Good news for Trump fans, bad news for the nation and the rule of law.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/why-trumps-threadbare-legal-argument-130930670.html

We know the fix is in by just these two paragraphs in a telling opinion.

“Because the Republican majority in the Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, knows that its own survival is tied to Trump’s, and cares more about its grip on power than its fidelity to constitutional governance.

That’s why McConnell is doing all he can to deep-six the impeachment trial with as little fanfare, and as few witnesses, as possible. He knows the “So what?” gambit becomes harder to sustain in the face of testimony from firsthand witnesses to the president’s Ukraine scheme — people like John Bolton, the former national security adviser, and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, both of whom have said they would be willing to testify.”

Dershowitz said that the president had to commit an actual crime, or at least something “crime like”. As opposed to Clinton’s impeachment in which abuse of public trust was more than sufficient.

The Founders knew what they were doing when they allowed impeachment for abuse of power, etc. So there will be no conviction, but at least let’s hear from witnesses who can either exonerate or “convict” in the court of public opinion.
Americans on both sides deserve to know.

32 thoughts on “Good news for Trump fans, bad news for the nation and the rule of law.

  1. Dershowitz, a defense attorney and not really a Constitutional scholar, has also stated that he is more right in his opinion today than he was in 1999. If a politician were to say things that way he would be called a flip-flopper and would be swift boated or something to that effect.

    Both sides have invoked the words of Alexander Hamilton in defense of their respective positions. But I don’t think the phrase “So what” appeared in any Federalist papers he authored or any other speeches or writings he made in his day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “Dershowitz, a defense attorney and not really a Constitutional scholar.”

      Wikipedia: “Alan Morton Dershowitz (born September 1, 1938) is an American lawyer and academic. He is a scholar of United States constitutional law and criminal law.”

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      1. So he wrote his own Wiki page. I could claim to be a descendant of King Richard, The Lionheart. It doesn’t make it true.

        Point being his scholarship on Constitutional law is questionable by his own words and actions. He has evolved more than any other lawyer involved in this. He continues to be a shill for whoever is writing the check.

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        1. RE: “So he wrote his own Wiki page.”

          Why do you say made up things?

          Bet even assuming you have credentials to match Dershowitz’s, please tell us how his scholarship on Constitutional law is questionable or how it has evolved.

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          1. I would but you would ignore it or dismiss it out of hand.

            But if you watch the video from 1999 where he states that no statutory law violation is required for impeachment and now today he is saying there is (which has been refuted by the majority of scholars), the evolution is clear.

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          2. RE: “But if you watch the video from 1999…”

            I did. In it, Dershowitz doesn’t use the term statutory violation. So, you are making things up again.

            He does, however, make the point that it is not necessary to prove a crime was committed to impeach a president. Most rational people and constitutional scholars agree. So does Dershowitz in this comments on the Trump impeachment.

            What no one believes is that a president can be impeached for doing nothing wrong.

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    2. Mr Deshowitz thinks he was right back in 1999, too. He just thinks that he is more right today.

      In any case, Jonathan Turley, who is also a Democrat, believes that House Dems are the ones who are abusing their power — and clearly, he understands the Constitution.

      Mr Trump knows that he has done nothing wrong and initially, he wanted a full-blown, bells and whistles trial. After all, he is the quintessential showman. However, the Senate tends to be more professional than the House and Mr McConnell had no interest in hosting a WWE event.

      In any case, Dems have rejected the Biden-Bolton swap, so it will be easy for so-called moderate GOPsters like Ms Collins to reject the witnesses that Dems want to call. Honestly, I never thought there would be anymore witnesses anyway.

      I don’t know, but if not for AOC, I seriously doubt that Ms Pelosi would have blundered into impeachment. Nevertheless, it is what it is — and it will indeed be remembered as one of the most colossal political blunders in history.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Turley also believes that Dershowitz is wrong. “Even the scholar who was invited to testify by Republicans, George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley, wrote in a November column in The Wall Street Journal that “it is true that impeachment doesn’t require a crime.”

