17
   

Impeachment: The Process Begins

 
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2019 10:36 am
@georgeob1,
There is a big difference between this impeachment inquiry and an election. My prediction is that Republican elected officials will decline to defend Trump and will support the impeachment process. This has nothing to do with Democratic candidates.

Today we got to see the whistleblower report. What do you do when what you are calling a witch hunt turns up an actual witch?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2019 10:41 am
@maxdancona,
During the time of witch trials there were witches, not Satan worshipping Demonologists, but women who'd been versed in herbalism and medicine.

As medicine was the preserve of men they got it too.

I'd look for a better analogy because this one isn't really working.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2019 02:21 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
I'm not really the person to be talking to about broken politics right now.

Trump may be lots of things but he's never made the Queen break the law.

My sympathies on your side of the Atlantic as well Wink
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2019 02:25 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
rosborne979 wrote:
For example, the Democrats are currently involved in political election strategic maneuvering rather than simply doing the honorable thing (given the evidence) and proceeding with impeachment.

There is nothing honorable about witch-hunts against people who don't agree with the progressives' demented ideology.

It's not a witch hunt if the transcript of the conversation says what it does and the President himself confirmed it's accuracy. I understand what was said and I recognize that is an impeachable offence (at the very least). We have all been made witnesses to this crime.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2019 04:56 pm
@rosborne979,
That is logically untrue. A witch hunt is a witch hunt even if it happens to discover actual wrongdoing.

And no wrongdoing has come to light in any case. If "trying to have your rivals investigated" is an abuse of power, then it is an abuse of power that the Democrats have committed far worse than Trump has ever done.

Are you going to join me in saying that the entire Democratic Party should be abolished?
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2019 04:57 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
What do you do when what you are calling a witch hunt turns up an actual witch?

What do you do if an illegal search turns up evidence of a crime? Does it suddenly become a legal search?

Besides, your witch hunt isn't turning up any witches. As is typical of a witch hunt, all it is doing is harming innocent people.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  2  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2019 07:10 am
Why Was Ukraine's Top Prosecutor Fired? The Issue At The Heart Of The Dispute Gripping Washington
September 24, 2019 13:31 GMT
By Christopher Miller

KYIV -- When Viktor Shokin was fired as Ukraine's prosecutor-general in March 2016, after less than 14 months in the post, it was seen as a crucial development in a country under pressure to curb corruption and get serious about reforms. Now Shokin’s dismissal, and Ukraine itself, are at the center of a political whirlwind in Washington that is buffeting Donald Trump's presidency and playing into the 2020 White House race.

Here is a look at the arguments, facts, and evidence in the dispute pitting Trump against former Vice President Joe Biden, a front-runner for the Democratic nomination to challenge the incumbent in the election next year.

Trump and his allies, including his personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, accuse Biden of using his position as vice president and point man on relations with Kyiv in 2016 to help Burisma -- a Ukrainian energy company that was paying Biden's son Hunter, who was on its board of directors -- avoid damage from a criminal investigation.

They assert that Shokin was overseeing an active criminal investigation into Burisma and that Biden at the time told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the United States would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless Shokin was fired.

But Ukrainian prosecutors and anti-corruption activists with knowledge of the matter argue that the timeline of developments in the Burisma case and Shokin's stint as chief prosecutor simply does not fit the narrative being put forward by Trump and his allies.

Moreover, they say that Shokin himself was the biggest obstacle standing in the way of the investigation.

'Burisma Case'

Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Kyiv-based Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC), told RFE/RL that Shokin "dumped important criminal investigations on corruption associated with [former President Viktor] Yanukovych, including the Burisma case."

Trump and his allies have repeated their claim in recent days, amid reports that the U.S. president pressured Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to open an investigation into the Bidens during a July 25 phone call that is now at the heart of an extraordinary whistle-blower complaint from a U.S. intelligence official.

The call came as Kyiv was awaiting approval of almost $400 million in Pentagon and State Department military assistance for Ukraine, which is fighting Russia-backed separatists who hold parts of two eastern provinces in a still-simmering war that has killed more than 13,000 people since April 2014.

Citing three unnamed senior U.S. administration officials, The Washington Post reported on September 23 that Trump had told his acting chief of staff at least a week before the call to hold the assistance package because he had "concerns" about how the money would be used.

The New York Times, also citing unnamed senior administration officials, reported that Trump did not discuss the delay in assistance in his call with Zelenskiy.

