Tag Archives: Trump impeachment

Liz Cheney: Profile in courage

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Stand tall, Liz Cheney.

The third-term Wyoming member of Congress today cast a vote that well could cost Cheney her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

She voted to impeach Donald Trump on an allegation of “incitement of insurrection.” Why is this courageous? Consider the following …

She represents an entire state that has just a single House seat apportioned to it. Wyoming, moreover, cast just a shade less than 70 percent of its votes for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. That means that Cheney’s “congressional district” is one of the most pro-Trump districts in the nation.

This vote today well could put Cheney’s political career in jeopardy if it angers enough of the Trumpsters out there who stand by their guy no matter what. Not only that, GOP hardliners in the House are considering how to respond to their colleague’s decision to break ranks with the Trump base of supporters in Congress.

I salute Rep. Cheney for standing on the principle of standing for the Constitution and forgoing allegiance to an individual politician.

Read Liz Cheney’s full statement in support of Trump’s impeachment – POLITICO

I hasten to add that Liz Cheney comes from rock-ribbed Republican political tradition. She is the daughter of Dick Cheney who served, in order, as a congressman from Wyoming, White House chief of staff for President Ford, secretary of defense in the Bush 41 administration and vice president of the United States in the Bush 43 administration.

Whatever political threat she might face — from her House colleagues or from the voters at home — for standing up for the rule of law apparently didn’t faze Liz Cheney.

I applaud her courage.

Impeachment? Old news!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

When the U.S. of Representatives impeached Donald Trump in late 2019, I was certain that we had just witnessed the rough draft of the first line of Trump’s obituary.

It would read: Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States and the third president impeached by the House …

Silly me. I didn’t envision that the draft would be rewritten by what we are witnessing now in real time, which is the undermining by the defeated president of the Constitution he took an oath to defend and protect.

It now might read: Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States who sought to challenge the validity of a free and fair election that resulted in his defeat for re-election to a second term … 

How might that hold up? Well, I don’t know. We have another 60 or so days to go before President-elect Biden takes the oath as the nation’s 46th president. There’s still more time for Biden’s predecessor to something really foolish, reckless or maybe even illegal!

I am heartened by the reality that looms just down the road, which is that Joe Biden will become President Biden at noon on Jan. 20. There is nothing Trump can do to forestall that event from occurring. President Biden will take the oath, accept the congratulations from Chief Justice John Roberts, hug and kiss his wife, children and grandchildren; they all will take part in an inaugural parade.

Then the president will enter the Oval Office and get to work.

Trump, meanwhile, will recede into the background. He won’t be silent. He won’t go quietly. Trump will have played out all his limited number of options. He’ll be gone.

That obituary remains to be written. Indeed, I wish him a long post-presidency life. Donald Trump needs to hear and see how history will chronicle the mess he left for his successor to clean up and repair.

The impeachment we all endured seems so long ago. It has become old news, thanks to the tactics Trump is using to undermine our democratic process.

I don’t think it can get any more significant than that. Then again, we are dealing with a man who is capable of damn near anything to hold onto power.

More to come … aack!

Impeachment: remember it?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I want  to bring up an issue that is getting next to zero attention among the media as we hurtle toward this highly anticipated presidential election.

It is that Donald J. Trump is the first impeached president in U.S. history who is running for re-election.

Yep. The first one! Ever!

Remember that the House of Representatives impeached Trump on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump went to trial in the Senate and was acquitted.

Why and how? Because almost all of the Senate’s Republican majority — with one notable exception — gave Trump a pass on the abuse of power he exhibited when he solicited from Ukraine a political favor and then obstructed Congress’s efforts to get to the truth of what happened.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump on abuse of power.

So now Trump wants a second term in office after being impeached by the House. How should that play? How does he sell himself as deserving re-election even after the House impeached him?

He calls it all a hoax. Which is fine with the GOP bloc that stands with this guy.

Many of the rest of us don’t see it that way. I believe Trump should have been tossed out of office because he sought Ukrainian help in digging up dirt on Joe Biden. Not good, Mr. President. Plus, he ordered top aides to refuse to comply with congressional summons to appear before committees to talk openly about what they knew and when they knew it. Also not good, Mr. POTUS.

Here we are. Donald Trump wants another term in office after being impeached by the House because he broke the law.

Incredible.

Impeach him … again?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I almost couldn’t believe what my own ears had heard come from the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nancy Pelosi actually said she is keeping possible impeachment of Donald Trump in her “quiver” of weapons to use against the president as he seeks to name a successor to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wow, man! Let’s ponder that one.

The House already impeached Trump. The Senate led by Republicans acquitted him in trial. The House, though, made its point by impeaching Trump on charges that he abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress’s effort to learn the whole story behind alleged “collusion” with Russians who interfered in our 2016 presidential election.

Is the speaker serious? Is she really prepared to impeach Donald Trump again? 

Let me be clear on this point: I do not want the House to re-impeach Donald Trump. My reluctance has nothing to do with the merits of an impeachment. It has everything to do with the blowback I believe would occur if the House were to proceed with such a drastic move.

It might be merely that Pelosi, as tough a pol as there is in Washington, is firing a barrage across Trump’s bow. She wants him to hear from her that she is quite serious in preventing Trump from acting on his appointment prior to the presidential election.

Pelosi told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos this morning that she is not taking anything out of her arsenal of weapons to use against Trump.

It enrages me in the extreme to hear Mitch McConnell thump his chest anticipating a quickie hearing and vote on a lifetime judicial appointment that is likely to affect the balance of power for a generation.

I am hopeful there can be a way to forestall this pending appointment … without impeaching Donald Trump. I fear such a move would loose the hounds that well could propel the president to a second term.

I can barely type those words without breaking into a cold sweat.

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.