Tag Archives: impeachment

Trump allies want impeachment wiped off the books?

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that Donald John Trump would be impeached “forever,” that he would take the House’s impeachment with him to his grave.

Not so fast, say some of the current president’s allies in Congress.

Some of Trump’s GOP allies are considering whether to introduce a resolution to have the impeachment expunged from the record. That’s it. They want the congressional record to no longer reflect what is now inscribed permanently into history.

I am baffled as to how that is supposed to work.

Trump stands impeached on grounds that he abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress. The House impeached him for those counts and then sent them to the Senate, which this week acquitted him after a slam-bam trial that was devoid of witnesses.

So, does that mean the impeachment shouldn’t stand? Of course not. It means only that the Senate, led by Trump’s Republican allies, decided they would not convict him of the charges that the Democrat-led House filed against him.

An acquittal by one body does not negate the action of another body. The Constitution says the House has “sole authority” to impeach a federal official; it says the Senate has sole authority to put that official on trial.

Besides, expunging the record does not mean that (a) those of us who are alive to witness the event will forget about it or (b) historians won’t acknowledge that the impeachment occurred in the first place.

Don’t you see? Speaker Pelosi was right. Donald Trump will be “forever” remembered as an impeached president.

Trump’s scorched-Earth policy taking hold

Gordon Sondland is a goner. So is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

What did these two men do to lose their high-powered jobs within the Donald John Trump administration? They told the truth to congressional committees seeking answers to a phone call that the current president made this past July to the president of Ukraine.

Sondland, a hotel magnate, was the U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Vindman, a native of Ukraine (which was part of the Soviet Union when he was born) served on the National Security Council staff as an expert on Ukraine; oh, and Vindman also is a decorated Army hero who was wounded in battle.

The men told the truth as they understood it. They told congressional questioners about Trump’s phone call in which he asked Ukraine for political help. Vindman said the request troubled him when he heard the president ask for it. Sondland said it was “understood” that Trump was asking for a favor.

Trump won his acquittal this week from the Senate. He went to the National Prayer Breakfast and trashed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney, the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president of his own party. It was Donald Trump at his vengeful worst.

Now he has canned two men. One of whom, Vindman, is a proven patriot; the other, Sondland, is a dedicated Trump supporter who gave lots of money to elect the president in 2016. I should mention as well that Trump canned Vindman’s brother, who also served on the NSC. Vindman’s brother, Yevgeny, another Army officer, did not testify. Trump fired him, I guess, because his brother Alexander might have said something to him about the Ukraine matter. So, if one Vindman gets fired, let’s make it a clean sweep and get of them both.

Trump is mad as hell at them. There likely will be more firings to come.

Hmm. Rather than invoking the call for harmony and unity in the wake of his acquittal of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Donald Trump appears to be setting a course that seeks to exact maximum vengeance.

Yes, he is entitled to act this way. It still packs a serious stench.

Why not show just a touch of class, Mr. POTUS?

The nation’s current president can claim victory in the wake of the U.S. Senate acquittal on two charges leveled against him by the House of Representatives.

Donald John Trump will get to keep his job at least through next Jan. 20, thanks to the Senate voting not guilty on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges.

But then again, Trump — ever the boorish buffoon — managed today to display that he lacks not a scintilla of understanding why nearly half of Congress decided to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors. Oh, no. Instead, he went straight on the attack.

Unlike President Clinton in 1999, who also was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial, this president chose to express zero regret over what he did to launch the impeachment inquiry.

He blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for leading the House impeachment effort. He took aim as well at Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah for casting the lone GOP Senate vote to convict Trump on abuse of power, which Romney termed an “egregious abuse of the public trust.”

Then, of course, we had the sideshow commentary from Don Trump Jr., who called for the GOP to “expel” Romney from the party. Oh, never mind that Romney has done far more for the Republican Party in his many years in public life than Don Jr. or his father ever have done, or ever will do. But, I digress.

