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Withheld from Congress: US Intelligence Community’s IG Report on Whistle-blower’s Complaint

Discussion in 'US Politics' started by Zable, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 3 Years

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    Since Bolton is a member of the Republican party, the House and even Senate Republicans can't claim that he is a Dem partisan. They won't be able to ignore what-Trump-and-his-administration-did things he might testify to under oath. Coming from him, it would probably be pretty explosive. I'm just hoping he'll do the right thing and agree to testify without forcing the court process to go all the way. He's probably annoyed he's being asked to tell what he knows in Congress rather than in the book he's drafted.
     
  2. Frank Underwood

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    Bolton has never done the right thing in his life. If he testifies against Trump, it will be for his own self-serving interests.
     
  3. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 3 Years

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    This Week with George Stephanopoulos | ABC News | Nov 24th

    On last Sunday’s show…

    What we learnt from the House Intel Committee impeachment hearings:

    1. Campaign to convince The Ukraine to announce investigations into Biden and the Democrats.

    2. Military aid & White House meeting withheld.

    3. Key national security players knew about campaign.

    4. Shadow diplomacy.

    5. Refusals to testify – Pompeo, Bolton, Mulvaney, Giuliani

    6. Republicans firm in defense

    What’s next in impeachment? Stephanopoulos’s guests debate what’s to come.

     
  4. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 3 Years

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    Trump Embarrassment: MAGA Officials Resign As Dems Prep New Impeachment Hearings | MSNBC

    House Intel Committee hands off to House Judiciary Committee. The first impeachment hearing under the Judiciary Committee – Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment – is set for Dec 4th.

    Ari Melber and guests outline and explain some of the processes that come into effect, comparing and contrasting with the Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings.

     
  5. Zable

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    Neal Katyal On The Case For Impeaching President Donald Trump | The Last Word | MSNBC | Nov 27th

    According to Katyal, the articles of impeachment could look like 3 high crimes:

    1. Abusing the public trust by soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election.

    2. Abusing the public trust by engaging in bribery, repeatedly, through his quid pro quo exchanges with Prez Zelenskiy of The Ukraine.

    3. Abusing the public trust by obstructing justice in the investigations of his conduct, adopting an unconstitutional view of executive power.

     
  6. Zable

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    Chris Cuomo on Cuomo Prime Time questions what GOP stands for if they allow Trump's bad behaviour | CNN



    Trump plays the victim when caught playing the system | Chris Cuomo on Cuomo Prime Time | CNN

     
  7. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 3 Years

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    Fox News' take on Sondland's testimony: nothing to see here
    Sondland’s impeachment testimony prompted the conservative channel to put forth the limpest text possible

    Adam Gabbatt in New York | The Guardian | Nov 20th

    An ostrich, according to common parlance, sticks its head in the sand when threatened. When Gordon Sondland gave his damning testimony on Wednesday, Fox News arguably adopted a similar strategy.

    As the US ambassador to the European Union told the House that he and others “followed the president’s orders” in pressuring Ukraine, CNN and elsewhere quickly changed their chyrons to reflect his revelations.

    Over on Fox News, Sondland’s admission prompted the conservative channel – which is not normally associated with banality – to put forth the limpest text possible

    “House intelligence committee members question Ambassador Sondland in public hearing,” was the text banner, or chyron, on Fox News, as Sondland confirmed that Giuliani stipulated a quid pro quo between US aid to Ukraine and an investigation into Burisma and the 2016 elections.

    Fox News largely stuck diligently to that language for almost two hours, as Sondland went on to add that Giuliani “was expressing the desires of the president of the United States”.

    When the channel did change its text, it presented a rather different take from other media. At 11am, as CNN was chyroning: “Sondland: Giuliani pushed for ‘quid pro quo’ with Ukraine, as ‘desired by Trump’.” Other channels had similar wording.

    At about 11am, the hearing broke for a short recess.

    It was finally an opportunity for Fox News hosts and reporters to put forward a defense of Trump, one that the channel clearly was struggling to mount through onscreen text. They couldn’t.

    “This, listen, on its face, is very damaging to some of the arguments the GOP has been making,” said Bret Baier, host of Special Report with Bret Baier.

