Tag Archives: abuse of power

Has Trump been ‘chastened’ by impeachment? Not even!

Some of the congressional Republicans — House members and senators alike — who voted to acquit Donald John Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress talked about him learning the lessons of the impeachment and trial.

Hmm. Has the president learned anything? Is he feeling chastened by the acquittal in the Senate?

Umm. No. He isn’t. He has learned a single constructive thing.

Instead, he is feeling emboldened. Trump is proceeding as if the acquittal actually means something other than Republicans (more or less) standing behind him. Except for GOP U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah voting his conscience on the abuse of power impeachment allegation, the rest of the Republican caucus refused to budge.

Trump, though, sees it this way: an acquittal is an acquittal. It doesn’t matter how it came to pass.

He issued those 11 pardons and commutations. He fired Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because the DNI briefed members of Congress on reports that Russia is attacking our election system this year just as it did in 2016. The president is purging his administration of those who would seek to provide critical analyses, replacing them with yes men and women, with blind loyalists.

What’s more, the president is dismissing reports about Russia’s renewed attack on our election. He is disparaging, just as he has done so many times already, the hard work of our expert and patriotic intelligence analysts who speak with a single voice on one critical point: Russia is attacking us! 

Donald Trump is unleashed. He should frighten all of us.

Don Jr. ignites angry response to a real Republican’s outrage

I practically choked on whatever it was I might have been munching on the moment I read what Don Trump Jr. had said about Sen. Mitt Romney’s history-making vote in the Senate impeachment trial of Don’s dad, the current president of the United States.

Romney became the first senator in U.S. history to cast a vote against a president of his own party; the Utah Republican voted “guilty” on the charge that Daddy Donald abused the power of his office by soliciting a foreign government for personal political assistance.

Don Jr. said Sen. Romney, for voting his conscience and trusting in God to assure fidelity to the oath he took as a Senate juror, should be “expelled” from the Republican Party.

Yep, the No. 1 presidential grifter said that Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, should be kicked out of the party because he dared to honor the oath he took to be an impartial juror and to render justice according to what he understood to be his solemn responsibility.

I hasten to note that Mitt Romney has contributed more to the Republican Party — through his term as governor of Massachusetts and as an ongoing advocate for mainstream GOP policies — than Don Jr. or his father, for that matter, ever will contribute.

For a man who’s profited materially from his father’s business interests and in recent times his political standing to call for the expulsion of an actual Republican with serious policy chops is beyond reprehensible.

I get that Junior is angry. Fine. Keep it to yourself, chump.

Having an O.J. moment

This might sound weird in the extreme, but I am beginning to have an O.J. moment while awaiting the virtually assured verdict of the 100 U.S. senators who have conducted what is supposed to pass as a trial regarding Donald John Trump.

Senators heard what I believe is convincing evidence that Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress; both offenses have earned him an early exit from the presidency.

Flash back to 1995. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury sat in judgment in an interminable trial involving Orenthal James Simpson, the former pro football great who was accused of killing his former wife and her friend.

From my faraway perch I knew Simpson was guilty. I believed the mountain of evidence the cops had compiled. The trial went on for months. The jury had been sequestered. Twelve citizens sat there and heard every word, watched every demonstration by lawyers on both sides. They endured a miserable experience.

Jurors deliberated for about four hours and then acquitted Simpson of the crime. Was I shocked? Yes. However, I do not question the validity of what the jurors decided. They had been filled with enough “reasonable doubt” to set Simpson free.

It is with that same sense of anticipation that I am awaiting what we all know what the Senate will decide. The number of senators who will vote to convict Trump will fall far short of the two-thirds majority prescribed by the Constitution.

I believe what the House managers presented. However, I am not facing re-election from constituents. Senators are enduring enormous political pressure. What do they do? What should they decide?

It’s easy for little ol’ me sitting out here in the heart of Trump Country to make judgments about what I believe the president did. I am not in any of the hot seats occupied by the 100 men and women sitting in the U.S. Senate.

They will make their decision. I won’t like it any more than I liked he verdict that the O.J. jury delivered in 1995. However, I will not challenge its validity. Why? Because I am too far from the pressure being applied on those who must make the call.

And yes, by all means, the U.S. Constitution will have worked. It didn’t produce the result I desired. I will continue to honor the sometimes-rickety system of government that our brilliant founders crafted for us.

In this case, it is in our ‘best interest’ to remove POTUS

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a one-time foe and critic of Donald John Trump, is one of those Republicans who’s had a serious change of heart and mind about the nation’s current president.

