Impeachment Thoughts

To date, I have not weighed in on the impeachment hearings, except for a brief mention here and there.  That does not mean that I haven’t been paying attention, or that I haven’t got thoughts about it all, but only that I wanted to let things play out for a bit before offering my observations.

There has never been a doubt in my mind that Trump has committed any number of impeachable, even criminal actions, despite the fact that Attorney General William Barr would say that, as president, Trump is above all law.  The United States Constitution says otherwise.  My own opinion was that the impeachment process should have had its formal beginning when Robert Mueller’s final report was issued, for that report contained sufficient evidence that Trump had acted from self-interest in attempting to obstruct justice and invite foreign influence into the U.S. election process.  Nancy Pelosi, however, thought it best to wait, and at this point, I would agree that she was probably right to do so.

Trump’s attempt at extortion, his blatant attempt to coerce the newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to announce a sham investigation into the man Trump believed would be his main competition in next year’s election, carries more weight than the ‘obstruction of justice’ charges would have.  That said …

I think too much emphasis is being placed on the “quid pro quo” … something for something … than is necessary, and I find it distracting.  Whether one can put one’s finger directly on the ‘quid’ and the ‘quo’ is irrelevant.  For the record, the ‘quid pro quo’ has, in fact, been proven by multiple witnesses, but again, that isn’t the point.  The point is that Trump broke the law.  Trump acted dishonestly and attempted, as he did in 2016, to manipulate an election.  Trump sullied the office he holds, and it will be many years, likely decades, before trust in that office will be restored.

Over the course of the past few weeks, numerous witnesses have provided corroborating evidence that Trump acted improperly and against the Constitution.  It becomes obvious that Trump is guilty and that his cohorts are fully aware of the level of his guilt by the fact that there are so many attempts to misdirect or even halt the impeachment proceedings.  They are tripping over each other trying to provide lame excuses or justifications for what he did, mostly pointing their fingers at “democrats” in general with some unclear intent.  An innocent man, or even one who felt his misdeeds were justifiable, would welcome the opportunity to air the facts, to present his own side of the story, so to speak.

Yesterday, however, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a five-page letter to Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee saying that … well here, read the first two sentences for yourself …

I write in response to your letter of November 26, 2019, to President Trump regarding the purported “impeachment inquiry” currently being conducted by Democrats in the House of Representatives (“House”). As you know, this baseless and highly partisan inquiry violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness.

Leave it to a lawyer to take five pages to say what could have been said in a single sentence.  Notice his intentional scorn for the proceedings by placing quotation marks around “impeachment inquiry”.  And his reference to the process as being “baseless and highly partisan”, while there are nearly as many republicans on the committee as there are democrats.  And his claim that it violates historical precedent … well, all he has to do is remember Nixon, remember Clinton, and there is the precedent.

The letter speaks volumes, though not quite the volumes the letter-writer intended.  What this letter says to me is that there is no valid defense on behalf of Trump, and so the strategy of Trump et al is to merely distract from the process by denying the validity of it.  Trump & Co have done everything in their power short of murder to keep key witnesses from honouring the congressional subpoenas and testifying.  The few who have come forth voluntarily and in spite of Trump are to be applauded for their courage.

An honest man would not go to so much trouble, engage in all the drama and theatrics, to attempt to halt a proceeding that is supported by the U.S. Constitution itself, the very document Trump has taken an oath to uphold.  Neither Richard Nixon nor Bill Clinton went to such lengths, and in fact both cooperated with the impeachment process to a greater or lesser degree.

For more than a month, Trump has disparaged the impeachment process claiming he was not given an opportunity to tell his side, to defend himself.  He was given the opportunity to do so, to have his attorneys present if he could not be there himself, and instead he once again deflected.  It is the opinion of this writer that he has no legal leg to stand on, that both he and his team of lawyers know it, and that if for any reason he is not impeached it will be a gross miscarriage of justice and will end any remaining perception of democratic principles.  His lawyers, as well as Attorney General William Barr, claim that he cannot be investigated or charged with a crime while in office.  The Constitution, however, disagrees.

An honest man, one with nothing to hide, wouldn’t work so hard at hiding so many things.