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        1. Both Turley and Dershowitz agree that a statute violation is not required. Most scholars agree with this, becuase the statute books don’t cover every conceivable crime.

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        2. @Adam

          I see this as a “difference of opinion” couched influenced by experience, law and political preferences.

          How often does SCOTUS have unanimous opinions (9-0) when it comes to things with political implications?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Was the rejection of Clinton’s Impeachment any less partisan?

    Removal of a President should only be done when the wrong is sufficient that his own party will not stand for it, as with Nixon, and not on a straight party line vote.

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    1. “Was the rejection of Clinton’s Impeachment any less partisan?” In a way, yes it was. In the Clinton impeachment, the heads of the two parties in the Senate got together to write the rules and thus were able to secure a 100-0 vote on those rules. In 2020, the Majority leader sat down with White House Counsel and wrote the rules ensuring a straight party line vote. Which one was more partisan?

      Good point on removal of a President. But the point of all of this is the GOP will not stand up to Trump for the reasons cited in the piece. Len even quoted that part of the opinion piece in his opening post.

      The GOP of the 21st century is owned by a snake oil salesman by the name of Donald John Trump. And like many of his businesses, is potentially doomed to bankruptcy. – IMHO

      Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “In the Clinton impeachment, the heads of the two parties in the Senate got together to write the rules and thus were able to secure a 100-0 vote on those rules. In 2020, the Majority leader sat down with White House Counsel and wrote the rules ensuring a straight party line vote.”

      The Senate rules today are the same as in the Clinton impeachment. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

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      1. RE: “I’ve already stated why.”

        Where have you stated any such thing? You claim the current rules will ensure a “straight pary line vote,” but it is hard to see how, since the same rules used in the past did not.

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        1. Simply because McConnell SAYS the rules are the same is a lie. And Schumer addressed four key differences in his statement during the debate. Who wrote the rules in 19999? Who wrote the rules in 2020? It may mean nothing to you that McConnell has no desire for bipartisanship, but to a lot of voters, it goes a long way.

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  3. RE: “That’s why McConnell is doing all he can to deep-six the impeachment trial with as little fanfare, and as few witnesses, as possible.”

    How has McConnell limited the number of witnesses in any way?

    RE: “Dershowitz said that the president had to commit an actual crime, or at least something ‘crime like’.”

    Many constitutional scholars agree with this, as we’ve covered here in the Forum before. The subtlety is that impeachment doesn’t require a statutory infraction. “Crime like” things might otherwise be violations of “established law,” as in legal precedent or pre-existing common law. This one widely-recognized concept makes the NYT piece you share from Yahoo incompetent.

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    1. “Even the scholar who was invited to testify by Republicans, George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley, wrote in a November column in The Wall Street Journal that “it is true that impeachment doesn’t require a crime.””

      Wrong again, kemosabe.

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    2. RE: “Wrong again, kemosabe.”

      Do you mean that statutory law and established law are the same thing? Do you really mean to pretend there are no laws outside of the statute books?

      If that’s the position, it is an ignorant one.

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  4. True, no witnesses…yet. I think the Senate left open a vote after both sides, or maybe just the Democrats have made their respective cases. At least if 4 Republicans have any spine, we’ll get the chance to at least hear what has been denied Congress so far. I think the writer is speculating on what might actually happen based on the party line votes to squash everything else so far.

    Honestly, I have no idea what your second point was. I believe that most historians, et. al. agree that crimes in the sense of what you and I might commit is not the limiting factor for impeachment.

    I also have no idea why the opinion was incompetent. Opinions are opinions.

    You have confused me. Again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “crimes in the sense of what you and I might commit”

      Crimes of that sort are almost all statutory crimes, meaning there is a statute on the books that defines the infraction. Statutory crimes are not a limitation on the concept of “high crimes and misdemeanors. You, as well as Dershowitz and other constitutional scholars agree with this, but the Yahoo writer says Dershowitz believes statutory crimes are necessary for impeachment.The Yahoo writer is wrong about Dershowitz.

