I. In the House impeachment Report, Chairman Nadler really and truly says this:
“The question is not whether the President’s conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the President’s real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate. Where the House discovers persuasive evidence of corrupt wrongdoing, it is entitled to rely upon that evidence to impeach.”
Such an attitude and approach is smoking gun evidence of a rogue process. The President, of course, has not been interviewed, questioned or cross examined. His “real reasons” can only be a matter of speculation, based on the confirmation biases of his prosecutors. In ethics, motives just confuse the issue, because all human actions have complex and interacting motives. In law, malum in re, that is, objectively bad intent, often defines a crime (such as murder), but a legal action does not become illegal because the actor has some wrongful intentions, just as an illegal action doesn’t become legal because the malefactor meant well. For leaders, those who deal in power, distinguishing between rightful and wrongful acts based on motives is particularly difficult, if not impossible.
I suppose Nadler should be praised for candor, but the state of mind of Trump’s inquisitors could not be less trustworthy or more irresponsible. They believe the President to be corrupt, thus they interpret conduct by him which literally any other President could have (and has) engaged in without criticism or condemnation (except on a policy prudence basis) as impeachable. This has been the presumption from the beginning of his Presidency. No leader can function properly in such an environment….which was the idea.
2. Consider the impeachment-related and anti-Trump bias in these comments from the transcript of the December 6 edition of the PBS New Hour. The participants are host Judy Woodruff and pundits Mark Shields and David Brooks.
JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: Quite a week. The speaker did say, I want you to begin, to the chairmen, I want you to begin drafting articles. Judiciary Committee held a hearing with constitutional scholars, experts on Wednesday.
Where does this argument stand right now that the president should be impeached? …
Where does it — clear to you?
DAVID BROOKS, NEW YORK TIMES: Yes.
It takes two to have an argument. And we don’t seem to have an argument, because we have one side, the Democrats, who are happy to talk about it, and the White House doesn’t seem very interested in confronting the argument with another side.
And so that’s their decision in the House.
I wonder what they’re going to do in the Senate. Are they going to — is the White House going to mount a defense? Are they going to leave it to Republican senators?
But I think — I agree with Mark. The evidence is just pretty overwhelming…
And Trump had an argument of a sort today, which was 256,000 new jobs.
And so the economy is a big factor here. And so, as long as he has that economy, the Republicans will be sticking with him, the whole atmosphere around him will be good from the Republican point of view.
I should say, I thought Nancy Pelosi had one of the best political moments of the year this week in saying that she doesn’t hate Donald Trump. She’s going to pray for Donald Trump.
That was a — I just thought a beautiful moment of, well, she said it’s her Catholic faith of Christian witness…
WOODRUFF: So, do I hear both of you saying you think the Democrats are correct to be moving forward with this impeachment, that this is a wise move on their part?…
BROOKS: Yes. And I think Pelosi understands two contradictory facts. One, they have to do this for constitutional reasons.
And, two, it could hurt some swing voters, but it’s not the conversation she wants to have, which is about health care and other things.
So, they’re doing the right thing, which is to do it and do it as fast as they possibly can.
I’m sort of struck by what Mitch McConnell — how he will react in the Senate. Does he want to drag this out as a way to keep Democrats, Senate candidates in there? Or does he want to short — also get it out of the way?
Maybe he — if I were him, I’d probably want to get out of the way too.
WOODRUFF: A lot of questions. A lot of questions….
BROOKS: ….I do think it’s indisputable that Donald Trump is hurting our relationships with our allies. I mean, that’s indisputable. I once had a friend who was in the State Department say, most of what we do here is not foreign policy. It’s foreign relations. We do relationships.
…And as Mark can tell you, in politics, and as in life, relationship is 98 percent of the game. And if you’re torching your relationships with your allies, then they’re not going to be there when you need them.
But I do think Biden had a — one of the best weeks of the campaign.
