Air cover for Republican Senators?

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/trumps-senate-impeachment-trial-judge-andrew-napolitano

Judge Andrew Napolitano brings a dose of reality to Fox News and Washington Examiner fans. He completely obliterates the baloney that Trump defenders are peddling. He explains in plain language how Trump’s actions are not just impeachable. They are criminal offenses. In conclusion he writes . . .

“What is required for removal of the president? A demonstration of presidential commission of high crimes and misdemeanors, of which in Trump’s case the evidence is ample and uncontradicted.”

24 thoughts on “Air cover for Republican Senators?

  1. Napolitano!

    That pinko, mushy liberal. You believe what he says?

    Of course Trump is guilty as charged. Buttonhole any honest Republican and they will admit, quietly perhaps, that Trump tried to extort dirt on Biden and stopped Congress from be able to carry out their Constitutional obligations for the investigation.

    The question the right asks is simple: are those impeachable offenses?

    Or more precisely, “yeah, he did all that, so what’s it to ya?”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is funny. Matt Gaetz, of Mr. Trump’s most ardent supporters, was left off the House members impeachment team. Why may you ask? Because he voted for the the War Powers Act change. Now, Napolitano is “hostile” because he, as Colbert put it last night (concerning Gaetz), “removed his lips from Trump’s backside for just one second.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. RE: “He [Napolitano] completely obliterates the baloney that Trump defenders are peddling.”

    Yes, he does, if you believe the baloney that Trump opponents are peddling.

    But I’ll give the judge credit for one thing. He makes a useful comment on the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors when he writes, “This use of the word ‘crimes’ does not refer to violations of federal criminal statutes. It refers to behavior that is so destructive of the constitutional order that it is the moral equivalent of statutory crimes.”

    The dubious concept of moral equivalence aside, the comment shows what it means to say that impeachment requires a crime.

    But problems arise when Napolitano goes on to describe the crime deserving impeachment here. He names the crime abuse of power and says, “The abuse consists of [Trump’s] efforts to extract a personal political ‘favor’ from the president of Ukraine…”

    In reality we don’t know that the abuse consisted of any such effort at all. We know that some officials at the State Department presumed that to be the case, but we also know there is no solid evidence their presumption was valid, and there is some solid evidence that their presumption was not valid.

    We also know that seeking a “personal political ‘favor'” is only one of several possible, even likely, interpretations of the president’s conduct. To assume it is the only or the necessary interpretation requires the mentality of a witch hunt.

    A witch hunt is exactly what many Americans perceive this impeachment process to be. Judge Napolitano has picked the wrong side to be on.

    Like

    1. @Roberts

      “Witch hunt” is kind of worn out, don’t you think? But, the measure of what is true is NOT what many people believe – though that is the standard Trump frequently uses to validate his lies. It is what is real. The crimes are real. The whistle blower is real. The damning testimony is real. The fact that many people despise Trump and are not surprised to learn of his criminal behavior does not change the facts that are now public.

      Besides, the evidence continues to come in since the Articles were passed by the House and it is 100% supportive of the case presented. For example, we have since learned that blocking the military aid was illegal and people around the President knew it at the time.

      And, there is NO credible alternative explanation for Trump’s extortion. Trump has tried various fibs and all have failed to pass the laugh test.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “‘Witch hunt’ is kind of worn out, don’t you think?”

      Worn out or not, it is accurate.

      RE: “For example, we have since learned that blocking the military aid was illegal.”

      The GAO says so. The OMB says not so. Either way, the event doesn’t rise to the level of high crime or misdemeanor by itself.

      RE: “And, there is NO credible alternative explanation for Trump’s extortion.”

      The point is there is no credible evidence extortion itself even occurred.

      Like

      1. The OMB is part of the Executive Branch and is run by the acting-COS for Mr. Trump. They are not going to call their own boss’s actions illegal, even if they are. The GAO answers to Congress and is much more independent and both parties count on them to back their economic policies. If the OMB were TRULY independent, I believe their opinion would have matched with the GAO. But Mulvaney is the boss, and we can’t have ethical work done by a man who won’t say no to anything Mr. Trump wants to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “The GAO answers to Congress and is much more independent”

        What makes you think GAO is “much more independent”? It isn’t set up to be, as other truly independent agencies are.

        Like

        1. Maybe independent was the wrong word. How does NON partisan sound, as that would be a better descriptor of the GAO.

          I also notice you do not refute the fact that the OMB is headed by the acting COS to the president. Talk about a conflict of interest.

          Like

        2. RE: “How does NON partisan sound, as that would be a better descriptor of the GAO.”

          It would be a good description of the OMB, too, considering the nature of its mission and staff make up.

          RE: “Talk about a conflict of interest.”

          What is the conflict of interest?

          Like

          1. The OMB is an arm of the executive branch. It is run by an individual selected by the President. Mick Mulvaney is the Head of the OMB AND is the Acting Chief of Staff for Mr. Trump. Conflict of interest could be defined in a dictionary using this as an example. I see ZERO independence in an office that is headed by the saem man who advises the President on a daily basis.

            I have spelled it out as clearly as possible. But you live in a counterfactual world, so I don’t expect you to see it or understand it.

