ChrisWeigant.com

Democrats Should Push For A Presidential Powers Redefinition Amendment

[ Posted Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 – 16:30 UTC ]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has announced that the House will soon be moving forward on a bill to rein in the presidential pardon powers, to avoid any future president being allowed to do what Donald Trump just did -- abuse this power to grant clemency for a person convicted of lying and witness tampering to protect Donald Trump. A clearer abuse of power would indeed be hard to imagine, unless it was Trump attempting to proactively pardon himself for any and all federal crimes he's ever committed. Which, at this point, isn't outside the realm of possibilities, for Trump. But while Pelosi will be making a little political hay out of the issue, she is actually aiming too low. Because what is really needed is a constitutional amendment.

In the first place, no matter what Pelosi manages to get passed in the House, it will be completely ignored by Mitch McConnell's Senate. Especially this close to an election. It will join the towering stack of other good bills from the House which are growing dust in some corner of McConnell's office. Obviously, Democrats would need to win back control of the Senate before anything happens.

Secondly, a mere federal law would not be enough. The pardon powers are explicitly laid out in the United States Constitution, and they are pretty much limitless. Any president can pardon anyone of any federal crime (or commute sentences, or grant other clemency) for any reason under the sun. Period. The other political party can howl about it when it happens (as Republicans did after Bill Clinton's final days in office, and as Democrats are now doing with Trump), but that's about all they can do. The Founding Fathers even discussed what would happen if a president ever abused this power, but their sole answer was "impeach him and remove him from office." Which isn't going to happen any time soon (see: Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate).

What this means is that a law wouldn't be enough. Even if such a law did pass both houses of Congress and was signed by a president, it would still likely be declared unconstitutional the first time it was challenged in court. Anything explicitly laid out in the Constitution must be changed just as explicitly within the Constitution itself, which means an amendment is really the only way to go. Once amended in such a fashion, even the Supreme Court couldn't overturn it -- they'd have to abide by it as written.

Of course, amending the Constitution is incredibly hard to do, by design. But that shouldn't stop a righteous effort to do so -- whether it ultimately fails or succeeds. The politics of passing such an amendment would be tricky, but not insurmountable. Right now it is Democrats (and Republicans who still believe in the rule of law) demanding changes, after Trump's glaring and blatant abuse of the pardon power. But complaining about presidential power is not limited to either party alone, instead it is actually a tradition for whichever is the "out" party at the time. Once a Democrat gets elected to the White House, Republicans will be the ones singing a different tune on presidential overreach. Which means that red states might even be more open to such an amendment than blue states next year. As I said, the politics of such an amendment would be tricky and shift in the wind after each election cycle.

But if such an effort is undertaken, it should not solely be focused on the pardon powers. After all, if you're going to amend the Constitution, you should take the opportunity to fix any and all related problems as well. Call it the "Presidential Powers Redefinition Amendment" and start a wider discussion of what should be included.

A good place to start would be to codify and limit "executive privilege." This phrase has been a catchall for presidents to essentially cover up anything they don't want seeing the light of day, much to the frustration of Congress. And again, this has affected both parties over time. So where should the lines be drawn between congressional oversight and the ability of the president to get unfiltered advice and counsel? I'm sure both Republicans and Democrats would have some ideas on this subject.

Another incredibly squishy area that really needs addressing is the power to go to war. These powers have fallen largely to the president to use, because Congress hasn't actually declared a war on anyone since World War II. All throughout America's military involvement in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq (again), Libya, and Yemen (and all the ones I forgot, as well), we have not ever officially been at war. So while presidents have indeed waged war in a de facto way, Congress has refused to act in a de jure way to declare such wars. There was a major post-Vietnam pushback on this in the 1970s which resulted in the War Powers Resolution, but this law has never actually been tested in the courts at all -- because both sides (Republicans and Democrats, as well as presidents and Congresses) have been leery of their chances of winning such a court fight -- the entire law could easily be thrown out for the same reason passing a law against pardon misuse would probably be considered unconstitutional. So perhaps include the entire War Powers Resolution language in the proposed new constitutional amendment, or write a new set of rules and guidelines for using the military in combat.

There are other, more Trump-specific items that really should be included as well -- such as mandating that any sitting president fully divest himself or herself from their finances while in office. Perhaps throw in a requirement that presidents must release their tax returns while in office, too. There should really be a nepotism clause in there somewhere as well, to prevent future Jared-n-Ivanka situations. A few obvious elections reforms (like not getting aid from foreign countries) would also be appropriate to spell out explicitly within the Constitution itself.

