Ruh roh

Well, there goes Article 2 of the impeachment. However SCOTUS rules in March, granting certeori establishes that Trump has a viable issue on refusing Congressional Subpoenas.

49 thoughts on “Ruh roh

  1. Yep, listened to that nugget of wisdom along with the complete distruction of the far left wing wing extremist claim of abuse of power as being a baseless and unconstitutional exercise in futility. Nervous Democrats are now backing down to play politics and one being the first to announce a party change. More to follow?

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  2. I wish that those here would use a “photo” for an avatar. Those of us age-challenged, who no longer have the capacity to distinguish run-together name and initials and keep separate the similar avatars could use a face to help. Use a pic from the internet.

    You can photoshop an image, too. Eh Doc?

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  3. That leaves abuse of power, which is inherently non-impeachable.

    The Senate will have the option to simply declare the House impeachment action void.

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    1. Where’s the fun in that?

      The subpoenas for Schiff and his staff, and Alexandra Chalupa, and a few others that Schiff and Nadler wouldn’t allow in the House should be heard under oath to expose the Democrat collusion with Ukraine in 2016 and the false process followed to get the impeachment over the line.

      Simply dismissing the impeachment lets the Democrats off the hook, the Senate trial provides the opportunity to punish them for what they put the country through.

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      1. RE: “Simply dismissing the impeachment lets the Democrats off the hook, the Senate trial provides the opportunity to punish them for what they put the country through.”

        Yes, but is it consistent with the rule of law to hold a trial when the charges under scrutiny are themselves illegal?

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        1. RE: “The Rule of Law went into hiding when Schiff started his inquiry.”

          No doubt. I’m certainly in favor of any public education the Senate can provide. Pretending that the articles of impeachment are valid for purposes of a public trial in the Senate is not the only option, although it would be a powerful approach.

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  4. There goes . . .

    In your dreams. High crimes and misdemeanors are WHATEVER Congress says they are and Impeachment is NOT subject to judicial review.

    These “conservatives” are very eager to assume that SCOTUS agreeing to review the issue of Executive Branch defying of Congressional subpoenas is a vindication of Trump’s obstructive behavior. It isn’t. It is equally if not more likely that they have taken up the issue to remove any doubt that Congress has the Constitutional right, power and duty to oversee the behavior of the government and that includes the power to DEMAND answers and documents.

    By the way, poor little Sean Hannity displays his utter cluelessness when he conflates Trump’s stonewalling of the impeachment process with the very different issue of “Executive Privilege.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why don’t you put that in an op-ed, I would love for every voter to be exposed to that notion.

      The Democrats demanded testimony without the advice of White House or Agency attorney’s present. Executive privilege can only be asserted by the President or attorneys acting in his behalf, not by the person called to testify. So, Schiff’s conditions made assertion of Executive Privilege unworkable.

      Trump went to court to resolve the issue, but the Democrats wouldn’t wait. That IS subject to judicial revue.

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      1. My so-called “notion” is exactly what the Constitution created. The word “misdemeanors” is, for example, a catchall that works very well to summarize the behavior of a President who habitually lies, steals and slanders.

        Your argument is totally bogus. “Executive Privilege” applies ONLY to conversations with the President. It’s legitimate purpose is to allow him to receive and discuss confidential advice. It is NOT a blanket of secrecy that can be thrown over the workings of the entire government. It has ZERO application to the activities, knowledge, instructions, documents and conversations of functionaries down the chain of command. They can take the Fifth if they need to, but they cannot assert “Executive Privilege” as a reason to hide their work.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. SCOTUS disagrees.

          In granting certiorai, they have indicated there is a plausible legal basis that must be weighed.

          Trump has no obligation to allow that testimony until the court rules, likely a mixed result will come down, with some subpoenas validated and others rejected.

          But for now, Trump has the right to his day in court, and he has not committed any obstruction until that day comes.

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          1. You seem not to understand a very basic point about obstruction. That the President has a certain power does not exempt him from the charge. For example, the President has the power to fire an FBI Director but if he does so for a corrupt purpose – to impede a lawful investigation, for example – he has committed obstruction of justice. Same applies to claiming Executive Privilege or some sort of blanket immunity – if the purpose is to conceal a crime it is also obstruction.

            In both the cases against Nixon and Clinton the Articles of Impeachment included this form of corrupt intent.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “he has not committed any obstruction until that day comes.”

            I believe he has, but ultimately the Senate will decide that question. And I believe, to their eternal shame, they will not vote to remove him.

            We’ll just have to vote him out and then indict and convict when he’s out of office

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        2. Those entrenched in the trump base can’t hear a word you’re saying.

          SCOTUS agreeing to review is appropriate and necessary. What they hopefully will do is provide more definitive clarity on specific prerogatives of the Executive and Legislative branches relative to oversight.

          My guess is they will make both branches unhappy as they split the baby….

