Tag Archives: Trump impeachment

Still committing impeachable offenses?

I am acutely aware that Donald Trump’s impeachment and Senate trial are now part of our nation’s history, that Trump will be remembered forever as the nation’s third impeached president of the United States.

I cannot get past the cowardice demonstrated by all but one of the Senate’s 53 Republican members in giving this corrupt narcissist a pass on what he did, which was to extort the leader of another country into providing political dirt on Joe Biden, the man now in position to defeat Trump in the upcoming election.

Nor can I understand the logic behind that Senate acquittal, given that since then Trump has committed — allegedly — at least two more heinous acts.

One is that he reportedly sought to move the British Open golf tournament to a resort he owns, thus seeking actively to flout the clause in the Constitution that prohibits the president from profiting materially from his public office. It’s called the Emoluments Clause and this reported solicitation is simply the latest such example of this blatant corruption.

The other is the hideous betrayal of his oath as commander in chief to care for the troops under his command. I refer to the allegation that Russia paid Taliban terrorists bounties for every American serviceman and woman killed in Afghanistan. If there is a more “impeachable offense” than that, I am totally unaware of it.

This is the bargain that every House Republican and all but one Senate Republican delivered when they decided that the “perfect phone call” to the Ukrainian president in July 2019 wasn’t enough to toss Trump out of office.

I am enough of a realist to know that impeaching Trump again is likely out of the question. I also am enough of an idealist to hope that the election this November will take care of the corruption that has influenced damn near every political decision Trump has made while sitting in the Oval Office.

Of course, an election result doesn’t prevent criminal prosecution of Donald Trump once he quick-steps out of the White House for the final time. Oh, allow me to wish once again that the day comes after this next election.

U.S. Army losing a patriot because of politics

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The United States Army is about to lose a patriot, someone who shed blood on the battlefield for the country he loves.

And why? Because he had enough of a conscience to testify under oath before Congress about things he heard from the commander in chief … things that led the commander in chief’s impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman became a household name during that troubling episode. He has served more than two decades in defense of the nation. He once worked as a staffer for the National Security Council and reported to Congress that he heard Donald John Trump ask for a political favor from a foreign head of state in exchange for weapons the United States would provide that nation.

Trump called Vindman a “never Trumper” and dismissed his testimony as fake.

According Vindman and his lawyer, Trump’s anger reportedly got in the way of Vindman being promoted to full colonel.

This is despicable if true. I happen to believe it is true. Thus, the nation is now the poorer because a war hero and a patriot is surrendering his service to his beloved country.

This is so par for the course for this president.

“The President of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a President. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers. These are choices that no one in the United States should confront, especially one who has dedicated his life to serving it,” Vindman’s lawyer, David Pressman said.

Thus, according to Pressman, Trump engaged in standard bullying of a career public servant.

This is another chapter to add to Trump’s growing list of disgraceful acts — allegedly! — while masquerading as commander in chief.

Bolton saves his best for his book deal … not the country

The more I think of John Bolton, the angrier I become.

Yes, I have plenty of anger at Donald Trump, for whom Bolton worked as national security adviser for 17 months before being fired … or before he resigned. That’s a given, you know?

My anger at Bolton stems from what he could have said a year ago, when the House of Representatives began discussing seriously whether to impeach Trump on abuse of power. Bolton, after all was “In The Room Where It Happened,” and has written a memoir of that title.

The truth is that Bolton hasn’t said anything that millions of us either knew or suspected all along about Trump.

He could have spilled the beans on what he saw and heard. He chose to remain silent while the House prepared its impeachment articles to present to the Senate, which put Trump on trial for abusing the power of his office and for obstructing Congress.

House and Senate Republicans — except for Sen. Mitt Romney — exhibited profound cowardice by refusing to accept the obvious, that Donald Trump had abused the immense power of his office and obstructed Congress’s efforts to get at the truth.

They were led, in my view, toward their cowardly den by John Bolton. He choked. He could have laid it out there in vivid detail. Bolton could have subjected himself to harsh questioning by Trump’s sycophantic supporters and, more than likely, held his own.

He didn’t do that. Instead, he chose to save himself for the release of his book, from which he intends to make a healthy fortune.