    Baier noted that the testimony was particularly damaging given Trump had, not long ago, called Sondland “a really good man and a great American”. As Baier spoke there was a heavy sigh in the background.

    Chris Wallace, a relative centrist host on Fox News, noted that Sondland “certainly makes it clear that in the direct conversations he had with the president he saw a conditionality” between an Ukraine investigation and the release of aid.

    Next, Fox News wheeled out Ken Starr, best known as the lawyer whose investigation led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Starr has consistently been a critic of the impeachment hearings, but he could not muster a defense.

    “We’ve gotten closer to the president,” Starr said. “It doesn’t look good for the president, substantively.”

    Starr did add, that the president “may have covered himself by saying no quid pro quo” – Sondland testified Trump told him that, but that was the one bright light in Starr’s take.

    “I think the articles of impeachment are being drawn up if they haven’t already been drawn up,” Starr continued.​

    Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/20/fox-news-sondland-impeachment-testimony-trump
     
  8. Zable

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    Impeachment Bombshells Explode In Democrats Face | uploaded on YT by the Jimmy Dore Show on Nov 30th​




    Biggest takeaways from Gordon Sondland's impeachment inquiry testimony: `Everyone was in the loop’


    By Eric Tucker and Aamer Madhani | AP | Nov 20th

    WASHINGTON — Gordon Sondland, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, bolstered Democrats’ impeachment narrative Wednesday as he repeatedly talked of a “quid pro quo” involving Ukraine.

    He said “everyone was in the loop” about President Donald Trump’s push for Ukraine to announce investigations into a Ukraine gas company and the 2016 U.S. election.

    Sondland was one of the most anticipated witnesses as Democrats are holding an rigorous week of hearings into whether Trump’s dealings with Ukraine are grounds for impeachment.

    Sondland told lawmakers that he worked with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine at Trump’s direction and that he eventually came to believe that military aid for the country was dependent on Ukraine launching the investigations.

    Some takeaways from Day 4 of the impeachment inquiry before the House intelligence committee:

    __THIS FOR THAT

    Sondland repeatedly referred to a quid pro quo — one thing in return for another — in describing the administration’s dealings with Ukraine.

    It was a remarkable spectacle: Trump’s own ambassador using the exact term that the president himself has disavowed. Sondland is hardly a Never-Trumper: He donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee before being named ambassador.

    “I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a `quid pro quo?’ As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes,” Sondland said.

    The quid pro quo in this case, he said, involved arranging a White House visit for Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in return for Zelenskiy’s announcing investigations of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Biden’s son Hunter was a Burisma board member.

    That proposed arrangement was pushed by Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, who conveyed Trump’s wishes to multiple administration officials. Sondland said he did not know until September that what was actually desired was an investigation into the Bidens.

    The White House pushed back with a statement issued during Sondland’s testimony, saying Sondland didn’t testify that the release of withheld security assistance for Ukraine was tied to Trump’s request for investigations.

    “Sondland is basing his new testimony on presumptions he had made regarding President Trump’s wishes,” the statement said. Under questioning from the committee chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., “Sondland confirmed he presumed what the President wanted. Sondland said that he `speculated` about and `presumed` what the President wanted.”

    __‘AT THE EXPRESS DIRECTION’ OF TRUMP

    Sondland says he was uncomfortable working with Giuliani, but he did so at the "express direction of the president of the United States."

    “We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt,” Sondland said.

    Democrats will certainly point to the diplomat’s remarks to undercut any distance that Trump might try to put between him and demands that were placed on Zelenskiy.

    Sondland said Giuliani emphasized to him in a subsequent conversation that Trump wanted a public statement from Zelenskiy committing Ukraine to look into corruption issues, including looking into potential interference in the 2016 election and Burisma.

    “Mr. Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelenskiy,” Sondland said. “Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the President of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the President.”

    __‘EVERYONE WAS IN THE LOOP’

    Sondland made clear that this was no rogue effort. Sondland said he was open about Trump’s demand that Ukraine commit to the investigations.

    He updated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the White House’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, telling them that Ukraine’s leader would conduct a “fully transparent investigation” and “turn over every stone.”