Perhaps all that is too much to ask. Perhaps such an amendment should be more tightly focused on preventing specific future abuses of power, and limited only to very narrow ethical reforms. I have no idea which route would be best, politically. But that discussion should indeed now begin, in a very public way. Democrats should launch an effort to rein in presidential excess by amending the Constitution and openly invite Republicans to join the effort.

Politically, this would help Democrats before the upcoming election, because few Republicans would sign on to such an idea before they know who will be in the White House next year. Democrats could beat this political drum throughout the campaign, and call for the public to get behind explicitly limiting all future presidents to follow some basic rules and ethical guidelines. The public has already seen what happens with only "tradition" to restrain presidents -- Trump has trampled all over any such tradition he doesn't personally like. So it will sound like a good idea to millions of voters right now.

The best chance of such an amendment actually passing Congress and being sent to the states would be if Joe Biden wins the election. Not only would he be open to the idea, but a Democrat in the White House would spur a huge wave of Republican interest in reining a president in. Politically, the winds will shift as a Democrat enters the White House. Remember how loudly Republicans complained about Barack Obama using executive powers? That will soon return if Biden wins the presidency, whether Democrats are pushing a constitutional amendment or not.

It would be rare for a sitting president to actually support the idea of limiting the power of the executive branch in any way, of course. Doing so would be akin to admitting: "I can't be trusted, please limit my powers," in a very real way. But again, this works better with an amendment, because while any bill Congress passes goes to the president's desk, presidents actually have no formal role in passing a constitutional amendment. And with the evidence of Donald Trump still in everyone's mind, it would present a rare opportunity for a Democratic president to give his full political support to an effort to draw strict lines around what he can and cannot constitutionally do. There could always be future Trump-like presidents, after all.

In general, Nancy Pelosi is smart to push the idea of ethical reform of the presidency right now, as Trump shamelessly oversteps traditional boundary after boundary. It's a winning issue for Democrats in 2020, in other words. But rather than just passing a symbolic bill that has no chance of passing in the Senate, why not shoot for the moon instead? Draft a constitutional amendment to rein in presidential excess and start a big push for it instead. Doing so would guarantee that such a law, if ever actually enacted, would be constitutional and effective. And if Joe Biden does win, the Democrats might just be surprised to see Republicans quickly get on board with efforts to limit presidential powers. To pass Congress and be ratified by enough states, there will have to be a bipartisan effort in the end anyway, and right now seems like a golden opportunity to begin this process.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

64 Comments on “Democrats Should Push For A Presidential Powers Redefinition Amendment”

  1. [1] 
    andygaus wrote:

    Add a provision that a president may not forbid anyone in his administration from complying with a congressional subpoena.

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    So it is okay to start something now that may take more than one electoral cycle to get done?

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Of course, we could start something now to get the big money out of politics and then there would be much less NEED for presidential pardons.

    And this could be effective much faster than any Constitutional amendment or legislation.

    It could still even be effective on Biden BEFORE the election as he will not be spending general election money until after he is the official nominee.

  4. [4] 
    Kick wrote:

    This! Every word of it. Great article, CW.

    While we're amending the Constitution and illuminating the powers of the presidency, why don't we add a paragraph or two about the President of the United States having to comply with subpoenas of coequal branches of government and not being allowed to order other members of any coequal branch of government or citizen of the United States to ignore the subpoena power of any coequal branch... something like that.

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    andygaus
    1

    Exactly this!

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    Come to think of it, the retaliation against persons for complying with subpoenas of a coequal branch of government should also be illegal. It's akin to witness tampering for a POTUS who can serve a maximum of 8 years to be able to ruin the entire career of a civil servant because (s)he wouldn't lie for the current POTUS. Fix that.

  7. [7] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    2

    It is a fabrication for you to suggest that anyone ever stopped you... unless you're referring to yourself, of course.

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    ^^^^^ EDIT 6 ^^^^^

    Of course, I meant "be elected to a maximum of 2 terms" rather than "serve a maximum of 8 years." It would obviously be possible for a POTUS to serve more than 8 years if they were to serve for the unexpired term of less than 2 years for a POTUS who either died or was removed from office.

    Has any president served longer than 8 years since the ratification of the 22nd Amendment? Not yet.

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Wow! That's a lot of change you're advocating for there, Chris. And, constitutional amendments, oh my!

    It all sounds a bit like locking the barn door after the horses have, you know, bolted.

    I think Speaker Pelosi et al. should better spend their time between now and election day working to get the bloody vote out and get Biden elected already.

    In other words, it's on y'all, between early voting and election day.

    Don't frak it up!

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I thought I was the cockeyed optimist around here. Whoa, baby ...