He had an ad mocking President Bush — President Trump — wishful thinking. And then he went after that voter, which I think showed vigor, showed toughness, showed he’s doing well, and I think also allowed him to control the news cycle, which he hasn’t done for a long time….
MARK SHIELDS: Disagree. I disagree with David.
I think that Joe Biden can take on a voter, but he looked — you want to do pushups? You want to run? You want to take an I.Q. test?
It looked a little bit like mini-Trump. And that isn’t where Joe Biden is going to win this campaign, if he’s going to win it.
The whole thing is jaw-dropping. This is the measured, objective, fair news reporting that taxpayers are funding,
The exchange is supposed to be balanced one, but PBS has gathered an anti-Trump moderator, old school Democrat and liberal Mark Shields, and the New York Times’ faux house conservative and never-trumper David Brooks. Asks one RealClearPolitiucs commenter, “Wait….Is this supposed to be PBS’s idea of a rough and tumble two sided debate?” He gets the answer from another commenter, “Yes.” It’s especially amusing, then, to hear Brooks say, “It takes two to have an argument. And we don’t seem to have an argument, because we have one side…” That’s true of Brooks and Shields for sure. It is not true of the hearings. Neither Brooks nor Shields are lawyers, but it is basic courtroom advocacy that if one side can’t make its case, that side loses, and the opposition doesn’t have to say a thing.
Thus it is also damning that Brooks says, without any substance, “The evidence is just pretty overwhelming,” as if saying it makes it true. Overwhelming? To partisans like these three, perhaps, who have believed all along that Donald Trump must be doing something impeachable, because that’s just the kind of person he is. One of Jonathan Turley’s colleagues at American University, historian Alan Lichtman, revealed the mindset of his class and fellow progressives by telling CNN’s Erin Burnett on November 16, 2016, that he expected Trump to be impeached:
“There’s a very good chance that Donald Trump could face impeachment. First of all, throughout his life he has played fast and loose with the law. He has run an illegal charity in New York state. He has made an illegal campaign contribution through that charity. He has used the charity to settle personal business debts. He faces a RICO lawsuit.”
Now the news media, especially CNN, is hailing Lichtman as a prophet. But this prediction/desire by the “resistance” has always been a self-fulfilling prophesy.
The cognitive dissonance scale dictates that since Trump is bad (way below the center point on the scale, his tormenters must be high on the sale, in the positive territory. Thus Brooks gushes over Pelosi’s sanctimonious and condescending posturing about wanting to pray for Donald Trump. That’s a beautiful moment to Brooks, who also thinks Joe Biden’s outrageous attack on a voter who dared to challenge him was also wonderful. Got it: if you oppose the President, you can do no wrong. Oh no, says Shields: if you act like President Trump, then that’s bad.
3. Strangely, since Brooks and Shields feel that the evidence for impeachment is so overwhelming that they don’t even have to tell PBS viewers why its so overwhelming, Constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz said over the weekend that the case was non-existent.
“First, they came up with abuse of power — not a crime — it’s not in the Constitution. So now they’re saying ‘bribery,’ but they’re making it up,” he said. “There is no case for bribery based on, even if all the allegations against the president were to be proved, which they haven’t been.”
Dershowitz agrees with Joathan Turley that the impeachment fiasco is dangerous.
“They have created open-ended criteria which bear no relationship to the word of the Constitution itself,” Dershowitz said Sunday on Fox News. “If President Trump is impeached, it will set a terrible precedent, which will weaponize impeachment, and the next Democrat who gets elected will be impeached….It’s hard to find any president — modern president, old president — who can’t be accused of abuse of power…How many foreign policy decisions have been made by presidents over the years in order to help them get reelected? If we start making that an impeachable offense, there will be no Presidents left.”
Dershowitz also made this damning comparison:
“What they’re trying to do is what the KGB under Lavrentiy Beria said to Stalin, the dictator — I’m not comparing our country to the Soviet Union — I just want to make sure it never becomes anything like that. …”Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime. And that’s what some of the Democrats are doing. They have Trump in their sights. They want to figure out a way of impeaching him and they’re searching for a crime.”
