18
   

Impeachment: The Process Begins

 
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2020 05:07 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:
How are Democrats abusing power?

You've suggested that conducting investigations for personal gain is an abuse of power.

This entire impeachment farce is being conducted by the Democrats for their personal gain.


InfraBlue wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Strangely the issue of "propriety and personal gain" seems to depend entirely on whether the left agrees with the goal of the investigation.

How do you figure that?

Any investigation for a goal that the left approves of, they label legitimate. Any investigation for a goal that the left dislikes, they label illegitimate.
coldjoint
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2020 05:15 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
And your losts are always binkerdd partisan nonsense.

Amazing how many times you can say absolutely nothing.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2020 11:00 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
How are Democrats abusing power?

You've suggested that conducting investigations for personal gain is an abuse of power.

This entire impeachment farce is being conducted by the Democrats for their personal gain.

How are the individual Democrats personally gaining?

oralloy wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Strangely the issue of "propriety and personal gain" seems to depend entirely on whether the left agrees with the goal of the investigation.

How do you figure that?

Any investigation for a goal that the left approves of, they label legitimate. Any investigation for a goal that the left dislikes, they label illegitimate.

What investigation has the left labeled illegitimate because of a disliked goal?
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2020 11:12 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:
How are the individual Democrats personally gaining?

They are harming someone who disagrees with them.


InfraBlue wrote:
What investigation has the left labeled illegitimate because of a disliked goal?

The effort to investigate the Bidens.
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2020 06:25 am
@coldjoint,
No. Thats your forte.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2020 01:45 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
How are the individual Democrats personally gaining?

They are harming someone who disagrees with them.

In regard to Trump, that's a secondary gain, at best. Primarily, the gain is for the nation in attempting to remove him from office for abusing the office of POTUS for personal gain.

oralloy wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
What investigation has the left labeled illegitimate because of a disliked goal?

The effort to investigate the Bidens.

What's the disliked goal of the investigation?
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2020 02:01 pm
@MontereyJack,
He is merely giving the progressives here a dose of their own medicine.

If progressives want enlightened debate then progressives shouldn't keep dragging the debate into the gutter.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2020 02:03 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:
In regard to Trump, that's a secondary gain, at best.

It is the reason why the Democrats started a witch hunt against Mr. Trump from the moment he took office.

It is also the reason for the Democrats' past witch hunts against Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W Bush.

These abuses are a regular recurring behavior with Democrats.


InfraBlue wrote:
Primarily, the gain is for the nation in attempting to remove him from office for abusing the office of POTUS for personal gain.

If that is an abuse, then the Democrats are the prime abusers with all of their abusing the law to conduct witch hunts against people who do not agree with them.


InfraBlue wrote:
What's the disliked goal of the investigation?

Democrats think that they should be above the law. They don't like it when they are the ones who are under investigation.

I'm unsure if the attempt to investigate the Bidens is legitimate or just a retaliatory witch hunt. But at the worst, Mr. Trump is just doing the same thing to the Bidens that the Democrats are doing to him. Either way, it amounts to the Democrats not liking it when someone tells them that they have to play by the same rules that apply to everyone else.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2020 05:47 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
In regard to Trump, that's a secondary gain, at best.

It is the reason why the Democrats started a witch hunt against Mr. Trump from the moment he took office.

No it's not.

oralloy wrote:

It is also the reason for the Democrats' past witch hunts against Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W Bush.

No it isn't.

oralloy wrote:

These abuses are a regular recurring behavior with Democrats.

It's merely your opinion that these are abuses.

oralloy wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
Primarily, the gain is for the nation in attempting to remove him from office for abusing the office of POTUS for personal gain.

If that is an abuse, then the Democrats are the prime abusers with all of their abusing the law to conduct witch hunts against people who do not agree with them.

How are the Democrats abusing the law if the law has allowed these investigations?

oralloy wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
What's the disliked goal of the investigation?


I'm unsure if the attempt to investigate the Bidens is legitimate or just a retaliatory witch hunt.