    Sondland further told Pompeo that he and another American diplomat, Kurt Volker, had negotiated a statement that Zelenskiy could deliver that “will hopefully make the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation” to the White House.

    Sondland mentioned Vice President Mike Pence as well, telling him he was concerned that aid to Ukraine had become tied to the issue of investigations. Ukraine’s president raised the issue of security assistance directly with Pence, according to Sondland, and Pence replied that he would speak with Trump about it.

    “Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret,” Sondland said.

    Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, said that Pence never spoke with Sondland “about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations.”

    In Brussels, Pompeo dismissed Sondland’s testimony, but didn’t comment on specifics.

    Sondland’s account made clear his refusal to be a fall guy for the administration’s dealings with Ukraine and underscored that officials across the government were aware of the unconventional dialogue. It could also counter a Republican talking point that Sondland was part of an unsanctioned back channel.

    __THE IMPACT

    Sondland’s testimony almost certainly advanced the case for impeaching Trump because it moved the effort to get Ukraine to announce an investigation of the Bidens closer to the president.

    The testimony also may help House Democrats build a separate impeachment charge against Trump for getting in the way of their investigation, said former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, whose investigation led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment 20 years ago.

    “That just got drawn up today thanks to Ambassador Sondland,” Starr said on Fox News. Sondland said the administration refused to give him access to records that might have helped him refresh his memory before testifying.

    In a normal criminal case, Trump’s side would try to damage Sondland’s credibility, exploit inconsistencies in his testimony and note that Sondland said the president never personally directed him to dangle a White House meeting in return for announcing the investigation. The effort would be directed at creating a reasonable doubt that would prevent a jury from returning a conviction.

    But impeachment takes place in a political arena, not a court of law. Impeachment scholars stress that the standard of proof for impeachment is lower than it is in the courtroom.

    Though that would seem to work against Trump, the political nature of impeachment ultimately benefits him. Republicans have been united in defense of Trump and, even if he is impeached, it’s difficult to see Republican-run Senate removing him from office.

    __TRUMP CLAIMS EXONERATION

    Sondland directly tied Trump to the effort to push Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. But Trump is seizing upon a portion of that testimony to make his defense.

    While Sondland was testifying, Trump briefly addressed reporters as he left the White House on his way to Texas. Trump normally speaks off-the-cuff, but on Wednesday he read from handwritten notes that appeared to be scrawled in the black Sharpie that the president favors.

    Trump launched into a defense, selectively recounting Sondland’s testimony that Trump told him there was no quid pro quo and that he wanted nothing from Ukraine.

    “That means it’s all over. This is the final word from the president of the United States. I want nothing,” Trump said, before resorting to his usual description of someone from whom he wanted to distance himself. “I don’t know him very well. I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy though.”

    Trump also disputed what he said was Sondland’s characterization that Trump was in a bad mood during their conversation.

    “I’m always in a good mood. I don’t know what that is.”

    Trump ignored questions from reporters as he boarded the presidential helicopter.

    __CONFIRMING THE OVERHEARD CALL

    Sondland confirmed a July 26 call with Trump that was revealed by another diplomat last week — and said the White House has confirmed it too.

    A U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, David Holmes, told impeachment investigators last week about the phone call between Trump and Sondland. Holmes overheard the cellphone call, conducted a day after Trump pushed Zelenskiy to investigate Democrats, while Holmes was dining with Sondland at a Kiyv restaurant. Holmes said Sondland told Trump that Zelenskiy would conduct the investigations he was seeking and would do anything he wanted. He opened the call by telling Trump that the Zelenskiy “loves your ass.”

    Sondland also said that he had “no reason to doubt that this conversation included the subject of investigations,” but said the conversation didn’t strike him as significant.

    He said the White House confirmed the call by sharing certain call dates with his attorneys.

    Asked about the “loves your ass” comment, Sondland sheepishly acknowledged that he and Trump sometimes used colorful language during their conversations.

    “That sounds like something I’d say,” Sondland told the lawyer for committee Democrats. “That’s how President Trump and I communicate, a lot of four-letter words. In this case three letter.”

    __GIULIANI FIGHTS BACK

    Giuliani is fighting back on Twitter. And his targets aren’t just Sondland, but also the Republican attorney tasked with questioning witnesses.