Donald Trump has demonstrated the absolute lack of grace he always shows. In moments of victory — if you want to call it that — he relies on his boorish instincts that his allies refer to his “counterpunching” style.

He did not need to say any of what flew out of his mouth today. He could have expressed relief that the impeachment matter has been laid to rest and vowed to craft a legislative agenda for the year ahead. But … he didn’t do that.

It’s over, Mr. President. You won this skirmish.

Take a look at this. Amazing.

SOTU shows the nation’s stark and deep divide

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Well now … just how divided is the United States of America?

It’s pretty damn divided, based on the performance that took place in the House of Representatives chamber full of lawmakers, about half of whom want the nation’s current president removed from office.

There he was, Donald John Trump during his State of the Union speech, awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a highly controversial radio talker, Rush Limbaugh — who I have acknowledged is battling an advanced form of lung cancer. I stand by my good wishes in his fight against the disease. However, watching the first lady hang the medal around Limbaugh’s neck made me cringe.

He has spewed hate speech for as long as I can remember. He has done not a single thing to earn the nation’s highest civilian honor. There he was, though, soaking up the love from the side of the House chamber that endorses his fiery rhetoric.

And then there was Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the House impeachment movement against Trump, tearing up the text of Trump’s speech in a dramatic show of petulance at the end of POTUS’s remarks.

Mme. Speaker, you did not need to do that in such a dramatic display. Yes, we all get that she is angry at Trump, but these public demonstrations lend nothing to the effort we all should seek to heal this country’s deep — and I hope not mortal — political wounds.

Trump fed his political base a healthy dose of the red meat it craves. He blasted the criminals who enter the country illegally without ever mentioning all the undocumented immigrants who have contributed to our nation while living in fear of deportation. He stood strong for the Second Amendment. He blasted socialism as a failed ideology.

And, of course, he took the expected digs at the “previous administration,” continuing his ongoing campaign to denigrate the work of President Obama and his team, who rescued the nation from its economic free-fall when they took office in 2009.

Donald John Trump has shown us once again that he intends to keep seeking to divide us. I wasn’t proud of what I witnessed.

Sen. Ernst says Dems have ‘lowered impeachment bar’?

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst is an Iowa Republican who on Wednesday will vote to acquit Donald John Trump of the crimes for which the House of Representatives impeached him.

Her statements, though, about whether a President Biden would be impeached requires a rebuttal.

She said that House Democrats have “lowered the (impeachment) bar so far” that it would be too easy for future presidents to be impeached by future members of Congress.

I cannot believe she said that. On second thought, yes I can believe it, as she is a member of the GOP cabal that is putting political party over the Constitution.

The House did not lower the impeachment bar. House members impeached Trump because he solicited a foreign government for a political favor; he also threatened to withhold military aid that had been sent to that government which is in the middle of a civil war with rebels backed by Russia. Abuse of power … anyone?

The House also impeached Trump for conducting an unprecedented obstruction of Congress by refusing to turn over any documents to congressional investigators and by barring any White House aides from answering subpoenas to tell Congress what they know about transpired. I believe that is a clear-cut case of obstruction of Congress.

To my way of thinking, that ain’t setting the bar low. The House acted just as it should have acted.

The current president of the United States has gotten a pass from his political allies in the Senate — such as Sen. Ernst — who have refused to act on what they should know to be a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

Not sure POTUS has learned anything from this impeachment

Do you think Donald John Trump has learned how to handle international affairs in the wake of the impeachment trial that is about to conclude later this week?

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who is likely to vote to acquit the current president, thinks Trump has learned his lesson. He won’t seek foreign government interference in future elections, Ernst said.

Really, senator? Hmm. Well, call me a skeptic, but I have this nagging feeling that Trump won’t take a single lesson away from this impeachment saga.

He sought a political favor from the president of Ukraine in exchange for military aid. I cannot say this with any more clarity: Trump abused the power of his office.

The House of Representatives impeached him for it, and for obstructing Congress. Trump is going to be saved by Republican senators who will stand behind the president rather than defending our national security.