24 thoughts on “If I Had Been Able To Swing A Full-Time Impeachment News And Commentary Blog, These Kind Of Things Would Have Been On It…”
I think the Democrats are being deliberately deceptive here, and can’t really say what they mean. What they mean is that the actions they have ascribed to Trump are crimes because Trump did them. If a person such as former president Barack Obama, or more pointedly former vice-president Joe Biden, had done the exact same thing, they would carry with them a presumption of innocence, validity and indeed, praiseworthiness. Their motives would’ve never been questioned, let alone put forward as the basis for an impeachment.
This just highlights the political nature of the impeachment “process” the Democrats have initiated, and the utter bankruptcy of their argument. If they can define crimes as not the acts themselves, but the combination of and act and who commits it, they will have reached a point that Orwell couldn’t, or didn’t imagine.
It is impossible to overstate the pernicious nature of successfully making such an argument. It smacks of the racist trials in the Jim Crow south, where a black man could be convicted of almost anything because of his race. Ironically, that is entirely apropos to the Democrat party.
The Democrats, particularly the intelligence committee report, are trying to say that Donald Trump’s actions must be impeachable not because they meet the high standards defined in the Constitution (remember, the text of the Constitution explicitly defines treason), but because they think they can stretch the meaning of the Constitutional text to encompass conduct it was meant to exclude from impeachable actions.
To the dubious credit (more aptly, shame) of the Democrats in particular and politicians in general, this is completely consistent with their actions over the decades. We have seen judges on both sides, but particularly those who lean left, find “penumbras” and “nexuses” and other hooks in the law and Constitution that import conduct or matters clearly not included in the text of the law in order to justify their desired outcome. This is just another example, although a particularly harmful and egregious one.
I think this is even worse, or perhaps just a more specific case than that explanation describes. This is a case of, “Show me the man and we’ll stretch a crime to fit his actions, text of the statute be damned.” In essence, this is a kind of attainder without a bill, an illegitimate process cloaked in the high language of defense of the Republic.
And it is altogether evil.
Mr. Barry Berke just restated that nonsense that if what Trump did was not impeachable then nothing is.
My God, these people are fucking idiots!
That was live just moments ago in the hearings!
I saw that portion. The Dem lawyer is reading a prepared script and using edited testimony.
I did enjoy the person in the Gallery for his commentary.
I’m not actually watching this, I’m listening to it in the background. Who was in the gallery for his commentary?
He yelled that the Dems were conducting a coup and his vote was being taken away. He got a lot out in a coherent manner.
There was more but he got about 45 seconds of pro Trump protest before they removed him. It occurred when Nadler started laying out the days events.
I didn’t have it turned on at that time.
Blowing up Kansas City with a Presidential-ordered nuclear attack is not impeachable? The President walking into the Senate chamber with an AK-47 and opening fire is not impeachable? Committing perjury and engineering a cover-up is not impeachable?
See? Right off the top, I can think of quite a few things President Trump hasn’t done – much worse than the non-crime he committed – that are impeachable.
I want to ask House Democrats a single question: “So tell me, how does the stupid fit you for size?” It looks perfect from my perspective.
Have you noticed they sound as shrill as they did when they opposed impeaching Bill Clinton?
What did these same people say about impeaching Bill Clinton in 1998-1999?
I seem to remember the Democrats saying that you had to PROVE that someone intended to break the law before they could be punished for it. I seem to remember someone setting up an unauthorized, unencrypted, unsecured e-mail server, removing the classification markings from documents and sending them in the clear, cutting and pasting from classified documents into e-mails sent to people without clearance, destroying devices containing evidence of such behavior with hammers, etc. I also remember someone setting up a charity and then not reporting the money they brought in, correcting it incorrectly, correcting it incorrectly, correcting it incorrectly, publishing false reports on how the money was spent, accepting money from foreign leader despite an agreement not to…but that is OK. They said you couldn’t prove any of these people INTENDED to break the law, so no charges were filed. Now, if someone COULD have intended to do something unethical in their heart, but the action would be completely legal if they had pure motives, you can punish them based on your ability to know the person couldn’t possibly have had good motives. Yep, just the consistency I have come to expect from Democrats.