    After Sondland testified that he learned of Trump’s desire for investigations in Ukraine from Giuliani, the president’s attorney dismissed the ambassador as “speculating based on VERY little contact” with him.

    He seemed even more irked with Steve Castor, the GOP’s impeachment counsel. Castor noted during his questioning that Giuliani had business interests in Ukraine and pointed out specifically Giuliani clients Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, who are facing criminal charges.

    Giuliani grumbled that Castor was “picking up Democrat lies, shame.”​

    Source: https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/10347166-181/biggest-takeaways-from-gordon-sondlands?sba=AAS
     
  9. Frank Underwood

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    CNN Starts Moving The Goal Posts On Impeachment
     
  10. Zable

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    The House Intel Committee’s post-impeachment hearings report reveals that Democrats have obtained phone records that can be placed in a time-frame to show that Trump allies – Giuliani & The Three Amigos et al, including Rep Devin Nunes (the House Intel Committee’s ranking member) a Giuliani associate and a Hill news contributor – coordinated “false narratives” months before the July 25th phone call between Prez Trump and Prez Zelenskiy.

     
  11. Zable

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    Nunes on why he's suing CNN...


     
  12. Zable

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    According to an opinion piece by Eric Wemple in the Washington Post:

    “Nunes is asking for $435,350,000 in connection with a Nov. 22 piece by CNN’s Vicky Ward. …

    Ward reported that Lev Parnas, an associate of Giuliani under indictment for campaign finance violations, is prepared to testify about “meetings the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee had in Vienna last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor [Viktor Shokin] to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.” That story was sourced to a lawyer representing Parnas.

    “In his lawsuit, Nunes cites some alleged problems with the story. One, Nunes reports that he didn’t go to Vienna or any other Austrian locale in 2018. Two, he says he has never met Shokin. Furthermore, the complaint makes the case that Parnas is an unreliable narrator who has spun shaky stories in the past, as documented in the media. “From all the evidence in its possession, CNN was well-aware that Parnas was a renowned liar, a fraudster, a hustler, an opportunist with delusions of grandeur, a man in financial in extremis laboring under the weight of a $500,000 civil judgment, and an indicted criminal defendant with a clear motive to lie,” argues the complaint. (Bolding added to highlight an important legal consideration.)

    “As a congressman, Nunes is what’s known in defamation law as a public figure. To prevail in such a case, Nunes needs to prove not that CNN acted negligently, but rather that it acted with “actual malice,” a standard that emerged from the 1964 Supreme Court case New York Times v. Sullivan. To prove actual malice, a plaintiff needs to show that the news outlet either knew that it was publishing false information or that it proceeded with “reckless disregard” for the truth. It’s a hurdle placed at chest height to enable fearless reporting on government officials and — per a subsequent Supreme Court ruling — other people who seek the limelight.”
    Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...nes-just-file-halfway-decent-defamation-suit/


    Meanwhile….

    Nunes rips Schiff over subpoena of phone records: 'I actually have some civil rights here, too'

    By Julia Musto | Fox News | Dec 5th

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was hit on Wednesday by Rep. Devin Nunes, who called a subpoena for his phone records an infraction of his "civil rights."

    On Tuesday, the committee released a report on the impeachment inquiry which included records of calls from Nunes, presidential lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, journalist John Solomon, Fox News host Sean Hannity, a Giuliani connection Lev Parnas, and other White House associates.

    Schiff subpoenaed both AT&T and Verizon for the information. The act has sent a chill among Republicans concerned about the chairman's reach.

    Appearing on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" with host Tucker Carlson, Nunes said Schiff's actions were unprecedented.

    "They have now set a precedent where Adam Schiff can go get any phone number he has to AT&T and AT&T is going to comply," Nunes explained.

    Carlson asked if there was a limit to Schiff's power as chairman: "Can he get my email, too?"

    "If you look at what he did then, it's not just the president's phone records -- okay -- or the president's lawyer's phone records, he also was able to get a journalist who they hate...who they say is a conspiracy theorist," said Nunes. "And, he was able to figure out that that was John Solomon's phone number."

    "Then, he was able to get my number, right? And, because I had talked to Rudy Giuliani and somehow that's now a crime, and then I make it into his report," Nunes explained further.