  11. [11] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    In the first place, no matter what Pelosi manages to get passed in the House, it will be completely ignored by Mitch McConnell's Senate. Especially this close to an election.

    We'd better hope that not true because more economic stimulus is still needed. I'd rather see the Speaker (or Nancy as I call her) concentrates on ideas like this one:

    https://crooked.com/articles/democrats-trump-stimulus/

  12. [12] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Sometimes it seems like the bad news is relentless and then today happens courtesy of the Alabama knuckle-draggers

    Confederate monument Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has been removed!

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

    And, Hurrah!

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay,

    Still alive... Barely.. It's been a really rough week...

    But the reason stopped in is I need some help from the car gurus here...

    About a week or so ago, we had some really powerful storms roll thru here.. Even for FL they were kick ass... Had a couple nearly dead on lightning strikes...

    A few days later wife went out to run to the store... Car was completely dead. Absolutely NO power at anything.. Our daughter came out with brand new cables to give us a jump... STILL completely dead, even hooked up to her battery...

    That night, my lovely wife and I were watching that old 80s nuclear war movie, THE DAY AFTER...

    Then it occurred to me.. EMP.... Could the close lightning strikes have created an EMP-like effect on our car??

    It sounds pretty far out there but I can think of any other reason why it would just be sitting for a few days and then a part just up and fried for no reason..

    If it IS an EMP like effect, what would have fried?? The computer?? The battery?? Beuhler??

    Anyone can help me out with this and I promise to stay gone for a while longer..

    Actually, I'll probably stay gone a while longer anyways, but sure could use access to our car...

    Thanx in advance...

    As an aside, JL... Thanx for the HIV defense.. Much appreciated...

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    If a Presidential Powers Amendment is to succeed the populous states are going to have to play some very hard ball with smaller states that are subsidized by the Federal taxes of the larger states. To make it even more interesting, the politics of small states can be easily be manipulated by big political donors (individual or corporate) from any state.

    In short, one hell of a hard nut to crack. Or to put it another way, a big thumb on the scales. What is the hammer? Maybe this should be a CW.com contest? :)

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am not here for political debates as I just feel too crappy to engage..

    But this is such low-hanging fruit, it's impossible to resist..

    andygaus

    Add a provision that a president may not forbid anyone in his administration from complying with a congressional subpoena.

    You mean, like Obama did with Eric Holder and a ton of others???

    I know, I know.. Yer searching for a snappy comeback.. Lemme help ya out..

    {sputter, sputter}"Well... I mean.. er... uh... That's different!!!"

    You people.. You want all these sort of rules for President Trump, not realizing yer own Democrats are/were WORSE about it...

    Political bigotry at it's finest...

    Back to throwing up....

  17. [17] 
    TheStig wrote:

    In other disappointing news, a UK study (not yet peer reviewed) suggests there is no strong herd immunity to COVID. Antibodies produced in response to COVID infection are apparently not very durable. If confirmed, immunization would have to be ongoing, like flu shots. This should not surprise, since COVID is a member of the common cold clade. "Cold shots" are one of those "Holy Grails" of Medicine.

  18. [18] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    You open by noting that the House Democrats' "bill to rein in the presidential pardon powers" will actually need to be a constitutional amendment, because the executive's pardon power is explicitly named in the constitution. Correct.

    But amendments are tricky things. What does that mean, "rein in", and how could an amendment be clear enough to pass interpretation in the decades or even centuries going forward?

    Constitutional amendments do best when they're simple. I could see two that would work here.

    One, the pardon is like any other presidential power that depends on ratification by the Congress, with the details (House, Senate, or both; majority or supermajority approval, etc.) to be negotiated by the drafting committee.

    But I like Two.

    Two, abolish the pardon power, flat out. It comes down from the royal prerogative of Britain, bestowed on our elected "King" by the conservative jurists of the Constitutional Convention. But it has become an abusive plaything, as you note, for presidents of both parties to dispense, not justice, but favors and paybacks. Let Congress pardon those victims of injustice that are rolled over by the system. Leave the president out of it completely.

  19. [19] 
    dsws wrote:

    [165] of FTP thread LWYH wrote:
    Traffic stops are especially dangerous. The officer pulls a person over for a minor violation, not knowing that the driver just killed his family. The driver believes that the officer must be stopping him for the murders and has his gun ready...

    If the person doing routine compliance-oriented activity weren't also an enforcer, shooting wouldn't be a plausible option for such a fugitive from justice. Shooting someone who's potentially from their legal defense team, and not potentially from the prosecution, wouldn't be a thing to try. If we just didn't send a copy, everyone would be safe from this scenario.

