Tag Archives: Trump impeachment

Impeachment fatigue is setting in

I am considering whether I want to take a break on this blog from commenting on the impeachment of Donald John Trump.

I am running out of ways to express what already is known: that I believe Trump is unfit for the presidency; he deserves to be impeached; congressional Republicans are all wet in their defense of this guy.

The world out there is huge. It is full of issues, crises, good news, tragedy and other matters that deserve High Plains Blogger’s attention.

I cannot promise that’s what will happen. I am just suffering what can be described only as impeachment fatigue.

Your blogger will have plenty to say when the Senate trial commences. There might be a comment or two coming from this venue before then.

I am just worn out.

It’s done … almost

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee, to no one’s surprise, has just approved two articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump.

The vote was 23-17. All committee Democrats voted “yes.” All of the panel’s Republicans voted “no.”

One count alleges that Trump abused the power of the presidency by asking a foreign government for a political favor. The other count alleges obstruction of Congress, basing that article on Trump’s demand that all key White House aides ignore congressional subpoenas to testify before relevant committees.

Of the two, I consider the obstruction article to be the most serious. That’s just me. I don’t count, given that I am not a member of Congress. I also would have voted to impeach Trump, but you knew that already.

But now the matter goes to the full House. Spoiler alert: The Democratic House majority is likely to have enough stroke to impeach the president. Democrats might even lose a handful of votes from those in their party who represent Trump-leaning constituents back home.

The deed is almost done.

Then the Senate gets the matter. Trump will stand trial in a body controlled by Republicans. The Senate is likely to find Trump not guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The 2020 presidential election awaits. That’s when the fun really and truly begins.

Get ready, ladies and gentlemen. The ride is going to be a rockin’ and a rollin’ affair.

Let’s quit the theater and get down to brass tacks

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler angered his Republican colleagues last night by delaying the vote to impeach Donald J. Trump until this morning.

The GOP side went ballistic. Nadler’s stated reason was to allow committee members to sleep on it, to think carefully about what they intend to do. The GOP was having none of it. They called it “bush league,” they couldn’t tolerate delaying the vote, accusing Democrats of wanting to make a show of it in full daylight.

This isn’t an original thought from me, but it strikes me as idiotic that the GOP would bitch about delaying a vote. I am imagining the minority’s reaction had Nadler proceeded with a late-night vote. There would have been accusations of Democrats sneaking the vote past us all .

Let’s quit the feigned outrage, shall we?

Irony awaits impeachment conclusion

There’s a certain sense of irony associated with what is about to happen in the U.S. House of Representatives and then in the U.S. Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed an impeachment inquiry for as long as she could, believing that impeaching Donald Trump would divide the nation more than it is already divided.

Then came that infamous phone call of this past July and the request from the president for Ukraine to help him with a personal political favor. Trump wanted to hold up some key military aid to Ukraine — which wanted it to fight the Russian-backed rebels — until Ukraine delivered on the favor; he wanted to find dirt on a potential political foe, former Vice President Joe Biden.

That did it! said Pelosi. We have to impeach the president. More to the point, she said we had to look into whether there are sufficient grounds to impeach him.

To my way of thinking — and to the thinking of millions of other Americans — the House found sufficient reason to impeach him. House members came up with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It’s as clear to me as the day is long.

Yet, the division remains. Democrats are virtually all in. Republican are virtually all opposed to what Democrats want to do.

So, the House will impeach Trump on two articles of impeachment. The Senate will conduct a trial. As near as anyone can tell, Democrats will have enough votes to send the matter to the Senate. Republicans, though, are in control of the upper chamber, so they’ll find Trump “not guilty.”

You see the irony? Pelosi’s fear of a divided nation is coming true — even in the face of what many of us consider to be overwhelming evidence that Donald Trump should be thrown out of office for putting his personal political fortunes ahead of the national interest.

Absent an argument over the facts, then where do we stand?

Congressional Republicans have laid down their marker: They are not going to argue the facts surrounding the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.

Congressional Democrats are arguing that the facts are beyond dispute. They are acknowledged as being true.

So what is left, then, for Congress to consider? I am left to conclude only that the facts as presented either are impeachable or they are not. That’s what I get from all of this.

I happen to believe that a president who invites foreign involvement in our election has committed an impeachable offense. It is an abuse of the immense power of his office. Trump allies, I am presuming, believe otherwise. If that is their belief, then why are we not hearing them argue that point?

Moreover, I also believe that obstruction of Congress also is an impeachable offense. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress all the authority it needs to conduct an investigation into executive branch behavior. When a president orders all key witnesses to ignore congressional subpoenas, I believe that constitutes an impeachable offense.

What do congressional Republicans use to justify their resistance to these two articles of impeachment that are heading inexorably to a vote in the House Judiciary Committee and then to the full House of Representatives?

I am just a voter, a patriot and someone with a deep interest in our government. I believe the president has violated his oath of office. Believe me or not, but I am waiting to hear someone on the GOP side speak to the facts at hand.

That specific defense is not forthcoming, or so it appears as we hurtle toward impeachment.

So we’re left with one side arguing that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are impeachable offenses. The other side seems to believe they are not impeachable.

What is the rationale of those who cannot defend the indefensible?

Democrats seek to keep it simple in its impeachment strategy

U.S. House of Representatives Democrats have ripped a page out of the book that contains the saying, “Keep it simple, stupid.”

They went for just two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. They want to impeach the president on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress accusations.

There will be no reference to the Robert Mueller III investigation into the Russia collusion/obstruction of justice matter. House Democrats chose to center on what Trump has done to merit — in their view — impeachment with regard to Ukraine.