So he randomly chose the Bidens to get even?

oralloy wrote:
But at the worst, Mr. Trump is just doing the same thing to the Bidens that the Democrats are doing to him. Either way, it amounts to the Democrats not liking it when someone tells them that they have to play by the same rules that apply to everyone else.

So, what's become of the Republicans' investigations into the Bidens? Is Hunter up on his taxes?
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2020 12:56 am
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:
No it's not.
No it isn't.

I say that it is.


InfraBlue wrote:
It's merely your opinion that these are abuses.

If they aren't abuses, then it's also not an abuse for Mr. Trump to try to have the Bidens investigated for political reasons.

Fair play requires the same rules for both sides.


InfraBlue wrote:
How are the Democrats abusing the law if the law has allowed these investigations?

In theory the law isn't meant to be a weapon for harming people who disagree with powerful politicians.

But either politically-motivated investigations are an abuse or they aren't. The same rules need to be applied fairly to both sides.

I think I'd prefer it if politically-motivated investigations were off limits. I'd like to see an end to the witch hunts. But if such investigations are not an abuse, then it's also OK for Republicans to have Democrats investigated for political reasons.


InfraBlue wrote:
So he randomly chose the Bidens to get even?

Possibly. I'm not really sure why he wanted to have the Bidens investigated. It may be because he genuinely found their behavior suspicious. It may be random revenge. It may be targeted revenge. Your guess is as good as mine.


InfraBlue wrote:
So, what's become of the Republicans' investigations into the Bidens? Is Hunter up on his taxes?

I am not aware of such investigations. With the exception of politicians' stances on guns, I don't pay a lot of attention to politics these days.

This post sums up my feelings about present-day politics:
https://able2know.org/topic/267070-875#post-6872319
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2020 12:00 pm
This impeachment seems to illustrate a certain complex of power relations that have been established. Let's list some of the interests being discussed in relation to the impeachment:

1) Ukraine has a power company and Hunter Biden worked for it while Joe Biden was in office. This suggests that Ukraine has some political power over the Bidens and would thus have an interest in using them to secure US aid as military aid or otherwise.

2) Iran had plans for a nuclear-powered growth economy that was bringing it money from investors eying the prospect of cashing in on opportunities they saw as nascent while the Iran nuclear deal was still looking like it would happen.

3) Ukrainian plane was shot down over Iran, suggesting that the two political-economic theaters are connected beyond the rivalry between Trump and Biden.

4) Trump is being impeached for supposedly communicating the threat of withholding military aid to Ukraine if they failed to hurt Biden's chances of winning against Trump somehow.

It seems that the real interest at work here is not Trump seeking help in winning elections but rather Ukraine and Iran (or rather the business interests behind both) trying to secure funding and investment for economic reasons.

They don't care whether Trump or Biden prevail, but they want to ensure that whoever is in the White House and/or otherwise in control of US aid and nuclear power authorization is on their side. If they can gain leverage by manipulating the Bidens, then that is how they will do it. If they can do it by manipulating Trump, they will do it that way. If they can do it by impeaching Trump and thus setting an example for future Republicans who might impede their aid and industrial-economic power, they will do it that way.

It's not about Trump and Biden, or even Ukraine and Iran for that matter. They are all just puppets in a play designed to effectuate power over money and nuclear energy and thus control over markets/investors.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Jan, 2020 04:45 am
Chris Wallace rips into Lindsey Graham over witnesses at Senate trial.

Published January 20, 2020


coldjoint
 
  0  
Reply Sun 26 Jan, 2020 12:30 pm
@Real Music,
Quote:
Published January 20, 2020

Old news.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  3  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2020 08:00 pm
Feinstein says she’s a maybe on acquitting Trump as his defense team ends impeachment arguments

By MOLLY O’TOOLE, JENNIFER HABERKORN, ELI STOKOLS
JAN. 28, 2020 12:13 PM

Just after President Trump’s defense lawyers ended arguments in their Senate trial Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein suggested she could vote to acquit him, despite serious concerns about his character.

“Nine months left to go, the people should judge. We are a republic, we are based on the will of the people — the people should judge,” Feinstein said Tuesday, after the president’s team finished a three-day presentation in his defense. “That was my view and it still is my view.”