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m,

    glad you're still around. and yes, that's kinda the point, the abuse of executive power has continually escalated since the clinton administration. and more under dubya, and more under obama, and more under trump. to avoid it continuing to get worse still, CW is saying a constitutional amendment would really be the best remedy. you disagree?

    JL

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    to avoid it continuing to get worse still, CW is saying a constitutional amendment would really be the best remedy. you disagree?

    I say, let's see CW do a commentary like this and discuss limiting Presidential Powers when (gods forbid) a Democrat is President... K??

    At least, then we can all be sure the motivations here are pure.. :D

    I read an article where Democrats are discussing amongst themselves doing away with the filibuster in anticipation of a Biden win...

    Do ya think they would be discussing that if they knew what I know and what you suspect??

    That President Trump will win re-election??

    Of course not..

    So I really can't see CW's suggestion as anything but political maneuvering..

    CW has usually been above that sort of thing... His positions before were usually, beyond the superficial, one of "Sometimes the RIGHT thing to do is not good for the Democrat Party"..

    But I am guessing that President Trump's election against all odds and expectations (except yours truly of course) has kinda knocked him wonko....

    Hopefully, in 2024, when President Trump leaves office things can get back to normal around here..

  22. [22] 
    dsws wrote:

    Any president can pardon anyone of any federal crime (or commute sentences, or grant other clemency) for any reason under the sun. Period.

    This. Pelosi must know it.

    Unfortunately, we have a horrible system, wherein the small-c constitution of the United States is changed exclusively by ignoring the capital-c Constitution and having SCOTUS pull stuff out from whence the sun don't shine.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    If the person doing routine compliance-oriented activity weren't also an enforcer, shooting wouldn't be a plausible option for such a fugitive from justice. Shooting someone who's potentially from their legal defense team, and not potentially from the prosecution, wouldn't be a thing to try. If we just didn't send a copy, everyone would be safe from this scenario.

    I am not sure if it's typos or puttin' on airs.. But could you rephrase that in a way that a knuckle-dragging ground pounder such as myself can understand??

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Two, abolish the pardon power, flat out.

    Again, low hanging fruit...

    Did you have this attitude when Obama was pardoning terrorists??

    Or when Clinton was pardoning criminal chums for political purposes???

    Of course you didn't...

    Which is why no one who looks at things objectively can take you seriously...

  25. [25] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I read an article where Democrats are discussing amongst themselves doing away with the filibuster in anticipation of a Biden win...

    yes, and what i'm saying is let's forget for a second whether it's the party in or out of power who's proposing it and decide if maybe the issue has legs on its own. whether it's marc rich or roger stone, maybe america would be better off without either one at large.

    JL

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I am not sure if it's typos or puttin' on airs.. But could you rephrase that in a way that a knuckle-dragging ground pounder such as myself can understand??

    i think what dan is saying is that if the fugitive knew ahead of time that the person at his door wasn't there for criminal reasons, he'd be less likely to come out shooting.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Maybe...

    And if Republicans propose such with President Trump, then you can be sure their motivations are pure..

    Just the same as you could assess motivations if Democrats propose such when there is a DEM POTUS...

    The goal is pure motivations...

    As to the pardon power itself.. Ya'all only look at the negative. Again, probably because it's a GOP POTUS... No one here said BOO about the power of the pardon when Obama pardoned that PR terrorist or Clinton pardoned Mark Rich...

    The pardon power can easily be perverted for evil, this is fact..

    But it also can be a power for good, right'ing a wrong... Justice for those unjustly convicted...

    Given that fact, I do not see that unilaterally doing away with it is a good idea...

    Perhaps adding a committee (POTUS, VP, AG or some such) who all have to sign off on the pardon..

    That makes it a bit more of a hurdle.. I could support that..

    But unilaterally doing away with it??

    Not a good idea...

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    But unilaterally doing away with it??

    Not a good idea...

    I meant to...

    But unilaterally doing away with it just because you don't like how the current POTUS is wielding the power???

    I would have thought ya'all would have learned that lesson when Harry Reid went off the deep end and eliminated the filibuster for judicial appointments...

    How many judges has President Trump seated??? More than Obama and Clinton combined..

    All because Harry Reid was myopic and thought in the short term...

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    i think what dan is saying is that if the fugitive knew ahead of time that the person at his door wasn't there for criminal reasons, he'd be less likely to come out shooting.

    OK, that makes a bit more sense now..

    Although I am at a loss to understand what Dan is proposing in lieu of...

    Do you know how many criminals are caught by basic "routine" T-stops???

    Thousands... TENS of thousands...

