Tag Archives: Nancy Pelosi

Do not worry about U.S. government’s strength

Donald Trump can boast all he wants about how impeachment is “good” for his re-election chances and for the Republican Party. The truth has to be that in his private moments he is worried to the max.

To be candid, so am I. So should the rest of the country be worried about the course on which this man’s presidency is about to take.

It’s about impeachment, man!

The House of Representatives has taken on this task three times in the nation’s history: Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton all have traveled down this perilous path.

Johnson and Clinton both were impeached and acquitted in Senate trials; President Johnson survived by a single Senate vote, by the way. Nixon quit the presidency as the House Judiciary Committee submitted articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives.

Now it well might be Donald Trump’s turn.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed sadness at what she has announced, that the House will launch a full “impeachment inquiry.” Yes, she should be sad. So should the rest of us, even those of us who out here who detest the man who occupies the office we hold so dear.

He has denigrated, defaced and disgraced the office. He has insulted our allies, stood shoulder to shoulder with some of our international opponents, some of whom are dictators/killers/tyrants. His behavior has been reprehensible.

Now we hear reports that he allegedly sought a foreign government’s help in bringing down one of his political foes at home.

Is this the kind of thing that gives anyone joy? Are we supposed to cheer the prospect of the House traipsing down the impeachment path? Hah! No. We aren’t.

We should be sad. We should be worried.

I don’t worry about our system of government. Our nation’s founders crafted a system built to withstand this kind of tumult and turbulence. Indeed, as President Ford told us during his inaugural address moments after being sworn in after President Nixon left the White House for the final time, “Our Constitution works.”

If the House proceeds with impeachment, the burden then falls on the Senate to conduct a trial.

Therein rests what I consider to be where this matter could derail. Republican senators who comprise a Senate majority do not appear at this moment ready to join their Democratic colleagues in convicting the president of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

This will play out over time. It will get ugly. It will soil and sully our system of government and our politics.

It will sadden all of us as we await an outcome. However, I will argue that we shouldn’t worry about the strength of the government system under which this drama will unfold.

Speaker Pelosi hears enough to change her mind

I understand the reasons why U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has changed her mind regarding whether to launch impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

I get it. She has heard enough now to proceed. Trump has provided the impetus all by himself. He admits to talking to Ukrainians about information they might have on Joe Biden, a potential 2020 political opponent. The question now looming over all of Washington is whether he pressured the Ukrainians for information or whether he offered them something in return.

That’s bad stuff, man. It’s impeachable. It’s enough in my mind to go all the way.

However, does Pelosi really want to risk obtaining articles of impeachment in the House only to watch a Republican-led U.S. Senate acquit the president of wrongdoing because they are loyal to the man and not the Constitution or the nation they all took an oath to defend?

This is where I retain my reluctance over whether to actually impeach the president.

Do I want him out of office? Yes, with emphasis and all due prejudice I want him gone, away from the Oval Office. However, impeachment might be too steep a hill to climb if Senate Republicans — who hold 53 of 100 seats — continue to cling to their fealty to this charlatan masquerading as president.

Pelosi has said she needs national buy-in. I am not sure she has obtained it.

Trump continues to cast this weird spell over Republicans in Congress. He isn’t a real Republican. He brought zero GOP credentials into the 2016 presidential campaign, other than to say he would run as a Republican. So, he did and he won.

Pelosi expresses “sadness” over the course she is taking. She said she doesn’t see impeachment as a political process, but rather as a constitutional duty that the House must pursue.

I get that, too. Except that the political element looms over whether the House Judiciary Committee passes impeachment articles out and sends them to the House floor for a vote.

Yes, I get why Pelosi changed her mind on impeachment. I am with her in principle. However, I am dubious about whether impeachment will achieve the goal many millions of Americans want, which is to get Donald Trump out of the Oval Office as quickly as possible.

I believe we now should all hold on with both hands. It’s going to get rough out there.

Get ready for an ugly and sad political spectacle

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has seen and heard enough.

Nancy Pelosi, who had dug in hard against impeaching Donald J. Trump, has changed course. She has announced a formal “impeachment inquiry” based on allegations that Trump has pressured the president of Ukraine to find dirt that would damage a potential political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

So … there you have it.

