Tag Archives: impeachment

Simple, singular impeachment matter is getting complex

There goes the simple, narrowly focused articles of impeachment that the U.S. House of Representatives was likely to file against Donald J. Trump. What I thought would be a singular event is turning into something far more complex.

The House launched that impeachment inquiry based on the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodyrmyr Zellenskiy in which he asked for help — allegedly — in getting re-elected. He also wanted some dirt on Joe Biden, a potential opponent in 2020.

Oh, boy. You can’t ask for that kinda help from foreign governments, Mr. President. It’s against the law and, um, the Constitution. It’s also an impeachable offense.

But wait! Now we have Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, being investigated by federal prosecutors over his conversations with Ukrainian officials regarding the president’s re-election campaign.

Oh, and then there’s the testimony about whether Trump sought a “quid pro quo” — with Trump getting something in return for the re-election help. That’s another no-no.

Trump seems to be coming unglued. His Twitter fingers are getting a serious workout. I heard something today about Trump sending out 33 tweets in 20 minutes over the weekend. Good grief, man! Doesn’t the president have actual work to do?

This kind of reminds me of a runaway grand jury, which judges sometimes impanel to look at evidence regarding specific crimes, but then launch into other matters that take investigations far afield.

Runaway grand juries occasionally produce blockbuster indictments. Might that be happening now? Hmm. I am thinking that’s possibly the case.

As for the impeachment timetable, it well might be pushed back a bit while various congressional committees pore through the mountain of evidence that is building and which well might doom the president.

Is this a happy time? Of course not! It is a sad time for the government, for the country or for Americans who are concerned about where this all leads us.

However, the House impeachment inquiry must proceed.

National divide might take generations to mend

Oh, how I hate the division that is threatening our national fabric. Really, I believe we are heading for fracturing that might take generations to heal.

Donald Trump got elected president in 2016 promising, among other things, to heal the wounds that divided us during that brutal campaign. How has he done? Not well … not well at all!

Indeed, the president has done next to nothing to even attempt to heal those wounds. The Charlottesville, Va., riot in2017 provides an example of what I mean. Klansmen and Nazis gathered in Charlottesville to protest the taking down of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee; counter protesters showed up, one of the counter protesters got run down and killed by one of the Nazis. Trump then said there were “fine people … on both sides!” Oh, no. There weren’t fine folks on both sides, Mr. President.

It has been like during Trump’s term as president.

We are degenerating into a society with intense anger fueled in large part by those who adhere to the president’s scorched-Earth policy regarding his foes.

To be fair, I don’t mean to toss all the blame solely at the president’s feet. There has been a good bit invective hurled at him from the other side. Perhaps the most egregious utterance came from a newly elected Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib, who declared at a rally that “we’re going to impeach the motherfu****!”

I don’t remember, though, who started this political pi**ing match. At this point, it doesn’t matter to me.

What matters is that we’re entering a presidential election season shrouded under the clouds of probable impeachment over presidential solicitation of foreign government help in his re-election fight. Donald Trump is going to launch every rhetorical missile in his formidable arsenal at his foes, who are likely to return fire with equal gusto.

I am just a spectator and a chump blogger with plenty to say about all that is unfolding in front of us. I don’t like what I am seeing and hearing.

I want it to end. I’ll get to my proposed solution right here: It will end only when Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States. He needs to be shown the door.

Impeachment has nothing to do with success

Donald Trump keeps yapping and yammering the same thing repeatedly.

House Democrats “can’t impeach” a president who presides over the “best economy in history,” or someone who has managed to “restore and rebuild our military that had been depleted,” or is “making America great again.”

Actually, the House of Representatives can impeach a successful president. The House did that very thing in 1998 when it impeached President Clinton for far less than what is on the table today. Clinton lied to a grand jury about a sexual relationship he had with a White House intern. That was all House Republicans needed to hear. They impeached the president, who then stood trial in the Senate, which acquitted him.

What were the presidential atmospherics at the time? Oh, let’s see: The president, working with a GOP-controlled Congress, managed to cobble together a balanced federal budget; private-sector payrolls were exploding; we were at peace, relatively speaking.

The House still impeached the president.

You see, the president’s job performance has not a damn thing to do with whether he deserves to be impeached.

I am more than willing to accept that Donald Trump has presided over a successful economic condition. However, the House is considering whether to impeach him over improper contacts he has had with foreign governments and whether he sought foreign help in his re-election effort and whether he has asked foreign governments for dirt he can toss on the campaign of a potential presidential foe, former Vice President Joe Biden.

I won’t argue whether the current economic prosperity is facing any risk of imploding. As I said, the economy is not the issue. Nor is world peace. Nor are any of the issues on which a president can claim credit.

Impeachment is a narrowly focused political exercise. Its aim is to determine whether a president has committed a “high crime and misdemeanor” while serving in the nation’s highest office. There appears to be ample evidence of the commission of such a transgression.