    It sounds like Dan is trying to justify the criminals actions of shooting cops... But I know that THAT can't be right....

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Michale! Glad to see you're okay and alive. :)

    Don't tell me car trouble kept you away on Sunday!

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you know how many criminals are caught by basic "routine" T-stops???

    Thousands... TENS of thousands...

    Ted Bundy was arrested based on T-stops... Timothy McVeigh was captured due to a "routine" traffic stop... William The Prostitute Killer Suff was arrested after an illegal u-turn traffic stop... The Son Of Sam killer was caught due to a parking ticket....

    The list is endless....

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hey, Michale! Glad to see you're okay and alive. :)

    Don't tell me car trouble kept you away on Sunday!

    Naw, been feeling crappy for the last 10 days... Fever spiked real bad (103.9) on week ago Monday. Had one of the worst nights I could remember.. Had to use my CPAP as a quasi-ventilator cause I couldn't breathe..

    Since then, it's just been general crappiness... Dizzy, hot and cold sweats by the buckets, heavy breathing (not the good kind)...

    I am only here today because the Impala Forums is no help with my car problem.. :D

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, take care of yourself, then ... and, be good.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course....

    And... eh... :D

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    The pardon power can easily be perverted for evil, this is fact..

    But it also can be a power for good, right'ing a wrong... Justice for those unjustly convicted...

    And if ever there was a "crime" that ever needed to be commuted, it's was Roger Stone's..

    He was convicted of lying about a crime that didn't exist.. His was a process "crime" solely created and conceived by the investigators and had NO bearing on anything...

    President Trump should have gone for a full pardon and not just a commuted sentence...

  36. [36] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    16

    I am not here for political debates as I just feel too crappy to engage..

    But this is such low-hanging fruit, it's impossible to resist..

    andygaus

    Add a provision that a president may not forbid anyone in his administration from complying with a congressional subpoena.

    You mean, like Obama did with Eric Holder and a ton of others???

    If it was a "ton of others," it shouldn't be so hard for you to list a few of them that Obama outright ordered not to respond in any way to a congressional subpoena. Good luck; we'll be waiting for that list of "tons of others."

    As for your equating Eric Holder with that description, it doesn't fit since the Obama administration produced approximately 7,600 pages of documents in response to congressional subpoenas in the Fast and Furious issue, and Eric Holder indeed testified before Congress multiple times regarding same. I believe Holder testified before Congress nine times, of which I'm happy to supply some of the dates below. C-SPAN is easily searchable, and anyone with an Internet connection and keyboard is free to review the actual video of multiple instances of Holder's testimony:

    Holder Testimony Regarding Fast and Furious

    05/03/2011 House Judiciary Committee
    11/08/2011 Senate Judiciary Committee
    12/08/2011 House Judiciary Committee
    02/02/2012 House Oversight Committee
    06/12/2012 House Oversight Committee

    *
    This comparison of the Obama administration to that of Donald Trump and his exerting of executive privilege over all subpoenaed documents and outright ordering of all members of the Trump administration to just outright ignore congressional oversight and refuse to testify -- including American citizens indeed no longer a part of the Trump administration -- is an exercise in false equivalency.

    I know, I know.. Yer searching for a snappy comeback.. Lemme help ya out..

    {sputter, sputter}"Well... I mean.. er... uh... That's different!!!"

    Your regularly invented fake quotes notwithstanding, I have a better comeback though probably won't qualify as "snappy" because facts can be so infinitely boring. Obama never outright ordered anyone to ignore congressional oversight, whereas Donald Trump has done it multiple times and even gone so far as to retaliate against those who ignored his order not to testify.

    You people.. You want all these sort of rules for President Trump, not realizing yer own Democrats are/were WORSE about it...

    You Trump people are just woefully misinformed and wouldn't know a fact if it lived on your face. Obviously if "we people" are suggesting an amendment be added to the Constitution of the United States that includes that verbiage, that right there should be a giant honking clue to anyone reading it that "we people" want those rules to apply to every single one of the presidents regardless of political affiliation or lack thereof.

    Political bigotry at it's finest...

    Nah. Your inability to comprehend simple English rears its ugly head, and you're also just -- as per usual -- one of those Trump people spewing out false equivalency arguments in a pathetic attempt at "whataboutism" to deflect from any discussion about Donald Dumpster Fire.

    You're also hands down the poster on this forum who posts the most falsehoods, lies, and outright right-wing propaganda misinformation. #SSDD

    Back to throwing up....

    Back to? Speaking of low-hanging fruit, that just screams for a regurgitation joke about your "what about Obama" false equivalency spew. Nah... too easy.

