started work on a Presidential Indictment Act.

  18. [18] 
    dsws wrote:

    CW, this column:
    Call it what it is, in fact: treason.

    LizM nailed this one. "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Article III, last paragraph. So I guess we have a refrain here: "which CW might have known, if he had ever actually read the Constitution."

    Ban all wives and children of sitting presidents and vice presidents from any occupation -- or receiving money in any possible way -- that might create a conflict of interest.

    Are we going to pay them salaries? I'm more inclined to go with disclosure requirements. For one thing, a less onerous requirement can be cast more broadly: if it's mere disclosure, we can include business associates who would be in a position to funnel quasi-bribes to high-level government officials, and we can have it apply to all sorts of high-level government officials.

    State clearly that presidents can indeed be indicted

    That would be abused, unless it came with restrictions so severe as to make it nearly meaningless.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Ban all wives and children of sitting presidents and vice presidents from any occupation -- or receiving money in any possible way -- that might create a conflict of interest.

    So, the husbands will be given free rein, then? Bad law.

    I tried hard but I couldn't resist. It was just so glaring, you know. :)

  20. [20] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The proposed Emolument Definition Act points out a major flaw in the Constitution: the lack of a glossary of terms. Not so much a problem in the early decades of the USA, but a big headache after 200+ yrs of language shift.

    An amendment, any amendment of anything, is probably impossible in our polarized political atmosphere. I don't see that changing in the foreseeable future.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    All of these, obviously, would be targeted directly at Donald Trump (and his family). But none of them would say so

    I guess you should have said so.

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Now I'm all down with Bernie or Elisabeth but in my wildest state of, er, intoxication I cannot imagine Dems doing such dramatic and ballsy legislation.

    Is it just me, Gang, or do you agree the Dems generally shy away from bold? It's almost enough to make a fellow think GOP-Dem is just some kind of Kabuki theater designed to make us think we actually have a choice when we vote. Harumpf!

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    DSWS,

    [5] of the previous thread:
    }}}}Do you think that Democrats should make available the alleged "whistle blower" for questioning and cross-examination?{{{{{

    There are statutes about whistleblower protection. I don't know what they say. Whatever it is, Congress should follow it in this case.

    This isn't a whistle blower situation.. This is simply a -D vs -R issue..

    Given the collusion between this so-called "whistle blower" and the Democrat committees and given that Schiff LIED about the collusion..

    It seems clear that this is not a "whistle blower" instance and President Trump deserves to face his accuser and the American people have the right to see if this person is truly legit or simply a Democrat plant..

    Also keep in that TRUE whistle blowers like Snowden and Manning were out'ed enthusiastically by the Leftist MSM and the Obama Administration..

    Why is THIS whistle any different?? Because she is going after Trump and everyone hates Trump...

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    DSWS,

    "necessary and proper" clause, and there are laws about it. Congress can issue subpoenas. Its subpoena power has been upheld in court. I'm not aware of any reason for an impeachment inquiry to be an exception.

    Actually, it's my understanding that the courts view subpoenas while under impeachment much more favorably and strongly than just run o' the mill subpoenas.

    Democrats want all the subpoena benefits of an impeachment w/o any of the heavy lifting of a REAL impeachment.. And, of course, in a REAL impeachment, the accused has a lot more rights.. Which is ANOTHER reason why Democrats are trying an end around..

    President Trump is good in taking my advice...

    NO co-operation until such time as a REAL impeachment commences. NO co-operation until the alleged "whistle blower" is made available for deposition and cross examination..

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    DSWS,

    As I said, if there were less of your posts (fewer too, but it's total quantity of text that matters most, not how many chunks it's broken into) then I would be more likely to read them instead of scrolling past. I suspect the same is true of others.

    OK.. I'll endeavor to make shorter posts.. :D

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    LizM nailed this one. "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Article III, last paragraph. So I guess we have a refrain here: "which CW might have known, if he had ever actually read the Constitution."

    Oh... SNAP... :D

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can't believe they haven't already started work on a Presidential Indictment Act.

    Any work on ANY of these unconstitutional acts will stop on 25 Jan 2025..

    The day President Trump leaves office..

    Because these are all simply a response to ONE MAN...

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I've noticed that Democrats have a slight tendency to get over their skis.

    Ya think??? :D

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Again, I have to ask and hope for an answer..

    Don't ya'all feel a little bit embarrassed??

    I mean, ya'all have been going on and on for YEARS about climate change and gun control and healthcare and illegal immigrant criminals..

    Aren't any of ya'all a tad (Not a Hillary, but a Tad.. 1000 quatloos to whoever can name the pop-culture reference w/o Google.. :D ) a tad embarrassed that ya'all are willing to just chuck the entire Democrat platform onto the trash heap for a process where the ONLY (virtually) guaranteed result is President Trump remains in office..

    Aren't ya'all even slightly unsettled that, for the next 5 years, the entire Democrat agenda is going to be shot to hell??? Completely and utterly non-actionable...

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump is Winning the Great Game of American Political Football

    Trump has gained full control of his party, has held at least 45 percent of the country solidly behind him, and is threatening to derail the liberal slide of post-Reagan America and to pulverize and convert or expel the “OBushinton” cadres of the political class.
    https://amgreatness.com/2019/10/08/trump-is-winning-the-great-game-of-american-political-football/

    Once again.. I have to question the wisdom of a course of action that has virtually NO CHANCE of obtaining the desired result and yet costs the entire Democrat Party platform for the next 5 years??

    It's mind-boggling...

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    "The White House's response to the impeachment inquiry was so pathetic a first-year law student could eviscerate the legal idiocy it contains. They call impeachment "unconstitutional," which is a real head-scratcher, since impeachment is right there in the Constitution itself. It is, by definition, constitutional, because it is part of the Constitution. Which the White House lawyers -- like Trump -- might have known, if they had ever actually read the Constitution."

    For the record, Republicans aren't calling "impeachment" unconstitutional..

    They are calling what Democrats are really doing "unconstitutional"...

    I may be wrong, but I do believe that coups are unconstitutional..

    The FACTS indicate that this "whistle blower" is nothing but a Democrat plant..

