Tag Archives: Nancy Pelosi

Put the brakes on impeachment

It’s getting hard for me to keep pushing on the brake pedal while the governmental vehicle keeps moving toward impeaching Donald J. Trump.

However, I have to insist that calls to launch immediate impeachment proceedings against the president are, at best, premature. At worst, they might be tantamount to a political death wish for those who oppose Donald Trump’s role as president of the United States.

The House of Representatives likely has the votes to impeach the Idiot in Chief. The Senate does not have the votes — or the courage –to convict him of any sort of “high crime or misdemeanor.”

The man appears to have at least attempted to obstruct justice in the Russia probe conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, whose report chronicles a systematic effort to derail the probe. It well might be impeachable.

However, the congressional wise men and women — led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi — are seeking to stop the impeachment talk until Congress does its own due diligence and investigates further what Mueller has concluded.

Pelosi knows the score. She can count votes. She understands that impeachment is a two-step process. The first step is an easy one. The second one, the Senate trial, requires a huge leap over the two-thirds rule requiring conviction.

Republicans still comprise a majority in the Senate. Does anyone really believe the GOP caucus has the stones to convict a president who has abused the awesome power of his office to end a serious investigation into the conduct of his presidential campaign?

It won’t happen. Impeachment is a non-starter. At least for now.

Listen to your elders, Democratic Party upstarts

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is as shrewd a political operative as there is anywhere at any level of government.

So, when she seeks to toss cold water on talk of impeaching Donald Trump, the upstarts within her Democratic Party caucus in the House need to take heed.

She wants to get to the whole truth behind the continuing allegations that the president sought to obstruct justice in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

Pelosi also knows that no matter how fervent impeachment talk might get in the House, it will go nowhere if the Senate doesn’t convict the president of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Mueller’s report does not “exonerate” Trump of obstruction, as the president contends. It lays bare a whole range of activities that could be construed as obstructing justice. He just lacked sufficient evidence to file a formal criminal complaint. Mueller left it up to Congress to take up corrective matters as it sees fit.

The Democratic firebrands want to launch impeachment proceedings immediately. Pelosi is trying to tamp down that talk.

“Whether currently indictable or not, it is clear that the President has, at a minimum engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds,” Pelosi wrote Monday in a letter to House Democrats.

She’s not ready to sign on to an impeachment proceeding, however. The speaker wants to collect more information.

I am one of those voters who believes impeachment won’t work. My preferred method of getting Donald Trump removed from office is to defeat him on Election Day 2020.

Having declared that belief, if lightning strikes and hell freezes over, there could be enough Senate Republicans who might hitch themselves to an impeachment hay wagon. Were that to happen, then by all means, get rid of Trump.

Until then, though, I stand with Speaker Pelosi’s call to conduct more congressional inquiries into what Robert Mueller has revealed before getting anything close to talking seriously about impeaching the president.

‘I, alone’ is turning out to be a prophetic boast

I believe successful governing is a team sport.

At the highest level of U.S. government, it involves two of three branches working hand in glove to find common ground. The executive branch and the legislative branch develop relationships at the top of their respective chains of command.

Presidents become friendly with the speaker of the House and the Senate leadership. They need not become friends, but friendliness does not require actual friendship. When they belong to competing parties, that relationship becomes even more critical.

However, that’s changing. It changed when Donald J. Trump took the presidential oath in January 2017. Now he is competing with a House of Reps that is run by the competing party. Trump and the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, do not get along.

Sigh . . .

I long for the way it used to be when President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill would savage each other publicly, then slip into the House cloak room for an adult beverage after hours. They reportedly would laugh about the language they used on each other. They understood how to govern. O’Neill was the crusty Democratic pol with decades of experience in Washington. Reagan was new to D.C., but had eight years of governmental executive experience as governor of California.

Oh, man, it’s all different now. The speaker has decades of experience legislating. Pelosi is tough, shrewd, steely. Donald Trump also is new to Washington, but he doesn’t have a clue about governing and how to negotiate with the other side. The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, also expresses extreme distaste for Trump as president.

Trump told the Republican convention in the summer of 2016 that “I, alone” can repair what ails the nation. No, he cannot. However, he’s trying like hell to make that boast come true.

It will not work. It cannot possibly work. Donald Trump is not a team player. A man with not a single moment of public service experience before becoming president of the United States cannot possibly do what needs to be done all by himself.

The nation is going to suffer for as long as this individual remains in its highest elected political office.

Barr pores over a huge report and then summarizes it . . . so quickly?

Special counsel Robert Mueller handed Attorney General William Barr a 300-page report that chronicles a 22-month investigation into whether Donald Trump’s campaign “colluded” with Russian officials who invaded our electoral system.

Two days later, Barr produces a four-page summary of the report.

We know what Barr says about what Mueller reported. We do not yet grasp with our own eyes what Mueller has determined.

Is the AG corrupt? Is he hiding something? I do not subscribe to the first notion. The second one, well . . . is a debatable point.