    "And, we have to remember....we spent the last three years, at first if any Republican ever talked to any Russian at any time -- even if you are Russian-American -- that was a no-no. Then we were criticized," he continued. "We switched to Ukraine. If you talk to any Ukrainian that's now a crime. Now, I can't even talk to Rudy Giuliani who I have known for 10 years. That's supposedly a crime."

    Nunes is currently suing CNN for defamation after journalist Vicky Ward reported claims that he had met with Ukranian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in Vienna in 2018 to dig "up dirt" on Hunter and Joe Biden.

    "So, this is -- this is wrong," Nunes said. "And, what is happening -- whatever is happening in this town is wrong."

    He pledged to look at "whatever legal remedies I have" because "I actually have some civil rights here, too."

    The top spokesman for Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday that they "did not subpoena call records for any member of Congress or their staff...or for any journalist."

    "Any questions about the fact that Members, congressional staff, or journalists appear in call records released by the Committee should be directed at those individuals, who were in contact with individuals of investigative interest to the impeachment inquiry," Patrick Boland told The Daily Beast.​

    Source: https://www.foxnews.com/media/devin-nunes-adam-schiff-phone-record-impeachment-subpoena


    Pushing back….

    Schiff: No, We Didn’t Subpoena John Solomon’s Phone Records
    The House Intel committee tells The Daily Beast that they did not subpoena the phone records for Devin Nunes or John Solomon.

    By Sam Stein | Dec 5th

    The release of the House impeachment report this week has sparked furious denunciations within conservative circles that Democratic leadership used its power to unearth the phone records of journalists and lawmakers they don’t like.

    But the inference left by those accusations bears little resemblance to what actually transpired.

    Patrick Boland, the top spokesman for Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Daily Beast on Thursday that investigators “did not subpoena call records for any member of Congress or their staff... or for any journalist,” including—Boland added—the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) or John Solomon, a columnist formerly of The Hill whose reporting formed much of the public case for Rudy Giuliani and others to do their muckraking in Ukraine.

    “Any questions about the fact that Members, congressional staff, or journalists appear in call records released by the Committee should be directed at those individuals, who were in contact with individuals of investigative interest to the impeachment inquiry,” Boland added.

    In the impeachment report released on Tuesday, a number of call logs were made public showing conversations between Giuliani, officials at the White House and other agencies, and Lev Parnas, an associate of Giuliani’s who is now indicted on campaign finance violations. The records appear to have been obtained via a subpoena of AT&T, which released a statement on Wednesday saying that it is “required by law to provide information to government and law enforcement agencies.”

    The report indicates that all of the call records obtained by the committee belonged to Parnas or Giulini. Every call mentioned in the report includes one or both of them. And the numbers assigned in the report’s footnotes to each document that AT&T produced to the committee appear sequential and grouped according to calls involving Parnas and Giuliani—in the case of the latter, numbers 02131 through 02139, and for the former, 00909 through 00914.

    But that hasn’t stopped speculation that Schiff’s team cast a much wider net, one involving Solomon and Nunes. Such an inference was made in a Wall Street Journal editorial which warned that one of Schiff’s “targets” had been Solomon himself.

    “How is Mr. Solomon’s reporting trail relevant to impeachment?” the editorial read. “The media usually condemn government officials who use surveillance to track and intimidate the media, but here they are cheering Mr. Schiff on.”

    The WSJ editorial was worded carefully enough that it was unclear if the author believed Schiff actually subpoenaed Solomon’s phone records or if he or she was arguing that Schiff shouldn’t have published the metadata ensnaring Solomon that came from non-Solomon specific subpoenas. Similar Schiff critics have left it vague too, including The Washington Examiner’s Byron York and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).


    Senator Rand Paul

    ✔ @RandPaul


    By releasing the phone records of GOP members, @realDonaldTrump lawyers and journalists he doesn’t like, @AdamSchiff is doing exactly what he’s accusing the President of - using his power against his opponents for political purposes.