Well, yeah, but that was before Orange Man Bad.
Mr. Daniel Goldman testimony is extrapolating anti-Trump propaganda to absurdity.
The media, pols, intelligentsia and bureaucrats have become unhinged because someone who is not of them won (in their minds “stole”) the election, thereby marginalizing all of them. I think this is the underlying cause of Trump Derangement Syndrome. It has been passed down to the lefty faithful by this elite crew. Government of, by and for the people is not what we have in the U.S. The country’s run by a self-serving, self-enriching cabal of power hungry shitheads who fully intend to squash the upstart Trump like a bug. How dare he fuck with their set up.
“The country’s run by a self-serving, self-enriching cabal of power hungry shitheads who fully intend to squash the upstart Trump like a bug.”
The term you are groping for is “The Swamp.”
You are welcome
I’m not big on The Swamp as a term, sw. It’s too close to Foggy Bottom, which is, of course, the State Department. State is a component, but just a component. I also think The Swamp is too geographically limited to D.C. and it’s environs. Certainly, the cabal inhabits the entire Acela corridor. But its auxiliaries are spread all over the country in Hollywood, and of course, academia.
“The question is not whether the President’s conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the President’s real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate.”
Nous sommes arrivés!
The joys of leftists who, apparently, can mind read. I don’t have to mind read to know what their intentions are.
The random cherry picking the political left is doing in this hearing trying to “prove” something nefarious is absolutely astounding.
Question: Who the heck is this Mr. Castor, I think I heard at one point that he is White House Counsel, is that correct?
Re: Who Knows:
So, Ethics Alarmists, help understand the rules. I am thoroughly confused.
Biden goes off on an 82 year old retired Iowa voter, calling him fat and a damn liar all the while getting into this proverbial face, and then challenges him to a push-up duel (I guess that is better than a real, honest-to-goodness pistol drawing duel . . .)*. Then, Pelosi invokes her Catholic faith when a reporter asks her why she hates Trump, ending her screed with “Don’t mess with me when it comes to words!” and storms off the dais.
I remember the media went/go nuts when Trump did/does this. He attacks CNN as the “Enemy of the People” and cue the howls of outrage. He goes after a critic and he is accused of fascistic tendencies. And then, he has the temerity to talk about God and religion and he is a 6th century throwback wanting to put women in chains at the stove. But, Pelosi says she prays for Trump everyday (I take her at her word) and she is canonized as a paragon of theocracy.
What, then, are the rules? If Trump does it it’s bad; if anyone does the opposite of Trump, then they are heroes?
*Ed. Note: What is it with this crop of Democrat candidates and physical activity? Beto skate boards across the stage and does pushups. Buttigieg is shown running down the sidewalk, Warren is shown making up something about something else. Harris is . . . uh . . . Harris. Booker is doing something physical and all vegany. Then, there is Amy doing a stint in a blizzard calling attention to global warming. Are they trying to blunt Trump’s future attack that they lack energy a la Jeb Bush and/or Marco Rubio?
More censorship from WAMU 88.5…
Whenever a Democrat speaks, the voiceover is a simple “Rep. So-And-So, Democrat from X.” Quick and succinct to minimize drowning out the speaker.
Whenever a Republican speaks, the voiceover is “This is Rep. So-And-So, Republican from X, and we are live broadcasting the impeachment hearing here on WAMU 88.5, blah blah blah…” which drowns out as much Republican speaking time as possible.
I used to enjoy NPR; now the Trump Derangement is really ruining everything.