That is why I want to join others in demanding that we see Robert Mueller’s report in full. A heavily redacted report with pages upon pages of text blacked out won’t suffice.

The attorney general is hearing from a lot of voices these days to release the report (more or less) in its entirety. National security secrets should be kept away from public view.

According to Barr, Mueller has determined that Trump’s campaign did not collude with Russian goons. He said Mueller drew no conclusion about the obstruction of justice matter.

Americans are left to wonder how Mueller reached those conclusions. Aren’t we entitled to see the evidence that Mueller gathered? Aren’t Americans entitled to see how our millions of dollars were spent?

National Public Radio reported Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to Barr’s summary: “Mr. Attorney General, we do not need your interpretation,” Pelosi said Thursday. “Show us the report and we’ll come to our own conclusions.” She mocked the administration and Republicans as “scaredy-cats.”

I do not want to believe William Barr is doing the president’s bidding. The burden is on the attorney general to keep his promise to operate transparently. He said he would release the report in “weeks, not months.”

Let us see the full report, Mr. Attorney General. Let us decide for ourselves about the veracity of the special counsel’s findings.

Many of us have said we accept Mueller’s conclusion. I am one of them. However, my acceptance is wavering just a bit. The AG’s quick-hit summary isn’t enough to persuade me fully about what Robert Mueller has determined.

Impeachment, no; election defeat, yes

Nancy Pelosi must have seen this coming.

The speaker of the House of Representatives said some time ago that she doesn’t favor impeaching Donald J. Trump. Then the special counsel, Robert Mueller, seemed to uphold Pelosi’s view that impeachment is a non-starter. He essentially cleared the president of colluding with the Russians who attacked our electoral system.

So now the task for Democrats has changed. They need to defeat Trump in November 2020’s presidential election. They might uncover more campaign grist from the congressional hearings they are planning in the weeks and months ahead. There seems to be plenty of campaign ammo to be loaded into their weapons.

For his part, Trump is preparing to batter the Democrats with Mueller’s findings. The “no collusion” mantra might as well become Trump’s 2020 re-election slogan. His dedicated base will glom on to it, citing what they insist was a “witch hunt” and an “illegal” investigation by the former director of the FBI; of course, it was neither a witch hunt or illegal.

Democrats must avoid overplaying their anger at Mueller’s findings. They spent a lot of time and emotional effort defending his integrity against the Trump attacks, which he mounted incessantly during the course of the past 22 months. They said Mueller’s integrity is impeccable; they praised his dedication and his thoroughness. So, he’s delivered them news they didn’t want to hear.

Democrats’ challenge now is finding a candidate who can stand up to Trump’s insults, his innuendo, his hideous rhetoric. They know what to expect, which I am quite certain will mirror what they heard from him on his way to election in 2016.

Impeachment now seems like a bridge too far.

As the speaker said, “He’s not just worth it.”

We need to see more of what Mueller found

A four-page summary authored by the U.S. attorney general isn’t enough.

Americans need to see — to the furthest extent possible — more of what special counsel Robert Mueller III found that led him to clear Donald Trump of colluding with Russians or of obstructing justice.

Don’t misconstrue my point. I accept Mueller’s findings. He worked tirelessly along with his team of prosecutors to get to the truth behind the allegations that Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russian government operatives. He has determined that there is insufficient evidence to accuse the president or his campaign of collusion. Nor does he have enough evidence to accuse him of obstructing justice.

AG William Barr, though, did say that the lack of a formal criminal complaint on obstruction of justice does not “exonerate” the president.

So, let’s look at the supporting documents that Mueller used to make his determination. Congressional Democrats want the public to see them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls it an “urgent” matter.

There appears to be some “evidence” of obstruction, just not enough to file formal charges, Mueller concluded. I get that.

I also want to see the rest of it. Or at least as much of the rest of it that won’t tar individuals who aren’t charged with wrongdoing. We don’t need to see national security-sensitive information, either.

Many Americans have been waiting for a couple of years to know what the special counsel has concluded. We have heard the executive summary as delivered by the attorney general.

There’s more to learn.

Far-left Dems need to take a chill pill

Let’s catch our breath for a moment or two, shall we?

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she does not favor impeaching Donald John Trump. She says the president “isn’t worth it,” which I interpret to mean that she thinks so little of him that he isn’t worth the emotional and political capital it would cost to impeach him.

So, she is putting impeachment on the back burner. For now.

I did not hear the speaker say that impeachment would never be an option for the House to consider.

Look, the speaker is no fool. She is a seasoned political hand. She knows the lay of the land in the House that now comprises a Democratic majority, which is how Pelosi got to become speaker again at the beginning of the year.

Pelosi is waiting — along with many of the rest of us — for Robert Mueller to finish his task. He is wrapping up an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign for president “colluded” with Russian government goons in 2016 to influence outcome of that year’s election.

She knows she likely has enough Democratic votes in the House to impeach Trump; it requires only a simple majority. The bar is much higher in the Senate, where the president would stand trial. Two-thirds of the Senate need to cast votes to convict the president. Pelosi knows that there aren’t enough Republican votes to finish what the House would start.