43 thoughts on “Impeachment Thoughts

  1. I’m still waiting since I am still on active duty but I believe that Trump and members of his administration, lawyers, and the GOP Congress are guilty as hell of treason.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Steve, I agree that Trump has committed treason in the colloquial sense of the word; however, the constitutional definition is much more specific:

      Section 3 -Treason

      Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

      The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

      Although Trump has obviously and repeatedly acted in the interests of adversarial powers (most notably Russia under Vladimir Putin), the fact that we are not at war with those nations precludes impeachment for treason. Therefore, I think the word traitor is a more apt descriptor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s why Trump’s quid pro quo is essential to his impeachment. The U.S. Constitution states:

    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed
    from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high
    Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    America’s founding fathers specifically cited bribery as an impeachable offense because of their great worry that political self-interest (i.e. corruption) could destroy the new republic. We need to remember that they revolted against the British monarchy (i.e. arbitrary rule) and foreign influence and created a form of government based instead on the rule of law. This is by far Trump’s greatest crime because it directly undermines the bedrock foundation of our nation. The constitution was designed to prevent the political empowerment of a king, dictator, or any other form of autocracy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • This is true, and I would not claim it doesn’t matter, but … there is so much other evidence of his corruption, his acting in his own self interest, his acting against the best interest of the nation, his obstruction of justice, that I just don’t think the ‘quid pro quo’ is the end of the world. It is obviously there, has been proven to have been there, but I still think it is being dwelled on too much. I just think it would be a mistake for the committees to place all their eggs in one basket, for there are many baskets out there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you in essence, Jill. He’s a wart on the face of America. BUT … to get the job done, the powers-that-be must go by the book. Otherwise, he’ll –once again– wiggle out of his wrongdoing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sigh … yeah, I know. But, as one of the people in the hearing said, ANY of the past 44 presidents who did what Trump has done would have already been impeached and removed from office. Imagine if Barack Obama had stormed out of that NATO meeting today. Imagine if he had connived to sway the election by withholding aide from an ally. Imagine if he had colluded with Putin to rig an election. Imagine if he had fired the FBI Director simply because he wouldn’t swear an oath of fealty? Sigh.

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  3. Ah, Jill, such innocence you display. Would that the world still operated that way.
    But this is the era of Trump, of a whole new level of corruption. The Constitution is under attack, and fully 40% of the American population is in agreement with that corruption. They want the Constitution to be struck down, so they can rule the land.
    They think they can rule the land, but they are the ones being ruled. They are told what to want, so they want it. If only they could be so easily convinced of the danger they in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Innocent, eh? Been a while since I’ve been accused of that! 😉 Sigh. Yes, I know that 40% of the people have been convinced that they have much to fear, that Trump is the only thing standing between them and “other”, and that if he is impeached or voted out, all hell will break loose. BUT … the people in Congress are not blind, deaf and dumb like the people are. They KNOW that Trump is the most corrupt president in the entire history of this nation. They KNOW he has no morals, no values, and his only interest is his own, not that of the nation. And yet, they refuse to do their job, refuse to stand by their convictions rather than pander to the Oaf in the Oval. Sigh. Are you alright?

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  4. Words of wisdom Jill. Spot on-as always. Yes, he’ll be acquitted in the Senate. I don’t care. The stain of impeachment MUST go on his record. The R’s made sure it stayed on Clintons, for something far less than what Trump has done. Let’s get this thing done as quickly as possible, and move on to beat his rotund rear end in November. Let the Republicans keep defending him, to their own political peril.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know I fully agree with you about the stain of impeachment, but the thing is that it seems that both he and his masses see it as rather a badge of honour! Sure, the republicans still like to toot about Clinton being impeached, even though he remained in office and went on to actually balance the budget … something republicans talk a lot about, but never seem to manage to actually do. But, you’ll also note that they almost NEVER mention Nixon, even though their own idol today is far worse than Richard Nixon ever dreamed of being. I am worried about next year’s election, but that is a topic I’ll cover tomorrow when I answer your email! The democrats … well, they’re not putting their best foot forward at the moment, and Trump’s base keep getting louder and more obnoxious. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. THIS … An honest man would not go to so much trouble … is what I keep repeating again … and again … and again. But of course, it’s lost in the din of his claims of innocence and repeated slams against the Democrats for their, as the lawyers put it, baseless and highly partisan inquiry.

    And the circus continues. And the clowns continue to dance. And the ringmaster continues to tweet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The 40% in this country are blind, deaf and dumb today, my friend. It’s easier to point the finger at the democrats than to clean their own house. Yes, the circus continues, with the masses continuing to buy snake oil from the hawker, but we keep on fighting, for the circus train is headed for a very treacherous cliff and we must try to wake the people so they can jump first. Sigh.