Still, she indicated that arguments in the trial about Trump’s character and fitness for office had left her undecided. “What changed my opinion as this went on,” she said, is a realization that “impeachment isn’t about one offense. It’s really about the character and ability and physical and mental fitness of the individual to serve the people, not themselves.”

Asked whether she would ultimately vote to acquit, she demurred, saying, “We’re not finished.”

After those remarks were published, Feinstein issued a statement saying she had been misunderstood.

“Before the trial I said I’d keep an open mind. Now that both sides made their cases, it’s clear the president’s actions were wrong. He withheld vital foreign assistance for personal political gain. That can’t be allowed to stand.”

Feinstein’s original remark went further than any of her fellow Democrats in suggesting that she might vote for acquittal. Several Democrats have not ruled out voting for acquittal. But only two Democrats were considered truly up for grabs because of the strong support for Trump in their states: Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Doug Jones of Alabama.

Manchin told CNN on Saturday that Trump’s team did a “good job” in its initial arguments, “making me think about things.” He said separately on Fox, “I am totally undecided.”

Feinstein’s comments came after final arguments from Trump lawyers in which they broadly dismissed the elephant in the Senate chamber: a leaked firsthand account from John Bolton, the former national security advisor, that the president directly tied aid to Ukraine to his demands for the country to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

Feinstein told reporters that her office had received roughly 125,000 letters in support of the impeachment last week, and about 30,000 against it. “There is substantial weight to this,” she said, “and the question is: Is it enough to cast this vote?”

The revelation on Sunday from a draft manuscript of Bolton’s upcoming book, undercut the president’s defense and splintered Republicans, leaving a few of them calling for Bolton and other witnesses to testify. GOP leaders have opposed calling witnesses, which would prolong the trial and introduce potentially damning testimony, upending White House and Senate Republicans’ plans for Trump’s quick acquittal.

The trial is heading into a crucial stage. On Wednesday senators are planning to start their public questioning of both the defense team and the Democratic House impeachment managers, with key votes on whether to call witnesses. The outcome of a vote on allowing witnesse, expected Friday, remained uncertain after a closed-door strategy session of Senate Republicans on Tuesday afternoon. “No clear conclusions,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

After the Trump team initially sidestepped the Bolton reports in their arguments Monday, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow urged the Senate on Tuesday to ignore the recent reports.

Impeachment, Sekulow said, “is not a game of leaks and unsourced manuscripts. That is politics unfortunately.” Alexander Hamilton, he continued, “put impeachment in the hands of this body, the Senate, precisely and specifically, to be above that fray.” The Senate, Sekulow said, should “end the era of impeachment for good.”

Alan Dershowitz, a veteran defense attorney, was the only member of Trump’s 10-person team to mention Bolton’s name Monday, the first full day of the lawyers’ presentation. While Trump has argued that his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president that prompted the impeachment inquiry was “perfect,” Dershowitz at one point suggested a different defense tack, arguing essentially, so what?

“Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense,” Dershowitz told the Senate in his first appearance at the trial.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) echoed that argument Tuesday, suggesting that even if Democrats could get the necessary four Republican votes for a majority in favor of subpoenaing Bolton or other witnesses, it wouldn’t make much of a difference given that the Republican-majority Senate will almost certainly vote to acquit the president.

“To me, it seems like the facts are largely undisputed; I don’t know what additional witnesses will tell us,” Cornyn said of Bolton. “We know what the facts are, and the question is whether the facts meet the constitutional standard of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’”

Trump’s lawyers have continued to assert that Trump had “done nothing wrong” and was genuinely interested in combating corruption in Ukraine when he directed that nearly $400 million in security assistance and a White House meeting with its president be withheld as he pushed the new government to announce probes of Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company when his father was vice president.

The president’s lawyers have said that House Democrats didn’t provide any firsthand witnesses or direct evidence to prove their charges that Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his potential rival in the 2020 presidential election and then obstructed Congress to cover it up.