Might there be enough to GOP votes to convict Trump if Mueller produces compelling evidence? Might there be something coming from the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York that would sway GOP senators?

The speaker is waiting for all that to play out.

Meanwhile, the far-left wing of her Democratic Party House caucus needs to chill out. Stop the impeachment yammering. Settle down and worry about legislating matters that come before them.

There might be time to get serious about impeaching this president.

Or, there might be nothing at all.

I am one American who is willing to wait for the special counsel to finish his job.

Democrats split over impeachment

So, here we are.

Congressional Democrats comprising the fiery left-wingers and the “establishment” wing are at each other’s throats over whether to impeach Donald John Trump.

The firebrands want to impeach the president now. They’ve heard and seen enough to persuade them that Trump has committed high crimes and misdemeanors. Thus, it’s time to impeach — in the words of one of the House rookie Democratic bomb throwers — the “motherf*****!”

Oh, but wait. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is slamming the breaks on that move — at least for the moment. She opposes impeachment. Pelosi, one of the experienced hands on Capitol Hill, doesn’t want to go there.

“I’m not for impeachment,” she says.

Pelosi speaks wisely

I happen to agree with Pelosi. Yes, that’s right. Critics of this blog think I am frothing at the mouth to impeach the president. Not true.

I want to wait for special counsel Robert Mueller III to finish his job of investigating whether there was “collusion” between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russian government goons who attacked our electoral system.

Moreover, I also believe Pelosi’s mind can change if Mueller’s report reveals some impeachable nastiness. There’s also the Southern District of New York, the federal judicial district that is looking deeply into possible criminality. The SDNY also needs to finish its work as well before we should determine whether there are grounds to impeach Donald Trump.

But for now the speaker is speaking wise words of caution. She is a seasoned politician who knows if she has enough bipartisan support to proceed with impeaching the president. She has calculated that she doesn’t have it. Impeaching the president would be a loser for her and House Democrats.

Pelosi is a wise woman.

Just as Republican members of Congress engaged in fights between establishment politicians and TEA Party fanatics, Democrats are engaging in something quite similar at the other end of the big political spectrum.

The GOP establishment had the country’s best interests when it fought with the TEA Party over spending. The Democratic establishment has the upper hand over the issue of impeaching Donald Trump.

But . . . let’s wait.

Impeachment fanatics need a serious gut check

Michael Cohen’s testimony this past week in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee has ignited talk of impeachment.

Many on the far left of the Democratic Party are ready to file articles of impeachment yesterday against Donald John Trump, the Republican president of the United States of America. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer/confidant/friend/fixer offered up a mountain of circumstantial evidence of criminality involving the president.

That’s enough for many on the far left.

Other Democrats, the more seasoned among them, are sounding a warning.

Not so fast. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among those who argue that impeachment is too divisive an issue to hurtle head first into doing. She is counseling the impeachment fanatics within her caucus to wait a while longer. We’ve got this matter involving special counsel Robert Mueller to conclude.

Of course, Republicans are willing to talk about impeachment. They’re using it as a cudgel to batter their Democratic foes. Trump himself is showing a decided willingness to toss out the “I” word whenever he stands before his adoring loyalists. He recognizes the divisive nature of any action to remove him from office.

I am not yet totally convinced the president deserves impeachment. I want to wait for Mueller to finish his work. I want the results he has compiled to be made available to the public. I want a complete accounting of what he found, what he learned, what he has determined to be the truth.

I believe that’s what I am hearing from seasoned Democratic politicians. They have been down this impeachment road before. Many of them sat in the front row when Republicans yammered for the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998. They succeeded. The House impeached the president, who then stood trial in the Senate, which then acquitted the president of the charges brought against him by the House.

Speaker Pelosi wants no part of a repeat of that fiasco.

The Democratic young guns need to listen to their partisan elders. Hold on. Wait for Robert Mueller. Consume what he offers. Then decide.

Trump ‘wins,’ but declares emergency anyway?

What am I missing here?

Donald Trump said that we’re already building The Wall along our southern border. A bipartisan group of senators and House members have worked out a deal to keep the government functioning fully while spending $1.37 billion for more fencing/wall/barriers along our southern border.

The president said he is “unhappy” with the agreement. The Senate has approved it. He said he’ll sign it.

Oh, but then the president reportedly is going to declare a “national emergency” to push ahead with more construction of The Wall.

Holy crap, man! My head is spinning . . . rapidly!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she might file a legal challenge to the president’s effort to usurp Congress’s budgeting authority; Trump’s declaration would enable him, he says, to divert money from other projects to build The Wall.

The speaker says, in effect, “No can do, Mr. President, and I might take you to court to prove my point.”

McConnell flips on emergency

What puzzles me is that Donald Trump and his allies have declared victory, more or less, because they contend The Wall already is being built. Why, then, declare a national emergency? Indeed, there is no emergency on the border.

I am going to agree with Nancy Pelosi, who said today that the president ought to declare the rash of gun violence in our schools and other public places as a real national emergency.