Suggestions that Trump and allies such as Giuliani pressured Zelenskiy and his administration to investigate Biden -- whether or not a direct quid pro quo was proposed -- have led to mounting calls from Democrats for the impeachment of the U.S. president.

Trump has pushed back, at one point citing remarks in which Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko told the country's Hromadske TV that he did not think "there was pressure" from the U.S. president in the phone call.

"The Ukrainian Government just said they weren't pressured at all during the 'nice' call," Trump tweeted late on September 22, a day after the Hromadske report. "Sleepy Joe Biden, on the other hand, forced a tough prosecutor out from investigating his son's company by threat of not giving big dollars to Ukraine. That's the real story!"

Biden did demand that Shokin be removed. At an event at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in 2018, Biden seemed to boast about it, saying that during a visit to Kyiv -- likely in December 2015 -- he told Ukrainian officials: "We're leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor's not fired, you're not getting the money."

"Well, son of a bitch," Biden continued. "He got fired."

Shokin was indeed fired, but not until March that year.

Question Of Pressure

However, there are two big problems with the narrative presented by Trump and Giuliani, according to activists in Ukraine and others.

For one thing, Ukrainian prosecutors and anti-corruption advocates who were pushing for an investigation into the dealings of Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevskiy, said the probe had been dormant long before Biden leveled his demand.

"There was no pressure from anyone from the United States" to close the case against Zlochevskiy, Vitaliy Kasko, who was a deputy prosecutor-general under Shokin and is now first deputy prosecutor-general, told Bloomberg News in May. "It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015," he added.

Activists say the case had been sabotaged by Shokin himself. As an example, they say two months before Hunter Biden joined Burisma's board, British authorities had requested information from Shokin's office as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering by Zlochevskiy. Shokin ignored them.

Kaleniuk and AntAC published a detailed timeline of events surrounding the Burisma case, an outline of evidence suggesting that three consecutive chief prosecutors of Ukraine -- first Shokin’s predecessor, then Shokin, and then his successor -- worked to bury it.

"Ironically, Joe Biden asked Shokin to leave because the prosecutor failed [to pursue] the Burisma investigation, not because Shokin was tough and active with this case," Kaleniuk said.

Ukrainian prosecutors have described no evidence indicating that Biden sought to help his son by getting Shokin dismissed -- and have suggested that they have not discovered any such evidence.

But there is a long list of Western organizations, governments, and diplomats, as well as Ukrainian anti-corruption groups, that wanted to see Shokin fired.

They include the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the U.S. government, foreign investors, and Ukrainian advocates of reform.


In a column published days after Shokin was fired in March 2016, Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, wrote that his dismissal came as no surprise.

"The amazing thing is not that he was sacked but that it has taken so long," Aslund said. "Petro Poroshenko appointed Shokin to the role in February 2015. From the outset, he stood out by causing great damage even to Ukraine's substandard legal system."

https://www.rferl.org/a/why-was-ukraine-top-prosecutor-fired-viktor-shokin/30181445.html
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2019 08:35 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
The Republicans are going to try to emphasize that this is a political stunt. Of course, impeachment is always a political stunt, sometimes it is a useful and warranted political stunt.

What if it's a political stunt orchestrated to fail in favor of Trump and make him look vindicated and strong in relation to his 'weak' opposers?

In that case, couldn't it be yet another tricky iteration of Russian meddling to help Trump win re-election?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2019 09:51 pm
@livinglava,
There are two ways to look at impeachment.

1) If you are looking from the point of view of what is best for the country, the only important question is whether Trump has committed a "high crime or misdemeanor" that warrants his impeachment. It is frustrating that opinions about whether this is the case fall along partisan political lines.

The purpose of impeachment is to act as a check on the behavior of the president (or other political official). We give the president a lot of power. If he abuses that power, impeachment is the remedy.

For what it is worth, in my opinion this latest scandal is unique. Before this whistleblower report came out I felt that impeachment was inappropriate. Now that it has come out, I feel impeachment is warranted.

The Republican whining about Trump being the victim of a witch hunt is irrelevant. If Trump committed an impeachable offense, he should be impeached. If he didn't, then he shouldn't. The Democrats have nothing to do with this. The discussion should be on the relevant facts of the case... that is, what did Trump do and what is the evidence. Nothing else is relevant.

2) You can look at impeachment from the point of view of political strategy. The impeachment process revolves around a vote by partisan politicians with nothing to prevent them from voting along party lines.