So the House will impeach the president on accusations that he solicited a political favor from a foreign government and then stood in the way of Congress doing its constitutionally mandated duty by ordering key witnesses to ignore congressional subpoenas.

To my way of thinking those are clear and obvious grounds to impeach this president.

The House Intelligence and Judiciary committees don’t want to muddy matters up by bringing in Mueller’s report.

That’s a good call. Will it persuade Republicans in the House and Senate to see the light and do their duty to uphold the Constitution, which Trump has flouted through his impeachable offenses? Hardly.

Still, I applaud them for keeping it simple.

Are we about to complete an impeachment circle?

Maybe it’s just me, but I am getting this nagging notion in my noggin that this presidential impeachment saga is about to end where it began.

That is to say that the House of Representatives vote to impeach Donald Trump will not advance anything other than putting Democrats and Republicans on the record: do they support impeaching the president for high crimes and misdemeanors or do they stand with someone who many of us — including me — believe broke the law?

The House will receive two articles of impeachment. House members will vote on them, likely approving them on partisan grounds; Democrats will vote “yes,” with Republicans voting “no.”

Then it goes to the Senate. Senators will have a trial. Democrats will vote to convict; Republicans will vote to acquit.

What is gained? As near as I can tell, we’re going to complete a weird circle with this impeachment and trial.

Republicans remain beholden to Trump for reasons that escape me. Democrats have embarked on an impeachment journey they hoped would persuade enough Republicans to cross over, to vote their conscience, to support a Constitution they believe has been violated by a president who put his personal political future ahead of what’s good for the country.

He solicited a foreign government for political help; he sought a foreign government’s help in torpedoing the fortunes of a political foe; he withheld military aid until the foreign government delivered the goods; he benefited a hostile power — in this case, Russia — by withholding that military assistance.

None of that is impeachable? Is that what Republicans are telling us?

C’mon! It most certainly is!

However, the circle will be complete once the House impeaches Trump and the Senate likely acquits him.

To what end? All that likely will be left will be to defeat the president in the next election. On that score, I am all in.

DJT: Hardly the master of impeccable timing

Talk about bad timing, bad optics, bad messaging.

On the very day that U.S. House of Representatives Democrats reveal articles of impeachment against him, Donald John Trump decides to welcome Russian foreign ministry officials into the White House.

Bad timing, optics and messaging?

Well, consider that the president is being impeached by the House over his withholding of military aid to Ukraine, which is fighting rebels backed by — get ready for it — those nasty Russians! He withheld the aid in exchange for a political favor he sought from Ukraine, asking them to announce an investigation into alleged wrongdoing by Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

So what does the president do when the impeachment articles are announced? He invites Russian diplomats who work for a government is benefiting materially from the very action for which the House is impeaching him.

Remember, too, that he brought these clowns into the Oval Office in 2017 the day after he fired FBI Director James Comey who, not coincidentally, was investigating the “Russia thing.”

It makes my head spin.

Let the impeachment proceed

There you have it.

U.S. House of Representatives Democrats have announced two articles of impeachment on which they will vote. One of them involves abuse of power, the other one alleges obstruction of Congress.

They are preaching to this choir out here in Donald Trump Country.

I don’t need to be convinced that Trump abused his power when he solicited a foreign government for personal political help. Nor do I need convincing that he has obstructed Congress by banning key witnesses from testifying before relevant congressional committees, ordering them to defy congressional subpoenas.

Democrats, accordingly, aren’t likely to convince their Republican colleagues in the House and Senate, who are standing behind the president, who in my mind has violated his oath of office.

The articles under consideration suggest a narrow focus. Democrats don’t want to make this process even muddier than it is already.

No one’s minds will be changed, or so it appears. Democrats want to impeach Trump. Republicans are resisting that effort.

What now? Let’s have that vote in the House before Christmas. Let’s also prepare for a trial in the Senate; and let’s get that trial completed.

Then we can proceed to a presidential election campaign, which gets to feature an incumbent president trying to wipe away the indelible stain of impeachment.

For what it’s worth, Donald Trump lost this voter the moment I watched him ride down that escalator and announce his candidacy for the nation’s highest office.

Might POTUS be acquitted … on a technicality?

Let’s play out this impeachment saga for a brief moment.

The U.S. House of Representatives appears nearly certain to impeach Donald Trump along partisan lines; there might be one Democrat who’ll vote “no” to impeach the president. A former GOP House member will vote “yes” on the issue.

Then it goes to the Senate, which will conduct a trial. The Senate needs 67 out of 100 votes to convict the president. Republicans currently occupy 53 seats; Democrats have 45 seats, but two independents caucus with the Democrats.

So, what do you suppose might occur if, say, a lame-duck GOP senator or three or four decides to convict the president? Donald Trump would still be acquitted of any high crime and misdemeanor brought to the Senate.

Think of it, though, as an acquittal based on a “technicality.” There is an outside chance that most of the Senate could vote to convict Trump. The technicality occurs because there won’t be enough of them to result in the president’s ouster from office. The closest President Clinton came to such an event was a tie vote on one of the counts brought against him in his 1999 Senate trial; the other count ended up with a 55-45 vote to acquit.

I know it’s a long shot. Those of us who think Trump has committed impeachable offenses are wondering if there are enough Republican senators with stones who will toss aside any threat the president might level against them. Those individuals who have decided against running for re-election next year, thus, might decide to vote their conscience.

I mean, there’s nothing Trump can do to punish them. They’re on the way out the door.

Hardline conservatives generally detest verdicts based on “a technicality.” How might they respond if the president of the United States benefits from the technicality the nation’s founders created when they set the high bar for removal of a president?