None of this will result in Donald Trump changing his tune. He’ll keep blathering about what a great job he has done, apparently thinking that enough Americans will buy into it and suggest that all that happy talk means it’s all right for a president to solicit foreign interference in our electoral process.

Actually, it isn’t all right. It is an offense worthy of impeachment, conviction and removal from office.

Mr. POTUS, impeachment is quite ‘constitutional’

Donald Trump, as it has been noted repeatedly, doesn’t know what is in the U.S. Constitution.

Thus, when he complains that efforts aimed at impeaching him are “unconstitutional,” he merely reveals his utter ignorance of the nation’s founding document.

It’s in Article I, the part of the Constitution that lays out legislative responsibilities. It refers to how the Senate shall have the “sole responsibility” to try the president for crimes brought by a House impeachment. It’s near the end of Section 3. Really. It is!

And in Section 2, it says the House shall have the “sole power of impeachment.”

It states that impeachment shall reach no further than “removal from office” of the person being impeached. That includes the president. Yep. It’s in there, too.

So, there you have it. Donald Trump seems to believe the House is acting outside its constitutional authority.

Hmm. No. It isn’t. It is acting solely within its authority. It is following the letter of the law and of the Constitution.

The president needs to look at the document he swore to defend and protect. It’s not a difficult thing to do.

No ‘need’ to know whistleblower’s ID

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan is one of Donald Trump’s most ardent defenders on Capitol Hill. The Ohio Republican, though, has difficulty answering direct questions, such as whether it was appropriate for Trump to ask China to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Jordan, an Ohio Republican, had the chance this past weekend to answer that question on national TV. He dodged it many times.

Oh, but now he says we need to know the identity of the whistleblower who has, um, blown the whistle on what he or she believes has happened in the White House.

Jordan said this: “Frankly I think the American people have a right to know who this whistleblower is. If we’re talking about the impeachment of the President of the United States, I think that’s important.”

No, it’s not critical, congressman, for us to know the ID of the individual who has put his or her career on the line.

All the public needs to know is whether this individual’s allegations are credible, that they can be proven, that he or she has told the truth to what he or she understands.

Federal law protects the identity of these folks who step forward to tell the nation when the witness wrongdoing or corruption within our government. Revealing these people’s identity strips away the intent of the law and deters others in a position to reveal wrongdoing from doing the right thing.

If Jim Jordan is going to “defend” the president against charges that he has violated his oath of office and put our national security at risk by inviting foreign interference in our elections, then let him make the case on its merits.

That is, if he can find any merits on which to base his defense.

Can a POTUS defy a congressional subpoena?

I am believing we are about to find out in short order whether Congress has the stones to enforce a subpoena it would issue to the president of the United States.

Donald Trump has ordered a State Department official, Gordon Sondland — the U.S. ambassador to the European Union — to ignore a congressional summons to testify about what he knows regarding the, um, Ukraine Matter. Sondland took part in a conversation with other officials regarding the phone call Trump had with the Ukrainian president, the one that has gotten Trump into so much trouble; it’s the call in which he asked for a political favor in exchange for his releasing money to help the Ukrainians fight Russian-backed rebels with whom they are at war.

There appears to be a subpoena on the horizon, don’t you think?

So, what then? Does Congress issue the subpoena and then let the White House run roughshod over its constitutional authority? Hmm. I doubt it.

We now might have a case of the president piling yet another impeachable offense on those that already are building. You know, something about “no one being ‘above the law.'” If Donald Trump believes he is “above the law,” then it well might fall on the House to throw that count onto an article of impeachment resolution.

It’s getting weird.

Trump ‘jokes’ about asking China to ‘investigate’? Uh huh, sure

Donald “Knee Slapper in Chief” Trump just keeps cracking me up.

He strolls out onto the White House lawn and after revealing that he asked Ukraine for help in investigating former VP Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, he calls on China to do the same thing.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see him winking or smirking when he said it. Gosh, he seemed quite serious about it. Didn’t he seem that way to you as well?

He’s in some scalding water at the moment because of his solicitation of foreign governments to help him get re-elected and do destroy the candidacy of someone who might run against him in 2020. House Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry and are going to impeach the president, maybe quite soon.

Oh, but now Trump’s GOP allies in Congress say he was just kidding. He didn’t really mean for China to investigate anyone, especially the former vice president of the United States.

  • U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan refused to answer a direct question Sunday morning about whether he thought it was appropriate for Trump to solicit help from China.
  • U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Trump merely is trying to get the media riled up.
  • Sen. Roy Blunt said the president was kidding; he was making a joke.

Man, the president has to improve on his comedic timing.

Oh, but he wasn’t kidding. Any dunderhead observer who saw him make that statement didn’t presume Donald Trump was merely making a bad gag.

Plot thickens rapidly with 2nd whistleblower

Well now. It appears that the “second-hand” account of one whistleblower is about to take a back seat to a “first-hand” account of a second individual reportedly with more direct knowledge of what went down in that infamous Phone Call involving Donald J. Trump.

What might the president’s defenders say to the second person who might come forward with information on what Trump said to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zellenskiy?