Pelosi has contended that if the allegations are true the president of the United States has enlisted the help of a foreign government to bring down the candidacy of someone who might run against him next year.

This where it gets ugly in the extreme, ladies and gentlemen.

Congressional Democrats are talking about their “sadness” as they proceed toward formal impeachment. Are they crying crocodile tears? I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The allegations against Trump now have been brought into the sharpest focus yet. Trump has acknowledged talking to the Ukrainian president about Biden and his son, Hunter, whose business dealings in Ukraine have become part of the story. He says he will release the transcript of a single phone call he had with the Ukrainians.

Is that enough? Hardly.

We need to hear from the whistleblower who revealed all this alleged behavior in the first place. This person reportedly witnessed a sequence of events that could blow Trump’s presidency straight out of the water. The word today is that the whistleblower will reveal himself or herself perhaps as early as this week.

That individual needs to tell the nation what he or she saw or heard from ringside.

Nearly three-fourths of the House Democratic caucus have endorsed the impeachment of Donald Trump. What we do not yet know is whether any Republicans will join them. Has the GOP House minority had enough as well?

No matter how all this ends up, with an impeachment or the House choking at the climactic moment, it will not end well no matter who is able to declare some semblance of victory.

We are moving — perhaps hurtling — toward an ugly chapter in a sad political story.

Will impeachment pressure lead to explosion?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is feeling the heat even more from her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Is she strong enough to fend off calls to impeach Donald John Trump? That’s the question of the moment.

The president, to my mind, might have cut his own throat by acknowledging publicly that he spoke to Ukrainian officials about former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and alleged business dealings that Hunter Biden has had with a Russian oligarch.

Oh yes, I guess I should mention that Joe Biden is the leading Democrat running for the presidency of the United States.

But … did the president seek information from the Ukrainians? Did he offer them a quid pro quo? Did he offer ’em a bribe?

Trump says he is “considering” whether to release a transcript of the conversation he admits has occurred. Do you think he’ll do it? Well, I don’t believe it. Why? Because, I am willing to conjecture, Trump might have something else to hide from the public.

Pelosi has dug in against rushing to impeach Trump. I concur with her view. There needs to be more. Pelosi wants broad public buy-in. She also wants more than a congressional Republican or two to climb aboard the impeachment express.

The questions facing Pelosi are the same ones facing Donald Trump.

What precisely did he say? How did he present this issue to the Ukrainians? Has the president of the United States committed a treasonous act by soliciting campaign assistance from a foreign power?

The heat is growing under Speaker Pelosi.

It’s also getting hot under the president of the United States.

Obstructing justice is an impeachable offense … isn’t it?

Robert S. Mueller III filed a lengthy report that concludes among other things that the president of the United States obstructed justice regarding the lengthy investigation into the Russia Thing.

If a president can be impeached for obstruction of justice in 1998, why is it different in 2019? That’s the quandary with which I am wrestling at this moment.

House Republicans declared in 1998 that a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, should be impeached because he obstructed justice while former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr looked into that sexual relationship with the White House intern. Oh, and he committed perjury while talking to a federal grand jury.

Two strikes against Clinton were enough for the GOP to launch an impeachment proceeding against a Democratic president. The impeachment succeeded, but then the Senate trial produced an acquittal on all the counts.

Therein lies the conundrum that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing. The House has the goods to impeach Donald Trump. Mueller’s report cited at least 10 instances where the president sought to obstruct justice. He said it again in testimony before two congressional committees in July. Why didn’t he file a formal complaint? Mueller said the Office of Legal Counsel policy prohibits him from indicting a “sitting president.”

I happen to stand with Pelosi’s decision to go slow on impeachment. She doesn’t want to proceed with impeaching Trump if there is no appetite among Republicans in the Senate to convict him of a complaint brought to them by the House.

I say all this, though, while scratching my noggin. If obstructing justice was enough to impeach a president 21 years ago, why is this instance so radically different that congressional Republicans cannot do so again now?

I think I know the answer. Congressional Republicans are playing politics with a growing constitutional crisis.