    71.6K

    6:28 AM - Dec 5, 2019


    But others have flatly accused the committee of subpoenaing Solomon’s phone records. The Western Journal—a pro-Trump outlet—accused Schiff of going “Full KGB” for putting out a report containing “the call-log phone records of a number of his political adversaries” including Nunes and Solomon. The Blaze, another Trump supportive outlet, ran a story under the headline: “Schiff obtained journalist John Solomon’s phone records, and nobody in the media seems to care.”

    Even Solomon himself tweeted his belief that “my phone records” had been “arbitrarily released.”

    Solomon noted that the publication of the call logs did raise questions of First Amendment protections—which they do. But the context appeared to be missing: mainly that his records weren’t actually the ones released, but rather the records of others (non-reporters) that happened to involve calls with him.


    John Solomon @jsolomonReports


    Adam Schiff arbitrarily releases my phone records as a 1st Amendment protected reporter. State Department bureaucrats reportedly monitored my social media. A witness gratuitously drags a 13-year-old boy into impeachment. Whatever happened to civil liberties, privacy and decency?


    90.7K

    6:35 AM - Dec 5, 2019


    Source: https://www.thedailybeast.com/adam-schiff-no-we-didnt-subpoena-john-solomons-phone-records
     
  13. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 3 Years

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    Day 6: The first event in the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump on Dec 4th centred on the constitutional grounds for removing the president. Instead of ‘fact witnesses’, 4 constitutional scholars, all university professors, who could talk on impeachment and speak to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” clause were heard.

    The rules for this new phase of the hearings allowed for the president to be present and participate, or have a representative do that on his behalf. However, Prez Trump spurned the committee’s invitation to directly participate or to be represented. White House counsel Pat Cipollone told the House Judiciary Committee in a letter that the invitation from Jerrold Nadler, the committee's chairman, “does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process.” Mr Cipollone did not rule out participating in future hearings.

    On Monday, Dec 2nd, a federal judge ruled that former White House counsel Don McGahn would have to honour a congressional subpoena to testify; and that he could, if he wished, exert executive privilege in responding to questions.

    This first day of House Judiciary Committee hearings was educational. I believe that historical records of this time will show that even lay parents directed their children to learn from it.

    Three of the law professors – Noah Feldman (Harvard Law School), Pamela S. Karlan (Standford University) and Michael Gerhardt (University of North Carolina) – were short-listed by Democrats; the last, Jonathan Turley (George Washington University) by Republicans.

    Ken Buck Grills Jonathan Turley On Past Presidents' Abuse Of Power While In Office | NBC News | Dec 4th




    The House Judiciary Committee’s Republican ranking member Doug Collins & Republican counsel Paul Taylor question the constitutional law scholars




    Three experts testify Trump committed impeachable acts, one dissents | CNN | Dec 4th





    Meanwhile, USA Today reported:

    Vice President Mike Pence rallied Republican House defenders of Trump at the Capitol on Tuesday. Pence met with Collins, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and John Ratcliffe of Texas.

    “Independents are breaking and breaking hard away from the Democrats’ narrative on this, and with every advantage, essentially, the opportunity to be judge, jury and prosecutor, all at the same time, for them to actually be losing ground really shows how weak this impeachment effort is,” said Ratcliffe, who called the meeting invigorating.

    Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...-holds-trump-impeachment-hearings/2592069001/
     
  14. Zable

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    Dec 5th: The House Speaker delivered a milestone statement on “the status of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry” in which she asked for impeachment charges to be drawn up against President Donald J. Trump.

     
  15. Zable

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    Regarding Prof Jon Turley’s arguments before the House Judiciary Committee…

    From The Jimmy Dore Show:

    Law Professor DESTROYS Democrat's Impeachment Case



    From Brian Tyler Cohen:

    Fox judge CRUSHES Republican witness's testimony defending Trump



    ETA From MSNBC:

    Ari Melber: Republican Witness Was Weak, Had Other Ideas For Constitutional Amendments

     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  16. Zable

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    And, from Ari Melber, an impeachment fact-check:

    (All) Military Funding Did Not Get To Ukraine, Shredding Trump Defense | MSNBC

     
  17. Zable

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    On Friday, Nov 29th, the House Judiciary Committee gave Prez Trump one week (deadline: Dec 6th, 5pm EST) to say whether his legal counsel intended to introduce evidence and/or call witnesses in the impeachment hearings before the committee; and also to specify the actions under the committee’s impeachment rules.