Bolton, a combative conservative and a hawk on national security, declined a House invitation to testify but subsequently said he would do so at the Senate trial if subpoenaed. However, the White House issued a blanket order blocking officials and documents, calling the impeachment process illegitimate.

The Bolton allegations have fractured the largely united front that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had maintained. Several mostly moderate Republicans who’d been open to calling witnesses have now become more so.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) made an impassioned speech during a party lunch Monday arguing for Bolton to be called, leading to a direct attack from colleague Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.). Afterward, Romney told reporters that “it’s increasingly likely” that there will be enough votes to subpoena Bolton.

Underscoring the chaos the Bolton report has unleashed, other once-resistant Republicans seemed to shift their position on witnesses.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the president’s closest allies in the Senate, initially opposed calls for any witnesses, whether the Bidens or Bolton. He seemed to reverse himself Monday after the Bolton reports, and Tuesday he supported a proposal by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) that Bolton’s manuscript be made available for senators to read in a classified setting known as a SCIF, or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. The idea could be viewed as a way of getting Bolton’s information to the Senate without his public testimony.

Each senator would have “the opportunity to review the manuscript and make their own determination,” Graham tweeted.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate minority leader, rejected the proposal as “absurd.”

“It’s a book,” Schumer said of Bolton’s manuscript, which is set to publish in March. “There’s no need for it to be read in the SCIF unless you want to hide something.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) questioned Bolton’s motivations for wanting to testify, and the timing of the leak. “Democrats have spent a lot of time imagining what the president’s motives are,” Paul said. “Someone ought to spend some time imaging what John Bolton’s motives are other than making millions of dollars to trash the president.” And Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) quipped, “I’m sure Mr. Bolton would rather I’d bought the book.”

Other Republican senators indicated they’d continue taking their cue from the president’s team. Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general, pushed unproved theories that the Bidens engaged in corruption in Ukraine. Kenneth W. Starr, the prosecutor whose four-year investigation ultimately led to the impeachment of Democratic President Clinton, claimed that the impeachment process itself is being abused for political ends.

As Trump’s defense team wrapped up, the war over witnesses is likely to be reflected in senators’ written questions to the president’s lawyers and the Democratic House managers. They have up to 16 hours on Wednesday and Thursday for questions, which will go back and forth between Republicans and Democrats, to be read aloud by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Roberts said on Tuesday that lawyers on both sides should adhere to Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s guidelines in the Clinton trial of a five-minute cap on answers.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate minority whip, said he had whittled his nearly 30 questions down to nine. Democratic leaders have collected draft questions to “avoid duplication and pick the ones in sequences that make sense in terms of delivering a message,” he said. Schumer said Democrats’ questions would give House managers a chance to rebut the Trump lawyers’ claims.

Several questions are expected about Bolton, with Republicans focusing on why the House didn’t push harder to get his testimony. Both Republicans and Democrats have also suggested they have questions about Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, who was central to the dealings in Ukraine.

“I want to confirm that Rudy Giuliani was working personally for the president and not on behalf of the United States of America,” said Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.)

Manchin has said he would also like to hear from Trump’s White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, based on testimony during the House impeachment investigation about his dealings with Trump on Ukraine policy.

It remains unclear what sort of agreement Republicans and Democrats could reach on calling witnesses, with additional testimony carrying risks for both sides. Many Republicans have said they would agree to calling Bolton only if the Bidens are also subpoenaed, while Democrats say they won’t be any part of any such “trade,” because the Bidens are irrelevant to the charges against Trump.

“I’ll make a prediction: [There will] be 51 Republican votes to call Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, the whistleblower,” Graham warned. “If people want witnesses, we’re going to get a lot of witnesses.”

Durbin called the idea of bargaining over testimony — “‘Well, we’ll give you one material witness for one relevant witness’” — “baloney.” Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.) said that agreeing to call Biden in exchange for Bolton would make Democrats “complicit” in Trump’s original scheme to smear Biden.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) argued Tuesday morning against any witnesses. “When you open the door a little you’ll never satiate the appetite that House managers have for witnesses,” Cramer said. “It’s as though they want to go fishing in the United States Senate and they’re going to fish until they catch one.”
0 Replies
 
 

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