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      1. I found an interesting site:

        https://today.law.harvard.edu/roundup/president-donald-j-trump-impeached-whats-next/

        It is a compendium of opinions on the trial that were written in various venues. One does assert that Dershowitz is trying to copy the argument used by Andrew Johnson’s lawyer during his impeachment trial. Lawrence Tribe, a fellow Constitutional law expert at Harvard, says that Dershowitz is essentially misinterpreting what happened 150 years ago.

        So I am not so sure the writer is wrong about Dershowitz.

        What is fascinating about this whole adventure is that our Constitution is still the basis on which we are handling a crisis of political power. We have people who spent their lives studying nuance and precedence, history and intent and we still can’t come to agreement because of political leanings of those very same scholars.

        Kind of like interpreting the Bible or the Torah or the Koran. Agreement is more by accident than purpose.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. If there were gonna be additional witnesses, Mr Trump’s team intended to explore the interactions between Adam Schiff, Eric Ciaramella, Mark Zaid and Lt Col Vindman. For if you recall, Mr Schiff lied about the Mr CIA’s contact with the Intel Committe and some people are suggesting that the committee’s attorneys actually wrote the complaint for him.

      In any case, it appears that this plot has been in the works for quite some time.

      “Just days after he was sworn in they were already talking about trying to get rid of him,” said a White House colleague who overheard their conversation.

      “They weren’t just bent on subverting his agenda,” the former official added. “They were plotting to actually have him removed from office.”

      https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/01/22/whistleblower_was_overheard_in_17_discussing_with_ally_how_to_remove_trump_121701.html

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      1. Well I guess that explains why Trump tried to extort Ukraine for dirt on Biden and start a search for a non-existent server in a latrine.

        He was tricked into making that call. Just like he would have been tricked into lying if he talked to Mueller.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. “I also have no idea why the opinion was incompetent. ”

      Because it doesn’t agree with HIS world view. If an opinion doesn’t comport with what he believes, it is incompetent and ridiculed. He is the master of his own bubble.

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  5. Trying to use Schiff sensationalism tactics to interfere with the 2020 election isn’t very becoming. Enough has been heard and Democrats rejected witness swaps anyway. Schiff is now claiming that Russia will invade if Trump isn’t removed. That dolt is exceedingly pathetic making up this garbage and your team elected to make him the voice of your party. THAT was a huge mistake on your part. It is all too obvious what this is really all about and it isn’t “rule of law” or Democrats would cite an actual law that was supposedly broken. I maintained that an impeachment needed to be based on law a long time ago and you told me no, it’s all political. Well, without it, you are doomed to failure. Nope, this just an ill advised attempt to influence the election because Dems know their candidates are too weak.

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    1. “Even the scholar who was invited to testify by Republicans, George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley, wrote in a November column in The Wall Street Journal that “it is true that impeachment doesn’t require a crime.””

      Wrong, as per usual. The majority of actual Constitutional scholars agree that no statutory crime is required for impeachment. When the Constitution was written, there were no statutes for crimes. One of the reasons the founders used the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

      As far as witness swaps go, name one relevant witness (to the acts Mr. Trump allegedly committed) that the GOP wants to hear from. One. Go ahead. I double dog dare you.

      Keep trying though as your posts are quite entertaining. The way a John Grisham novel is.

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  6. For those that need clarity, it is technically true a statutory law doesn’t need to be broken however without it as a basis, the question of the political motive of the accusing party is enough to toss it because the “charges” are based solely on opinion of what that party wants to claim is illegal to advance their motive. In this case, the obvious motive is the 2020 election and nothing else. Its all bluster and noise. Probably the reason no impeachment has been successful thus far.

    The prosecution does not get to decide what a relevant witness is and Senate Republicans are not going to let hyper partisan quacks call the shots. If Dems dont want to play ball, fine, sit down and shut your pie hole. Sorry, your turn is over and no “but, but, but there’s more” is going to change that.

    Like

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