“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a president from office,” Rubio said.

Let me ponder that for a second.

OK, I’m done pondering.

If someone’s action do meet that standard, then it seems to me that it’s damn near imperative that we remove that individual from office.

The House of Representatives has impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress allegations. They House made the case. Trump should be kicked out, sent to Mar-a-Lago. It won’t happen. The Republicans who control the U.S. Senate are going to acquit the president on Wednesday.

However, Sen. Rubio — once the butt of tasteless, crass quips from Trump back when the two of them competed for the 2016 presidential nomination — says that impeachable behavior is not a reason to punish the doer of that deed. Is that what he really means?

Goodness, gracious alive. What in the world has happened to us?

About to throw in the towel on impeachment

As an interested American observer of this impeachment trial, I am afraid my impeachment fatigue has reached critical mass.

I am officially ready for it to end. It’s not that I want it to end. It’s just that the finish line is appearing out there and we all know the outcome that the end of this grueling event will produce.

Donald John Trump is going to survive this trial. The U.S. House of Representatives sought to make the case that Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress. The House trial managers’ message has fallen on deaf ears. The Senate Republican majority is hearing none of it.

I do have some hope that former national security adviser John Bolton will be able to testify, telling senators what he heard — that Trump sought a foreign government to interfere in our upcoming presidential election. It won’t matter. Bolton’s testimony won’t sway enough Republican senators to convict Trump; he might not sway any of ’em! They’re wedded to the president, ignoring what I believe is an obvious violation of his oath of office.

I am worn out. I am whipped, man! I am ready now to get on with the next phase in what I hope is a concerted effort to get rid of the man I deem to be unfit for the office of president.

The election is coming on.

Let’s get busy. Shall we?

Feeling oddly dirty backing Bolton these days

I am going to admit something of which I am not proud.

It is that I am feeling a bit dirty in backing the word of former national security adviser John Bolton, who suddenly has become the potentially star witness in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president.

Bolton was in the room when Trump made that infamous July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zellenskiy, the one when he asked Zellenskiy for a personal political favor. He has plenty to tell the Senate in its trial to determine whether Trump should remain president.

Why the dirty feeling? I have long opposed Bolton’s uber-hawkish world view. He once served as United Nations ambassador and said one could knock the top 10 floors off the U.N. building and not miss a lick.

However, he is a man of principle. He said he heard something in that Trump-Zellenskiy phone call that disturbed him. He reportedly told Trump at the time of his concern. Bolton now has written a book in which he details his alarm that Trump sought a political favor in exchange for sending military aid to Ukraine, which is in the midst of an all-out war with Russia-back rebels.

You’ve heard the phrase that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I don’t consider Donald Trump to be my “enemy.” Yes, I believe he is unfit for the office he occupies. I believe the phone call he made to Zellenskiy is just one of many examples he has provided to demonstrate his unfitness.

Bolton, who’s been scorned by many of us over the years, now has become a friend, an ally, someone of historic value.

Weird, huh?

Fox News judge turns up heat on impeachment and conviction

What in the name of newly discovered enlightenment has happened to Andrew Napolitano?

The Fox News criminal justice analyst — and a fellow long thought to be a shill for Fox’s right-wing propaganda machine — has become a leading critic of Donald John Trump and is saying things in public that I consider to be absolutely stunning.

That is, if you consider the source.

Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, has said that Republican senators who say that the current president of the United States should be acquitted of charges brought in his impeachment are unfit to sit as Senate trial jurors. Moreover, he has said that the House of Representatives was justified in impeaching Trump on grounds of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Holy moly, man! The guy is making my head spin!

According to Newsweek.com: “What is required for removal of the president?” the former judge asked. “A demonstration of presidential commission of high crimes and misdemeanors, of which in Trump’s case the evidence is ample and uncontradicted.”

Newsweek.com added about the abuse of power article that the House filed: “It leaves us with valid, lawful, constitutional arguments for Trump’s impeachment that he ought to take seriously,” Napolitano wrote, after explaining the legal basis for the president’s impeachment. “That is, unless he knows he will be acquitted because Republican senators have told him so. Whoever may have whispered that into his ear is unworthy of sitting as a juror and has violated the oath of impartial justice and fidelity to the Constitution and the law,” he argued.

Well, there you go.

Of course, the strong words of a judge once hailed in conservative circles as a judicial genius will go unheeded by the president’s protective phalanx that is sitting in judgment.