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Agreed, SCOTUS will find some of the subpoenas acceptable and reject others.

            But that isn’t what is important at this point. What matters is that it is reasonable for Trump to wait for the court to rule.

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          2. I disagree; and as trump delays for court rulings he will continue to abuse his power and jeopardize the security of our Republic which is completely unacceptable..

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          3. @Tabor

            “reasonable for Trump to wait . . .”

            Sure, if he has something to hide it is rational to drag out full disclosure for as long as possible.

            But, it is virtually self-evident that Trump would not go to such lengths to keep exculpatory evidence out of the public record. To anyone who has not checked their common sense at the door these efforts to block the testimony of the officials with “first hand knowledge” of what was said and done is damning in and of itself.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. One of the reasons for executive privilege is so that even the most politically unacceptable suggestions can be aired as part of the discussion, but no one wants those off-the-wall suggestions showing in the Washington Post.

            With Schiff and Nadler not allowing for the assertion of executive privilege, by not allowing lawyers representing the President to be there, of course Trump had to take it to court.

            Schiff and Nadler were trying to use the subpoena powers of Congress for opposition research.

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          5. Repeating baloney does not make it taste any better. Trump has followed a clear, deliberate and impeachable strategy of “stone walling” the Congress just like Nixon tried to do until overwhelmed by the evidence. The idea that Trump was forced to do that by Schiff or Nadler is preposterous.

            Furthermore, the very basis of your “analysis” that a particular lawyer had to assert “Executive Privilege” is dodgy at best. The witness could just as easily say “I have been advised that the subject you are asking about is covered by an assertion of Executive Privilege and respectfully decline to answer.” Of course, There was no basis for many – or any – of these witnesses to be covered by “Executive Privilege” so Trump’s bogus claims of some sort of general immunity was dreamed up.

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          6. Nope.

            Executive privilege can only be invoked by the President, or an attorney for the President or the Executive Branch acting on his behalf.

            Most of the called witnesses would not be authorized to do it on their own, as the privilege belongs to the President, not the witness.

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    2. RE: “It is equally if not more likely that they have taken up the issue to remove any doubt that Congress has the Constitutional right, power and duty to oversee the behavior of the government and that includes the power to DEMAND answers and documents.”

      That’s illogical. You are assuming SCOTUS intends to address the balance of power question, but SCOTUS has other options. It could, for example, simply rule on the subpoenas at issue one by one, without addressing constitutional questions directly.

      Moreover, deciding to review the cases only suggests that SCOTUS might address the balance of power issue. But if, as Dershowitz points out, SCOTUS considers the balance of power worth addressing, that in itself implies SCOTUS intends to clarify the matter by removing any unconstitutional authorities either side has claimed. Logically, SCOTUS is more likely to restore the balance of power than to grant superiority to either litigant.

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      1. You frequently make the charge of “illogical” without any logic behind it. THAT is, in fact, illogical.

        My claim that SCOTUS MIGHT be interested in clarifying the powers and privileges in question is NOT illogical in ANY way.

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      2. RE: “My claim that SCOTUS MIGHT be interested in clarifying the powers and privileges in question is NOT illogical in ANY way.”

        It is your prediction that SCOTUS will remove any doubt about the superiority of congressional oversight that is illogical, for the reasons given.

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        1. No man enough to admit that you throw out words like “illogical” without thought or understanding? No surprise.

          What is illogical in this exchange is someone – like you? – who acknowledges that Congress under the Constitution has the power of the purse and the responsibility to oversee how our money is used but no ability to require cooperation with its investigations and oversight. You illogically call that affirming the superiority of the Congress (which the Constitution already did!) when, in fact, subpoena powers are NECESSARY for it to fulfill its existing Constitutional mandates.

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        2. RE: “What is illogical in this exchange is someone – like you? – who acknowledges that Congress under the Constitution has the power of the purse and the responsibility to oversee how our money is used but no ability to require cooperation with its investigations and oversight.”

          Nothing illogical there. Congressional oversight of the executive is an implied, not an expressed, power under the Constitution. Under that power Congress can issue subpoenas, but only the courts can enforce them. Even then, the executive could conceivably refuse to comply. At that point, both Congress and the courts would be out of options.

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    3. @Tabor

      “Nope . . .”

      Bullshit. When has a President ever had to appear in person to invoke “Executive Privilege on behalf of a witness?” Answer – Never. The problem for Trump is that there is no legitimate “Executive Privilege” to be invoked for the witnesses in question.

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      1. Read more carefully. I wrote the President or an attorney acting on his behalf.

        Executive privilege belongs to the President, not to his staff. Unless they have authority to act in his place, they can’t invoke it.

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        1. Read more carefully? That is getting old.