    Why else would Trump/America haters secretly change the reporting requirements for whistle blowers in a conspiracy to shoehorn their plant in..

    Why else would Schiff lie and say there was no contact with the "whistle blower" when there was active co-ordination..

    This is Blasey-Ford all over again..

    And the result will be the same..

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    DSWS,

    That would be abused, unless it came with restrictions so severe as to make it nearly meaningless.

    Exactly.. CW's entire list are "Wouldn't It Be Nice" laws that totally fail to take into account human nature and the nature of today's political warfare...

    Each one of those WIBN laws could (and likely, would) come back around to bite Democrats on the arse..

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Awww carp... Well, you get the idea. No need to repeat myself..

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yunno, it's getting real interesting where this is heading..

    Democrats tried a soft coup with the Russia Collusion delusion....

    Now Democrats are trying a harder coup, with this faux impeachment..

    Even CW concedes that the chances are virtually nil of removing President Trump from office..

    Democrats only chance to remove President Trump is at the ballot box... As JL & DSWS concede, it's virtually guaranteed that Democrats will lose here as well..

    So, after the Russia Collusion delusion fail and after the faux impeachment fail and after the ballot box fail...

    Where do Democrats go next??

    I'll give you a hint..

    "Impeachment is the legal form of presidential assassination."
    -Benjamin Franklin

    It's a rational and logical progression for an increasingly illogical and irrational act..

    Instead of wanting to PREVENT a shooting civil war, Democrats are going to INSIST on one..

    "We want to PREVENT a fight.. Not insist on one.."
    -Piper, STAR TREK, Dreadnought

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Record power shutoffs in California are set to become the new normal

    With nearly 800,000 customers affected in the largest shutdown this year, the utility is hoping to avoid a devastating fire season
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/08/california-pge-power-shutdown-wildfire

    Yunno.. I have read a LOT of sci fi in my youth.. A LOT...

    Amongst nearly ALL of the sci fi that had a dystopian and dismal view of the future, there was a common theme..

    Daily rolling blackouts.. Daily brown outs.. Ben Bova's MILLENNIUM and it's prequel, KINSMAN comes to mind right off the bat..

    Looks like in California, that future is now...

    Like I said.. This would never happen in a Republican controlled state... :D

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    MtnCaddy

    Yo Michale

    Yes, highly addictive. I wish I could do this for a living since I spend so many hours a day on politics. I get 50+ email bulletins a day, from far-Left to far-right. Can't read most of them but I got em and archive them.

    It helps if yer retired and don't actually have to work for a living.. :D I run a TV repair shop and I make enough for beer money.. :D

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dude, don't be silly. I'll tell you you're right when I think you are, and likewise call you out when I think you're wrong. Balls and strikes, you know.

    Yea, yer unique there.. You join a few others that are comfortable enough in their beliefs where they can concede they are wrong..

    Yes Trump hasn't changed. What's changed is that now he's President and his relatively unchanged personality and demeanor isn't up to the task.

    I disagree... What you consider not being up to the task is simply a desire to ignore politically correct BS and do what needs to be done without a thought to "decorum" or "proper"..

    President Trump is a bull in a china shop.. Something this country DESPERATELY needed and STILL needs..

  38. [38] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Q: Why are power outages like cops?
    A: They're never around when you need one. :D

    It's good that you put one aspect of the show to the side (for now) to explore other strategies.

    Too bad it only manifested in exploring another strategy to perpetuate the show.

    Instead of exploring strategies that Dems can use to deceive citizens into believing the show is real, why not explore strategies that citizens can use to force candidates to stop taking big money contributions to run their campaigns "or receiving money in any way" that "that might create a conflict of interest"?

    What difference does it make if the spouses and children of a politician corrupted by the big money contributed to the candidate's/legislator's campaign corrupt the politician a little bit more?

    Get Real.

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [27],

    No, Michale. In my case, at least, it's a response to the notion that a sitting president can't be indicted.

    I think that puts a sitting president above the law, doesn't it?

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    Are you really a NPA? I'd never have guessed based on your viewpoint.

    That's because you are seeing my viewpoint in the context of an overwhemlingly Far Leftist audience..

    In forums that there is a majority Right Wing cadre, I am considered a Far Left radical.. :D

    While my I initial reaction is to disagree with this, I'ma gonna chew on this because the idea merits consideration. I will get back to you once I've done a little political soul searching and a lot of thought.

    (thinking)
    "Day-yam! Now I've gone and given myself a homework assignment cuz of Michale of all people!"

    Hehe and THAT is the best thing about how this forum USED to be.. People didn't dismiss other commenters comments out of hand.. They really THOUGHT about things and, more often than not, came to a mutually agreed common ground..

    Maybe we're starting a trend here... :D

    "Mebbe we're seeing a bit o' that future right here..."
    -Scotty, STAR TREK, The Undiscovered Country

    :D

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, Michale. In my case, at least, it's a response to the notion that a sitting president can't be indicted.

    I think that puts a sitting president above the law, doesn't it?

    It does.. And there is a VERY good reason for doing so...

    MANY good reasons, as a matter of fact..

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's the same reasons why members of Congress are exempt from civil arrest while Congress is in session..

  43. [43] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (40)-
    My sincere congratulations on not being liked everywhere you go. :D

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale (40)-
    My sincere congratulations on not being liked everywhere you go. :D

    It's a bear I must cross.. :D

    Seriously, though.. I take pride in it..

    I have always said and it's always true..

    If you are hated by BOTH sides, you must be doing something right.. :D

  45. [45] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "There is VERY good reason for doing so."

    To undermine democracy?

    "MANY good reasons"

    Not just many- BILLIONS!

    As in billions of dollars of big money campaign contributions.

    Legislators/candidates give the big money contributors what they want and they will keep making big money contributions.

    And as long citizens keep giving the big money candidates their votes without getting what they want the candidates will keep taking the big money contributions and keep working for the big money interests instead of the citizens that vote for them.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    "There is VERY good reason for doing so."

    To undermine democracy?

    Nope.. To insure democracy's continuation...

  47. [47] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Is that one of those we have to destroy the village to save it strategies?

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is that one of those we have to destroy the village to save it strategies?