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Good luck; we'll be waiting for that list of "tons of others."

    You said list a few...

    Obama Official Won’t Testify to Congress
    nytimes.com/2014/07/16/us/politics/obama-official-wont-testify-to-congress.html

    Benghazi

    Solyndra

    IRS Targeting

    Done

    The list is endless...

    You didn't used to be this easy to slap down.. I guess even at death's door, I can still handle you easily.. :D

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Regardless, the FACT remains..

    NONE of ya'all said ANYTHING when Obama invoked Executive Privilege and the power of the pardon...

    So, all of yer mewlings and whinings and cryings is nothing but Party slavery and bigotry...

    It's meaningless and has no basis in fact, only in a political agenda..

  39. [39] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    37

    You said list a few...

    Yes, I did, and you listed one person. I await your list of a few others or even 1/1000th of the "tons of others" you falsely claimed.

    Obama Official Won’t Testify to Congress
    [link deleted]

    The New York Grime? See what I did there?

    In that situation, Obama officials met with the committee behind closed doors and supplied them with information they requested.

    There were a handful of occasions where the Obama administration claimed executive privilege and/or initially rebuffed extensive congressional document requests but ultimately did comply either voluntarily or under order of a Court.

    It's mere "whataboutism" and right-wing false equivalency to claim Obama didn't comply with congressional oversight. It's Trumpian nonsense, but "you people" are known for that claptrap.

    Pushback from an administration and the outright refusal of Donald Trump to comply with congressional subpoenas and retaliation for those who do are two entirely different things.

    Benghazi

    "Benghazi" isn't a person who didn't testify. How does one go about eight or nine (or however many) back-to-back investigations of the same thing with people testifying seemingly endlessly if no documents or testimony is ever produced? Impossible.

    In 2015, the White House handed over more than 40,000 pages of documents related to the 2011 Benghazi attacks, including over 900 pages of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private emails. A House report notes that after further requests, members obtained an additional 75,000 pages of documents, most from the State Department, and including 1,450 pages of emails from the White House. As Vox wrote at the time, “The White House has released enough Benghazi documents to cover half a football field.”

    https://www.factcheck.org/2019/03/trump-wrong-about-obama-documents/

    Solyndra

    Also not a person who was ordered to outright ignore congressional oversight.

    In 2011, the Obama administration also resisted congressional requests for the production of some internal White House communication documents related to the solar energy company Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. A year later, the White House produced 432 pages of email communications and other documents related to Solyndra. Those documents were in addition to over 187,000 pages of Solyndra-related documents provided to congressional investigators previously, counsel for the president and vice president said at the time. A majority staff report from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations notes that its investigation included the review of over 300,000 pages of documents.

    IRS Targeting

    Name of multiple persons Obama gave a blanket order to ignore congressional oversight? I'll wait.

    Done

    BS.

    The list is endless...

    Your right-wing talking points list is no doubt most likely endless. Your list of persons that you claim Obama ordered to ignore congressional oversight is one person wherein the Obama administration cooperated behind closed doors yet did not wish testimony to be made public.

    You didn't used to be this easy to slap down..

    You always have.

    I guess even at death's door, I can still handle you easily.. :D

    I guess you're still delusional and quite content to peddle the false equivalency BS as per your usual and then flail miserably in your attempts to devolve every political issue into a personal discussion about posters. I'm not a political issue. No one else here is either.

    Exercises in "whataboutism" and fake quotes you invent and the knee-jerk referring to everyone as a bigot is infinitely easier than actual debate. We "get it."

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think I may have said something.

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sheeeeee-it!

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    All I have to do is show one to prove ya'all's (NEN) bigotry and Party slavery...

    None of you said ANYTHING when Obama kept Holder from testifying... Which I have done..

    As usual, Vick nitpicks and ignores the facts to dodge and deflect...

    The simple fact is, Obama did the same thing as President Trump..

    Ya'all said nothing..

    Fact proven..

  43. [43] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    35

    And if ever there was a "crime" that ever needed to be commuted, it's was Roger Stone's..

    He was convicted of lying about a crime that didn't exist..

    Incorrect. Roger Stone was convicted by a jury on all seven counts against him, including one count of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election, five counts of false statements regarding same, and one count of witness tampering regarding same.

    His was a process "crime" solely created and conceived by the investigators and had NO bearing on anything...

    Incorrect.

    President Trump should have gone for a full pardon and not just a commuted sentence...

    The fact is, Stone was convicted of lying, obstructing the congressional investigation into Russian interference and witness tampering in order to protect Donald Trump.