Has an impeachment ‘inquiry’ commenced?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler are at odds.

Pelosi doesn’t want to impeach Donald Trump; Nadler wants to proceed now with impeachment.

It looks as though Nadler is winning this argument. He appears to have commenced what has been called an “impeachment inquiry.” That means ostensibly that the Democratic caucus is going to examine whether to launch a full impeachment proceeding against Trump. They think they have the goods. Maybe they do.

But wait a second. If the House decides it has enough to impeach Trump over obstruction of justice in connection with the Russian hack of our 2016 election, then the bar gets really high.

A House impeachment is the easy part. Democrats need a simple majority to impeach. Then the Senate gets to put the president on trial. They need 67 (out of 100) votes to convict the president. The GOP occupies 53 Senate seats. They are as firmly in Trump’s corner as Democrats are as firmly intent on giving him the boot.

An impeachment “inquiry” looks to me like an exercise in futility for those who want to remove the president from office.

I personally don’t think it’s enough just to say Donald Trump has been impeached. I want him out of office, too. Impeachment, though, isn’t going to do the job.

Unless someone drops a serious bomb that persuades Republicans they are standing with a crook.

Whether to impeach or mount anti-Trump election effort

Today I feel one way about impeaching Donald Trump. Tomorrow I might feel differently.

Well, that’s how it goes for me. I cannot settle on a course of action regarding the president of the United States. I believe he is a criminal. I believe he is unfit for office. I believe has obstructed justice … which is an impeachable offense.

Does that mean the House of Representatives should launch an impeachment “inquiry,” let alone actual impeachment proceedings? No.

I now believe — at least that’s my belief today — that the only option now for getting rid of Donald Trump will occur at the next presidential election.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with the rest of the House Democratic caucus might have been waiting with bated breath for former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony this week before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. They wanted a “gotcha” moment to occur. It did not present itself. Mueller said what many millions of Americans know already, that Trump has obstructed justice.

Committee Republicans did their job. They sought to impugn Mueller’s integrity, his impartiality, his fairness. They didn’t persuade me, but I was not the one whose attention they sought; they sought to energize the Trump base of voters. Mission accomplished.

Congressional Republicans appear to be as dug in as ever against impeaching the president. Democrats appear to be a bit more demoralized today than they were the day before Mueller took his seat before the House panels.

But … an election is coming along. November 2020 will present Trump foes perhaps their final opportunity to rid the nation of the scourge of this president, the guy who doesn’t believe what Mueller — and other intelligence experts have — that the Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016.

Can they make the case? Can they deny Trump the Electoral College victory he covets to take office for a second term as president?

I believe at this moment that is the only viable course available for those of us who want Donald Trump removed from the presidency.

However, that could change. I mean, there’s always another day.

If I were King of the World, I would …

… Go full throttle toward impeaching Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States.

But I’m not. Neither, of course, is Donald Trump, even though he said falsely this week that Article II of the U.S. Constitution allows him to do “anything” he wants.

I listened to a lot of Robert Mueller’s testimony today. Part of it was in my car tuned to National Public Radio. My wife and I drove this morning to Bonham for an appointment and on our way home stopped for a tour of the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum. I was struck by a passage I saw attributed to the late great speaker of the U.S. House, “Mr. Sam,” which was that one should tell the truth always because you never have to “remember what you said.”

Donald Trump hasn’t told the truth a single time since questions arose about the Russian hacking of our election in 2016. He has lied time and time and time again. His lies have piled up on top of each other.

Mueller today told the world that Trump obstructed justice and that Trump lied when he said that the 22-month-long investigation cleared him of obstruction.

Now, is that enough to impeach the president? Yes. Is it enough to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors? Yes! Not just yes, but hell yes!

However, I don’t run things in Washington, D.C. I am just a chump blogger out here in Trump Country. I also recognize the political realities that are staring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the face. They are serious, stark and foreboding.

She could call for an impeachment vote in the next 20 minutes and likely could get enough House Democrats to impeach the president. Then what? It goes to the Senate, where Trump would stand trial. Did you hear any Republican House committee members sound as if they would endorse conviction in the Senate? If you did, then you heard something that was lost on me.