    Nope..

    Consider this..

    Postulate a scenario where J Edgar Hoover, who hated JFK, was able to get an indictment of John F Kennedy in October of 1962..

    Now, would you want JFK's mind occupied with a indictment while he is facing down Nikita Khrushchev and the USSR???

    Fast forward.. Barack Obama's claim of IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR YOU CAN KEEP YOUR DOCTOR could be construed as fraud...

    How would the Left feel if Obama was indicted SOLE for Partisan reasons...

    Indictments of sitting presidents (and sitting CongressCritters) can be abused VERY easily SOLELY for political purposes..

    We're seeing that happen here with President Trump, even WITHOUT the ability to indict a sitting POTUS..

    People in office MUST be immune from regular civil indictments while performing their duties..

    The Constitution offers the ONLY remedy to a lawless POTUS or CongressCritter..

    Impeachment...

  49. [49] 
    dsws wrote:

    [23] Michale
    This isn't a whistle blower situation..

    What do you understand that to mean? As I understand the term in this context, a whistleblower (all one word, now that I look it up) is a person whose employment by the federal government is protected under 5 USC 2302:

    "(b) Any employee who has authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action, shall not, with respect to such authority—
    ...
    (8) take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take, a personnel action with respect to any employee or applicant for employment because of—
    (A) any disclosure of information by an employee or applicant which the employee or applicant reasonably believes evidences—
    (i) any violation of any law, rule, or regulation or
    (ii) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety,"

    I think there are analogous protections for employees of private firms, but that's not directly relevant so I haven't looked it up.

    Assuming you're talking about the same thing I am by the word, how do you know that the alleged whistleblower didn't reasonably believe the Ukraine call to be an abuse of power or a violation of some rule? There are a lot of rules out there, and people can reasonably believe a lot of stuff. Even if we suppose (I don't) that there was no abuse of power or violation of any rule, that's not enough to establish that the person isn't a whistleblower. You would need to show that they didn't reasonably believe there was.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    With apologies to DSWS et al..

    It's kinda long, but it's a good read if I do say so myself... And I do!!!

    "Would you says you got a better look at them going in, but not so much coming out.."
    "You could say that.."
    "I *DID* say that.. Would *YOU* say that"

    -My Cousin Vinny

    :D

    From a previous commentary..

    JM,

    You ONLY get to cross exam witnesses at TRIAL. The whistle blower is an INFORMANT, NOT A WITNESS subject to interrogation!

    Sure she is.. She has to testify to a grand jury.. And in the cases of impeachment, the sitting president has a right to question and cross-examine..

    Let's put your claim to test, shall we..

    Postulate a scenario where Republicans tried to keep secret the identities of Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky..

    NO outing of their names or identities until AFTER the House voted for impeachment.. Not even ALLOWING Democrats in committee to question these "whistle blowers"..

    Would Democrats have stood by and just allow that??

    Would YOU???

    Of course not.. You and your fellow Democrats would be screaming hysterically to the high heavens!

    And RIGHTLY so!!!

    If Democrats have a solid case (as the GOP did with Clinton's impeachment) then they should HAVE NO FEAR of allowing their so-called "whistle blower" to be publicly questioned and cross-examined..

    History and fairness and precedent DEMANDS it..

    "In the case of an impeachment, fair means bipartisan … Once the election is held, our leaders hold office until the next election. It is simply antithetical to our constitutional democracy to use impeachment to overturn an election on partisan grounds. It violates the independence of the presidency and it usurps the people’s voice"
    -Joe Biden

    Given the FACT that it is well documented that this so-called "whistle blower" had contact and assistance from Democrats in the MONTH prior to the "revelation"...

    AND given the FACT that Schiff-head blatantly LIED about that contact...

    It's clear this is NOT a "whistle blower" situation as it is normally defined..

    Manning and Snowden were TRUE whistle blowers..

    What we have today is a Democrat plant, a conspiracy to secretly change reporting guidelines to allow said plant to use third person hearsay in her story and colluding between this alleged whistle-blower and Democrat leadership..

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    DSWS,

    What do you understand that to mean?

    You must have been reading my mind.. :D

    See #50

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's clear this is NOT a "whistle blower" situation as it is normally defined..

    Manning and Snowden were TRUE whistle blowers..

    Manning and Snowden had absolutely NO POLITICAL AGENDA in mind when they blew their whistles..

    It's well documented that THIS "whistle blower" has a political agenda..

    That right their disqualifies her from Whistle Blower status..

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    AND given the FACT that Schiff-head blatantly LIED about that contact...

    With apologies to MtnCaddy... Some cutsey names are just TOO good to pass up.. :D

    Schiff-head and Occasional Cortex are two examples.. :D

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Bipartisanship should not wait until the matter reaches the Senate chamber"
    -Joe Biden

    Anyone disagree with then Senator Biden??

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I would agree with that. What 'matter' was he talking about?

    In other words, what was the context, Michale?

  56. [56] 
    dsws wrote:

    NO co-operation until such time as a REAL impeachment commences.

    Think about the implications of this as a rule. The House would be required to impeach every time there was reasonable suspicion that there merely might be a basis for impeachment, because that would be the only way to find out whether there was a basis for it or not.

    Again, it would be completely backward to have them take the vote first and then get the information they need in order to make an informed decision.

    NO co-operation until the alleged "whistle blower" is made available for deposition and cross examination.

    In a normal trial, the accused as a right to depose and cross-examine witnesses. In a normal whistleblower investigation, the whistleblower is entitled to confidentiality until and unless their testimony is needed at trial. Why should an impeachment be backward, with deposition and cross-examination happening before the decision of whether or not to indict?

    Of course, there won't be a trial of the president. The trial phase is handed by the Senate, which is at least as partisan as the House. If Trump gets impeached, Biden will be the only one who gets tried. There won't be any witnesses against Trump for anyone to cross-examine.

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    I would agree with that. What 'matter' was he talking about?

    In other words, what was the context, Michale?

    Impeachment of President Clinton..

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Think about the implications of this as a rule. The House would be required to impeach every time there was reasonable suspicion that there merely might be a basis for impeachment, because that would be the only way to find out whether there was a basis for it or not.

