ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "The Constitution" Category

The Phase Two Hearings Begin

[ Posted Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 – 18:31 UTC ]

Today, I watched some more daytime television. Eight-and-a-half hours of it, to be precise. Because it was time once again to view gavel-to-gavel coverage of an event that has only taken place three (or four, if you count Nixon) times in our nation's history: the impeachment of a sitting U.S. president. The House Intelligence Committee wrapped up its work for now by voting on and making public their report on their findings of fact, and by doing so handed the impeachment inquiry off to the House Judiciary Committee. Which held its first public hearing today by opening with four constitutional scholars as witnesses.

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Day 3 Reactions

[ Posted Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 – 19:44 UTC ]

I'm starting to write this at about 10 hours in to Day 3 of the public impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee. The five minute segments are continuing as I write this, but at this point they could go on all night. Or so it seems -- you'll have to forgive me for being a bit loopy, since I'm not used to sitting and watching 12 straight hours of television at a time, and certainly not beginning at six o'clock in the morning (my time). So today's review is going to be rather choppy, as I type up what seemed to me to be the high and low points of the testimony so far.

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Friday Talking Points -- Everything's Just Impeachy-Keen

[ Posted Friday, November 15th, 2019 – 18:13 UTC ]

Rather than our usual weekly roundup, we are going to focus today solely on the public impeachment hearings. This is due to them being the most important thing that happened politically during the week, as well as the fact that we're admittedly more than a little frazzled sitting down to write this, after getting up at 6:00 A.M. and staring at the television for over six hours straight. Normally we would have used a good chunk of that time to sift the news stories from the past week, but that's simply not possible today. Nor is it all that important, because as mentioned everything else really pales in comparison to what is being witnessed right now by the American public.

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Impeachment Curveball In The Senate?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 – 17:41 UTC ]

I must admit, I'm a sucker for "what if" storylines, especially when they concern little-used sections of the Constitution or congressional rules. Which is why an interesting article in Politico caught my eye today, because it lays out how a curveball move in the Senate could actually lead to Trump's removal from office (assuming that the House does impeach him, which seems like a pretty safe bet at this point).

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Friday Talking Points -- See You In The 'Burbs, Baby!

[ Posted Friday, November 8th, 2019 – 18:56 UTC ]

Republicans, it seems, are just never satisfied. First, they howled for a full House vote on impeachment. When the Democrats gave them one, they were not happy for some unfathomable reason. Then they demanded the end to "secret hearings" with no public transcripts. This week, Democrats began releasing all the transcripts to the public. When the first two were released, Republicans complained that the transcripts released were "cherry-picked." By week's end, all the major transcripts were released, putting the lie to this notion. Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham, in a snit, said that he wouldn't be reading the transcripts, for some unfathomable reason. Next week, public hearings will begin. So of course now Republicans are decrying the very idea of public hearings, for some unfathomable reason (President Trump: "They shouldn't be having public hearings."). It's almost as if Republicans don't care what they're complaining about as long as they get to complain about something. Hey, it's easier than trying to defend the indefensible, we suppose.

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Flipping The 'Burbs

[ Posted Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 – 17:53 UTC ]

That headline is quite obviously a pun on the phrase "flipping the bird," I will fully admit. But more on bird-flipping in a moment, though. Instead, let's begin with what inspired the pun in the first place: last night's off-off-year election results. The results for the 2019 election cycle are now (mostly) in, and what they show is that the big blue wave which arose in 2018 shows no signs of ebbing. Democrats not only won the governor's race in a state that Donald Trump won by 30 points back in 2016, but they also achieved the "trifecta" in Virginia, flipping both houses of the legislature in a single election (they already held the governor's office, completing the trifecta of one-party control). But the biggest news is how they achieved such gains, and the answer is -- as it also was one year ago -- that they flipped the suburbs that Republicans used to routinely count on as strongholds.

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Friday Talking Points -- Infair To Rupublicans!

[ Posted Friday, November 1st, 2019 – 18:02 UTC ]

Does President Trump's phone even have a spell-checker? One has to wonder, when he tweets so many idiotic misspellings on such a regular basis. This week's gem came directly after the House voted on impeachment inquiry procedures, which Trump wasn't exactly happy about:

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Parsing The Impeachment Resolution

[ Posted Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 – 16:53 UTC ]

Today, Nancy Pelosi released the text of the House Resolution on the impeachment inquiry that the full chamber will vote on this Thursday. Because this is an important milestone, it's worth a deep dive into the text to understand exactly how the process is going to play out in the next few weeks. Republicans are not going to like certain parts of it, but that was pretty much a foregone conclusion anyway. However, it gives them -- almost -- exactly what they've been demanding, so they'll be left making ever-more-technical arguments about why the process isn't all rainbows and unicorns for the president. Pelosi is betting that this will be enough to allow Democrats to claim a fair and transparent process to the American people, while the facts uncovered in the case will overwhelm all the technical nitpicking.

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Pelosi's Surprising Move To Hold Vote On Impeachment Inquiry

[ Posted Monday, October 28th, 2019 – 17:01 UTC ]

Nancy Pelosi, in a surprising move, has now indicated that the House of Representatives will indeed hold a floor vote on the impeachment inquiry this Thursday. So far, few details have been released. The big question, however, is not what will be in the motion, but why it is happening now at all.

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Friday Talking Points -- Collective Republican Amnesia

[ Posted Friday, October 25th, 2019 – 18:18 UTC ]

Remember when Republicans were the party that stood squarely for law and order? Or for that matter, remember when they used to be the party of fiscal responsibility, chock full of deficit hawks? Yeah, those were the days....

This week it was announced the annual deficit scraped the trillion-dollar ceiling last year -- figures not seen since the depths of the Great Recession. Republicans' reaction to this news? Sounds of crickets chirping. In the same week, Republicans "stormed" a secure facility, illegally carrying in and using their cell phones, in an attempt to intimidate both the committees conducting an impeachment inquiry and the witness scheduled to appear. Republicans also had to twist their pretzel logic a few more turns to explain why their previous go-to response ("There was no quid pro quo") is now, as Richard Nixon would have said, "no longer operative." Meanwhile, President Trump played the victim card once again, saying the constitutionally-sanctioned impeachment process was nothing short of a "lynching," in addition to referring to a clause in the Constitution as "phony." Trump also took the time this week to hold his very own "Mission Accomplished" moment, announcing that Syria was now a wonderful paradise, and that everyone should thank him personally for this splendiferous outcome. Nobel committee, please take note.

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