    If Donald Trump pardoned Roger Stone for his crimes in obstructing congressional oversight, there would be nothing to prevent Stone from being forced to testify against Trump in future civil or criminal matters since a pardon involves an admission of guilt and would therefore remove Stone's right to invoke his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination in said crimes, namely his obvious cover-up of the crimes of himself and Donald Trump.

    Roger Stone remains a convicted criminal and rightly so. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't know the facts of the case.

  44. [44] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    M-

    If your car was in fact hit by lightning many of the electrical systems could be cooked.

    Start by metering your fuse panel, if you have continuity good... move on to checking your relays if they are good then it is safe to assume your ecu is cooked and also more than likely your efi module.

    Keep in mind it is possible for the lightning to hit your car travel through the steel bits and into the ground via the tires all without leaving a mark.

  45. [45] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    M-
    Another thing to try is plugging in a code reader to see if it will talk with your ecu.
    Hook up to a known good battery jumper should do turn the ignition to on and see if it gets a read.
    no read, bad ecu.

  46. [46] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    M-
    Another thing to try is plugging in a code reader to see if it will talk with your ecu.
    Hook up to a known good battery jumper should do turn the ignition to on and see if it gets a read.
    no read, bad ecu.

  47. [47] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    42

    All I have to do is show one to prove ya'all's (NEN) bigotry and Party slavery...

    You're just here to troll posters with the same shit that never varies. We get it. It's infinitely easier than political debate.

    None of you said ANYTHING when Obama kept Holder from testifying... Which I have done..

    Prove it. You have no idea what you're talking about as per usual. Your exercises in false equivalency and devolving a political issue into a insult is nothing but your same old exercises in trolling.

    As usual, Vick nitpicks and ignores the facts to dodge and deflect...

    There were no facts to ignore. Your false equivalency and trolling the posters on this forum is again duly noted.

    The simple fact is, Obama did the same thing as President Trump..

    No, he didn't. Your inability to defend Trump by the invention of false equivalency is again duly noted.

    Anyway, several of us here want a Constitutional amendment to stop all presidents from doing it, and nothing you say will change that fact.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thanx GT for the response..

    I'll give those things a try...

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, he didn't. Your inability to defend Trump by the invention of false equivalency is again duly noted.

    I have no need to defend President Trump as the FACT is he did nothing wrong..

    And ya'all AGREE he did nothing wrong as evidenced by the FACT that none of ya'all said ANYTHING when Obama did the same thing..

    The facts are clear..

    You nickpick and deflect and dodge because you know you can't address the facts...

  50. [50] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    49

    I have no need to defend President Trump as the FACT is he did nothing wrong..

    Congratulations on fooling yourself, but good luck fooling anyone else since there are pages and pages of archived proof that you definitely have a need to defend Donald Trump.

    Additionally, I am not in any way whatsoever constrained to point out the undeniable fact that "andygaus" in his post at [1] -- nor me in my post at [4] and [6] -- mentioned Donald Trump as the catalyst for our suggestions in response to CW's most excellent column about amending the Constitution. So why it is that you felt the need to read that in there is very telling indeed.

    So if you insist you don't have a need to defend Donald Trump when neither of us mentioned him, then your response at [16] and your standard "whataboutism" regarding Obama isn't exactly the way to go about proving that.

    And ya'all AGREE he did nothing wrong as evidenced by the FACT that none of ya'all said ANYTHING when Obama did the same thing..

    Prove it. Don't bother. You can't. In fact, you have no idea what either of us said.

    You nickpick and deflect and dodge because you know you can't address the facts...

    I didn't deflect; I obviously did address the facts. Yours is yet another exercise in false equivalency in order to defend Donald Trump by whining that Obama is worse. Repeat: No one mentioned Donald Trump in our proposed Constitutional amendment. That was all your handiwork... and not at all indicative of a guy who feels like there is no need to defend Donald Trump. *laughs* #SSDD

  51. [51] 
    Kick wrote:

    Oklahoma Governor tests positive for COVID-19

    The city of Tulsa has experienced a recent surge in coronavirus cases following President Donald Trump's rally there on June 20, at which Stitt was present without a facial covering. On Wednesday, the governor downplayed the possibility that he contracted the virus at the event.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/15/politics/kevin-stitt-oklahoma-governor-coronavirus/index.html

    Him and Herman Cain. "The list is endless." Pay no attention to that Tulsa rally where most in attendance were neither wearing a mask nor practicing social distancing. They couldn't have contracted it there, could they? Duh.

  52. [52] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Last night, Faux News Drama Queen Extraordinaire Sean Hannity wet his pants and said “If Joe Biden wins . . . blah, blah, blah . . . America as you know it, we know it, will be destroyed. Our entire way of life will be flushed down the drain.”