    How is that any different than Pelosi saying that we have to pass a bill to find out what's in it??

    Of course, there won't be a trial of the president. The trial phase is handed by the Senate, which is at least as partisan as the House. If Trump gets impeached, Biden will be the only one who gets tried.

    True..

    There won't be any witnesses against Trump for anyone to cross-examine.

    But there SHOULD be.. That's my point...

    Democrats want to impeach soley based on THIRD PARTY hearsay and their hatred of President...

    I think that is simply and plainly wrong..

    If Democrats are secure in their convictions (no pun intended) then they should make available so a BIPARTISAN investigation be done..

    Rather than just a Democrat/Trump/America hater investigation.

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    "There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other. Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come. And will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions … We have no right to overturn the considered judgment of the American people."

    Again.. Anyone disagree with this??

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    This isn't a whistle blower situation..

    What do you understand that to mean? As I understand the term in this context, a whistleblower (all one word, now that I look it up) is a person whose employment by the federal government is protected under 5 USC 2302:

    Do you notice any differences between this whistleblowers (thanx for that. :D) actions and the actions of REAL whistleblowers like Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden??

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, let's face reality here..

    The Salem Witch Trials were more fair to the accused than this faux impeachment..

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry.. I am doing it again.. I'll standby by for responses. :D

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    One more.. THEN I'll standby..

    "The president’s accusers must go beyond hearsay and innuendo and beyond demands that the president prove his innocence of vague and changing charges. They must provide clear and convincing evidence of specific impeachable conduct."

  64. [64] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I love to disagree, but have to hop a plane up to my HS reunion. See you next week!

  65. [65] 
    dsws wrote:

    It's well documented that THIS "whistle blower" has a political agenda..

    That right their disqualifies her from Whistle Blower status.

    I don't think it is, since we don't know who the whistleblower is. And even if it is, that definitely doesn't disqualify the person. If someone says "Hallelujah, my Republican boss got recorded committing a crime. This is really going to mess with his party's chances next fall.", or if their motives are pure as the driven snow, it doesn't matter. The statute doesn't care. All that matters is whether they reasonably believe there has a violation of a regulation, law, etc.

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't think it is, since we don't know who the whistleblower is.

    We know that the whistleblower worked on one of the Dem candidate's campaign..

    We know that the whistleblower filed a complaint that was rejected and then accepted once the rule change was made in secret..

    We know that the whistleblower colluded with, conspired with and was guided by Schiff-head..

    We know that Schiff-head LIED about such collusion, conspiracy and guidance..

    All these facts would lead to the logical conclusion that the whistleblower at the very least, violated the spirit of the whistleblower laws, if not the outright text of same..

    But I agree with you that is an opinion.. Once we know who the whistleblower is then we can learn more about her motives and intent..

    As I said.. Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are true whistleblowers.. Guided solely by their conscience...

    Due to the facts, we know what is guiding this whistleblower.

  67. [67] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    48

    Fast forward.. Barack Obama's claim of IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR YOU CAN KEEP YOUR DOCTOR could be construed as fraud...

    That statement is not even close to criminal fraud, Mike, and if it was, Donald Trump would be on record committing hundreds of criminal frauds.

    We're seeing that happen here with President Trump, even WITHOUT the ability to indict a sitting POTUS..

    Whether your obviously partisan glasses allow you to see it, President Trump has potentially committed multiple crimes, most notably that of obstruction of justice on multiple occasions.

    People in office MUST be immune from regular civil indictments while performing their duties..

    The Supreme Court disagrees and has done so on multiple occasions.

    The Constitution offers the ONLY remedy to a lawless POTUS or CongressCritter..

    Impeachment...

    Impeachment as set forth in the U.S. Constitution doesn't apply to members of Congress because the Senate concluded that Representatives and Senators are not "civil officers" for purposes of impeachment... Senate Journal, 5th Congress, 3rd Session, December 17, 1798 to January 10, 1799.

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    I love to disagree

    We know that! :D heheheeh

    but have to hop a plane up to my HS reunion. See you next week!

    Have fun, dood.. I mean that sincerely...

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    I love to disagree,

    And, just for the record, you are disagreeing with Jerrold Nadler

  70. [70] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Thanks, chaszzzbrown.

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    Impeachment as set forth in the U.S. Constitution doesn't apply to members of Congress because the Senate concluded that Representatives and Senators are not "civil officers" for purposes of impeachment... Senate Journal, 5th Congress, 3rd Session, December 17, 1798 to January 10, 1799.

    I stand corrected..

    Thank you for that correction, Kick.

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I would still agree with what Biden said if the context was the Clinton impeachment.

    Having said that, there are a lot of difference between the Clinton and Trump impeachments. The most obvious of which is the fact that this president has indicted himself in his own words.

    But, if Democrats aren't able to convince enough Republicans to support articles of impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate then what Biden said will be true in this case, too.

    I think we will hear more from Biden over the course of this campaign with respect to impeachment and how to deal with the need for bipartisanship and a president who so cavalierly lies to the American people and abuses the power of his office.

    This is a unique situation, Michale and so it calls for a unique solution. We shouldn't be comparing this to other examples of presidents who were impeached or came close to it.

    The question is what will Democrats do to get enough Republicans on board with impeachment ...

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    Having said that, there are a lot of difference between the Clinton and Trump impeachments. The most obvious of which is the fact that this president has indicted himself in his own words.

    That's a distinction, not a difference..

    One could easily say that Clinton indicted himself with HIS own words..

    "I did not have sex with that woman"

    But again.. Distinctions.. Not differences..

    The only difference is the -D/-R.. One only has to peruse a single page of Democrat quotes to know that this is the case..

    I know you hate following links, but..

    https://issuesinsights.com/2019/10/04/impeachment-comments-democrats-would-rather-you-forget/

    It's a real eye opener.. :D

    But, if Democrats aren't able to convince enough Republicans to support articles of impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate then what Biden said will be true in this case, too.

    Biden's quote is factually accurate even if... ESPECIALLY if Dems DON'T get any relevant GOP support..

    As Ben Franklin said, "Impeachment is the legal form of assassination".. For ONE Party to go it alone w/o bipartisan support??