The plot is getting thicker than a vat of gravy.

As National Public Radio reports: Lawyer Mark Zaid, who is part of a team of attorneys representing the initial whistleblower, tells NPR that the new whistleblower has talked to the inspector general of the intelligence community but has not filed a complaint, which Zaid says is not necessary in order for the individual’s account to be protected.

“By law, when a witness is interviewed by the IG, that constitutes a protected disclosure, provides them legal protection from retaliation,” Zaid tells NPR.

The second whistleblower reportedly is an individual with direct knowledge of what the two heads of state said to each other on July 25. What intrigues me is that the Whistleblower No. 2 lawyer’s willingness to announce what might be in store is that No. 2 well might corroborate what No. 1 said in that memo released to the public a couple of weeks ago.

What did No. 1 say? He or she said Trump pressured Zellenskiy into helping with Trump’s re-election; he asked for dirt on Joe Biden, a possible 2020 campaign opponent; he held up the deployment of military equipment that the United States had promised Ukraine in its fight against Russia-backed rebels; and that the White House is working to cover it up.

All of that came after the White House released a memo of the phone call that revealed it all in the first place!

So, we have the president’s words released by the White House. We have a whistleblower, believed to be an individual in the intelligence community, revealing some serious wrongdoing. Now we might have a second whistleblower with more direct, first-hand, ringside knowledge of what went down.

Are the walls closing in on the president?

I believe they are.

‘Emoluments’ have become a matter of interpretation

Donald Trump has violated his oath of office. I stand by that assertion and will continue to stand by it for as long as I am able to stand by anything.

But I have received a fair question from someone who commented on a recent blog post. The question, in part, asks this:

“[N]o Person holding any office of Profit or Trust under [the United States] shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign state.”

If this is the part of the Constitution that he has allegedly violated, then I guess the theory is that he was seeking a present from the President of the Ukraine in the form of an investigation into Burisma and the Bidens.

The blog reader asks for a blog post that explains what Donald Trump has done to call for his impeachment.

I believe the Emoluments Clause is a tangential element in the argument that he has violated his oath.

My greatest concern is the “favor” he sought from Ukrainian President Volodyrmyr Zellenskiy. The Ukrainian president said in that July 25 phone call that he appreciated the help coming from the United States in the form of weapons Ukraine is using against Russia-backed rebels. Then the next thing that came from Trump referred to a favor he wanted “though” in exchange for the funds already appropriated by Congress. He said he wanted Ukraine to investigate allegations that Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, profited from a business relationship that Hunter Biden had with a Ukrainian businessman.

Therein lies the violation, in my view.

You see, the president withheld money approved by Congress to aid a U.S. ally in its fight against a U.S. foe, Russia. Therefore, he put our national security at risk. Thus, he violated the oath he took to protect and defend the Constitution and to protect Americans against foreign adversaries.

Congressional Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry that appears headed toward a certain impeachment of the president. I don’t know what the inquiry will reveal. There will might be something to allegations that the president is actually profiting from his office, with foreign governments spending money at the glitzy resorts he still owns.

First things first. The inquiry needs to come to grips with this patently frightening notion that the president of the United States is stiffing an ally, benefiting an adversary and in the process putting Americans in jeopardy.

If it were up to me, I would call that an impeachable offense.

Perry to quit Trump Cabinet, ending a quiet tenure at Energy

Rick Perry reportedly is set to quit his job as secretary of energy, returning to the private sector, perhaps in Texas, where he served as the state’s longest-tenured governor before joining the Donald Trump administration.

Some in the media are making a bit of noise about Perry’s pending departure, linking him to the growing scandal involving Trump’s relationship with Ukraine and his solicitation of the Ukrainian president to assist in Trump’s bid for re-election.

Actually, Perry has been reported ready to leave D.C. for several weeks.

How has he done as energy secretary? I wish he would have devoted as much, um, energy to alternative power sources as he did when he served as Texas governor from 2000 to 2014. Indeed, Texas emerged as a leader in wind-power technology during Perry’s stint as governor.

He ran for the Republican nomination for president twice, in 2012 and 2016. Perry once called Donald Trump a “cancer on conservatism,” then swallowed his criticism when the president nominated him to become energy secretary.

Perhaps most ironic is that Perry — during a presidential candidate joint appearance in 2012 — became the source of the infamous “oops” quote when he couldn’t name the third agency he would eliminate were he elected president; that agency was the Department of Energy.

Whatever … Perry became an advocate for fossil fuels when he took the Cabinet post. Yes, he also pitched alternative energy development, but with hardly any of the verve he did while in Austin.

I haven’t a clue whether the Ukraine scandal is going to swallow Perry along with Trump and possibly others within the administration. The president reportedly told a GOP audience that Perry asked him to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zellenskiy, which has produced much of the evidence that Trump has violated his oath of office by soliciting the Ukrainian for re-election help along with dirt on former VP Joe Biden.

That part of the saga will play out in due course.

As for Secretary Perry’s record at the Department of Energy?

Eh …