    Now, his forecast model may seem a little bleak, but it's actually pretty rosy.

    In order for Big Money Joe to do any destroying, we'll have to have recovered remarkably well (and quickly) from Big Orange's wrecking ball. We'll no longer be sacrificing the old and the vulnerable to the Trump Virus tsunami and the Trump Depression will be in the rearview mirror because tens of millions of unemployed refugees from the Trump Virus economy will have just "found something new"! Of course, our staggering new level of national debt is no problem. We can pay for that with tax cuts.

    So, if Big Orange can fix America as we know it on Big Orange's watch in time for the election, why is he even entertaining the idea that Joe could win? Surely he doesn't build those fake Faux News polls into his model.

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  54. [54] 
    Kick wrote:

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Rest in peace...

    Now that you're out of that busy hospital and doing great and able to get some rest at home. :)

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Good God, Kick ... my heart just stopped and dropped to the floor.

    Don't ever scare me like that again!

  56. [56] 
    Kick wrote:

    :)

  57. [57] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    dsws,

    If the person doing routine compliance-oriented activity weren't also an enforcer, shooting wouldn't be a plausible option for such a fugitive from justice. Shooting someone who's potentially from their legal defense team, and not potentially from the prosecution, wouldn't be a thing to try. If we just didn't send a copy, everyone would be safe from this scenario.

    First, every law enforcement agency makes it a practice to run the names of the individuals they are making contact with for the reason that Michale posted: more criminals are arrested based on those unrelated stops than ever comes from “manhunts”! Furthermore, you are not going to send anyone on calls for “law enforcement” that does not have the power to place someone under arrest! The police ENFORCE LAWS!

    Secondly, in the above example, your phrasing of “routine compliance-oriented activity” is just a long-winded way of saying “law enforcement”.

    Question: if your non-threatening, unarmed, vegan, genderless, multi-racial government representative asks the biker gang member throwing a birthday party for their adopted special needs 3 yo service dog to turn down the Klingon opera music that is blaring, what happens when they refuse to comply? Does your representative say, “Pretty please!”? If asking them to cut the music down was all that was needed to get them to comply, the neighbor would never had needed to call the police! It is the knowledge that the person asking you to cut the music down could arrest you for violating the law that helps to motivate people to do what they might not otherwise be willing to do out of kindness!

    It’s clear your view of police is not positive. I asked if you have ever done a ride along, but never got an answer. If you want to better understand the everyday work of the police, it’s one of the best ways to see for yourself how they work. You call for the abolishment of police, yet you have absolutely no plan for how to prevent chaos and lawlessness to overrun your community. Your ideas are unrealistic and would cost far more money than the current police cost us. Bottom line: You sound like Republicans calling for the abolishment of the ACA when they have absolutely nothing prepared to replace it...not a comparison that you likely welcome or desire!

  58. [58] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Kick [54]

    BOO! You got me!!! My heart definitely stopped for a few until I continued reading!

    I had my own Ralphie from the Christmas Story moment...a very loud, “OHHH FUDDDGGGGEEE!”, except, much like Ralphie, I did not say FUDGE either!

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    JFC
    52

    Heh. Great post.

    Gotta love that "find something new" tone-deaf spew. It's two weeks until coronavirus unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans so... "find something new" and "be best"... Trump University 2020.

  60. [60] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    58

    *grins*

    ... except, much like Ralphie, I did not say FUDGE either!

    Mmmmm, fudge. :)

  61. [61] 
    Kick wrote:

    Oh, look! The Trumps have already "found something new" to do. They're making it their job to turn the United States of America and the office of the presidency into the laughing stock of the entire world.

    https://www.fox4now.com/news/national-politics/president-trump-and-his-daughter-promote-goya-foods-in-possible-ethics-violation

    Can you imagine the GOP heads exploding if Barack Obama had ever peddled canned food from the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office?

    Every time I think these skeevy grifters have reached rock bottom... *shakes head*

  62. [62] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [54]

    Yeah, Kick, my heart rate is still up after that. Don't jinx the woman, puh-leeze!

  63. [63] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    He was convicted of lying about a crime that didn't exist..

    Who is so stupid as to risk incarceration by lying about an imaginary event? That person deserves any punishment they are ordered to face as a result! The crime existed. Stone made that very clear as he said it would have been much easier to have told prosecutors what he knew. Truth is always easier to tell than having to keep up with your various lies.

  64. [64] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Who is so stupid as to risk incarceration by lying about an imaginary event?

    is that a rhetorical question?

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