    Meanwhile, Republican members of the committee were also set the same deadline to notify the chairman, Jerry Nadler, about what witnesses and evidence they wanted. Monday, Dec 9th was set aside to consider the matter. ….Washington Post reports that on this day the House Judiciary Committee “will hear evidence from Intelligence Committee lawyers on the investigation into the president’s conduct toward Ukraine”.

    The one-week deadline given to Prez Trump was separate to the Sunday, Dec 1st, 6pm EST deadline for him to reply to the invitation for him to attend this past Wednesday’s hearing about the constitutional grounds for impeachment.

    In response to the Dec 6th deadline, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone on Friday signalled to the House Judiciary Committee that Prez Trump would not be sending lawyers to Monday’s hearing. ….In his letter addressed to Jerrold Nadler, Mr Cipollone gave no indication that the WH would participate in House processes. But he did not explicitly say that the WH wouldn’t.

    Mr Cipollone’s letter reads:

    Dear Chairman Nadler:

    As you know, your impeachment inquiry is completely baseless and has violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness. Nevertheless, the Speaker of the House yesterday ordered House Democrats to proceed with articles of impeachment before your Committee has heard a single shred of evidence.

    House Democrats have wasted enough of America's time with this charade. You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings. Adopting articles of impeachment would be a reckless abuse of power by House Democrats, and would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan, and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our Nation's history. Whatever course you choose, as the President has recently stated: "if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business."

    [INDENT][INDENT][INDENT][INDENT][INDENT][INDENT][INDENT][INDENT][LEFT][COLOR=#0080ff]Sincerely,[/COLOR]


    [COLOR=#0080ff]Pat A. Cipollone Counsel to the President [/COLOR][/LEFT][/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT]​

    cc: The Honorable Doug Collins, Ranking Member

    Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/PACLetter2019.06.12.pdf
     
  18. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 3 Years

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    NBC News reported Dec 7th: A new report from the House Judiciary Committee criticized President Trump for not participating in the impeachment inquiry, saying impeachment is “The Constitution's final answer to a President who mistakes himself for a monarch." Trump called the inquiry a “hoax” and revealed he’s awaiting a report from Rudy Giuliani about his recent trip to Ukraine.


    Meanwhile, POLITICO reports:

    House Dems refresh Nixon-era impeachment report for Trump
    The report outlines the committee’s standard for what constitutes an impeachable offense


    By Kyle Cheney and Darren Samuelsohn | Dec 7th

    The staff of the House Judiciary Committee on Saturday issued a historic report laying the groundwork to impeach President Donald Trump, outlining in Constitutional terms what the panel believes amounts to an impeachable offense.

    Chairman Jerrold Nadler described the 55-page analysis as the heir to the only similar report produced by the Judiciary Committee, which was released during the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon. That document was updated during the Bill Clinton impeachment but not fully rewritten.

    Democrats view the new, Trump-era document as a touchstone in the nation’s centuries-long struggle to define and apply the most charged tool the Constitution provides to Congress: the power to remove a president. It is also a key step toward an impeachment vote later this year, after the Judiciary Committee began public impeachment hearings last week.

    “The earlier reports remain useful points of reference, but no longer reflect the best available learning on questions relating to presidential impeachment,” Nadler writes in the report’s foreword. “Further, they do not address several issues of constitutional law with particular relevance to the ongoing impeachment inquiry respecting President Donald J. Trump.”

    In the report — drafted entirely by Democratic staff, in contrast to the Nixon-era iteration, which featured a degree of bipartisanhip — the committee has sought to refute arguments that impeachable offenses must entail a violation of criminal law. They also sharply rebutted the notion that impeaching a president who has committed impeachable conduct amounts to reversing an election.

    “No President is entitled to persist in office after committing 'high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'” the report reads, “and no one who voted for him in the last election is entitled to expect he will do so."

    The report is a crucial document in the annals of presidential impeachment, a subject with little accumulated precedent and innumerable gray areas. Democrats are taking the opportunity to try to fill in some of the blanks left to them by the Clinton and Nixon-era staff reports. Among them: the Founders’ special concern about a president who would abuse the office’s power over foreign policy.