This impeachment system is designed to be a political contest, played out in public. The accountability on either party is punishment in the ballot box, so each side must make its case to the American electorate.

The Republicans are going to work to make Trump look like a victim. The Democrats are going to try to make him look like a correct despot. The winner will be the side that can convince the middle American voter to believe their narrative.

georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 11:35 am
@maxdancona,
I think that's a pretty good assessment of the situation. Very turbulent & dynamic times. In a perverse way Trump's best assets are the current state of the economy and the evolving Democrat party Platform, while the Democrat's best asset is Trump himself.
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 01:34 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

There are two ways to look at impeachment.

1) If you are looking from the point of view of what is best for the country, the only important question is whether Trump has committed a "high crime or misdemeanor" that warrants his impeachment. It is frustrating that opinions about whether this is the case fall along partisan political lines.

There's also the problem of a global socialist movement that has systematically turned the Democratic party into a faction of tactical operatives seeking to effectuate policies that stimulate growth to fund fiscal transfers regardless of inflationary effects or how economically dependent/vulnerable/weak it makes the people.

What you're failing to consider, however, is that impeaching Trump doesn't automatically remove him; so there's a propaganda effect the impeachment will have, and if that effect is to make the Democrats look petty and aggressive while making Trump look like a victim standing up for himself against bullies, then it will be propaganda in Trump's favor leading up to an election.

That is why I ask if the impeachment could be more Russian propaganda geared toward helping Trump get (re)elected.

Quote:
The purpose of impeachment is to act as a check on the behavior of the president (or other political official). We give the president a lot of power. If he abuses that power, impeachment is the remedy.

There are manifest and latent functions. You are talking about the manifest functions of impeachment, but ignoring the latent functions, which are 1) from the Dems POV to create a culture of harassment against Republicans in order to scare/ridicule their voters away from considering the GOP 2) from the GOP POV, to have the Democrats 'show their asses' so to speak, so that people will see them as the bullies they are and thus see Trump as a victim of bullying, which he is, and thus side with him as a victim.

Quote:
For what it is worth, in my opinion this latest scandal is unique. Before this whistleblower report came out I felt that impeachment was inappropriate. Now that it has come out, I feel impeachment is warranted.

You pretend to be a neutral person who only supports impeachment because of specific considerations and not as a general tactic against Trump and the GOP because you support Dem/socialist politics, but I'm familiar with your values and beliefs, so I know you are just playing for the Dem team by pretending to be more independent than factionalism actually allows people to be.

Quote:
The Republican whining about Trump being the victim of a witch hunt is irrelevant. If Trump committed an impeachable offense, he should be impeached. If he didn't, then he shouldn't. The Democrats have nothing to do with this. The discussion should be on the relevant facts of the case... that is, what did Trump do and what is the evidence. Nothing else is relevant.

And if Trump was actually a witch, he should probably be exorcised; but that wouldn't change the fact that Democrats are generally factionalists who attack Trump or any other GOP president for the sake of chipping away at resistance to their factional power.

Quote:

The Republicans are going to work to make Trump look like a victim. The Democrats are going to try to make him look like a correct despot. The winner will be the side that can convince the middle American voter to believe their narrative.

Or Democrats could do the right thing for once and start working together with the GOP and Trump to come up with good policies for all.

Believe it or not, multiparty democracy can actually work constructively through consensus-building. You aren't supposed to put all your effort into removing the other party from government so you can push through your unilaterally-planned agenda without obstruction.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 03:13 pm
@livinglava,
LivingLava you seem to be both confused and angry. I will ignore the anger and try to clear up your confusion.

1) I don't know where you go the idea that I "pretend to be a neutral person". I have never been neutral. I despise Trump. He stands for cruel nationalism, something that I strongly strongly oppose. I want the Democrats to oppose him and to block him.

I do believe that Democrats should work with him when they believe it is in the interest of the country to do so. I also believe that this is rare. This may be cause of your confusion.

2) You seem to be confused about Democracy in general. In a democracy people don't have to fall in line with the Dear Leader. People and politicians alike are allowed to oppose and to block the president.

3) You seem to be confused about impeachment as a process. Impeachment is part of the Constitution, it is a way of removing a president who commits "high crimes and misdemeanors". I wish it wasn't a political process... but it was designed as a political process. It is the process the Constitution gives us to rid ourselves of a president.