    VERY bad for the country.. VERY bad for the Party that goes it alone..

    As evidenced by what happen to the GOP in the aftermath of the Clinton impeachment.

    I am sure that THAT is Pelosi's plan.. To use the 3rd Party hearsay as justification for a witch hunt, in hopes that it uncovers SOMETHING.. ANYTHING that will garner GOP support..

    It's the same plan Pelosi had with the Russia Collusion delusion..

    This is a unique situation, Michale and so it calls for a unique solution.

    I disgree.. This is NOT a unique situation.. It's as old as Politics itself..

    It didn't work out to well for the Dems then..

    It's going to be DOUBLY bad for the Dems this time around..

    We shouldn't be comparing this to other examples of presidents who were impeached or came close to it.

    It's the only roadmap we have...

    The Nixon example is a PERFECT example of Impeachment done the CORRECT way.. The LEGAL way.. The ETHICAL WAY... The CONSTITUTIONAL way.

    The Clinton example is a PERFECT example of Impeachment done the WRONG way.. The Unconstitutional way..

    The question is what will Democrats do to get enough Republicans on board with impeachment ...

    No, the REAL question is...

    What will Democrats do if they CAN'T get any relevant Republican support.

    Will the double down on stupid as the GOP did in the 90s...

    Or will the put country before Party and stop this insane coup..

    THAT is going to be the question...

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The only difference is the -D/-R..

    False.

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What will Democrats do if they CAN'T get any relevant Republican support.

    Good question …

    Wait a sec, define 'relevant' …

  76. [76] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    41|42

    EM: I think that puts a sitting president above the law, doesn't it?

    Mike: It does.. And there is a VERY good reason for doing so...

    MANY good reasons, as a matter of fact..

    It's the same reasons why members of Congress are exempt from civil arrest while Congress is in session..

    The POTUS isn't above the law, but he's definitely held responsible via a different avenue than a United States citizen. While the "grand jury" of the POTUS is basically the House of Representatives via "articles of impeachment" (the charges), and the Senate with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presiding handles the trial of any articles handed down with Senators serving as jurors, the POTUS can be tried like any other citizen once out of office... so not above the law at all.

    The Senators and Representatives...shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony, and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same....

    Article I, Section 6, Clause 1, United States Constitution

    The Privilege from Arrest Clause of the Constitution provides a Member of Congress a privilege from civil arrest only but not from other civil processes and certainly not at all from criminal arrest and only while Congress is in session . "Civil arrest" is the arrest of a defendant in a civil lawsuit and in our current times is rarely, if ever, practiced, so this clause is virtually obsolete today.

    As for criminal prosecution of Senators and Representatives, in Williamson v. United States (1908), the Supreme Court interpreted the language "in all Cases, except Treason, Felony, and Breach of the Peace" to encompass all crimes.

    Ask the felon Chris Collins of the Trump transition team if that obsolete clause regarding "civil arrest" -- which is virtually obsolete -- meant a thing for his crimes against the United States. I can save you some time, though: It didn't. :)

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, by the way, BOTH questions are REAL, Michale.

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    The only difference is the -D/-R..

    False.

    Not false.. Impeachment is solely and utterly a POLITICAL act...

    If you don't have the kind of bipartisan support that Nixon's impeachment had, BY DEFINITION, it's a -D vs -R situation...

    Good question …

    Wait a sec, define 'relevant' …

    I would define "relevant" as the same kind of Bipartisan support the Nixon impeachment.

    It's not that hard to imagine a few NeverTrumpers amongst the House Republicans..

    Just as it's not hard to imagine one or two NeverTrumpers amongst Senate Republicans..

    A handful of haters do not bipartisan make..

    Let's see the kind of bipartisan support the Nixon impeachment had.. THEN Dems can claim bipartisan support..

    So, what do you think Dems should (or will) do if they don't have a bipartisan consensus??

  79. [79] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    71

    I stand corrected..

    Yes, you do. ;)

    Thank you for that correction, Kick.

    Oh, you're quite welcome. You might not want to encourage me, though, since I'd probably keep doing it by explaining that Manning and Snowden don't meet the legal definition of "whistleblower," although our anonymous whistleblower in the instant case actually does... he followed all the rules, and the ICIG appointed by Trump (Republican) also followed the rules in accordance with longstanding whistleblower law. The so-called "second whistleblower" is someone with first-hand knowledge whom the ICIG questioned in order to determine the validity of the whistleblower's claim. However, it matters not what Party the ICIG belongs to or either of the whistleblowers because the Intelligence Community deals strictly with facts, and his claim was found to be credible and urgent after it was investigated.

    As for Manning and Snowden:

    * Manning actually was tried for multiple counts of espionage and found guilty of same... also guilty of five theft specifications, two computer fraud specifications, and multiple military infractions... so not a "whistleblower" as that term is legally defined... just a guy who stole and divulged classified information to WikiLeaks.

    * Snowden has been indicted on multiple counts of espionage and theft also and -- like Manning -- didn't follow the procedures set forth by law by filing a whistleblower complaint that would have afforded him whistleblower protections. So, while he's often referred to colloquially as a "whistleblower," Snowden doesn't meet the definition as legally defined. :)

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Pentagon Papers... :D

    This current whistleblower also did not follow the rules when she colluded with Schiff-head and when whistleblower policy was changed to accommodate this so-called "whistleblower"...

    Further, the fact that Snowden and Manning were charged AFTER the fact doesn't change their initial whistleblower status.

    I respect your opinion.. I, and CW incidentally, simply disagree with it and have the facts to back it up....

  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This current whistleblower also did not follow the rules when she colluded with Schiff-head and when whistleblower policy was changed to accommodate this so-called "whistleblower"...

    False.

  82. [82] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    80

    The Pentagon Papers... :D

    Good answer; however, Ellsberg meets the colloquial definition but certainly not the legal definition of "whistleblower." Remember that Ellsberg was charged with espionage and theft and went to trial and managed to have the charges against him dropped by the Court due to evidence being "lost" and the general shenanigans of the Nixon administration and the bad actors referred to as "the plumbers" wherein they planned to have Ellsberg "neutralized." Most of them landed in jail while Ellsberg managed to not follow because of their crimes.

