The Impeachment of Donald Trump

I am not talking about Trump loyalists, I’m talking about those on the edge of Trump support and those who either don’t vote or pay no attention to ongoing politics until just before an election.

*Edit: What I am exasperated by is not “why isn’t Trump going to be easily impeached and also removed?” but rather, why doesn’t more of the country & electorate have a problem with his behavior? Maybe they disapprove in concept but there won’t be marching in the streets and/or overwhelming votes against the craven Trump-defending Congresscritters. Hong Kong shows what good looks like in their large-scale protests and recent overwhelming vote in favor of pro-democracy politicians.

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I think the problem with that is the people who “don’t pay attention to politics” is a very nebulous term that people can’t exact down to a number or demographic and if they are influential enough to even do anything. We don’t really have a party between Dems/GOP that would fit in their demographic to match that up. Though personally I think if you are still detached to politics even in the middle of the Trump era; nothing will ever make you care. (Unless god forbid something happens directly to that person or close one that makes them have a massive shift)

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EDIT: Lindsey Graham surprisingly breaks character.

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I expect Graham to change his tune after his next golf trip with Trump.

It is the most predictable thing, happens like clockwork.

Usually he doesn’t break character at all, though. I wonder if whatever Trump had on him ran out…

I mean, when Trump abandoned the Kurds, Graham initially spoke out. Then they met privately. Then Graham changed his tune.

Pelosi announced that articles of impeachment will be drafted.

On the topic of my earlier comments and frustration around voters who might be able to be persuaded, another newspaper profile of white middle-class voters in the midwest stating that the impeachment hearings are just muddying the waters… Gah! Then this response:

This resonates especially because it is what I found out from my brother-in-law that my parents believe - the news is so biased in their respective directions that you can’t really know what actually happened and it’s all political theater with each side pursuing their own agenda. My reaction: well, I guess if nothing can be known we ought to just shut everything down and go back to hunter-gather life because how can we run a modern society without any commonly agreed upon facts about reality!?! /smh

The next phase of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump kicked off today, as the House Judiciary Committee convened its first public hearing on whether the president’s alleged wrongdoing amounts to impeachable offenses. Representative Jerry Nadler of New York, the committee’s chairman, finds himself back in the impeachment spotlight with the unenviable task of trying to maintain a serious hearing amid Republican attempts to derail it.

Below, the full text of Nadler’s opening statement as delivered.

The facts before us are undisputed. On July 25, President Trump called President Zelensky of Ukraine and in President Trump’s words, “asked him for a favor.” That call was part of a concerted effort by the president and his men to solicit a personal advantage in the next election, this time in the form of an investigation of his political adversaries by a foreign government. To obtain that private political advantage, President Trump withheld an official White House meeting from the newly elected president of a fragile democracy, and withheld vital military aid from a vulnerable ally. When Congress found out about this scheme and began to investigate, President Trump took extraordinary and unprecedented steps to cover up his efforts and withhold evidence from the investigators, and when witnesses disobeyed him, when career professionals came forward and told us the truth, he attacked them viciously, calling them traitors and liars, promising they will, “Go through some things.”

Of course, this is not the first time President Trump has engaged in this pattern of conduct. In 2016, the Russian government engaged in a sweeping campaign of interference in our elections. In the words of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, “the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome.” The president welcomed that interference. We saw this in real time when President Trump asked Russia to hack his political opponents. The very next day, the Russian military intelligence unit attempted to hack that political opponent. When his own Justice Department tried to uncover the extent to which a foreign government had broken our laws, President Trump took extraordinary and unprecedented steps to obstruct the investigation, including ignoring subpoenas, ordering the creation of false records, and publicly attacking and intimidating witnesses. That is now this administration’s level of obstruction is without precedent. No other president has vowed to “fight for all the subpoenas,” as President Trump promised. In the 1974 impeachment proceedings, President Nixon produced dozens of recordings. In 1998, President Clinton physically gave his blood. President Trump by contrast, has refused to produce a single document and directed every witness not to testify. Those are the facts before us.

The impeachment inquiry has moved back to the House Judiciary Committee. And as we begin a review of these facts, the president’s pattern of behavior becomes clear. President Trump welcomed foreign interference in the 2016 election. He demanded it for the 2020 election. In both cases, he got caught and in both cases he did everything in his power to prevent the American people from learning the truth about his conduct. On July 24th, the special counsel testified before this committee. He implored us to see the nature of the threat to our country: “Over the course of my career, I have seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s efforts to interfere in our elections is among the most serious. This deserves the attention of every American.”