I wanted a reason to cheer Bolton. I find myself jeering him. It’s not that he fits my ideal for public service. I dislike his world view. However, we keep hearing about what tough dude he is, how principled he remains, how he wouldn’t be intimidated by Donald Trump.

It all sounds like so much crap now.

Would any of this changed the minds of GOP senators and House members who gave Trump a pass on the crimes he committed? Probably not nearly enough to turn acquittal into conviction in the Senate.

It simply offends and galls me terribly that John Bolton is getting all this exposure now, that the media are slobbering all over this guy just because he’s telling us now what he should have disclosed much earlier … when it really mattered.

This Trump critic is no ‘Deep State’ monster

Let’s be clear about John Bolton, who he is and the governing philosophy he represents.

The former national security adviser for Donald John Trump has written a book that shreds the president, peels the bark away from him. “The Room Where it Happened” is a memoir that tells a grim story of Donald Trump’s ignorance, his self-serving approach to government and the corruption that runs rampant through his administration.

Bolton is a hard-liner. He is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican foreign policy operative. He broke with Trump over policy differences, in that Bolton took a tougher stance against Iran, Russia and Syria than Trump.

This is my way of saying that John Bolton is not some squishy liberal “Deep State” operative, meaning that Trump cannot possibly label him as a tool for those who believe Trump poses a threat to that Deep State cabal that seeks to control the world.

All of this makes his contentions in the book all the more remarkable. He says Trump asked China for re-election help; he said the Saudi role in the murder of a Washington Post columnist took attention away from Ivanka Trump, who was facing a firestorm of her own; he acknowledges that Trump sought a political favor from Ukraine in exchange for weapons sent by the United States to help Ukraine fight Russia-backed rebels.

Were this coming from a lefty, Trump might be able to make hay over the source of John Bolton’s criticism. He cannot use that defense. John Bolton instead is a man of high principle who is laying even more bare what we have known all along.

It is that Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency.

Bolton spills more beans on Trump … who knew?

As the saying goes: The hits just keep on comin’.

Former national security adviser John Bolton is about to release the contents of a book he has written in which he details how Donald Trump — in Bolton’s view — committed multiple impeachable acts while dealing with foreign leaders.

Gosh! Who would have thought that could happen?

The White House is suing Bolton in seeking to block publication of his book, “The Room Where it Happened,” contending that Bolton is violating national security matters by publishing classified material. Bolton, to no one’s surprise, denies any such claim from the White House.

I’ve never been a Bolton fan. However, I am even less a fan of Donald Trump. So, when Bolton says that Trump curried favor with China to help him win re-election, or that he held up military aid to Ukraine in exchange for dirt on Joe Biden, well… I tend to believe him.

Bolton’s memoir is an explosive tome that alleges that Trump is ignorant about foreign policy and that Trump governs my impulse and little else.

Bolton dives straight into the heart of the issues that brought about Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives, namely the Ukraine matter and Trump seeking a favor from the Ukrainian president: Would he launch an investigation into Joe Biden before the United States would send Ukraine missiles to help fight the Russia-backed rebels fighting against the Ukrainian government?

Of course, in many respects this memoir is a bit anti-climactic. Many of us knew already what Bolton was going to say in the book. Congressional Democrats wanted Bolton to testify during the impeachment inquiry and then in the Senate trial that eventually acquitted Trump. Bolton balked. We didn’t hear from him. Until now.

Then again, it’s not as if Bolton’s testimony during the impeachment inquiry and trial would have changed any minds. It’s doubtful any minds will be changed even now.

I find it ridiculous — and certainly not funny — that Donald Trump would seek to block publication of this memoir on some phony notion of leaking “classified material.” Trump instead appears frightened by the prospect of a once-trusted national security aide exposing him for what many of us know already.

That the president is a dangerous buffoon.

Why not invite Democrats to that bill-signing, Mr. President?

Donald John “The So-Called Unifier in Chief” Trump signed an important bill into law today.

It was the coronavirus pandemic emergency response bill approved by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress. The Senate approved it 96-0; the House approved it by a voice vote, thanks to some procedural maneuvering orchestrated by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

But …

Pelosi or other Democrats were nowhere to be found in the Oval Office today as Trump signed the bill into law.