    This current whistleblower also did not follow the rules when she colluded with Schiff-head and when whistleblower policy was changed to accommodate this so-called "whistleblower"...

    Right-wing talking points... nothing more.

    Further, the fact that Snowden and Manning were charged AFTER the fact doesn't change their initial whistleblower status.

    There are procedures a federal employee can follow in order to claim legal whistleblower status. Leaking thousands of pages of classified documents after being encouraged by Julian Assange of WikiLeaks -- a Russian cutout -- isn't remotely the legal procedure, and therefore Manning and Snowden don't meet the legal definition... and neither did Ellsberg.

  83. [83] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Every single thing that has happened in U.S. politics since Trump committed the unforgiveable sin of winning an election that everybody (except for prof. Mark Blyth) guaranteed the Democratics that they could not possibly lose, starting with Trump going on TV to tell the Russians to hack the Dem e-mails, has boiled down to the question of whether it's legal to get "dirt" on your opponent from foreigners, and to whether "dirt" is "A thing of (montary ) value"?

    Weigantians say "NO" and "YES" respectively to those two questions, and I'd bet serious money that the actual answers will eventually turn out to be "YES" and "NO" - any takers??

  84. [84] 
    Kick wrote:

    Public support for President Trump's impeachment is higher than it was for Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton when the House launched impeachment inquiries against them. Keep in mind: A majority of the public didn't support impeaching Nixon until a few weeks before he resigned.

    https://www.axios.com/trump-impeachment-richard-nixon-bill-clinton-858da3dd-3c1b-4918-a80d-f58fd9c5ce9e.html

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    }}}}This current whistleblower also did not follow the rules when she colluded with Schiff-head and when whistleblower policy was changed to accommodate this so-called "whistleblower"...{{{{

    False.

    This is well documented... Would you like to see the facts??

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    The polls on this issue are useless for two factual reasons.

    1. Trump supporters don't do polls..

    2. The polls are based on Democrat actions only.. Democrats have engineered this faux impeachment to deny the Republicans turn at bat...

    Once President Trump and the GOP can respond in the same manner and venue that the Democrats are, the score will even up and THEN the polls may have some semblance of reality. But there will still be #1 to contend with... Polls where President Trump is concerned NEVER have been ANY kind of accurate..

    Basically, the polls are asking, DO YOU THINK DEMOCRATS WILL WIN THE GAME at the top of the 1st inning and Democrats have a few runs..

    Of COURSE ignorant people are going to say what they say...

    But as soon as the Dems are out and the GOP has their time at bat, it's gonna be a whole different ball game.. :D

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    Also keep in mind..

    It took many many MANY months for Republicans to turn on Nixon..

    Democrats simply don't have that kind of time.. They have to speed impeach before the Horowitz and Durham investigation results are released..

    Democrats are either going to be forced to drop their faux impeachment or go the distance with a clearly partisan and biased impeachment..

    Of which DEMOCRATS have stated that it's the WORST POSSIBLE way to go about an impeachment..

    Either way it goes, it's going to even very VERY badly for Democrats..

  88. [88] 
    Kick wrote:

    IT'S TIME FOR JEOPARDY

    Answer: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

  89. [89] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    87

    Democrats simply don't have that kind of time.. They have to speed impeach before the Horowitz and Durham investigation results are released..

    This QAnon right-wingnut asinine "any day now" bullshit is again duly noted. *laughs*

  90. [90] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    86

    The polls on this issue are useless for two factual reasons.

    1. Trump supporters don't do polls..

    If they didn't do polls, then Trump's numbers would be in the 0-1 percent range... so there's that. :)

  91. [91] 
    dsws wrote:

    We know that the whistleblower worked on one of the Dem candidate's campaign.

    So what? I've volunteered for political campaigns myself.

    We know that the whistleblower filed a complaint that was rejected and then accepted once the rule change was made in secret.

    They changed the form, but not the rules. The change was already in the works before the events in question.
    https://www.factcheck.org/2019/10/no-hearsay-rule-change-for-whistleblowers/

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry, DSWS...

    Factcheck.org is a well documented Leftist propaganda site...

    So what? I've volunteered for political campaigns myself.

    And if you ever filed a complaint against that campaigns opponent or other Party, your objectivity would be questioned.

    ESPECIALLY if you were less than honest about the CONTACTS you had in the run-up to your complaint...

  93. [93] 
    Kick wrote:
  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    This QAnon right-wingnut asinine "any day now" bullshit is again duly noted. *laughs*

    You mean, like ya'all's Mueller Russia Collusion "any day now" bullshit?? :D

    Just like that?? :D

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    We know how THAT turned out..

    President Trump completely exonerated on Russia Collusion... :D

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    And don’t think that Russia’s goal was solely to support conservative views...their main goals are focused on flaming the fires of topics that divide us as a country!</I

    And Democrats are doing the most divisive thing possible..

    The LEGAL version of assassination of the President Of The United States, according to Benjamin Franklin..

    Which means that Democrats are doing Putin's bidding..

    Yunno what would REALLY frak over Putin???

    If Democrats agreed to put partisan differences aside and work WITH President Trump for the betterment of the country..

    That would REALLY frak up Putin's plans..

    But Democrats won't do that..

    Because they hate Trump more than they love their country..

  97. [97] 
    Kick wrote:

    Mike
    94

    You mean, like ya'all's Mueller Russia Collusion "any day now" bullshit?? :D

    "Ya'all's"? I may have mentioned a time or two that I'm not a Democrat, but I may not have mentioned I'm not a Republican either. Notwithstanding the same garden variety "shoot the messenger" bullshit from Right-Wingnutia, the Mueller investigation was headed up by Republicans who chose a Republican Special Counsel.

    You should actually read that thing. It doesn't indict anyone, but it also does not "fully exonerate" anyone either.

    You may have noticed that there are several ongoing cases that were spun off that investigation -- see Appendix D (heavily redacted) -- and those continue robustly... Roger Stone, for instance.