Ignoring that warning President Trump called the Ukrainian president the very next day to ask him to investigate the president’s political opponent. As we exercise our responsibility to determine whether this pattern of behavior constitutes an impeachable offense, it is important to place President Trump’s conduct into historical context. Since the founding of our country, the House of Representatives has impeached only two presidents. A third was on his way to impeachment when he resigned. This committee has voted to impeach two presidents for obstructing justice. We have voted to impeach one president for obstructing a congressional investigation. To the extent that President Trump’s conduct fits these categories, there’s precedent for recommending impeachment here. But never before in the history of the republic have we been forced to consider the conduct of a president who appears to have solicited personal political favors from a foreign government. Never before has a president engaged in the course of conduct, that included all of the acts that most concerned the framers.

The patriots who founded our country were not fearful men. They fought a war. They witnessed terrible violence. They overthrew a king. But as they met to frame our Constitution, those patriots still feared one threat above all: foreign interference in our elections. They had just deposed a tyrant they were deeply worried we would lose our new found liberty, not through a war. If a foreign army were to invade we’d see that coming, but from corruption from within. In the early years of the republic they asked us, each of us to be vigilant to that threat. Washington warned us “to be constantly awake since history had experienced proved foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.” Adams wrote to Jefferson, “as often as elections happen, the danger of foreign influence recurs.” Hamilton’s warning was more specific and more dire. In the Federalist Papers, he wrote that “the most deadly adversaries of republican government,” would certainly attempt to “raise a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the union.”

In short, the founders warned us that we should expect our foreign adversaries to target our elections and that we will find ourselves in grave danger if the president willingly opens the door to their influence. What kind of president would do that? How will we know if the president has betrayed his country in this manner? How will we know if he’s betrayed his country in this manner for petty personal gain? Hamilton had a response for that as well. He wrote, “when a man unprincipled in private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty, when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity, to join the cry of danger, to liberty to take every opportunity of embarrassing the general government, and bringing it under suspicion, it may justly be suspected his object is to throw things into confusion, that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the storm in which we find ourselves today was set in motion by President Trump. I do not wish this moment on the country. It is not a pleasant task we undertake today. But we have each taken an oath to protect the Constitution and the facts before us are clear. President Trump did not merely seek to benefit from foreign interference in our elections, he directly and explicitly invited foreign interference in our elections. He used the powers of his office to try to make it happen. He sent his agents to make clear that this is what he wanted and demanded. He was willing to compromise our security and his office for personal political gain. It does not matter that President Trump got caught and ultimately released the funds that Ukraine so desperately needed. It matters that he enlisted a foreign government to intervene in our elections in the first place. It does not matter that President Trump felt that these investigations were unfair to him. It matters that he used this office not merely to defend himself but to obstruct investigators at every turn.

We are all aware that the next election is looming, but we cannot wait for the election to address the present crisis. The integrity of that election is one of the very things at stake. The president has shown us his pattern of conduct. If we do not act to hold him in check now, President Trump will almost certainly try again to solicit interference in the election for his personal political gain. Today we will begin our conversation where we should, with the text of the Constitution. We are empowered to recommend the impeachment of President Trump to the House if we find that he has committed treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Our witness panel will help us to guide that conversation. In a few days, we’ll reconvene and hear from the committees that worked to uncover the facts before us. And when we apply the Constitution to those facts, if it is true that President Trump has committed an impeachable offense or multiple impeachable offenses, then we must move swiftly to do our duty and charge him accordingly. I thank the witnesses for being here today.

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I figured everyone knows already, but just for the sake of completeness, here are the Articles of Impeachment that the House is bringing against Trump:

Article I: Abuse of Power

Article II: Obstruction of Congress

Yeah, it seems like they went with the bare minimum. Focus only on the Ukraine biz and the related obstruction. Don’t waste time adding more. Don’t muddy the waters adding more. I agree that this is a good strategy because you only need to pass one article in the senate to get removal which is what really matters.