I’ve heard enough to impeach Donald Trump. However, conviction is a far more difficult hurdle to clear.

If I were King of the World, I would order the Senate to convict this carnival barker/con man/fraud/presidential imposter.

If only I could.

Impeachment now seems more distant

I have one immediate response to the long-awaited testimony from former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

It is that I believe impeachment of Donald Trump has been moved farther away from Congress than it was before Mueller delivered his testimony.

Why do I say that? I didn’t see a single Republican hero step forward during the daylong grilling. I heard no Republican ask a single question that challenged Trump’s phony assertion that Mueller’s 22-month-long investigation absolved him of collusion and obstruction of justice.

Mueller made it clear. His lengthy report did not exonerate Trump. He said that this president could be indicted after he leaves office. Which means to me that the president committed a crime (allegedly!). Except that Mueller could not indict him because of Office of Legal Counsel policies prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president.

So … what does all this mean?

It means to me that we haven’t budged at all from where we were at the beginning of the day.

Democrats have dug in that they either want to impeach Trump now or want to wait until more information becomes public. Republicans have dug in as well, defending a president they have known for a long time has committed a criminal act while running for president and while serving as president; Trump has obstructed justice, according to Mueller.

I want to compare what we heard today briefly to what transpired during the Watergate hearings of 1973 and 1974. Today we heard Republicans to a person stand firmly behind the president, ignoring the evidence they have heard. The Watergate Republicans, though, were able to muster enough courage to ask probing questions of White House senior aides, officials and campaign staffers.

Let’s remember that GOP Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee asked the signature question: What did the president know and when did he know it? Moreover, the Republican chief counsel, future Tennessee U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, asked the White House aide about the infamous tape recording system that President Nixon had installed in the Oval Office. After that it was game over!

We didn’t get that today.

Impeachment is now farther away than ever. This should not be the end, though, of Congress’s probe.

Then and now: Clinton and Trump

First, I’ll stipulate that I agree with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to proceed with impeaching Donald J. Trump, at least for the time being.

She knows the political consequences can be difficult to overcome if such an event were to occur. The divisions would be deep. An acquittal by the Republican-controlled Senate could be devastating for the country.

Republicans are standing behind the president. They aren’t listening to the evidence that keeps mounting that Trump committed crimes while running for president and while serving as president.

Which brings me to the key point: How is it that Republicans today are so reluctant to proceed with their constitutional duties when two decades ago they were hellbent on impeaching a previous president for a whole lot less than the charges that are piling up against the current one?

In 1998, the GOP-led House impeached President Clinton. The reason was twofold: He lied to a grand jury that asked him about a relationship he had with a White House intern. Clinton took an oath to tell the truth; he reneged on the oath. The GOP said we cannot have a president who is “above the law.” Republicans threw in an obstruction of justice charge for good measure.

The House “manager” of the impeachment proceeding against Clinton was none other than a fresh-faced South Carolinian named Lindsey Graham, who said in effect that the House could impeach the president for damn near any reason it saw fit.

Today, that same Lindsey Graham is now a U.S. senator and he’s saying something dramatically different about Donald Trump. Despite what the special counsel, Robert Mueller III, said that he didn’t “exonerate” the president after his lengthy investigation into collusion with Russian election hackers, Graham keeps insisting that Mueller “cleared” Trump of obstruction of justice.

No. He did nothing of the sort.

Mueller only concluded that he couldn’t indict a sitting president, citing Justice Department policy; he also said such an indictment would be “unconstitutional,” although that terminology baffles me.

There is a huge mountain of evidence that suggests that Trump sought to obstruct justice by getting a former White House counsel to fire Mueller. That he canned FBI director James Comey to stop the FBI”s probe into the “Russia thing.” That he ordered the payment of hush money to a porn actress to keep her quiet about a fling she and Trump had in 2006, even though Trump denies it ever occurred.

I understand Pelosi’s predicament. I agree with her. However, for the life of me I cannot accept the Republicans’ refusal to budge on this president’s conduct when they were so anxious to pull the impeachment trigger on another president.

Oh, wait. Clinton is a Democrat; Trump is a Republican.

Gosh, do you think Republicans are putting their party over what’s good for the nation?