Dershowitz needs to explain his change of mind on abuse of power

Alan Dershowitz has been recruited by Donald John Trump to join his defense team that will fight to stave off the current president’s potential conviction and removal from office.

The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump on two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. To my mind, the House impeachment managers have made the case. He abused his power by asking Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election and obstructed justice by blocking all White House officials from answering congressional subpoenas.

The president’s team will seek to rebut them.

Dershowitz, though, is going to argue — as I understand it — that the impeachment articles somehow violate constitutional precepts, that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense.

I hate to disagree with an esteemed law professor emeritus at Harvard University … but I think I will.

Moreover, Dershowitz said precisely the opposite in 1998 when the House was impeaching President Bill Clinton. Twenty-two years ago, Dershowitz said an abuse of power was impeachable, but now he says it isn’t? What’s changed between then and now?

We all know the answer. Nothing has changed!

It’s too bad senators are required to sit there silently in the Senate chamber. None of them is allowed to object to what they might hear.

Indeed, I would find it highly objectionable for esteemed professor Dershowitz to say out loud that a president cannot be impeached for abusing the power of his office when, truth be told, he most certainly can.

I am so-o-o-o-o looking forward to hearing how Donald Trump’s team seeks to defend him.

Planning to listen intently to POTUS’s defense

Now that the Democratic impeachment managers are getting set to wrap up their arguments to toss Donald John Trump out of office, I want to declare my sincere intention for the next phase of this historic event.

The current president’s defense team is going to take the U.S. Senate floor Saturday to begin its effort to persuade senators that they should acquit Trump of the allegations that have been leveled by the House of Representatives.

I want to listen to every bit of it live, in real time, to the extent that I can. My wife and I are otherwise busy the next couple of days, but my intention is to devote as much time as I can to hearing how Trump’s defense team plans to defend this guy.

The House impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, stemming from that infamous July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukraine for political help, asking the Ukrainians to help him cheat his way to re-election later this year. He wanted them to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and withheld duly appropriated military aid to Ukraine.

The House managers have made a compelling case that Trump put his personal political interest over the interests of the nation and then blocked Congress’s efforts to get to the heart of the matter.

How are Trump’s team planning to defend him?

I am going to wait with bated breath for someone — anyone! — on Trump’s team to say the following: Donald John Trump never would do the things he has been accused of doing.

I am going to wait for them to defend the president’s character. I want to know if they dare say such a thing about a president who they likely know did what has been alleged in the articles of impeachment. If such a defense is not forthcoming, then what is the Trump team’s next available option?

Will they continue to attack the motives of those who want him removed from office? Will they insist that the Trump foes are so filled with hate of the man that they are willing to subject the country to the sickening drama that is unfolding? Will they keep insisting that Trump was looking to root out corruption, even though the managers have proven that the president exhibited zero interest in Ukraine’s government until after Joe Biden decided to run for president?

I do not shy away from my own bias. However, I am ready to hear Donald John Trump’s team make their case. I am even more ready to hear someone on that team stand up for the president’s character, proving to us that this man never would put his personal political benefit above the oath he took to defend the Constitution.

I’m all ears.

How can the Senate acquit this guy?

I am sitting far from the action, way out here in Trump Country, in the Peanut Gallery. I have been watching much of the Senate trial of Donald John Trump — maybe too much of it — and I have come away so far with this conclusion.

Based on what I have heard, I am finding it impossible to believe how a senator can vote to acquit the current president of the United States.

The House of Reps has impeached him on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House managers who have presented their case have done so with clarity, purpose and passion. They have the facts and evidence on their side.

Very soon, Donald Trump’s legal team will suit up and make its case to keep him.

I am waiting to hear one thing from the president’s team. It is that they must say that Donald Trump “never would do the things that the House managers have alleged.” 

So far the president’s defenders have not stood up for Trump’s character. They haven’t argued on behalf of the man’s love of country, his commitment to all Americans. They haven’t yet produced any evidence to support his contention that he is driven to root out corruption in a foreign government and that Joe and Hunter Biden just happen to be in the way.

Oh, the 2020 election and Joe Biden’s candidacy to seek to run against him? What about that?

If the president’s team is able to disprove all of it, then I am willing to accept that. But so far they have attacked the process. They have attacked the motives of Trump’s accusers.

The House managers and Trump’s defenders are talking past each other. The prosecutors are arguing the facts and evidence; the defenders are arguing motives and process.

Out here in the Peanut Gallery, I am at this moment sticking with the prosecutors. They are making the case for Trump’s conviction and removal from office.