Hasn’t he promised to unify the country? Hasn’t he pledged to work with Democrats as well as Republicans to “make America great again”? I believe the fate of this bill, which Trump supported after at first opposing it (while blaming Democrats, naturally, for wanting to load it up with unnecessary provisions) depended on Democrats as well as Republicans.

Oh, but of course Trump is still enraged at Pelosi because the House speaker engineered the impeachment of the president. That’s his rationale, although he hasn’t said it directly.

This individual’s petulance makes me sick.

Schiff delivers sensational closing argument

I know I am about to engage in a bit of wishful thinking, but humor me for just a moment.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, the lead House manager in the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, delivered one of the more stirring political speeches I’ve heard since, oh, I can’t remember.

He made the case — to my admittedly biased ears — for the conviction and removal of the current president of the United States, whom the House impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Those two allegations are enough to kick the president out of office. Furthermore, he said that Trump cannot be trusted to do the right thing, that he has no moral compass that guides him toward the light. He’ll never change, Schiff said.

I couldn’t help but think what some of the senators who listened to him might be thinking, particularly those who are known to be ready to acquit Trump of the charges leveled against him.

I had to wonder: Are any of them moved to at least reconsider their decision?

Here is Schiff’s closing argument. He speaks with absolute clarity.

I know that he was preaching to the proverbial choir when he spoke to me. I just want to share this historic example of statesmanship.

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.

Biden has reversed himself on the subpoena issue?

Good ever-lovin’ grief, Mr. Vice President.

Joe Biden went from declaring his intention to do what Donald Trump has done by refusing to honor a  Senate subpoena, to “clarifying” his remarks to essentially reversing himself by saying that, yep, he would show up to testify if asked to do during a Senate impeachment trial.

My head is spinning so rapidly I’m coming down with a case of vertigo.

Biden wants to be the next president of the United States. He’s the prohibitive favorite among Democrats still running for the office. However, keeps saying things that fly out of his mouth that require mid-course corrections. The subpoena matter is the latest.

I took him to task initially on this blog for telling a Des Moines Register editorial board that he would refuse to comply with a Senate subpoena; he said such a summons would distract the Senate from the issue at hand, which is Trump’s conduct as president. Republican senators want to question Biden and his son Hunter on their business dealings in Ukraine.

On one score, Biden is right; that is not the issue. At issue is whether Donald Trump abused the power of his office by soliciting a foreign government for a political favor and whether he obstructed Congress by demanding his key aides refuse to answer House subpoenas. To my mind, the answer is “yes” on both matters.

The former VP cannot play the game that Trump has played. So now he says he would comply with a Senate summons … if they ever get that trial started.

Great! Why didn’t he say that the first time?

What is Biden thinking?

It’s time — maybe it’s past time — to acknowledge what I have been fearing for a while.

It is that Joseph R. Biden Jr. might not have the rhetorical chops to become the next president of the United States. For the life of me I do not understand his response to a Des Moines Register editorial board interview question concerning a possible subpoena by the Senate to testify during Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

The former vice president had the bad form to say he would refuse to answer a subpoena. Yep, he would ignore it. It has me wondering now whether this is the right man to nominate to challenge Donald Trump for the presidency.

A friend of mine offered what I consider to be a stellar alternative response that Biden could have used in response to the question. It goes like this:

“Absolutely. I will be happy and proud to participate in any legitimate congressional investigation into Trump’s misbehavior. Once the Senate has shown it is serious about finding the truth by securing the testimony of Mulvaney, Giuliani and Bolton, I will proudly march onto Capitol Hill to explain how I did nothing wrong and supported legitimate U.S. policy aims in all of my interactions with Ukraine. I will then elaborate on how the honorable president I ably served for eight years would have never participated in such despicable behavior. I look forward to the moment the senate fulfills its Constitutional mandate by conducting a fair trial that seeks the truth about this stain on America’s honor.”

My friend goes on:

No. 1, you win the argument immediately and everyone who is not automatically supporting Trump gets it.

No. 2, you will never, ever be forced to testify because Trump and the GOP absolutely cannot afford to have those three testify under oath under any circumstances.

Sheesh. This isn’t brain surgery here.

Now the former VP has had to “clarify” what he said, although I am not sure the clarification actually cleared any of the rhetorical debris out of the way.