    "A President who perverts his role as chief diplomat to serve private rather than public ends has unquestionably engaged in ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ — especially if he invited, rather than opposed, foreign interference in our politics,” the report says.

    The language is an all-but-explicit reference to allegations that Trump abused his power when he asked Ukraine’s president, on a July 25 phone call, to investigate his political adversaries, including former Vice President Joe Biden. Democrats argue that the call itself is grounds for impeachment, but they’ve also alleged that he withheld a White House meeting and military aid from Ukraine in an attempt to secure these politically motivated investigations.

    The Judiciary Committee report also seeks to refute claims by Trump and his allies that Democrats have abused the impeachment process, setting out important new procedural markers for how the House should approach future impeachments.
    In particular, the panel takes exception to claims that the president should have been afforded a greater degree of due process and cross-examination in the House’s impeachment process.

    Per the report, the House’s role is analogous to a “grand jury or prosecutor,” deciding whether evidence supports charging the president. “The President is entitled to present a full defense,” the panel notes, “at trial in the Senate.”

    “It is thus in the Senate, and not in the House, where the President might properly raise certain protections associated with trials,” the committee concludes.

    The panel also fleshed out reasons why actions that fall within a president’s legitimate authority can still, when abused, constitute impeachable conduct. And attempts at improper conduct, even if unsuccessful, can still be impeachment-worthy, the committee argues.

    “There is no power in the Constitution that a President can exercise immune from legal consequence. The existence of any such unchecked and uncheckable authority in the federal government would offend the bedrock principle that nobody is above the law,” the panel wrote. “[T]he exact forms of Presidential wrongdoing that they discussed in Philadelphia could be committed through use of executive powers, and it is unthinkable that the Framers left the Nation defenseless in such cases.”

    The Judiciary Committee’s new document also draws on the historical effort by lawmakers to analyze and understand impeachment as the framers of the Constitution intended it. The committee’s document is replete with citations of the Federalist Papers, the Constitution and the debates at the Constitutional Convention.

    It also cites the famous Frost-Nixon interviews, modern case law and comments by Nixon and Clinton in the context of their own impeachment processes.

    Saturday’s Judiciary Committee report draws a clear parallel to its predecessors from the Nixon era. Back then, Democratic panel chairman Peter Rodino tapped a team of bipartisan staffers led by John Doar, a Republican who led the Justice Department’s civil division in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and who would go on to research the reasons the country’s founders included an impeachment mechanism in the Constitution.

    Congress hadn’t had to think about the issue for a century, since President Andrew Johnson barely held onto his office over his handling of post-Civil War Reconstruction. Recognizing the gap, Doar brought in a young team of aides, including future Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and future Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who spent months researching the issue before producing a seminal 64-page report explaining that a president didn’t need to commit a straight-up criminal act to warrant impeachment.

    Democrats used the House report to justify their historic House vote to impeach Nixon. More than two decades later, Republicans then latched onto that Watergate-era House report as they pressed for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

    Then-Rep. Bill Barr (R-Ga.) penned a sarcastic Wall Street Journal op-ed in 1997 praising Clinton’s wife for authoring a memo that could serve as a “road map” for her husband’s ouster. Another Republican, Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, repeatedly cited the 1974 document during the Clinton impeachment to argue the president’s offenses covered a betrayal of public trust and not just obstruction of justice.

    Democrats also used the Watergate memo to defend Clinton. California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who’d been a staffer for a Judiciary panel member in 1974, posted a copy online and shared it with colleagues. In an interview earlier this year, she said that decades-old House report backed up the argument that Clinton’s lies about a relationship with a White House intern was immoral but didn’t rise to the historical precedent for impeachment.
    Source: https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/07/house-judiciary-report-impeachment-077701 (A copy of this House Judiciary Committee report is available on the page to which this links.)

     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  19. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Star EXP: 19 Years

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    Clinton Impeachment Video Reveals Dems’ Hypocrisy
     
  20. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 3 Years

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    'It is weird' that Giuliani went to Ukraine: GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz | ABC News | Dec 8th

    The impeachment-related section starts around 2.15min mark.

     

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