Trump’s expected acquittal will embolden him. Trump well might believe he is empowered further to do whatever he wants. I mean, he has said as much, declaring that Article II of the Constitution grants him unlimited power. It does nothing of the sort.

Will this president ever heed the advice of others who seek to counsel him, to guide him toward a more restrained view of his power? I want to be proven wrong. I just have my doubts that Donald Trump will be able to control his more bizarre impulses.

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.

Will there be any expression of regret? Hah! Hardly!

On the day the U.S. Senate acquitted him in an impeachment trial in 1999, President Bill Clinton expressed regret.

“I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they imposed on the Congress and on the American people,” the president said.

Donald Trump is likely to be acquitted next week when the Senate polls its members on the two counts for which the House of Representatives impeached him.

Some of the Republicans who have stood with him now say that Trump did solicit foreign government help. They opposed his impeachment and they will vote to acquit him. Bill Clinton’s foes in the House and Senate expressed disdain, disgust and disappointment over what he did: lying to a grand jury about the affair he had with the White House intern.

For that, Clinton expressed regret.

Do not hold your breath waiting for a similar expression from Donald Trump. Oh, no. He’ll prance and preen and declare it was all a witch hunt, a hoax, a vendetta, a coup, an attempt to negate the 2016 election.

We likely will get to witness in real time a lesson in political boorishness … as if we could expect any better from the current president of the United States.

What if we had a President Pence?

It makes me chuckle a bit when I consider that Republicans who are so wedded to protecting Donald John Trump are actually shunning a true-blue conservative who — in my view — would be suited much better to the agenda many GOPers are touting.

Think of this for a moment.

Suppose Donald Trump were to be convicted in the Senate trial that is about to conclude next week. He gets the boot. Enough Republican senators join their Democratic colleagues in convicting Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

What then? We get Mike Pence, presuming he would escape the clutches of the scandal that at times has seemed to ensnare him as well.

If you’re a conservative Republican, wouldn’t that be actually better? I mean, Pence is deeply religious; he has a long record of supporting conservative public policies; he doesn’t even allow himself to be alone with a woman other than his wife. The guy’s as straitlaced as you can get!

Trump? Well, let’s just say he isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. Pence is not my kinda guy. I don’t want him sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office … ever!

Still, the question has been rattling around in my noggin: What in the world are Republicans thinking when they stand with a Republican In Name Only like Donald John Trump when they could get the real deal in Mike Pence?

Preparing for the next phase: defeating this POTUS imposter

Now that I have tossed in the towel on the impeachment and removal of Donald John Trump as the current president of the United States, I am intent on focusing my attention on the next task at hand.

That is to defeat this presidential imposter at the ballot box.

Trump is a virtual certainty to survive the scheduled up/down vote on the impeachment articles set for Wednesday afternoon. He will have delivered his State of the Union speech the previous evening. I don’t know what he’ll say, of course; it’s hard to predict what this guy will let fly from the podium. Many eyes will be focused on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she “welcomes” the president into the House chamber as well as the reaction from the congressional audience arrayed before Trump.

But what’s done will be done in due course.

I believe firmly that Trump committed two acts that earned him an early exit from the Oval Office: I believe he abused the power of his office by soliciting a foreign government for personal political help and that he obstructed Congress by not allowing key aides to respond to congressional subpoenas.

That’s just me.

Once the Senate decides to keep Trump in office I intend fully to move on. Yes, the Constitution has worked in this process, even though it didn’t produce the outcome I desired.

My major concern going forward is whether the Senate decision will embolden Trump to do even more foolish things, seeking to buttress the power of the presidency at the expense of congressional oversight.

I also intend to remind those who read this blog that a Senate acquittal does not equal exoneration.

So the 2020 presidential campaign will rev up. Democrats will nominate someone. Republicans will send the forever impeachment-scarred president back into the fight.

A sorry spectacle is about to end. I just hope we can avoid an even sorrier spectacle if the nation can find a way to acknowledge the major mistake it made in the first place by electing Donald John Trump to the only public office he has ever sought.