            Of course, in Trumpland there is no such thing as a conflict of interest because all interests are Trump interests.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, quite a few legal scholars, including Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley, have made logical cases for Mr Trump’s acquittal.

    However, if one disregards the hearsay, the “expert” opinions and noise coming from both sides — to focus on the transcript, it is hard to see how Mr Trump did anything wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Thad

      There is no “transcript” and we know from testimony that references to discussions about Burisma were camouflaged in the notes. And there is no reason to focus on it alone. It is part of a mountain of evidence covering this months long scheme to force Ukraine to help Trump’s reelection efforts.

      As for “hearsay,” this is like the old joke about the murderer of his parents throwing himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan. Trump has impeach-ably blocked those with the most direct knowledge of events from testifying. People like Mulvaney, Bolton and Pompeo. Why? Because they will make the already indisputable facts even more damning. Obviously. They would be allowed to testify if they had something exculpatory to say. They don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “There is no ‘transcript.'”

        You keep saying this as if it were true. It isn’t.

        The record of the call was made in accordance with standard procedures for such records. And no one, except you, claims that the process was irregular in any way, or that the resulting document is deceptive.

        Like

        1. @Roberts

          The word “transcript” has a meaning. It does not mean the collective notes and recollections of staffers. A transcript is what Trump said the notes were in one of his 16,000+ lies – a 100% word for word record of what was said. These note are NOT that. It is NOT a transcript.

          Vindman did indeed say that the notes were accurate EXCEPT on two substantial points which happen to be the crux of the matter – what was said about Biden and Burisma? Vindman has proven his loyalty and patriotism with a lifetime of service so in spite of vicious lies spread about him by the President and GOP shitheads like Marsha Blackburn, there is no reason to not believe him.

          https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/21112153/what-do-we-even-say-about-marsha-blackburn-at-this-point

          Liked by 2 people

        2. RE: “The word ‘transcript’ has a meaning.”

          Yes, it does. It can mean faithful reproduction, or merely official record.

          Vindman testified the transcript was accurate in the sense of being an official record, and a typical example of work products of its kind.

          That you consider the omission of two of Vindman’s edits to be important is not particularly relevant. Vindman himself didn’t express any great concern about it.

          Like

          1. @Roberts

            “Vindman himself didn’t express any great concern about it.”

            Totally false.

            He was concerned enough about the truth coming out that he defied the President’s illegal orders to ignore a Congressional subpoena. He was quite eloquent about doing what was right. And although you keep saying that “Gee, there were only two substantive bits that he was overruled on,” it was those two bits that are central to the case. Duh. That is like a defendant saying. . . “There are 93 banks in this city,your honor, and I only robbed one of them.” Yeah most of the notes (not a “transcript”) is accurate except for the parts that were not.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. “There’s a lot talk about Biden’s son, that Eiden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.”‘

        Why, of course there is a transcript. What are you talking about?

        Do the American people have the right to know what Hunter Biden did and whether or not it renders Uncle Joe a potential target for being blackmailed?

        The answer is yes.

        As it is, the House vote AGAINST impeachment was bipartisan. Likewise, the Senate vote to acquit be bipartisan.

        Accordingly, when all is said and done, the American people will conclude that a hyper-partisan group of House Dems lost their minds.

        Like

        1. @Thad

          If there is opposition research on Biden than might be helpful to Trump’s 2020 campaign they should hire a good opposition research firm to dig into it. Fusion GPS may be available. You will recall that the Hillary Clinton campaign PAID them to dig into Trump’s foreign entanglements. That is how it is done legally. As Judge Napolitano points out, even asking, much less demanding, that the government of Ukraine do this research is in itself a crime.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. You mean the summary. It is not, nor has it ever been a full transcript of the call. Also, to completely disregard new information that corroborates that the actions were an attempt to extort or coerce a foreign leader to ANNOUNCE an investigation based on conspiracies, lies and debunked myths is a miscarriage of justice. -IMHO.

      Like

      1. RE: “nor has it ever been a full transcript of the call.”

        Why is this important? What do you think is missing that is of any significance?

        Like

        1. Until we see the entire transcript neither one of us can say what was summarized and released was accurate. There are a lot more questions about that than there are about the contrived thought of Biden corruption. Yeah, I know, a book just came out. I expect it to be on the NYT Best Sellers list in the fiction category.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. RE: “Until we see the entire transcript neither one of us can say what was summarized and released was accurate.”

            So what? Others who were on the call and had the chance to submit redlines (corrections) for the record have testified the final draft is substantively accurate.

            It strikes me as foolish to suppose that things we don’t know are more real than things we do know.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. @Roberts

          What is missing of significance?

          How much time was spent discussing Biden, Burisma and the Ukraine did it conspiracy theory about Russian election interference? What, exactly, did Trump say? The “transcript” is damning. The actual words are likely even worse.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. RE: “The ‘transcript’ is damning. The actual words are likely even worse.”

            I see. So, damning isn’t good enough for you. You need really damning.

            For the record, the transcript we have doesn’t seem damning to me. Pretending that things it doesn’t say and never will make it even more damning exemplifies delusion.

            Liked by 1 person

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