That being said, what I would like to see is more articles. I want to see the house drafting new articles while the senate is still trying the previous ones. There’s a never-ending fountain of impeachable offenses. Mueller report related offenses, emoluments related offenses, just so many. If he’s actually removed from office, by whatever means, then they can stop. Until then, just pile it on if for no other reason than to document all of the offenses for the history books. It’s not like the house has any work to do passing more bills for the senate to ignore. Spending time having more impeachment hearings seems more productive.

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While I would like the House to continue impeachment hearings, it’s also very important for Democrats to continue to do their “normal” jobs of trying to pass more legislation, even if the Senate doesn’t do anything with it.

A lot of the pick-ups that the Democrats made in the House in 2018 were in suburban, formerly red, districts that voted for Trump. There is no guarantee that these Congress members will keep their seats in 2020. They very much want the House to continue to try and pass legislation so they can go back to their constituents and tell them that yes, they impeached Trump, but that they also passed Bill X, Y, and Z and that they’re trying to do their jobs.

The Democrats need these suburban districts if they want to keep their House Majority in 2020.

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Was thinking about how the US Senate has been the place where bills go to die and the upcoming US election next year. There would need to be a swing of 4 seats in the Senate. There are 12 Democratic seats up for election and 23 Republican seats.

https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_elections,_2020

Short version: It’s possible to flip the Senate in the next election, granted if Trump doesn’t get re-elected then the point is moot. Still, not having the current Senate just rubber stamp Trump’s behavior, and Trump treating this as a “Fully Exonerated” would not play well in the run up to the Election.

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Not at all. If Trump gets reelected, the Senate will be the ones to confirm his judicial nominees. If Democrats take control of the Senate and Trump gets reelected, they can block his nominees “Merrick Garland-style.”

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True,

Getting the Senate Majority back is important. With the majority the Judicial Committee can just basically say no to garbage appointees if Trump (somehow) wins again.

I was more looking at it from the standpoint of “Trump will most likely be in state courts for the rest of his life after his Presidency.”

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So I have a couple questions about the the current process and how it compares with a past process.

  1. Did the house have to vote on the articles of impeachment they passed

  2. Having presented the 2 articles that they did, is that the end of the houses role in the impeachment process? I know they can pass more articles but I’m not interested in what they CAN do, I’m interested in what they HAVE to do.

  3. How far along in the process have we gotten compared with how far they got with Johnson.

Johnson is barely remembered by the majority of people but of those who know who he is the one thing they may remember about him (right or wrong) is that he was impeached.

They haven’t been voted on yet, just proposed. The House Judiciary committee will now debate the articles of impeachment, make any adjustments as they decide, vote in that committee and then send the official articles to the entire House of Representatives to vote on.

Andrew Johnson went to trial in the Senate after the House passed articles and narrowly avoided conviction. The vote was 35-19 in favor of removal, falling short by one vote of the 2/3’s required.

A far as keeping abreast of where things are at, what has happened, I have found this site to be a great way to keep informed in 60-120 seconds a day: https://www.impeachment.fyi/

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You might wanna read this for any procedural questions:

The Articles do have to be voted on by the House, that’s why they’re debating them now. Presenting Articles is all the House does. Once the House ratifies them, then the articles get sent to The Senate who votes on whether or not to uphold the articles, and which articles to uphold. Compared to how far we got with Andrew Johnson, we’re at the very beginning of the whole process. Johnson got tried on two of the eleven articles the House ratified (only five of which were upheld by the Senate), and after those two trials it became clear that the Republicans didn’t have the partisan unity to remove him so they essentially gave up. The whole process took several months to conclude and, given how much less time Congress spends on the floor these days and the fact that McConnell can essentially hold the vote on the Articles hostage, I’m skeptical that there will even be a trial for Trump.

EDIT: To put in another way, if Impeachment is a walk across all of Manhattan, the Radical Republicans of the 1860s got to Harlem and tripped. Right now, we’re in SoHo at the furthest.

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Thanks.

Ok so we’ve got a way to go before my prediction comes into effect. I imagine we’re heading to about the corner of Central Park East sitting on a bench and never getting up, (predict the senate refuses to hold a vote, it’s been their trick for this entire term)

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That very well may be, the behavior and attitude of McConnell would be in line with this eventuality. However, the statements made so far indicate “something” will be done with the eventual articles presented to the Senate. They are talking of a trial, even an expected time-frame (early January, after the holidays), but of course right now talk is super cheap. I am under no illusions that any significant number of Senate Republicans would vote to impeach, I just want it all on record.

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