    Just like that?? :D

    No, not EXACTLY; however, your repetitive exercises in false equivalency are again duly noted. :)

  98. [98] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This is well documented... Would you like to see the facts??

    I'm not entirely sure that you know where to find them.

  99. [99] 
    Kick wrote:

    IT'S TIME FOR JEOPARDY

    Answer: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

    Question: Who is another congressman who received donations from Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani’s indicted Ukraine henchman who paid $325,000 to Congressman-1/Pete Sessions?

    Poor Pete. I guess this news will likely seriously hamper his 2020 bid to get reelected to Congress in another Texas district after his former district was "flipped" in the Blue Wave of 2018. #Texodus

  100. [100] 
    Kick wrote:

    At least four national security officials raised alarms about Ukraine policy before and after Trump call with Ukrainian president

    At least four national security officials were so alarmed by the Trump administration’s attempts to pressure Ukraine for political purposes that they raised concerns with a White House lawyer both before and immediately after President Trump’s July 25 call with that country’s president, according to U.S. officials and other people familiar with the matter.

    The nature and timing of the previously undisclosed discussions with National Security Council legal adviser John Eisenberg indicate that officials were delivering warnings through official White House channels earlier than previously understood — including before the call that precipitated a whistleblower complaint and the impeachment inquiry of the president.

    At the time, the officials were unnerved by the removal in May of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; subsequent efforts by Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to promote Ukraine-related conspiracies; as well as signals in meetings at the White House that Trump wanted the new government in Kiev to deliver material that might be politically damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

    Those concerns soared in the call’s aftermath, officials said. Within minutes, senior officials including national security adviser John Bolton were being pinged by subordinates about problems with what the president had said to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. Bolton and others scrambled to obtain a rough transcript that was already being “locked down” on a highly classified computer network.

    “When people were listening to this in real time there were significant concerns about what was going on — alarm bells were kind of ringing,” said one person familiar with the sequence of events inside the White House, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. “People were trying to figure out what to do, how to get a grasp on the situation.”

    It is unclear whether some or all of the officials who complained to Eisenberg are also the ones who later spoke to the whistleblower.

    https://tinyurl.com/y49ouaea

  101. [101] 
    Kick wrote:

    SPOILER ALERT

    Trump does know those men who were arrested today for funneling foreign money into a PAC of the Trump campaign. They were working with Rudy to buy dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden.

    It's all part and parcel of those campaign finance violations wherein it's illegal to solicit campaign contributions from foreign sources. Anybody want to argue that money is not a thing of value? Go ahead... act stupid some more. :)

  102. [102] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Liz,

    The question is what will Democrats do to get enough Republicans on board with impeachment ...

    That’s not their job... that will be up to the evidence presented and how the Republicans want to be remembered for when they were called to put their oath to the Constitution before their party affiliation.

    Trump is the most corrupt man to ever hold political office — everyone knows this to be true, and Republicans know that everyone knows this. Personally, I believe many Republicans cannot wait to vote Trump out of office. Other than two Supreme Court Justices and a bunch of federal judges, Trump has not done them any favors that won’t disappear soon after he is gone. His corruption will be their cross to carry politically long after he is wearing an orange jumper and cell mates with a guy they call Big Tiny!

  103. [103] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    And Democrats are doing the most divisive thing possible..

    Not according to the polls — which each day are showing more and more people calling for his removal. Maybe is Trump wasn’t giving people more reasons each and every day that wouldn’t be the case...but Trump is Trump.

    The LEGAL version of assassination of the President Of The United States, according to Benjamin Franklin..

    The medical examiner is gonna call this one a SUICIDE! Or at the worst, an assisted suicide!

    If Democrats agreed to put partisan differences aside and work WITH President Trump for the betterment of the country..

    That would REALLY frak up Putin's plans..

    That plan sounds great to me...especially since Democrats HAVE done that already! The House passed a slew of legislation — much of it passing with strong bipartisan support — that Trump could have signed into law had Moscow Mitch not chosen to stick with following Putin’s plan!

    But I am glad that you think Congress needs to be working to get things done, and now you realize where the blame for that not happening rests!

  104. [104] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    [70] Mezzomamma

    You're welcome!

  105. [105] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Once President Trump and the GOP can respond in the same manner and venue that the Democrats are, the score will even up and THEN the polls may have some semblance of reality.

    That happened when Trump released the “rough” transcript prior to the whistleblower’s complaint was made public. The problem for Trump is that his attempt to set the tone for how the allegations should be viewed —a.k.a. the “rough” transcript — ended up confirming almost every allegation made by the whistleblower.

    It doesn’t matter how the whistleblower came to learn the information into the allegations of criminal acts committed by Trump since Trump has confessed to committing the actions outlined in the allegations!

    It would be like if a legally blind man accused Trump of punching him in the face and Trump tweets out,

    “Hell yeah, I punched the loser, but I knew he could not see who it was who punched him, so his accusations against me are just fake news!”

    This is Trump’s defense!

  106. [106] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Kick,

    Manning actually was tried for multiple counts of espionage and found guilty of same... also guilty of five theft specifications, two computer fraud specifications, and multiple military infractions... so not a "whistleblower" as that term is legally defined... just a guy who stole and divulged classified information to WikiLeaks.

    Correct me is I am wrong, but didn’t Manning TRY to get his superiors to do something when she found the video showing our military striking a vehicle carrying reporters and civilians the military had claimed was terrorists? She was told that it wasn’t going to be forwarded on to prosecutors and that would be the end of any conversations relating to the matter. This was why she contacted WikiLeaks.

    The military does not have anywhere near the same channels for reporting the misconduct of superior officers by those under their command as federal employees do. In fact, I am not sure if the military technically allows for what we consider to be “whistleblowers” at all.

    The way I understand it, If an officer goes to his commander with a complaint, but the commander says the officer’s complaint is not valid, it ends there! That officer is not protected from facing discipline if they choose to go over their commander with their complaint, correct?

    I think Manning did what she was supposed to do, and the person over her failed to do his duty...resulting in Manning not being able to carry out the responsibilities that her job placed on her. She was never a “whistleblower” as defined by federal statute simply because she was never a federal employee. But her actions, I feel, were motivated by the same factors that cause those we do recognize with the title of “whistleblowers” to come forward.