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  6. He has without a doubt proven himself to be the stupidest, most inept political operator outside of a comedy film. Of course the shrewder folk around him do not want to ditch him as that makes them look all kinds of stupid too, and then we have the supporters, poor lost souls, deluded into thinking the worst possible thing to happen to the USA is another Democrat as president.
    Here’s a thought though which I mentioned to Keith. Neither he or his supporters will have the last word, it will be historians and there is nothing he can do about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The likelihood is that the Republican Senate will take the impeachment recommendation and then scrap it.. There isn’t one of them doesn’t know how guiltyy he is but they’ll fall on Barr’s exclamation that Trump cannot be charged with a crime while in office.Really this current investigation wouldn’t count as a crime, just conduct unbecoming which could get him kicked out anyway. Criminal charges could follow when he’s just a citizen again. The Republicans would hope that their excuse for dropping this would be enough to make it seem they did their jobs properly ans are ready to stand again. In reality they won’t have done their jobs and will have shirked their responsibility. They should be ashamed to be thinking of themselves before thinking of the people who put them in power. Some of whom will no doubt be happy to see Trump live to fight another day. But his days are numbered, he didn’t deserve a first term never mind a second.I hope the Republicans will get hammered at the polls for the way they’ve behaved
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • As always, your assessment is spot on! You sure you don’t want to cross the pond and run for Congress? Like you, I hope the people of this nation see just how corrupt their elected officials have become and vote the whole lot of ’em out next November, but … the trouble is that the people who support Trump, some 40%, are in favour of their members of Congress doing whatever it takes to protect Trump from those “big, mean democrats who are out to get him.” Never before has such a large portion of this nation been blind, deaf and dumb as they are today. Why? Fear of other … a fear that Trump played on to the nth degree. Other things, too, but I believe that the fear of immigrants, fear of LGBT, fear of losing their “white Christian majority” are the key factors. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jill, agreed. It is not just this one phone call, which the White House tried to bury, it is a modus operandi of abuse of power. It is shadow diplomacy with an unvetted person by the Senate, regardless of his veracity. We cannot do the people’s business in this way – it is wrong.

    My latest blog includes this letter to the editor:

    “This independent and former GOP voter is troubled by members of my former party ignoring an obvious national security risk who resides in the White House. I watched a parade of honorable, dutiful and courageous public servants testify under oath at great risk. We must be concerned by a president seeking personal gain at the expense of national security. We are already less trusted because our president is untrustworthy, but looking for personal gain with shadow diplomacy is wrong on so many levels. I support the impeachment hearings. So, should Republicans.”

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jill, I have forwarded this note to my Senators and Congressman. I also called my favorite GOP Congressman Will Hurd and GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaking with two staff members. Please reach out and share your concern. Sadly, these GOP folks likely know the allegations are true. They need to know we know they know. Keith

      Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely will, my friend. Still catching my breath from the long holiday weekend, which for us included additional celebrations of granddaughter Natasha’s birthday and the new citizenship of our friends Maha & Ali, so I’m behind, but before the week is out, I will be calling/emailing! Sure they know the allegations are true, but … perhaps they feel they are in too deep and must keep trying to defend the indefensible.

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    • As always, your words are perfect and say just what needs to be said. Now, if only we could get the right people to listen! I truly believe this is the most corrupt president this nation has ever seen, and yet some 40% of the people here applaud his every move, his every word. I saw a short clip of one of his rallies a few days ago, and the people’s cheering was deafening. I wanted to throw my laptop. Keep on writing those letters, as shall I … maybe we make a difference … I don’t know if we do, but I know that if we stop trying, we surely won’t, so … we keep writin’ and fightin’.

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      • Jill, and while all of this is happening, the bull in the China shop is storming around NATO. I am sure he makes our Generals and Republicans who still care about our role in the world feel impotent. And, Putin smiles. Keith

        PS – Maybe we should use the last three words before my name as a standard sign off when talking about how Trump is damaging our democracy, our global standing, our relationships, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yep, he stormed around, and then he stormed off in a huff because he caught a clip where he was being mocked by real world leaders. What a guy, eh? And Putin smiles.

          I love that idea … And Putin smiles … where appropriate, I will end my posts with that standard sign off! Thanks!

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