          The witness does NOT need the presence of the President or his lawyer in order to respond to a question by asserting that it is covered by Executive Privilege IF the President or his lawyer has invoked it and instructed the witness accordingly before the hearing. And again, the real problem for those trying to obstruct the investigation is that “Executive Privilege” is far too narrow to block the testimony that Trump wants to block.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah, so the Trump lawyers were supposed to anticipate every question every witness might be asked, determine if executive privilege applied, and provide each witness with a filing cabinet full of pre-written documents contesting those?

            Had Schiff provided a list of questions the witnesses would be asked that would have been possible, but with an open ended fishing expedition a lawyer had to be present.

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          2. Ah, so now you are back pedaling instead of just admitting that your first assertions were bull.

            And your new “analysis” runs into the same problem – “Executive Privilege” is actually a very narrow privilege. Witnesses would not have to be briefed on every possible question but simply told that if a question involved something they personally discussed with the President it was something they should not answer. Otherwise they should answer or take the Fifth.

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          3. @Tabor

            Rfe: “Again, the witness CANNOT assert executive privilege. It can only be asserted by the President or an attorney acting on his behalf.”

            That may be true but it is not the point. Your claim is that this attorney must be in the room and assert the claim on every question. That is not required. If the President has invoked “Executive Privilege” for all his conversations with Witness X – say by a written letter to the committee – then the witness can refer to that privilege when refusing to answer.

            Of course, this whole discussion is a red herring since Executive Privilege is far too narrow to create an impenetrable blanket of secrecy over the entire operations of the government.

            In other words, the lying liars of Trump world attempts to blame Schiff and Nadler for the President’s decisions to stonewall the Congress is undiluted bullshit.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. “ Pressed by Judge Denny Chin about the claim of “temporary presidential immunity,” and the hypothetical Trump made while running for office—that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters”—attorney William Consovoy argued that yes, that sort of thing would fall under the concept laid out by the founding fathers.

    “Local authorities couldn’t investigate? They couldn’t do anything about it?” Chin asked, adding, “Nothing could be done? That is your position?”

    “That is correct,” Consovoy answered, emphasizing that of course such immunity for killing someone in broad daylight would only apply while Trump is in office.“

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/10/donald-trump-lawyer-shoot-someone

    So that’s the argument in a nutshell. The regime is claiming the Divine Right of Kings. And the supporters along with spineless Republicans agree.

    Despite the protestations by Trump’s lawyer, Barr, the office of president already has much more power than the founders ever dreamed of. And with this fraudster who has no respect for the law, America or its citizens, it is like putting the wheel of a tractor-trailer in the hands of a 5 year old.

    IMHO

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    1. RE: “the office of president already has much more power than the founders ever dreamed of.”

      How so? Even if you buy Consovoy’s legal argument about prosecuting a president for crimes while in office, a president can still be impeached. If that’s not what the Framers intended, what do you think they did intend?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure, anybody can take anything to court. That is not the issue. What is “illogical” is to assume that there is ANY chance that the Courts would fail to support this fundamental and necessary tool – the power to subpoena records and testimony of officials spending OUR money – given the role of Congress as defined in the Constitution.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How so?

        We went through all that a short while back.

        War powers, tariffs, treaties, allocation of funding, appointments to top cabinet and other offices bypassing Senate approval by using interim folks. Selective enforcement of regulations passed by Congress without sufficient details.

        These were powers never intended to be presidential, but now are because of a weak Congress passing the buck.

        “ Even if you buy Consovoy’s legal argument about prosecuting a president for crimes while in office, a president can still be impeached.”

        So if he can commit crimes so long as he is president, then he is above the law. Which is what is happening now. And since he won’t be removed from office after impeachment we have an emperor who can as he pleases.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. For those claiming that Congress has this unlimited authority to subpoena what ever they want, SCOTUS has already ruled that Congress is not a law enforcement agency and therefore can’t demand documents or potential evidence looking for a crime, and that includes tax returns. SCOTUS ruled that, in fact, Congress’s authority is limited in scope. Since impeachment is purely political, the rules are only political so it is pathetic that house Democrats would make the rules and then cry foul if the President doesnt want to play ball. Sorry Paul.

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    1. I am willing to learn. What ruling by SCOTUS are you referring to?

      As for tax returns, the LAW is specific. Congress can require the IRS to turn over the returns of ANY taxpayer. So, on this question, maybe you can learn something too?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is true that Congress can require tax returns for oversight and investigatory purposes, but NOT for opposition research. Having obtained those returns, it must keep them confidential.

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        1. You are correct. Congress cannot simply demand someone’s tax returns and then just make them public. It must have a bona fide “legislative purpose.” However, even though such tax filings could not be given to the press they could be read into the record as part of a legislative act.

          With respect to Trump’s tax returns there ARE clear legislative purposes. One would be in the evaluation of proposed legislation to require public disclosure of Presidential candidates’ tax filings. Another more compelling purpose would be to craft legislation that would close the loopholes that Mr. Trump brags about exploiting.

          https://fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/LSB10275.pdf

          Liked by 3 people

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