  107. [107] 
    Kick wrote:

    chaszzzbrown
    104

    Well, as I live and breathe, if it isn't Charles Brown, Esq. slerking around incognito.

    Drop of a hat she's as willing as
    Playful as a pussy cat
    Then momentarily out of action
    Temporarily out of gas...

    Ever the stranger... Carlos Danger.
    Miss you when you're quiet. :)

  108. [108] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    106

    I submitted a response to you that got snatched by the filter likely for its length... oh, wait there are a ton of multiple links... oops and apologies to CW, but this Manning issue is complicated so I'll try again.

    Correct me is I am wrong, but didn’t Manning TRY to get his superiors to do something when she found the video showing our military striking a vehicle carrying reporters and civilians the military had claimed was terrorists? She was told that it wasn’t going to be forwarded on to prosecutors and that would be the end of any conversations relating to the matter. This was why she contacted WikiLeaks.

    That was his sworn testimony, of course, but he also confessed that he had first attempted to contact the Washington Post and New York Times with his leaks. According to Manning, The Times didn't even return his phone call, while a Post employee didn't take him seriously. Be that as it may, Manning's concern regarding that particular incident doesn't begin to compensate for his subsequent downloading and leaking directly to WikiLeaks classified information to the tune of the 260,000 State Department cables to which he had access and the nearly half a million Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield logs, among other classified documents regarding Guantanamo Bay prisoners, etc.
    "Whistleblowers" as that term is legally defined state their particular complaint via specific guidelines as opposed to the wholesale leaking of multiple hundreds of thousands of classified documents that they wouldn't have had time to view if they had began perusing them on their date of birth.

    The military does not have anywhere near the same channels for reporting the misconduct of superior officers by those under their command as federal employees do. In fact, I am not sure if the military technically allows for what we consider to be “whistleblowers” at all.

    Oh, that's certainly debatable and infinitely complicated, but there is the Military Whistleblower Protection Act of 1988 (amended since then, of course) which had been in full swing long before Manning leaked the hundreds of thousands of classified documents directly to WikiLeaks in 2010. Manning was an MOS 35F Intelligence Analyst who was obviously well aware of regulations.

    The way I understand it, If an officer goes to his commander with a complaint, but the commander says the officer’s complaint is not valid, it ends there! That officer is not protected from facing discipline if they choose to go over their commander with their complaint, correct?

    Since inception, they have been protected under the MWPA:

    The Congressional statute as implemented by Department of Defense Directive 7050.06 (July 23, 2007) protects:

    (1) Any lawful communication to a member of Congress or an Inspector General.

    (2) A communication which the Armed Forces’ member reasonably believes evidences a violation of law or regulation, including sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination, mismanagement, a gross waste of funds or other resources, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

    But the communications must be made to one of the following:

    (1) A member of Congress, an Inspector General, or a member of a Department of Defense audit, inspection, investigation, or law enforcement organization, or

    (2) Any other person or organization (including any person or organization in the chain of command) designated under Component regulations or other established administrative procedures to receive such complaints.

    I think Manning did what she was supposed to do, and the person over her failed to do his duty...resulting in Manning not being able to carry out the responsibilities that her job placed on her. She was never a “whistleblower” as defined by federal statute simply because she was never a federal employee.

    Any position within one of the three branches of the United States government -- executive, legislative or judicial -- is a federal job. Military personnel are "federal employees," they're just not "civilian" federal employees and obviously operate under different rules and regulations than those that apply to their civilian counterparts.

    But her actions, I feel, were motivated by the same factors that cause those we do recognize with the title of “whistleblowers” to come forward.

    Manning's case is obviously and without question a complicated one, and I am of the opinion that President Obama made the correct decision to issue a commutation of her sentence because the Army without question failed her, the sentencing was harsh, she took responsibility for her actions, etc. Having said all that: Whomever leaks with reckless abandon approximately 750,000 documents over the course of a long period of time and without knowledge whatsoever of what is contained in the vast majority of them does not qualify as a "whistleblower" by any stretch of the imagination, in my opinion, of course. "Blowing the whistle" on specific incidents I understand; however, the indiscriminate leaking over a long period of time of hundreds of thousands of documents without regard to their contents is on a whole 'nother level beyond just blowing a whistle.

    Had Manning not confessed to a hacker who subsequently informed the proper authorities... who knows?

    Interesting reading:

    (12:15:11 PM) bradass87: hypothetical question: if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time… say, 8-9 months… and you saw incredible things, awful things… things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC… what would you do?

    (12:16:38 PM) bradass87: or Guantanamo, Bagram, Bucca, Taji, VBC for that matter…

    (12:17:47 PM) bradass87: things that would have an impact on 6.7 billion people

    (12:21:24 PM) bradass87: say… a database of half a million events during the iraq war… from 2004 to 2009… with reports, date time groups, lat-lon locations, casualty figures… ? or 260,000 state department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world, explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective?

    (12:22:49 PM) bradass87: the air-gap has been penetrated… =L
    ...

    (12:27:24 PM) info[at]adrianlamo[dot]com: Depends. What are the particulars?

    (12:31:43 PM) bradass87: crazy white haired dude = Julian Assange

    (12:33:05 PM) bradass87: in other words… ive made a huge mess :'(

    (12:35:17 PM) bradass87: im sorry… im just emotionally fractured

    (12:39:12 PM) bradass87: im a total mess

    (12:41:54 PM) bradass87: i think im in more potential heat than you ever were

    ...

    (12:45:59 PM) info[at]adrianlamo[dot]com: not mandatorily

    (12:46:08 PM) info[at]adrianlamo[dot]com: there are always outs

    (12:46:17 PM) info[at]adrianlamo[dot]com: how long have you helped WIkileaks?

    (12:49:09 PM) bradass87: since they released the 9/11 “pager messages”

    (12:49:38 PM) bradass87: i immediately recognized that they were from an NSA database, and i felt comfortable enough to come forward

    (12:50:20 PM) bradass87: so… right after thanksgiving timeframe of 2009

    There's more, of course:
    https://www.wired.com/2011/07/manning-lamo-logs/

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