4) You seem to be confused about the charges. Trump is accused of abusing is power as president for his personal political gain. Trump has basically admitted to the facts of the case....

- he has released the transcript of one of the calls and didn't deny its contents
- they have admitted that the call was classified to hide it (before it was made public).
- they have admitted that aid to Ukraine was blocked at the presidents orders.


georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 04:01 pm
@maxdancona,
I believe livinglava was a good deal less confused than you assume. Impeachment is overwhelmingly likely to fail contrary to your implicit assumption, as he accurately pointed out.

I believe your condescending accusations of livinglava's supposed confusion, you did more to reveal your own than his.

There's nothing intrinsically cruel about nationalism. Indeed history is fairly clear that international movements like communism and empires have done a good deal more harm to their victims than have nations overall. In addition it is an observable fact that most international organizations ranging from the WTO to the UN and others have become rather flabby and in their actions more indicative of the least common element in their make up than of any real world standard of leadership, integrity and excellence.

Overall it appears to me that, in their persistent denial of the results of the last Presidential election, their continuing refusal to work with Republicans in any constructive way on much needed legislation, and their ongoing efforts (born largely of a visceral hatred) to search for and find any pretext for impeachment is i8s the Democrats who are the current enemies of democracy here.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 04:08 pm
@georgeob1,
That's funny. You are calling my response condescending after Lava's screed about socialism?

Just to be clear, my phrase "cruel nationalism" does not imply that all nationalism is cruel. I am saying that this particular brand of nationalism is particularly cruel. That is a tangent though.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 04:22 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Impeachment is overwhelmingly likely to fail contrary to your implicit assumption, as he accurately pointed out.


This is the interesting question. Over the next few months we will find out if you are correct.

My prediction is that you will start to see some Republicans in Congress turn. They will stop defending the president. The articles of impeachment will pass the House with at least 10 Republican votes (and probably more). We will see if I am correct or not.

- I believe the majority of Americans will accept the Democrats narrative. It is a narrative that is compelling and simple; Trump abused his power as president for personal political gain and then tried to cover it up. There is already evidence to back up this narrative.

- I believe this scandal is completely Trump's fault. He abused his presidential power. The rest of the charges against him could be waited out. This time he screwed himself by clearly crossing a line.

- The Trump administration is kind of screwed... they either provide the evidence that Congress wants to implicate him, or their failure will be seen as a further cover up.

- The only relevant question is; Did Trump use his presidential power for personal political gain. Whether or not Democrats accepted the election is irrelevant.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 05:01 pm
@maxdancona,
each side seems to be manufacturing evidence. Remmember, the Nixon resignation was done after the GOP leadership met with the president several times only AFTER the evidence appeared overwhelming against his position.

This impeachment investigation is not a political one as was both Nixons and Clinton's. This one, whether true or unsustainable, is about the very foundation of our country, that is, whether everyone elected to office is bound by the law and directed by the Constitution. If the evidence is abundantly clear that Trump is guilty as charged, and the GOP votes not guilty, it will b the end of the Republic as we know it. We will have crossed the line to become a Sub constitutional Plutocracy. Then the next Civil War will be begun, jut as the Christiana "RIOTS" were really the first shots of the US Civil War I.

If the evidence does favor him, I really welcome dodging the bullet lading to anarchy

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 05:04 pm
@georgeob1,
Actually , both you and Max have alrady concluded based on no vidence either way. I must remind you that th evidence will present itelf no matter what .
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 05:11 pm
@farmerman,
We have evidence.

1. We have the whistle blower report.
2. We have the transcript of the call which backs up the whistle blower teport.
3. We have confirmation from the White House that the transcript was hidden on a secure server. This also backs up the whistle blower report.

Yes, we need more investigation. And sure, there may be new evidence that rebuts the whistle blower report.

But to say there is no evidence is false.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 06:10 pm
@maxdancona,
well, in case we have selectively parsed it all (I sometimes listen toFox and The conservative channel on Sirius) the GOP pundits claim similar "evidence" that counters it all.
Im hoping they got im but still going to wait. None of us herein are involved in the evidence or the facts .

My entire point is that Suppose its all true and the GOP votes no conviction?
What is that gonna do to the country??
Thats all.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Sep, 2019 06:14 pm
@maxdancona,
It is NOT real evidence till someone associated offers it to the court. Youre jumping to conclusions
0 Replies
 
 

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